Archive for the ‘Jews’ Category
|Gaza Strip conflict engendering wave of anti-Semitic violence in Europe|
|By The Associated Press|
|PARIS – Signs are mounting that the conflict in Gaza is starting to spill over into violence in Europe’s towns and cities, with assaults against Jews and arson attacks on Jewish congregations in France, Sweden and Britain.
Assailants rammed a burning car into the gates of a synagogue in Toulouse, in southwest France, on Monday night. A Jewish congregation in Helsingborg, in southern Sweden, also was attacked Monday night by someone who “broke a window and threw in something that was burning,” said police spokesman Leif Nilsson. Neighbors alerted rescue services before the fire took hold.
Someone also started a blaze outside the premises last week. And on Sunday slogans including “murderers … You broke the cease-fire” and “don’t subject Palestine to ethnic cleansing” were daubed on Israel’s embassy in Stockholm.
In Denmark, a 27-year-old Dane born in Lebanon of Palestinian parents allegedly injured two young Israelis last week, opening fire with a handgun. Police suspect his actions could be linked to the Gaza crisis.
France has Western Europe’s largest Jewish and Muslim communities and a history of anti-Semitic violence flaring when tensions in the Middle East are high. In 2002, some 2,300 Jews left France for Israel because they felt unsafe.
President Nicolas Sarkozy warned in a statement yesterday that France would not tolerate violence linked to the Gaza crisis. A day earlier, his interior minister said she was concerned about the prospect of contagion and met with the heads of the two main Muslim and Jewish groups and police officials to stress the need to “preserve national unity.”
Damage to the synagogue in Toulouse was limited to a blackened gate, and there were no injuries even though a rabbi was giving a course to adults inside, authorities said. They said unlighted gasoline bombs were also found in a car nearby and in the synagogue’s yard. A local Jewish leader, Armand Partouche, said he believed the assailants had planned to torch the synagogue, but fled when the building’s alarm went off.
“It could have been very, very serious,” Partouche said in a telephone interview. “There were people inside; there could have been deaths.”
He said Jewish leaders are asking Toulouse authorities for reinforced security for the city’s synagogues.
“We really fear that anti-Semitism will spring up again and that the current conflict will be transposed to our beautiful French republic,” he said.
In Britain, the Community Security Trust, a Jewish defense group, said it had seen a rise in anti-Semitic incidents since the start of Israel’s offensive against Gaza. The group said it had recorded 20-25 incidents across the country in the past week that it believed were connected with Gaza, including an arson attempt on a synagogue in north London on Sunday.
London police are investigating the attack, in which suspects splashed flammable liquid on the door and set it on fire.
Community Security Trust spokesman Mark Gardner said that in another incident last week, a gang of 15-20 youths walked along the main street in Golders Green, a largely Jewish neighborhood in north London, shouting “Jew” and “Free Palestine” at passers-by.
“It could get worse,” Gardner said. “We tend to see these things happen in waves.”
The government in Belgium yesterday ordered police in Antwerp and Brussels to be on increased alert after recent pro-Palestinian protests ended in violence and dozens of arrests. Police said burning rags were shoved through the mailbox of a Jewish home in Antwerp last weekend. Damage was limited and no arrests were made.
In the Danish shooting, one Israeli man was shot in the arm and another in the leg as they were selling hair care products in a shopping mall. Eli Ruvio, who owns the company that operated the stands, said his employees have been harassed by Muslim youths since they set up three kiosks in the shopping center in August.
“They kept cursing and shouting at us,” Ruvio told The Associated Press. “He added that the Muslim youths also threw mud and firecrackers at the employees and spat at them.”
Ruvio recalled an episode December 27 when some of the youths shouted “slaughter all the Jews.”
“I told my employees not to speak in Hebrew and lie about where they come from, they should say there were from Spain or somewhere else. If people ask you where you are from, never say you’re from Israel,” he said.
At the same time as Ehud Barak was ordering the army to start the bloody ground offensive against Gaza, some ten thousand protesters from all over Israel marched in Tel-Aviv in a massive demonstration against the war.
“One does not build an election campaign over the dead bodies of children!”…
Some of our friends were not at the big demo but spent the weekend in detention:
21 left-wing activists arrested after attempting to block entrance to Sde Dov military airfield in bid to prevent pilots from ‘taking off to bombard Gaza civilians’
|By Gideon Levy|
| Our finest young men are attacking Gaza now. Good boys from good homes are doing bad things. Most of them are eloquent, impressive, self-confident, often even highly principled in their own eyes, and on Black Saturday dozens of them set out to bomb some of the targets in our “target bank” for the Gaza Strip.
They set out to bomb the graduation ceremony for young police officers who had found that rare Gaza commodity, a job, massacring them by the dozen. They bombed a mosque, killing five sisters of the Balousha family, the youngest of whom was 4. They bombed a police station, hitting a doctor nearby; she lies in a vegetative state in Shifa Hospital, which is bursting with wounded and dead. They bombed a university that we in Israel call the Palestinian Rafael, the equivalent of Israel’s weapons developer, and destroyed student dormitories. They dropped hundreds of bombs out of blue skies free of all resistance.
In four days they killed 375 people. They did not, and could not, distinguish between a Hamas official and his children, between a traffic cop and a Qassam launch operator, between a weapons cache and a health clinic, between the first and second floors of a densely populated apartment building with dozens of children inside. According to reports, about half of the people killed were innocent civilians. We’re not complaining about the pilots’ accuracy, it cannot be otherwise when the weapon is a plane and the objective is a tiny, crowded strip of land. Our excellent pilots are effectively bullies now. As in training flights, they bomb undisturbed, facing neither an air force nor defense system.
It is hard to judge what they are thinking, how they feel. It’s unlikely to be relevant, anyway. They are measured by their actions. In any event, from an altitude of thousands of feet the picture looks as sterile as a Rorschach inkblot. Lock onto the target, press the button and then a black column of smoke. Another “successful hit.” None see the effects on the ground of their actions. Their heads must surely be filled with Gaza horror stories – they themselves have never been there – as if there aren’t a million and a half people living there who only want to live with a minimum of honor, some of them young like themselves, with dreams of studying, working, raising a family but who have no chance to fulfill their dreams with or without the bombing.
Do the pilots think about them, the children of refugees whose parents and grandparents have already been driven from their lives? Do they think about the thousands of people they have left permanently disabled in a place without a single hospital worthy of the name and no rehabilitation centers at all? Do they think about the burning hatred they are planting not only in Gaza but in other corners of the world amid the horrific images on television?
It was not the pilots who decided to go to war, but they are the subcontractors. The real accounting must be with the decision makers, but the pilots are their partners. When they return home they will be welcomed with all the respect and honor we reserve for them. It appears that not only will no one try to provoke moral questioning among them, but that they are considered the real heroes of this cursed war. The Israel Defense Forces spokesman is already going over the top with praise in his daily briefings for the “wonderful work” they are doing. He too, of course, completely ignores the images from Gaza. After all, these are not sadistic Border Police officers beating up Arabs in the alleys of Nablus and the center of Hebron, or cruel undercover soldiers who shoot their targets point-blank in cold blood. These, as we have said, are our finest young men.
Maybe if they were to confront the results of their “wonderful work” even once they would regret their decisions, they would reconsider the effects of their actions. If they were to go just once to Jerusalem’s Alyn Hospital Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Center, where for nearly three years Marya Aman, 7, has been hospitalized – she is a quadriplegic who runs her wheelchair, and her life, with her chin – they would be shocked. This adorable little girl was hit by a missile in Gaza that killed almost her entire family, the handiwork of our pilots.
But all of this is well hidden from the pilots’ eyes. They are only doing their job, as the saying goes, only following orders like bombing machines. In the past few days they have excelled at this, and the results are there for the entire world to see. Gaza is licking its wounds, just like Lebanon before it, and almost no one pauses for a moment to ask whether all this is necessary, or unavoidable, or whether it contributes to Israel’s security and moral image. Is it really the case that our pilots return safely to base, or are they in fact returning to them as callous, cruel and blind people? Source
Tue, 30 Dec 2008 17:56:15 GMT
The Palestinian death toll has risen to at least 385.
World Jews have taken a stand against Israel’s devastating onslaught on the Gaza strip, as the four-day death toll steadily nears 390.
Iran’s Jewish Community released a statement on Tuesday, saying that Israel’s deliberate killing of Palestinians is in direct contradiction to Jewish principles and beliefs.
Scores of Iranian Jews held extensive demonstrations in front of the UN Office in Tehran on Tuesday, to protest the Israeli aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip in the past four days.
“Torah-true Jews should not let their traditional beliefs and teachings bear the brunt of Israel’s slaughter of defenseless women and children,” read the statement, while expressing solidarity with the victims of the attacks.
On Saturday, Israel launched large-scale air strikes on Gaza in what is widely believed to be the most deadly attack on the coastal strip since the 1967 Six Day War. At least 385 Palestinians have been killed and over 1,800 others have been injured so far.
Iranian Jewish schoolgirls demonstrate against Israel’s bombing of Gaza.
Canada’s Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) has also released a statement, condemning Israel’s military offensive against Gazans.
|By Dan Lieberman|
|Close identification of the Jewish people with Israel was never a given. Repetitive urgings by those who had an interest in promoting a close relationship of world Jewry with Israel, and the innocence of those who readily accepted the notification permitted a vocal part of world Jewry into supporting Israel. By accepting the unwarranted association and making it seem that the Jewish people have the power to change Israel’s policies, activists misdirect the path to a peaceful solution of the Middle East crisis, exacerbate the crisis and, by linking Israel’s oppressive policies with the Jews, harm the security of Jewish persons throughout the world. One of many reports tells the story:
“British Jews are facing a wave of anti-Semitic attacks prompted by Israel’s conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Synagogues have been daubed with graffiti, Jewish leaders have had hate-mail and ordinary people have been subjected to insults and vandalism.” (The Times of London; September 2, 2006)
History contradicts the portrayal of Zionism as a mass movement by the Jewish people. The Zionist message prompted nations to question the loyalty of their Jewish citizens, served to impede their advances, and reinforced a race-baiting theory that Jews engaged in international conspiracies. Anti-Zionist Rabbis insisted: “Zion exists everywhere but in Zion.”
The British Mandate for Palestine revived the Zionist mission. Horrific oppression of Jews during World War II moved world Jewry to support the establishment of an Israeli nation. However, it wasn’t until Israel’s 1967 battleground victory that a new generation of Jews eagerly identified themselves with Israel – chauvinism and false pride steered their actions, intensive propaganda and clever networks reinforced their attachment.
The term `Jewish nation` has never been adequately defined nor has the debate of “Who is a Jew?” been resolved. According to The Economist (Jan.11, 2007), “Only 17% of American Jews regard themselves as pro-Zionist and only 57% say that ‘caring about Israel is a very important part of being Jewish.’” Regard the totality of Israel and the nation doesn’t add up to be a nation of specifically recognized definitions of Jewish morality, culture or atmosphere. Just the opposite – the bundle of contradictions demonstrate there are no specific definitions. Many foods, architectural styles, music, dances and landscapes in Israel relate to the Arab Mediterranean. Twenty percent of Israel`s population are Arabs and a portion of the citizenry, such as the Ethiopian Falasha and many of the Russian immigrants, have dubious relation to world Jewry. Many of the oriental (Mizrahiyim) immigrants to Israel, who constitute a great part of Israel`s population, can be considered Arab – having previously spoken Arab, adopted Arab customs and culture and lived for generations in Arab lands.