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April 28, 2015 / 9 Iyar, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘synagogue’

Israel Ambassador to Germany Politely Urges Jews to Leave on Aliyah

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Israel Ambassador to Germany, Yaakov Hadas-Handelsman, has joined Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in politely urging European Jews to “consider Israel your home.”

Speaking in an interview published Sunday in the Tagesspiegel daily, published in Berlin, the ambassador said he “does not envy any Jew living in Europe today.”

He said that those who feel unsafe in light of the recent deadly attacks aimed against Jews in various countries should feel welcome to come to Israel “at any time.”

Hadas-Handelsman had especially high praise for Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel for making it clear that “it is not normal for synagogues and Jewish schools to need police protection.”

Last July, a synagogue in Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia which originally was burned down during Kristallnacht but was subsequently rebuilt was firebombed.

Anti-Semitism in the country in general is on the rise, according to the Central Council of Jews in Germany, as it is in other countries across Europe.

In October 2014, the ‘Die Rechte’ political faction wrote to Mayor Ullrich Sierau in the city of Dortmund, demanding to know the exact number and addresses of all the Jews, saying the information was “relevant for our political work.”

The demand was refused and the letter was passed to the Interior Ministry of the State of North-Rhine-Westphalia, which is “looking at ways to legally ban the party,” whose numbers are growing, according to the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism (CFCA).

Norway’s Muslims Protect Oslo Synagogue in Sabbath ‘Peace Ring’

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

A group of young Muslims organized a symbolic “ring of peace” to encircle the sole functioning synagogue in Oslo as Jew prayed within on Saturday.

At least 1,300 were inspired to join them in the initiative, which came in solidarity with Jews who were targeted last weekend by a radical Islamist terrorist in Denmark.

“This shows there are many more peacemakers than warmakers,” 37-year-old Zeeshan Abdullah, one of the organizers, told the crowd.

“There is still hope for humanity, for peace and love across religious differences and background,” he said.

Still, Norwegian sharp shooters were deployed on buildings around the synagogue. Police superintendent Steiner Hausvik told reporters, “It has been calm as we expected. We had no reason to expect any trouble but we were prepared.”

Jewish community spokesperson Ervin Kohn expressed gratitude and said it was “unique” that Muslims stood up “to this degree against anti-Semitism,” adding that “this fills us with hope, particularly as it’s a grassroots movement of young Muslims.”

Kohn advised the rest of the world to “look to Norway.”

There are only approximately 1,000 Jews left in Norway’s population of 5.3 million, while immigration of Muslims, about 3 percent of the population, continues to grow.

Last weekend two people died and five police officers were wounded in two attacks several hours apart by the same radical Islamist terrorist. The suspect, 22-year-old Omar el-Hussein, targeted a free speech event at a cafe and then a Bat Mitzvah at the Copenhagen Great Synagogue in Denmark.

Hussein, born in Denmark to Palestinian parents, had reportedly been released from jail only two weeks earlier after serving a two-year prison term for “grievous bodily harm.”

European Rabbi Says EU Leaders ‘Bury their Heads in the Sand’

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

European Jewish Association Rabbi Menachem Margolin said Sunday that European Union leaders have a tendency to “bury their heads in the sand” and demanded tighter security to protect Jews.

Speaking after the murder of a volunteer Jewish guard shot and killed by a terrorist at a synagogue Bar Mitzvah celebration, Rabbi Margolin added, “European leaders need to support us in fighting the battle on terror in our homeland.

“It is only because of the earlier shooting that took place in the Copenhagen cafe that police sent several officers to the synagogue, and they were able to return fire and chase the shooter.

“But the fact is that prior to the earlier incident, there were no police in the synagogue.”

Rabbi Margolin called on Muslim leaders across Europe to speak out against extremism.

“The alarms were already sounded last August when a Jewish school in Copenhagen was stoned and sprayed with anti-Semitic graffiti,” said Rabbi Margolin. “We call on European Governments, as well as EU institutions, to heed our calls for the establishment of a Pan -European task force in order to increase security around Jewish institutions and enhance education against the rampant anti-Semitism.”

Rabbi Margolin noted that in the aftermath of this latest attack, the EJA’s planned seminar next week in Prague, at which dozens of rabbis and Jewish community leaders from across the continent will meet, will offer training in basic self-defense and first aid.

UPDATED: Jewish Guard Killed at Synagogue Prevented Mass Casualties

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

11:30 AM The Jewish guard killed by a terrorist after midnight Saturday saved the deaths of countless Jews by his standing outside the synagogue and absorbing the lethal bullet in the head at the hands of the attacker at a Bat Mitzvah celebration.

The killer fled and did not enter the synagogue, according to Copenhagen Jewish leader Rabbi Yair Melchior.

The guard, a volunteer, was identified by the Israeli Foreign Ministry as Dan Uzan, 37, whose father is Israeli and mother is Danish.

Police also confirmed that the terrorist has been killed and that he also carried out Friday’s murder at a cafe.

“We assume that it’s the same culprit behind both incidents, and we also assume that the culprit that was shot by the police task force on Norreport station is the person behind both of these assassinations,” Chief police inspector Torben Molgaard Jensen said.

Police shot and killed the terrorist after a massive manhunt that included armored vehicles and helicopters.

8:07 AM The young Jewish man who was killed by the terrorist has been identified as the synagogue’s guard. There was a Bat Mitzvah happening at the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen at the time.

7:37 AM According to reports from Copenhagen, police surrounded the suspected terrorist and tried to arrest him. A shootout began, and the police killed him. No police were injured. The police had already been keeping the address where the terrorist was shot “under observation”.

7:20 AM Copenhagen police shoot dead the man believed to be the terrorist.

7:00 AM There are reports of gunfire exchanged between police and the terrorist near Nørrebro Station, 1 person was hit.


INITIAL REPORT

Hours after the terrorist attack on a Copenhagen cafe which left 1 man dead, and 3 injured, a gunman attacked a Copenhagen synagogue, after midnight.

The attack on the synagogue killed a civilian, and injured 2 policemen. The civilian is believed to have been a Jewish.

The Copenhagen train station has been evacuated following the synagogue attack and residents have been told to remain indoors.

The shooter, described as an athletic looking male with an automatic rifle, is still at large.

There are 7000 Jews living in Denmark, most in Copenhagen.

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.

Synagogue Arson in Germany ‘Not Anti-Semitism’ Says Judge

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

Three German Palestinians convicted of arson after hurling firebombs at a synagogue in Germany were motivated by trying to bring “attention to the Gaza conflict,” according to the judge who convicted them on Thursday, Jerusalem Post journalist Benjamin Weinthal reported.

The judge in the case did not believe the men were guilty of anti-Semitism, according to outraged Green Party deputy Volker Beck, who told media he wrote to the prosecutor in the case to file a legal objection, reported.

Several days prior to the firebombing, “Free Palestine” had been sprayed in paint on to the wall of the synagogue as well.

The rebuilt synagogue in Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia was undamaged in the July 29, 2014 attack, which sparked a solidarity rally outside the building that same night. Dieter Graumann, then-president of the German Central Council of Jews, condemned the attack as did Germany’s Central Council of Muslims.

The two older attackers, ages 29 and 24, were given suspended sentences of 15 months in prison – which means they served no time – and together with their 18-year-old accomplice were ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.

“This is a mistaken decision as far as the motives of the perpetrators are concerned,” Beck told international media in a statement. “Therefore, I have written the prosecutor and called for the filing of a legal objection.“ Burning a synagogue in Germany because of a conflict in the Middle East can be attributed only to anti-Semitism, Beck contended.

“What do Jews in Germany have to do with the Middle East conflict? Every bit as much as Christians, non-religious people or Muslims in Germany, namely, absolutely nothing. The ignorance of the judiciary toward anti-Semitism is for many Jews in Germany especially alarming, he said.”

The original Wuppertal synagogue was burned down by Germans during the pogrom of Kristallnacht in 1938, but the echoes of the past seem to be growing louder. The German state has seen an upswing in anti-Semitism, as has the country in general.

Anti-Semitism in Germany is on the rise, according to the Central Council of Jews in Germany, as it is in other countries across Europe.

Graumann offered a sobering comment on the situation just before leaving his post in an interview with BILD newspaper in November 2014: “For a while I noticed that anti-Semitism is becoming increasingly public and is no longer hidden. We often receive anti-Semitic messages sent according to name and address. Some people are no longer ashamed and no longer hide their hostility to Jews.

“We have seen … during the war in Gaza, demonstrations of pure primitive hatred against the Jews that broke out again. It is very hard for me to talk about it but, when there are calls in the streets of Germany, ‘Jews to the gas,’ it hurts us greatly,” he added.

Two weeks prior to the publication of Graumann’s interview, the neo-Nazi ‘Die Rechte’ party (The Right) demanded to know where all the Jews live in the city of Dortmund.

‘Die Rechte’ wrote to Mayor Ullrich Sierau through one of its city council members, Dennis Giemsch, seeking to know how many Jews live in the city and in which districts, and their addresses, according to a post on the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism (CFCA).

Giemsch, a full-time computer student, wrote that the information was ‘relevant for our political work.’

The demand was refused and the letter was passed to the Interior Ministry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia – the same state in which the torched synagogue is located – and which is “looking at ways to legally ban the party.”

The political party is the smallest of the far-right groups in Germany, but its numbers are growing, particularly among the young, according to the CFCA.

France Forces City to Allow Burial of Charles Hebdo Terrorist

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

French officials overrode objections of local officials who were forced to allow a secret burial Friday night for one of the radical Islamic terrorists who murdered a dozen people at the Charles Hebdo magazine offices two weeks ago.

The mayor of the city of Reims, Arnaud Robinet, said last week he would “categorically refuse” to allow the family of Said Kouachi to bury their terrorist son in the city where he lived before police killed him and his brother.

“I don’t want a grave that serves to attract fanatics. I don’t want a place that promotes hate,” he a French radio station on Thursday.

City officials backed down in the face of orders from the national government. “Given the risk of disturbance of the peace and in order to quickly turn the page of this tragic episode, it was decided to do the burial quickly,” the city said.

The terrorist’s wife did not attend the burial because she did not want to be followed by journalists.

Two other terrorists killed by police in a gunfight following the Islamic terror spree in Paris have not yet been buried. Kouachi’s brother Cherif will be buried in his native Gennevilliers, outside Paris in an anonymous grave. City officials said they will “avoid all risk of disturbance to the peace and to preserve the town’s tranquility.”

It is not yet known what will be done with the body of Amedy Coulibaly, who killed five people, including four hostages, at a kosher market in Paris.

France still is reeling from the terror spree, trying to maintain a posture that will not offend Muslims or label all of them as radical Islamists.

A  Paris administrative court ruled that Paris police were in their rights to ban an “Islamists out of France” rally planned for Sunday.

One of the organizers, “Secular Riposte,” announced it will hold a press conference instead of a rally, but Resistance Republicaine, a co-sponsor of the banned demonstration, said it will hold anti-Islamist rallies in southern France.

Jews in France and Belgium have been thrown back 70 years to the Nazi era. French Jews prayed in a private home Friday night because they could not be guaranteed safety to worship in a synagogue.

Police in Belgium were deployed in areas that could be targeted by terrorists, especially the Jewish quarter in Antwerp.

Approximately 150 paratroopers guarded synagogues and the Jewish Museum in Brussels after Jewish schools closed their doors Friday because of warnings of possible attacks.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/france-forces-city-to-allow-burial-of-charles-hebdo-terrorist/2015/01/18/

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