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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘London’

Pro-Israel Students Penned-in “like Warsaw Ghetto” on UK Campus

Friday, October 28th, 2016

An Israeli speaker’s talk at a London college campus scheduled for this week was canceled on Wednesday. Why? Because, according to the cancelation notice sent by the student union, “there had been controversy” when he spoke at the campus two years prior, and the hosting organization failed to disclose that when the room was booked for the talk.

After cries of suppression of speech and vehement protests, the university stepped in and “un”canceled the talk. Hen Mazzig’s talk at University College, London, was reinstated. It would take place, as scheduled, on Thursday evening, Oct. 27.

The response by the anti-Israel mob was swift and the attack was vicious. A protest was called. Outside the room where Mazzig was scheduled to speak, livid demonstrators screamed for murder and the end of Israel. “Intifada, Intifada!” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” They barred the entrance to the talk while pummeling the doors and windows, leering malevolently. Two thugs yanked open a window, hurling themselves into the room, launching several students inside into panic attacks. A woman inside kept repeating: “This is like the Warsaw Ghetto!”

UK protesters barreling through the window at Hen Mazzig event

UK protesters barreling through the window at Hen Mazzig event

Anti-Israel students yelling and banging on windows at Hen Mazzig UCL event. Oct. 27, 2016

Anti-Israel students yelling and banging on windows at Hen Mazzig UCL event. Oct. 27, 2016

The prelude and the coda of this minuet reveals volumes about the campus wars being waged against anything Israel these days.

Let’s start at the beginning: Hen (pronounced Khen, with the throat-scraping sound most non-Israelis find unpronounceable) Mazzig is a 27 year old Israeli who completed his army service four years ago. Since that time Mazzig has been speaking to audiences, especially on U.S. college campuses, about Israel. Mazzig is an educator who wants non-Israelis to understand his tiny country and his fellow countrymen. He is soft-spoken with a recognizable, but comprehensible, Israeli accent.

When Mazzig first started speaking to college students back in 2013, he was shocked by the vitriol directed against Israel by some American college students, professors and community members. Even Jewish ones.

In 2013, Mazzig wrote an epic cri de coeur, calling on American Jews to “Wake Up!” He was horrified to learn that Israel’s enemies are not just the hostile Arab nations surrounding his tiny country. “It is also here in America, where a battle must be waged against prejudice and lies. I implore American Jews to do more.”

This time around Mazzig is more sanguine about the atmosphere on U.S. campuses. He told the JewishPress.com that he is “happy that I was able to bring my voice into the conversation, to help raise  awareness.”

There is now ample funding to fight the scourge he urged Jewish leadership to recognize a few years back, the movement known as BDS, Mazzig told the JewisPress.com.  But the recognition of BDS as a symptom of the underlying illness is still too attenuated, including by Jewish leadership. “BDS is only a symptom of the disease which is the same old hatred – anti-Semitism.”

That hatred of Jews and, by extension the Jewish state, is what fuels BDS and other symptoms is made clear by the response to Mazzig in London last night.

The original effort to shut down Thursday night’s speech was based on a “controversy” surrounding a talk he gave in 2014 at Kings College, London. But that controversy was one created solely by anti-Israel protesters, not by Mazzig. In fact, the video and public statement posted by the protesters reveal that disrupting Mazzig’s talk and the walkout were planned in advance. The protest was not about anything Mazzig said — it was about the fact that any former IDF soldier was allowed to speak on campus at all.

Again at Thursday night’s event the protest was fueled simply by anti-Israel animus. Pro-Israel female students were assaulted on their way to the event. Many who sought entrance to the speech were barred by the protesters, those who gained admittance were prevented from leaving without a choreographed police escort.

But here’s the rub: while the haters did their best to prevent him from speaking, they did so without realizing that in his message and in his essence, Mazzig is the ultimate slayer of untruths about Israel.

For one thing, Mazzig’s family hails from Tunisia and Iraq – he is one of those “brown bodies” people love to claim Israel oppresses. For another thing, Mazzig was an openly gay commander in the Israeli army, where being gay raises no eyebrows, let alone scaffolds. Next on the list: Mazzig served in the COGAT unit. COGAT works with the Palestinian Authority to coordinate activities in order to improve the lives of the Arabs living in the territories.

During his IDF service Mazzig focused on protecting everyone, “coordinating humanitarian aid, and tending to the needs of civilians” living in the territories, Jewish and Arab, he explained. Mazzig and his unit worked feverishly “in a special operation conducted in the middle of the night” to unite an Arab Gazan orphan with an uncle in Ramallah, so that the boy “would not be left alone on the streets of the Gaza Strip.”

And the title of Mazzig’s speech at UCL, back in 2014? “The Hope for Peace: Promoting Peace While in Uniform.”

When the thugs were pounding on the doors and windows and shouting that Mazzig is a “murderer,” they were, albeit unknowingly, attempting to silence a speaker who understands Israel in ways they really must prevent the world from learning about. Otherwise, anyone who is not automatically a hater will realize that the throngs of illiberal thugs attempting to block free speech are the real roadblocks to peace.

Speaking from London following the event, Mazzig told the JewishPress.com:

I was standing in the room, trying to calm the Jewish students, while the mob outside was banging on the doors, on the windows, and calling for intifada. I knew this was not normal, nobody should have to endure this.

But neither Mazzig nor his talk’s sponsor, the media watchdog group CAMERA, were deterred.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Israeli Embassy in UK Slams Event Hosted by House of Lords Blaming Jews for Holocaust

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

The Israel Embassy in London has condemned an event hosted by the House of Lords at the Palestine Return Center which also co-hosted the “Balfour Apology Campaign” launched ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

The event, which calls on Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration and show remorse for its “past colonial crimes in Palestine,” also blamed Jews for the Holocaust, and compared the Jewish State to the Islamic State, or Da’esh (ISIS).

The Balfour Declaration was the document which in 1917 pledged British support for a Jewish homeland in what was then called Palestine, the Roman name for the land referred to in the Bible as “Eretz Israel,” the Land of Israel.

The session, run by Baroness Tonge, an independent MP who was formerly a Liberal Democrat, was held to launch the Balfour Apology Campaign ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

“This Islamic State in Syria is nothing with Islamic. It is a perversion of Islam just as Zionism is a perversion of Judaism,” said a member of the audience at the event.

A second audience member said, “If anybody is anti-Semitic, it’s the Israelis themselves,” with panel members applauding in response.

Blogger David Collier, who attended the event, said he had “witnessed a Jew-hating festival.”

Hana Levi Julian

UK, Iran Exchange Ambassadors After 5-Year Hiatus

Monday, September 5th, 2016

The United Kingdom has exchanged ambassadors with Iran for the first time in five years.

The last British ambassador fled Tehran in 2011 when a mob stormed the British embassy in the Iranian capital and tore it apart.

The ISNA Iranian state news agency announced the appointment of Hamid Baeidinejad, 53, as the new Iranian envoy to London.

At the same time, the British charges d’affairs in the Iranian capital, Nicholas Hopton, was promoted to the post of UK Ambassador to Tehran.

Britain was one of the first nations to send diplomats to Iran after the July 2015 signing of the nuclear deal with Iran by six world powers in Vienna.

Hana Levi Julian

DM Liberman to Meet With US, UK Counterparts in London

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is set to meet Tuesday in London with U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, although the agenda has not been made public.

Defense Ministry officials said the two men will discuss “a series of matters” but revealed nothing else.

Liberman met with Carter at the Pentagon on June 20, when the two “reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Israeli defense relationship and the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security,” according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Carter and Liberman also discussed regional security challenges in the Middle East and “areas of mutual defense cooperation,” according to the statement.

Liberman also attended the Lockheed Martin roll out ceremony for the F-35 fighter planes purchased by the Israeli air force — the first of which is expected to arrive in Israel in December. The defense minister also toured an Elbit Systems plant and met in New York with the defense ministry purchasing delegation.

While in London, Liberman is also set to meet with UK Defense Minister Michael Fallon following his talks with Carter.

Hana Levi Julian

10 United Flight Passengers Hurt Due to ‘Severe, Unexpected Turbulence’

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Severe and unexpected turbulence on United Airlines Flight #880 from Houston to London’s Heathrow Airport left 10 passengers and two crew members so badly injured they required hospitalization in Ireland.

The pilot was forced to make an emergency landing early Wednesday morning at Shannon Airport in Ireland, where the injured were taken to University Hospital in Limerick for treatment, officials said.

The Boeing 767, carrying 207 passengers, landed safely at 5:55 a.m. local time, with ambulances on hand to meet the flight on the tarmac. “All have since been discharged, except for one of our flight attendants,” the airline said in a statement.

A Colorado business passenger told NBC News, “Things flew all over the cabin and kitchen area. One attendant [cracked] the side of her head and was bleeding.” He added that his own shoulders were “really really hurting from grabbing on to the arm rest during those altitude declines.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israir Moving Service Hub to Sderot

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

Domestic airline Israir is moving its phone center to the town of Sderot, near the Gaza Strip border, Army Radio reported. Israir CEO David Kaminitz said the new phone center is expected to employ 40 locals, with plans to double their number depending on future needs.

Sderot, a.k.a. Bomb Shelter Capital of the World, is located less than a mile from the Gaza border (the nearest point is only about 840 yards) has been a constant target of Qassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip since 2001. These attacks have killed 13 Israelis, wounded dozens, caused millions of dollars in damage and profoundly disrupted daily life. Studies have found that air raid sirens and explosions have caused severe psychological trauma in some residents. At least 75 percent of the children in Sderot suffer from post-traumatic stress, including sleeping disorders and severe anxiety. From mid-June 2007 to mid-February 2008, 771 rockets and 857 mortar shells were fired at Sderot and the western Negev, an average of three or four each a day.

Meanwhile Israir has announced new international destinations this Jewish holiday season, flying for the first time to London, Belgrade, Saloniki, Madrid, Ljubljana and Munich.

Vice President of Marketing and Sales Gil Stav said Israir is taking advantage of the fact that the Jewish holidays fall in October this year, spelling a higher demand for tourism packages.

David Israel

American Woman Killed, 5 Injured, Including Israeli, in Posh Central London Slashing by Somali-Norwegian

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Officials are calling it a “spontaneous attack” but a Somali national with Norwegian citizenship stabbed to death a 60-year-old American woman Wednesday night and wounded five others, including one Israeli in a high-end section of central London.

The unidentified killer launched his rampage at about 10:30 pm in London’s elegant Russell Square, a park located close to the site of a July 2005 bombing by radical Islamist terrorists. One of the bombs in the coordinated bombing attack that killed 52 people detonated on a bus close to Russell Square.

The injured included an Israeli woman as well as a second U.S. citizen, an Australian national, and a local British citizen.

The killer, a Somali with Norwegian citizenship emigrated from the Scandinavian country in 2002. But it’s not clear whether he headed straight to the UK or made any other stops along the way, according to Norway’s National Criminal Service, CNN reported.

London Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley told reporters, “So far we have found no evidence of radicalization,” Reuters reported. Rowley added the investigation is focusing on mental health issues at present.

Police arrived within six minutes of being called to the scene and used a taser to bring the 19-year-old killer under control. He was taken into custody and subsequently arrested on suspicion of murder.

The site is also located in the heart of the university area, and is close to the British Museum and other famous landmarks.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan urged residents in the capital to report anything suspicious to the police.

“The safety of all Londoners is my number one priority, and my heart goes out to the victims of the incident in Russell Square and their loved ones,” Khan said.

Officials meanwhile increased the security presence around the city by some 600 armed police.

London counter-terror police officials warned the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization has been attempting to radicalize those with mental health issues, with the goal of using them as operatives in terror attacks.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/american-woman-killed-5-injured-including-israeli-in-posh-central-london-slashing-by-somali-norwegian/2016/08/04/

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