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January 25, 2017 / 27 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Belgium’

Yad Vashem to Honor Two Belgian Righteous Among the Nations Posthumously

Monday, November 21st, 2016

On Monday, Yad Vashem, the world Holocaust remembrance center, held a ceremony posthumously honoring Joseph and Marie Andries from Belgium as Righteous Among the Nations. Chairman of the Commission for the Designation of Righteous Among the Nations and Supreme Court Justice (ret.) Jacob Türkel presented Dr. Francoise Rampelberg, family member of Joseph and Marie Andries, with the medal and certificate of honor. Holocaust survivor Benno Gerson, and Serge and Stefan Goldberg, sons of the late Anni Goldberg, attended the ceremony.

Extended family members of Benno Gerson and Anni Goldberg were reunited at the ceremony thanks to the efforts of Yad Vashem during the research process for this recognition.

Following the Kristallnacht pogroms of November 1938, Luser-Ludwig and Pepi Gershonowitz decided to leave Germany. They first sent their daughter Anni to the Netherlands, and then followed with their son Benno. Eventually the family settled in Brussels, Belgium.

When the deportations from Belgium began, in 1942, the Gershonowitz family decided to separate from their children in order to save them. Seven-year-old Anni and five-year-old Benno were brought to the home of Joseph and Marie Andries in Anderlecht. On September 24, 1942, Ludwig and Pepi were arrested and deported to Auschwitz, where they perished. Several months later, the Andries family and the children moved to Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, where they remained until the end of the war. Joseph and Marie Andries were childless, and at some point separated. The two children remained with Marie, who continued to care for them lovingly. Benno remembers calling Marie Andries “mamake” (“mother” in Flemish). Life was simple, and Marie sometimes received help from her relatives, the Rampelbergs, who provided her with some additional food.

After the war, contact was established with a relative of the Gershonowitz family in the United States, and in 1947 Anni and Benno left Marie Andries’ home and sailed to New York. In 1983, shortly before Marie Andries passed away, Benno travelled to Belgium and visited his rescuer one last time.

On December 23, 2015, Yad Vashem posthumously recognized Marie and Joseph Andries as Righteous Among the Nations.

JNi.Media

2 Police Officers Stabbed, ‘False Alarm’ Bomb Threat Empties Brussels Train Station

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Two Brussels police officers were stabbed and a train station evacuated in the wake of a telephoned bomb threat Wednesday afternoon, the second to occur within the past 48 hours, according to Belgian authorities.

One of the two officers was listed in serious condition following the attack by a suspected terrorist in the northern Brussels suburb of Schaarbeek. That officer was stabbed in the neck; the second officer was knifed in the stomach. The attacker was shot in the leg and then taken into custody, according to Belgian officials quoted by Flandernews.be.

Meanwhile, just slightly earlier, a bomb threat prompted authorities in northern Brussels to evacuate the Gare du Nord train station on Wednesday, but was later ruled out as a “false alarm.”

The signalling center and the Portalis building were evacuated in addition to the station, following a call from an anonymous tipster, who phoned police at 12:20 pm local time, the UK-based Daily Express newspaper reported.

The station was meticulously searched for explosives, while a number of train lines on the city’s metro system were interrupted as a result of the alert. A Twitter user said on the social networking site that it was the second time this week the northern Brussels station was evacuated for a “bomb alert.”

Two days ago, the same train station was placed on lock-down after a suspicious package was detected in a vehicle near the station.

In addition, a separate bomb threat prompted officials to evacuate the office of the Brussels prosecutor as well, the Libre Belgique daily newspaper reported, quoting police sources.

This past August, a car bomb exploded at about 3 am outside the Brussels Institute of Criminology.

Earlier this year, the Jewish community of Brussels canceled its Purim celebrations after the March 22 horrific twin terrorist attacks on the city’s international airport and its Molenbeek metro station, close to the headquarters of the European Union.

The attack involved three deadly coordinated suicide bombings — two at Zaventem International Airport in Brussels, and one at Maalbeek metro station in central Brussels — killing 32 civilians and wounding more than 300 innocent victims, including two local Jews. Three terrorists were killed. A fourth unexploded bomb was discovered during a sweep of the airport.

The Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization claimed responsibility for the attack, which was carried out by a members of a larger terrorist cell that had been involved in the massive November 13, 2015 multi-site terror attacks in Paris.

Hana Levi Julian

Knesset Committee Approves $80 Million to Support New Immigrants

Monday, August 15th, 2016

The Knesset Finance Committee, headed by MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), on Monday approved the transfer of an additional $80 million to the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, mainly for the purpose of finding housing solutions for elderly immigrants.

Some of the funds are designated for encouraging entrepreneurship among new immigrants from France, Belgium, and Ukraine.

Of the amount allotted, about $68 million are designated for housing solutions for elderly immigrants; $4 million for encouraging entrepreneurship among new immigrants, including employment fairs and seminars for new immigrants, coupons for Hebrew lessons, absorption-related activities in local authorities, encouraging Aliyah abroad by strengthening the professional capabilities of potential olim, and adding more operators to the information call center for those interested in making Aliyah; $2 million for the implementation of the government’s decision to allow members of the Bnei Menashe community entry into Israel, and $1.3 million are designated for increasing the assistance provided to immigrant soldiers who are recognized by the IDF as lone soldiers or as soldiers who are eligible for family stipends.

JNi.Media

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Belgium Machete Attack on Female Cops

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

The Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization claimed responsibility on Sunday for the vicious machete attack Saturday afternoon against two female police officers in the Belgian city of Charleroi.

The group’s Amaq News Agency quoted an unidentified source who said the attack came “in response to calls to target citizens” from the nations who participate in the U.S. coalition conducting air strikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Belgium has opened a terrorism probe into the attack, one of a string of radical Islamist assaults on members of the European Union.

The 33-year-old terrorist, an Algerian national, yelled “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Great, in Arabic) as he swung the machete at the face of the first police officer, cutting her deeply.

The second victim, who also sustained wounds to her face, was not as seriously wounded, having had enough time to muster defenses to fight off the attacker. In addition, a third officer opened fire, shooting and ultimately killing the terrorist.

Both police officers were standing at the entrance of a police station around 4 pm local time (11 am NY time) when the terrorist walked up to them carrying a sports bag. He pulled the machete from his bag and began hacking at the officers.

Hana Levi Julian

Terrorist Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ Attacks two Female Police with Machete in Brussels Suburb

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Two female police officers were attacked with a machete by a man shouting “Allahu Akbar” outside a police station in Charleroi, south of Brussels, Belgium, Saturday afternoon, media outlets reported.

The attacker apparently walked up to the two police officers who were standing at the entrance of a police station around 4 PM local time (11 AM NY time), pulled a machete from his bag and hacked at one of the officers.

A third officer shot the attacker in the chest and one leg, and the man later died. The assaulted officer suffered deep cuts to her face and was rushed to hospital. The other female officer suffered only light injuries.

A police spokesman told a press conference: “It’s a sad thing. Our hearts go out to the two cops involved.” He added: “Our thoughts also go out to the officer who had to pull her gun. For her this is not easy.”

David Israel

Belgian Court Upholds Shechita Laws Despite Challenge by Lawmakers

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

The Constitutional Court of Belgium has rejected a petition by parliamentarians who once again tried to ban shechita — the Jewish ritual slaughter of meat.

The lawmakers tried to neutralize the right of Jews and Muslims to maintain the religious ritual slaughtering customs that are necessary for the proper processing and consumption of meat in both faiths.

Belgian lawmakers had requested the court extend the reach of the nation’s law requiring an animal be stunned prior to slaughter to apply also to Jewish and Muslim slaughterhouses as well. Such an act is in direct opposition to religious Jewish kashruth and Muslim halal laws.

Faith representatives turned to the Belgian courts, where it was decided that any extension of the law to the religious communities would be a violation of their freedom to practice their religion.

In December 2014, the Flemish Minister for Animal Welfare, Ben Weyts, reversed his position on the issue of Jewish ritual slaughter in Belgium and instead committed himself to opposing a proposed ban on the practice of Jewish ritual slaughter.

European Jewish Association Rabbi Menachem Margolin emphasized at the time, and has since reiterated that the practice of “shechita” is the most humane method of slaughter, as it ensures the welfare of the animal not only at the time of the slaughter but also concerns itself with “the conditions in which animals are raised before their slaughter.”

Hana Levi Julian

‘Bye Bye Brussels!’ – Britain Votes to Leave the EU

Friday, June 24th, 2016

British citizens are done with being one of many — 28, to be precise — and they made their views clear in a referendum Thursday with a vote to leave the European Union.

They wanted their borders back, their own British Pound Sterling, thank you, and the safety of being able to make their own security decisions.

The vote was called late Thursday night at 52 percent in favor of ‘Brexit’ as the leaving was called, and 48 percent against, according to ITV and the BBC.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who said his position would be ‘untenable’ if the country chose not to remain within the EU, now finds himself having to decide his next move. Cameron had warned there would be “no turning back” if the UK were to separate itself from the European body, looking at the impact on banks and other financial institutions as well as other issues.

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage described a poster showing a line of asylum seekers as “a statement about the whole of the European Union,” according to CNN. Farage delivered a victory speech to supporters upon hearing the news of the final results at a polling station in Birmingham.

The ‘victory’ may be a bit premature, however: Scotland warned from the outset that should England decide to leave the EU, the decision would launch a discussion about whether or not to hold another referendum on whether or not to secede from the United Kingdom.

Should Scotland vote for independence, the UK decision to leave the European Union — which may ultimately lead to the disintegration of the EU — will have led to its own dissolution as well.

Analysts around the world are now weighing the effect of the British decision on the world economy and it impacts individual nations along with their currencies, pension funds and banking systems. It is also not clear what effect this will have on the British Jewish community both in the United Kingdom and abroad.

In trading Thursday night, the British pound Sterling fell against the U.S. dollar and against the euro; however, the euro fell against the Japanese yen as well. All three stock markets dropped, and were set to open lower on Friday.

Political leaders in Europe are now deeply concerned that the split that exists in England may continue to divide other member states in the EU, prompting them to leave as well and perhaps lead to the dissolution of the entire European body.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bye-bye-brussels-britain-votes-to-leave-the-eu/2016/06/24/

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