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October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘march’

Mixed Messages About Violence from the Global March to Jerusalem

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

In an interview with the Palestinian news agency Ma’an on March 19th, Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) spokesman Zaher Birawi stated that the organizers are “not interested in confrontation with the Israeli army, after similar demonstrations a year earlier ended in bloodshed”.

Whilst it is difficult to imagine exactly what sort of effective controls the GMJ organizers have been able to put in place in order to prevent their aspired one million man march from descending into violence, it should also be taken into account that a considerable number of the GMJ organizers are veterans of the flotilla project who still describe the Turkish activists aboard the IHH-sponsored Mavi Marmara in 2010 as ‘humanitarian aid workers’.

Others are members of various ‘popular resistance committees’ which define the weekly riots at places such as Bil’in and Nebi Salah as ‘non-violent protest’. The heavy involvement of Hamas and the Iranian regime in the march’s organization, together with support from Hizbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad also raises doubts as to the sincerity of the professed commitment to non-violence.

Coincidentally, the North American chapter of the GMJ has put out a new leaflet replete with messages of non-violence and invoking Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King as role models.

When compared to the original publicity put out by the GMJ organisers, it is rather obvious that someone appears to have reached the conclusion that the North American audience is in need of a somewhat softer approach.

However, over in South East Asia, audiences are apparently deemed by local GMJ organizers as being susceptible to somewhat different messages in the attempt to raise support for the project.

In Kuala Lumpur on March 18th a flashmob of students gathered in order to “create awareness on the Global March to Jerusalem.” Chairman of the Malaysian branch of the GMJ, Dr Mohd Tahir Abdul Rahman, was present at the event and made the following erroneous statement:

“Our focus is Jerusalem, where presently Muslims and Christians are denied access to their sacred places and holy places of worship by the Zionists,” he said after the flash mob today.”

The flashmob’s student organisers explained that:

“We wanted to create awareness about the oppression in Palestine by recreating scenes of the march toward Jerusalem and also show Palestinians being liberated”

As can be seen in the video of the event below, their idea of “scenes of the march toward Jerusalem” apparently includes dead Israeli soldiers.

Somebody obviously missed out on the ‘non-violence’ memo.

Clashes Expected between Marching Neo-Nazis and Protesters in Dresden Tomorrow

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Stephan Kramer, who leads the Central Council of Jews in Germany, gave his unequivocal support to planned sit-ins on the 67th anniversary of Dresden’s firebombing by the allies on February 13, 1945. The sit-ins are intended to block neo-Nazis from commemorating the event and using it as an argument against German responsibility for WWII atrocities.

According to Deutsche Welle, in 1998, far-right and neo-Nazi groups staged their demonstrations on the anniversary of Dresden’s destruction, to deny German war guilt and the Holocaust. What started with less than 100 participants grew into mass demonstrations with at least 6,500 neo-Nazis marching in the 2011 protest, dubbed the “funeral march.” The city said it expects between 1,000 and 2,000 to take part in the march this year.

The people of Dresden, as well as many from outside the city, have organized large-scale protests against the annual far-right marches. In 2011, close to 15,000 engaged in sit-ins, and formed human chains to obstruct the march’s path.

Police forcibly removed protesters, to allow skinheads and neo-Nazis access to the city streets, while the sit-ins were treated as criminal obstructions of an authorized demonstration.

Kramer called the Dresden authorities’ action last year a “reversal of justice.” The head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, also supported the “Nazi-free Dresden” movement.

Jordan’s million man march on Jerusalem

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Arab sources are reporting several injured after some members of the Jordanian ‘Million Man March’ to “liberate Jerusalem” tried to cross the Jordan-Israel border. Jordanian authorities shot tear gas at the protesters.

Arab sources are claiming 1000 buses and 100,000 protesters arrived at the Jordan Valley town of Sweimeh 50 kilometers south of Amman and two kilometers from the Jordanian-Israeli border.

For photos and more information, see this Scoop.

Boys To Men: The Fighters Who Gave Us Israel

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

The early morning air drifting off the port of Haifa passed through the tents housing the sleeping new recruits secretly based at Kibbutz Ein Shofat.

Six to a tent, the recruits woke up to the call of Abrashka, a handsome, athletic, and extremely likeable kibbutznik in charge of training.

“Everybody wake up. In ten minutes we begin the march.”

The Palmach was a fighting unit that emphasized a brand of leadership stressing quality of character – which of course inspired the volunteers to give their utmost. Rank played no part in the Palmach. Officers were called by their first names, uniforms didn’t exist and the things that mattered most were charisma, character and intelligence.

Within fifteen minutes my father and his fellow soldiers were on their first march, crossing over rough terrain. Before joining the Palmach my father had developed his remarkable leg strength by regularly biking up the extremely steep Judean hills, many times with a friend on the back of the bicycle. But now he had to deal with Abrashka, a non-stop running machine.

When Abrashka gave the order to run, the 35-man platoon did just that, doing their best to keep up with him.

Dawn gave way to the sun rising over the eastern horizon, illuminating the majestic landscape and invigorating the platoon to run faster. The whispers of generations of exiled and martyred souls could be heard in the breeze, calling them to make real the dream.

Sweat poured down their faces, but the recruits would never disclose their intense discomfort and pain. Like a master craftsman, Abrashka had begun to mold them. They may have been infused with a strong desire to serve, but the new recruits had no idea just how drastically their lives were about to change.

Dedicated boys were about to be transformed into men of valor.

The inherent qualities the Palmach sought to instill in each recruit were starting to take shape – stamina, stoic outlook, tolerance of pain, selflessness, courage, humility, and a soldier’s honor as opposed to a fool’s pride.

The first march had come to its end and the fatigued men returned to their tents. Morning had arrived, and my father was about to enter the underground life of the Palmach fighter.

The men of the Palmach, stationed in kibbutzim and assuming the role of kibbutz members to avoid British capture, underwent military training while doing farm work 14 days a month to support themselves.

The days were hard – unrelenting work and training – but the nights were a magical blend of stars above and campfires below, Palmachnik fighters singing impromptu songs, drinking coffee, telling jokes, and dreaming of the moment the exile would end and the Children of Israel would return home.

As the weeks passed my father, Motke, and his new companions learned how to handle weapons and mastered face-to-face (krav panim el panim) combat, stick fighting, jumping and rope climbing.

The fighting methods taught were original and geared to the realities of Mandatory Palestine. But before the unit was allowed to undertake its first mission, one more of Abrashka’s runs had to be endured.

The march began early in the morning. Abrashka gave the command to run and the unit responded like a well-oiled machine. Suddenly my father felt something in his foot. The pain was excruciating, but he knew if he stopped or slowed down, morale would be broken.

At that moment, the Palmach spirit Abrashka had so relentlessly worked on kicked into place. Step after step, mile after mile, my father focused on the platoon rather than on himself – a technique all Palmachniks utilized when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Only when the twenty-mile march-run had come to an end did my father allow himself to relax. He took off his shoe. His foot, bleeding profusely, had a nail in it.

The Palmach lived and fought by the motto Po Lo Maznichim Chever – Here We Don’t Leave a Friend Behind. The dedication of these young Jewish warriors was something beyond mere Zionist aspirations. They were ready and willing to part with limbs and even life itself to fulfill the dreams of their ancestors, to redeem the millions of Jews lost in the Holocaust.

March 16 – 66th Anniversary Of Krakow Ghetto Liquidation

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

     A few-hundred Kracovians and guests from abroad, including Israel, participated in the annual March of Remembrance. Ghetto survivors, representatives of local authorities, diplomats (including Ann Hall, U.S. Consul General in Krakow and David Peleg, Israeli Ambassador in Poland) and many “ordinary people” came to commemorate those who were killed in the ghetto during WW II. We walked from the former Umschlagplatz in Podgorze to the site of former KL Plaszow.

 

 



Israeli Ambassador, David Peleg, at the remnants of the ghetto walls.


 

 

    The March of Remembrance was inaugurated in early 80s by a group of people who later founded the Jewish Culture Festival Society. It was a very small, semi-private way of commemorating forgotten victims of the Krakow Ghetto. Throughout the years the march kept growing and became Krakow’s central event commemorating the Holocaust.

 

 



Rabbi Edgar Gluck recites Kaddish at the monument for murdered Jews.


 

 

   Among those who participated in the march this year were Jew and non-Jews, survivors and their neighbors, people of different professions, ages and backgrounds. In recent years, there are more and more visitors from Israel coming especially to the March of Remembrance. In many cases this is the first time they have returned to their former homeland since the Shoah. Quite a few came with members of their families and friends.

 

 



Representatives of local authorities and Rabbi Edgar Gluck


 

 

   For those who have been involved in the organization of the march from the very beginning, there is one very important element. Although it has become an official event, the march has not lost its spontaneous character and is first of all a manifestation of feelings of each individual attending the March of Remembrance.

 

 


The monument at the Plaszow concentration camp in Krakow

 

 


  Correction – Last week the caption on two of the pictures in this column were inadvertently switched, Rabbi Michael Schudrich was seen reading the Megillahin Warsaw and Rabbi Gluck was seen with a member of his congregation in Krakow after reading the Megillah.

?Cease-Fire? Spreads To Jordan As Arabs Kill Jew In Amman

Friday, September 7th, 2001

The Middle East ?cease-fire? spread this week to Jordan when an Israeli was shot to death in Amman Monday night. The victim, a diamond merchant in his 50s, was gunned down as he left an apartment he apparently maintained in the Jordanian capital.

In a statement called in to Abu Dhabi television, a group identifying itself as the Islamic Jordanian Resistance Movement took credit for the killing.

Palestinian boy aims gun at image of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during march of over 500 Arab children on August 7 in Hebron. The gun is real.
AFP / Hossam Abu Alan
Palestinian boy aims gun at image of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during march of over 500 Arab children on August 7 in Hebron. The gun is real.


Back in Israel, Tehiya Bloomberg, five months pregnant, was slain by terrorists as she drove with her husband, Shimon, three of the couple?s five children and a hitchhiker on the Azoun bypass road Sunday night.

In the attack that killed their wife and mother,Shimon Bloomberg sustained bullet wounds to his face and chest and 14-year-oldTzippi Bloomberg was shot in the waist. Both were recovering after surgery at Beilinson Hospital, though a family spokesperson told reporters that Tzippi?s doctors were concerned about possible spinal damage.

Tehiya was buried Tuesday in Karnei Shomron, the community where the family had resided for the past 11 years.

?Shimon was unable to speak, but he moved his eyes and told me he knew about his wife and requested that the funeral take place in Karnei Shomron,? said a rabbi from the community, Dov Oron, who visited Bloomberg in the hospital.

The killing continued Tuesday when an Israeli motorist was shot as he drove near the northern Samaria community of Alfei Menashe.

Meanwhile, Israel?s policy of targeting terrorists for assassination came under criticism from Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher, who called Prime Minister Ariel Sharon?s government a ?gang of assassins.?

?Israel?s policy violates all laws and conventions,? said Maher in Cairo on Monday. ?It is unprecedented for a government to become a gang which assassinates people, which uses the methods of gangs in assassinating people.

?This behavior has put peace in the region in danger and put the interests of all countries in the region, the United States and the West, in danger,?? he said.

The woman killed Sunday, Tehiya Bloomberg, was a nurse whom neighbors and acquaintances described as someone ?always ready to help others,? a woman who no matter how busy or preoccupied ?made sure to greet everyone with a wide smile on her face.?

Shimon Bloomberg, originally from London, had made aliyah about 20 years ago, said a family friend. The friend said Shimon is employed by Israel Aircraft Industries and serves as a gabai at the local synagogue. His parents and a brother still live in England and were expected to arrive in Israel during the week to visit their son and brother.

?Shimon and Tehiya were so excited with the new baby It is hard to come to terms with such a tragedy,? said Rina Gruber, a friend of the Bloomberg family shortly before Tehiya was buried.

?Cease-Fire? Spreads To Jordan As Arabs Kill Jew In Amman

Friday, September 7th, 2001

The Middle East ?cease-fire? spread this week to Jordan when an Israeli was shot to death in Amman Monday night. The victim, a diamond merchant in his 50s, was gunned down as he left an apartment he apparently maintained in the Jordanian capital.

In a statement called in to Abu Dhabi television, a group identifying itself as the Islamic Jordanian Resistance Movement took credit for the killing.

Palestinian boy aims gun at image of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during march of over 500 Arab children on August 7 in Hebron. The gun is real.
AFP / Hossam Abu Alan
Palestinian boy aims gun at image of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during march of over 500 Arab children on August 7 in Hebron. The gun is real.


Back in Israel, Tehiya Bloomberg, five months pregnant, was slain by terrorists as she drove with her husband, Shimon, three of the couple?s five children and a hitchhiker on the Azoun bypass road Sunday night.

In the attack that killed their wife and mother,Shimon Bloomberg sustained bullet wounds to his face and chest and 14-year-oldTzippi Bloomberg was shot in the waist. Both were recovering after surgery at Beilinson Hospital, though a family spokesperson told reporters that Tzippi?s doctors were concerned about possible spinal damage.

Tehiya was buried Tuesday in Karnei Shomron, the community where the family had resided for the past 11 years.

?Shimon was unable to speak, but he moved his eyes and told me he knew about his wife and requested that the funeral take place in Karnei Shomron,? said a rabbi from the community, Dov Oron, who visited Bloomberg in the hospital.

The killing continued Tuesday when an Israeli motorist was shot as he drove near the northern Samaria community of Alfei Menashe.

Meanwhile, Israel?s policy of targeting terrorists for assassination came under criticism from Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher, who called Prime Minister Ariel Sharon?s government a ?gang of assassins.?

?Israel?s policy violates all laws and conventions,? said Maher in Cairo on Monday. ?It is unprecedented for a government to become a gang which assassinates people, which uses the methods of gangs in assassinating people.

?This behavior has put peace in the region in danger and put the interests of all countries in the region, the United States and the West, in danger,?? he said.

The woman killed Sunday, Tehiya Bloomberg, was a nurse whom neighbors and acquaintances described as someone ?always ready to help others,? a woman who no matter how busy or preoccupied ?made sure to greet everyone with a wide smile on her face.?

Shimon Bloomberg, originally from London, had made aliyah about 20 years ago, said a family friend. The friend said Shimon is employed by Israel Aircraft Industries and serves as a gabai at the local synagogue. His parents and a brother still live in England and were expected to arrive in Israel during the week to visit their son and brother.

?Shimon and Tehiya were so excited with the new baby It is hard to come to terms with such a tragedy,? said Rina Gruber, a friend of the Bloomberg family shortly before Tehiya was buried.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/cease-fire-spreads-to-jordan-as-arabs-kill-jew-in-amman-2/2001/09/07/

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