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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

French Jewish Candidate Reveals Threats

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

A Jewish politician in Marseille said he and his family received death threats amid a string of anti-Semitic incidents coinciding with municipal elections in France.

Hagay Sobol, a City Council candidate on the Socialist Party list in the final round of elections to be held Sunday, revealed on his Facebook page earlier this week that he had received the threats from an unknown person claiming to be a centrist political activist calling himself “Simon Hanavi.” Sobol said the man threatened to harm him and his family.

One of the threats appeared on Sobol’s Facebook page and read, “When this election is over, God will take care of traitor like you,” according to the news site alyaexpress-news.com. Sobol also said he received threats texted to his phone and has filed a police complaint.

He added that the perpetrator said he was a member of the UMP centrist party, “but there are strong doubts this is true,” Sobol wrote, explaining that the language and style used were typical of the extreme right.

France’s far-right National Front, whose founder and honorary president Jean-Marie Le Pen has a history of anti-Semitic statements and Holocaust denials, has made unprecedented gains in the first round of elections and is now leading in eight cities and towns.

The party won outright in one northern town and made it to the second round in 200 municipalities — gains that have prompted the Union of Jewish French Students to call on voters to mobilize against the National Front Party. Turnout in the first round was 60 percent, which is considered low.

The union also called on candidates who came in third in the eight cities where the  National Front is leading to withdraw from the race in favor of the candidates who finished second to help defeat the National Front in the second round of polling. On Tuesday, a Socialist candidate in Perpignan, Jacques Cresta, withdrew from the race to improve the chances of his UMP rival against the National Front.

Separately, the northern Toulouse suburb of Agen saw dozens of buildings covered with racist graffiti slogans, including “Jews and Arabs out, all of you to the oven.”

French Anti-Semites Beat Paris Teacher Wearing a Kippa

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Anti-Semites in Paris beat up a 59-year-old teacher wearing a kippa after he walked out of a kosher restaurant last week, the European Jewish Press (EJP) reported Monday.

The man was hospitalized for facial injuries after he was insulted and attacked by three thugs whom the victim described as ‘’young, wearing light colored hats dressed in jeans and of North African origin.”

Three days earlier, thousands of people rallied in central Paris against anti-Semitism.

The attackers started shouted at him, ” Death to the Jews, dirty Jew, dirty son of a b—–,’’ as well as expressions in Arabic he didn’t understood.

They “hit him several times in the face before opening his shirt to draw on his chest with a marker a swastika,’’ a source close to the police investigation said. The attackers fled after an elderly person appeared on the scene.

Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe condemned the aggression. ”This act of unspeakable cowardice is a betrayal of the foundation of the Republic and the values of Paris,’’ he said in a press statement. The anti-Semitic incident comes three days after around 10,000 people gathered in Paris, at the initiative of CRIF, the umbrella group of Jewish organizations in France, to say ‘’no to Jew-hatred’’ as they commemorate the murder two years ago of four people, including three children, in a Jewish school in Toulouse.

Jewish Man Assaulted with Taser Gun Outside Paris Synagogue

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Two unidentified men wielding a taser gun assaulted a Jewish man Monday night at a building next to a synagogue, according to the French Jewish  JSSnews.com website.

The victim was identified as K. Sassoun, a 52-year-old Israeli, and he filed a complaint for racial hate crime and assault with Paris police.

The perpetrators fled from the scene immediately after the act. Sassoun did not sustain serious physical injuries but required medical treatment after being knocked down by the taser gun, which sends electric currents that usually incapacitate targets or render them unconscious for several minutes.

One of the perpetrators was black, according to an unnamed witness who reported the incident to the National Bureau for Vigilance against anti-Semitism,  a Drancy-based not-for-profit watchdog known locally by its French acronym, BNVCA.

“The perpetrators assaulted the victim for no other reason than his clothing and appearance, which identified him as being Jewish, and the fact that he was near a Jewish place of worship,” BNVCA said in a statement.

The neighborhood used to be the center of Jewish life in Paris and is considered its historic Jewish quarter.

According to BNVCA, the assault was part of a spate of hate crimes against Jews this month.

On Saturday, a group of teenagers hurled stones at a Jewish institution in Sarcelles near Paris and shouted “death to Jews.” On Friday, BNVCA learned that a school bus full of Jewish students was pelted with stones by teenagers in Paris.

And on Sunday, several people chanted anti-Semitic slogans at a young Jewish woman near a Jewish studies center in Strasbourg. One of the chants was “Merah max” – a reference to Mohammed Merah, an Islamist who killed four Jews in Toulouse in 2012.

Earlier this month, the French Jewish community’s watchdog organization, SPCJ, released a report that counted 423 anti-Semitic incidents in France in 2013. The figure was a 31-percent decrease from the previous year, but was still higher by eight percent than the number of incidents recorded in 2011.

Arab Men Beat French Jew on Paris Train

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Four unidentified Arab men savagely beat a French Jew in a Paris Metro train, a watchdog organization reported.

The attack happened Sunday as the train was traveling from Nogent Sur Marne to Gare de Lyon, according to the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA.

Two of the attackers held down the 28-year-old victim, who was identified only as A. Levy, while a third strangled him and beat his face, BNVCA said on its website Monday. The report said Levy sustained some injuries but did not specify.

His attackers shouted the Arab word for “Jews” before attacking Levy, who is a religious Jew belonging to the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, the report said. One of them also told him: “Jew, we are going to lay into you, you have no country,” according to the report.

They stopped assaulting Levy after one of the passengers said loudly that the police were coming, according to BNVCA.

The suspected attackers got off the Metro at the Chatelet-les Halles station in the heart of the French capital. Levy stayed on the train and filed a police complaint for aggravated assault at Gare de Lyon, the report said.

On Sunday, the SPCJ monitor unit of the French Jewish community reported in its annual summary that it had recorded 423 anti-Semitic incidents in France during 2013. The figure constitutes a 31-percent decrease over the previous year, but is still eight percent higher than in 2011.

Seventh Hanukkah Candle to Be Lit in Seven Nations Simultaneously

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Immigrants to Israel from seven countries will light Hanukkah candles Tuesday night simultaneously with Jews in seven other countries in a ceremony organized by the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption and The Jewish Agency for Israel.

The candle lighting in Israel will take place at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, where 300 young olim  from France, Ethiopia, the United States, Yemen, Latvia, Latin America, and the Bnei Menashe community of India will be joined by Jews lighting at the same time in Paris, London, Moscow, Kiev, Tashkent and Budapest.

The event will be broadcast live  here at 3:30 p.m. Israel time (8:30 a.m. EST).

Gunman On the Loose in France

Monday, November 18th, 2013

France police are scouring Paris and surrounding areas for a lone gunman who critically wounded a leftwing newspaper’s assistant to a photojournalist Monday, days after gunman broke into CNN’s affiliate and threatened journalists before fleeing. It is not known if the threat on Friday and Monday’s shooting are connected.

The French daily Liberation in Paris said the man entered its offices on Monday with a shotgun and fired twice, hitting the 27-year-old victim in the chest. The gunman later opened fire in front of bank high-rise without injuring anyone.

The Interior Ministry ordered police deployment at offices of all French newspapers.

France’s Soaring Antisemitism Brings Out the Jewish Defense League

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

By Cnaan Liphshiz

With scooter helmets in hand, Yohan and six buddies stroll around Paris’ 20th Arrondissement looking much like a typical group of French students — until they locate a group of Arab men they suspect of perpetrating an antisemitic attack the previous day.

Using their helmets as bludgeons, members of France’s Jewish Defense League, or LDJ, set upon the Arabs and beat them. Several of the Arabs attempt to escape in a blue sedan, but the LDJ members pursue the vehicle, causing it to crash into a stone wall.

The attack last August, filmed by a television crew shooting a documentary on LDJ, was one of at least 115 violent incidents that critics attribute to the group since its registration in France in 2001 — a year after the eruption of the second intifada in Israel and the sevenfold increase in antisemitic incidents in the 12 years that followed.

“Now they know the price of Jewish blood,” said Yohan—the nom de guerre of Joseph Ayache, one of LDJ’s young leaders.

An offshoot of the American Jewish Defense League, which was founded in New York by the Rabbi Meir Kahane, LDJ engages in sometimes violent reprisals to antisemitic attacks.

The group, which numbers about 300 members, is now on a collision course with France’s Jewish establishment, which has condemned its activities and threatened a lawsuit.

LDJ is ratcheting up its deterrent potential by showcasing its activities following the murder of Jewish school children in Toulouse last year by the a Muslim.

LDJ traditionally shied away from media attention. But in the weeks after the Toulouse killings, which were then followed by a 58 percent increase in attacks on Jews in France, LDJ for the first time allowed a television crew to tag along on a number of guerrilla operations.

In addition to the helmet assault, Ayache was filmed calling for revenge killings in posters he and his group posted around central Paris. When a police car came by, Ayache told officers that he and his friends were working on an art project. The police officers wished him a pleasant evening and drove away.

Ayache also was filmed attempting to storm a performance of the antisemitic comedian Dieudonne.

“Since when is it illegal to run?” Ayache told the police after they detained him.

Another sequence shows Ayache firing a pistol at a shooting range.

“We’ve noticed the Muslim community believes LDJ is some vast machine that operates with impunity and gets help from Mossad,” said an LDJ spokesman who goes by the alias Amnon Cohen. “It’s not true, but it’s not a bad thing if they are scared. It’ll make them think twice.”

LDJ’s growing assertiveness has further strained the group’s already tense relationship with the CRIF, the umbrella body of French Jewish communities.

In April, CRIF’s former president, Richard Prasquier, said he would sue LDJ for defamation for posting a photograph on its website depicting him with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The caption accuses Prasquier of “pardoning [a] killer”:

Richard Prasquier + Abass

LDJ, meanwhile, has accused CRIF of being undemocratic, obsolete and ineffective.

“We operate outside and independently, and that creates opposition within the establishment, which is run by men and women who mean well but don’t know the painful reality of the Jewish rank and file in Paris’ suburbs and poor neighborhoods,” Cohen said.

“There are hundreds of French and Belgian Muslims fighting in the Syrian civil war. When they return, do you think they will be scared of a couple guards trained by the community?”

CRIF declined to comment.

Earlier this month, LDJ announced that its “soldiers” had put a young Arab in the hospital in a coma, “a rapid and effective response” to the man’s attack on Jews at Saint-Mande, just east of Paris.

The announcement drew calls to ban LDJ. As criticism mounted, LDJ retracted the statement and denied any involvement in the violence.

Cohen told JTA the person who published the “false statement” had been removed from the group and that the violence actually resulted from a drug deal gone sour. A spokesperson for the Saint-Mande municipality confirmed that account.

Still, the events at Saint-Mande resulted in a public row between LDJ and CRIF, which on June 4 blamed LDJ for the violence at Saint Mande and for subsequent calls “to take revenge against the Jews.”

Army Radio: French Officers Train Syrian Rebels in Jordan, Turkey

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Sources familiar with the events in Syria have told Israel Army Radio on Wednesday morning that military officers from France have been training Syrian rebels in Jordan and Turkey. The information reveals a picture whereby the government in Paris is the most active among Western nations in attempting to topple Assad

The French military officers are instructing the Syrian rebels on the use of the advanced weapons with which they’ve been supplied, in Jordanian and Turkish territories.

The information indicates that Paris is the life and soul of the Western campaign to topple the Assad regime. The French also work hard at the “Geneva Conference 2″ to resolve the situation in Syria, although chances are low that it will indeed take place.

French intelligence officers are coordinating their activities with their Saudi counterparts, who invested large sums of money in funding the rebels. Over the past two weeks, since the fall of the city of Kosiir into the hands of President Bashar Assad’s army, the French have held several meetings with representatives of Saudi intelligence and Turkish security systems executives, to coordinate their actions, especially in light of the approaching battle over control of Aleppo.

A frequent participant in these coordination meetings is Brigadier General Salim Idriss, commander of the largest rebel army, the Free Syrian Army.

France and Saudi Arabia have marked Brigadier General Idriss as their Man among the rebels, and he is provided with the bulk of arms and ammunition coming in from the west.

Brigadier General Idris is a former Syrian army officer, originally from the city of Homs, who was given the top position only six months ago. He is known for his opposition to the Jihadist organizations that are currently fighting in Syria.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/army-radio-french-officers-train-syrian-rebels-in-jordan-turkey/2013/06/19/

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