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May 29, 2016 / 21 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘harassment’

An American Rabbi’s ‘Experience’ at The Temple Mount

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

Following is the experience of an American rabbi who went with his wife to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem this week, thinking it would be the exciting Zionist experience it once was decades ago.

It was indeed “exciting” but not quite in the way he expected.

“My wife and I almost earned a spot in the news today. Or at least on a police blotter. And I was mostly innocent.

“Since the 1960s when my family and I freely and unafraid explored all of the Muslim holy sites on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, I have wanted to revisit it,” he told JewishPress.com in an exclusive interview. With the recent excitement about who controls the area, my wife and I decided that this time we would have to include it.

“We arrived on time for visiting hours at the end of a long queue of people anxious to climb the long ramp from the plaza level of the Kotel to the Temple Mount. We saw people from every nook and cranny of the world and enjoyed listening to all of their languages as we waited for the gate at the front to open. Naturally, security is very tight,” he acknowledged.

“After roughly 100 others had filed through we brought up the rear. My wife placed her purse on the table and walked through the metal detector to the other side without arousing as much as a blink from the police. I emptied my pockets, set my cell phone and pen on the table and the guards motioned for me to remove my hat.”

That’s when the “excitement” began.

“A gasp and hurried instructions to one another were immediate, and they demanded our passports. There, to the apparent shock of every guard, perched on my head was a kippah. The chief of the micro police force receded into a small office, emerging about five minutes later still holding the passports and glaring at me. Obviously I was a troublemaker.”

The police chief was clearly irritable, according to the rabbi, who said he was told to “calm down” when he asked him whether they should leave or whether his wife could go up on her own.

“Do you want to go to jail?” the burly police chief reportedly rasped. About 20 minutes later, after a few more office retreats and whispered conversations with the other guards, the officer strode over to the rabbi.

“Where is your Kippah?” he demanded to know. By then the rabbi had removed it; he showed him that he had placed it in a carry bag. “I was willing to suffice with the hat to avoid looking Jewish; I shared with him my business card identifying me as a rabbi, to further assure him that I was aware of the delicate situation and would act responsibly.”

That was clearly a mistake: the police chief now appeared to be convinced the rabbi was intending to do “something religious” up on the Temple Mount, the rabbi said. “He retreated once again into his office, ostensibly to check with “the office” to determine if I was previously known to the police as an agitator.

“With only a few minutes left in the one hour allotment, he finally reemerged, handed back my business card, and told me to put on my kippah. ‘Come, go up,’ he groused at me. My wife and I began the trek up the ramp, a bit surprised but glad nevertheless. A young haredi-religious guard – kippah, tzitzit, long peyyot and unarmed – joined us. Halfway up we were greeted and flanked by two heavily armed policemen.

“At the top of the ramp, as we approached the holy ground, several more police surrounded us in a very tight circle. In this formation we begin a slow march onto the grounds.

Hana Levi Julian

Fear of Muslim Hate Scaring US Jewish Leaders from Pro-Israel Rallies

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

In a growing number of U.S. towns, Jews whose hearts ache over the terror faced by Israel and who are desperate to express their support, are starting to fear Arab hatred and the terror of radical Islam even more.

JewishPress.com has been asked to tell this story by an American rabbi who provided the information on condition that all identifying details be omitted “for the safety of those involved.” In particular, he requested that the location of the congregations involved be “blurred,” as he put it, in order “not to put Jews at risk.”

How scary is that?

“One of my congregants spoke to a friend whose son lives in a major Midwestern city where they had an Israel rally. They were greatly outnumbered by Palestinians,” he said. “That woman’s son called it a big disaster because it turned out to be great PR for the Palestinians, instead of support for Israel.”

As a matter of fact, the city in question had “10,000 Muslims show up to their rally,” according to the city police estimate.

Concerned rabbis who followed up raised the following question: “Without advertisement, we have no way to let those concerned citizens express their solidarity. With advertisement, how do we prevent this kind of fiasco?”

The rabbis also receive updates and security assessments from the Department of Homeland Security, which to its credit maintains contact with countless Jewish leaders and institutions.

“Clearly, I can’t give you a simple ‘it’s safe’ or not,” wrote one DHS official to the inquiring rabbi who asked during the summer of 2014 about the wisdom of joining a solidarity march for Israel.

“But, given the current situation in Gaza, it’s my opinion if the march was widely publicized prior to holding it, I wouldn’t be comfortable at all. If the group simply shows up, marches and departs, the risk would be much lower. As you know, there’s always a risk,” he wrote, adding that if the march is publicized “during or after, you also raise risk on existing Jewish facilities from retaliatory attacks.”

And that quiet warning was officially being transmitted more than a year ago, not in Europe, the Middle East or Scandinavia, but rather in the United States!

Below is a letter received by the same rabbi, who is among those who encourage their congregations to attend demonstrations of support for Israel. Note the emphasis on safety.

Dear Rabbi X:
As you know, these are tough times for our beloved Israel.
The Friends of Israel is having a public rally this Sunday, ______ , in the afternoon at the corner of _______________.
As you also may know at many other Israel rallies, scores of confrontational Palestinians have shown up, intimidated and stolen the PR. It becomes their hate fest instead of our peaceful rally in support of Israel’s right to self defense.
Will you please send this flyer out to your email contacts, call people and urge them to attend. Please speak about the rally at Shabbat services. Put this on Facebook, tweet, etc.
This is the time for all those who love and support Israel to come together; it is our responsibility!! Please do what you can to mobilize people. Even though people may only see Palestinian suffering, which ultimately Hamas has caused, on the news, we all know Israelis are suffering and being terrorized. My own family and several other friends have terrible stories.
We have a permit and police protection. This should be the safest place to be in _________ from ________ on Sunday! Thank you in advance for your support.
Rally for Israel

Hana Levi Julian

American Woman Punched by Muslim on Temple Mount

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

An older Jewish woman who recently immigrated to Israel from the United States on aliyah was attacked when she made her first trip to the Temple Mount this week.

Brenda Rubin, a resident of Jerusalem, was a new Israeli for seven months when she was punched in the ribs Tuesday morning by a burka-clad Muslim woman.

Because the attacker was wearing a burka, as were those around her, security personnel obviously knew it would be impossible to identify with certainty who the attacker had been — possibly a factor in the planning of the Arab harassment campaign in the first place.

“It was my first time on the Mount and it was a very important thing for me,” she said. “This woman in black came in between our lines and gave me a big punch under my rib on my side that I’m still feeling.”

Burka-clad Muslim women who harassed a group of Jews visiting the Temple Mount. One of them viciously punched a Jewish woman in the ribs. No arrest was made.

When Rubin reported the attack to a police officer immediately after, he brusquely told her to “file a complaint” (at the nearby police station – after leaving the Temple Mount.)

He took no further action, even though the group of burka-clad Muslim women from which her attacker emerged was still standing nearby, harassing a small group of Jews.

“I feel like, we came to Israel, this is our Land, we didn’t come here to be shivering Jews,” Rubin said in a taped interview afterwards. “It’s really painful that somebody could feel they could come and use the name of God to come and hurt us.”

According to a Facebook post by The Temple Institute, “Muslim women are paid a daily stipend by the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas) to be present on the Temple Mount during the hours that Jews are allowed on the Mount, and to verbally and physically harass the Jewish worshipers from the moment they enter the Mount to the moment they exit the Mount.

“The Israel police, following strict orders, do nothing to prevent the attacks nor intervene once the attacks have occurred, (due to government fear of offending the Muslims).”

The Temple Mount is the holiest site on earth in Judaism, and the third holiest site in Islam. Nevertheless, the Israeli government has allowed Jordan to govern the site via the Islamic Waqf Authority. Jews are regularly mistreated at the site and sometimes attacked; often they are denied access to the site altogether, despite legal rights to the contrary.

Rubin, who still feels pain in her side, added, “I would like the people who feel that there is some commonality, to come [to the Mount] and walk around on some morning and see… how we’re being harassed – and that’s very disturbing.”

A text at the end of the videotaped interview states in Hebrew: “This time, the blow came as a punch; but the next time could be a knife.”

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu: ‘Could Be Time for Female Chief of Police in Israel’

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

PM Binyamin Netanyahu says it may be time to appoint a female chief of police in Israel.

“It could be the right thing to do,” he said in a speech today (Tuesday, Jan. 27). Possibly the time has come to appoint down the road a female chief of police.

“I want to advance this idea,” Netanyahu continued. “It would be a refreshing change, a female chief of the Israel Police.”

The prime minister’s remark followed an announcement Monday by the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department (PID) that a senior officer was questioned about allegations he harassed a lower-level policewoman. Eight other women may have been harassed as well by the same officer, who is suspected of also having obstructed justice and having destroyed evidence.

National Chief of Police/Inspector-General Yochanan Danino met earlier today with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch at the ministry in Jerusalem. On the agenda for the two men was the issue of how much damage had been caused to the image of Israel’s national police force by the continuing scandals and how to prevent repetitions in the future.

“This incident is a severe one,” Danino told reporters. “They deal a blow to public faith in the police and call for an organizational root canal.”

This was the seventh such scandal in just over a year. Danino told media that he would like to say to Israeli citizens, “You have a police force that you can trust despite these recent events and we have our way of dealing with them.”

The first female chief of police in the United States to be appointed in a major city was Penny Harrington, who became the chief in Portland, Oregon in 1985. The first female police officer to actually be appointed to a force in the U.S. was Lola Baldwin, who also was hired in Portland, Oregon on April 1, 1908. Today, one percent of all police chiefs in the United States are female.

Hana Levi Julian

2 Days After Pope’s Visit, Bethlehem Church Fire Not Arson?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Just two days after Pope Francis visited the Church of the Nativity in Palestinian Authority-controlled Bethlehem, there was a fire. Coincidence?

The church — important to Roman Catholics around the world — is built over the grotto believed to be the birthplace of the founder of Christianity, Jesus. It is considered one of the holiest sites in the faith.

A cleric at the church, Father Ibrahim Faltas, denied the fire had been set intentionally and claimed a candle tipped over near a curtain, setting it aflame.

The once-mostly Christian town of Bethlehem — controlled today by the Palestinian Authority — is now populated by a Muslim majority. Christian residents have been systematically attacked by local Muslims and quietly have fled, until now only a small fraction remain. The Pope, however, made no reference to the vicious campaign of harassment carried out against his people during his visit to the region, focusing instead of Arab-Israeli relations.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Disgraced

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Here’s Rabbi Motti Elon walking away from the Magistrate Court in Jerusalem, December 18, 2013, after hearing his verdict. Elon, former head of Yeshivat Hakotel in Jerusalem, was convicted of sexually assaulting two of his former students, in 2003 and 2005, and sentenced with 6 months of community service, 6 months suspended sentence and a payment of a little under $3,000 to his victims.

Alone he walks into the snow covered street, with his delusions of grandeur, a living lesson about hubris and pride.

He told reporters that he’s happy do do community service, since he’d been doing just that—community service—for 40 years.

In his own head, he’s done nothing wrong. A martyr, persecuted by a repressive system.

I bless him that while he endows his new flock with cleaner toilets, it will dawn on him one day that at some point his path had led him over the cliff.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/disgraced/2013/12/19/

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