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May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Pre-Hanukkah Miracle for Israeli in Sydney Siege [video]

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Israeli religious singers Benny Elbaz and his son Gad left Sydney’s Lindt’s Café now under siege only moments before it was under siege by one or more Islamic fanatics, COL Live reported.

“Several minutes before the kidnapping…, all of our friends left after sitting there and hour and 15 minutes,” Elbaz wrote on Facebook.

“After several moments, it happened! A miracle, a miracle, a miracle of Hanukkah. There are no other words.”

The Elbaz father-and-son team is on tour in Australia and performed Sunday night. They were drinking coffee in the Lindt Café before preparing to fly to New York, via Singapore, for a performance.

“While thankful, my father and I are praying and hoping for a quick release of all the hostages safely and without harm,” Gad Elbaz told COLlive in a phone conversation. “We hope the light of Chanukah will shine their glow on the nation of Israel and the rest of the world,” he said.

Five hostages have escaped from the café, and two of the nearly 50 hostages that remain have been forced by their armed captor to hold up a black flag with Islamic symbols and Arabic writing in the Lindt’s store window.

An Australian broadcaster who refused to speak with the captor on air said that the hostages have been forced to call him “The Brother.” The abductor also has demanded to speak with Australian Prime Tony Abbott.

There no signs that he will talk with the man.

Police have made contact with the gunman

Hundreds of police have placed central Sydney on lockdown, and U.S. officials have evacuated staff from its nearby consulate.

So far, no one has been injured although one of the hostages who escaped was treated at a hospital for undisclosed reasons.

Archaeologists Uncover Tale of Ancient Mikveh and WWII Australian Soldiers

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Archaeologists excavating a construction site near the Ha’Ela Junction have uncovered a curious tale that entwines the fate of an ancient mikveh with that of two Australian soldiers who somehow ended up in the same spot in World War II.

The ancient ritual pool (“mikveh” in Hebrew) was recently uncovered at the Ha’Ela Junction during the routine excavations that are always carried out prior to construction in Israel, in this case to widen Highway 38.

Nearby, an enormous 1,700-year-old water cistern was also revealed, with graffiti scrawled on the ceiling of the reservoir, apparently by Australian soldiers during World War II.

The excavations are being carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority and are financed by the Netivei Israel Company, which is involved in the construction.

Yoav Tsur, IAA excavation director at the site, explained, “We exposed a mikveh in which there are five steps, with the fifth step being a bench where one could sit at the edge of the immersion pool.

“We found fragments of magnificent pottery vessels there, dating to the second century CE – among them lamps, red burnished vessels, a jug and cooking pots.

“Apparently the mikveh ceased to be used during the second century CE, perhaps in light of the Bar Kokhba revolt.

“A rock-hewn opening was exposed south of the mikveh, which appears to have been the entrance to a large water cistern. It seems that in an early phase it was a smaller reservoir and functioned as the “otzar) (water collection area) for the mikveh. When the mikveh ceased to be used, the cistern’s original cavity was increased to its current large dimensions and an extensive surface was built nearby, which facilitated drawing water.”

The archaeologists were also surprised to find during their excavations some graffiti engraved on the ceiling of the cistern, indicating that the site had been exposed at least until the 1940s.

Graffiti carved into ceiling of ancient cistern by Australian soldiers during World War II.

Graffiti carved into ceiling of ancient cistern by Australian soldiers during World War II.

The inscriptions were read by Assaf Peretz, an archaeologist and historian with the Israel Antiquities Authority, who said that two English names were carved in the rock: Cpl Scarlett and Walsh.

“Next to the names are caved the initials RAE and two numbers: NX7792 and NX9168. The date 30/05/1940 appears below the graffiti.”

The IAA inquired with authorities who confirmed that the numbers engraved in the cistern were indeed serial numbers of two actual soldiers, and that RAE stands for Royal Australian Engineers.

A search in government archives revealed that Corporal Philip William Scarlett was born in Melbourne in 1918, was drafted into the army in 1939, survived the war and died in 1970, shortly before his fifty-second birthday.

His comrade, Patrick Raphael Walsh, was born in 1910 in Cowra, was drafted in 1939, survived the war and passed away in 2005 at the age of 95.

It seems the two were members of the Australian Sixth Division. They were stationed in the country at the time of the British Mandate and undergoing training prior to being sent into combat in France.

Because France surrendered before the troops were ready they were ultimately sent to Egypt in October 1940 where they fought at the front in the Western Desert.

The archaeologists added, “If the relatives of these people are acquainted with the story, we’ll be happy if they contact us and we’ll share with them the warm greetings left behind by Scarlett and Walsh.”

Tsur pointed out that the finds from the excavation tell an exciting tale indeed: they “allow us to reconstruct a double story – about the Jewish settlement in the second century CE, probably against the background of the events of the Bar Kokhba revolt, and another story no less fascinating, about a group of Australian soldiers who visited the [same] site c. 1,700 years later and left their mark there.”

Jail for Returning Jihadists in Australia

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Monday that any Australian who left to fight with jihad groups in the Middle East may as well stay there.

“My unambiguous message to all Australians who fight with terrorist groups is that you will be arrested, prosecuted and jailed for a very long time,” Abbott told the Australian parliament in a statement on national security.

Numerous Australian immigrants have left the island nation to fight with Islamist radicals abroad; some have then returned to start trouble at home.

Australia has recently announced tough counter terror measures to target the home-grown terrorists, as did Canada as well, which is revoking citizenship from anyone who travels overseas to fight alongside ISIS or any other terrorist group.

British Muslims Plead for ISIS to Free Captive Alan Henning

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

UK Muslims are calling on ISIS to release British captive Alan Henning, an aid volunteer who is next on the beheading list according to the most recent video released by the group.

In their letter, more than 100 Muslim groups and leaders wrote, “We, the undersigned British Muslim Imams, organizations and individuals, wish to express our horror and revulsion at the senseless murder of David Haines and the threat to the life of our fellow British citizen, Alan Henning.”

During the filmed decapitation Saturday of fellow British aid worker David Haines, an ISIS terrorist warned the group would do the same to Henning if the UK continued to support action against ISIS.

It is believed the man who is carrying out the beheadings in all of the videos, and who appears to speak English with a British accent, is indeed a British national. “UK media have begun to call him “Jihadi John.”

Numerous Muslims in countries around the world are hurrying to dissociate themselves from the group, insisting that ISIS has no connection to Islam.

The group is rapidly spreading its influence around the globe, with lone wolf operators and ISIS sleeper cells developing in various countries, including the United States. Security officials are working hard to keep up with the group.

This week a massive security sting operation hauled in 15 suspects and foiled an ISIS plot to hold a public beheading in Australia. More than 800 police officers were involved in the raids that focused on 22-year-old Omarjan Azari, who was believed to be the ringleader of the groups local network. He was charged on Thursday with preparing to commit a terrorist act.

ISIS Plotted Australian Public Beheading

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

A massive security sting operation hauled in 15 suspects and foiled a plot by the Islamist State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to hold a public beheading in Australia.

More than 800 police officers were involved in the raids that revolved around 22-year-old Omarjan Azari, who was charged on Thursday with preparing to commit a terrorist act.

An intercepted phone call triggered the operation, prosecutors said.

A senior member of ISIS was urging Azari and his group to carry out the demonstration executions, according to Prime Minister Tony Abbott. “That’s the intelligence we received,” he told reporters.

“The exhortations, quite direct exhortations, were coming from an Australian, who is apparently quite senior in ISIL (Islamic State in the Levant, an alternate name for ISIS), to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country. So this is not just suspicion, this is intent and that’s why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have.”

Azari appeared in Sydney central court, where prosecutors told the judge the suspect planned to “shock, horrify and potentially terrify” the public with such executions.

Bail was denied because he was considered a flight risk, partly due to his “unusual level of fanaticism,” the court said.

Australian federal police Acting Commissioner Andrew Colvin said a warning had been received the plot involved abducting a passerby from the street in New South Wales and beheading them while filming the murder.

The other 14 suspects can be held for up to 14 days without being charged, under Australia’s counter terrorism laws, according to a report in The Guardian newspaper.

Australian Rabbi: Love Muslims and Everything Will Be OK

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Christian and Jewish religious leaders in Australia have launched a “We’ll love Muslims 100 years” campaign to express love and support for the country’s Muslim population, the JTA reported.

“We have Muslims who are made to feel like terrorists in the past few years and they report the atmosphere is similar to post-9/11 and it is simply as a result of cultural incompetence,” explained Rabbi Zalman Kastel, of the Together for Humanity Foundation.

He and pastor Brad Chilcott, national director of Welcome to Australia, a non-profit that focuses on issues relating to immigration and asylum, are heading the campaign that is supposed to make Islamic jihadists love Christians and Jews.

The name of the campaign – loving Muslims for 100 years – is a riff on a recent headline, published in the Weekend Australian, that stated, “We’ll fight Muslims 100 years,” according to a report in The Guardian.

It is clear why they will love Muslims for only 100 years and not any longer because if “love” is the solution to Muslim terror, there won’t be any Christians and Jews left in the world in the year 2114.

The year is 2024 is more likely, but let’s not quibble about the extra zero added on to 10 years.

Any assumption that Rabi Kastel is another Reform “rabbi” smoking The New York Times is dead wrong.

Believe it or not, he is a strictly Orthodox rabbi born and raised in Brooklyn.

He and his non-Jewish pals plan three major love events in Australia to rally Australian Muslims around the banner of love.

The Together for Humanity Foundation has been around for 12 years, in which time its love has paralleled the spread of fanatical Islam to the point that many Muslim countries as well as almost the entire non-Muslim world, except Israel, is scared to death, literally.

The Humanity Foundation was launched less than year after 9/11 and 12 years before the Islamic State ISIS has declared war on the United States, although President Barack Obama dismisses the declaration while ISIS beheads one American journalist, prepares another one for death and claims it has cells in the United States ready to strike fear into the hearts of heathen Christians and Jews who do not accept Islam. It does not mean middle class Islam but the real stuff that also expresses love – love for hate and love for death.

The catalyst for the “We’ll Love Muslims for 100 Years’ campaign was a recent headline the Weekend Australian, “We’ll fight Islam 100 years.”

It is forbidden to express the words “fight” in the world of Woodstock, unless one is fighting for “love” of everything, including hate. Or as John Lennon sang, “Imagine.” That is far as Rabbi Kastel’s reality goes – imagination.

But he insists he is not living in Woodstock.

It would be interesting to know what Talmudic discussion he uses for his outlook. But so far he is using his foundation’s Muslim president, Christian chairman and an atheist patron to back him.

The good rabbi, may God grant him a speedy spiritual recovery, is bothered by the “harsh talk” against Muslims in mainstream and social media.

“I was concerned about shrill, harsh talk we see both in social and mainstream, even though there is a lot of good interfaith work going on in Australia every day,” he said, quoted by the London Guardian.

“As a result, we have Muslims who are made to feel like terrorists in the past few years and they report the atmosphere is similar to post-9/11 and it is simply as a result of cultural incompetence.

“We are all on the same team, if I may use that word, in terms of the result, and that is peace.”

Melbourne Jewish School Evacuated in Bomb Scare

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

A Melbourne, Victoria elementary school was evacuated on Thursday morning (Australia time) following a a suspected car bomb, according to an Australian ABC report.

340 students were moved to a different campus for safety.

Ultimately, it turned out to be a false alarm, and the suspicious object was a blanket covering tools in the back of the car.

Wisely though, the police didn’t take any chances with the children’s lives.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/melbourne-jewish-school-evacuated-in-bomb-scare/2014/08/21/

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