Rwanda: 7 April 2017. Never Again!

Four words:

Duhore Tuzilikana Kirazira Kwibagirwa!

We Must Never Forget!

Today, 7 April 2017 is the 23rd Commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi. 

by Alan Simons

In a few weeks time, on 23 April at sundown, Jews throughout the world observe Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. It is the day where we pay tribute to all the victims of the Holocaust and ghetto uprisings. Inaugurated 64 years ago we like you, have no intention of forgetting our loved ones. Therefore, as a Jew, my message to you is not from a stranger, but from a brother and partner. For in commemorating the 23rd anniversary of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, your loss, is also my loss.

However, I ask myself what right do I have to speak of such experiences of genocide?

Who am I to speak of such unthinkable acts of violence and cruelty, unequaled in modern history?

I never witnessed killings, or had my life threatened. I never lost immediate family members, nor witnessed rape or sexual mutilation, or had to hide under corpses.

Rwanda April 7 2017 bSo, what authority gives me the right to speak about Rwanda’s genocide, to talk about your families and friends who perhaps survived these 23 years, and hopefully, I repeat hopefully, have been able to overcome their traumatic experiences and find optimism in the future, as well as speak of those who were murdered?

Well, a few years ago President Kagame of Rwanda, photographed above, said: “The world chose to watch as one million were being slaughtered. Victims were turned into perpetrators and justice was turned into a political tool. The world has shown us that we cannot afford not to fight. Do not be afraid to stand up for truth, justice and for who we are. The only way to live in this world is to stand up for ourselves, stay true to who we are and define our own destiny.”

Perhaps, more than anything, it is in these words that binds Jews and Rwandans together in a mutual understanding of what intolerance and hate is all about in our society today. And, we have only to look at the past few weeks of what happened in London, a few hours ago in Stockholm, as well as the gassing earlier this week of children and adults in Syria, to appreciate the scope and threat of the world we continue to live in.

Hate is hate, irrespective of one’s religion, colour or nationality.

Even now in Canada there are deniers of both the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust who continue to thrust their sick fermented ideas into the international arena. As Hitler remains centre stage to many antisemites, it was only a couple of months ago that Rwanda’s deniers actually competed to question who was to blame for the 1994 killings. 

It’s been said that sadness is but a wall between two gardens. May all of those who perished in the genocide be remembered for their beauty and fragrance that grace our gardens.

My dear Rwandan brothers and sisters, finding an appropriate way of honouring and remembering the dead is one of the goals of the mourning process. For, as Elie Wiesel the Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor said, “To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”

(Photo credits: From Paul Kagame’s Post, in Timeline Photos)



A message from Canada to our brothers and sisters in France

We are one JIN November 14 2015

Solidarity demands. Remember, we are one people.

La solidarité exige. Rappelez-vous, nous sommes un seul peuple. Le terrorisme est une menace mondiale qui exige une réponse mondiale et complète.

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


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:, 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 |

* * *

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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