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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Canada Arrests Seven Lev Tahor Sect Members Arrested In Raid

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

A dozen Canadian border security officials raided the compound of the fringe Haredi Orthodox sect Lev Tahor Wednesday and arrested seven members believed to be in violation of immigration laws.

Two families in the Lev Tahor community are at the center of an ongoing child custody case, including one family who fled to Guatemala, the Canadian Press reported.

One Lev Tahor man was seen being driven away in handcuffs. One witness said she saw immigration officials trying to enter a building where Lev Tahor children are believed to be housed. “I can hear the children crying and praying,” the source said.

Last month, 14 children and several Lev Tahor adults fled Canada ahead of an appeal of an Ontario court order mandating that the children be placed in the care of children’s aid in Quebec. Eight of the children made it to Trinidad and Tobago, where they were taken into custody and returned to Canada. Two more children taken into custody in Calgary also were removed from the sect.

The rest are in limbo in Guatemala, their original destination.

This week, a lawyer for one Lev Tahor family removed himself from the case.

About 250 members of the community fled Quebec last fall just before officials could seize some of the children. Child welfare officials said they had evidence of abuse, squalid living conditions, underage marriages and substandard education.

Lev Tahor members maintain they are being persecuted for their strict religious beliefs.

Israel and Canada to Collaborate on Nuclear Terror Prevention

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

After their meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague this week, Israel’s Minister of Intelligence Affairs Dr. Yuval Steinitz and Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird announced the launching of a joint project to develop technologies for identifying the source of nuclear terror attacks.

The technology identifies the origin of the nuclear material, implicating the provider of these hazardous materials to terror groups. The development of such technologies is an imperative step in the international war on nuclear terror, as Minister Steinitz explained: “Due to terror threats in the Middle East and worldwide, developing technology to detect the source of a nuclear attack has become of the outmost significance. These detection abilities will serve as a deterrent for countries who might consider collaborating with terror groups using a nuclear bomb in a terror plot.” Minister Baird remarked that “the nuclear terror threat currently remains one of the most significant challenges to national security. The cooperation between Israel and Canada will aid Middle Eastern and other countries to pursue terrorists who are involved in illegal terror related trade.”

This project will be executed as part of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terror (GICNT), an international partnership of 85 nations and four observers who are committed to working to implement a set of shared nuclear security principles, of which Canada and Israel are members. The project, one of over 50 multilateral activities, will be funded by Canada.

Canadian Politician Irwin Cotler ‘Honored’ to be Banned by Russia

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Irwin Cotler, a veteran human rights activist and member of Canada’s parliament,  says being banned from Russia is an “honor.”

When Russia issued its blacklist of 13 Canadians on Monday, Cotler was quick to express his pleasure at being included. ”I wear my exclusion from Russia as a badge of honor and am proud to be in such distinguished company,” he said in a statement. “I have no intention of visiting Siberia. I have no investments in Sochi. I have no desire to visit Moscow.”

This is not the first time Cotler, renowned for representing Jewish refuseniks from the Soviet era, has been banned from Russian soil.

He was expelled from the Soviet Union and then banned in 1979 while advocating on behalf of political prisoners, including Natan Sharansky. “I was arrested and accused of consorting with ‘criminals,’ among them the great Soviet human rights dissident, Andrei Sakharov,” Cotler wrote on his website. “These acts did not stop my human rights advocacy. Indeed, [Monday's] announcement only inspires me to redouble my efforts to advance the cause of human rights for all.

“I stand in solidarity with the Russian people and those fighting for human rights and democracy. Their day will come and [President Vladimir] Putin will be no more.”

This time, Cotler suspects his banishment is because he introduced a bill regarding Sergei Magnitsky. The Huffington Post reported that Magnitsky was an accountant and auditor in Moscow who uncovered a corruption scheme and testified against several senior Russian officials. He was subsequently imprisoned and died in jail in 2009 at the age of 37. Cotler chairs an intra-parliamentary group on Magnitsky, and he said that is like a “red flag” to Russia.

“My sense is that’s probably the retaliatory reason in my case,” according to Cotler.

He said some of the Americans banned by Russia were people who had worked on the Magnitsky file. Cotler added he does not need to go to Russia to advocate for Magnitsky.

“Our intra-parliamentary group for Sergei Magnitsky is international. It contains parliamentarians from over 20 countries.”

Canadian Court Orders Seizure of Iranian Assets for Terror Victims

Monday, March 24th, 2014

An Ontario court has ordered the seizure of more than $7 million in assets belonging to Iran to compensate American victims of terror.

The historic ruling last week brought to an end several lawsuits filed in Canada by terror victims from the United States seeking damages from Iran for training, arming and financing the Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups.

The Americans previously were awarded damages by U.S. courts but could not collect from any Iranian government assets in the United States. They came to Canada for enforcement, which was made possible by Ottawa’s passage in 2012 of the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act. The law strips state immunity in civil lawsuits from countries deemed to be “supporting terrorism.”

The Ontario court ordered sheriffs to seize one bank account worth $1.47 million controlled by an Iranian diplomat, and another with a balance of $511,000 controlled by Iran’s charge d’affaires in Ottawa.

The evidence “overwhelmingly” established that the money in the accounts was the property of Iran, the judge ruled.

Also to be sold, with the proceeds going to the victims, are a building in Toronto valued at $1.1 million and another in Ottawa valued at $3.9 million. Both facilities operated as ostensible cultural centers. The judge noted there was evidence that the Ottawa property was owned by a front group linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which is “hardly a cultural or charitable organization.”

The plaintiffs in the case, believed to be the first of its kind in Canada, were Edward Tracy and the family of Joseph Cicippio. Both U.S. men were captured and held hostage in Beirut from 1986 to 1991.

“I’m surprised. I’m shocked that we’ve gotten this far after all these years,” Cicippio told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Cicippio’s family was awarded $91 million in damages in 2005 but could not collect in the United States. Tracy won a judgment of $18.5 million in 2003.

It is expected that other victims of terror in separate cases, including a Canadian dentist wounded in a 1997 Hamas suicide bombing in Jerusalem, and three other American families will share in the proceeds as part of a side deal worked out among lawyers.

The other Americans suing in Canada were Alann Steen, who was abducted in Beirut in 1987 and held for nearly five years; the family of David Jacobsen, who was kidnapped in 1985 and released 17 months later; and the family of Marla Bennett, a California student killed in a 2002 bombing attack by Hamas at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

All won sizable awards in U.S. courts but could not collect.

Over the weekend, Iran’s state-controlled media blasted the Canadian ruling as “politically motivated” and of “no legal value.” No representative of the country attended the court hearing.

Six Lev Tahor Children May Remain In Guatemala, Judge Rules

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Six children from the Haredi Lev Tahor sect who fled Canada will be allowed to remain in Guatemala with their parents, but with conditions, a Guatemalan family court judge ruled Tuesday.

The Lev Tahor members from two families can stay in the Central American country, but they must check in with the Canadian embassy within three days, the Toronto Star reported. Sect members must return to the town of Solola, where they settled after fleeing Canada earlier this month, with the proper paperwork from the Canadian embassy, the judge said.

A violation of the order will lead to criminal charges, according to the newspaper.

Fourteen children and several Lev Tahor adults fled Canada two weeks ago ahead of an appeal of an Ontario court order mandating that the children be placed in protective custody.

Eight of the children traveled to Trinidad and Tobago, where they were taken into custody and returned to Canada. Two more children were apprehended in Calgary and also removed from the sect.

Child protection officials in Ontario and Quebec say they have evidence of abuse in the community, including physical beatings, underage marriage and substandard education. The community has denied all allegations and claims it is a victim of religious persecution.

A spokesman for Guatemala’s Ministry of Immigration confirmed Monday that the Lev Tahor members are under surveillance by the country’s national police force, the Star reported.

Canadian Cabinet Resolution Recognizes Jewish Refugees

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Canada has formally recognized the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab lands.

On Monday, Ottawa accepted a report tabled last year that called on the federal government to “officially recognize the experience of Jewish refugees who were displaced from states in the Middle East and North Africa after 1948.”

The federal cabinet approved the report March 3, according to the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).

Submitted to Parliament last November by the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development , the 17-page report noted that during the course of its hearings the previous spring, members “learned of the discrimination and hardship faced by Jewish people living in the Middle East and North Africa in the 20th century [which] surged over the years in tandem with the crisis moments of the Arab-Israeli conflict, in particular the 1948–49 and 1967 wars.”

The committee heard that since 1948, roughly 850,000 Jews fled persecution and violence in the Middle East and North Africa, and that about 650,000 immigrated to Israel, while the rest settled in other countries, including Canada.

The countries in question had a collective Jewish population of just 4,315 in 2012, the report noted. It stressed that “recognition of the experiences of Jewish refugees does not diminish or compete with the situation of Palestinian refugees.” A campaign for recognition of Jewish refugee claims has gained steam in recent years in part as a response to demands of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel. Israel has said it will not grant Palestinian refugees citizenship.

“This is not only a matter of ensuring historical accuracy,” said CIJA chair David Koschitzky. “Once implemented, it will correct a fundamental imbalance in a Canadian policy that acknowledges Arab refugees but makes no mention of Jewish refugees resulting from the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

A CIJA spokesman said the organization is “looking forward to details on how this will be integrated into Canada’s standing policy on the Middle East.”

Canadian Jews Buys Tel Aviv Penthouse for $31 Million

Monday, February 24th, 2014

You missed the boat if you wanted to pick up a nice little penthouse in Tel Aviv.

An unidentified Canadian real estate tycoon picked up a seafront penthouse, stull under construction, for a paltry $31 million, Globes reported.

The apartment is on the 20th and 21st floors and the balconies cover an area of 3,000 square feet, and that is not a typo – three thousand and not three hundred.

The “Herbert Samuel” project of 40 apartments is being built by Ofer Investments.

The project includes a swimming pool, spa and fitness room. If you want to buy in before it’s too late, there are four apartments left.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/canadian-jews-buys-tel-aviv-penthouse-for-31-million/2014/02/24/

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