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April 30, 2016 / 22 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

U.S. Condemns Istanbul Attack, Cites 2 American Victims

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

The White House issued a statement Saturday night condemning the Istanbul terror attack that killed two dual American-Israeli citizens earlier in the day.

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Istanbul, Turkey. Two American citizens were among those killed in this heinous attack,” National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those killed, and we wish a speedy recovery to those injured.”

A third Israeli and an Iranian citizen were both killed in the attack, along with the suicide bomber, Savaz Yildiz, 33, a resident of the Turkish city of Adana who was reportedly known to the authorities.

Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said the explosion occurred outside a local government office on Istiklal Street, where numerous foreign consulates are located. The area is also dotted with many cafes and restaurants.

The U.S. State Department also condemned the attack in a statement released by spokesperson John Kirby.

“The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack today on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our hopes for a quick recovery for those wounded,” the statement read.

“We will remain in close touch with Turkish authorities during the investigation. The United States stands in solidarity with our NATO Ally Turkey in combating the common threat of terrorism. This vicious attack is the latest in a series of indefensible violence targeting innocent people throughout Turkey – Turkish citizens and international visitors alike. These acts of terrorism only reinforce our determination to support all those across the region working to promote peace and reconciliation,” the statement said.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg condemned the attack in a written statement saying there can be no justification for terrorism. He said, “NATO allies stand united with Turkey, determined to fight against terrorism.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also condemned the attack. “I strongly condemn this despicable and cowardly act that has caused the death of several people,” Ayrault said in a statement, adding Paris stands in solidarity with Turkey.

This past Wednesday Germany had closed its consulate and school in Istanbul due to credible security threats.

Hana Levi Julian

Exclusive: German Source Warns Jews in Danger as Anti-Migrant Movement Grows Violent

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

German Jewry is beginning to worry about anti-Semitism again, and according to a local source, it’s long past due time that they did.

In an exclusive interview with a peace activist from Germany, JewishPress.com learned this week that the threat to Jews in the country is rising steadily.

Right-wing extremists and neo-Nazi groups are increasing in popularity, albeit with their initial banner raised against the flood of refugees and migrants streaming into Germany from across Europe.

The activist, a German visitor to Israel, told JewishPress.com on condition of anonymity – is that a backlash is beginning among the German population which is starting to blame its “migrant population” on “the Jews.”

It has taken a while, but Joseph Schuster, president of the country’s Central Council of Jews also expressed the community’s concern in an interview published Saturday in the Sueddeutsche Zetung.

“The political mood in our society is clearly drifting off to the right,” Schuster told the newspaper, noting rising tensions over the steady flow of migrants into the country. Although Schuster told the paper he does not believe the Jews will immediately leave en masse, he did warn that many will “consider” it.

“It must be clear to the people that come to us that anti-Semitic behavior will not be tolerated,” Schuster said. He called on the government to teach the migrants – most of whom are Muslims – to recognize the State of Israel in their cultural integration courses “because among the refugees is a significant proportion of Arab people who have grown up with anti-Jewish and anti-Israel stereotypes.”

While it is true that many attacks on Jews in Europe over the past several years have been traced to Muslim immigrants, that has by no means ever been the source of anti-Semitism on the continent. Adolf Hitler was Austrian, not Syrian. Let’s not confuse the two.

According to the German source there have been weekly anti-migrant demonstrations by German native-born citizens in Leipzig for months already. On the secular New Year, when parties were going “full blast” the central downtown area was “empty, spooky, with no police coverage whatsoever because all the police were out dealing with attacks.

This New Year’s Eve, gangs of young migrant men sexually assaulted countless young women in mass attacks in Cologne and other German towns, according to France24 and myriad other international media. Last year Germany absorbed 1.1 million migrants and the nation’s citizens are reportedly livid with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door policy for the refugees.

“That night saw hundreds of assaults – it was the first time the media could not hide the facts about migrant violence and German violence in response,” the source said.

Riots were also been carried out by an extremist group known to international police as the neo-Nazi “football hooligans.” The group has branches throughout Europe – in Sweden as well as in Germany.

In Leipzig two weeks later they seized the opportunity to start a rampage during a march by supporters of the anti-migrant Pegida movement (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West.) The local Pegida group in Leipzig is known as Legida.

“Merkel take your Muslims with you and go,” read one of the placards at a Legida protest.

Also in January, at least 250 neo-Nazis traveled by car to the Leipzig suburb of Connewitz from “all over the state of Saxony,” according to the World Socialist Web Site, which described a scene of “fascist terror.”

According to a report posted by the Peipziger Volkszeitung (LVZ), the “horde of neo-Nazis” were “goose-stepping” through the district and then began a “rampage of violence” with large stones they had clearly brought with them.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel, Germany to Link on African Development Projects

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Israel and Germany signed a Declaration of Intent in Berlin on Tuesday to cooperate on joint development projects in Africa.

The two nations will develop water and agricultural projects in Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cameroon, Burundi and Burkina Faso.

It is hoped the program will expand to other African nations once the first six are underway, according to Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold.

It was Gold who signed the Declaration together with Thomas Silberhorn, Germany’s parliamentary state secretary for the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

This is not the first time the two countries have joined forces to cooperate on projects in Africa.

For that matter, Israeli assistance in Africa has long roots dating back to the days of the late Israeli stateswoman Golda Meir.

In addition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Uganda in 2005 before returning to the prime minister’s office in 2009. During the visit he dedicated a memorial plaque to his brother Yoni at the old terminal building of Entebbe International Airport.

As did Meir, Netanyahu also pointed out in a recent meeting with American Jewish leaders that building stronger ties with African nations can have advantages for Israel beyond the continent – particularly at the United Nations.

Hana Levi Julian

Welcome to Israel’s New Nuclear-Enabled, Dolphin-class INS Rahav Submarine

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

The INS Rahav is on schedule to arrive in Haifa on Tuesday.

It’s the fifth of Israel’s fleet of Dolphin-class submarines.

Rahav, ordered in 2005, left the German port of Kiel in December, with a special sendoff from Israel Navy Commander Admiral Ram Rothberg.

The Rahav was unveiled by its builder, the German Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft shipbuilding company in April 2013, but then required more work to become fully operational.

It is more than 67 meters (220 feet) long and weighs more than 2,000 tons. The submarine can hold a crew of approximately 50, according to the Israel Navy.

The diesel-powered vessel features an air-independent propulsion system operating through a fuel cell instead of using oxygen-dependent sources. This allows the submarine to stasy underwater for longer periods – potentially weeks at a time, according to navy officials.

The Dolphin-class sub was to be greeted upon arrival by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and Admiral Rothberg.

The officials are expected to join in a ceremonial flotilla of warships and water craft celebrating the submarine’s arrival. Rahav becomes part of the new naval fleet with the Dolphin, Leviathan, Tekuma and Tanin at the Haifa Naval Base.

Hana Levi Julian

Comprehensive Survey of Israelis in Germany Finds They Are Secular, Educated Leftists

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

(JNi.media) About 85% of Israeli Jews in Germany are secular—as opposed to 46% of Israeli Jews in Israel; 62% have a university degree—compared with 46% nation-wide in Israel; and at least 70% defined their world-view in the Israeli context as “left wing,” Israeli German Spitz Magazine reported in its December issue. Spitz is an independent magazine, whose founder and editor Tal Alon is a journalist who used to work as news desk chief for Yediot Aharonot and Maariv. She has been living in Berlin with her family since the summer of 2009.

The initial findings of the study, the result of a collaboration between Wuppertal University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, were presented last Friday by Prof. Uzi Rebhun and Prof. Danny Krenz at the Moses Mendelssohn Center in Potsdam. Some 600 Jewish Israelis (born in Israel and Hebrew speakers) were surveyed online, and a few Dozen Israelis living in Germany participated in in-depth Personal interviews conducted by Prof. Krenz and Cultural Anthropologist Katja Harbi.

Incidentally, after cross-checking data from different sources, the survey’s authors have concluded that the number of Israelis in Germany is a lot smaller than was believed, not more than 16,000, in contrast with various reports claiming higher numbers in Berlin alone.

One of the most interesting findings of the survey, according to Spitz, is the fact that about 69.1% of respondents define their sociopolitical outlook in the Israeli context as “left wing,” 22.4% as “center” and only 8.4% as “Right wing” — results which are dramatically different from the results of the most recent Israeli elections.

Another interesting statistic is the fact that in Germany 84.7% of Israelis are secular, 10.7% described themselves as “a little religious,” 3.9%” “moderately religious,” and only 0.7% as “very religious.” By comparison, according to a study by the Israel Democracy Institute in 2009, only 46% of Israeli Jews define themselves as secular while 32% are traditional, and 22% say they are religious or ultra-Orthodox. Similarly, while 68% of Israeli Jews say they always fast on Yom Kippur, 77.9% of Israelis in Germany said they do not ever fast on Yom Kippur.

Here is another fascinating finding: according to Spitz, 46.5% of Israelis with higher education have degrees in the arts and the humanities, compared with only 18.3% Israeli Jews in Israel with similar degrees.

58.5% of the respondents have immigrated to Germany at ages 25-34; economic reasons were cited by the vast majority; 26.1% have a German citizenship; 54% live with a spouse who is a German national; and 54.4% have parents or grandparents who are Holocaust survivors.

JNi.Media

Berlin’s Newest Kosher Supermarket Ignores EU Anti-Israel Orders

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Germany’s answer to the European Union’s order to label “Green Line” goods was to allow the nation’s biggest kosher supermarket, Daily Markt, to open in Berlin.

In the heart of the nation where Jews once feared to tread, one can shop “blue-and-white” – and find quite a few products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.

The initiative comes as a joint effort by German business owner Asan Mytev – who is not Jewish – along with several Jewish entrepreneurs and the assistance of Berlin Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal.

Located in the Chartlottenburg district, the store stocks only kosher items – a boon for those who until now have had to really search for such products.

“We will not be deterred by the security situation,” said Evgeny Bort, co-partner and store manager. “It doesn’t scare us and we don’t linger on it or pay attention to it. We cannot let terrorism stop us and interfere with our lives.”

Rabbi Teichtal likewise noted, “Although in the past our people have faced very difficult times in Europe in general and in Germany in particular, the necessary arrangements for maintaining Jewish life were always made. Although the situation today is quite different, we are still facing security challenges – but they do not discourage us.

“The new supermarket is another addition to the current line of Jewish institutions in the Berlin community which together enable us to maintain a full Jewish life in the city. As observant Jews we see this not only as a duty but also as a privilege.”

Bort acknowledged that some customers were critical of the decision to stock Israeli items, but dismissed the feedback.

“We have many customers who respond negatively … We tell them that this is none of our concern and that we are here to assist all those who wish to shop for kosher products but find the task to be very difficult.”

Why would a non-Jew want to open such a store? Mytev explained, “Until now, anyone who wanted to buy kosher products was forced to visit several different stores in order to find them all… In fact, for all of those customers who wish to buy only kosher products, the seemingly simple task of grocery shopping is actually a very difficult one.

“The Daily Markt provides them with a solution to this problem, enabling them to buy all kinds of kosher products under one roof.”

Due to the size of the business, the partners say they can also afford to offer “decent prices” despite the cost of imports.

“We have decided to sell everything here and to import goods from all over the world – from Europe, the U.S. and also from Israel,” explained Bort.

Surprisingly, almost half of the store’s non-Jewish clientele shop there “because of our affordable prices, regardless of the kosher issue… Also a large number of our non-Jewish customers come here because of our ‘parve’ products, which are known to be lactose-free.

“Like in the United States, the local population in Germany is also starting to realize that kosher is a standard for high-quality and healthy products.”

Hana Levi Julian

US Soldier Named ‘Righteous among the Nations’

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

A U.S. Army soldier who fought in against the Nazis is now the first American soldier to be recognized by Yad VaShem as “Righteous among the Nations” for rescuing Jewish soldiers.

Four other Americans, all of them civilians, have been recognized with the same honor.

The late Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds fought in the 422nd Infantry Regiment and was captured in the Battle of the Bulge. He was sent to the Stalag POW camp in Germany.

The Wehrmacht had an anti-Jewish policy, singling out Jewish POWs from the rest of the POW population, and many Jewish POWs were sent to extermination camps or murdered.

In January 1945, the Germans announced that all Jewish POWs in Stalag IXA were to report the following morning. Edmonds, who was the highest ranking solider in the American section of the camp ordered all his men, to fallout the following morning – Jews and non-Jews alike.

When the German camp commander, Major Siegmann, saw that all the camp’s inmates were standing in front of their barracks, he turned to Edmonds and exclaimed: “They cannot all be Jews!”

Edmonds replied, “We are all Jews.” After Siegmann took out his pistol and threatened Edmonds, the soldier declared:

According to the Geneva Convention, we only have to give our name, rank and serial number. If you shoot me, you will have to shoot all of us, and after the war you will be tried for war crimes.

The Commandant turned around and left the scene.

NCO Paul Stern, who was stood near Edmonds during the exchange and who was Netanyahu of those saved by his action, recounted the story to Yad VaShem

Stern, who was taken prisoner on December 17, 1944, added, “Although seventy years have passed, I can still hear the words he said to the German Camp Commander.”

Another Jewish soldier who was witness to the incident is Lester Tanner, who had trained in Fort Jackson where Master Sergeant Edmonds was stationed.  Tanner recalled:

He did not throw his rank around. You knew he knew his stuff and he got across to you without being arrogant or inconsiderate. I admired him for his command… We were in combat on the front lines for only a short period, but it was clear that Roddie Edmonds was a man of great courage who led his men with the same capacity we had come to know him in the States

I would estimate that there were more than one thousand Americans standing in wide formation in front of the barracks with Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds standing in front with several senior non-coms beside him, of which I was one… Edmonds, at the risk of his immediate death, defied the Germans with the unexpected consequences that the Jewish prisoners were saved.

Edmonds died in 1985.

Yad VaShem chairman Avner Shalev said, “Edmonds seemed like an ordinary American soldier, but he had an extraordinary sense of responsibility and dedication to his fellow human beings….The choices and actions of Master Sergeant Edmonds set an example for his fellow American soldiers as they stood united against the barbaric evil of the Nazis.”

Edmonds’ son, Pastor Chris Edmonds, is currently in Israel participating in a seminar sponsored by the International School for Holocaust Studies for Christian leaders.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-soldier-named-righteous-among-the-nations/2015/12/02/

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