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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

After Sandy, Volunteers Crisscross Manhattan to Help

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

In a nearly dark corner of lower Manhattan, in an area otherwise known as Tribeca, Rabbi Zalman Paris stands tall, cellular phone in hand, to answer another call from a young volunteer eager to offer assistance. Days after Hurricane Sandy left millions across New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey without electricity, food or water, there are plenty of people who want to help victims and their communities recover.

From his window, Paris, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Tribeca and SoHo, watched the storm hurl itself into the homes and lives of residents nearby. The storm prevented him from venturing outdoors, but the moment he was able to, the rabbi assembled a plan and a team to help his neighbors.

“Many organizations have joined us in our efforts to help those in need during this hard time,” he said.

Paris partnered with Rabbi Levi Shmotkin of Chabad Young Professionals, Ari Teman of JCorps, and Julie Menin, a candidate for Manhattan Borough President.

“We brought in a paramedic to aid the elderly, who with no way out of their buildings needed immediate medical attention,” Shmotkin relayed.

Menin detailed that she kept the 10,000 people on her contact list updated by email.

“People would email that they needed food, water, diapers and baby formula. I then sent an email blast to Rabbi Paris,” said Menin.

All told, more than 100 volunteers traversed lower Manhattan, crisscrossing the city’s streets to visit nearly 3,000 apartment units in one day alone.

One longtime JCorps volunteer named Jillian described her experience as “eye opening.” More than 100 volunteers assisted the Tribeca effort.

“Today we visited some housing developments of the lower east side to bring food and water to the elderly and disabled citizens who are without,” she said. “You really become thankful for what you do have during a time like this.”

With the Sabbath approaching, they are hoping that the electricity will be restored.

“We may not have power, but we will definitely be spending the Sabbath with the many people and volunteers who are here with us,” said Paris. “Although many fled the neighborhood prior to the storm, our focus was on those that didn’t have anywhere to go.”

Netanyahu Goes to Paris, Will Meet with President Hollande, Visit Toulouse

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will land in France this morning (Wednesday) for a two-day visit during which he will meet with the president, prime minister and foreign minister of the French republic. Tomorrow, Netanyahu will visit the city of Toulouse where a terrorist attack seven months ago left four Jews dead – three students and a teacher. Before returning to Israel, Netanyahu will participate in a memorial service at the school which will be attended by the families of those murdered.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with French President Francois Hollande, Prime Minister Jean Marc Ayrault and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Paris. Tomorrow, Prime Minister Netanyahu will conduct memorial service at the Ohr Torah (formerly Otzar HaTorah) school in Toulouse, where a teacher, Yochanan Sandler, his two sons, six-year-old Aryeh and four-year-old Gabriel, and Miriam Monsonego, the eight year old daughter of the principal, were killed last March.

Netanyahu will meet with Hollande at 7 AM, NY time, and will focus mainly on the Iranian nuclear program, two weeks after the European Union imposed additional sanctions against Iran. Netanyahu will most likely find in Hollande a sympathetic ally, as France is one of the leading countries in demanding imposing further sanctions against Iran.

“I am going to France to meet with President Hollande today. I will discuss the Iranian nuclear threat with him as well as the challenges of the peace process and our security situation in light of the regional unrest,” said Netanyahu before take-off.

The Monsonego and Sandler families will take part in the memorial ceremony alongside Netanyahu and Hollande. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife will meet with Ohr Torah’s teachers, student body and parents before the ceremony. Afterwards, Netanyahu will return to Israel where he is occupied, at the moment, with totally different topics – like the pre-election tumult.

Jewish Man Knocked Unconscious in Paris Metro

Monday, October 15th, 2012

A Jewish man was attacked and rendered unconscious in a Paris metro, a local watchdog reported.

The 52-year-old victim entered the subway directly from his synagogue but wore no markings that would identify him as Jewish, according to a report on the late September incident by the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, a nonprofit watchdog organization. The incident occurred on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.

He may have been targeted because of a Jewish philosophy book by the chief rabbi of Paris that he was reading in the metro when he was attacked, the report said.

The attackers, who are unknown, knocked the man unconscious with a sharp blow to his temple and did not steal anything from him as he lay unconscious on the subway floor. He sustained minor injuries.

A female passenger found the man lying on the floor and moved him out of the vehicle at Miromesnil station, near Champs-Elysees.

“It is clear from the pattern of incidents we are seeing that this was in all likelihood an anti-Semitic attack,” BNVCA President Sammy Ghozlan told JTA.

Last week, the security unit of France’s Jewish community, SPCJ, reported a 45 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents during the first eight months of 2012 in comparison with their 2011 level of 266 incidents. SPCJ also reported three separate attacks that occurred during the High Holidays.

Huge Upsurge in Anti-Semitic Attacks in France This Year

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Several attacks on Jews over the Sukkot holiday across France have exemplified a whopping 45 percent reported increase in anti-Semitic attacks in the country in the first eight months of 2012.

Among the attacks was one against a Jewish family in their sukkah by unidentified assailants.  The ten-member family, including small children and an eight month-old baby – were eating in their sukkah when a group of men began shouting obscenities at them from the street in Arabic and then hurling rocks at them.  Among the slurs was “Dirty Jews, go home” and “we’ll get you!”

One woman was injured in her back, but no other injuries were reported.  The attackers fled the scene before police arrived.

Among the incidents were 101 considered “violent”, including the heinous murder of four people – a father, his two children, and the daughter of the nearby Jewish school principal – in Toulouse on March 19.

French Police Find Jihadist Bomb Lab Used in Kosher Store Attack

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

French police found an explosives lab that they say was used by a “jihadist cell” in the bombing of a kosher store near Paris.

Francois Molins of the Paris prosecutor’s office said at a news conference Wednesday that the firearms and “all the elements necessary to produce explosive devices” were discovered the previous day at a parking lot in the eastern Paris suburb of Torcy.

French police found the cache after interrogating 12 suspects arrested over the weekend in various French cities, predominantly in Cannes and Paris, he added.

Molins said the suspects in the Sept. 18 bombing of a kosher supermarket in Sarcelles, a northern suburb of Paris, belonged to a “jihadist cell” that was “extremely dangerous.” In the attack, two men threw an explosive device into the shop. One man sustained minor injuries in the explosion.

On Oct. 6, French police agents killed a suspected member of the cell in Strasbourg after he fired on officers during a raid. Molins that day said the dead man, Sidney Louis, had “converted into radical Islam,” adding that he belonged to a “network, almost a cell” of “radicalized Muslim delinquents.”

The raid on bombing suspects was one of several operations carried out by French police that day almost simultaneously. Just hours after the anti-terror raids, blank bullets were fired near a synagogue in Argenteuil, a Paris suburb.

French President Francois Hollande said he would beef up security around Jewish institutions

“Security will be reinforced in the coming days,” Hollande said after meeting Jewish leaders on Oct. 7 at the Elysee Palace, vowing that the state was ready “to fight all terror threats.”

French Police Kill Jihadist Who Attacked Kosher Supermarket Last Month

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

French Police were on the move all day Saturday, in chase of a jihadist cell made up of French youths who have recently taken on the Muslim religion.

Police traced a key member of the cell from the DNA found on a grenade that exploded in a kosher supermarket just outside Paris.

The suspect whose DNA was identified, a 33-year-old French citizen named Jeremy Sydney, opened fire on police Saturday in the city of Strasbourg with a .357 Magnum, wounding three officers, and was shot dead when they returned fire.

Later police said Sydney had been under surveillance since the attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse last March.

Police picked up ten suspects altogether, ages 19 to 25, all of them recent converts to Islam. One of the suspects was armed with a loaded gun and had on his person a list of Israeli targets in the Paris area as well as Al Qaeda literature and 27,000 Euros.

Sydney’s DNA was on file after he served two years in prison staring in 2008, for drug trafficking.

President Francois Hollande praised police for their swift action and said France would continue to “protect the French against all terrorist threats.”

 

Related story: 4 Injured in Kosher Market Explosion at Paris Suburb

Prophet Mohammed Cartoons to Be Published in Paris – Police At Ready

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Just recovering from riots in Yemen, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Iraq, as well as the infamous attack on the US embassy in Libya resulting in the deaths of the ambassador and 3 others, the western world is gearing up for another potential round of violence coming out of Muslim territories as a French satirical magazine promises to publish several Prophet Mohammed cartoons on Wednesday.

According to the French newspaper “Le Monde”, the drawings to be published in “Charlie Hebdo” show Mohammed in “particularly explicit poses”.

The Islamic world, allegedly incensed over the YouTube movie “Innocence of Muslims” mocking Mohammed and casting him in a bad light, lashed out across the world, rioting in over 20 countries in the last month.  In 2005, cartoons of Mohammed published in Denmark and republished throughout the world led to widespread riots and led to the deaths of over 100 people, as well as the torching of churches, embassies, and private property.

French government ministers have decried the magazine’s decision, with Paris police increasing security around their offices.  The paper defended its right to free speech in France.

France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim population. The AFP reports that the senior Muslim cleric at Paris’ biggest mosque has appealed to worshippers to remain calm.

France’s ‘No-Go’ Zones: Where Non-Muslims Dare Not Tread

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

The French government has announced a plan to boost policing in 15 of the most crime-ridden parts of France in an effort to reassert state control over the country’s so-called “no-go” zones: Muslim-dominated neighborhoods that are largely off limits to non-Muslims.

These crime-infested districts, which the French Interior Ministry has officially designated “Priority Security Zones” (zones de sécurité prioritaires, or ZSP), include heavily Muslim parts of Paris, Marseilles, Strasbourg, Lille and Amiens, where Muslim youths recently went on a two-day arson rampage that caused extensive property damage and injured more than a dozen police officers.

The crackdown on lawlessness in the no-go zones is set to begin in September, when French Interior Minister Manuel Valls plans to deploy riot police, detectives and intelligence agents into the selected areas. The hope is that a “North American-style” war on crime can prevent France’s impoverished suburbs from descending into turmoil.

As of now, 15 initial Priority Security Zones have been designated. If the new policy results in a drop in crime, Valls is expected to name up to 40 more Priority Security Zones before the summer of 2013.

Many of these new Priority Security Zones coincide with Muslim neighborhoods that previous French governments have considered to be Sensitive Urban Zones. (Zones Urbaine Sensibles, or ZUS) – which were also “no-go” zones for French police.

At last count, there were a total of 751 Sensitive Urban Zones, a comprehensive list of which can be found on a French government website, complete with satellite maps and precise street demarcations. An estimated five million Muslims live in these “Sensitive Urban Zones” — parts of France over which the French state has essentially lost control.

Consider Seine-Saint-Denis, a notorious northern suburb of Paris, and home to an estimated 500,000 Muslims. Seine-Saint-Denis is divided into 40 administrative districts called communes, 36 of the 40 districts are on the French government’s official list of “no-go” zones.

Seine-Saint-Denis, also known locally as “Department 93″ for the first two digits of the postal code for this suburb, witnessed fierce rioting by Muslim youths in 2005, when they torched more than 9,000 cars.

The suburb, which has one of the highest rates of violent crime inFrance, is now among the initial 15 ZSPs because of widespread drug dealing and a rampant black market. It also has one of the highest unemployment rates inFrance– 40% of those under the age of 25 are jobless — and it therefore remains unlikely that a government crackdown will succeed in bringing down the crime rate in any permanent way.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE of an official Priority Security Zone is department of La Somme, which includes the northern French city of Amiens. On August 12 and 13, around 100 Muslim youths in the impoverished Fafet-Brossolette district of Amiens went on a rampage after police arrested a man for driving without a license.

Muslims viewed that arrest as “insensitive” because it came as many residents of the neighborhood were attending a funeral for Nadir Hadji, a 20-year-old Algerian youth who had died in a motorcycle accident on August 9. The reality was that police were called to the scene because of reports that youths were loading fireworks into a car. When the police arrived, they also discovered the ingredients for petrol bombs, including empty bottles and a canister of gasoline.

When the riots of August 12-13 broke out, in response, about 150 policemen and anti-riot police were deployed to the Fafet neighborhood where the youths were rioting and used tear gas, rubber bullets and even a helicopter after the youths shot at them with buckshot, fireworks and other projectiles from nine in the evening until four in the morning.

At least 16 police officers were injured in the melee, one seriously. Youths also torched and destroyed a junior high school canteen, an anti-juvenile delinquency sports room, a leisure center, and a kindergarten, as well as 20 automobiles and 50 trash bins. The cost of repair and rebuilding could run up to $7.4 million (€6 million). (Click here for photos from the French publication, L’Express.)

Gilles Demailly, the Socialist mayor of Amiens, said the violence reflected a descent into lawlessness orchestrated by ever younger troublemakers: “There have been regular incidents here but it has been years since we’ve known a night as violent as this with so much damage done. The confrontations were very, very violent.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/frances-no-go-zones-where-non-muslims-dare-not-tread/2012/08/28/

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