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March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Israeli Man Identified Among Passengers of Crashed Germanwings Plane

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

A 39-year-old Israeli businessman was among the 150 people killed when a Germanwings Airbus A320 plane crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday morning. Eyal Baum of Hod HaSharon was living in Barcelona and had been commuting back and forth to do business in Germany.

It was Baum’s family who had alerted Israel’s foreign ministry to his presence on the flight, having called to report that Baum, who had business in Dusseldorf, was scheduled to board the flight from Barcelona.

Tragedy struck as French air traffic controllers lost contact with the aircraft at an altitude of around 6,500 feet, where it crashed in a remote mountainous area between Digne and Barcelonnette, killing all 150 people aboard. Flight 4U 9525 was flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf. Six crew members and 16 children were among the dead, officials said.

The low-cost Germanwings carrier is wholly owned by Lufthansa and has an excellent safety record with no previously reported accidents. The aircraft that crashed was 24 years old, however. One of the black boxes has already been found and was to be examined immediately, according to the French interior minister.

French police said search teams would stay overnight on site at altitude, and that it would likely take “days” to recover the bodies due to harsh weather, difficult terrain and snow.

Germanwings managing director Thomas Winkelman told reporters the plane began its rapid descent just one minute after reaching its cruising altitude, and continued to lose altitude for eight minutes. The aircraft lost contact with French air traffic controllers at 10:53 am local time.

The cause of the crash is not known; nor did the plane send out a distress signal, according to a report by the BBC.

Gilbert Sauvan, a member of the local council, told Les Echos newspaper, “The largest debris is the size of a car,” further deepening the mystery of why the plane went down without warning in reportedly good weather.

“This is the hour in which we all feel deep sorrow,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking to reporters at an initial briefing. Merkel added that she intended to travel to the crash site.

So far, “There is no indication of a nexus to terrorism at this time,” U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan told Fox News.

Iran’s Rouhani Optimistic ‘Possible to Reach Agreement’ on Nuclear Deal

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani appeared optimistic on Saturday about the chances of reaching a deal with the U.S. and world powers on Tehran’s nuclear development program.

“In this round of talks, shared points of view emerged in some of the areas where there had been a difference of opinion which can be a foundation for a final agreement,” Rouhani told the IRNA state news agency.

“I believe it is possible to reach an agreement and there is nothing that cannot be resolved,” he added, after a visit with wounded military veterans at a rehabilitation center.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told media on Saturday that world powers agreed “substantial progress” had been made on “key areas.”

That having been said, however, the UK, U.S., France and Germany were more reserved in their joint statement on how much farther the negotiators had to go in order to reach an agreement.

“We agreed that substantial progress had been made in key areas although there are still important issues on which no agreement has yet been possible,” Hammond said. “Now is the time for Iran, in particular, to take difficult decisions,” he said.

German Police Detain Islamists in Security Threat

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Police in the northern German city of Bremen swooped down on Islamists Friday night in the wake of reports of a planned terrorist attack at a soccer game on Sunday.

Security also has been heightened for Jews in the city.

“The Bremen police department has increased its presence in the city and stepped up protective measures in public areas,” said a Bremen police spokesman.

At least one suspect was arrested and several others were detained for questioning. Police also searched  an Islamic cultural center.

Heavily armed police were deployed at public markets and at Jewish institutions.

Fears of Islamic terror in Germany have increase recently, and police canceled a carnival parade in a northern city two weeks ago.

The Muslim population in Bremen has soared to nearly 10 percent, and the city has recognized Islam as an official religion, prompting initiatives by some Muslim groups to demand Sharia law superiority.

The port city of Bremen was an important point of transit for Jews in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in their emigration from eastern Europe to the United States. After the Holocaust, few Jews remained, but Soviet immigration later boosted the size of the Jewish population to well over 1,000.

Berlin 2015: Jewish Magazines Now Arrive in Plain Paper for Safety

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

In Berlin 2015, Jewish magazines are delivered in plain paper wrapping to minimize the chance of attack.

That’s the plain, unvarnished truth, according to the British-based The Guardian newspaper, quoting the Tagesspiegel, a Berlin newspaper.

The monthly magazine that serves the city’s Jewish community, the Jüdisches Berlin made the decision this year, according to spokesman Ilan Kiesling.

“We decided to do so despite the significant additional costs to reduce the likelihood of hostility towards our more than 10,000 community members,” Kiesling said.

The magazine is published by the Jewish Community of Berlin organization. Gideon Joffe, head of the group, wrote in the latest issue, “Israelis are beaten up in Berlin solely on the grounds that they are Israeli Jews. We are not yet – I repeat, yet – at the stage where Jews are being murdered in Germany just because they are Jews. But measures have to be taken to protect the democratic rule of law.”

According to Jewish Business News, there are an estimated 20,000 Israelis living in Germany. Jewish schools, community builds and cemeteries are guarded at present by police around the clock.

Last November, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told an international conference on anti-Semitism that “hatred of Jews’ was on the rise once more in his country.

The foreign minister said Germany’s Jews were being threatened and attacked at pro-Palestinian demonstrations. He added that the counter terrorism actions by Israel against Gaza could not be used to justify anti-Semitic behavior. Slogans like, ‘Gas the Jews!’ were also used during marches in the summer and a synagogue was firebombed in Wuppertal that had been burned down during Kristallnacht in 1938, but had since been rebuilt.

“Bold and brutal anti-Semitism has shown its ugly face again,” Steinmeier told the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) event.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany reported late last year that anti-Semitism in Germany is on the rise, as it is in other countries across Europe. Dieter Graumann, former president of the organization, said in an interview with BILD newspaper in November 2014, “For a while I noticed that anti-Semitism is becoming increasingly public and is no longer hidden.

“We often receive anti-Semitic messages sent according to name and address. Some people are no longer ashamed and no longer hide their hostility to Jews.

“We have seen… during the war in Gaza, demonstrations of pure, primitive hatred against the Jews that broke out again,” Graumann added. “It is very hard for me to talk about it but, when they are calls in the streets of Germany, ‘Jews to the gas,’ it hurts us greatly.”

In 1935, an anonymous Dutch photographer drove a motorcycle across Germany to document the sentiment about Jews. He was sent by Hans Richman and Alfred Viner, two Jews who escaped the country to the Netherlands, but hoped to expose the truth about the rising Nationalist-Socialist Party.

What they found was that Germany did not want its Jews – he photographed 22 signs along the way, all with one message: ‘Jews are not wanted here.’ Photos found along the sides of the road and at village entrances and in front of houses that today are in the National Archive in Jerusalem read, “Jews are not wanted here,” and “Jews, immigrate to your own country.”

The photos were distributed all over the world, including in Palestine, but did little good. Even the newspapers in Palestine did not print the photographs. Few others bothered.

People were used to seeing anti-Semitic slogans back then, in 1935.

They’re used to seeing them now, too. Even Israelis, unbelievably, who are stupid enough to actually move to the place where it all started just 70 years ago. What’s wrong with you??

Jews, wake up! Even some of your Christian and Muslim friends understand that something is wrong. Wake up, before it’s too late – again.

Israel Ambassador to Germany Politely Urges Jews to Leave on Aliyah

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Israel Ambassador to Germany, Yaakov Hadas-Handelsman, has joined Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in politely urging European Jews to “consider Israel your home.”

Speaking in an interview published Sunday in the Tagesspiegel daily, published in Berlin, the ambassador said he “does not envy any Jew living in Europe today.”

He said that those who feel unsafe in light of the recent deadly attacks aimed against Jews in various countries should feel welcome to come to Israel “at any time.”

Hadas-Handelsman had especially high praise for Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel for making it clear that “it is not normal for synagogues and Jewish schools to need police protection.”

Last July, a synagogue in Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia which originally was burned down during Kristallnacht but was subsequently rebuilt was firebombed.

Anti-Semitism in the country in general is on the rise, according to the Central Council of Jews in Germany, as it is in other countries across Europe.

In October 2014, the ‘Die Rechte’ political faction wrote to Mayor Ullrich Sierau in the city of Dortmund, demanding to know the exact number and addresses of all the Jews, saying the information was “relevant for our political work.”

The demand was refused and the letter was passed to the Interior Ministry of the State of North-Rhine-Westphalia, which is “looking at ways to legally ban the party,” whose numbers are growing, according to the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism (CFCA).

Obama, Merkel Won’t ‘Allow Borders of Europe To Be Redrawn by Barrel of a Gun’

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed Monday they would stand together in the battle to restrain Russia from swallowing European territory again.

Speaking with reporters following a meeting Monday at the Oval Office, Obama said he was “very encouraged about the extent to which we’ve been able to maintain U.S.-European unity on this issue.

“We are in absolute agreement that the 21st century cannot have us stand idle and allow the borders of Europe to be redrawn by the barrel of a gun,” Obama said.

But the president added there were “tactical disagreements” on how to proceed, should diplomatic efforts fail to resolve the crisis between pro-Russia separatists and Ukraine.

With the suggestion that military aid to Ukraine could be considered, “The possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options that’s being examined,” Obama said.

No decision has yet been made about that choice, however, which Merkel opposes.

“I’ve always said I don’t see a military solution in this conflict but we have to put all our efforts behind a diplomatic solution,” she said, speaking in German. “But if, at a certain point in time one has to say that a success is not possible, even if one puts every effort into it, then the United States and Europe have to sit together and try and explore further possibilities, what one can do.”

Talks in Munich and Kiev proved fruitless last week. A new attempt will be made this Wednesday in Minsk.

Synagogue Arson in Germany ‘Not Anti-Semitism’ Says Judge

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

Three German Palestinians convicted of arson after hurling firebombs at a synagogue in Germany were motivated by trying to bring “attention to the Gaza conflict,” according to the judge who convicted them on Thursday, Jerusalem Post journalist Benjamin Weinthal reported.

The judge in the case did not believe the men were guilty of anti-Semitism, according to outraged Green Party deputy Volker Beck, who told media he wrote to the prosecutor in the case to file a legal objection, reported.

Several days prior to the firebombing, “Free Palestine” had been sprayed in paint on to the wall of the synagogue as well.

The rebuilt synagogue in Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia was undamaged in the July 29, 2014 attack, which sparked a solidarity rally outside the building that same night. Dieter Graumann, then-president of the German Central Council of Jews, condemned the attack as did Germany’s Central Council of Muslims.

The two older attackers, ages 29 and 24, were given suspended sentences of 15 months in prison – which means they served no time – and together with their 18-year-old accomplice were ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

“This is a mistaken decision as far as the motives of the perpetrators are concerned,” Beck told international media in a statement. “Therefore, I have written the prosecutor and called for the filing of a legal objection.“ Burning a synagogue in Germany because of a conflict in the Middle East can be attributed only to anti-Semitism, Beck contended.

“What do Jews in Germany have to do with the Middle East conflict? Every bit as much as Christians, non-religious people or Muslims in Germany, namely, absolutely nothing. The ignorance of the judiciary toward anti-Semitism is for many Jews in Germany especially alarming, he said.”

The original Wuppertal synagogue was burned down by Germans during the pogrom of Kristallnacht in 1938, but the echoes of the past seem to be growing louder. The German state has seen an upswing in anti-Semitism, as has the country in general.

Anti-Semitism in Germany is on the rise, according to the Central Council of Jews in Germany, as it is in other countries across Europe.

Graumann offered a sobering comment on the situation just before leaving his post in an interview with BILD newspaper in November 2014: “For a while I noticed that anti-Semitism is becoming increasingly public and is no longer hidden. We often receive anti-Semitic messages sent according to name and address. Some people are no longer ashamed and no longer hide their hostility to Jews.

“We have seen … during the war in Gaza, demonstrations of pure primitive hatred against the Jews that broke out again. It is very hard for me to talk about it but, when there are calls in the streets of Germany, ‘Jews to the gas,’ it hurts us greatly,” he added.

Two weeks prior to the publication of Graumann’s interview, the neo-Nazi ‘Die Rechte’ party (The Right) demanded to know where all the Jews live in the city of Dortmund.

‘Die Rechte’ wrote to Mayor Ullrich Sierau through one of its city council members, Dennis Giemsch, seeking to know how many Jews live in the city and in which districts, and their addresses, according to a post on the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism (CFCA).

Giemsch, a full-time computer student, wrote that the information was ‘relevant for our political work.’

The demand was refused and the letter was passed to the Interior Ministry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia – the same state in which the torched synagogue is located – and which is “looking at ways to legally ban the party.”

The political party is the smallest of the far-right groups in Germany, but its numbers are growing, particularly among the young, according to the CFCA.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/synagogue-arson-in-germany-not-anti-semitism-says-judge/2015/02/07/

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