PERSPECTIVES ON, AND AFTER, THE JERUSALEM SYNAGOGUE SLAUGHTER: AT THE SHUL, AND WHAT O. SHOULD HAVE SAID

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

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Letter From Jerusalem: Nov. 20, 2014— Yesterday at about 7 am my daughter Miri called. "Mordechai just came home from shul. He said that Arabs came in and are shooting, and that a man with an axe is hitting everyone. Some of the people threw chairs at them, but it didn't help".

Statement by Jack Kincler on Jerusalem Synagogue Attack: Jack Kincler, CIJR, Nov. 19, 2014— I read carefully President Obama’s statement following the beheading of Peter (Abdul-Rahman) Kassig, here is what he said

Responding to the Slaughter: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2014 — What we are seeing in Jerusalem today is not simply Palestinian terrorism. It is Islamic jihad.

A Sunni Hezbollah?: Jonathan Spyer, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 9, 2014 — Jabhat al-Nusra, like the Lebanse Shi’ite organization, is emerging as a movement that combines uncompromising jihadi ideology with tactical flexibility.

 

On Topic Links

 

Palestinian Terrorists Should Know: It’s Not Going to Work: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Nov. 18, 2014 

Blaming Israel for Palestinian Violence is Racist: it Denies That Arabs are Moral Agents: Alan Johnson, Telegraph, Nov. 20, 2014

'It Looked Like a Pogrom': Yardena Schwartz, Foreign Policy, Nov. 19, 2014

Battle of Jerusalem: What Congress Should Do Now: Seth Lipsky, New York Post, Nov. 19, 2014

 

                                      

[The following letter is from a person whose family was directly involved in the recent terrible terrorist murders at the Bnei Torah synagogue in Har Nof, west Jerusalem; it was forwarded by a mutual friend, and is published with the permission of the author—Ed.]     

 

 

LETTER FROM JERUSALEM

                                                          Nov. 19, 2014

 

Dear friends,

 

Yesterday at about 7 am my daughter Miri called. "Mordechai just came home from shul. He said that Arabs came in and are shooting, and that a man with an axe is hitting everyone. Some of the people threw chairs at them, but it didn't help". The twelve-year-old had hit the floor along with everyone else when the bullets began to fly. He was fully aware of what was going on, and what it meant. He somehow found the courage to let go of his father's hand, crawl towards the exit and break into a run.

 

Some of you know Miri and her family. She has had some of you over for Shabbos and holidays, and others sleeping in one of her kid's bedrooms when the crowd at my house gets too big to accommodate sanely. Mordechai is blonde, freckled, and a soft-spoken somewhat introverted and studious boy, much like his father, Shmuli. He is not Huck Finn, and the courage he found at those moments was a gift straight from G-d. By the time he finished telling Miri what happened, sirens from Hatzalah ambulances, police cars, and Magen David could be heard telling her that there were casualties. "Where's Shmuli" was the thought that entered her mind again and again as the seconds which felt like hours began to tick. She called me and said, "Say Tehillim. There is shooting in Bnei Torah". I began to say the ancient prayers, stopped myself and called Rabbi Weidan, and told him what was happening. I then began the Tehillim again, knocked on my neighbor's door and told her to do the same. Chani called and told me to look at the news to see what was really happening. Nothing was reported as yet. Of course not. It was only 7:10.

 

I realized that the whether or not the attack was over, that no one as yet knew whether the murderers escaped. I called again, asking that everything be done to see that no one leaves the campus, and then called Miri. Thank G-d she had the sense to stay indoors and not run to the besieged synagogue. When Mordechai came home, the shooting was still happening. By 7:20 we both realized that if she didn't hear from Shmuli, something was very wrong. The police and other services had no information as yet to give to the public, but a family friend who had seen the terror with his own eyes, said that Shmuli had been taken to Haddassah EIn Karem. When Mordechai let go of his hand, he instinctively ran after the child placing himself in the sight of the terrorists. One of them attacked him with his axe, hitting him on the left side of his head, his back and his arm. Somehow he made it to the door. Josh White, a student of Machon Shlomo, was riding down Agassi on his bike. He noticed what he described later as "a lot of confusion" in front of Bnei Torah, asked someone what was going on, and surprisingly (for Har Nof) the man answered him in Hebrew! In the midst of what to him was gibberish, he picked up the word Aravim (Arabs) and immediately grasped what was happening.

 

He approached the shul and saw Shmuli who was still aware. The Machon student took off his shirt and stopped the bleeding, a move which may have saved Shmuli's life. The shooting was still happening inside. It was about 7:15! The emergency crew drew back, but because Shmuli was already outside, they evacuated him, thus making him the first of the wounded to be taken to Hadassah, another factor in his survival. Before collapsing, he asked where Mordechai was, and when he was told that the boy ran away from the carnage, he said, "Baruch Hashem". Inside, the terrorists were continuing their "work". When they entered they turned to their left, and immediately cut down Rabbi Twerski and Rav Kalman Levine, who were standing in the corner. Reb Kalman was the husband of Chaya, formally Markowitz, who was a student and later a madrichah at Neve. Her husband was not a regular attendee of Bnei Torah. He would generally daven in the earliest possible minyan so he could get in a couple of hours of learning before beginning his day. Yesterday he had a question about something he had learned and had gone after davening to Bnei Torah to put the question to its erudite rav, Rabbi Rubin. The question will now only be resolved in the Heavenly Academy.

 

Rev Avraham Goldberg, the third man to be killed, is Breina Goldberg's husband. Many of you know Breina as the warm caring efficient secretary-cum -mother figure at the front desk in the afternoon. I don't as yet know how her husband, or Reb Kupinski, the fourth victim, met their deaths. The only thing that I know, is that it was brutal and swift. The first policemen to enter were traffic cops who knew what they were facing, and also knew that they were not wearing protective gear. They entered anyway and together with the forces that came afterwards ended the bloodbath. By 7:30 the murderers were apprehended.

 

Miri, my daughter Guli, and her husband were in Hadassah. Miri's other kids were watched by relatives and friends for the day. Mordechai was urged to speak about what he saw again and again in order to diminish the damage of the trauma he had undergone. The rest of the family flowed in, saying Tehillim and waiting for updates. The hospital social worker, Aviva, who is blessed with the rare gift of being empathic without being overbearing, and the women of Ezer Mitzion (a volunteer organization) kept us well supplied with food, calming conversation and practical advice. We were allowed to see Shmuli who was put under anesthesia. We don't know if he heard us or not, but we were talking to him stressing that Mordechai was fine. In the hours before the surgery was done, we found ourselves with Risa Rotman. Her husband, Chaim Yechiel ben Malka, was also attacked, and the extent of his wounds is very serious. Some of you may know Risa (who if I am not mistaken also is an OBG) and those of you whose husbands learned in Ohr Sameach or who recall Reb Meir Shuster who he helped unstintingly for years, may know him as Howie. The policeman who entered first, passed away. May Hashem avenge his blood.

 

Every day in Eretz Yisrael is a gift and a miracle. I have no pretensions of knowing Hashem's will, but I do know that everything He does is purposeful, and that His compassion that is often hidden from the human eye. Anyone who values human life and reality and the eternal nature of the soul is appalled by the idea of people entering a synagogue and killing people who they never met randomly.

 

Except for CNN. They reported the entire event as an attack on a mosque.

Except for BBC. They reported that the Israeli police killed two Palestinians (they meant the murderers). The victims of Israeli brutality presumably were going on a stroll through scenic Har Nof when attacked by the racist troops….

 

Please post the truth to whomever you can reach.

Please, please continue saying Tehillim for Shmuel Yerucham ben Baila and the other victims. Daven that Hashem give strength to the five new widows and 24 new orphans. Most of all thank Hashem that we are not Them, and treasure Hashem's Torah and His Land.

                                                                                                                        Love always,

                                                                                                                            Tziporah

 

         

STATEMENT ON THE JERUSALEM SYNAGOGUE ATTACK                           

Jack Kincler                                                                                                       

CIJR, Nov. 19, 2014

 

I read carefully President Obama’s statement following the beheading of Peter (Abdul-Rahman) Kassig, here is what he said: “Today we offer our prayers and condolences to the parents and family of Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known to us as Peter.  We cannot begin to imagine their anguish at this painful time. Abdul-Rahman was taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity.  Like Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff before him, his life and deeds stand in stark contrast to everything that ISIL represents.  While ISIL revels in the slaughter of innocents, including Muslims, and is bent only on sowing death and destruction, Abdul-Rahman was a humanitarian who worked to save the lives of Syrians injured and dispossessed by the Syrian conflict.  While ISIL exploits the tragedy in Syria to advance their own selfish aims, Abdul-Rahman was so moved by the anguish and suffering of Syrian civilians that he traveled to Lebanon to work in a hospital treating refugees.  Later, he established an aid group, SERA, to provide assistance to Syrian refugees and displaced persons in Lebanon and Syria.  These were the selfless acts of an individual who cared deeply about the plight of the Syrian people. ISIL's actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own.  Today we grieve together, yet we also recall that the indomitable spirit of goodness and perseverance that burned so brightly in Abdul-Rahman Kassig, and which binds humanity together, ultimately is the light that will prevail over the darkness of ISIL.”

 

Here below is a very similar statement, substituting the ISIL terrorists for Hamas and Palestinian terrorists,   which is what we should have heard from Pres. Obama today, the only difference being that it is Jewish blood which was spilled and, as PM Netanyahu put it in his reaction to today’s atrocity, in a press conference in Jerusalem Tuesday night, “"I call on all the leaders of countries in the Western world: I want to see outrage over this massacre. I want to see denunciation”. He went on to urge the international community not make a distinction between Jewish and non-Jewish blood.

 

Imagine now President Obama and other world leaders making the following statement: Statement by the President on the Death of Rabbi Moshe Twersky, Rabbi Kalman Levine,  Aryeh Kupinsky, Avraham Shmuel Goldberg and  Zidan Saif (May their memory be a blessing): “Today we offer our prayers and condolences to the parents and families of Rabbi Moshe Twersky, Rabbi Kalman Levine,  Aryeh Kupinsky, Avraham Shmuel Goldberg and  Zidan Saif .  We cannot begin to imagine their anguish at this painful time. The five terrorist massacre victims were taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity.  Like the thousands of Palestinian terror victims before them including a 3-month-old baby, Chaya Zissel Braun, killed on the 22nd Oct. 2014, their lives and deeds stand in stark contrast to everything that Hamas and Palestinian terrorists and the Palestinian people represent.  While Hamas and Palestinians revel in the slaughter of innocents, including Muslims, and are bent only on sowing death and destruction, the Israeli victims were  humanitarians and God-fearing people who were innocent civilians. While Hamas and other Palestinian terror organizations exploit the tragedy in Jerusalem to advance their own selfish aims, the Israeli Government and the Israeli people show the utmost restraint given the strong emotional reaction to this despicable massacre. These murdered Israelis were all people who acted always selflessly as individuals who cared deeply about their families, their beliefs and their country. Hamas and Palestinian  terrorists actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith. Today we grieve together, yet we also recall that the indomitable spirit of goodness and perseverance that burned so brightly in the victims of this heinous massacre, and which binds humanity together, ultimately is the light that will prevail over the darkness of Hamas and Palestinian Terrorism and hatred.”

 

Instead, here is what President Obama had to say condemning the killings in the synagogue, creating an imaginary moral equivalency between the Israeli victims of this terrible, monstrous massacre and the Palestinian terrorist butchers:   “There is and can be no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians…Too many Israelis have died; too many Palestinians have died. At this difficult time, I think it’s important for both Palestinians and Israelis to try to work together to lower tensions and reject violence.” He added: “We have to remind ourselves that the majority of Palestinians and Israelis overwhelmingly want peace.”

 

Jack Kincler is CIJR’s National Chairman

         

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RESPONDING TO THE SLAUGHTER                                                                    

Caroline Glick

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2014

 

What we are seeing in Jerusalem today is not simply Palestinian terrorism. It is Islamic jihad. No one likes to admit it. The television reporters insist that this is the worst possible scenario because there is no way to placate it. There is no way to reason with it. So what else is new? The horrible truth is that all of the anti-Jewish slaughters perpetrated by our Arab neighbors have been motivated to greater or lesser degrees by Islamic Jew-hatred. The only difference between the past hundred years and now is that today our appeasement-oriented elite is finding it harder to pretend away the obvious fact that we cannot placate our enemies. No “provocation” by Jews drove two Jerusalem Arabs to pick up meat cleavers and a rifle and slaughter rabbis in worship like sheep and then mutilate their bodies. No “frustration” with a “lack of progress” in the “peace process,” can motivate people to run over Jewish babies or attempt to assassinate a Jewish civil rights activist.

 

The reason that these terrorists have decided to kill Jews is that they take offense at the fact that in Israel, Jews are free. They take offense because all their lives they have been taught that Jews should live at their mercy, or die by their sword. They do so because they believe, as former Jordanian MP Ya’qub Qarash said on Palestinian television last week, that Christians and Muslims should work together to forbid the presence of Jews in “Palestine” and guarantee that “not a single Jew will remain in Jerusalem.” Our neighbors are taught that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, signed the treaty of Hudaybiyah in 628 as a ploy to buy time during which he would change the balance of power between his army and the Jews of Kuraish. And 10 years later, once his army gained the upper hand, he annihilated the Jews.

 

Throughout the 130-year history of modern Zionism, Islamic Jew-hatred has been restrained by two forces: the desire of many Arabs to live at peace with their Jewish neighbors; and the ability of Israeli authorities and before them, British authorities, to deter the local Arab Muslims from attacking. The monopoly on Arab Muslim leadership has always belonged to the intolerant bigots. Support for coexistence has always been the choice of individuals. Haj Amin el-Husseini’s first act as the founder of the Palestinian Arab identity was to translate The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and serialize them in the local press. During the Arab jihad of 1936-1939, Husseini’s gangs of murderers killed more Arabs than the British did. He targeted those who sought peaceful coexistence with the Jews. His successor Yasser Arafat followed his example. During the 1988-1991 Palestinian uprising, the PLO killed more Palestinians than the IDF did. Like Husseini, Arafat targeted Palestinians who worked with Israel. Since Israel imprudently embraced Arafat and the PLO in 1993 and permitted them to govern the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and exert direct influence and coercive power over the Arabs of Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority’s governing institutions have used all the tools at their disposal to silence those who support peaceful coexistence with Israel, and indoctrinate the general public in Islamic and racial Jew-hatred. Much has been made of the recent spike in incitement of violence by Palestinian leaders led by Arafat’s successor Mahmoud Abbas. But the flames Abbas and his comrades are throwing would not cause such conflagrations if they hadn’t already indoctrinated their audience to desire the destruction of the Jews. You cannot solicit murder among those who haven’t been taught that committing murder is an act of heroism.

 

Today Israel must take swift, effective action to stop the slaughter. The damage that has been done to the psyches of the Arabs of Jerusalem and their brethren in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, cannot be repaired in a timeline relevant to the task of preventing the next massacre. This means that for the time being, on the tactical level, Israel’s only play is strengthening its deterrence. Israel faces two major constraints in meeting this challenge. First, the European Union and the Obama administration, as well as the US foreign policy elite, are obsessively committed to a policy of empowering the Palestinians against Israel. The Spanish parliament’s decision to go ahead with its planned vote to recognize the “State of Palestine,” just hours after the massacre at the Bnei Torah Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood shows that the EU’s dedication to strengthening the Palestinians against Israel is entirely unrelated to events on the ground. They don’t care who the Palestinians are or what they do. For their own reasons they have made supporting the Palestinians at Israel’s expense their top foreign policy priority.

 

Similarly, US President Barack Obama couldn’t contain his compulsion to pressure Israel even in his statement condemning the massacre. Even there, Obama called on Israelis and Palestinians equally to restrain themselves. Obama’s unabated hostility toward Israel was brought to bear on Tuesday afternoon when the State Department restated its rejection of Jewish property rights in Jerusalem and its desire to see the homes of terrorist murderers left intact for the welfare of their terror-supporting families. On Tuesday, Israel’s social media outlets were filled with angry rebukes of Western media outlets from CNN to MSNBC to CBS, to the BBC. All these networks, and many others, did everything in their power to explain away the synagogue slaughter as just another instance of a cycle of violence. That is, they all sought to frame the discussion in a way that would lead their viewers to the conclusion that the slaughter of praying rabbis was justified. While appalling, the coverage was not the least surprising. The Western elite media’s devotion to their false narrative of Israeli culpability for all the problems in the region is absolute. Networks would rather wreck their professional reputations than tell the truth. Together with the EU, the American policy elite and the Obama administration, the media place Israel’s leaders in a bind. Every step they take to defend the country and protect the rights of Jews meets with automatic and libelous condemnation…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                   

                                                                       

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A SUNNI HEZBOLLAH?                                                                                   

Jonathan Spyer                                                                                                                

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 9, 2014

 

Jabhat al-Nusra, like the Lebanse Shi’ite organization, is emerging as a movement that combines uncompromising jihadi ideology with tactical flexibility. Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamist group which constitutes al-Qaida’s “official franchise” in Syria, this week carried out a successful offensive against Western-backed rebel militias in northern Syria. Key areas were captured. Islamic State and its activities further east continue to dominate Western media reporting on the war in Syria. But in northwest Syria, Lebanon and the area immediately east of the Golan, it is Nusra which is becoming the main Sunni jihadi force on the ground.

 

There are significant differences in the praxis of these two movements, despite their near-identical ideological stances. Islamic State prefers to rule by straightforward terror – see its slaughter of 322 members of the Albu Nimr tribe north of Ramadi this week. Nusra is no less brutal when it deems it necessary, but follows a different, more sophisticated trajectory. This requires Nusra to at times cooperate with other Sunni groups (including Islamic State), and at other times fight them. The assault against rival rebel groups began on Saturday and was mainly focused against the Syria Revolutionaries Front (SRF), led by former construction worker Jamal Ma’arouf. Ma’arouf, who hails from the Jebel Zawiya region of Idlib province, emerged as a successful warlord in one of the heartlands of the Syrian Sunni rebellion. According to sources in northern Syria, however, Ma’arouf is seen by many as a corrupt figure who has personally enriched himself in the course of the Syrian war.

 

The tensions between Nusra and SRF in the north are of long standing, and have claimed lives on both sides. They are concerned with power, and the control of populations, land and resources. Nusra’s forces made rapid progress into Jebel Zawiya, capturing Ma’arouf’s home village of Deir Sunbul; the smaller Harakat Hazm militia also abandoned a number of villages in the wake of the group’s advance. Nusra is now just a few miles from the Bab al-Hawa border crossing between Syria and Turkey. Ma’arouf was known to have been in contact with Western officials, though the extent of aid to his movement is not clear. Hazm, however – which numbers only around 5,000 fighters – was the recipient of direct Western help, including a number of BGM-71 TO W anti-tank systems delivered this past spring.  These systems may well now be in the hands of the al-Qaida- associated Nusra, following Hazm’s abandonment of areas of northern Idlib province in the wake of Nusra’s advance against the SRF. The future of Hazm and SRF in the rebel heartland of northwest Syria now looks uncertain. Nusra appears uninterested in proclaiming an “Islamic state” of its own any time soon, but it is clearly deeply interested in capturing and holding ground in this area – and is doing so.

 

Oddly, in other areas, Nusra cooperates with the very forces it fights in the north. In western Syria and the Lebanese Beka’a, for example, Nusra and Islamic State work together in the Qalamun mountains area, and in frequent forays into Lebanon. There, they seek to secure a link between pro-rebel Sunni towns in the Beka’a and the jihadi fighters in the mountains, so as to ensure a supply route throughout the winter. Nusra recently killed around 10 Hezbollah fighters in a hitand- run raid on a position near Britel. It also took part, together with Islamic State, in a large-scale raid on the town of Arsal in August, capturing a number of Lebanese soldiers. Nusra leader Muhammad al-Jowlani issued a statement on Tuesday, promising further incursions into Lebanon. Addressing Hezbollah directly, Jowlani said, “The real war in Lebanon is yet to begin, and what is coming is so bitter that [leader] Hassan Nasrallah will bite his fingers in remorse for what he has done to Sunnis.”…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

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On Topic

 

Palestinian Terrorists Should Know: It’s Not Going to Work: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Nov. 18, 2014 —Really, the last thing any of us wants to do on a day like this is write.

Blaming Israel for Palestinian Violence is Racist: it Denies That Arabs are Moral Agents: Alan Johnson, Telegraph, Nov. 20, 2014 —There were some odd media reactions this week to the murder of four Jews at prayer (and the heroic Israeli Druze first responder Zidan Saif who tried to rescue them) by two Palestinians perpetrators in Jerusalem.

'It Looked Like a Pogrom': Yardena Schwartz, Foreign Policy, Nov. 19, 2014 —When Jews pray, particularly religious Jews, it is usually with their eyes closed.

Battle of Jerusalem: What Congress Should Do Now: Seth Lipsky, New York Post, Nov. 19, 2014 —Let the massacre of the rabbis in Israel serve as a wake-up call to the new Congress that will be seated in Washington come January.

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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