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)

 

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We Have Lost Our Way

Jew-hate is not an option. But for many, they thrive on it. Don’t dismiss it.

As we come to the end of January 2016, let’s take a few minutes to dwell on the sickness that pervades the Middle East and in Europe. Yes, you’re probably rolling your eyes, your eyebrows have reached the upper limits of your forehead, and you’ve started to sigh and shake your head in dismay. So, let’s go right into what I have to say.

by Alan Simons

   by Alan Simons

Jew-hate item one: “While the victim of terror attack, Dafna Meir 36, and a mother of six children, was being laid to rest in Jerusalem, a Palestinian Facebook page with more than four million followers posted the horrendous picture above. The word written in the middle of the picture is ‘Otniel’, the name of the community where the terror attack took place. After the community’s name, a bloody knife emblazoned with a Palestinian flag on the handle is depicted above words that praise the terrorist. This is a prime example of murderous Palestinian incitement on social media that encourages terror attacks against Israelis and needs to be stopped immediately!”

Jew-hate item two: “The father of the teenage Arab terrorist who murdered mother of six Dafna Meir in her home on Sunday night has expressed pride over his son’s gruesome actions. Murad Bader Abdullah Adais fatally stabbed Meir at the front door to her house in Otniel, as she valiantly struggled to close the door on him and prevent him from slaughtering three of her children who were with her at the time. Adais then fled on foot, sparking a major manhunt which resulted in his capture early Tuesday morning. Speaking to Palestinian media, Adais’s father said he was proud of his son for stabbing the unarmed nurse to death. “I am proud of him,” he said, adding that security forces also detained and interrogated several family members during the arrest operation.”

James McGreevey, the former Governor of New Jersey, was once quoted as saying we are losing sight of civility in government and politics. Debate and dialogue is taking a back seat to the politics of destruction and anger and control. Dogma has replaced thoughtful discussion between people of differing views.

I find it hard not to disagree with McGreevey, other than to say in my opinion we have already lost it, not just in government and politics, but within society! The sickness that is consuming people, coupled with their utter hate and cruelty towards anything that resembles the likes of a Jew, has become intolerable. So let’s call a spade a spade, stop making a plethora of platitudes and excuses for our fellow man, and look directly at some of this month’s who’s-who in the Jew-hate category: 

  • Hizbullah Deputy Secretary-General Na’im Qassem at Beirut Conference for Palestine said: “Our Goal Is To Eliminate Israel.” 
  • A pregnant woman hurt in a stabbing near Jerusalem, Michal Fruman, 30, moderately wounded in terror attack in Tekoa; her unborn baby was unharm; the terrorist was shot and critically wounded by an armed civilian.
  •  Fatah-run Awdah TV broadcast a music video explicitly calling to murder Israelis all over Israel – “in all their neighborhoods.” The song calls on Palestinians to “drown them in a sea of blood, kill them as you wish.” 
  • Abbas’ Fatah movement posted an uncensored version of the picture of dead terrorist murderer Nashat Melhem lying in a pool of blood. It also praised the killer of three a “Martyr” and congratulated him on its official Facebook page.
  • Fatah’s branch in Bethlehem marked Fatah Day on January 7, 2016 with a parade in the Dheisheh refugee camp featuring masked men brandishing firearms and axes, as well as children armed with mock RPG rockets and suicide belts.
  • A man wearing a kippah was attacked and robbed in Germany in an antisemitic attack by refugees from Syria and Afghanistan on the island of Puttgarden. The victim was a 49 year old French businessman who was pushed to the floor and robbed by the attackers as they yelled “Yahud’ Arabic for Jew. They took his shoulder bag that contained money, a cellphone and other valuables.

Hizb ut-Tahrir

Be it the Daesh, Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hizb ut Tahrir, Al-Qaeda or Al-Sabireen, these vile miscreants are tarred with the same brush; they all hate Jews.

Back to Jew-hate filled Gaza. How many of the western media are writing about Al-Sabireen, the newest terrorist group in the Gaza Strip?

  • “The new Iranian-backed Al-Sabireen was established in wake of tensions between Iran and its two former allies in the Gaza Strip: Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis four years ago, relations between Tehran and Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been strained. […]  Al-Sabireen, whose emblem is identical to that of another Iran proxy, Hezbollah, so far has about 400 followers in the Gaza Strip. Each one receives a monthly salary of $250-$300, while the senior officials of the group get at least $700.”

And what, if any, was the reaction in the western media to Hamas’ spokesman Fawzi Barhoum when he said, “Let me say loud and clear to our people in the West Bank: anyone who has a knife, a club, a weapon, or a car, yet does not use it to run over a Jew…and does not use it to kill dozens of Zionists, does not belong to Palestine.” 

  • A local French politician was been found dead in his apartment with multiple stab wounds. Alain Ghozland, 73, a Republican councillor from Creteil near Paris, which has a large Jewish population. A family member told Metro News that the body showed signs of both stabbing and beating, but police have no leads on the investigation yet.
  • And while much of the western media insist on regurgitating the question, “Why hasn’t Israel lifted the Gaza blockade,” none of them seem to be at all interested in the fact, and I quote: “Since the 2013 Egyptian coup d’état in which president Mohammad Morsi was ousted by General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egyptian authorities have kept the border crossing almost totally closed. Twenty-two days into 2016, the Rafah border crossing has been closed and Gazans lack supplies of basic goods such as gas and electricity. Currently, the chances of the crossing being reopened are low, given Egypt’s declaration that it will not open it before the fifth anniversary of the 2011 uprising.”

By the way, the fifth anniversary is on Monday, January 25. Watch for plenty of hate, smoke and fire on the day. Know doubt the Jew-haters will find cause to blame any deaths on the Jewish holiday of Tu BiShvat, which also occurs on January 25.

In Canada, where I live, the country where we are in the process of extending a welcome to some 25,000 Syrian refugees of various faiths, we are also not immune to Jew-hate. Here’s what Honest Reporting Canada had to say earlier this week.

“”Writing in the Globe and Mail on December 14, Michael Bell, former Canadian ambassador to Israel and co-director of the Jerusalem Old City Initiative, excused Palestinian terrorism while baselessly charging that a “Judaization” of Jerusalem exists. In truth, Bell’s op-ed was just another example of Palestinian incitement.

“Without substantiation, Bell claimed Israeli “zealots” are attempting to change the Temple Mount’s status quo while seeking the destruction of the Al Aqsa Mosque, efforts which Bell claimed are prompting Palestinians to commit terrorism.

“Bell claimed: “The spate of frequent and growing knife attacks has been provoked by the perhaps unsurprising misperception that Mr. Netanyahu plans to change the “status quo” step by step, given the pressures he is subject to.””

And in conclusion, in Sweden, the repugnant Israel-bashing Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom continues to make outrageous claims. Recently it was reported “she called on Israel to halt what she called ‘extrajudicial executions’ in response to attacks by knife-wielding Palestinians.” 

We have lost our way. What politician, what member of society, has the will and fortitude to help change it? Depressing, isn’t?

* * *

SEVENTY YEARS LATER -

OVER 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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Latest International News for May 13, 2014

What Others Are Saying

Never the twain shall meet?

Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey reports: Iranians, Israelis rush to Antalya. The first four months of the year saw a rise in Iranian and Israeli tourists to Turkey’s southern holiday mecca of Antalya. According to a report released in May by the Antalya Touristic Hotels and Businesses Union, the number of Iranian tourists who visited Antalya skyrocketed by 464 percent between January and April, while visitors from Israel soared by 146 percent. The number of Iranian visitors surpassed 53,000, whereas the number of Israelis visiting Antalya was more than 39,000. The rise in Iranian and Israeli visitors outstripped some of the top Antalya-loving countries during the period, in which the overall number of foreign visitors rose 5.1 percent to 1.32 million… Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last year over the Mavi Marmara incident gave a boost to Turkey’s allure for Israeli holiday markets.

“Judenfrei” sign posted on the gates of nursery school in Latvia

Riga Latvia bLatvian news site Vesti Segodniya reports the Pucite School, owned by Imants Paradnieks, [who has in the past made anti-Semitic statements] posted a sign reading “Judenfrei” (free of Jews) on the gate at the front entrance of the school. The school was in the news two years ago for bringing in men dressed in Waffen SS uniforms to show the kindergarten class what they called a patriotic lesson. In a video taken of that lesson, children are shown World War II era weapons such as grenades, pistols, rifles and machine guns.

‘We feel the Nazi frost in the air’: Sweden

The Local, Sweden reports: Two of Sweden’s most prominent politicians have asked their European counterparts “to wake up”. Cecilia Malmström and Birgitta Ohlsson argue that it is time to fight “Hitler’s ideological heirs, who are marching towards our legislative assemblies”.  On May 9th, 1945 there were celebrations across Europe as the Third Reich capitulated and the second world war finally ended. Last week, some 200 Nazis from the Party of the Swedes demonstrated in Jönköping. They protested against the EU and brandished the slogan “Sweden for the Swedes”. Through the duration of the demonstration, church bells rang out across the southern Swedish town.  It was the first time since 1939 that the churches rang their bells to warn of danger.  School students across our country have this spring been met by Nazi hate propaganda. Some dismiss the scrawled swastiskas and hateful words as pranks. But we feel the frost in the air. 

BBC’s Addis Ababa correspondent decides who is Jewish

BBC Watch, UK reports: Here’s a heart-breaking story which was broadcast on BBC World News television and promoted on the Middle East and Africa pages of the BBC News website… Presenter Emmanuel Igunza reports: Shouts of praise for the holy scrolls but make no mistake; this is not Israel. Welcome to Gondar – an ancient historic city in northern Ethiopia and home to the Falash Mura: the last Jews of Ethiopia. They spend their days living according to Jewish tradition, passed onto them over hundreds of years. The tranquility here betrays the emotional turmoil that many feel, not able to join their families in Israel. Stories of siblings separated, children allowed to settle in the Jewish homeland while their parents remain behind. Under the Israeli government criteria, only those Falash Mura who can show evidence of Jewish ancestry on their mother’s side are allowed into Israel and granted citizenship… The problem with Emmanuel Igunza’s story is that he has left out some very critical details, the most obvious one being that the Falash Mura are Christians whose Jewish ancestors were converted by Western missionaries from around the end of the nineteenth century.

Peres barred from entering Swedish airspace

The Jewish Chronicle, UK reports: Israeli President Peres was held up in mid-air on Sunday after Swedish authorities refused to permit the plane he was travelling in from entering their airspace. The president had been en route to Norway in a private jet, owned by the company Kishrev Teufa, when he hit problems over the Baltic Sea.
According to Haaretz, his flight was 15 minutes away from Swedish airspace when the pilot was told that the country’s air traffic authorities had no prior knowledge of clearance being given. After circling the area, the plane was finally re-routed through Danish airspace, making Mr Peres 50 minutes late for his arrival in Oslo. Although the Foreign Ministry blamed the problem on the fact that a private company had been transporting Mr Peres, his office has criticised the Swedish authorities. A spokesperson at the President’s Office said: “It was a technical problem. The Swedes immediately gave approval, but later revoked it for reasons unknown to us.”

Jewish boat making waves ahead of Amsterdam gay parade

JTA reports: Its maiden voyage is months away and will only take a couple of hours, but the Jewish boat of Amsterdam’s annual gay parade-on-the-canals is already making international waves. On Monday, the Jewish boat got the thumbs up from the British actor Stephen Fry, who described it on Twitter as an “Ace event for LGBT Jews worldwide,” adding: “As one of each I wish I could be there!”  The Jewish boat for the Amsterdam Pride Canal Parade 2014 is scheduled to hit the murky waters of Amsterdam’s Prinsengracht canal on August 2. It was one of approximately 80 boats to win a March lottery ensuring its participation in the world-famous event, believed to be the world’s only aquatic pride parade. Other winners included the first boat for Moroccan gays. The 18-year-old annual event draws hundreds of thousands of spectators who huddle along the canal to watch the decorated, themed vessels chart a west-east course through one of the Dutch capital’s main waterways. The Jewish boat, and an international Jewish LGBT conference that immediately precedes it, are being organized by a group called Exodays, whose board is made up of several young Jewish activists.

Israel says to normalize relations with Turkey

Kuwait News Agency reports:  Israel announced on Monday that it will begin normalizing relations with Turkey in a matter of days after the return of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from his visit to Japan. The normalization comes after four years of tension between the two countries caused by the Israeli attack on the Turkish (Mavi Marmara) flotilla carrying Turkish activists supporting Gaza in May 2010, killing and injuring dozens of those on board. Turkey withdrew its Ambassador to Israel after the incident, and demanded the same from the Hebrew state. Israel has agreed to pay compensation of USD 21 million to the victims’ families, according to Radio Israel. The two sides will reach a final agreement regarding compensations once Netanyahu has returned, the radio added. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously said that Israel must pay the compensation and end the siege on Gaza, if it really wanted to normalize relations with his country. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu meanwhile said in a press conference that the Turkish-Israeli negotiations are coming out with positive results and have solved big issues between the two countries.

Israel’s creation is “the greatest crime known to humanity” writes official PA daily op-ed

Palestinian Media Watch reports: To coincide with Israel’s Independence Day last week, the official Palestinian Authority daily published an op-ed describing Israel’s creation – “the occupation of Palestine” – as “the greatest crime known to humanity.” Other terms of demonization used to refer to Israel’s creation were “a monstrosity was born” and “an despicable mission.” Jewish fighting forces in the War of Independence were referred to as “the Zionist gangs.”

Syria jihadists ban mannequins in shops

Gulf News, UAE reports: Militants in Raqa also ban men and women shopping together unless he is her husband, father or brotherSyria’s most extreme jihadist faction issued a ban Monday on mannequins in shop displays and the sale of women’s underwear to male customers, a monitoring group said. The decision by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) in their northern stronghold of Raqa also bans men and women shopping together unless he is her husband, father or brother, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Observatory also said ISIL has decided that traditional garments on sale must be neither “tight, transparent or ornate”. Raqa is the only provincial capital in Syria to have fallen from the hands of President Bashar Al Assad’s regime, and it is now completely under Isil control. Isil is believed to be holding some 1,000 hostages in Raqa, rights groups say, many of them peaceful activists, rival rebels or civilians caught committing “crimes” such as heresy or smoking. The group also carries out frequent public executions, with some victims reportedly crucified in Raqa.

West ‘stupid’ to expect Iran missile curb: Khamenei

Gulf Times, Qatar reports: Iran’s supreme leader described as “stupid and idiotic” Western expectations for his country to curb its missile development, striking a defiant tone ahead of a fresh round of nuclear talks. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to mass produce missiles and said the nuclear negotiations were not the place to discuss Tehran’s defence programme or to solve the problem of sanctions damaging the Iranian economy. “They expect us to limit our missile programme while they constantly threaten Iran with military action,” Khamenei was quoted as telling the Irna news agency while on a visit to an aeronautics fair held by the Revolutionary Guards. “So this is a stupid, idiotic expectation … The revolutionary guards should definitely carry out their programme and not be satisfied with the present level. They should mass produce. This is a main duty of all military officials.”

We thought Rouhani was supposed to be moderate? Iran censors, shuts down two newspapers

AlBawaba, Jordan reports: Iranians expecting to buy Thursday’s edition of reformist newspaper Ghanoon were disappointed not to find it on news stands as the publication has been forced to close by the Iranian Ministry of Culture. The latest closures bring the total number of Iranian media outlets shut down by the Ministry of Culture to at least five since the election of President Hassan Rouhani in August. Ghanoon, the Persian word for “law,” was shut down for its coverage of the arrest of Mohammad Rouyanian, the former chair of the Persepolis soccer club and member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp. Rouyanian, who was arrested on fraud charges in March, was head of Iran’s powerful Management Transportation and Fuel Center under controversial former Iranian PresidentMahmoud Ahmadinejad. “The newspaper published false reports aimed at disturbing public opinion, and (articles) against the Islamic values,” read the Ministry of Culture’s statement. The statement is posted on Ghanoon’s still-operational website. Ghanoon’s article was just a reprint of a report published by Iranian news agency Dana, which the Ministry of Culture also shutdown when that fact became apparent.

Warsaw’s Jewish Heritage on Show

The Warsaw Voice reports: A new exhibition at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews offers a glimpse of Warsaw as it was before World War II, when the city was home to the world’s second-largest Jewish community after New York City. Entitled Warszawa, Warsze, the exhibition comprises archival documents, paintings and photographs. Arranged in chronological order, the exhibition begins with items from the late 18th century. The primary focus of Warszawa, Warsze are Warsaw’s distinctly Jewish neighborhoods, such as Muranów and Nalewki Street, where Yiddish was spoken and the streets bustled with sidewalk stalls, stores and craftsmen’s workshops. Visitors to the museum can see how the elegant Senatorska Street and the Tłomackie Street area, a favorite meeting place for progressive intellectuals, once looked. The exhibition also delves into the shady atmosphere of Gnojna Street and Iron Gate Square, and brings to life the Jewish microcosm of Warsaw’s Praga district, whose local horse fair attracted many Jews in the 18th century. The exhibition also takes in the Vistula River, which used to be a popular bathing spot and which simultaneously served as a trade route for Jewish merchants dealing in grain and other products.

Quilliam releases new report on online extremism

A new report by Quilliam entitled ‘Jihad Trending: A Comprehensive Analysis of Online Extremism and How to Counter it’ is released today. The report maps Islamist extremist usage of the Internet and explores the role extremist materials online play in the radicalisation process. It also focuses on how online extremism can be countered, offering a comprehensive range of counter-measures.

Key findings of the report include:

• The vast majority of radicalised individuals come into contact with extremist ideology through offline socialisation prior to being indoctrinated online. This challenges popular discourse about ‘lone wolf’ actors radicalised solely through the Internet.

• Although governments are increasingly relying on censorship and filtering methods to counter online extremism, this report found that negative measures, or censorship in general, was not only ineffective and costly but also potentially counter-productive.

(Photo credit Vesti Segodniya)


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