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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Israeli Embassy’

Singaporean Who Defied Boycott on Israel Visits the Holy Land

Friday, May 20th, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Over 40 years after breaking the local boycott against Israel and offering to house a makeshift Israeli embassy on his personal property, Singaporean businessman Seow Kee Quek visited the Jewish state for the first time this week.

“I am now 70 years old. It took me about 41 years to get to the place that I gave a small help to,” Quek told Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

The ‘small help’ refers to Quek’s bold decision to rent space in the 1970s to the Israeli government on the 4th floor of the Oversea Union Bank building, owned by the Quek family – a prominent family in the island city-state. As a landlord, Quek even took a loss in forgoing “high returns” on the rent, he told TPS.

“None of the major property owners wanted to permit a space and every single one was afraid of local terrorism and backlash by the Muslim community,” explained Rodney Rahmani, a Jewish American friend and business partner of Quek who joined him on his visit to Israel.

“Mr. Seow Kee Quek personally stepped up and against the entire old money establishment in Singapore, made his opinion known that it is the duty and obligation of all Christians and moral people of the world to stand with Israel,” Rahmani added.

“I was frankly a little bit worried,” Quek told TPS. “But I knew that with God’s help nothing bad would happen.”

The building at 15 Scotts Road was chosen for the new Israeli contingent, Quek explained, because it housed “a bank and a vault underneath, and it was secure.”

Quek, a member of Singapore’s Christian minority, described the tumultuous period of conflict after Singapore’s founding in 1965 amid violence with the country’s Muslim neighbors, Malaysia and Indonesia.

“There was bombing at the time in Singapore,” Quek said. “We had lots of trouble, and Israel was in the center of it, actually.”

The founding prime minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, revealed in his autobiography how Israel had been instrumental in creating the Singapore Armed Forces. Following its independence in November 1965, Singapore turned to several countries with a request for military consultants and material aid, including India, Egypt, and the United Kingdom. However, only Israel consented to help the newly formed nation, wrote Lee Kuan Yew.

At the time, however, the Israeli involvement was a closely guarded secret. Quek recalled with a chuckle how the founding prime minister spoke in interviews of “Mexicans” providing the young country – when in fact the help was coming from Israel.

“He couldn’t say Israelis because we are completely surrounded by Muslims countries, and it was very sensitive,” Quek told TPS.

Things have changed since then, as evidenced by last month’s visit to Israel by Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, son of the founding prime minister.

During his trip this week, Quek visited Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem – where he met with Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan. Quek professed that he was “very surprised” to meet the rabbinically bearded Ben-Dahan.

“As a rabbi, I could hardly picture how he could be in the position of deputy defense minister,” Quek told TPS. “He looks to me like Santa Clause – he’s so saintly and so sweet and smiley. How can a man like that be put in such a serious position?” Quek wondered.

On the subject of security, Quek was quick to say that he found Israel to be a thriving and secure country. Yet he also had some words of encouragement for the Middle East’s embattled democracy in its conflict with the Palestinians.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israeli General Counseling Police Protecting Cannes Film Festival

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Cannes mayor David Lisnard commissioned from Anti-terrorism expert Brig. Gen. Res. Nitzan Nuriel a full security audit for the city of Canne as it prepares for this Wednesday’s opening of Europe’s most important and most glamorous film Festival, on the French Riviera. The mayor and French security forces are determined to prevent a repeat of last November’s murderous attack on the capital Paris.

The Cannes Film Festival which opens May 11 will run through May 22.

A spokesperson at the Alpes-Maritimes district headquarters which has jurisdiction over Cannes and Nice said Nuriel’s recommendations are being applied to strengthen control of every entry point to the town including maritime checks on Cannes bay.

Before going into business for himself, serving on the advisory boards of large scale companies such as World Patent Marketing, among other things, Nuriel had served as the Director of the Counter-Terrorism Board under the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office. He also served for many years as the Military Attaché to the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC, acting as the official liaison between Israel, the US Army, Marine Corps, Special Operations Command, FEMA, and Homeland Security.

According to The Local, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve intends to supervise the Festival’s measures, promising “the highest level of security possible given the context of the terrorist threat.”

Hollywood stars Julia Roberts, Jodi Foster, Sean Penn, Robert De Niro, Kirsten Dunst, Charlize Theron, George Clooney and Jeff Bridges are expected to be in attendance for the festivities. And so police have been training to thwart a variety of scenarios. Last month police staged a simulated terror attack on the Palais des Festivals, which shows the films competing for the Palme d’Or. They also simulated a car bomb attack on a local school.

More than 500 security personnel as well as paramilitary gendarmes will patrol the Palais des Festivals area.

Mayor Lisnard said police were ordered to “randomly search people in the street. We are taking all measures so that the festival will be both safe and popular.”

David Israel

Israeli Ambassador Sends Washington Bigwigs Settlements Gift Products

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

(JNi.media) Israel’s ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer sent senior Washington officials a series of Christmas gifts with a message which the media described as “provocative.” In a letter that came with the gift packages, Dermer wrote: “This holiday season, I decided to send a gift that would also help combat the latest effort by Israel’s enemies to destroy the one and only Jewish state. That effort is called the BDS movement — the movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. The main forces behind this movement are fanatics who actively seek to eliminate Israel. Unfortunately, they are occasionally joined by fools who believe that in promoting BDS, they are advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

The ambassador continues in this vein for several paragraphs, finally concluding: “In response to this effort to cast a beacon of freedom, tolerance and decency as a pariah state, I have decided this holiday season to send you products that were made in Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights. I hope you will enjoy them.

“May you and your family enjoy a New Year of faith and happiness.”

In response to a New York Times inquiry, the White House refused to say whether President Barack Obama also received one of the gift packages. The Israeli Embassy in Washington declined to provide information on the identity of the recipients.

“The U.S. government has never defended or supported Israeli settlements and activity associated with them and, by extension, does not pursue policies or activities that would legitimize them,” Ned Price, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said in an email.

He probably didn’t get one of those settlements gifts.

JNi.Media

Israeli Institutions in Berlin Targeted for Terror by ISIS-Inspired Germans

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Two German-born men of Palestinian Arab descent were charged in Germany with planning to attack either Israel’s embassy or another Israeli institution, according to Benjamin Weinthal, writing in the Jerusalem Post.

The two men are believed to have “been animated” by Islamic State (ISIS), according to Tobiah Kaehni, the spokesperson for Berlin’s Criminal Court.

The two 21-year-old men, identified as Mohamed El-N. and Ali El-I., are charged with “planning a massive act of violence.”

Both men were inspired by internet stories about ISIS, and assembled munitions similar to those used in terrorist attacks in Tunis. ISIS attacked a Tunisian resort hotel in June. Ali Al-I. had ISIS propaganda on his cell phone.

The state prosecutor, who opened his case against the two men on Tuesday, said Ali Al-I. was “determined to detonate explosives targeting Israel’s embassy or another Israeli institution,” Weinthal reported.

Despite the fascination with ISIS and patterning their explosives and attacks on ISIS attacks, the men did not have contact with the Middle East or contact to Salafist circles in Berlin, according to information known thus far.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Pollard’s First Wife Suing Israel

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Anne Pollard, the “forgotten” Pollard who was jailed along with her husband Jonathan but for a shorter time, is suing the Israeli government for millions of dollars for allegedly abandoning her.

Anne Pollard served 3 years and 4 months in prison, out of a five-year term, while her husband’s life sentence in jail was curtailed Friday.

She is arguing in her suit that the Mossad abandoned her and for defamation and Jonathan from the day the Israeli Embassy refused to allow them asylum.

Jonathan Pollard divorced her from his jail cell after she left prison. He then married Esther after Anne moved to Israel. She returned to the United States and then moved back to Israel in 2010.

 

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

Biden’s Foot-in-Mouth Disease Revealed at DC Yom Ha’atzmaut Event

Friday, April 24th, 2015

The official Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration held at the Israeli Embassy in the United States took place on Thursday evening, April 23.

The special guest of honor at the 67th anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence was U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

While many people scratched their heads over why Biden was at the event, those people seem to have forgotten that prior to being yoked to his current boss, Biden was considered a reliably pro-Israel U.S. Senator from the Democratic party.

The presence of such a high level representative of the U.S. government at the Israeli Embassy’s Independence Day celebration is also significant because of the extremely bad blood between the personalities of the leadership on both sides.

Ron Dermer, the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. and the host of the event is viewed with at least as much displeasure as is Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and for the same reasons, by this White House.

Both Israelis refuse to humble themselves or their nation to the dictates of this U.S. administration which has incessantly called for life-threatening concessions to the enemies surrounding it.

Dermer, a long-time and essential aide to Netanyahu, is clearly a thorn in the side of the U.S. administration. In its official editorial, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz – widely read by those who loathe Israel, but with only a tiny readership in Israel -just last week called on Netanyahu to fire Dermer.

The Haaretz editorial stated as unqualified fact – which it presumably would not do without confirmation from senior White House officials – that:

Obama’s associates, headed by National Security Advisor Susan Rice and chief of staff Denis McDonough, are ignoring Dermer. A meeting between him and Obama himself is out of the question.

So having the Vice President of the United States show up for Israel’s birthday celebration was surely seen as a way to show both the American and Israeli people that strong bonds of friendship still exist between the two nations.

Biden was at his most Bidenesque at the D.C. Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration. Which was a problem.

As soon as he started speaking, audience members began to squirm.

Obviously not realizing the sensitivity Jews have to the dangers of intermarriage, Biden proudly told everyone assembled: “Two of my three children married Jews.”

One woman who was at the celebration told the JewishPress.com that she was sitting between one woman who was the child of a Holocaust survivor and her own husband, who is also the child of a Holocaust survivor.

“Their expressions, when Biden talked – at length – about two of his Catholic children marrying Jews, was pained.”

But Biden, oblivious to the palpable discomfort, told everyone assembled that the “dream of every Irish Catholic father is for his daughter to marry a Jewish surgeon.”

Biden then went on to describe the negotiations when his daughter married a Jewish surgeon from New Jersey. He talked about how his daughter, Ashley, was to be married in the oldest Catholic Church in Delaware, but they also had a rabbi present at the church who co-officiated in the wedding.

The Vice President also explained that when the music for the wedding was chosen, he suggested a particular hymn be played as the newly-married couple left the church, but his daughter instead requested that the hora be played.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Israeli Murder Victim ‘Never Made It’ to Chabad Seder in Berlin

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

The Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in Berlin had already arranged for a place to sleep, and a place at the seder table.

But the 22-year-old Israeli man never arrived.

That Friday night, there was a lot of excitement and chaos as usual in managing a public seder. It wasn’t until early Sunday morning that Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, community rabbi of Berlin and the director of the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish Education Center found out why the young man didn’t show up.

Teichtal told the Associated Press, “A man in his early 20s came to us during the day last Friday and didn’t have a place to sleep, and didn’t have anything to eat… We arranged everything for him,” Teichtal continued, “but then he didn’t show up again.”

A fellow rabbi had indeed arranged for the young man to sleep at a community center, located near the Alexanderplatz public square in the central Mitte district of Berlin.

The location is less than a mile from where the young man’s body was found by passersby early Sunday morning, in a ruined Franciscan monastery in the central Alexanderplatz area next to a well-used exit from a subway station.

Identification was difficult to establish due to “massive injuries to his head” and severe injuries to the body, police said. But when they found a passport in the back pocket of the victim’s sweatpants, police contacted the Israeli Embassy.

Berlin police have also told journalists that three people so far have come forward and provided information in the case.

The Israel Embassy said in a statement that its Consul, Eyal Siso, received confirmation of the victim’s identity, but declined to release the details at the request of the victim’s family.

Anti-Semitism — and Israeli Immigration — Rising in Germany Between 20,000 to 30,000 Israelis have moved to Berlin over the past few years, despite the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe in general and also in Germany.

Berlin is known for its vibrant Jewish community, which has grown with the influx of Jews from Israel and elsewhere around the world.

But in 2013, there were 1,275 anti-Semitic offenses recorded in Germany, including 1,218 perpetrated by members of the extreme Right. Thirty-one incidents were attributed to foreigners, and 26 were carried out by others, according to the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism.

The number and frequency of anti-Semitic incidents across Europe is rising, in Germany as well.

Anti-Semitic Incidents Grow in 2015 In March 2015 alone, there were seven reported anti-Semitic incidents in Germany, among the many others reported elsewhere as well. Following are brief descriptions of what happened just last month in Germany:

In Offenbach, Germany, a Turkish soccer club published an ad in Turkish that included the slogan, “Don’t give your money to Jewish insurance company Allianz.” The club has since renounced the ad.

Also in March, the gate to the Jewish cemetery in the German community of Osterburg was destroyed. Vandals broke the locks so the gate cannot be closed, with a swastika carved into the metal on a Star of David. The wall was also cracked. Vehicle marks are visible on the road as well.

The same day, German neo-Nazis in “The Right” political group sent one-way flight boarding passes to Jewish organizations as a means of joining the international discussion about the security of European Jewry.

Also that day: In Murnau am Staffelsee, a vandal sprayed a swastika and the words “Arbeit macht frei” (the famous death camp slogan ‘Work sets one free”) on the ceiling of the recess hall at the city high school.

In Stralsund, an obscene form of grafitti was found scrawled on the “Haus der Gewerkschaften” (Unions House) and aimed at a picture of a Star of David. Below, the symbol for Anarchist was scrawled as well, but in different handwriting.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-murder-victim-never-made-it-to-chabad-seder-in-berlin/2015/04/08/

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