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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘tensions’

Missouri Governor Activates National Guard Against Growing Violence

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon activated the National Guard late Sunday night to deal with growing violence that has overflowed a midnight curfew for two nights running in the small city of Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis.

“Tonight, a day of hope, prayers and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk,” Nixon said.

The violence was triggered by an incident on August 9 in which an unarmed black teenager, 18-year-old Michael Brown, was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson.

But what might normally have been a local event has been blown into national prominence, with an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, commentary by President Barack Obama at the White House, and an additional probe by the St. Louis County police.

The governor has also provoked the ire of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, all of whom have asked him to rescind the state of emergency — and the curfew — in Ferguson.

The decision to deploy the National Guard was clearly not a frivolous spur-of-the-moment call, however. There had been a steady escalation in the violence in Ferguson, one that was being fed from outside. Protesters were gathering nightly — and during the day — to demonstrate, becoming increasingly violent.

Some of the “protesters” were armed, as police belatedly discovered on Sunday, and one protester shot another Sunday night, forcing security personnel to resort to tear gas and smoke cannisters in order to reach the injured man to get him to a hospital.

Strangely, a Palestinian Arab agitator in Oakland, California mentioned Ferguson while talking to a journalist during a pre-planned blockade against an Israeli-owned ZIM shipping vessel on Sunday.

“On Twitter, we’ve seen people in Gaza tweet to protesters in Ferguson how to cope with teargas,” Mohamed Shehk, media and communications director of the Oakland-based ‘Critical Resistance’ group, told the UK-based newspaper The Guardian on Saturday.

A midnight curfew was slapped on Ferguson Saturday in an effort to get things back under control. Sunday saw churches packed with people praying for the teen and holding memorials in his memory. Among the attendees was police Captain Ronald S. Johnson, also a black man, who told the boy’s family during services at Greater Grace Church, “My heart goes out to you, and I say that I’m sorry. I wear this uniform, and I should stand up here and say that I’m sorry.” He spoke about his own son and about the youth in the neighborhood, speaking with hope for the future and about the need to pray.

The state attorney general, Chris Koster, also came to church at the Greater St. Mark Family Church in Ferguson. “You have lost a member of your community at the hands of a member of my community,” he said. “Not just the Caucasian community, but the law enforcement community. And that is painful to every good-hearted person in this city.”

In churches throughout the city, in fact, there were calls for grace, and calm by spiritual and community leaders alike.

But by nightfall, demonstrators were hurling firebombs (Molotov cocktails) at police and destroying local property as well. The state’s Highway Patrol was brought in to supplement the town’s local police force, but apparently more was required despite a vow by Johnson that his officers would “communicate” rather than resort to tear gas.

At the end, the tear gas was necessary, he said, in order to enable his officers to reach a protester who was shot by an armed rioter. The injured protester is listed in critical condition according to ABC News. A Highway Patrol spokesperson told media seven arrests were made and three people were injured; none were police officers.

Hana Levi Julian

North Korea to Indict 2 Detained Americans

Monday, June 30th, 2014

North Korea has announced it plans to indict two American citizens being held in custody for unspecified crimes.

In a four-sentence statement issued by state-controlled media, North Korea said Matthew Miller, 24, and Jeffrey Fowle, 56, two tourists, had been investigated for “perpetrating hostile acts” after entering the country. The country had evidence and testimony from both about their alleged actions, the statement said.

The two entered on separate tours with Miller’s arrest first announced on April 25, two weeks after his arrival.

According to Japan’s Kyodo News, quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Fowle was detained subsequently after arriving on a group tour in April, due to a Bible left in his hotel room.

The dates of the trials have not been announced, and it is expected to two may be forced into “confessions” of “criminal acts.” The State Department has updated its travel warnings, urging American citizens not to go to North Korea, pointing out the risk of arbitrary arrest and detention.

Hana Levi Julian

Desecration of Israeli Flags in Jaffa (Yafo)

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Unknown vandals desecrated a line of Israeli flags set up along a street in the Tel Aviv suburb of Jaffa (Yafo) in the wee hours of Wednesday.

Red paint was splattered on Israel’s national flags, which were strung along the street to honor the upcoming national Memorial Day and Independence Day holidays next week.

Police have opened an investigation into the incident.

The ancient port city of Jaffa is home to a mixed population of Arabs and Jews. There have been tensions over the growing numbers of religious Jews in the city, and the establishment of yeshivot and other religious Jewish schools and facilities there.

Jewish Press News Briefs

A Violent Night During Celebrations in Jerusalem’s Old City

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Tensions are continuing to rise and violent incidents are increasing in the Old City of Jerusalem. Some 30 Arabs rioters threw firecrackers at the Emet house in the Old City in a confrontations with Border Police officers that included a clash with Arabs hurling bottles and stones at the police. One Border Police officer was lightly wounded.

Arabs threw rocks at some 800 Israelis who were participating in the monthly Rosh Chodesh (New Hebrew Month) march around the Old City walls. No one was injured.

Construction Minister Uri Ariel, one of the participants, stated that Israel’s sovereignty on the Temple Mount should not be destabilized and that the freedom of religious practice should be ensured for all faiths, including Jews.

“Unfortunately, Arab citizens are utilizing the holiness of the Temple Mount for political gain and are generating disturbances, breaking the peace time and again and are providing shelter for rioters,” Ariel pointed out.

“A sovereign state cannot tolerate such a breach of its sovereignty in this most holy of places and I call on the Minister of Public Security not allow this situation to continue.” He further added that it was inconceivable that Jews would be discriminated against on the Temple Mount.

In another incident some 150 Arabs participated in the funeral of terrorist Amjad Al-Safdi, an Israeli Arab  lawyer who was arrested a few weeks ago in a joint operation by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and Israel Police on suspicion of aiding Hamas terrorists.

Al-Safdi, who was released to house arrest, committed suicide.

His funeral procession began at the Temple Mount and moved through the Old City, with mourners carrying PLO and Hamas flags. At one point they passed by Israeli homes, and one of the mourners threw a glass bottle at the playground which was full of playing children and their parents. No one was injured, but security ordered everyone to enter their homes until the end of the event.    

In yet another incident, girls of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) marched in a semi-military march yesterday afternoon near the homes of Israeli residents. The PRC is a coalition of various armed Palestinian Authority Arab terror groups that oppose peace with Israel.  The girls, aged 7 – 14, marched in uniform, flying the PRC yellow-colored and the PLO flags, stepping in tandem with the beat of  march- like military drums.  

Sarah Ha’etzni Cohen, chairwoman of the ‘My Israel’ activist organization told Tazpit News Agency she viewed the march and its violence with much severity. “This march is another grave incident taking place right under the nose of the police. This incident is one of many which are undermining Israel’s sovereignty in our capital, Jerusalem. We call again on Public Security Minister  Aharonovitz to take responsibility and ensure the safety of the residents of Jerusalem and the State of Israel.”

The police were unavailable for comment.

On April 23 Arabs hurled rocks stones at bus #65 on a main route in Jerusalem, right next to police national headquarters, injuring one of the passengers. The woman was transported to Hadassah Mount Scopus Medical Center. Several other passengers were treated for shock.

Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency

Eyewitness Report from Ukraine: ‘You Can Feel the Tension in the Air’

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

DRUZHKOVA, UKRAINE – Tensions continue to mount in eastern Ukraine, as no obtainable solution is in sight. Reports of casualties continue to stream out of the provinces in dispute, and the residents of Ukraine don’t know what new reality they may encounter on a daily basis.

Most Ukrainians talk of a link to the West, but those in the east of the country feel a part of Russia. The Ukrainian Government has engaged in military action to maintain the entirety of its sovereign territory, a move which has brought to the escalation in violence and the rise in the death toll. As the two governments continue to wage battle, it seems the main question is how the Ukrainian residents of the east really view themselves; are they western Russians or eastern Ukrainians? Sergey Ovechinikov, a former resident of the eastern Donetsk Province talked to Tazpit News Agency about what he experienced in the past weeks and where he believes eastern Ukraine is headed.

Sergey lives in Cyprus and often visits his family who reside in the city of Druzhkovka, in northern Donetsk Province. “Everyone is expectant of some development; you can feel the tension in the air. I saw people erecting barricades in the city. I never thought I would see anything like this in my city. No one knows who is manning the barricades, some are locals, but they are surely organized by someone”

Sergey is apprehensive of the precarious security situation in the streets, describing a situation which is on the threshold of anarchy. “You get the sense the people really want to fight; some of the people manning the barricades are armed. There is currently no police force in the city. They withdrew, and there is a Russian flag flying over the police headquarters. All government buildings have Russian flags flying from them.”

Sergey points out that not all the residents of the area wish to become Russian citizens. Some have expressed objection to the flying of the Russian flags. “People have different opinions,” explains Sergey, “The streets seem to say that everyone wants to join Russia, but I don’t think everyone wants to make this move. Those who oppose unifying with Russia are afraid to voice their opinions, as they are the minority. Most of the population is Pro-Russian. At a situation close to war another view point is not relevant and no one wants to hear it. It seems like the region is on the brink of a civil war.”

Regardless of their political aspirations, all fear the pending economical collapse. “Everyone fears that their factories will shut down and they will lose their jobs.  The Ukraine Hryvnia has plummeted, and there is no fuel for heating in the area,” says Sergey.

Fear seems to be the primary sentiment expressed about the future in the region. “People fear that the new Ukrainian government will hunt down those are generating the pro-Russian actions. There are street battles between pro-Russian activities and pro-Ukrainian nationalists, although the majority here is hostile to anything Ukrainian – the flag, national anthem, state symbols and language. I think east Ukraine will never unify with the rest of the country,” concludes Sergey.

Ukraine’s future is shrouded in uncertainty, but it is clear the current course of change is unalterable. One is only left to hope the violence will not be the main actor in this change of scenes.

Roman Mokrinsky / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/eyewitness-report-from-ukraine-you-can-feel-the-tension-in-the-air/2014/04/23/

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