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August 28, 2016 / 24 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘victims’

When the Victims of Terror Are Not Jews

Monday, July 18th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Aish website}

Nice has till now been world renowned as the capitol of the French Riviera. Founded by the Greeks long ago, it became a resort for the elite – the cultured, the artistic, the sophisticated, the liberals and the intellectuals who gloried in its symbolic status as paradigm of 21st century paradise.

Today Nice has joined the geographic list of monuments to the tragedy of terrorism. The names of the cities stand as powerful reminders of the universal threat to civilized society. It is no longer just Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. It is Paris and Brussels, San Bernardino and Orlando, Istanbul and Dhaka.

And so we have come full circle.

For years now Europe has been in the forefront of those justifying Palestinian atrocities – terrorist acts of murder of innocents, of slayings of Jews at prayer, children asleep in their bedrooms, mothers in front of their children – all deemed permissible with the torturous logic that people who believe they have no other alternative are morally permitted to carry out brutal and barbaric violence.

Is wholesale murder in fact ever tolerable because the executioners are convinced that their ultimate goal is noble?

But surely now the world needs to ask the question: When does terrorism cease to be terrorism? Is wholesale murder in fact ever tolerable because the executioners are convinced that their ultimate goal is noble? Is there any possible vindication for driving a truck into a crowd of celebrants of Bastille Day, supposedly to distribute free ice cream to the revelers, viciously killing and injuring small children as well as hundreds of others in its path?

I ask because the response to the tragedy in Nice has been notable for the kind of words which its spokespersons previously so often made clear they do not believe.

Listen to the leading Muslim clerics who united in condemning the attack and calling for a joint struggle against extremism because, as they piously exclaim, they are opposed to extremism in any form.

Listen to United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan who said: “This heinous terrorist crime makes it imperative for all to work decisively and without hesitation to counter terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”

Listen to Sunni Islam’s leading center of learning, Al-Azhar which said the “vile terrorist attack” contradicted Islam and urged the world to unite efforts “to defeat terrorism and rid the world of its evil”.

Listen to Iran which also decried the “criminal terrorist incident” in Nice. “As we have repeatedly said before, terrorism is an evil phenomenon that will only be eradicated through international unity and collaboration,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said.

Senior Egyptian Muslim cleric Shawki Allam condemned the assailant as an “extremist.” “People who commit such ugly crimes are corrupt of the Earth, and follow in the footsteps of Satan… and are cursed in this life and in the hereafter.”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi denounced “in the strongest terms the vile terrorist attack,” his office said.

Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit condemned the “craven terrorist attack,” his spokesman said.

What happened in Nice is not nice because it was the kind of violence whose victims weren’t Jews, whose targets weren’t Israelis. But when it is a marketplace in Tel Aviv or a bedroom in Kiryat Arba terrorism appears to lose its obscene stench for all the hypocritical mouthpieces of moderation who would like us to believe they are opposed in principle to murder inspired by fanatic motives and targeted at innocent victims.

It is both strange and appalling that at one and the same time the world could condemn with great fervor the fanaticism of terrorism against some nations while continuing to justify those very crimes against those for whom they share hatred and animosity. And it is precisely because of this hypocrisy – the implicit belief that “my terrorism is not your terrorism” – that civilization is so powerfully imperiled.

How long will the world praise terrorists in one corner of the globe and assume it won’t become victimized everywhere else?

The Jewish calendar long-ago cautioned us about the danger of this approach. The most tragic day of the year for Jews is the ninth of Av, Tisha B’Av. It was the exact day on which both of the temples were destroyed. It is a day of fasting and mourning, meant to ensure we never forget the tragic events it commemorates as well as our spiritual failings which contributed to the terrible events of this day. But what is a remarkable is that three weeks before the ninth of Av, this coming Sunday, we observe an additional day of fasting and mourning. It is the 17th of Tammuz. On that day the Temple was not yet destroyed. Yet it needs to be equally remembered because that is the day on which the walls of Jerusalem were breached. It was the beginning of the end – and the beginning of our downfall needs to be recalled as much as the day of final tragedy.

It is a message of great contemporary relevance. The day when the walls first fell, which allowed for all that followed, was when the world failed to respond to terrorism even though it wasn’t their house that was burning nor their children who were brutalized; when it was Tel Aviv and not Paris, when it was Jerusalem and not Istanbul, when it was just Jews celebrating a Passover Seder in the seaside resort of Netanya and not proud French citizens in the beautiful capital of the Riviera.

Terrorism didn’t appear to be such a terrifying threat when the wall of civilized behavior was first overrun. But inexorably the 17th of Tammuz is followed by Tisha B’Av. Evil un-confronted and un-challenged has taken the first step to victory.

How long will the world fail to understand this? How long will the world continue to praise terrorists in one corner of the globe and blindly assume it will not become similarly victimized everywhere else?

Our fate rests on the correct answer.

Rabbi Benjamin Blech

Shouldn’t We First Help the Christian Victims of Mideast Genocide?

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Before dawn Monday, four suicide bombers killed five and wounded at least a dozen in the Lebanese Christian town of al-Qaa. Later that night, as townspeople prepared to bury their dead, four more suicide bombers hit.

The attacks underscored just how endangered are Christians who live in today’s Muslim world. As the United States debates how many Mideast refugees to accept and who should get priority, the answer is staring us in the face: Those most in need of refuge are Christians and Yazidis who live among Muslims.

On June 19, a suicide bomber killed three people as he detonated himself at a memorial to massacred Christians in Qumishi, Syria. On June 9, a Pakistani Muslim mob badly beat a man merely because he was a Christian. On June 5, two people were killed when Islamists targeted a church with rockets in Syria; the same day, a Christian man was hacked to death at his shop by Islamists in Bangladesh. On June 2, in Nigeria, Muslim youths beheaded a Christian woman for allegedly insulting Mohammed.

And that’s just this month — a typical month, sadly, for the world’s Christians.

In May, similar Muslim attacks against Christians took place in Niger, Turkey, Syria, the Philippines, Uganda, Pakistan and Bangladesh. On March 27-28, a Taliban group murdered 69 Christians and wounded 30 more, mainly women and children, as they were celebrating Easter in a park in Lahore, Pakistan.

The Obama administration has called for massive acceptance of Muslim refugees from war zones.

The list goes on. Yet President Obama seems to value endangered Muslim lives more than the lives of endangered Christians and Yazidis.

In April, America built a temporary “surge” center in Amman, Jordan, to more rapidly process Muslim immigrants from Syria. The vetting process has been “fast tracked,” perhaps in order to meet Obama’s desired number of 10,000 Muslim Syrians to be admitted by September.

The Obama administration has called for an openhearted and massive acceptance of Muslim refugees from war zones. Democratic leaders insist that it would be wrong, morally, legally and politically, to stop Muslim immigration — but concede that it’s currently impossible to identify would-be jihadists among refugees or homegrown radicals among their descendants.

The United Nations has more modestly suggested that Western nations accept Muslim “women and children” first.

Obama has paid no attention to what has happened in Europe, namely the large number of sexual assaults of girls, women and homosexuals by Muslim men, as well as the staggering financial cost of hosting hostile, non-productive immigrants who may have no desire to assimilate to Western customs.

Here’s another suggestion.

Christian refugees are more inclined to assimilate to Western ways, or at least respond to them nonviolently.

If we want to accept refugees in flight from Arab and Muslim war zones, why not start with Christians who are being slaughtered by Muslims in Muslim-majority countries? Although they’re Arabs, Africans or Central Asians, the fact that they’re also Christians might make them more inclined to assimilate to Western ways — and, even if they assimilate imperfectly, they’re more likely to respond to Western freedoms in nonviolent ways.

Why has the pope offered symbolic asylum in the Vatican only to Muslims and not to fellow Christians?

Recently, according to my colleague Ashraf Rameleh, a Coptic Christian advocate, “Pope Francis, who is ‘building bridges to build peace’ around the world, has naturally reached out to embrace Sunni Muslims.” Rameleh notes that the pope has “grieved with the Orthodox of Egypt and offered his prayers over the spilled blood of Christians in Libya, recognizing the Coptic Christian martyrs.”

However, the pope has remained silent about the systematic destruction of the Eastern Christian Church. He hasn’t supported Egyptian President Abdel Fatta el-Sisi, who is trying to break the stranglehold that the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood still has on Egypt.

I have been told by the director of the Hatune Dogan Foundation, Hans Erling Jensen, that Christians stuck in refugee camps in Turkey have arrived penniless; that Muslims don’t look out for them but, instead, continue to persecute them. Most are starving. Many don’t have money to buy food or to pay traffickers to smuggle them out.

Why not bring Christians and Yazidis from the Muslim world here first? Why not bring Muslim dissidents, ex-Muslims, and Muslim homosexuals here second?

Finally, why not bring Muslim girls and women who are already in flight from honor-based violence, including from honor killing here, next — before we extend visas, green cards and asylum to Muslim boys and men?

Phyllis Chesler

Families of Terror Victims Sue Facebook in NY Federal Court

Monday, July 11th, 2016

The horrified, traumatized families of victims of terror who died in Israel filed a lawsuit in an American federal courtroom Monday in an attempt to reach justice for their loved ones.

Five families of American and dual Israeli-American victims of terror are suing the giant Facebook social networking site for failing to curb incitement to terror.

The Israel Law Center filed the lawsuit on behalf of the families Monday morning in New York federal court, citing the U.S. 1992 Anti-Terrorism Act.

The law bans American corporations from providing any and all aid to terrorist groups or their leaders.

The families are demanding one billion dollars in damages over Facebook’s failure to delete and limit the rampant pro-terrorist incitement on the site.

Among the plaintiffs are the families of: – Taylor Force, a U.S. veteran who was stabbed to death earlier this year in Tel Aviv; – 76-year-old Richard Laikin, shot to death on a bus in Jerusalem last year; – little baby Chaya Zissel Braum, murdered in Jerusalem by Hamas in 2014; – Naftali Frenkel, one of the three teens kidnapped and shot to death by Hamas in 2014; – Menachem Mendel Rivkin, who was brutally stabbed in Givat Ze’ev this year.

This is not the first lawsuit aimed at Facebook over its unwillingness to take a stand against terrorism on its social networking site — even though the company says it works “aggressively” to remove terrorist content as soon as it becomes aware of it.

There have been many times users complain that Facebook is not responsive to reports of terrorist content, however. Those reports may now be included in this lawsuit.

The family of 23-year-old Nohemi Gonzalez also sued the internet giant last month, filing the claim in California.

The lawsuit by the Gonzalez family included Twitter and internet search engine giant Google, accusing the Big Three over providing material support to the ISIS terrorist organization.

Gonzalez was murdered in the 2015 ISIS terrorist attack on Paris.

Hana Levi Julian

Thousands of Auschwitz Victims’ Personal Items to Go on Display

Friday, June 10th, 2016

More than 16 thousand personal items belonging to the victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau, originally discovered in archaeological digs carried out in 1967 by the Communist government in the vicinity of the gas chamber and crematorium III, have now been delivered to the Auschwitz Memorial.

The objects are not only a remarkable testimony to the history of the camp and the extermination process, but also a moving personal testimony of the victims. In most cases, these are the last personal belongings of the Jews led to their death in the gas chambers upon selection at the ramp. They include thermometers, empty medicine bottles, fragments of shoes, jewelry, cutlery, watches, brushes, smoking pipes, lighters, fragments of kitchenware, buttons, pocketknives, and keys.

Auschwitz personal belongings – letters / Photo: Paweł Sawicki

Auschwitz personal belongings – letters / Photo: Paweł Sawicki

“In 1967, on the site of the former Birkenau camp, Lódz-born filmmaker Andrzej Brzozowski made a short documentary film titled ‘Archaeology,’ showing the process of the excavations near the ruins of the gas chamber and crematorium III,” Elżbieta Cajzer, head of the Museum collections related. “As a result of these works, which were shown in the video, a large number of original objects were found from the period of when the camp was still functioning. The register of the museum collections only shows a little more than 400 objects from these excavations. We were convinced, however, that there had to be much more. We launched an investigation that lasted several months, by verifying archival documentation.”

“Individually verified trails were broken; people who had been working then in the Museum were no longer there. Unfortunately, the film’s director has already died, the institutions which funded the film have changed, and the archives were silent,” said Auschwitz Museum director, Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński. “Nevertheless, we checked every lead. We could not be certain whether the results of the archaeological research had not been squandered or fragmented. After all, almost 50 years have passed; Polish institutions have undergone thorough changes after the fall of Communism. We took into account and were prepared for any eventuality.”

Auschwitz personal belongings – cup / Photo: Paweł Sawicki

Auschwitz personal belongings – cup / Photo: Paweł Sawicki

“We succeeded in making contact with the last living persons who participated in the project almost 50 years ago,” Elżbieta Cajzer said, adding, “It was, however, uncertain where the items found during the making of the film had been deposited. It turned out that they are stored in 48 cardboard boxes at one of the buildings of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Most of them have been packed the entire time in individually marked boxes, which is today very important for the process of documentation and verification of the objects’ authenticity, as they indicate the place of discovery or precise information about individual objects.”

Auschwitz personal belongings transported / Photo: Paweł Sawicki

Auschwitz personal belongings transported / Photo: Paweł Sawicki

“I had considered the discovery of such a huge collection in whole after nearly half a century as unlikely as finding the treasure of a lost Galleon,” Dr. Cywiński said. “I can only try to imagine why the lost objects were deposited in these boxes just after being dug up. The excavations were carried out in the summer of 1967, near the gas chambers and crematoria, presumably to be analyzed and studied, or perhaps someone even had the intention to write an extensive research paper on the subject. This is a unique collection in every way. A few months later in 1968, there was a political turnabout and the Communist authorities took a clearly anti-Semitic direction. Perhaps this is why they did not hurry with the implementation and closure of this project. The times then were difficult for Holocaust-related topics.”

JNi.Media

Four Tel Aviv Terror Shooting Attack Victims Identified

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Police have released the names of the four new Israeli terror victims murdered Wednesday night by Palestinian Authority Arab gunmen in Tel Aviv.

Among the dead were Ramat Gan resident Ido Ben Ari, 41; Tel Aviv resident Ilana Neve, 39; Michael Feige, 58, a doctor from Midreshet Ben-Gurion and Mila Mishayev, 33, of Rishon Lezion.

Mishayev, who is from Ashkelon, was responsible for the care of her two parents, two brothers and one sister, according to a statement by a city spokesperson.

Social workers from the city’s department of social services were at the family home on Thursday morning to render whatever assistance is needed, the spokesperson said. Funeral details have yet to be set.

“We will provide as much help as we can to the family,” said Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni. “May they know no more sorrow, and may G-d avenge the blood of the victims of this shooting attack. We all send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured.”

Hana Levi Julian

Update on Sarona Market Terror Attack Victims

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Four victims from Wednesday nights terror attack at the Sarona Food Market in Tel Aviv are still being treated in the ICU at Ichilov Hospital.

Two additional women have been released from the hospital. Four people were murdered.

Two Arab terrorists from the village of Yatta entered the Sarona Market restaurant, sat down, and then got up and opened fire at the other restaurant guests.

Both terrorists have been captured. One of the terrorists underwent surgery at Ichilov Hospital after being seriously wounded by police.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Bill Letting 9/11 Victims Sue Saudi Arabia Passes Senate

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

The Senate on Tuesday approved by a voice vote the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act allowing families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the Saudi government—disregarding a veto threat by the White House. In his recent visit to the Kingdom, President Obama suffered unprecedented humiliation from Saudi officials, presumably hinting at what would come next should he expose them to a torrent of 9/11 litigation. The Saudis have also threatened to move billions of dollars out of the US economy, so there won’t be any assets to freeze when they lose in court.

Sponsored by Senators John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the bill recognizes the right of victims’ families to sue in US court for the role that Saudi government personnel played in the 2001 attacks on New York, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania. Cornyn said that the United States “will combat terrorism with every tool we have available, and that the victims of terrorist attacks in our country should have every means at their disposal to seek justice.”

The Obama administration is yet to declassify and release US intelligence on Saudi involvement in the attacks, despite repeated pleas from victims’ families.

Irish investigative journalists Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan were contacted by an unnamed counter-terrorism official in 2011 and told there are 80,000 9/11-related documents being kept secret by the FBI, which may not all concern the Saudi family, but many suspect that reclassifying them would expose the truth about the conspiracy, namely that it was driven by elements in the Saudi royal family.

Senate Democrats went against the wishes of the Obama administration, which warned the bill could expose Americans overseas to legal risks.

Schumer had no doubt the Senate had the 67 votes needed to override a presidential veto. “We don’t think their arguments stand up,” he told reporters at a news conference after the vote.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, warned that the legislation, if passed, would alienate Saudi Arabia and undermine the US’ longstanding relationship with a critical ally in the Middle East. Of course, once said ally starts attacking your civilian population, you may need to re-think the relationship.

New Jersey resident Terry Strada, whose husband, Tom, died in the attacks, was in Washington with her daughter Caitlin to await the vote’s results. She told CNN, “We’ve waited long enough. We’ve waited 15 years. We shouldn’t have to wait any longer. It’s good policy to hold accountable any nation that aids in a terror attack on U.S. soil and that aids in the death of US citizens.”

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bill-letting-911-victims-sue-saudi-arabia-passes-senate/2016/05/17/

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