-SPECIAL NEWS REPORT: India, Belarus, Israel and the Netherlands

What Others Are Saying for October 22, 2009.

Alert triggers tight security at Jewish places in Pune, India

Ohel David Synagogue

Ohel David Synagogue

THE TIMES OF INDIA reported yesterday: Following an alert by central intelligence agencies that the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is planning to attack Jewish religious places in Pune, the police have made tight security arrangements at the Ohel David Synagogue (Lal Deval), seen on the right, at Ambedkar road in Pune Camp and Chabad House at Koregaon Park. Acting on the information, city police commissioner Satya Pal Singh ordered elaborate security arrangements at the two places five days ago. “There are reasons for providing security,” Singh said, while declining to elaborate on the subject. According to police sources, intelligence agencies have alerted the governments of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi and West Bengal about possible terror attacks on Jewish targets. Assistant commissioner of police (cantonment division) Ashok Gaikwad said the Jewish community did not demand any security.

Israel: 1,200 children face deportation

1 200 children of migrantsIRIN reports today: Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai has said he will not grant legal status to some 1,200 children of migrant workers, triggering an anti-deportation campaign led by several NGOs. The 1,200 are not included in the 2006 government scheme that granted legal status to over 600 children of migrant workers. “Their parents are using them to gain legal status in Israel. If we do not deport them, migrant workers will continue to exploit the kindness of the state of Israel,” Yishai said. A clause in most migrant workers’ contracts forbids them from having children in Israel and says pregnant women must leave the country. Many NGOs say the clause is inhumane and draconian. Nevertheless, an estimated 2,000 children of migrants were said to have been born in the past decade in Israel, according to the Tel Aviv Education Authority. Some 250 families face deportation along with hundreds of children born in the past three years in Israel, according to activists campaigning for migrants’ rights. In July, OZ (the new immigration enforcement unit) launched an operation aimed at deporting nearly 300,000 illegal migrants and visa violators, according to Tziki Sela, head of OZ in Israel’s Immigration Authority. Criticism by some members of parliament, and religious and community leaders, forced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to postpone the deportation of families of migrant foreign workers with children: Due to begin on 1 August, it was halted for three months.

Chinese Jewish descendants start a new life in Israel

Kaifeng-Jews-Arrive-in-Isra-300x225

HAARETZ has reported: Seven Chinese people with Jewish roots landed at Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday to start a new life in Israel, becoming the largest such group to ever arrive here. The group from Kaifeng, in eastern China, was taken to Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu in the north, where they will attend Hebrew enrichment (ulpan) classes. A group of four girls from Kaifeng previously studied Hebrew on the kibbutz in 2007-2008. Two of the arrivals from Kaifeng – which in the Middle Ages had had a 5,000-member Jewish community – speak basic Hebrew and two others speak English. “Though the community disappeared, some Kaifeng Jews passed on Jewish traditions to their descendants, who are now exploring their roots,” said Michael Freund, the New York-born chairman of Shavei Israel, the Jerusalem-based organization that brought the Kaifeng seven to Israel in the framework of its efforts to help people of Jewish origins back into Judaism’s fold.

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Belarus: Water pipe laid across Jewish cemetery

Belarus Jewish CemetaryThe Belarus CHAPTER ’97 news agency writes: Local officials deny the fact that the pipe is placed on human bones in the proper sense of the word. As TUT.BY was told by a Vaukavysk dweller Uladzislau, human bones “were thrown out” during construction works. “All dwellers of Vaukavysk know, the public parking zone is situated near the central market in Brestskaya Street. Cars are placed there for sale on weekends. It is a private parking place,” tells the citizen of Vaukavysk. “The matter is, they have decided to furnish the parking with a water supply, and a ditch was dug a by an excavator… It seems there is nothing wrong in that, it is a good idea… But in order to economize money, the trench for the pipe was dug across the old Jewish cemetery. In a barbarian way human bones were thrown away, the water pipe was placed in the trench, and then the ground was leveled by a bulldozer, without taking pains to get the place in condition.” The acting chief engineer of Vaukavysk public utility services enterprise Valery Mekhanoshyn has said: “As far as I know, no bones have been dug out.  The contractor organisation has laid the water pipe and it is not routed across the territory of the cemetery. The cemetery is next to the pipe. There was a water pipe there before, but it was old. Five streets and foundry equipment plant had been supplied by water by that pipe. And the grave site starts 10 metres away from the new pipe… This cemetery is not maintained by anyone, it is old. But there were no works at the territory of the cemetery, it is situated at a distance. The grave site is about 20 metres from the parking. I haven’t seen any burial place in the place of ground works, they are situated further.” However human relics are clearly seen on various photographs.

Israel Says Nuclear Deal Allows Teheran to “Buy Time”

PRAVDA reports today: A senior Iranian lawmaker denied the idea of sending low-enriched uranium abroad for further processing. The comment came a day after the U.N. nuclear watchdog presented a draft deal to Iran and three world powers for approval within two days to reduce Tehran’s stockpile of enriched uranium, seen by the West as a nuclear weapons risk. “They (the West) tell us: you give us your 3.5 percent enriched uranium and we will give you the fuel for the reactor. It is not acceptable to us,” parliament’s deputy speaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency. . . It was also reported, Israel thinks a nuclear deal under negotiation with Iran benefits mainly the Islamic regime as it allows Teheran to “buy time” and gives the republic legitimacy to enrich uranium. In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened his seven-member inner cabinet to mull Israel’s strategy regarding the deal, which, if accepted by Iranian leaders, would delay Teheran’s ability to make nuclear weapons by sending most of its known existing enriched uranium to Russia for processing, Jerusalem Post reports. However, Iran’s deputy parliament speaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying Iran “doesn’t accept” the offer, drummed up at a nuclear meeting in Vienna.

Russia to continue arms supplies to Iran

S-300 anti-aircraft missile

S-300 anti-aircraft missile

The TIMES OF INDIA states:  Russia on Thursday said it would continue military cooperation with Iran amid unease in the West over Moscow’s controversial contract to sell advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Tehran. “The Russian Federation implements and plans to further implement the military-technical cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran in strict accordance with existing legislation and its international obligations,” Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation said. The service released a rare statement after the Interfax agency, citing a Russian government source, reported earlier this week that Iran had not yet paid Russia for the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.

Israel and Iran in secret talks denied

The Chinese news agency XINHUA reported today from Tehran: Tehran strongly rejects reported claims by an Israeli daily that the Iranian and Israeli delegations held secret talks during a September meeting of the International Committee on Nuclear Non-Proliferation in Cairo, the satellite Press TV reported.This lie is a kind of psychological operation designed to affect the constant successes of Iran’s dynamic diplomacy during the Geneva and Vienna meetings,” said Ali Shirzadian, the spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, on Thursday. Throughout the September talks in the Egyptian capital, the Iranian delegation had spoken out against the Zionist regime’s nuclear arsenal, and … the daily killing of the Palestinian women and children by the occupying regime as a danger to humanity,” Shirzadian said. “The Islamic Republic does not recognize the Zionist regime. It considers it to be a counterfeit and illegitimate,” he added. Officials of Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) and Iran have held talks recently, a spokeswoman from the Commission confirmed on Thursday. It is true,” IAEC spokeswoman Yael Doron told Xinhua through telephone, however, adding that there was no “face to face discussion.” She declined to give further details, other than that the talks were in a frame of various issues in the Middle East, not just focused on the Iranian nuclear issue.

Problems for the Dutch Jewish Community

THE INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL JEWISH AFFAIRS, based in the Netherlands, recently interviewed Henri Markens, the former principal of the Joods Lyceum Maimonides (Jewish Maimonides High School) in Amsterdam. Markens now serves as director-general of the Organization for Jewish Education (JBO) .Markens says that the immigration of Muslims and the rise of Islam in the Netherlands have created problems for the Jews and will continue to do so. “Every few years there are problems concerning shechita [kosher slaughter]. The organizations for the protection of animals focus on Islamic slaughter. However, the Jewish method of slaughter is drawn into these attacks.” The animal protection organizations address their criticism to the Agriculture Ministry. The ministry then issues stricter regulations for slaughter. Life is made increasingly difficult for Jews in the slaughterhouses. The animal protectors are no friends of the Jews and that is also true for many people working in the slaughterhouses. Several ritual slaughterers have told us that a number of employees of the slaughterhouses are rabid anti-Semites. “There are about one million Muslims in the Netherlands. Their influence on the political system is increasing; they may even establish a national party. This cannot be positive for the Jews. The more power the Muslim community gains, the more it will weaken the Jewish community’s relations with a number of ministries. “In the most recent elections a large part of Dutch Muslims voted for the Labor Party. This party has for decades allowed unlimited Muslim immigration and has done nothing about hateful sermons in mosques. Labor is to a large extent guilty for the present political climate in the Netherlands. It was obvious that parts of the Muslim community would create problems. These have been ‘solved’ in the usual Dutch way, which means they have been neglected. At present Labor is changing its policy in this respect, having seen that a velvet-gloves approach did not work.”

Hamas sounds optimism for inter-Palestinian talks

Moussa Abu MarzouqIran’s PRESS TV reported today: The deputy head of Hamas political bureau, Moussa Abu Marzouq,  (seen here on the left), says the Islamic Resistance Movement is awaiting an invitation by Cairo to discuss a reconciliation pact with the rival Fatah party. “Hamas wants to open the new reconciliation paper to match it with what was previously agreed upon. The Movement wants real reconciliation so as not to repeat previous experiences which led to more division in the Palestinian arena,” Abu Marzouq told al-Aqsa television station on Wednesday. The Hamas official also dismissed the allegations that attempts for inter-Palestinian reconciliation deal have fallen short. He blamed ‘certain parties’ for endeavours to strain the relationship between Egyptian authorities and Hamas officials.

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(Photo credit: Alert- Wikimedia; 1,200 children-IRIN; Chinese Jews- vosizneias; Belarus-Chapter’97; Russia and Hamas- Press TV)

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For a selection of abridged topics originally published in jewishinfoNews,  click here

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