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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Hebdo’

EU Counter-Anti-Semitism Czar: Our Goal to Allow Jews Fear-Free Life in Europe

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

The EU’s coordinator for combating anti-Semitism, Katharina von Schnurbein, this week told the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs about the European Union’s efforts to combat anti-Semitism. “The goal of all this activity is that Jews will be able to live in Europe without fear,” she said. “The fact that we have reached a situation whereby Jews send their children to schools behind barbed wire fences or send them to public schools without knowing whether they will be exposed to incitement there – this situation is unacceptable. The fact that we see security guards outside synagogues – and we have grown used to this – this is also unacceptable. But it doesn’t end there. There are security guards outside government buildings. The security situation is no longer limited to Jewish communities. We are convinced that it is the responsibility of society as a whole to combat anti-Semitism.”

Von Schnurbein said the general increase in anti-Semitic incidents throughout Europe and the “atmosphere of hatred,” particularly online, are very worrying. She said that since her appointment in December, the EU’s activity against anti-Semitism has included dialogue with the major Internet companies — Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft — which brought about the formation of the Code of Conduct. Under the code, the online giants pledged to fund organizations that would help them monitor the situation and train people who will report any inciting content online.

Committee Chairman MK Avraham Neguise (Likud) thanked von Schnurbein for the Code of Conduct legislation, which he said would allow social media companies to “remove hate speech inciting to violence within 24 hours,” which is “a correct and important step, the fruits of which I hope we will see immediately.”

Neguise told the meeting, which was also attended by EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen, of a survey conducted ahead of the meeting among rabbis and Jewish community leaders in Europe. The survey, commissioned by the European Jewish Association and the Rabbinical Center of Europe, indicates that anti-Semitism is intensifying in Western European countries, but pointed out that the involvement of Muslim refugees in anti-Semitic incidents is marginal. The same survey showed that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Eastern Europe is decreasing.

“We are currently monitoring the process to see if there really is a change. We want to see a real change on the ground,” von Schnurbein said. “Today, only 13 of the 28 member states properly apply the [Code of Conduct] law . . . We are pressuring them to implement it.”

Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg of the Rabbinical Center of Europe said, “You cannot on the one hand constantly try to undermine the foundations of Judaism – be it brit milah (male circumcision ritual) or kosher shechitah (slaughtering of animals for food in accordance with Jewish law) – and on the other hand talk all the time about wanting to eradicate anti-Semitism.”

Yogev Karasenty, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry’s Director for Combating Anti-Semitism, said “It is not at all certain that the legislation trickles down to the ground level. There are Internet companies which declare a policy [of removing inciting content] but do not implement it.”

Yaakov Haguel, head of the World Zionist Organization’s Department for Countering Anti-Semitism, mentioned an EU survey conducted a few years ago which revealed that 74% of the victims of anti-Semitic attacks do not report them to the authorities. This indicates, he said, that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe is significantly higher than what the official figures show.

Addressing von Schnurbein and Faaborg-Andersen, Haguel said, “These Jews are your citizens, they are European citizens, proud citizens who want to live in Europe, who want to raise their children in Europe, who pay taxes. Before legislation and enforcement and education – what kind of atmosphere is being created for your citizens there? For us, the Jewish people, it is very concerning, but you, who represent the sovereign governments of each country, are responsible for the Jewish citizens, just as you are responsible for all the other citizens.”

NGO Monitor President Gerald M. Steinberg spoke of the “new anti-Semitism” and said the rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents and terror attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions “is directly linked to the incitement we hear about every day in Europe and the world. It is obvious that phrases such as ‘war crimes,’ ‘genocide,’ ‘violation of international law,’ ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘apartheid’ — which are said repeatedly in reference to Israel — feed this anti-Semitism.”

Ido Daniel, Program Director at Israeli Students Combating Anti-Semitism, mentioned that in 2014 the organization filed some 14,000 complaints with new media companies regarding anti-Semitic content online, and in 2015 the number of complaints to Twitter, Google, Facebook and Instagram rose to about 29,000. The trend is continuing in 2016, and the organization expects to file over 30,000 complaints by the end of the year, he told the committee.

“The social networks allow many people to disseminate inciting messages which are then translated into physical acts against Jews,” said Daniel, who noted that Jewish students from Brussels told him that they conceal their real last names on Facebook to avoid receiving hateful and insulting messages.

MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) said, “History has already shown us what happens when displays of hatred and violence are not dealt with. There is terror all over the world now, and the social networks serve as a [broad platform] for this activity. This is not only Israel’s — it is the problem of entire world. Terror strikes in Brussels, Paris, Turkey and the United States. It’s a global problem.”

Rut Zach of the Foreign Ministry’s Department for Combating Antisemitism said that since von Schnurbein’s appointment “we can see concrete action against anti-Semitism in Europe,” adding that the left in Europe must take the lead on this issue. “The left is supposed to protect human rights,” she said.

Carol Nuriel, Acting Director of ADL’s Israel office, presented the findings of a poll showing that one in every three Europeans holds anti-Semitic opinions. Another survey conducted by ADL after the terror attacks at the offices of the satirical weekly French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, the kosher supermarket Hypercacher and the Jewish Museum in Brussels indicated a 10-20% decrease in anti-Semitism in France, Germany and Belgium.

“The awareness of the danger of violence against Jews created a sort of solidarity with the Jewish communities, and it is very important to preserve this solidarity,” Nuriel stressed. “Another conclusion is that when elected officials act – and we all remember French Prime Minister Manuel Valls’s historic speech – there are results on the ground.”

Ambassador Faaborg-Andersen said, “We are all in agreement about the urgency of the battle against anti-Semitism, which is a despicable phenomenon. The EU is committed 100 percent to this fight.”

Chairman Neguise concluded the meeting by saying that the committee calls on the EU to act against anti-Semitism through legislation and education. He also urged the organizations combating the phenomenon to work together.

JNi.Media

France Prosecuting 15 Suspected Jihadis for Targeting Jews

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

The government of France began its prosecution of 15 suspected terrorists on Monday for planning to carry out jihad (Islamic holy war) attacks against Jews in Paris. France ratcheted up its response to radical Islamic threats and rising anti-Semitism after an exceptionally bloody week of terror this January.

The radical Islamic group to which the accused operatives belong is called Forsane Alizza, or “Knights of Pride.” It was dismantled shortly after the 2012 week-long murder spree in Toulouse by Al Qaeda-linked terrorist Mohamed Merah, who attacked a Jewish day school. Merah murdered a rabbi and three children, as well as several soldiers.

The leader of the group, Mohamed Achamlane, one of those whose trial began this week, was arrested in the western city of Nantes. He and the others are charged with intent to carry out terrorist acts. However, two of the 15 were not present in the courtroom; one was a minor to be tried in juvenile court.

The group’s Internet site “called for an Islamic caliphate in France, the application of Shari’a (ed: Islamic law) and incited Muslims to unite to prepare for civil war,” said Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins at the time of their arrest. Forsane Alizza members received religious indoctrination and physical training in parks and forests around Paris, Molins charged, “in order to take part in a jihad.”

Multiple kosher groceries and the offices of French satiric magazine Charlie Hebdo were listed in a Forsane Alizza computer file named “targets.” Several were, in fact, attacked this past January in a united Al Qaeda-ISIS operation that left 20 people dead, including the three terrorists in the cell.

However, in a letter from his jail cell Achamlane denied having anything to do with the attacks, according to court documents.

Hana Levi Julian

US Supreme Court Rules on ‘Free Speech’ in Social Media

Monday, June 1st, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today (Monday, June 1) to affirm protection for “free speech” on social media and the internet – even if that speech is threatening or provocative.

The decision was handed down in the case of Anthony D. Elonis V. United States of America, affirming that threats made over the internet are protected, unless they are malevolent or reckless.

The case relates to Facebook posts by Elonis, who was convicted for making unlawful threats as he expressed anger about events in his life, basing the posts on rap lyrics of various artists.

In an amicus curiae brief (friend of the Court), The Rutherford Institute had argued the First Amendment protects even inflammatory statements that might give offense or cause concern to others unless the statements were a credible threat to engage in violence against another, and made by the defendant with the intent to cause fear in the alleged victim.

The decision is also particularly relevant to the brouhaha over the “Jihad Watch Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest” held in Garland, Texas a few weeks ago. Sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) run by Pam Geller, the event attracted an attempted attack by two terrorists, who opened fire on a security guard but were both shot and killed by police.

The event was organized in response to the radical Islamist attack on the Paris offices of the “Charlie Hebdo” French satiric magazine in January of this year, Geller said. “We decided to have a cartoon contest to show we would not kowtow to violent intimidation and allow the freedom of speech to be overwhelmed by thugs and bullies,” she told The Washington Post in an email statement.

Hana Levi Julian

Helsinki Environmental ‘World Village’ Bans Jewish National Fund

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

The Finnish “World Village festival emphasizing the environment has banned the participation of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), the largest environmental organization in Israel. The Finnish government feigned it was powerless to interfere in the boycott and told the Israeli Ambassador to Helsinki that it has no say in the matter because the “Maailma Kylässä” festival is a “private event.”

Dan Ashbel, the Israeli ambassador to Finland, said:

I wonder how this scandalous decision is consistent with values such as eco-friendliness, fairness, tolerance, and the desire for peace. I wonder if the rest of the organizations in the festival are required to stand up to the same criteria.”

However, the Finnish government’s security forces were able to convince the World Village to ban the Freedom of Speech village, warning that an exhibition supporting the freedom of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine to publish cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed might cause violence.

The JNF has planted 240 million trees since 1901, and Israel is one of only two countries in the world that registered a net increase in the number of trees at the beginning of the 21st century.

It can be assumed that the organizers do the World Village were celebrating Boycott Israel when deciding to ban the JNF, which also has donated 3,000 trees to the Palestinian Authority for its new city of Rawabi north of Ramallah.

The World Village organizers figure that the environment is better off without a pro-environment organization, which is Jewish, and without a free speech environment that might upset Muslims.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

No Charlie Hebdo for You

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Israeli Foreign Minister and Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor Liberman holds the latest edition of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo during a protest in support of Charlie Hebdo in Tel Aviv on February 5, 2015.

The Israeli election committee forbidden Yisrael Beytenu political party to distribute any gifts or free merchandise to the public in such proximity to the elections — including the latest edition of Charlie Hebdo.

Photo of the Day

Brussels Govt: ‘We’ve Averted A Belgian Charlie Hebdo’ 

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Government agents killed at least two suspects in what they say was a developing “Belgian Charlie Hebdo” situation late Thursday.

The suspects opened fire as police began their raid on an apartment above a bakery in the eastern city of Verviers, 70 miles from Brussels. No security personnel were injured.

The public prosecutor’s office has confirmed the deaths of the two suspects, and added there have been arrests of “several” more.

“We’ve averted a Belgian Charlie Hebdo,” an unidentified police officer told La Meuse, according to Fox News.

Magistrate Eric Van der Sypt told journalists at a briefing in Brussels that the terrorists were linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and were close to launching a major attack.

Counter terror raids are underway in the Brussels region at this time, as well as in Verviers, he said, and the terror alert level in the country has been raised to its second highest level.

The raids were part of the security establishment’s investigation into local jihadists who are returning to the country “battle-hardened” from Syria.

Another suspect is currently being detained in a separate part of the country on suspicion of selling arms that were used in last week’s terrorist siege in Paris.

Belgian media reported that suspect had turned himself in Tuesday in the southern city of Charleroi, saying he had been in contact with Amedy Coulibaly, one of the gunmen involved in last week’s Paris terror attacks.

It is not yet known whether the two are connected, nor whether those who were killed Thursday were directly tied to the Paris terror cells.

Hana Levi Julian

Turkish Intel Took ISIS Wife’s Fingerprints Though ‘Unaware’ of Importance

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Hayat Boumedienne was in a big hurry as she passed through Turkey into Syria, but not such a hurry that she didn’t have time to spend a couple of days in a popular hotel in Istanbul. Enough time for Turkish intelligence to lift her fingerprints, too.

Turkey’s alert security services managed to collect the fingerprints of the wife of Amedy Coulibaly, an operative for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) even though they maintained they were “unaware” of her importance.

Coulibaly is believed to have killed a French policewoman on Jan. 8 and held more than a dozen people hostage at a kosher grocery the next day, killing four and wounding others before he was finally killed by French police.

Meanwhile Boumedienne had apparently slipped into Syria while all that was going on, and according to a report published in the Daily Hurriyet, after having arrived in Turkey on Jan. 2 to rendezvous with ISIS terrorists.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu confirmed on Monday, Jan. 12 that airport footage showed Boumedienne’s arrival in Turkey on Jan. 2, in addition to evidence from “telephone recordings” that she had stayed in Istanbul’s Kadikoy neighborhood and crossed into Syria on Jan. 8.

French authorities were aware of the information, Davutoglu said. “We provided them with the information as soon as we got it, without them even asking,” he told reporters, responding to claims by the Syrian Foreign Ministry that Ankara had allowed ISIS terrorists to travel through Turkey to Syria.

Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fiden was quoted by Hurriyet as saying that Turkey has deported 1,056 foreigners and imposed a travel ban on 7,833 others to prevent foreign fighters from joining jihadist groups in Syria.

According to the Daily Yeni Safak, Boumedienne stayed for two days at a hotel in the central Istanbul district of Kadikoy on the city’s Asian side, together with a man identified as Mehdi Sabri Belhouchine. The two left the hotel only twice in the two days they were there, the daily newspaper reported.

The British newspaper The Times reported that Boumedienne called France 18 times during her stay in Istanbul, before crossing into Syria. She traveled to the southeastern province of Sanliurfa on Jan. 4. According to the report, the last signal from her phone was picked up on Jan. 8, one day after the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the same day that her husband, Amedy Coulibaly, shot a policewoman.

“It is unlikely that she will cross again into Turkey, even with a fake identity, because her name has been revealed. Along with her fingerprints, her face has also been disclosed,” states a security report on Boumedienne, according to Hurriyet. “She will likely be [hidden] by the militant group. Then she might be dispatched to a different zone to operate.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/turkish-intel-took-isis-wifes-fingerprints-though-unaware-of-importance/2015/01/14/

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