web analytics
September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Belgium’

Arson Attack on Brussels Synagogue

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Arsonists set fire to a Brussels synagogue on Tuesday, that was previously firebombed in 2010, but Jewish officials are not ready to declare the incident as anti-Semitic.

The wife and two children of the synagogue’s caretaker, who was not present at the time of the arson, suffered slight smoke inhalation after the fire broke out on the fourth floor of the building, where they live.

“It would seem that the fire was set deliberately,” Laurens Dumont, a spokesman for the city prosecutor, told AFP.

Jewish community officials were even more careful and declared that anti-Semites may not have torched the synagogue because Torah scrolls and sacred books were not burned.

Of course, the arsonists could have anticipated that the fire would spread and would destroy the Torah scrolls, but Jews in the Diaspora often prefer to suppose that they are not targets of hate crimes and that they are not in danger.

Maybe it was not an arson.

Maybe it was not anti-Semitic.

We hope it wasn’t, but don’t be surprised if it was.

Maybe the fact that the synagogue is located in a heavily-populated Muslim area is only coincidental.

Maybe.

ISIS Terrorist Identified as Murderer in Brussels Jewish Museum Attack

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

The murderer of four people, including two Jews from Tel Aviv, in the attack last May on the Jewish Museum in Brussels was an ISIS terrorist who was one of the captors and torturers of James Foley, Steve Sotloff and a French journalist, who was released and now had identified the killer.

The terrorist is Medhi Nemmouche, a French citizen who is to go on trial in Belgium on Friday for the murders at the museum. He was arrested several days after the terrorist attack, and he fought for the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2013 only three weeks after he was released from prison, where he served five years for armed robbery.

The immediate reaction of Brussels officials after the attack was typical of the head in the sand illusion that makes believe that many terrorists are “lone wolves,” that many attacks on Jews or Jewish institutions are just a coincidence and that the radical Islamic movement in Europe does not threaten to overthrow the entire continent.

The fact that at that time of his arrest he had a white sheet emblazoned with the name of the ISIS clearly indicates Nemmouche, even if he acted alone, was not just some jihadist who woke up one morning and decided to become a terrorist.

Anti-Semitism in France is rampant. Considering that the motive was “open” was a denial of reality.

Nemmouche was identified by French journalist Nicolas Henin as the terrorist who attacked the museum. The fact that he is a French citizen belies the false belief among many European leaders that the jihadists are imports.

“The accused gunman is also French, increasing fears in Europe over European citizens’ ties to extremist groups,” National Public Radio reported. French authorities estimate that nearly 1,000 other people from France have joined the jihadists in Syria, and every one of them, unless they are killed first, could be the next Nemmouche.

Henin, who was kidnapped in Syria in 2013 and held for almost a year, said that Nemmouche was only one of several French citizens who were in charge of the prison where he was held.

The journalist has known for some time that one of his captors was Nemmouche but did not say anything in order to protect other Westerners held by ISIS. He broke his silence after Le Monde reported that investigators have linked the killer with ISIS, which really should not be a surprise considering that the sheet with the name ISIS n it at the time of his arrest was widely reported.

“When Nemmouche wasn’t singing, he tortured,” Henin wrote in Le Point. “The torture lasted the night, up until the dawn prayer,” when radical Muslims appeal to Allah to give them the strength for more barbarism.

Europe’s “everything is just dandy” mirage is its own death sentence. Nemmouche used his French citizenship to return to enter Belgium from Germany and is “a perfect example of the difficulty in tracking European jihadists, reported NPR’s Eleanor Beardsley.

Henin’s lawyer Marie-Laure Ingouf told AFP that “Nemmouche was one of his jailers. All the hostages confirm this. They lived alongside him for several months.”

Henin spent part of his time as hostage along with journalists Foley and Sotloff, who were beheaded by ISIS in the past two weeks. He added that it was clear to him and others in captivity that Nemmouche did not leave Syria in order to become a good citizen.

“It seemed to us that he did not leave for Syria because of some grand ideals but, above all, to make his mark, to carry out a murderous path that he had traced,” Henin said.

Bye Bye Antwerp

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

A Hareidi family from Antwerp are packing up their belongings as they prepare to make Aliya from Belgium on August 07, 2014.

Europe has seen a massive outbreak of anti-Semitic attacks on Jews, and many Jews are considering leaving to escape before it gets worse.

‘No Jews Allowed’ Sign Removed from Belgian Cafe Following Complaint

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

(JTA) — Police removed a sign from a Belgian cafe saying that Jews were not allowed following a complaint by an anti-Semitism watchdog.

The Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, or LBCA, filed the complaint Wednesday with the mayor of Saint-Nicolas against the parties responsible for hanging a Turkish- and French-language sign at a cafe in the Liege suburb.

The Turkish text reads, “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Jews are not under any circumstances.” The French text replaces “Jews” with “Zionists.”

Following the LBCA complaint, Saint-Nicolas Mayor Jacques Heleven dispatched police to the cafe, who had the sign removed and confirmed the LBCA report.

The window display also included a Palestinian flag, an Israeli flag crossed out with a red “X” sign and a kaffiyeh, or Palestinian shawl, draped around it.

“LBCA will file in the coming hours a criminal complaint with the Liege prosecutor over the actions of those responsible for this violation of the July 30 law against racism and xenophobia of 1981,” LBCA said in a statement.

Last week, the Belgian Jewish newspaper Joods Actueel reported that a shop owner in Antwerp had refused to sell an Orthodox Jewish woman clothes “out of protest.” An employee confirmed that the shop had temporarily adopted a policy of not selling to Jews.

Western Europe has seen a significant rise in anti-Semitic hate speech and attacks — including against nine synagogues in France — since Israel launched its Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza on July 8 following a barrage of rockets from Gaza into Israeli cities and towns.

Jewish Museum Shooter Doesn’t Want Extradition to Israel

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Mehdi Nemmouch has conditioned his acceptance of extradition to Belgium to stand trial there, on the condition he won’t be extradited to Israel.

Mehdi Nemmouch (29) is the French Muslim who killed 4 people at the Brussel’s Jewish Museum on May 24, 2014. He was captured in France when his car was pulled over for other unrelated reasons.

The French court will decide by June 26 whether to accept his request. If turned down, Nemmouch can appeal the extradition order in a higher court.

Belgian Security Shaky for Jewish Museum in Brussels

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The Jewish Museum in Brussels is set to open in less than two weeks, but Belgium’s commitment to securing the facility is not clear — despite a pledge by Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo to strengthen Jewish communal security. Di Rupo made the statement following a meeting earlier this month in Brussels with the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and local Jews.

Security at the Jewish Museum of Brussels has always been “very light,” according to museum president Philippe Blondin, who met with Israeli journalists on Tuesday. Due to the museum’s limited funding, Blondin had asked Belgian authorities directly for upgraded security, but was turned down, he said.

That is a now an even bigger problem than it was a month ago, given the events of May 24, when a terrorist calmly walked into the building, opened his bag and removed a Kalashnikov assault rifle. It took him five seconds to fire the weapon from the doorway to the museum and bloody the floor and walls of the exhibit. By the time he left, three people were dead and a fourth was mortally wounded.

Terror suspect Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, is still being held in Marseille by French police, who immediately nabbed the accused gunman as he crossed the border.

“For a Jewish museum it was, in a way, way too light,” Blondin said of the security apparatus in place at the time of the attack.

There were no security guards at the door. There were none at the entrance to the building.

But the choice had been to close the museum or to take a risk, he said. “My choice and the choice of the people before me was education, education, education.”

Blondin said police would return the keys to the front entrance today (Wednesday) but that he would like to give his traumatized staff at least one more week to meet with psychologists over the horrific attack. And of course, they still had to clean the place up, and create a memorial for the victims.

He added that he is also still hoping for some increased police protection or security assistance from the Belgian authorities — who so far have promised nothing.

Blondin noted — as has every other Jewish leader over the past year — that there has been an uptick in anti-Semitism in Europe. He added that there has been a change in attitude towards the Jews in Belgium as well. “We’ve got Judeophobia and anti-Zionism, two different things working together,” he said.

When asked by The Jewish Press, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev deferred comment on whether the Jewish State would consider assisting Belgium or the museum with additional security.

Belgium Joins Jews in Fighting Anti-Semitism

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Belgium’s government will join Jewish efforts in fighting anti-Semitism, according to the World Jewish Congress (WJC).

Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo pledged Monday following a meeting in Brussels to establish a joint commission with WJC and local Jews to “facilitate the exchange of information” on the issue.

The commitment came following a murderous attack by Islamist terrrorist Mehdi Nemmouche last week at the Brussels Jewish Museum, which left four people dead, including a couple from Tel Aviv. Two Jews were beaten and left in serious condition outside a synagogue in a Paris suburb less than 24 hours later.

The Brussels terrorist, who used a Kalashnikov assault rifle to carry out his attack, was tracked down and caught in France after having just returned from a round of fighting in Syria.

The Belgian prime minister told the WJC delegation he would help Jewish efforts to strengthen communal security, combat racism and strengthen Holocaust education. Di Rupo said he supported “closer European cooperation to fight radical movements” and said his nation would not tolerate “hate speech.”

European Jewish Congress president Moshe Kantor warned recently at a news conference at Tel Aviv University that unless conditions begin to change, “Normative Jewish life in Europe is unsustainable.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/belgium-joins-jews-in-fighting-anti-semitism/2014/06/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: