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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘France’

Israel Clarifies Objection to French Peace Initiative: We Won’t Participate

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Israel on Monday clarified to the French that it continues to object to the proposed peace conference in Paris and would not take art in such an event should it be held anyway. Acting National Security Advisor and Head of the National Security Council Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Jacob Nagel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s diplomatic envoy, attorney Yitzhak Molcho, delivered this unequivocal message to French Special Envoy Pierre Vimont in Jerusalem.

Vimont presented France’s position on advancing the French initiative, including the convening of an international conference at the end of the year. Nagel and Molcho clarified the State of Israel’s unambiguous position – that true progress in the peace process and achieving an agreement can come only through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and that any other initiative only pushes the region further away from this process.

It was made clear to the French envoy that Israel will not participate in any international conference convened contrary to its position. Promoting such a conference will make the possibility of advancing the peace process much less likely since it will allow Abu Mazen and the Palestinian Authority to continue avoiding the decision to enter into direct negotiations without preconditions.

Israel is certain and expects that France will not advance a conference or process that contradicts the official position of the State of Israel, an official Israel announcement said on Monday.

David Israel

Jews Protest in Paris Over UNESCO Resolution on Jerusalem

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

French Jews gathered at the Quai d’Orsay in Paris Thursday in a show of solidarity with Israel over the disgraceful resolutions passed by the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCSO) aimed at denying the ancient historic Jewish ties with Jerusalem.

CRIF, the political lobby group representing French Jewish communities, and the Consistoire, French Jewry’s organ responsible for religious services, called to join the protest rally, which took place opposite the French Foreign Ministry. France abstained from the vote on the first resolution by the UNESCO Executive Board, erasing Judaism’s ties to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, last week.

The protesters expressed their outrage at the failure of France to vote against the two UNESCO committee resolutions erasing the ancient Jewish historic ties to Jerusalem and its holy sites.

“There’s been a long history of delegitimization of Israel with her land,” wrote Moshe Cohen Sabban on the French-language “Jforum” web site.

“The kingdom of Israel during its greatest reign under Kings David and Solomon, which went far beyond the current borders, has experienced many setbacks because of the schism between the kingdom of Judah with Jerusalem as its capital, and the kingdom of northern Israel.

“This territory took the name of Judea after the fall of the kingdom of Israel and the first century of the Common Era. After the fall of the Second Holy Temple to the Romans, the latter undertook to name this territory ‘Palestine,” to resonate with the territory of the Philistines.

“Rome wanted to wipe Israel off the map. It is remarkable that their heirs, 20 centuries later, are doing the same.

“The People of Israel have a clear claim to this land as our land, the descendants of Israel (Yaacov / Jacob) as appointed by God, the source of the Tributes that God brought out of Egypt to carry out in the Land that is ours by Divine Right.

“We must remain mobilized on this grave matter.”

Hana Levi Julian

French Police Wounded in Firebombing at Paris Suburb Housing Project

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

Four French police officers were wounded Saturday in a firebombing (Molotov cocktail) attack in Grande Borne, a working class housing area in a southern Paris suburb, France 24 reported.

At least two of the officers were listed in serious condition, with “major burns,” according to a police source. They were rushed to a medical center in Paris. A van and a police vehicle in which the officers were riding were badly burned in the attack.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve described the attack as “extremely serious,” adding that “Everything is being done to find and arrest those behind these intolerable attacks and bring them to justice.”

A source told France 24 the officers “were in a police vehicle monitoring a surveillance camera near a traffic light. About 10 people attacked them with volleys of Molotov cocktails” shortly before 3 pm [local time].”

Local Mayor Jean-Marie Vilain told AFP the next step will be to step up the response to “chronic criminality in the area… to put an end to all the drug dealing, because that is really what the cameras interfere with.”

Built in the 1960s with winding coloured buildings, the housing project — which today has 11,000 residents — was intended to become an ideal dormitory town. Since that time, however, Grande Bourne has become known in France for its poverty, drug dealing, arms trafficking, youth criminality and attacks on police, as well as arson attacks on public buildings.

Grande Bourne was home to Amedy Coulibaly, the radical Islamist terrorist who in January 2015 murdered a police officer, murdered four people and held 15 others hostage at the Hyper Cacher Kosher Grocery in the 20th district of Paris, while demanding that two other terrorists not be harmed.

The two others — Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi — were Al Qaeda terrorists he met while in prison in 2005, and with whom he had coordinated his attacks.

Coulibaly himself had pledged his allegiance to Da’esh (ISIS). His wife, Hayat Boumeddiene, is currently wanted by French police on suspicion of having been his accomplice in helping to plan the attacks, and was seen arriving in Turkey five days before he launched the first one. She was last traced to Syria, where she fled while her husband was carrying out his attacks. She has been described by French newspapers as the “Most Wanted Woman in France.”

Hana Levi Julian

Obama Unites Congressional Democrats, Republicans, in Overriding Veto Damaging 9/11 Families

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby was in the middle of his daily press briefing Wednesday when a reporter informed him that the House had just joined the Senate in overriding the presidential veto on a law permitting the families of 9/11 attacks victims to sue Saudi Arabia should it turn out that the Kingdom was involved in carrying out those attacks. The reporter wanted to know if the Obama Administration, as it had warned would happen, had been approached by any foreign government threatening to “pass legislation that could affect the sovereign immunity of the United States and U.S. officials abroad?”

As expected, Kirby admitted he was not aware “that any government has expressed an intention to do so since the President’s veto. Before the President’s veto, though,” he noted, “some of our European friends — who are less likely to have been affected by the intent of the law itself — have expressed concerns about the issue of sovereign immunity surrounding the law. … France being one of them.” But no country like, say, Saudi Arabia, has so far stated its intent to seek anti-American retribution.

Possibly because Saudi Arabia is not interested in alienating the American public even more at this stage of the game, when the Iranians are running roughshod along its borders and the only reliable protection for the Saudis comes from the US.

However, as Kirby pointed out, the new law, now officially on the books, is forcing the US’ European allies “to rethink the whole issue of sovereign immunity. We didn’t make that up. That was communicated to us by other countries.”

Is the State Dept. expecting diplomatic difficulty with Saudi Arabia as a result of the veto? In Kirby’s view, “it goes beyond just Saudi Arabia. It goes to a larger concern that we have had about this idea of sovereign immunity — not just for diplomats but for our troops, for US companies that operate overseas.”

Possibly. What was most poignant about this vote was the fact that Congressional Democrats clamored to support the veto override, signaling to their voters that they are not captives of an irrational White House on this and other issues. Congressman Jerry Nadler, a Manhattan Democrat whose 10th Congressional District actually includes Ground Zero, was adamant in attacking the president’s arguments.

“Despite the overblown rhetoric of some critics of this bill, JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act) will not pose a threat to American military personnel or diplomats,” Nadler told the house. Debunking Kirby’s fretting, he added, “They would be absolutely protected if another country passed legislation mirroring this bill because JASTA applies only to governments. To the extent that a foreign government might pass broader legislation that would make American personnel subject to liability, that country would not be reciprocating. It would be engaging in a transparent and unjustifiable act of aggression.”

Nadler also noted that, despite Obama’s exaggerated fears, “the economic, diplomatic, and military strength of the United States makes such action unlikely, and any rogue state inclined to target US interests can already do so. We must not hold justice for the 9/11 families hostage to imagined fears.”

Over at the Senate, Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) cast the only vote in favor of Obama’s veto. No Democrat argued in favor of Obama’s version of reality before the vote. The Senate voted 97-1 Wednesday to override the veto.

The White House was irate, obviously, and spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One following the Senate override, “I would venture to say that this is the single most embarrassing thing that the United States Senate has done, possibly, since 1983.”

For speculations as to what act of the Senate Earnest was referring to, check out this website, which tried to figure it out (White House Is Profoundly Wrong About the Most Embarrassing Thing Senate Has Done). We went to Wikipedia (so you won’t have to) and dug up possible embarrassing things Joe may have been thinking about, although, to be fair, most of them were attributed to the president, not the Senate:

On February 24, 1983, a special Congressional commission released a report critical of the practice of Japanese internment during World War II. That sure was embarrassing, but the shameful stuff didn’t happen in 1983, obviously.

On April 18, 1983, the US Embassy was bombed in Beirut, resulting in 63 dead. Then, on October 23, 1983, simultaneous suicide truck-bombings destroyed both the French and the US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, killing 241 US servicemen, 58 French paratroopers and 6 Lebanese civilians. That was horrifying and embarrassing, especially since at that point President Ronald Reagan decided to cut and run — a point not mentioned often enough in those stories glorifying him as a brave commander-in-chief.

Finally, on October 25, 1983, American troops invaded Grenada, possibly to show the US could still defeat somebody. Yes, that was pretty embarrassing.

Of course, Earnest was not referring to any of the above. He was merely responding to a reporter who had told him that Wednesday’s veto was the most overwhelming since a 1983 95-0 veto override. President Reagan vetoed a land bill that gave a few acres to six retired couples who had paid good money for it only to find out later that, due to a surveying error, it was still government property.

No Saudis were harmed in the commission of that other veto.

JNi.Media

NY Senator Chuck Schumer Slams BDS as ‘Modern Anti-Semitism’

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

New York Senator Chuck Schumer slammed the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement this week as a “modern form of anti-Semitism.”

Schumer said in an address to the Israeli American Council’s 2016 National Israeli American Conference that ultimately, BDS organizers don’t “believe there should be a Jewish State in the Middle East, and are guilty of the same anti-Semitism. We need to make that argument loudly and strongly and go against the BBDS movement and call it for what it is,” he said,” an anti-Semitic and not just anti-Israel movement.”

The senator added that he applauds the governors of New York and California for passing anti-BDS legislation.

But although anti-Semitism is clearly rising on the campuses of American colleges and universities, Schumer noted that the problem is even worse in Europe.

“Unfortunately, anti-Semitism seems to be in far too many European homes,” he said, pointing to the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party as one example.

“Europe has shown how anti-Israel and anti-Semitic the BDS movement really is. Far-right parties are experiencing a rebirth, and far-left parties … like the Labour Party under Corbyn, are increasingly anti-Israel.”

Corbyn has repeatedly turned a blind eye to the anti-Semitism of veteran members of the party, prompting the recent resignation of a prominent Jewish Labourite, Lord Parry Mitchell. Corbyn in the past also has expressed his “friendship” for the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations.

“Terrorism and violence against Jews is on the rise, from vandalizing synagogues to the horrible attack on a Jewish grocery in Paris,” Schumer pointed out.

“It is no wonder that last year France, home to the largest Jewish population in Europe, set a record for the migration of Jews to Israel,” he said.

Hana Levi Julian

Emergency Session on Syria at UN Security Council

Monday, September 26th, 2016

The United Nations Security Council held urgent talks Sunday in response to a summons by the United States, UK and France for an emergency meeting over the ongoing bombing of Aleppo by Russia and Syrian regime forces.

British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told reporters the incendiary munitions that have been dropping on Aleppo are “indiscriminate and a clear breach of international law. The barrel-busting bombs are falling from the skies likewise.”

French Ambassador Francois Delattre was more blunt: “War crimes are being committed in Aleppo. They must not be unpunished and impunity is simply not an option in Syria.”

According to U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, more than 150 air strikes targeted the northern Syrian city between Friday and Sunday night. The death toll has reached 115 in the assault, including at least 19 children, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A number of cluster bombs remain undetonated and sitting in the streets of eastern Aleppo where some 250,000 civilians are under siege in a section of the city that is populated by many who support the opposition forces.

Close to half a million people have died in the conflict since March 2011, and some 11 million others have been driven from their homes.

According to local Syrian sources, most of the air strikes currently targeting Aleppo are being carried out by Russian fighter jets. “No ISIS fighters are in the targeted areas; all the victims are civilians,” the source tweeted.

UNICEF reported that although repair efforts are ongoing at the damaged pumping station for east Aleppo, 100,000 children have had no safe drinking water for the past three days.

Hana Levi Julian

Former Chief Rabbi of France Joseph Sitruk Dead at 72

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Rabbi Joseph Haim Sitruk, who served as Chief Rabbi of France from June 1987 to June 22, 2008, passed away at age 72. Born in Tunis, Sitruk graduated with an ordination from Seminaire Rabbinique of France in 1970, and was appointed Rabbi of Strasbourg. In 1975, Joseph Sitruk became Chief Rabbi of Marseille. He was later given the post of assistant to the Chief Rabbi of France, Rabbi Max Warchawski, and in 1987 was elected to the post of Chief Rabbi as successor to Sephardi Chief Rabbi René Sirat. Sitruk was only the second Sephardi chief rabbi of France. He was elected to serve three 7-year terms altogether, until in 2008 he lost his bid for a fourth term to Rabbi Gilles Bernheim, who had previously run against him in 1994 and failed.

In 2001 Rabbi Sitruk suffered a stroke and after his recovery took the additional name Haim, following the traditional Jewish protection against illness by altering or changing one’s name.

Rabbi Sitruk left a wife and nine children.

Stéphanie Le Bars wrote in Le Monde back in 2008 that despite his being Orthodox, which means he did not hold religious and a moral authority over all Jews in France, his charisma earned him a certain reverence, especially among Sephardi Jews.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/former-chief-rabbi-of-france-joseph-sitruk-dead-at-72/2016/09/25/

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