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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘refugees’

Satmar Sets up ‘Draft Refugee’ Panel to Send Yeshiva Youth to US

Monday, April 15th, 2013

The anti-Zionist Satmar community in Israel and the United States has set up an emergency “Draft Refugee Committee to save Satmar teenagers from the calamity of having to serve the State of Israel, which Satmar denies, or serve time in a Zionist jail.

A possible draft of Haredi religious youth probably won’t begin for several years, but Satmar is not taking any chances, according to the Hebrew-language website B’Chadrei Haderim.

The Ministerial Committee for Equalizing the Draft met Sunday and is expected to come up with recommendations in less than two months to tackle the problem of hundreds of thousands Haredi  and Arab youth who do not serve in the army or do national service.

There also is another group, almost never mentioned, of upscale spoiled leftist urban dwellers who  do not serve, but they do not have the support system that Satmar provides.

The Draft Refugees Committee, which sounds like something out of World War II, has already published a U.S. phone number for Israeli Satmar youth to phone and receive free advice and help. Confidentiality assured.

So call 718-302-6720 right away, press number 7, and be the first on your Satmar block to really  be independent and flee Israel before it is too late and the gates of Zionism trap you.

One question: What happens is the flight of Satmar youth hastens the Messiah, the condition for Satmar to recognize the State of Israel?

Maybe they should buy a round-trip ticket.

Egypt’s Sinai Problem and Ours

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

A striking photo essay [here] from EgyptSource focuses on the stark realities of Sinai and the multiple challenges it poses to the Egyptians. EgyptSource, a project of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, 

follows Egypt’s transition and provides a platform for Egyptian perspectives on the major issues – economic, political, legal, religious and human rights – that are at stake in the post-Mubarak era…

Needless to say, given its physical proximity to Israel, Sinai is not only an Egyptian challenge. That it gets such a small degree of media attention is a puzzle.

The essay that accompanies the images, by Mosaab Elshamy and published yesterday, starts this way:

Army checkpoints on the road to Sinai are almost an indication of a region at war. The vast peninsula bordering Egypt with Gaza and Israel rose to the forefront of the new Egyptian government’s troubles after an army checkpoint was attacked by unknown militants last Ramadan, killing 16 soldiers. This was not the first attack of its kind in Sinai – the region has been a hotbed of militants long before the revolution, but even more so after the fall of Mubarak. This was, however, the deadliest attack seen in Sinai, and the first under President Morsi’s rule. Backed by public anger, the military launched Operation Eagle to hunt down those behind the attack. Different claims have been made regarding the outcome, but what is evident from my visit to the region is that little has changed.

All that Sinai has become notorious for – smuggling of weapons, torturing Africans and rise of militancy – remains unchanged. The army had also declared its intention to close down the tunnels connecting Sinai to the besieged Gaza strip, but in Rafah economic activity is booming with trucks full of goods coming in and out of the town almost every hour of the day.

The same lack of security along with rise of Islamist extremists led to yet another sectarian attack on the Coptic minority in Rafah, causing many to flee for their lives, almost 2 years after their church was burnt by armed militants. [More]

Sunday produced two disturbing illustrations of today’s Sinai realities – again, almost no media coverage.

Gunmen attack buildings in Sinai’s Dahab Maan News | Published yesterday (updated) 29/10/2012 21:34

EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Gunmen attacked government buildings on Sunday in the Egyptian city of Dahab in the Sinai peninsula, security officials said. Bedouin gunmen attacked a checkpoint at the entrance to the popular Sinai tourist destination and also attacked local government headquarters and a hospital, Egyptian security officials told Ma’an. Disorder has spread in Sinai since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising last year, with Islamist militants stepping up attacks on security forces and the Israeli border. Egypt’s president, Muhammad Mursi, has vowed to restore order.

6 hurt in shooting on children’s park in south Sinai Maan News | Published Sunday 28/10/2012 (updated) 28/10/2012 23:09

SHARM AL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Gunmen opened fire in a children’s park in south Sinai on Saturday night, wounding six, officials said. The al-Fayrouz park in al-Tur city was packed with families celebrating the Eid al-Adha holiday when a group of Bedouin men opened fire, witnesses said. Four children, a man and woman suffered injuries, some serious, medics said. One child lost the fingers on her left hand, they said.

Then there’s this additional aspect of the Sinai challenge; the op ed below from Al Arabiya provides a small window into the conflicted states of mind that characterize the Egyptian – and other Arab sub-groups’ – views of the Palestinian Arabs and the multidimensional challenges they have posed for three generations.

A Palestinian state in Sinai? By AHMAD NAGUIB ROUSHDY Al Arabiya

Rumour has it, and some articles in Egyptian newspapers have stated that the increasing crossings of Palestinians to the Egyptian Sinai through the illegal tunnels between Egypt and Gaza have been taking place in accordance with a plan by the Islamist-led government of Hamas in Gaza, which has ties with the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of President Mohamed Mursiin Egypt. The aim is to settle the Palestinians in Sinai, not as refugees but as a permanent homeland for them and to declare a Palestinian state there, substituting it for the West Bank… Every Egyptian sympathizes with the Palestinian cause, and much Egyptian blood has been shed in defense of it. But if these rumors are true, the Palestinians have shown themselves to be ungrateful and could be considered to be Egypt’s enemies. The Egyptian government should force any Palestinians now in Sinai to return to where they came from, since they cannot be considered refugees. The Mursi government’s ties with Hamas should not compromise Egypt’s security and sovereignty. When President Mursi in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September called for the right of the Palestinians to establish an independent state, he meant in Palestine and not in Egypt. Any Egyptian who helps the Palestinians or others to plunder our land must be considered a traitor. [More here]

Good to keep in mind when simple solutions are next offered up for the complex challenges in this part of the world.

IDF Prepares to Absorb Syrian Refugees

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

IBA News reports that the IDF, in coordination with the UN, has prepared territories on the Golan along the Syrian border to absorb potential Syrian refugees.

While the goal of the IDF is to prevent any Syrians from crossing the border, they recognize that some refugees might still spill over as internecine fighting expands near the border.

It’s A ‘Deir Yassin’ in Syria

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Assad is really in trouble now:

At least 10 Palestinian refugees were killed Wednesday in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, activists posting to a Facebook account for the camp reported.

According to media from the camp, 15-year-old Jalal Yousif Salih was shot dead by a Syrian government sniper near the Palestine Hospital in the camp. Photos of the victim were published before he was identified.  Another victim identified as 10-year-old Fadi Alaa al-Masri was shot dead in the al-Zein neighborhood.  Earlier, a body was found in the Black Stone neighborhood. The victim was later identified as Muhammad Shaaban.

An elderly man was also shot dead in the Deir Yasin neighborhood, according to activists. They identified him as 70-year-old Ahmad Abbas.

Visit Yisrael Medad’s Blog, My Right Word.

Syrian Refugee Girls Forced into ‘Pleasure Marriages’

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Syrian female refugees aged 14 and 15 who fled their country to Jordan and Iraq are being forced into “pleasure marriages” (Nikah al-Mut’ah) — a pre-Islamic custom allowing men to marry for a limited period.

Apart from being a cover for legalized prostitution (the marriage can last for as little as 30 minutes), Nikah al-Mut’ah deprives the wife of many rights.

No divorce is necessary in “pleasure marriages,” for instance, and the husband may void the marriage earlier than agreed.

What is most disturbing about this practice is not even whether or not the wife has rights, so much as that Muslim scholars and preachers have given the green light to their followers to exploit the plight of the poor and helpless Syrian girls.

Muslim men from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries have in the past few weeks asked their embassies in Amman and Baghdad to help them find Syrian girls living in makeshift refugee camps in Jordan and Iraq.

This is happening at a time when the oil-rich Arab countries are doing almost nothing to help the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who are living in extremely difficult conditions.

Some Arab human rights activists have condemned the phenomenon, but their voice has thus far fallen on deaf ears.

Muslim preachers in a number of Arab countries have been encouraging their followers to engage in “pleasure marriages” with Syrian girls as a way of ridding them and their families of their misery. Some of these preachers have even issued fatwas [Islamic decrees] permitting the sexual exploitation of minors.

Many of these girls, according to reports in a number of Arab media outlets, are being returned to their families after hours or days of the temporary marriage.

Some of the victims are being sold by their desperate families to Muslim men in return for a few hundred dollars.

The Jordanian newspaper Ad-Dustour revealed that Muslim men from the kingdom were also exploiting the plight of the Syrian refugees by targeting 14 and 15 year old girls.

According to sources in Amman, some Jordanian Islamists have even divorced their wives in favor of temporary marriage of minors.

Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the pan-Arab Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, expressed outrage over the “ugly exploitation” of Syrian girls who fled the war in their country.

“Exploiting the conditions of the girls in the refugee camps by marrying them temporarily is a form of rape that must stop immediately,” Atwan wrote. “Those responsible for this crime should be brought to trial.”

Yet Atwan’s condemnation seems to be a lone voice in the desert. No prominent Muslim figure or organization has deemed it necessary to denounce the sexual exploitation of the Syrian girls.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Poll: Israeli Arabs Believe Jewish Refugees Deserve Attention

Monday, September 10th, 2012

A new poll released at an international conference on Justice for Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries shows that a great proportion of Arab Israelis (54%) than Jewish Israelis (48%) believe issues pertaining to Jewish refugees from Arab countries deserve as much attention as those pertaining to Arab refugees from Israel’s war of independence.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told attendees, “The Arab world has neglected Arab refugees for decades and has used them as a battering ram against Israel, while Israel, which was just born as a nation-state, has absorbed and resettled the Jewish refugees from Arab countries and turned them into productive citizens.”

‘I am Refugee’: Israel Launches Int’l Campaign on Expulsion of Jews from Arab Lands

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Before 1948, there were close to one million Jews living in the Arab world, while today only a few thousand still remain. During the four years following the establishment of the state of Israel, violent anti-Semitic riots broke out across the Middle East and restrictive government measures were put in place, which forced ancient Jewish communities, some thousands of years old, to dissolve. Driven from their homes and properties, 856,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries and Iran, fleeing mostly to Israel but also to the United States, Europe, Canada, and elsewhere.

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has launched a new campaign to mark this tragedy in cooperation with the World Jewish Congress and the Ministry of Pensioner Affairs. Called ‘I Am a Refugee,’ the international campaign seeks to bring the forgotten and often overlooked stories of Jewish refugees from Arab countries to both Israel and the international community.

The campaign, led by Deputy Foreign Minister, Daniel Ayalon, whose own father’s family was forced to flee Algeria, aims to highlight the injustices that were done to the Jewish refugees, via Facebook and online sources. “The time has come to correct an ongoing historical injustice that has affected half of the population of Israel,” said Deputy FM Ayalon on the MFA website.

Jews living in Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Egypt, Yemen and Syria lost their legal status, properties and homes, which in many cases were seized by the government.  On the I Am a Refugee Facebook campaign page, personal stories, photos, video documentaries, and documents have been uploaded of Jewish life and escape from these different Middle Eastern countries.  In one pre-World War II photo, a class of Jewish youngsters can be seen in a Benghazi synagogue, while another photo depicts a Jewish wedding in Aleppo, Syria in 1914. In others, Iraqi and Kurdish Jewish refugees are seen arriving to Israel in the 1950s, while other photos show life in the Israeli transit camps that absorbed these refugees.  An uploaded video documentary tells the story of a Jewish family’s exodus from Egypt.

According to MFA website, the personal stories that appear on the Facebook page will be presented at a conference in New York when the United National General Assembly convenes at the end of September.

Ayalon has asked Jewish refugees and their families to take an active part of this campaign via Facebook, to “tell the world your personal story, which is an inseparable part of the Jewish people and the story of the re-establishment of the State of Israel.”

This past June, the United Nations marked World Refugee Day, where only one group of refugees—the Jewish refugees from Arab countries– was noticeably absent, according to a recent Huffington Post article written by Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Proser. “The historic Jewish presence in the Arab World must be recognized. The grave injustices inflicted upon them must be acknowledged,” Prosor wrote in response to the UN oversight.

The I Am a Refugee campaign aims to open the way to international acknowledgement and recognition of the Jewish refugee issue. This coming Monday, an international conference of jurists and experts on the refugee matter will be held in Jerusalem, to continue to advance this campaign.

Today in 1934 – Brooklyn Jewish Women Help Refugees from Nazi Germany

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

SEPTEMBER 5, 1934 - Mrs. Stephen S. Wise, president of the Women’s Association of the American Jewish Congress, who has just returned from a visit to the German refugee centers in Europe, will be hostess this afternoon to 500 Brooklyn women who have pledged to support the establishment of a center in New York City for refugees from Nazi Germany.

The center, to be known as Congress House, is now being established at 50 West Sixty-eighth street, under the supervision of the Women’s Association of the American Jewish Congress.

This afternoon’s reception will take the form of a linen shower for the benefit of Congress House. Those who attend represent the Brooklyn division of the Women’s Association which has undertaken to supply all linens for the establishment. The affair is also in the nature of a preview to an invited list of guests, prior to the formal opening of Congress House later this month.

Mrs. Charles J. Turow, acting chairman of the Brooklyn Division, will lead the Brooklyn delegation. Mrs. Wise, who returned to the United States on Saturday, following a two-months trip abroad, will describe conditions among the refugees and relate the decisions of the Geneva world Jewish conference.

Congress House is designed to provide recreational, shelter and food facilities gratis for refugees from Germany. The institution is designed to ease the process of reorientation for German refugees.

Facilities for the establishment of Congress House were made available through the courtesy of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Institute of Religion, which turned over the West Sixty-eighth street building to the Women’s Association for this purpose.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/today-in-1934-brooklyn-jewish-women-help-refugees-from-nazi-germany/2012/09/05/

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