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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘India’

Where are the Moslems Protesting and Rioting? (Map + List)

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

John Hudson has put together an interactive Google Map of sites around the work where Moslems are rioting.

Click here for photos of the protests in Jerusalem and around Israel.

 

Jerusalem
“Hundreds of Israeli Arabs protested outside Sha’ar Shchem (Damascus Gate) in Jerusalem on Friday. Four people were arrested as the crowd tried to march towards the US Consulate. Hundreds more Arabs protested in Yafo against the ‘Innocence’ film.” reports JewishPress.com
Bangladesh
“About 1,000 Bangladeshi Islamists tried to march on the U.S. embassy in Dhaka on Thursday to protest against a U.S. film that is said to insult the Prophet Mohammad but security forces stopped them r…
Sanaa, Yemen
“In Sanaa, Yemen, the U.S. Embassy was overrun Thursday by protesters who stormed a wall, set fire to a building inside the compound, broke windows and carried away office supplies and other souvenirs…
Cairo, Egypt
“In Cairo, clouds of tear gas floated through the fortified area around the U.S. Embassy as security forces clashed with protesters for the third straight day,” reports The Washington Post.
Tripoli, Libya
“The US dispatched an elite group of Marines to Tripoli on Wednesday after the mob attack that killed the US ambassador and three other Americans,” reports the AP. “Officials were investigating whethe…
Gaza Strip
“Palestinians on Friday protested an anti-Muslim film, with thousands gathering in the Gaza Strip and hundreds in Jerusalem where there were clashes with Israeli police,” reports Now Lebanon.
Jakarta, Indonesia
“In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, about 200 protesters in Jakarta chanted slogans and held up signs in a largely peaceful protest outside the heavily guarded U.S. Embassy,” repor…
Khartoum, Sudan
“Britain’s Foreign Office says police in Sudan are confronting a protest outside the British embassy in Khartoum,” reports the AP.  Additionally, Reuters reports “Protesters pull down emblem at German…
Kashmir
“Thousands of angry Kashmiri Muslims protested Friday against an anti-Islam film, burning U.S. flags and calling President Barack Obama a ‘terrorist,’ while the top government cleric here reportedly d…
Tripoli, Lebanon
“Hundreds of protesters set alight a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Friday, witnesses said, chanting against the pope’s visit to Lebanon and shouting ant…
Benghazi, Libya
“Ansar al Sharia supporters protesting in front of Tibesty Hotel in Benghazi carrying black flags,” reports Al Jazeera via Twitter. “Maximum 50 pple.”
Tehran, Iran
“In Tehran, students gathered Thursday outside the Swiss Embassy, which represents U.S. interests in Iran, to protest the video,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “No violence was reported.”
Baghdad, Iraq
“In Iraq, reaction to the video clip has been limited to followers of Shiite groups linked to militias and neighboring Iran,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “Several hundred followers of anti-Americ…
Islamabad, Pakistan
“The protesters in Islamabad said that the film should be banned across the world and the filmmakers should be severely punished,” reports Pakistan’s The Express Tribune. “They also demanded that the …
Karachi, Pakistan
“JI Chief Munawar Hassan, addressing a protest rally in the Nazimabad area of Karachi, demanded that the US government ban the movie and also demanded the Interior ministry of Pakistan lodge a protest…
Lahore, Pakistan
“The rally in Lahore was organised by Tehreek-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool which was taken out from Green Chowk to Sohrab Khan, while the one in Multan was organised by Jamiat Talba Arbia and Shehri Mahaz. Prote…
Jalalabad, Afghanistan
“Hundreds of Afghans – some shouting ‘Death to America’ – have held a protest against an anti-Islam film in the eastern city of Jalalabad,” reports the AP.
Mogadishu, Somalia
“Thousands of Somali protesters have taken to the streets of capital Mogadishu to express their anger over the anti-Islam movie produced by an Israeli-American in the United States,” reports Iran’s Pr…
Tunisia
Protesters in Tunisia have set fire to an American school in the capital Tunis, according to Reuters. The New York Post reports that “Anti-American rioting spread yesterday to Tunisia, where police us…
Algeria
“In Algeria, the U.S. Embassy cautioned Americans to avoid its building and other official government buildings Wednesday afternoon, sending an emergency message to U.S. citizens after calls for prote…
London, UK
“About 200 protesters are burning USA and Israeli flags outside the US embassy in London,” Al Jazeera reports.
Kuwait City, Kuwait
“About 500 demonstrators gathered yesterday near the US embassy in Kuwait waving a black Al-Qaeda flag in protest of a film mocking Islam,” reports AFP. “President Barack ‘Obama, we are all Osama,’ th…
Kuwait City, Kuwait
“About 500 demonstrators gathered yesterday near the US embassy in Kuwait waving a black Al-Qaeda flag in protest of a film mocking Islam,” reports AFP. “President Barack ‘Obama, we are all Osama,’ th…
Chennai, India
“Protesters in southern India have been arrested for throwing rocks at the U.S. Consulate in Chennai, the city police commissioner said,” reports CNN. “As many as 200 protesters were demonstrating in …
Amsterdam
“The American consulate on the Museumplein in Amsterdam is to close earlier than usual on Friday because of a planned demonstration by Muslims in the late afternoon,” reports DutchNews.nl. “Two school…
Maldives
Protests emerged in the Maldives, according to the BBC, but there are few details on the size of the demonstration.
Sri Lanka
Protests have erupted in eastern Sri Lanka, according to the BBC, but details are thin on the size of the demonstration.
Doha, Qatar
“Hundreds of worshippers marched near the US embassy in Qatar on Friday over the anti-Islam video,” reports Al Jazeera. “The protest had been reportedly called for by Doha-based Egyptian  Sheikh Yusuf…
Jos, Nigeria
“Nigerian troops fired live rounds on Friday to disperse Muslims protesting in the volatile central city of Jos against an American film about the Prophet Mohammad that has triggered unrest in several…
Sheikh Zuwayed
“Protesters belonging to ultraconservative groups in Sinai have stormed a camp for the UN multinational peacekeepers in the town of Sheikh Zuwayed,” reports Al Jazeera. “They brought down the flag and…
Sale, Morocco
“Hundreds of Salafists burned US flags in Morocco after Friday prayers at a mosque in a poor neighbourhood of Sale, twin town to the Moroccan capital Rabat,” reports Al Jazeera. “Around 200 of the har…
Casablanca, Morocco
“Between 300 and 400 Muslim activists had gathered outside the US consulate in Morocco’s largest city Casablanca on Wednesday, amid a heavy police presence, protesting against the film and shouting an…
Damascus, Syria
“Sana, Syria’s state news agency, said hundreds of pro-government supporters protested outside the US embassy in Damascus today,” reports The Guardian. “Protesters held images of beleaguered president…
Amman, Jordan
“Jordanian protesters burn a US flag in front of the Kurdi Mosque near the USA embassy in Amman,” reports the AP. Iran’s Press TV reports that more than 2,000 Jordanians took to the streets to protest…
Nouakchott, Mauritania
“Mauritanian youths also went out in a demonstration that covered the streets of Nouakchott condemning the offensive film,” reports Link TV. “Protestors gathered in front of the American embassy, call…
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysi
Muslims held demonstrations across Malaysia on Friday, calling for the United States to prevent distribution of an anti-Islam film they said was part of a plot by ‘Christian extremists,’” reports Ahra…
Batu Caves, Malaysia
“A crowd … held a demonstration at the Batu Caves, a popular tourist spot outside the capital,” reports Ahram Online.
Ipoh, Malaysia
“Malaysian media reported a… protest in the northern city of Ipoh,” reports Ahram Online.
Hyderabad, India
“A peaceful protest was held here Friday against a blasphemous anti-Islam American movie,” reports News Track India. “Protestors set afire an effigy symbolising the US in the old city of Hyderabad. Po…
Diraz, Bahrain
“More than 2,000 protesters chanted against the film and burned American and Israeli flags after Friday prayers in Diraz, outside the capital, Manama. Security forces were absent,” reports the AP. “…
Istanbul, Turkey
“Hundreds of people gathered in Istanbul’s Beyazit Square to protest the prophet film,” reports the AP. “The protest was organized by Turkey’s main Islamist political party, Saadet.”
Nablus, West Bank
“In the city of Nablus, about 200 people demonstrated against the film as Muslim clerics throughout the territory preached against it in Friday sermons,” reports the AP.
Basrah, Iraq
In the southern city of Basra, about 1,000 took to the streets and burned the American and Israeli flags. One banner said: ‘Freedom doesn’t mean offending two billion Muslims,’” reports the AP.
Mombasa, Kenya
“A group of Kenyan muslims burn[ed] the US flag in protest over the anti-Muslim film that has spawned mob violence against American embassies across the Mideast, following afternoon prayers outside th…
Srinagar, India
“A Kashmiri Muslim with his face covered burn[ed] a mock American flag as others shout slogans during a protest Friday in Srinagar, India,” reports the AP.
Kut, Iraq
“Iraqi supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s movement, burn[ed] the Israeli and the US flags during a protest denouncing a film deemed offensive to Islam, on September 13, 2012 in the central …
Tel Aviv, Israel
“Arab-Israeli Muslim men protest against a film mocking Islam, in front of the U.S. embassy in the Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv, on September 13, 2012,” reports AFP.
Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan
“Afghans burn the U.S. flag in the Ghanikhel district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 14, 2012, during a protest against an anti-Islam film,” reports the AP.
Sidon, Lebanon
The AP captured photographs of an anti-film protest in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh near Sidon, Lebanon, here.

Source: The Atlantic Wire

Young Entrepreneurs from India, Brazil, and El Salvador Experience Israel for First Time

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Jerusalem – An international group of young entrepreneurs had a first-hand glimpse into Israel’s social activism and entrepreneurial ventures in a unique project last week.

Hailing from India, El Salvador, New Zealand, Brazil, and South Africa, the participants, ranging from their early 20s to 30s, with a background in entrepreneurial work, were part of an international conference called S.E.E. Israel (Social Entrepreneur Exchange).Organized by Jerusalem’s Hebrew University students as part of a StandWithUs public diplomacy training program, the conference connected the international visitors with young Israeli social innovators, enterprises and organizations.

The four-day conference featured lectures and meetings with experts on a variety of topics including informal education and solutions to universal problems facing civil societies as well as how to strengthen society’s weaker sectors. The participants also experienced on-site tours of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and even participated in a social activist project during their stay.

For Jithin C. Nedumala, 25, of Bangalore, India, and founder of Make A Difference (MAD), the largest youth volunteer network for Indian orphans and underprivileged children, the visit to Israel was an eye-opening experience.

“Being here, I understand Israel and Israelis as people much better. In India, our perception of Israel comes from the media and we always hear about the conflict, especially the flotilla incident. Israel is always presented as an oppressor from this perspective,” Nedumala told Tazpit News Agency.

“The first time I heard about the entrepreneurial side of Israel was when I read the book, Start-Up Nation, which got me interested in Israel in a different way,” Nedumala explained.

“I’m amazed by how informal everything is—you don’t feel any hierarchy and people generally let others be. Israelis even refer to the Prime Minister by his nickname—Bibi. In India, society is much more strict and formal,” Nedumala concluded.

Jithin was not the only participant who discovered another side to Israel. Polyana de Oliveira of San Paulo, Brazil did not anticipate the diversity of the country. “There are so many different types of people here from all backgrounds,” she said.

The 26-year-old Oliveira is bringing back to Brazil “a lot of ideas” for her own tourist destination company that she has launched for English speakers in Brazil, called My Destination. “I learned so much about social models during the conference and the fact that we all have similar issues and problems– and that there are creative ways to solve them.”

In addition, the international participants had the opportunity to directly interact with Israelis at the Jerusalem market, Mahane Yehuda which has over 250 vendors selling fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, fish, spices, wines and other goods. They joined Israeli volunteers from the organization, Gveret Im Salim, or Lady with Baskets, which was founded two years ago to help elderly citizens shop in the open market. Distinguished by yellow shirts, the volunteers, who network on Facebook, walk around every Thursday offering to carry heavy bags of goods of elderly people stocking up for the weekend Sabbath. In exchange for the help, the elderly shoppers, many of whom have come to depend on the extra help, share stories of their past with the younger helpers.

It was a chance for the international group of the S.E.E. Israel program to learn more about the Jerusalem lifestyle and converse with elderly Israeli locals who told them stories of growing up in the city.

Rodrigo Aguilar of El Salvador even had the chance to practice a little Hebrew at that the market, which he learned during the visit. “I felt almost Israeli, saying Shalom, Todah (thank you) and Yalla (hurry up),” he said with a smile.

Aguilar, 21, a university student in El Salvador, who has volunteered for A Roof For My Country, an NGO that builds basic homes for the impoverished, explained that he came to Israel to “to see how it really is here.”

“The coverage that Israel receives in my country is usually negative, so I have always done my own research into the conflict and Israel which was why I wasn’t too surprised by what I’ve experienced culturally throughout the trip.”

And Tatyana Kurbatoff, 31, from New Zealand, found the conference especially inspiring. “You can see that the early pioneer spirit is still alive in the entrepreneurial outlook among the Israelis we have met. This was a great opportunity for us to meet, share and learn about the value of social innovation against the fascinating cultural landscape of Israel.”

Indian Shia and Sunni Unite in Hating Israel

Friday, August 10th, 2012

A group of Indian Shia clerics, led by a prominent Shia Islamic leader, Kalbe Jawwad, has demanded breaking ties with Israel. In May Kalbe Jawwad, a cleric and member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, alleged that there has been a “flood of terror attacks in India” ever since Israel established an embassy there, and accused the Congress Party-led government of India of defaming the Muslim community as a whole.

The clerics accuse Israel and the United States of being the “biggest sponsors” of international terrorism, and are recommending that India focus on improving relations with Iran, Syria and the Palestinian Authority.

Maulana Jawwad, the most influential Wakf leader in India, has been organizing Muslims to demonstrate to pressure the central government of India to be more responsive to their demands. Wakf, an Arabic word, means “an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law, donating building, land and cash for Muslims’ charitable purposes.”

Jawwad is also celebrated for holding the largest ever anti-U.S.-Israel-Denmark demonstration in Lucknow, the capital city of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Jawwad has invited a leader of the Sunni sect of India — the Imam-E-Jummah, or Imam of the Friday prayer — of the highly regarded Shahi Asafi Masque of Lucknow, Mawlana Khalid, to join his campaign.

Although Shiites and Sunnis do not pray together, as both sects have the same goal — hostility to Israel — the Shia cleric, to set a precedent, recently requested the Sunni Imam to lead a prayer service attended by both Shia and Sunni congregations.

On 30 March 2012, after the Friday prayer in Lucknow, thousands of Muslims held an anti-Israel protest led by Sunni Maulana Khalid Rasheed, demanding the “liberation” of Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque.

The Shia cleric, Maulana Jawwad, has taken charge of rescuing Karbala Motamadud-Daula, a building occupied by the Freemason Temple since 1879. Maulana Jawwad started a protest movement last year to seek the ouster of illegal occupants from it; and the Shia Central Wakf Board formed a 21-member committee headed by Jawwad.

At the same time, Indian Muslims are concerned about increasing ties between India and Israel, especially after the recent decision to establish an Israeli consulate in Bangalore, cooperation in boosting trade from $5 billion to $15 billion, and initiating an extradition treaty between the two. The Muslims of India, not only Uttar Pradesh, have unbroken relations with the Pakistani Muslims, who migrated from India during the partition of the sub-continent in 1947. Moreover, most of the Indian Muslims, whether Shia or Sunni, do not approve of India’s policy on Afghanistan.

There are about 180 million Muslims in India, with approximately 25% of them Shia. In Uttar Pradesh, Jawwad’s state, although less than 20% of the population are Muslims, they nevertheless have a strong influence on the society and in politics. The sitting government of Uttar Pradesh has also been supportive of Muslims.

Although the Shia and Sunni have long been mutually hostile, in recent years, as they found a common platform over which to instigate violence — Israel, Jews and Wakf property — their antagonism toward one another has significantly decreased.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

J.E. Dyer: Peace in our time – Asian Navies Converging on the Mediterranean

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

While Russia’s “interfleet naval task force” tootles around the Eastern Mediterranean making like it doesn’t know from Syria, China and India have joined the naval game in the Eastern Med.  Both have a regular naval presence off the coast of Somalia, and each has dispatched its most recent antipiracy task group – now relieved on-station – to conduct port visits in the Med.  The Chinese units are visiting ports in the Black Sea as well.

China sent a naval task force (coming off antipiracy duty) to visit ports in the Med in 2010.  The visits extended into the central Mediterranean during that deployment; this time they are in EASTMED and – a new wrinkle – the Black Sea.  India sent a naval task force to participate in an exercise with Atlantic navies – the US, UK, and France – in 2009.  This task force also conducted port visits in the Med, primarily in the Western half of the sea.  Both nations have regularly sent naval training task groups on worldwide cruises as well, spending time in the Med and conducting port visits.  So the unprecedented nature of what’s going on doesn’t come from a complete absence of naval presence in the Med by the Asian nations.

The difference today lies in everything else that’s going on, and the new paths being taken by India’s and China’s navies in particular.

India has just conducted an unprecedented four-day port visit in Haifa, during which Indian sailors roamed Israel as American sailors have for many years, and joint ceremonies were held with the local population.  A naval visit to Israel is a big political signal; India would not be sending it lightly.

India also enjoys good relations with Iran, including a big trade boom between the two neighbors, and is edging ever closer to Russia in Asian geopolitics.  (For Russia’s part, of course, Vladimir Putin visited Israel this summer and displayed an eye-opening level of sympathy for Israeli concerns.  Russia is also Iran’s chief foreign patron, and those aren’t mutually exclusive facts.  The world has already stopped being a place in which ideological sympathy between nations trumps geographic necessity.  Russia is trying to exert influence over her neighborhood, not foster an ideology.  She’ll make common cause on one principle in one place, and on a different principle in another.)  At any rate, an Indian naval port visit in Israel is a lower-profile event than a Russian one, but it conveys the sentiments of both Asian nations that Israel is a partner in stability in the rapidly churning Middle East.

India and Russia both have security problems with Sunni Islamist extremists, and neither wants to see radical Sunni Islamism become entrenched in government after government in the Arab world.  Iran’s radicalism is comparatively singular; there is only one Shia theocracy, and its geography is limited, unlike the geography of potential Sunni prizes, which stretches from Indonesia to Morocco.  Iran’s theocrats are ultimately opposed to the Sunni view of eschatological fulfillment, and the two views will battle it out at some point if Islamism becomes the dominant geopolitical factor in South Asia.

Iran has her uses as a foil in the emerging drama, and India and Russia will make use of her if they can.  They are less worried about Iran than they are about China and Sunni Islamism – especially as united with the Arab Spring.  Take that away from this piece, if you take nothing else.

Speaking of China, her task group has completed a port visit in Ukraine (“In your face, Russia”), and is now conducting separate port visits in Bulgaria and Turkey.  The visit of People’s Liberation Army Naval (PLAN) ships to the Black Sea is unprecedented, as will be their visit to Israel at the end of their Med circuit.  Yes, they’re scheduled to go to Israel too.

I believe it is invalid to interpret the Chinese deployment as a joint signal with Russia to discourage Western intervention in Syria.  I don’t think China is really worried that we’re going to intervene, at least not with military force.  China’s deployment is a signal of competition with Russia and India – separately and together – for the future of the Eastern hemisphere.  The Chinese visits to Ukraine and Bulgaria are as in-your-face as it gets, Russia-wise; Moscow is very sensitive about foreign navies in the Black Sea.  China’s deployment is not an expression of solidarity with her northern neighbor.

Indian Police: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Behind Attack on Israeli Diplomat

Monday, July 30th, 2012

The Delhi Police has concluded that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) was behind the February 13, 2012 bomb attack on an Israeli diplomat, according to a report by the Times of India.

The Delhi Police investigation report states that the suspects began planning the attacks on Israeli diplomats in India and other countries in January 2011 with the help of a local Indian journalist named Syed Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi, in apparent retaliation for the as-yet unsolved assassinations of a number of Iranian nuclear scientists. Kazmi, a veteran freelance journalist who worked part-time for Iran’s news agency IRNA, was the first person arrested in connection with the attack. The report revealed that Kazmi had established relations with the individuals – and by extension the IRGC – almost 10 years prior to the attacks, suggesting that the Iranian regime has established a significant covert network in India.

In the attack, Tali Yehoshua-Koren, the wife of the Defense Ministry’s representative to India, was injured when a motorcyclist attached a magnetic bomb to the embassy car in which she was driving in.

The report identifies five IRGC members in the car bombing, and while Delhi Police passed the details on to Iran in the hopes of obtaining more information, Iran has thus far been uncooperative. Houshang Afshar Irani, the central suspect, was the motorcyclist who attached the bomb to Yehoshua-Koren’s car, and he stated on his tourist visa that his profession in Iran was in building construction.

Sedaghatzadeh Masoud was accused by the Delhi police of being the operational head of the cell, and of planning not only the Delhi attack but the thwarted attack of the same nature on the same day in Tbilisi, Georgia and the botched attack against Israeli diplomats in Bangkok the following day. His profession was listed as sales employee in a commercial company in Iran.

The other suspects are Syed Ali Mahdiansadr, Mohammad Reza Abolghasemi, and Ali Akbar Norouzishayan. The investigation concluded that the five suspects entered the country on tourist visas and left immediately after the attack.

The police report also found that the cell extended beyond the five IRGC members, to include an Iranian woman – identified as Leila Rohani – who is suspected of playing a supporting role in the attacks in Delhi, Tbilisi, and Bangkok. The police allege that Rohani assisted the IRGC cell in the Bangkok attack of February 14 by finding them an apartment, and absconded to Tehran before police could arrest her.

At the time, Israel blamed Iran for the “coordinated series of attacks.”

The Advent of Hitler in India

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Hitler is considered a heinous historical by most of humanity, but in the last few years India has been witness to the advent in his popularity.

Dr. Navras Jaat Aafreedi, an Assistant Professor at the Department of History & Civilization in Gautam Buddha University in India, is a scholar of the history of the Jewish communities in India. Last month he concluded a lecture tour to Israel, during which he gave a lecture titled “The Rise of Hitler’s Popularity in India” at Tel Aviv University. He notes that “India is the only country in the world where Jews have lived with their non-Jewish neighbours in complete harmony for more than two millennia. Jews are India’s smallest religious minority and Muslims its biggest, and the two have produced beautiful examples of amity, unlike anywhere else in the world.”

Hiltler has rapidly gained popularity in India in recent years. This phenomenon is a paradox because of the absence of Anti-Semitism in India. Yet, though the country has never known anti-Semitism, sales of Hiltler’s Mein Kampf have risen over 15% in the last decade. The name “Aryan” is becoming a popular first name in India, and “Hitler” is the name of the protagonist in many a Bollywood production.

Dr. Aafreedi offered a few explanations. Unlike the modern-day neo-Nazis who idealize Hitler for his racism and persecution of the Jews, Indians who respect Hitler do so out of misinformation. He believes that this rise in Hitler’s popularity is not a result of anti-Semitism: “It can be ascribed to the absence of Jewish Studies in India, where Islamic Studies are available at almost all major Indian universities. The level of ignorance among Indians about Jews is hysterical and the state has been unwilling to introduce Jewish Studies in India, whereas in the neighboring country China, Jewish Studies are available at ten of its universities.” He explains that Indians are largely ignorant of the Holocaust, and such individuals “tend to see it as a justified collateral damage for the greater good of Germany, influenced as they are by the way Hitler is often projected as a hero by the Hindu right wing,”

He observes that “Most of the Indians do not even know about the Jews, let alone the Holocaust. Among the section of the Indian population that is aware of the Holocaust, there are many who have fallen into the trap of the Holocaust deniers and have started either doubting it as a whole or just its scale.” As part of this misinformation, many Indians believe that the Axis powers of World War II were partially responsible for India’s independence from the British in 1947. It is believed that Hitler’s battle with the Allies forced Britain to focus their resources in Europe. Britain was unable to control a territory as large as India, leaving room for an Indian independence movement. Subhas Chandra Rose, a key figure of the Indian independence movement, collaborated with Axis powers to raise an army to fight the British.

Another reason is the younger generation’s great desire for strong leadership. Dr. Aafreedi thinks they do not have good examples.

Dr. Aafreedi believes that the key to combating this situation is the dissemination of facts. “I promote Jewish Studies in India, the study of Jewish history, culture and religion. It is just not possible to understand the two most widely practiced religions, Christianity and Islam, without a study of Judaism, oldest of the three Semitic monotheistic religions. It is important for any nation to appreciate and recognize the contributions made to it by its religious minorities. If this does not happen, the society becomes intolerant towards minorities, which has grave consequences not just for the minorities but also for the majority community. In India, Jews happen to be the smallest religious minority and the Muslims, the biggest. As a result of their small numbers, most of the Indians know them only through secondary sources, which are mostly unreliable, and not as a result of any direct contact with them. Ignorance gives birth to stereotypes and misconceptions, and hatred thrives on falsehood. Hence, it becomes very important to promote Jewish Studies in India. If this is not done, we would neglect one-sixth of mankind.”

Hitler’s Mein Kampf is available in almost all Indian languages, but the only book on the Holocaust in India’s national language, Hindi, is an FAQ about the Holocaust published by Yad Vashem. Dr. Aafreedi has worked and continues to work in spreading accurate information about Judaism and the Holocaust in India. He has organized cross-cultural and international student dialogues at the University of Lucknow. There he also invited Jewish authors and filmmakers to speak about their works and brought a number of Muslim intellectuals to speak out against anti-Semitism. “I believe that if awareness is created through the spread of information,” he says, “it can help in eliminating many misconceptions that people have.”

Pushkar, New Mecca for Israelis, Even Has Chabad ‘Missionaries’

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Calcutta News this morning reports on Pushkar, a town 11 km from Ajmer and about 130 km from the state capital of Jaipur, where many signboards and menus are in Hebrew, shopkeepers greet visitors with ‘Shalom’ and offer them humus, wraps and soup with dumplings.

“It’s a mini Israel out here with hotels and other businesses tailoring their offerings to suit tourists from the ‘promised land,’” according to CN.

So much so, that “moving around, the unsuspecting visitor could be forgiven for wondering just where they were with signboards in Hebrew splashed at many places.”

It’s like Ben Yehuda Street out there. “Where else will you see a menu featuring jachnoon, the traditional bread with tomatoes and eggs, Moussakas, cinammon cakes…”

And, if that’s not Israeli enough for you: “There is even a Chabad House, a community centre for the Jewish community run by missionaries.”

Now, there’s a line to warm the heart of every Lubavitcher…

According to the state tourism department, out of the 46,425 foreign tourists who visited Pushkar from April 2011 to March 2012, the majority were Israelis. Over the past three years, they say, 64 percent of all tourists have been Israelis.

Is it any wonder that local residents, including some priests who perform rituals at the ghats of the Pushkar lake, as well as shopkeepers, have taken classes in order to learn to speak fluent Hebrew?

And some hotel owners even accept shekels!

“They are good payers and love to enjoy the place. They know how to enjoy holidays,” Ravi Ranawat, owner of the Om Shiva resort, told CN. “I called a special cook from New Delhi and paid him triple rate so that he could make baked dishes and special sauces for the Israelis guests.”

But no meat please – Pushkar is a strictly vegetarian town.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/yoris-daily-news-clips/pushkar-new-mecca-for-israelis-even-has-chabad-missionaries/2012/07/05/

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