NEW YORK (Press Release) — The Anti-Defamation League on Tuesday called on the government of Kyrgyzstan to bring to justice those responsible for attacking a synagogue in the capital city of Bishkek with a nail-filled pipe bomb on the eve of the Jewish New Year.
In a letter to Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director termed Kyrgyzstan’s response to the attack a test of her “promise to ensure the rule of law and effective government response in the face of ethnic violence.”
“A condemnation by you of this anti-Semitic attack and your public assurance that all efforts will be made to bring the perpetrators to justice will send the necessary message of zero tolerance for violent hate crimes and reassure the Jewish community,” wrote Mr. Foxman.
In her July 3 inaugural speech, President Otunbayeva addressed the issue of ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan, noting that, “dark forces have spilled blood of many innocent people.” At the time she pledged to “spare no effort to create a new political culture for the country based on a strict adherence to the rule of law,” and would be “principled and consistently make demands on all branches of government to ensure it.”
The same synagogue in Bishkek was firebombed in April 2010, at which time the Jewish community appealed to the Kyrgyz government to take appropriate measures to guarantee its safety.
Preceding provided by Anti-Defamation League
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (Press Release)–An explosive device was hurled into the courtyard of the synagogue here on the first day of Rosh Hashanah (Thursday, Sept. 9). There were no injuries because no one was at the synagogue at the time of the attack, but there was damage to the walls of the synagogue from the shrapnel inside the explosive device, which included metal ball bearings and nails.
The Jewish Agency for Israel reported that it is following the situation in Bishkek closely and is in touch with Jewish community leaders, standing ready to assist the community with whatever needs may arise.
The former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan went through a period of violent political unrest in April, and since then the situation has been tense for the Jewish community.
The Jewish Agency has been working to provide support to the country’s 1,500 Jews, almost all of whom live in the capital Bishkek. During the outbreak of violence in April, the Jewish Agency sent a special emissary to Bishkek to assist the community.
Following his visit, twelve community members made aliyah to Israel. Over the summer, the Jewish Agency operated a summer camp, which was run in conjunction with the community’s Jewish school. It provided Jewish children in the community with a respite and safe environment, offering classes, activities and field trips
The attack Thursday marked the second attack on the synagogue in Bishkek; a first attack took place during the period of political violence in April. In the incident over Rosh Hashanah, congregants escaped what could have been lethal harm because they decided earlier to push off the hour of afternoon services, so no one was in the synagogue at the time of the attack. The efficacy of the explosive device was also diminished because, when hurled into the courtyard, it landed in a tub of water that had been prepared for the traditional tashlich service which was about to take place. Kyrgyz police are investigating the incident.
Preceding provided by the Jewish Agency for Israel
By Shoshana Bryen
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Thursday, July 15, was designated “Revolutionary Guard Day” by the Iranian government. The same day, two bombs exploded in a mosque in the city of Zahedan, in southeastern Iran. According to Iranian reports, two suicide bombers entered the mosque and detonated themselves, killing 30 and injuring more than 100 people. The “People’s Resistance Movement of Iran” (PRMI or Jundallah) said the bombing was “retaliation.”
For what? In February, JINSA noted, “a Kyrgyzstan Airways commercial flight from Dubai bound for Bishkek was ordered by the Iranian government to land in Iran and a passenger, Abdolmalik Rigi, was taken off in handcuffs.” (JINSA Report #966) The lack of international interest in the forced landing and rendition of Rigi by Iran would have been mind-boggling except that it wasn’t done by Israel.
On June 20, Rigi was hanged in the Evin Prison in Teheran. IRNA, the Iranian news agency, said the execution was “carried out following a decision of the Tehran revolutionary tribunal” and quoted a court statement saying: “The head of the armed counter-revolutionary group in the east of the country…was responsible for armed robbery, assassination attempts, armed attacks on the army and police and on ordinary people, and murder.” His execution was called a “severe blow” to Jundullah.
Rigi’s brother Abdolhamid Rigi was executed one month earlier in Zahedan. The sentence was carried out in private, Iranian sources said, but with his family in attendance, presumably to ensure their future quiescence. The explosion in the mosque is an indication that at least some people were not cowed. The bombers, according to a Jundallah statement, were Mohammad and Abdolbaaset Rigi
It is unnecessary to know anything about the Jundallah organization to understand that the Iranian regime is secretly executing its enemies and is reaping the revenge.
Bryen is senior director of security policy of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, longtime JINSA supporter and national board member.
(WJC)–The Jewish Agency for Israel has brought 12 Jews from the conflict-torn former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan to Israel. The twelve were flown to Tel Aviv on Sunday and welcomed at a ceremony at the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Board of Governors assembly on Monday, alongside 650 other new immigrants. They were immediately made Israeli citizens.
Fewer than 70 Jews are thought to live in southern Kyrgyzstan. Most of the country’s estimated 1,500 Jews reside in the capital Bishkek. To date, no Jews are believed to have been harmed in the ethnic violence, which has cost the life of more than 2,000 people. An estimated 40,000 people have been displaced in fighting between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz that began earlier this month in the country’s south.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.
By Shoshana Bryen
WASHINGTON, D.C — The U.S. Department of the Army put out a request for information on “Afghanistan National Army Air Corps English and Pilot Training.”
The Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training & Instrumentation (PEO STRI) is conducting market research by seeking sources with innovative business solutions to (1) train and certify up to 67 Afghani student pilots to an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) English level 4 in the English language; and (2) provide basic rotary wing or fixed wing Commercial Pilot Training to the European Joint Aviation Authority (JAA) standards.
It is desired that the English language and basic pilot training take place within South West Asia. PEO STRI requests information on sources available to perform training in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, U.A.E, Uzbekistan, Yemen or other locations in Southwest Asia with the capability to provide requested training.
How is it possible that Syria, a charter and current member of the U.S. State Department list of terrorism-supporting countries, is considered an acceptable place to train Afghan pilots? Or Lebanon, which has Hezbollah as a member of the governing cabinet in Beirut? Hezbollah is a charter and current member of the U.S. State Department list of terrorist organizations, and until September 11, 2001, had killed more Americans than any other terrorist group. Didn’t Kyrgyzstan just have a coup inspired/financed by Russia? Wouldn’t training pro-Western Afghan pilots in Pakistan send those people from the frying pan into the fire? Isn’t Yemen home to some of the most virulently anti-American, anti-Western al Qaeda operatives and preachers, including Anwar al-Awlakiwho was talking to U.S. Army Major Nidal Hassan before he killed 13 Americans at Ft. Hood?
Aside from the fact that some of the countries listed are not in South West Asia, as the request for information requires, not one is remotely democratic. OK, we’ll give Jordan a few points and some to Iraq, but that’s it.
What would possess the United States Army to expose Afghani pilots, who are supposed to secure a functional and consensual state in Afghanistan, to countries where the governments are almost uniformly totalitarian, functionally repressive, less than hospitable to reform or dissent, and have women in positions of legal inferiority? Saudi Arabia is the financier of a particularly repressive, homophobic, misogynistic and anti-Semitic form of Islam exported around the world.
We did not expect to see Israel on the list, although Israel certainly is capable of training pilots to the European Joint Aviation Authority standards, and a few months in Israel would impart some Western governmental, judicial and social norms, including religious and political tolerance.
But if not Israel, why not Britain or Italy or France or Spain or Portugal? Why not Denmark or Colombia or Mali or Uruguay? Why not India or Indonesia or Taiwan or Japan?
The list is clearly weighted toward the part of the world to which President Obama wishes to show American comity. Unfortunately, it is also a part of the world in which neither American policies nor American values are particularly welcome items on the agenda. The list and the thinking behind it are political mistakes that should be corrected. Certainly, they should be corrected before we give the Afghanis the idea that the norms of Syria and Lebanon are ones we want them to adopt.
Bryen is senior director of security policy of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, longtime JINSA supporter and national board member