Turkey Today

FRANCE: The blood hadn’t dried, yet Turkey didn’t waste time putting its foot in its mouth, again!

Opinion

A billboard erected by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s AKP party in the city of Tatyan, in eastern Turkey, reads: ‘Salute to the Kouachi brothers, who avenged the Messenger of Allah [i.e. Muhammad]/May Allah accept your martyrdom/ When you [i.e. the West] strike, it is democracy when we avenge, it is terrorism.’ (Source MEMRI, January 14, 2015)

Credit: OdaTV.com, January 10, 2015

by Alan Simons

by Alan Simons

As the French novelist Victor Hugo said: “The wicked envy and hate; it is their way of admiring.” Turkey’s President Erdoğan with his sense of entitlement and grandiosity, obviously has no illusions as to whom he admires. And today, not to be outdone by his president’s feelings of self-importance, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was quoted as saying that, “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had committed crimes against humanity comparable to those behind the Paris attacks that left 17 dead. ‘Netanyahu has committed crimes against humanity the same like those terrorists who carried out the Paris massacre,'” he told reporters in televised comments.

Both Erdoğan and Davutoğlu are desperate to find respect and stature within the Muslim world. Yet, it would seem they even lack the essential characteristics necessary of any self-proclaimed prophet that include intellectual capacity, wisdom, and profound insight.  I believe it was Molière who said: “All the ills of mankind, all the tragic misfortunes that fill the history books, all the political blunders, all the failures of the great leaders have arisen merely from a lack of skill at dancing.”  Someone should tell Turkey that even a self-proclaimed prophet cannot dance while having one’s foot in one’s mouth.

Here, for example, are a few comments reported yesterday by MEMRI:

- At a January 12, 2015 joint press conference with visiting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud ‘Abbas, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the French in the attack, saying that the perpetrators were French citizens who had been imprisoned in the past. Asking why they had not been under surveillance by French intelligence apparatuses following their release, he said that this was “thought provoking.” He accused the West of hypocrisy and stated that Western racism, hate speech, and Islamophobia were to blame for it, saying, “We must be aware of their [i.e. the West’s] plots against the Muslim world.” Erdogan also slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for “daring to attend” the January 11, 2015 solidarity rally in Paris, saying that he was committing state terrorism against the Palestinians.

- On Twitter, AKP MP Ali Sahin claimed that the attack was not what it appeared to be, and that its actual targets were Muslims.

- Speaking at the Fourth AKP Youth Conference in Ankara, Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek claimed that the Mossad was behind the Charlie Hebdo attack and the attacks that followed it in Paris.

- At the Islamist Aczmendi Lodge in Istanbul, funeral prayers were conducted for the Kouachi brothers, the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo attack, and they were eulogized as martyrs.” The prayers were led by Muslim Gunduz, the leader of an Islamist sect.

- Columnist Dilipak, in Yeni Akit, a pro AKP publication, said: “Bravo, Children, You Did A Great Job!.. You can condemn the terror in France all you want, but for those who planned it, this is a success worth celebrating. I am certain that some are congratulating sympathizers and saying, ‘Bravo children, you did a great job.”

And as to the aftermath of Je Suis Charlie, Anne Bayefsky in an article published by Human Rights Voices on January 12, 2015, summed it up quite nicely. Here, in part, is what she had to say.

 Je Suis Charlie: Kumbaya won’t save us from Islamist Terror and Hate. 

The warm feelings on display in Paris and elsewhere around the world Sunday in response to the horrors of the past week, unfortunately, will do next to nothing to change the tide against Islamist terrorism. That explains why world leaders who support terrorism have no problem supporting Paris.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, now entering the eleventh year of what was originally billed as a four-year term, turned up to represent a would-be Judenrein state, where terrorism and the absence of the rule of law are the order of the day.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu flew into Paris to glad-hand with free expression enthusiasts, notwithstanding recent arrests of teenagers in his country for “insulting” President Erdogan.

The terrorist organization Hamas even issued a press release claiming that it “condemns the attack against Charlie Hebdo magazine and insists on the fact that differences of opinion and thought cannot justify murder.” Setting aside the fact that Palestinians living under Palestinian authority do not have freedom of opinion and thought, gunning down Jews while shopping for food wasn’t mentioned in the statement.

Add all those “Je Suis Charlie” signs, in solidarity with the magazine’s victims. Except that the words on these signs are white on a solid black background, and the Hebdo images of the prophet Muhammad are nowhere to be seen. White words on a black background are not the reason Charlie Hebdo cartoonists are dead.

And then there is France’s Jewish problem. There is no getting away from the fact that to be Jewish in France in 2015, you might have to hide in a basement freezer if you want to survive a trip to the grocery store.

Attacks on Jews in France in recent times – including torture, assaults, robbery, firebombing, rape, and murder – are too numerous to mention, each one soon forgotten by everyone but French Jews who continue to emigrate to Israel for refuge and solace. Evidently, France forgot ‘first they came for the Jews.’

In theory, it should be simple to connect the dots between slaughtering journalists, police officers, and Jews, in the same country over a mere three days. Freedom of speech, personal security, equality and freedom of religion are pretty much the essentials of democracy – and inextricably linked to one another.

Standing in the way of this revelation, however, is an apparent widespread incapacity to distinguish trumped-up, irrelevant or misplaced grievances from real ones.

Over the days of carnage, CNN regaled listeners with complaints about “unemployment” and “disaffection” among Muslim youth. We also swiftly heard detailed analysis of such things as the early loss of parents of the Kouachi brothers and the failed rap musician ambitions of Cherif Kouachi.

And, of course, there is the elephant in the chambre – Israel. As terrorist Amedy Coulibaly put it to his Jewish captives – quoting Usama bin Laden – “we are the ones who will get peace in Palestine.”

That ought to sound familiar to French President Francois Hollande…

Thank God there’s an Israel! Tanrı’ya teşekkürler bir İsrail var!

(Photo credit- Turkey, MEMRI | OdaTV.com)

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

ہم اسرائیل کے پاس خدا کا شکر ہے

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FRANCE: The defence against fanaticism is a necessity.

Editorial Comment

In July 2014, at the height of the violence against the Jewish community of France, jewishinfoNews published a message by Roger Cukierman, President of CRIF, the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France. In deference to the French citizens murdered last week in the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, we believe it appropriate to republish Cukierman’s message one more time.

The following is a translation of the original message, in French, that can be read in its entirety >here<

Roger Cukierman

Like many in France, I have family and friends who have on several occasions run into underground shelters. I think of them, as I think of the civilian population of Gaza who have been bombed for several nights. As a child hidden during the Second World War, I do not have selective compassion. And I want to believe that this is also true for the vast majority of French and especially those among us who are Jewish or Muslim.

If the facts are known, it is essential to put them into perspective. The news from the Middle East is once again having serious repercussions in France, [that included] demonstrations and assaults against two synagogues in Paris.

When one takes a step backward, one cannot but be struck by the selective indignation of the people who took to the streets to express their solidarity with the Gazans, but remained silent about the plight of Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans, Christians, Nigerians who are under the yoke of Boko Haram …

When one takes a step backward, one cannot but be struck by the inability of these people to express their support or opposition without hate or violence.

Everyone can, of course, have their opinion and belief about the policies of the Israeli government and even suffer from focusing their attention solely on Israel and obscuring [information about] other countries in the region. Anyone who has set foot in Israel, or read Israeli newspapers, knows that the political debate is everywhere and in Israel, as in France, citizens are critical of their government.

What is at stake in the protests that occurred this past weekend in France, as in the “Day of Wrath” event last January, are not part of the political debate…

Behind the corruption of solidarity, there is hate. This hatred is today against the Jews.It started against synagogues in inconceivable violence, as it evoked [to many] the darkest hours in the history of Europe during the 20th century. And hatred, which today is against the Jews, by tomorrow will be aimed at other groups [living] in our national community.

When one takes a step backward, one cannot but be struck by the rise of fanaticism and extremism. No country is immune.

In Europe, fanaticism killed in Montauban, Toulouse and Brussels. Fanaticism also killed in Oslo and in Utøya, Norway. Fanaticism could have killed elsewhere if the terrorists had not been put out of harm’s way before they acted out.

In Europe, young people are becoming fanatical and sent to the jihad in Syria, Afghanistan, Mali. Those who return to Europe are [time] bombs, bursting with hatred for all those who refuse Sharia violent totalitarianism.  They want to deprive us of our freedom…

If fanaticism is universal, it is clear that it has been successful for quite some time in some branches of Islam [especially] among the rich Middle East producers of oil and gas who generously fund murderous folly in mullahs and imams who refuse pluralism, who want to impose their way of life and who are opposed to the right of each individual to decide their lifestyle, sexuality and religion.

Democracy cannot accommodate people who hate and want to destroy those who do not think like them. It must defend itself. It is a necessity, an imperative.

This applies in France, as in Israel. This applies in all countries, including the future Palestine, where individuals’ love of humanism, justice and ethics face the fanatics.

And when these fanatics resort to rain rockets and missiles against civilian populations, one cannot put one’s faith in avant-garde technology… It is necessary and vital to defend ourselves and defend democracy. This is the State of Israel.

The fight against fanaticism, extremism and terrorism is a noble fight. This is not a war of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is even less a war between Israelis and Palestinians, or a war between Jew and Arab. No, this is a fight for the values ​​that are the foundation of our nation: freedom, equality and fraternity. This is the condition of “living together” in a peaceful society.

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

ہم اسرائیل کے پاس خدا کا شکر ہے

 Check out all of our latest jewishinfoNews videos

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A message to our brothers and sisters in France. We are one!

But in Pakistan, in Afghanistan and in Luton, England, they celebrate the killings!

“Today, French Jews feel like outcasts of the nation. We must now protect Jewish schools and synagogues to avoid attacks, Jews can not go out with a yarmulke, especially in the metro. The pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the month of July [2014] was a terrible warning, with attacks on places of worship and slogans such as “Death to the Jews!” Heard in the streets of France. It’s scary. Added to this, a feeling of constant danger with the French who go do jihad and can return to France with the will to carry out attacks, like Mohamed Merah in Toulouse and Mehdi Nemmouche in Brussels. We are facing an Islamist threat that hangs over all of France. This global climate scares French Jews. It is a failure for France, where a population is suffering persecution because of his origins.”

-Roger Cukierman, President of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France.…………..  (Le Figaro, January 2, 2015) 

by Alan Simons

by Alan Simons

As reported this past week, according to the Jewish Agency for Israel, more than 7,000 Jews from France emigrated to Israel in 2014, more than double the previous year’s total of 3,293 citizens. It was the largest contingent from any country. Sadly, the flow is expected to continue throughout 2015. I suspect it won’t stop there and especially won’t within France’s young, vibrant Jewish community. To date, thousands of them have left France to established a new life in the USA, Canada, Australia and of course in Israel.

About seven years ago while I was in Paris, a dear Jewish friend of mine, who was born in Algeria, invited me to join her at a lunch given at a Jewish community centre. I was struck by the utter pessimism pervading in many of those present. Be they originally from Tunisia, Algeria or born in metropolitan France, as I went around introducing myself, parents told me that their children had already left the country. Seven years ago. And now as I read and watch what is happening in France, I wonder if those same parents I spoke to have joined their children for a better and safer environment.

I think of myself as a somewhat optimistic and strong individual. For I probably see the good in people more than the darker side of people’s personality, irrespective of their race and religion. But, if I was currently living in France as a Jew, I really wonder if I would be able to maintain my optimism. Honestly, I doubt it.

Today, Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 3 pm, a silent solidarity march in Paris and in other major French centres, will bring together a multitude of world leaders.  From Italy, Russia, Germany, Britain, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Latvia, Ukraine, Turkey, Israel and Italy. From Arab and African nations, they will all march to show their distaste to the barbaric acts committed by Islamist terrorists who have now taken over the role Hitler and other despots attempted to achieve.

Today, France will prove to us once again that as a proud country of culture, history and great beauty, if there’s one thing they’re good at, it is putting on a superb solidarity march.

So many of its citizens, Muslim, Jew and Christian were killed this past week. So many of its Jewish citizens, over the past number of years, children and adults alike, have been murdered in the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. 

As we read and watch these sickening events continually take place in France, what do I, as a Canadian, have to offer my brothers and sisters living in France. Is it hope? Hope is the expectation that circumstances in the future will get better. Will it? I really wonder if it will.

There is documented evidence to suggest that there has been a Jewish presence in the south of France since at least the 1st century.  If the Islamist terrorists have their way that presence, in the years ahead, will surely come to an end. And so will the France as we know it. Perhaps it already has.

Thank God there’s an Israel.

(Photo credit: RT YouTube)

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

ہم اسرائیل کے پاس خدا کا شکر ہے

 Check out all of our latest jewishinfoNews videos

 الأخباراليهودية.شبكة

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Turkey Queen's Park december 2014 1

Turkey and its President: Floundering in a Sea of Narcissism

Editorial Opinion

“It’s not unlike knowing a self-serving and disingenuous friend.”

There’s a Turkish proverb: Bir kahvenin kirk yil hatiri vardir. A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship. Trouble is, these days Turkey has very few friends who would consider sharing the same table with them, let alone drink from the same cup.

The recent arrest of at least 24 people in police raids on a leading newspaper and TV station, including Ekrem Dumanlı, editor-in-chief of Zaman newspaper, the largest circulation newspaper in Turkey, and Hidayet Karaca, head of the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group, as well as three police chiefs on suspicion of being members or leading members of an armed organization, hasn’t particularly helped. Many of Turkey’s former friends are avoiding Turkey and its president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan like the plague. It’s not unlike knowing a self-serving and disingenuous friend who is infected with a serious bout of narcissism. It is therefore perhaps only time before the country’s frustrated military once again openly show their muscle against the government. Neither Erdoğan, nor the country’s citizens, for very different reasons, want this to happen.

Turkish Canadians, at Queen's Park,   Legislative Assembly of Ontario to protest the breach of press freedom and rule of law in Turkey. (photo credit: jewishinfoNe.ws)

Turkish Canadians at Queen’s Park, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada, demonstrate to protest the breach of press freedom and rule of law in Turkey. (photo credit: jewishinfoNe.ws)

Burak Bekdil, based in Ankara, is a Turkish columnist for the Hürriyet Daily and a Fellow at the Middle East Forum. In a recent article, which is published below, he succinctly puts it this way. “Turkey is too big, too Islamist and too un-European for the EU; it is too little Islamist and a disliked former colonial power for most of the Arab street; a sectarian and regional rival for Iran, and a security threat to the bigwigs in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.” Here in its entirety is what he had to say.

The following article by Burak Bekdil was originally published by Gatestone Institute

Theoretically, Turkey is a NATO ally. In reality, it is a part-time NATO ally. It became the first member state that had military exercises with the Syrian army and the Chinese Air Force; awarded a NATO-sensitive air defense contract to a Chinese company; supported jihadists in Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood elsewhere in the Middle East; allied with what NATO nations view as a terrorist organization (Hamas); shared, until recently, an embarrassing list of potentially terrorist-sponsoring countries with seven others including Syria and Pakistan, and sported a population with the lowest support for the NATO alliance.

Also, theoretically, Turkey is a member candidate of the European Union [EU]. In reality, since 1974, Turkey has been occupying one-third of the territory of an EU member state, Cyprus; it boasts a record number of violations of human rights, according to rulings by the European Court of Human Rights; it remains the EU’s dreaded problem in most areas of fundamental policy; it habitually (and undiplomatically) ignores EU calls for broader freedoms; and it is gripped by a deep distrust of the EU. A most recent survey, “Public Opinion in The European Union – November 2014,” conducted by the European Commission’s Eurobarometer, revealed that only 18% of Turks trust the EU.

Just recently, Russia’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, recalled a joke by his predecessor Viktor Chernomyrdin [prime minister between 1992 and 1998] who once was asked by a journalist when Ukraine could join the EU. “After Turkey,” Chernomyrdin replied. When should we expect Turkey to become a member, asked the journalist. “Never,” he said.

During most of the 2000s, Turkey’s soul searching, coupled with its leaders’ apparent quest for the revival of pan-Islamist and neo-Ottoman ideas, pushed the country into the illusion of a “Middle East Union” to be led, of course, by Turkey. Instead, Turkey in the post-Arab Spring years has found itself as the target of enmity in the Middle East. Many overt and covert hostilities and tensions created diplomatic crises with all countries in the former Ottoman lands — except one: the tiny hydrocarbon-rich emirate, Qatar (along with Hamas).

Theoretically, Turkey is the regional empire in the Muslim Middle East. In reality, it is an unwanted ally.

So, the soul searching continues. In January 2013, President [then prime minister] Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly toyed with the idea of Turkey seeking its future in another alliance: the Shanghai Cooperation Organization [SCO]. Since then, he has mentioned this desire a couple of times. In November 2013, Erdogan once again demanded a seat for Turkey at the SCO from Russian President Vladimir Putin, as this would “save Ankara from the troubles of the EU accession process.”

“Allow us into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and save us from this trouble,” Erdogan asked Putin.

A few years earlier, Turkey had behaved like the “bizarre ally” it was: it became the first NATO member state to become a “dialogue partner” with the SCO. But is there a future for Turkey in the SCO, sometimes call the “eastern NATO plus EU?”

Theoretically, yes. Turkey, with its democratic culture and Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule, looks like a perfect fit for the group. Its members already include Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan (the SCO’s other dialogue partners are Belarus and Sri Lanka. Countries with an observer status are Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia).

But actually, Turkey is probably no more wanted in the SCO than in the EU or among Arab nations in the Middle East. The SCO’s heavyweights are Russia and China, both of which support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Erdogan’s one-time best regional ally and presently his regional nemesis. During Putin’s high-profile visit to Ankara at the beginning of December, Erdogan had to admit that Turkey and Russia “keep on falling apart” on the issue of Syria.

For Russia, Turkey means $$$$$: Tens of billions of dollars in bilateral trade — a perfect client for Russian natural gas, as well as a potential transit route to export gas to third countries. But it also means a hostile country ruled by Islamists who seek Sunni supremacy using jihadists, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood to expand its regional clout in the Middle East, often against Russian interests.

For China, too, Turkey is a good client. Unlike Russia, Chinese companies actively win infrastructure, telecommunications and mining contracts in Turkey. But like Russia, China, too, deeply distrusts Turkey politically. China’s most pressing domestic security issue, the ethnically Turkic Uighur Muslim separatists in the western province of Xinjiang, has a Turkish connection. Chinese authorities often accuse Turkey of harboring Uighur terrorists and allowing jihadist Uighurs a safe passage between Syria and China.

With its neo-imperial ambitions and Sunni Islamist policy calculus, Turkey once again fails to fit any alliance’s broad foreign policy and security structure. The soul searching will have to go on.

Turkey is too big, too Islamist and too un-European for the EU; it is too little Islamist and a disliked former colonial power for most of the Arab Street; a sectarian and regional rival for Iran, and a security threat to the bigwigs in the SCO.

Erdoğan has been credited as once saying: “Paramount is the need to secure human rights. The form of rule should be such that the citizen does not have to fear the State, but gives it direction and confidently participates in its administration.” Obviously, such a statement does not include many of Turkey’s respected media and communications elite. 

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

“Not all Muslims become involved in acts of violence. Yet all might be held culpable. This is because that section of Muslim–in fact, the majority–who are not personally involved, neither disown those members of their community who are engaged in violence, nor even condemn them. In such a case, according to the Islamic Shariah itself, if the involved Muslims are directly responsible, the uninvolved Muslims are also indirectly responsible.”            -Islamic spiritual scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

 Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

ہم اسرائیل کے پاس خدا کا شکر ہے

 Check out all of our latest jewishinfoNews videos

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2015: Surviving the times ahead

.

by Alan Simons
by Alan Simons

Christopher Buckley, the American author and political satirist once said: “Reading any collection of a man’s quotations is like eating the ingredients that go into a stew instead of cooking them together in the pot. You eat all the carrots, then all the potatoes, then the meat. You won’t go away hungry, but it’s not quite satisfying.”

For diaspora Jews living in countries where there are a high percentage of individuals harbouring virulent antisemitic attitudes, such as in Greece, Panama, Poland, Bulgaria, Serbia and France, there’s also not much to be satisfied about. Antisemitic-based quotations abound from so many Internet sources. Many have been loosely translated from Urdu, Arabic, and other languages; so much so that one has to continually scramble to separate the fact from the fiction.

For diaspora Jews in many parts of the world, the continual need to come to the defence of one’s religious beliefs have left many reeling in a state of scepticism and understandably, in a precarious quagmire. It has, in essence, become an inherent part of daily life.

Having said that, whether or not you agree with Christopher Buckley, I believe quotations do have a place for us, especially in times of incertitude. Three quotations immediately come to mind. Perhaps, as we look forward to the year ahead with some tiny spark of sanguinity, this is the time to revive them.

“Don’t shelter yourself in any course of action by the idea that ‘it is my affair.’ It is your affair, but it is also mine and the community’s. Nor can we neglect the world beyond. A fierce light beats upon the Jew. It is a grave responsibility this – to be a Jew; and you can’t escape from it, even if you choose to ignore it. Ethically or religiously, we Jews can be and do nothing light-heartedly. Ten bad Jews may help to damn us; ten good Jews may help to save us. Which minyan will you join?”   -C.G. Montefiore, (1858-1938).

“My people have survived the prehistoric paganism, the Babylonian polytheism, the aesthetic Hellenism, the sagacious Romanism, at once the blandishments and persecutions of the Church; and it will survive the modern dilettantism and the current materialism, holding aloft the traditional Jewish ideals inflexibly until the world shall become capable of recognizing their worth.”  –Cyrus Adler, (1863-1940).

And finally, from Leo Tolstoy, (1828-1910). “The Jew is the emblem of eternity. He whom neither slaughter nor torture of thousands of years could destroy, he whom neither fire nor sword nor inquisition was able to wipe off from the face of the earth, he whom was the first to produce the oracles of God, he who has been for so long the guardian of prophecy, and who transmitted it to the rest of the world – such a nation cannot be destroyed. He is everlasting as is eternity itself.”

2015 is just a few days away. Yet, for me, it is already here. In peace.

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

“Not all Muslims become involved in acts of violence. Yet all might be held culpable. This is because that section of Muslim–in fact, the majority–who are not personally involved, neither disown those members of their community who are engaged in violence, nor even condemn them. In such a case, according to the Islamic Shariah itself, if the involved Muslims are directly responsible, the uninvolved Muslims are also indirectly responsible.”            -Islamic spiritual scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

 Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

ہم اسرائیل کے پاس خدا کا شکر ہے

 Check out all of our latest jewishinfoNews videos

 الأخباراليهودية.شبكة

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Kay Wilson. In her own words.

SPECIAL REPORT

In her own words

As we reach the final stages of a year of utter savagery including the wanton killing of children, hate, antisemitism/virulent Judeophobia and ethnocentric violence, we have taken the unprecedented step of publishing a message from Kay Wilson, British-born Israeli tour guide, jazz musician and cartoonist. She is the survivor of a brutal terror attack that occurred while she was guiding in December 2010.

Since the attack, she is in a demand as a motivational speaker and also speaks to audiences on issues of human rights and justice for victims of terrorism. She is a lecturer for StandWithUs, OneFamily Together, MDA and is registered at the Israel Speakers’ Agency. Here’s what she has to say:

Kay Wilson“This is me and Mohammed Zoabi – the young Israeli, Arab, Muslim, Zionist who had to leave Israel. It was taken a few weeks ago. We are hugging each other goodbye in the USA before I headed back to home. I want to use this extraordinary photo and the story behind it in the hope that people will see what a remarkable yet fragmented nation Israel is.

Yip, it was me, me, a terror victim, stabbed 13 times by Palestinians, who hid this Arab teenager in my house for nearly a month while Arabs were threatening his life. In addition to hiding him, I was also able to find Mohammed a wonderful community of Jews and Christians in the USA; a community that financed his schooling, took him into their homes, helped him with his visa and treated him like a son.

I helped Mohammed despite my own long-life trauma caused by Arabs who tried to murder me. I helped Mohammed because I admired his courage and because like me, he is a human being. I helped him because I know from the machete scars on my own back, that death threats should always be taken seriously. It was not one way. Mohammed helped me too. There are many things I am unable to do due to being in constant pain as a result of being beaten and smashed to a pulp by Palestinian terrorists. Mohammed was a not a guest, he was a friend and a great asset.

I also helped Mohammed Zoabi because our democracy – the only one in the Middle East – is flawed to absurdity.

In the name of our democracy, Mohammed’s relative, MK Hanin Zoabi irresponsibly abused her free speech by stating that kidnapping and murdering three Israeli teenagers does not amount to terrorism. Upholding the value of free-speech is the essence of a democracy, yet abuse of any kind, including the abuse of free-speech, always has ethical and social consequences. In Mohammed case, it was our democracy’s subsequent failure to provide a safe environment for him and his family following death threats on his life, born out of his courageous response to the perverse and obscene remarks made by his relative who squandered her moral position of authority.

As a survivor of Palestinian terrorism I hope that I would be forgiven for feeling incensed at MK Zoabi’s irresponsible comments. I hope that I would be forgiven for feeling enraged that it is my taxes, and those of Mohammed’s family, which pays her salary.

Ironically, while Mohammed was hiding in my former home, it was Israel’s democracy that afforded a free state-defence appeal to the Arab terrorist who stabbed me 13-times. It took place in Israel’s Supreme Court, THAT Court, where an Arab judge also presides. My democracy did not see it fit to even award me the $100 that the terrorists stole from me that day, money which my murdered friend had given me as a guiding fee.

During that time, I also had to attend my sixth, humiliating, costly and abusive Israel National Insurance (Bituach Leumi) medical committee. Four years out of work, thousands of shekels spent on lawyers and required second opinions, were once again summarised in a committee that took no longer than 8 minutes. This time they did not measure my stab wounds and award me a disability pension according to the length of the machete scars. I also had no need for another free TV licence, but until today they refuse to acknowledge that watching someone hacked to death like a cucumber on chopping board brings with it severe life-long Psychological disabilities. As a survivor of Palestinian terrorism I hope that I would be forgiven for feeling a sense of injustice that the terrorists who tried to murder me are being paid by Mahmoud Abbas (J Street’s partner for peace), an execution stipend of $3500 per month, twelve times that which my own democracy awards me as a victim of terrorism.

Yet despite the injustice, I am grateful that Israel – unlike the PA – has many legal channels where as a citizen, I can pursue justice. I will continue to do this for myself and for the thousands of other Israeli civilians who are both victims of Palestinian terrorism and victims of the abuse and corruption rampant in the Israel National Insurance.

Despite the frustrations I experience, I have no fear to criticise my government. Living in the only democracy in the Middle East even affords me the liberty to criticise them publicly on social media without repercussions. Unlike those living under the regime of Abbas – I do not face imprisonment or torture for my actions.

I hope that J Street will study this profound photograph. It speaks of love, friendship, coexistence and peace. It also speaks of pain, frustration and injustice – the result of Arab terrorism and my government’s failure to help victims of terrorism and deal with those who incite it.

Although painful and infuriating this failure is not surprising. In part, the government’s inability to act firmly concerning incitement to terrorism is probably due to the likes of J-Street. From the comfort and distance of their own homes they arrogantly and dangerously haul Israel up on the world stage in front of an already-hostile global audience, and seek to berate the only democracy in the Middle East. In doing so I believe that they shackle my government in impotence because of their fears of more international pressure, reprisals and isolation.

Am Israel Chai!”

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER - "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" | "The more things change, the more they stay the same"

SEVENTY YEARS LATER – “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” | “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

“Not all Muslims become involved in acts of violence. Yet all might be held culpable. This is because that section of Muslim–in fact, the majority–who are not personally involved, neither disown those members of their community who are engaged in violence, nor even condemn them. In such a case, according to the Islamic Shariah itself, if the involved Muslims are directly responsible, the uninvolved Muslims are also indirectly responsible.”            -Islamic spiritual scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

 Thank God there’s an Israel!

بفضل الله، هناك إسرائيل

ہم اسرائیل کے پاس خدا کا شکر ہے

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 الأخباراليهودية.شبكة

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