Minister: No one in Estonia should feel fear due to nationality, faith or ethnicity

Interior Ministry building in Tallinn's Old Town.
Interior Ministry building in Tallinn's Old Town. Source: Ministry of the Interior

Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) has affirmed the Estonian state's resolve to do all in its power to ensure that fallout from the ongoing Israel-Hamas war does not spill over into Estonian society, in an open letter to representatives of Estonia's Jewish community and the congregation of the country's sole synagogue.

The current conflict, sparked by mass attacks on civilians in Israel on October 7 by the terrorist group Hamas, must not be played out on any scale in Estonia, despite the risk of that happening, and incidents of anti-Semitism, provocation or attacks on persons or property are unacceptable, the minister says.

The minister wrote in his communique that: "As a result of the brutal terrorist attack by Hamas, the conflict has escalated in the entire region, and in turn is also spreading to some Western nations."

"In several countries, for instance, a rise in attacks on persons and property, motivated by anti-Semitism, has already been seen. In order to maintain internal security and public order within Estonia, it is vital to prevent and exclude all and every kind of attack or provocation against individuals and property here, while our law enforcement agencies are actively working to achieve that goal," the minister went on.

Läänemets said the purpose of his letter is to publicly confirm the support of the Estonian state for the Jewish community in Estonia, and its commitment to protecting them and all things important to them from any assault. 

Lauri Läänemets. Source: Ministry of the Interior

"In the broader view, Estonia's role is to support its partners and allies in their efforts to prevent further escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, since this would inevitably spill over into European countries, and thus undermine our internal security and stability," he went on.

"Domestically speaking, we can only exclude the spread of the conflict here by ensuring the sense of security for every Estonian resident, regardless of their faith or ethnic origin."

In the statement of support, Läämenets added that there was no justification for crimes against humanity, and any attempts to justify crimes of terror committed against the people of Israel only serve to incite anti-Semitism and attacks against Jewish communities motivated by that.

The Minister of the Interior reiterated that ensuring the comprehensive security of Jewish people, and sites, and places of commemoration important to the community, is under heightened scrutiny by Estonia's security apparatus, in the current situation.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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