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In France, thousands call for release of kidnapped Israeli soldier

June 23, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–At a rally in Paris, up to 10,000 people called for the release of Israeli soldier Gild Shalit, held captive in the Gaza Strip by Hamas since June 2006. Several Jewish organizations and France’s Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim had called a rally in support for Shalit, who is also a French citizen, at a square in central Paris. The protestors held up banners reading “Freedom for Gilad Shalit”, “Hamas are terrorist Iran accomplices” and “Defending Israel is defending democracy”.

The protest was organized by the umbrella organization of French Jews, CRIF. Speakers on stage condemned Hamas and urged the release of Shalit, 23, who was captured on 25 June 2006 by Hamas and two smaller armed groups in a deadly cross-border raid. He is believed to be held in a secret location in the Gaza Strip. Speaking at the event, CRIF President Richard Prasquier said: “We urge the French government, which supported the easing of the Gaza blockade, to call for Gilad’s release. De-legitimizing Israel is de-legitimizing part of who we are, and we won’t support that.”

Politicians from across the political spectrum spoke at the event. One of them, Paris Deputy Mayor Anne Hidalgo, said that City Council had decided to grant Shalit honorary citizenship of the city. “This is a symbolic act that will raise awareness and bring results on the ground,” she said.

The rally was also attended by representatives of France’s black citizen federation, Armenian friends of Israel, and about 500 pro-Israel Christians. Other demonstrations took place in cities across the country. In the southern city of Nice, some 340 people took part in a rally, according to police.

Meanwhile, Hamas has denied repeated requests by the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit the kidnapped IDF soldier in Gaza. “One of our main achievements is that we have been able to visit nearly everyone detained in connection to this conflict, with the exception of Gilad Shalit,” Pierre Dorbes, deputy head of the ICRC in Israel and the Occupied Territories, told ‘Haaretz’, adding that he felt talks to free Shalit are deadlocked.

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

Children’s song endorsing martyrdom gaining popularity in Arab world

June 23, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–A music video, available on the internet platform ‘YouTube’, with a song sung by a children’s choir endorsing martyrdom in the fight against Israel, is becoming increasingly popular in the Arab world. The children sing: “When we die as martyrs, we will go to heaven” and “Without Palestine, what does childhood mean?” The choir is reportedly becoming one of the most popular children’s groups in the Arab world.

The songs are broadcast over the ‘Birds of Paradise’ TV channel that began operating in the Gulf emirate of Bahrain in January 2008. It was established by the Jordanian-Palestinian businessman Khaled Maqdad, who formed the children’s band in 1994. He has since raised funds to set up the TV station, which specializes in broadcasting the band’s clips. In addition to the children’s songs, there are also an abundance of love songs to the homeland and songs praising “heroes like Ahmad Yassin,” the wheelchair bound founder of Hamas whom Israel killed in March 2004.

“This is a private low-budget project,” Maqdad said in a past interview with the Arab newspaper ‘Al-Shuruq’. “The channel has captured the hearts of millions of children. It succeeds where the educational system has failed, such as multiplication table songs. It helps teachers work on it with the children.”

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

Police to patrol in Amsterdam disguised as religious Jews

June 23, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–The acting mayor of the Dutch capital Amsterdam, Lodewijk Asscher, has reportedly decided to deploy undercover police officers disguised as religious Jews on the streets in order to identify violent anti-Semites. “Jews in at least six Amsterdam neighborhoods often cannot cross the street wearing a skullcap without being insulted, spat at or even attacked,” the British newspaper ‘Daily Telegraph’ quotes Dutch media as reporting. Amsterdam police already disguise officers as decoy prostitutes, gay and old people in operations to deter street muggings and attacks on homosexuals or the city’s red light district.

Secret television recordings by the Jewish broadcasting company ‘Joodse Omroep’, broadcast over the weekend showed young men shouting and making Nazi salutes at a rabbi when he visited different areas of the Dutch capital.

The idea of using police officers in disguise was floated by a Muslim parliamentarian. The Israeli newspaper ‘Haaretz’ quotes Ahmed Marcouch, a Moroccan-born Social Democratic member of parliament who immigrated to the Netherlands at the age  of ten, as saying: “I say, send fake Jews to arrest the attackers. Everything must be done to keep this phenomenon from growing. It seems like small incidents, but this is serious.”

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Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.

Ebay cancels ‘sale’ of Yiddishe Momma in UK

June 23, 2010 Leave a comment

(WJC)–The online auction house Ebay has removed an advert for a ‘Yiddishe Momma’ from its website for being in breach of its “human body parts and remains policy”, the British weekly ‘Jewish Chronicle’ reports. James Doyan, a management consultant, decided to auction his mother, Sandi Firth from Leeds, on Ebay after “having enough of her exploits in trying to find love”.

He placed an ad for the 63-year-old with the title: “My Yiddishe Momma for sale. Beautiful, great cook, educated, articulate, family focused, caring – priceless”.

On Monday, eBay had pulled the page with the explanation that it does not allow “live or dead people or human body parts” to be listed. Prohibited body parts include organs, bones and blood but human hair is allowed. It also said Doyan may be required to take a tutorial before being allowed to sell again.

According to Doyan, about 400 people had looked at the site and the highest bid placed was at GBP 1.60 (US$ 2.36). “I thought it was hilarious that they thought I was trying to traffic my mother,” he said. “I could have put her on eBay and offered the bidder a locket of hair because that’s the only thing you can sell. I’m done with it now. It’s taken up so much of my time. I got quite a few emails, some were perverted but others had lovely messages,” Doyan was quoted by the ‘Jewish Chronicle’ as saying.

StandWithUs calls for June 25 as day of solidarity with Gilad Shalit

June 23, 2010 Leave a comment

LOS ANGELES (Press Release)– Friday, June 25, marks four long years since Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit was abducted by seven Hamas terrorists who entered Israel from a tunnel under the Israel-Gaza border and ambushed an Israeli tank from behind. They launched a rocket-propelled grenade at the vehicle and killed two Israeli soldiers, Staff Sergeant Pavel Slutzker and Lieutenant Hanan Barak. Five other soldiers, including Gilad Shalit, were wounded.
 
That day, less than a year after he began his military service, Gilad was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and taken to the Gaza Strip, where he has remained captive ever since. Gilad was 19 years old at the time of his abduction. An Israeli and French citizen, he is a quiet person who loves math and sports. Gilad enjoyed following different sports leagues and tournaments all over the world. If one wanted to know the results of a competition in any country—Gilad knew the answer. If Gilad were safe at home with his family in Israel today, he would have undoubtedly been following every game of the 2010 soccer World Cup. Instead, he waits at the mercy of his terrorist captors in an undisclosed location in the Gaza Strip.
 
Gilad always volunteered to help everyone around him. Now he is cared for by no one, because no one is allowed to see him. For four years, Hamas has denied Gilad even one visit by a humanitarian group, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to provide him with proper medical attention. This is in violation of the Third Geneva Convention.
 
Gilad’s father, Noam, asked flotilla passengers bringing what they claimed to be “humanitarian aid” to Gaza if they could bring his son one letter and one small package. The answer was no. 
 
In March 2010, Béatrice Mégevand-Roggo, the ICRC’s head of operations for the Middle East and North Africa, admitted that “from the very beginning…we have repeatedly urged those holding him to treat him humanely and to allow him to exchange news with his family. We have emphasized that they have an obligation to do so under international humanitarian law…On more than one occasion, we have publicly demanded that Hamas allow us to visit Mr. Shalit in order to independently assess his condition. None of our appeals has been heard so far.” Hamas has also rejected the ICRC’s discreet, behind-the-scenes requests to visit Gilad Shalit.
 
On Friday, June 25, Gilad will have been held hostage for  EXACTLY FOUR YEARS, 1,461 DAYS, by a fanatic terrorist group dedicated to annihilating the state of Israel and the Jewish people. His treatment is inhumane and tragic, and we are left to wonder: Why does the world accept this kind of treatment? Where is the support for his release?
 
What we are asking for is simple:
 
One conversation.
 
One doctor.
 
One visit by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
 
And, if possible, one hug, on behalf of his brothers and sisters in Israel and those in the United States and from around the world who want to let him know that we have not forgotten his plight and that we stand with him.

Please send a letter to the International Committee of the Red Cross; Amnesty International; and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to urge them to demand the release of Gilad Shalit and, at the very least, demand that Hamas allow Gilad Shalit to receive proper medical attention and contact from his family in Israel.  
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Preceding provided by StandWithUs

U.S. State Department designates Chechen rebel Umarov as a terrorist

June 23, 2010 Leave a comment
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 23 (Press Release)–The Secretary of State has designated Caucasus Emirates leader Doku Umarov under Presidential Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. This action will help stem the flow of financial and other assistance to Umarov.

The emergence of Umarov as the leader of the Chechen insurgency intensified the split between national separatists and radical jihadists and led to a movement seeking to create an Islamic Emirate of the Caucasus with Umarov as the Emir. Umarov claimed responsibility for masterminding attacks in both Russia and the Caucasus region, most recently acknowledging involvement in the 2009 Nevsky Express train derailment which killed 28 people, and the 2010 Moscow subway bombings, which killed 40.

“The designation of Umarov is in direct response to the threats posed to United States and Russia,” said Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, the Department of State’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism. “The recent attacks perpetrated by Umarov and his operatives illustrate the global nature of the terrorist problem we face today. We stand in solidarity with the Russian people in our condemnation of these deplorable terrorist acts.”

This designation represents just one phase of the United States Government’s response to the threat posed by Doku Umarov. The action taken today against Umarov supports the U.S. effort to degrade Umarov’s ability to exert operational and leadership control over Caucasus Emirates. We are determined to eliminate the group’s ability to direct violent attacks and to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Umarov’s network.

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Preceding provided by the U.S. State Department

JINSA applauds Supreme Court decision on preventing aid to terrorists

June 23, 2010 Leave a comment

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release) – The Jewish Institute for National Security  Affairs (JINSA) applauds the decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the law that prohibits Americans from providing “material support” to groups designated by the State Department as “foreign terrorist organizations.”

The case, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project (HLP), was decided in a 6-3
decision on Monday. JINSA had participated in an amicus brief in  cooperation with the Washington Legal Foundation. Also signing onto the  brief were four retired flag officers and two other organizations, the  National Defense Committee and the Allied Educational Foundation.

The court agreed with the brief and upheld the existing law, which has  its roots in the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of  1996 (AEDPA) and is further expressed in the USA Patriot Act. The  decision was a victory for the signers of the amicus and the American  people. The case, which challenged the constitutionality of the  aforementioned federal law that makes it a crime to provide “material  support” to a group that has been designated as a “foreign terrorist
organization” by the State Department, was brought by the Humanitarian
Law Project and several of its individual supporters.

JINSA Executive Director Tom Neumann said, “The current ban on providing
aid to designated terrorist groups is a cornerstone of U.S. efforts to  defeat terrorist groups and a force for changing the policies of those  states that harbor and support them. The HLP contention that aid to  terrorist organizations could be designated for humanitarian or  political purposes is specious since all moneys are fungible.” The court rejected that argument as well as the argument that the right to support
terrorist is a first amendment right.

The Court’s decision reaffirms the illegality of the HLP’s stated  efforts to provide aid to the PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) and the  LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), both designated by the State  Department as foreign terrorist entities.

Neumann noted that groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah are also denied
financial support from the United States by the law. “Had the Court  struck down the law, undeniably America would be less safe. We are  gratified that the Supreme Court of the United States recognized the  imperative need to safeguard American lives.”

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Preceding provided by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs