Barcelona's chief rabbi has urged Jews to move to Israel because Europe has been "lost" to radical Islam, and Spain has been a "hub of Islamist terror for all of Europe" for years.
"I tell my congregants, 'Don't think we're here for good,' and I encourage them to buy property in Israel," Chief Rabbi Meir Bar-Hen told the Jewish news agency JTA in an interview Friday.
"This place is lost," he said. "Don't repeat the mistake of Algerian Jews, of Venezuelan Jews.
"Better [get out] early than late," Bar-Hen warned. "Europe is lost."
Fourteen people died and as many as 130 were injured when a white van plowed into a popular Barcelona tourist area Thursday evening.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Barcelona attack and another assault early Friday in Cambrils, where one person died and seven were injured after five men drove an Audi A3 into a crowd on the waterfront.
A lone female police officer was credited with killing four of the five terrorists in that attack.
The terrorists originally planned to drive three vans full of explosives into historic sites in Barcelona, including the Sagrada Familia cathedral, according to news reports.
Rabbi Bar-Hen's remarks were challenged by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain.
"Spanish Jews trust the State Security Corps that work daily to prevent radical fanatics and Islamists from sowing chaos and pain in our cities," the organization said in a statement reported by The Daily Mail.
It also urged local politicians to "deal intelligently and determinedly with the struggle against fanaticism and in favor of freedom and democracy."
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