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May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘security’

Jerusalem of Fire

Monday, May 18th, 2015

The forested hills of Jerusalem are alive with the sounds of crackling as a wild fire blocks a main artery leading to the holy city.

Firefighters are battling the blaze, which was blocking Route 1 on Monday as IDF aerial firefighters swung into action.

The hillsides of Jerusalem are blazing as another wildfire sweeps through its forests.

The hillsides of Jerusalem are blazing as another wildfire sweeps through its forests.

The area has been experiencing a heat wave, which officials said may have contributed to the start of the fire.

A fire was also reported on the slopes at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Emek Ha’Arazim, closing off traffic to the nearby tunnel in the area. Firefighters and police were on the scene there as well.

Five fire trucks headed for the entrance of Jerusalem as reports of another fire breaking out came in to central dispatch.

A Christian center in Jerusalem was also set ablaze and vandalized on Monday as well.

Two synagogues in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev were also deliberately set on fire, officials said. An investigation was launched, but no arrests have been made thus far.

In fact, fires have been popping up all over the capital. The country is extremely dry due to current weather conditions, making the area vulnerable to brush fires — or, for that matter, any attempted arson by terrorists as has happened in the past.

A mini-van went up in flames yesterday near the A-Zaim checkpoint, according to the Israel Hatzoloh medical emergency organization. Firefighters extinguished the blaze.

NYPD Increases Patrols Around Brooklyn Synagogues, Jewish Sites

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

New York City police have increased patrols around Brooklyn synagogues in the wake of a disturbing incident this past Saturday that was later deemed “a false alarm.”

Two “Middle Eastern-looking” men were seen walking up to the entrance of the Beth Torah synagogue on Ocean Parkway in Midwood,local news media reported.

They appeared to examine the video camera and then photograph the front of the building before a security guard on patrol outside the synagogue showed up. After recording their vehicle information and license plate number (they were driving a blue Honda Accord) he told them to leave.)

Both were seen again an hour later, this time in front of another synagogue a short distance away, according to reports. Both houses of worship serve the neighbor’s Syrian Jewish community.

According to New York City’s Channel 7 Eyewitness News, NYPD later determined the men were “no threat” and the incident was “a false alarm.”

Recently three Brooklyn men of Uzbekistani descent were arrested in connection with suspicion of providing support to Daesh, also known as ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror organization. One of the men was arrested at JFK International Airport just prior to boarding a flight, allegedly to join the terrorist organization in Syria. A second was arrested in Brooklyn. The third was taken into custody in Florida and was transferred back to New York for arraignment on the charges.

As a result, demand for security guards at Jewish community events, particularly in the Sephardic community, has grown in Brooklyn. Terror attacks on Jewish sites abroad have also raised tensions in the community and sparked a rise in demand for security at synagogues and general events.

Rabbi Uziel Admoni of Congregation Bnai Yosef has launched a new initiate to arrange security teams to serve synagogues, schools, banquet halls, and private events held at homes or elsewhere in Brooklyn’s large Sephardic community, according to Community Magazine.

Abbas Underscores PLO’s ‘3 NO’s’ in Ramallah Rant

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Palestinian Authority and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is making sure the world gets it straight once and for all:

1. The Palestinians won’t accept a Jewish state
2. They won’t accept the “Islamization of the struggle in the Middle East”
3. They oppose a temporary [Palestinian] state.

Speaking on Wednesday (March 4) before the PLO Central Council in the PA capital, Ramallah, Abbas claimed, “We are moderate Muslims. We are also against the Jewish State because of the many things it would mean in the future.”

Abbas was coy over whether or not the PA would actually disengage itself from cooperating with the Jewish State over security, however. He also dodged questions about the entity’s future joint economic projects with Israel.

He called on the Central Council to “reconsider” the functions of the PA as it is currently structured and claiming a need for a “sovereign authority.”

Of course, the PA has for several years insisted that it already IS an independent “sovereign authority,” calling itself the sovereign State of Palestine. It has been accepted as such by a number of governments in the international community.

The PA leader continued to call on Israel to withdraw from all territories conquered in the 1967 Six Day war, including the parts of Jerusalem wrested from Jordanian occupation and restored to the ancient Jewish capital.

He also continued to precondition the PA’s return to the negotiating table on Israel’s release of Palestinian terrorist prisoners and cessation of any and all construction (including, for example, repairs on a driveway or a balcony to a private home) in any Jewish community in post-1967 areas. In addition, Abbas accused Israel of violating all agreements it has signed with the Palestinians.

In short, Abbas made wild accusations, continued to make ridiculous and unrealistic demands and lay the blame for his own failures at Israel’s doorstep – as usual.

“If Israel recognizes our rights, it would live in peace,” Abbas ranted. “The world must push Israel to wake up. Israel is the one that is hijacking peace and pushing towards tension in the world by continuing its occupation of Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese lands.”

So having lost his credibility among his own people as well among some of the international community, Abbas has added a new element to his claims about “The Occupation” — now Israel is occupying “Syrian and Lebanese lands.”

What’s next?

UK Jewish Schools and Synagogues Warned to Tighten Security

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Jewish schools and synagogues in Britain were warned to tighten security this week following last weekend’s terror attacks in Copenhagen.

National Policing Lead for Counter Terrorism Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said in a statement this week the government has become more concerned “about the risk to the Jewish community in the UK.”

Security personnel “are in dialogue with Jewish community leaders about further actions that we will be taking, including more patrols in key areas,” Rowley added. Reports of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain more than doubled over the past year, according to the Community Security Trust (CST), which has reported security-related events in the British Jewish world since 1989.

Current funding for security around schools stands at $3.5 million, according to ABC News.

“It is very clear that Jewish institutions are targets,” European Jewish Association general director Rabbi Menachem Margolin told the news network. “Jewish institutions should be under surveillance 24/7.”

Not every Jew in Britain agrees, however, and some actually feel quite safe.

The president of the UK Board of Deputies of British Jews, Vivian Wireman, was quoted as saying “Jews in the UK are living in a safe environment. Although there is a danger of copycat attacks,” she acknowledged, she nevertheless maintained, “British Jews shouldn’t be too concerned.”

A group calling itself “Liberate Stamford Hill” has planned a rally on March 22 to protest the “Jewification of Great Britain.” The demonstration is set to take place in a district of northern London – Stamford Hill – that is home to the highest concentration of Orthodox Jews in Europe.

ISIS Beheads 21 Coptic Christians; Egypt Declares Week of Mourning

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has declared a seven-day period of national mourning in response to the latest barbarity by Daesh, or ISIS – the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terrorist organization.  Egypt’s leader also convened the National Defense Council.

A spokesperson for Egypt’s Coptic Church also has confirmed the murders of the young men, all of whom  were beheaded by the terror group.

According to Egypt’s official state news agency, Daesh released a video on Sunday showing the execution of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were kidnapped months ago in Libya.

All were men dressed in the now-traditional orange prisoner jumpsuit, marched out to the shoreline and then lined up on their knees on the sand. They were executed at a beach that the video named as, “Wilayat Tarabulus by the Mediterranean Sea.”

Behind each captive was a black-masked executioner with a knife. After a brief statement by the Daesh leader, all were beheaded simultaneously.

The video, slickly produced, was entitled “A Message Signed With Blood to the nation of the cross.” It was released by Al Hayat Media Center, the media outlet for Daesh, and appeared on the Twitter feed on a pro-Daesh website.

El-Sisi called on Egyptian Copts to “come home,” saying their return to Egypt is the only way to ensure their protection from radical Islamist terrorism.

A separate video posted by the group earlier purported to show 17 captive Kurdish fighters in cages paraded through the streets of Iraq, most likely as a prelude to a flaming execution similar to that of Jordanian fighter pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh.

Daesh has also reportedly publicly executed two alleged “spies” and a third man was crucified to a post with a sign hanging around his neck in the Syrian city of Al-Bab. Photos of the executions emerged Sunday on the Internet and were posted in a report by the British Daily Mail newspaper.

Turkish Foreign Minister Targets Jews, Warns of ‘Treason’

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Red flags are going up for Jews in Turkey again for the second time in less than a week.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu took aim at Turkish Jewry Sunday  in a thinly-disguised reference to the “Jewish lobby” on Sunday during a speech to local lawmakers, linking such a “lobby” to part of a “parallel structure” (U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen’s supporters) accused by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of being in cahoots with Israeli Mossad intelligence agents.

On January 31, Erdogan had told a meeting of business leaders in Istanbul, “The sincere people backing this parallel structure should see this structure is cooperating with… Shame on them if they still cannot see that this structure is cooperating with the Mossad.” (Erdogan has accused Gulen’s followers of illegal wiretapping and a coup attempt that began with a corruption probe in December 2013. Four former ministers and their sons were investigated at the time; all were later acquitted on all charges.)

“I announce it from here: We have not and will not succumb to the Jewish lobby, the Armenian lobby or the Turkish-Greek minority’s lobbies,” Davutoglu said in his own speech on Feb. 8, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported. Speaking at a provincial congress of the ruling Justice and Development party’s (AKP) in Istanbul, Davutoglu added, “I call out to the parallel lobby and send them a message: We will stand before you with dignity no matter where you are; you will be despicable for the treason you have done to this nation.”

It’s not the first time in the past week that local Jews have been targeted by the current Turkish government.

On Feb. 6, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a snide comment about Jewish prayers while accepting an award from the Roma community in Bursa. As he started to condemn racism, Islamophobia and discrimination, Erdogan suddenly aimed at Judaism itself, specifically the Jewish morning blessings.

“I am addressing to those who talk about women’s rights. Why don’t you raise your voice against the Jews who thank G-d in their prayers that they were not created as women? Was there any other understanding, a logic as demeaning for women as this one?” he said.

The remark is a deliberate misinterpretation of one of the morning blessings recited by Jewish men and women each day, albeit with different versions for each. Jewish men do indeed thank God in one of the numerous blessings they recite in the morning that they were not created as women. The women’s version offers praise to God for being created as women (the literal translation of the prayer is, “as He desires”, in recognition of women’s different roles and responsibilities in Jewish life.)

Istanbul’s largest and most prominent synagogue, Neve Shalom, has become a virtual fortress under constant protection by Turkish security personnel. One must surrender one’s passport in order to enter the magnificent house of worship that once was filled to capacity in a former bustling Jewish neighborhood.

The synagogue was attacked several times by radical Islamic terrorists, leaving wounded, death and destruction in their wake. Turkish security is particularly selective about who is allowed to enter the synagogue; every person who attempts to do so is carefully scrutinized and required to walk through a metal detector prior to entry. The entrance itself is subtly hidden towards the back of the building, which must be accessed through a nondescript side gate.

Today the area around the synagogue is a shopping district and the lovely building with its stained glass windows and wooden seats polished to a sheen echoes with the memories of past festivities, empty but for the handful of Jews who dare to enter for prayers on High Holy Days and other important Jewish holidays.

Observant Jews who have remained in Turkey maintain a very low profile. Kosher food is not to be had in any general supermarket or local grocery store; one needs to know where to go in order to find it. There do not appear to be any local kosher supervision agencies — at least no symbols of any on foods available in public stores. Other members of the Jewish community are the descendants of those who arrived as refugees from Spain in 1492, fleeing the Inquisition, business people, and others who as tourists fell in love and married locals.

No White House Worries Over ‘Election Proximity’ with Herzog

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

Is the Obama administration tampering with Israel’s electoral process? Top U.S. officials met on Saturday in Munich with opposition leader and Labor party chairman Isaac Herzog, a candidate in the upcoming election.

U.S. President Barack Obama and senior White House staff repeatedly have claimed the upcoming Israeli national elections were too close to allow American administration officials to meet with Israeli candidates, including the prime minister.

Just a matter of policy, after all.

So how does that fit with a meeting between Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Isaac Herzog? Of course, the meeting was not “formally” scheduled and there were no photo ops.

The two American leaders both have said they will skip Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress on March 3 specifically because the date runs too close to Israel’s elections.

Herzog also managed to squeeze in meetings with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the sidelines of the security conference.

Following the talks in Munich, Herzog told Israel’s Channel 10 news that Netanyahu “won’t get to meet with a single American official on this visit – not from the National Security Agency, not from the White House, not from the State Department. It’s a complete boycott. Even if that’s not stated, that’s the story.”

And what a story it is. A complete endorsement of Labor party candidate Isaac Herzog, for whom the White House is clearly campaigning, along with the European Union.

One might be tempted to think that U.S. President Barack Obama is fiddling with Israeli politics. Tampering, even, with help from the European Union.

But isn’t that illegal?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/no-white-house-worries-over-election-proximity-with-isaac-herzog/2015/02/07/

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