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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘bombing’

Three Iranian Bombs Rock Downtown Bangkok

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

The three bombs that exploded in a busy Bangkok street Tuesday were intended for “foreign nationals” in Thailand, according to national police chief Priewpan Damapong. The blasts injured five people including a bombing suspect carrying an Iranian passport who blew off his own legs. Another Iranian suspect was arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport hours after the incident as he was about to leave for Malaysia. He is one of three suspects thought to be involved.

Thai TV news reports said the Iranian, carrying a black bag, first threw a bomb at a taxi after its driver refused to take him as a passenger. When police got to the scene, some reports said, he threw a second bomb that hit a tree and bounced back at him, blowing off both his legs. Other eyewitness accounts said he dropped the device. There are also unconfirmed reports that the house where the man was living may be storing further explosives.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. was awaiting the results of investigations, and did not blame Iran directly. But she noted Monday’s incidents in India and Georgia, and recent “Iranian-sponsored” and “Hezbollah-linked” plots to attack Israeli and Western interests in Azerbaijan and Thailand.

Thai police have not yet divulged motives for the blasts, but the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, directly accused Iran of exporting terror around the world. “The attempted terror attack in Thailand proves once again that Iran and its proxies continue to operate in the ways of terror and the latest attacks are an example of that,” said Barak.

He said Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah were “unrelenting terror elements endangering the stability of the region and endangering the stability of the world.”

When Terror Victims Fall Through The Cracks

Friday, February 10th, 2012

The Second Intifada may have ended seven years ago, but countless Israelis injured during that harrowing period, and in the years since, continue to suffer. The Israeli government offers many of them compensation for their injuries, but its bureaucratic apparatus is sometimes slow to respond, the money is not always sufficient, and not all injuries qualify for compensation.

Which is why Ohr Meir U’Bracha was founded. Launched in 2002 by Liora Tedgi – a terror victim herself and the mother of 10 – Ohr Meir U’Bracha aims to help those falling through the cracks. “I was near the terrorist,” Tedgi told The Jewish Press, recalling the suicide bombing in Jerusalem’s Beit Yisrael neighborhood on March 2, 2002 that killed 11 and injured 50. “I was a few meters from him, and I have a lot of noise in my head and a lot of pressure. But I decided to help – to transform my suffering, to bring more energy, and help victims of terror.”

Today, among other projects, Ohr Meir U’Bracha distributes 500 care packages every week to the families of Israelis injured in terrorist attacks. Before Jewish holidays, that number can reach 600. “When both parents work and get a salary, it’s okay,” Tedgi said. “But – I’ll give you an example – the mother of Family X, who is a teacher, was in a bombing, and never came back home. Suddenly the father had to be a mother and a father with three little children. And then he had trouble at work. So he became depressed, and it’s like a [vicious] circle.”

Liora Tedgi standing beside Ohr Meir U’Bracha care packages.

It is families like these that Tedgi tries to help. “I give them food and also buy them washing machines, a refrigerator – anything that can help.” She also helps people find job training courses when necessary. Just the other week, her organization distributed 1,000 blankets to children affected by terrorism in “Operation Hot Winter.”

Currently, the organization provides 50 children daily with a hot lunch. One of Tedgi’s dreams is to start an after-school program for these children to teach them computer and other vocational skills, while also keeping them off the street. “She’d start this program tomorrow if we had enough money,” said Shoshana Shore, Tedgi’s administrative assistant.

Many Israelis blame their government for Arab terror – and Tedgi, of course, is aware of this opinion. But when asked if she ever considered political activism so that her organization would have less people to service, she answered simply, “I’ll tell you the truth. I don’t politica; I know how to help.”

Liora Tedgi will be in the United States from February 14-27. She can be contacted through office@terror-victims.org.

Syrians Bury Dozens of Suicide Bombing Victims

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Thousands of mourners took part in a mass funeral for 45 people killed in twin intelligence agency compound bombings in Syria’ capital city of Damascus on Saturday. The attacks involved suicide bombers, the first such attack since opposition to President Bashar Assad’s rule arose in March.

An additional estimated 166 people were wounded in the attacks.  One took place in Damascus’ upscale Kfar Sousa district at 10:30 on Friday morning, when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden car outside a military intelligence building.  The second attack took place a minute later at the gate of the General Intelligence Agency.

Relatives and friends of the deceased, loyalists of Assad’s regime, wore black garments and carried Syrian flags and pictures of the dead, chanting “Martyr after martyr we want no one but Assad,” according to a report by the Associated Press.  Coffins were draped with Syrian flags at the Omayyad Mosque, built in the year 715, the burial place of Crusader nemesis and former ruler of Jerusalem, Saladin.

All but six of the remains were identified.  Most of the victims were civilians, though some were security officers.  State television broadcast the funeral live on-air.

Assad’s administration responded to the attacks by saying preliminary investigations point to al-Qaida, further suggesting that the current battle with opposition forces was not a battle with reformers, but rather with al-Qaida terrorists.

For its part, opposition members said Assad himself could be behind the attack, which took place the day after a team of Arab League observers arrived in country to investigate Assad’s crackdown on resistance.  Anti-Assad forces also expressed concern that the recent attack would lead to a massive onslaught in central Syria.  Furthermore, reports from rebels indicate that Assad is inhibiting the work of the observers and causing delays for the team.

On Saturday, at least three people were killed in Baba Amr by shelling, with homes and stores set on fire.  Another four bodies were found dumped on the streets of Houla in the volatile Homs province, with indications they had been tortured.

Pro-Israel But Not Presidential

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
Sarah Palin sure makes it hard for those who care about Israel to dismiss her out of hand. On her brief visit to Israel last week she said the kinds of things one expects to hear from passionate Israel activists at meetings and rallies, not from politicians – even those with stellar pro-Israel credentials – concerned with appearing wise and judicious and nuanced and even-handed.
In short, Palin doesn’t even make an effort to temper her infectious enthusiasm for Israel with the tiresome sort of political and diplomatic double-speak we’ve come to expect even from widely acknowledged friends of Israel like George W. Bush, let alone from timorous Jewish organizational leaders who get a bad case of the vapors whenever someone like Pastor John Hagee or the late Rev. Jerry Falwell – or Palin, for that matter – champions Israel from a biblical perspective.
Palin’s most quoted remark in Jerusalem was the question she put to MK Danny Danon – “Why do you [Israel] keep apologizing all the time?” Those eight words sum up Palin – her character, her personality, the reason people either love her or hate her – better than the thousands of articles, political discussions and books she’s inspired in the 32 months since John McCain ushered her onto the international stage.
Apologizing and the traits (hesitation, timidity, self-doubt) that usually inspire and accompany the act are utterly foreign to Palin’s nature – a fact that other times and under different circumstances might raise concerns about self-righteousness and intractability but that after 27 months of Barack Obama’s unnerving passivity comes across as a desperately needed tonic.
Appearing on Fox News’s “On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren shortly after her return to the U.S., Palin called her visit to Israel “a trip of a lifetime for Todd and for me,” explaining that I have such a love for Israel that it was wonderful to be there to have the opportunity to hear firsthand from the prime minister, to hear firsthand from Netanyahu and his family, what their concerns are, what their threats are, and how they want to know – they want to know that America is on their side.”
   Palin criticized the Obama administration for pressuring Israel to freeze building construction for, as she put it, “the Jews in their homeland” and said she “would have taken an opposite approach.” She described Israel as having made “concession after concession” while “facing threat after threat.”
A somewhat skeptical Van Susteren asked Palin how the U.S. could be more supportive of Israel than it already is, noting that “historically, the United States has stood side by side with Israel.”
Palin responded that “We need to be even stronger in our commitment to help secure Israel and to help in this peace process and not tell Israel that ‘The land that is yours, you cannot build on, you have to concede even more to the Palestinians’ . Why aren’t we putting our foot down with the other side and telling the Palestinians, ‘If you’re serious about peace, quit the shellacking and the shelling, quit the bombing of innocent Israelis.’ Look at the young Israeli family that was slaughtered in their house a week or two ago. Look at today, the bombing of those innocents at a bus station in Jerusalem. No! We need to be strong and. “
At that point Van Susteren interrupted and asked, So you take the harder line? You take the. “
Now it was Palin who cut off Van Susteren. “I would take the harder line. Otherwise, Greta, we’re just going to continue down the same path . For peace, for stability, we do need to take a harder line.”
So, does the Monitor stand by its March 11 assessment that Palin is unqualified to be president? Unfortunately, yes. And it really is unfortunate, because on a visceral level the Monitor appreciates Palin’s unabashed support of Israel – and of course nothing would poleax the arrogant liberal media quite like a Palin victory over Obama in the 2012 presidential election.

But when conservatives as diverse as Peggy Noonan and David Frum and Charles Krauthammer and George Will and Kathleen Parker – just part of a list that keeps getting longer – agree that Palin isn’t presidential material and that she would almost certainly lose to Obama in a landslide, it’s as good an indication as any that the GOP needs to look elsewhere for a candidate who can send Obama back to Chicago.

 

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Rav Eliyahu And Jewish Unity: A Personal Reflection

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

What could I possibly write to justly summarize the magnitude of my/our dear rabbi, the Rishon LeTzion Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, zt”l? I can’t believe I am actually sitting and writing about him in the past tense.

I met Rav Eliyahu about a month before I joined the IDF. There had been a bombing on one of the buses in Tel Aviv the day before and the entire country was depressed. I had heard a lot about him before meeting him, but the way he spoke about every Jew lost in that terrible bombing joined me to his personality.

Two hours later I walked out of his house a completely different person. I was able to grasp that truly great people actually live among us. It wasn’t his fancy chief Sephardic rabbi garb or the number of people who came to hear his words that impressed me, but rather the aforementioned sensitivity and passion he had for every Jewish soul.

That awe translated itself into an ongoing learning relationship, an ongoing desire to emulate that care and love toward every other Jew in the world that was so evident in Rav Eliyahu. It was his guidance and personal attention that brought my wife, our (then) three boys and me to Vancouver, British Columbia; and it was his continued tutorship that helped us succeed in developing such a strong relationship with the Jewish community at large and teens in particular.

NCSY grew from 15 to 500 teens during our five years in Vancouver and it was Rav Eliyahu’s love of Jews that encouraged us to move halfway around the globe and connect ourselves to a community we had never heard of earlier, simply because it was a Jewish community.

We were on our way to my parents’ anniversary party when we received the terrible news of Rav Eliyahu’s death; for our own safety I probably should have stopped the car but I decided to turn around and drive back home. I sat crying by my computer and started watching video after video of my conversations with the rav. I am not sure why I filmed them, but I’m really glad I did.

More than 100,000 Jews from every segment of life in Israel came to Rav Mordechai’s levaya on five hours’ notice. I don’t know how many people in the world merit to witness such unity at their funeral.

In a conversation between Rav Eliyahu, his sons, a friend of mine and myself just three days before he had his first heart attack two years ago, he said, “We have more Torah today than ever in the history of the Jewish people. We have more chesed in the Jewish world than ever in the history of the Jewish people. We have more kosher food then ever in the history of the Jewish people. The one thing that we are missing is unity and that is what is holding back the Mashiach from coming!”

Rav Eliyahu cut the first snip of hair off all of my five older boys at their upsherin and was the sandek of my sixth son at the OU Israel Center. When watching the videos yesterday I came across the one in which he told me he felt I should take my current position as executive director of OU Israel.

It is almost four years since I took his advice and not a day goes by without my seeing firsthand the positive impact this organization has on Klal Yisrael and how it is, Baruch Hashem, connecting the Jewish people with each other.

I thank Rav Eliyahu for giving me his guidance and I hope to take his legacy, his Torah, his passion, his love and continue spreading them across the Jewish world. In his merit, let us leave all the fights aside and unite as one people.

The War Against Terror That No One Protested

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

           The jets bombed the daylights out of them. The ground forces invaded. At long last the murderous suicide-bombing terrorists were being suppressed in a military campaign. Their total defeat put an end to any notion that the terrorists and their sponsors would be granted their own state. Many civilians were killed and wounded, yet not a single protest was made against the invasion anywhere.

 

I refer to the conquest over the past few days by the army of Sri Lanka (once called Ceylon) of the holdout city of the Tamil independence rebels. Kilinochchi was the last town held by the Tamil “Tiger” Rebels, a group considered a terrorist group by the United States. With it fell the last Tamil hope of setting up an independent state or even of getting autonomy inside Sri Lanka.
 
The Tamils do have their own state inside India but were not satisfied with that manifestation of “self-determination.” Kilinochchi, 579 kilometers north of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, was until recent months the center of political power for the rebels.
 
Over the years, 65,000 people have been killed in the war with the Tamils in Sri Lanka, almost all of them civilians.
 
Meanwhile not a single Solidarity-with-the-Tamil-Tigers protest has been organized on a single Western campus or in a single downtown square. Jewish leftists have not taken to the streets to demand an end to the war of aggression against the Tamils. Leftist websites have not proclaimed every injury of a Tamil civilian to be a Nazi-like war crime by Sri Lanka and an act of genocide.
 
The Eurocrats have not pontificated about how the Sri Lankan response to terror was out of proportion. The BBC did not describe the Tamil suicide bombers as activists. The International Solidarity Movement has not sent in protesters from the West to try to defend the terrorists. Communists and fellow travelers have not organized flotillas of boats carrying aid to the terrorists to “break the siege.”
 
Hundreds of non-governmental organizations claiming to be concerned about human rights have not rushed aid to the terrorists in the name of humanitarian concerns.
 
            And then there was the eerie silence of Israeli politicians. Not one of them chose to lecture the Sinhalese of Sri Lanka about how the whole problem is their insensitivity to the needs of the “Other.” None of them explained to the Sri Lankans that if they did not capitulate to the demands of the Tiger terrorists, really radical and implacable enemies of Sri Lanka would arise from among the Tamils.
 
Ehud Barak did not demand that the Sri Lanka government enter talks with the Tigers and provide them with guns and funding. Israeli professors did not organize petitions of solidarity with the Tamil suicide bombers. Columnists at the far-left Israeli daily Haaretz have not turned out column after column explaining that the Tamil suicide bombings are all about the Tamils living under an inhumane siege. Israeli literary stars David Grossman, Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua have not produced poems and essays urging that the demands of the Tamil Tigers be met.
 
Israeli Minister of Education Yuli Tamir did not suggest to her Sri Lankan counterpart that poems by Tamil terrorists be introduced as part of the school curriculum there or that they be taught that Sri Lanka’s very existence is a catastrophe and a crime.
 
Strangely, not a single Sri Lankan professor who had a family member killed by terrorists has endorsed their demands – unlike several such professors in Israel. Not a single Sinhalese public figure has proposed that Sri Lanka be dismembered and stripped of its Sinhalese symbols and flag.
 
No Sinhalese members of parliament have proposed a change in the national anthem. No one in Sri Lanka has proposed dividing Colombo and handing over half to the Tamils. The UN did not denounce Sri Lanka for misrepresenting the traditional Tamil drink of Ceylon tea as Sinhalese cuisine.
 
Virtually no one knows that 65,000 civilians have died in Sri Lanka’s fight with the Tamil terrorists – in fact, most people couldn’t even find the country on a globe. The Western media have shown no interest in covering the story. In the first week of fighting in Operation Cast Lead, the number of Gazans killed, most of whom were terrorists, was far less than 1 percent of the number of Sri Lankans killed in their battle against terrorism.
 
But then again, Sri Lanka is just not as advanced a country as is Israel. No one bothered to explain to the Sri Lankan leaders that there can be no military solution at all to the problem of terrorism and that the only choice is to hold talks and meet the demands of the terrorists.
 

Those silly, na?ve Sri Lankans ignored all the sage advice and just went ahead and solved their problem of terrorism with a military solution.

 

            Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at  steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

Israel Pardons Murderers Of Jewish Florida Teen

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

JERUSALEM – Israel last week granted a complete pardon to a handful of senior terrorists, including the leaders of a terror cell responsible for a 2006 suicide bombing in which an American teenager and 10 other civilians were murdered, according to information obtained by The Jewish Press.

Last June, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert granted temporary amnesty to 178 terrorists on condition they disarm, refrain from attacks and spend three months in PA detention facilities and another three months confined to the West Bank city in which they reside.

If the terrorists completed their side of the deal, Olmert’s office would grant them permanent amnesty, allowing the jihadists freedom of movement in the West Bank and taking them off Israel’s most wanted list of terrorists to ensure they are not arrested.

The temporarily pardoned terrorists were all members of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization. The amnesty was granted as a stated Israeli gesture to help bolster Abbas against rival Hamas.

Despite Israeli media reports that many of the 178 pardoned terrorists refused to disarm and continued carrying out attacks, Olmert last October pardoned 48 more Al Aksa Brigades members and earlier this year pardoned at least 80 more – again on condition they disarm, refrain from attacks, spend three months in PA detention facilities and another three months confined to whichever northern West Bank city they reside in.

About 45 percent of the temporarily pardoned terrorists have received permanent Israeli amnesty in recent months in coordination with Olmert’s office and Israel’s Shin Bet Security Services.

Last week, a handful of senior terrorists received permanent amnesty for purportedly abiding by the conditions for a pardon.

This reporter obtained the list of pardoned terrorists, which Olmert’s office is keeping confidential. Among the now officially pardoned terrorists is Nasser Abu Aziz, who was the second-in-command of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the northern West Bank city of Nablus – the Brigades’ main stronghold. Aziz was also considered the No. 2 leader in the Brigade’s West Bank terrorist infrastructure.

According to Israeli security officials and Aziz’s own admission during in-person interviews with this reporter, among the major attacks directly orchestrated by his cell was an April 17, 2006, suicide bombing in a Tel Aviv bus station eatery in which nine Israelis were murdered and over 60 people were injured. A tenth Israeli died of his wounds several days after the bombing.

Florida teenager Daniel Wultz, who was visiting Israel with his family on Passover vacation, was critically wounded in the bombing, reportedly losing his spleen, a kidney and a leg. His father was moderately wounded. Daniel Wultz died of his wounds about a month after the attack.

The Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades took responsibility for the suicide bombing along with the Islamic Jihad terror group. Palestinian security sources said the Brigades planned the attack and that Islamic Jihad provided the suicide belt as a symbolic gesture to take part in the bombing.

In an exclusive interview, Aziz, now considered an ordinary Palestinian citizen, called Wultz’s death a “gift from Allah” and revenge against American Jewish support for Israel.

Also pardoned is Ahmed Abu Salta, who served under Aziz and was considered the No. 3 leader of the Brigades in Nablus. According to Israeli security officials, Salta was part of the same cell that planned the suicide bombing in which Wultz was killed.

Rabia Hamed, the second-in-command of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank city of Ramallah, received his permanent amnesty last week. According to Israeli security officials, Hamed took part in scores of shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers in the West Bank. He was part of a cell that murdered Israeli nationalist leader Binyamin Ze’ev Kahane in a December 2000 shooting.

Zacharia Zbedei, the infamous leader of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the West Bank city of Jenin, is also now officially pardoned.

Israel granted the terrorists full amnesty last week despite reliable information that dozens of terrorists recently granted full amnesty have since been involved in attacks. Just last weekend, Israeli forces arrested Maamun Hamdan, an Al Aksa member who had been given a complete pardon, on information he was planning an imminent attack meant for central Israel. Last week, Israel also arrested Muhammad Qutawi, another Brigades leader given a full pardon. Qutawi is also accused of planning an attack meant for central Israel.

Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

More than a thousand Israeli Arabs congregated in Lod to mourn George Habash, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group. Habash was buried last week in Amman, Jordan, after dying of a heart attack at the age of 81.

The choice of Lod as a place to mourn Habash may be particularly stinging to Israelis since the city was the site of one of the PFLP’s deadliest terror attacks. In 1972, the PFLP gunned down 27 people at Israel’s Lod airport.

“Habash was buried in Amman but he must be buried in [his birthplace of] Lod. Habash’s death was one of the biggest losses of the Palestinian people and Arab nation,” said Jamal Zahalka, a leader of the Israeli Arab Balad party, which holds Knesset seats.

The memorial ceremony was replete with glowing eulogies of Habash. In a march through the streets of Lod, participants brandished Palestinian flags. Local and national representatives of the Israeli Arab Hadash party were also present to mourn Habash, whose PFLP also took credit for a suicide bombing in Dimona this week that killed one civilian and wounded eleven others.

Attacks and Talks: Two Sides of a Coin

Suicide bombings and peace negotiations don’t contradict each other, according to the military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization, which also took credit along with the PFLP for this week’s deadly suicide bombing.

“We need both tracks, negotiations and martyrdom attacks, in order to achieve our goal of liberating our lands,” said Abu Ahmed, a senior leader of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the northern Gaza Strip, speaking to WorldNetDaily shortly after the bombing.

This week’s bombing was the latest in a string of attacks carried out by members of Abbas’s Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades since November’s U.S.-sponsored Annapolis summit. Still, senior Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met over the past few days to further the negotiations that are designed to create a Palestinian state by the end of the year.

Terrorist Leaders: Israel Is Paper Tiger

The Winograd Commission report proves the Jewish state is a “paper tiger” that can be destroyed, Palestinian terrorist leaders told WND in a series of interviews.

“The report shows how Israel was defeated in war and proves the Zionist army is a paper tiger and that any other Arab and Muslim organization that has a real will like Hizbullah can defeat the Zionist army,” said Muhammad Abdel Al, spokesman and senior leader of the Popular Resistance Committees terrorist organization.

Muhammad Saadi, a leader of Islamic Jihad in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, said the war probe “proves that without the help of the Americans, Israel will very soon disappear. Only the American support keeps Israel in the region. The Zionist army we thought was invincible has been defeated.”

Weapons Into Gaza

Large quantities of advanced weaponry were transferred into the Gaza Strip after the territory’s border wall with Egypt was breached by Palestinians two weeks ago, Yuval Diskin, chief of Israel’s Shin Bet Security Services, announced.

Diskin told the Knesset that the Palestinians transported into Gaza long-range rockets, anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, arms, ammunition, explosives and materials used for rocket production.

Diskin also warned that Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists who crossed into the Egyptian Sinai desert during the past two weeks relocated themselves to form terror cells in strategic areas bordering Egypt. Israel has a long border with the Egyptian Sinai desert, much of which is currently unprotected.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the recently published book “Schmoozing with Terrorists.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/quick-takes-news-from-israel-you-may-have-missed-115/2008/02/06/

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