World Briefs 3-20-12

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Four killed in Jewish school shooting in France

Click photo to download. Caption: Distressed teenagers walk away from the Ozar Hatorah jewish school in Toulouse, France, 19 March 2012, where a man opened fire and killed a 30-years old teacher and three children aged 6, 3 and 10. Credit: EPA/MAXPPP/XAVIER DE FENOYL

Four people were killed, and several injured, in a shooting at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in Toulouse, France on Monday, reported Israel Hayom. The attacker, who fired at people gathered at the gate, and then ran into the school yard to continue shooting, fled the scene.

The victims were Yonatan Sandler, 30, along with his two sons Aryeh, 3, and Gavriel Yissacher, 6, as well as the 8-year-old daughter of the school’s principal, Miriam Montesango.

French police are currently conducting a man hunt for the shooter. According to police, the men are suspected of being former French paratroopers who were discharged from the military upon discovery of a photo of them posing with the Nazi flag, giving the Nazi salute.

Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Monday that Israel is honoring a request by the families, and will fly the bodies of the deceased to Israel for burial as soon as possible.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called the attack the worst school shooting in French history, while Israeli leaders also condemned the attack, and offered Israel’s services to help find those responsible.

JointMedia News Service

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Israel and Argentina commemorate 1990s blasts

Israeli and Argentinean leaders met in Buenos Aires last week to commemorate a 1992 terrorist bomb attack in the city that killed 29 people at the site of the Israeli embassy. A second blast in 1994 killed 87 people at the AMIA Jewish community center.

Argentina’s Vice President Amado Boudou, Justice Minister Julio Alak, Defense Minister Arturo Puricelli and other prominent Argentineans attended the ceremony. Also present were Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and Minister Yossi Peled, according to the European Jewish Press.

The Argentinean leaders called the blasts “an attack against the 40 million Argentines” and “a deep wound in the Republic.” The terrorists responsible for the attack were never caught, though both nations believe the perpetrator was Iranian-backed Hezbollah. “We will protect our citizens, our interests everywhere in the world and prevent Iran from acting,” Ayalon said.

—JointMedia News Service

French policeman saved Jews from Nazis

A former French police superintendent has received the honor of Righteous Among the Nations for saving many Jewish families form the Nazis in the cities of Marseille and Aurillac.

Henri Weisbecker was active in the Nazi-resistance movement and was known for helping Jews escape. When he learned of a deportation order, he warned all the Jews of Aurillac so that they could escape.

Weisbecker’s daughter-in-law, Yvette Weisbecker, is the only one in the family of his generation still alive at the age of 94. She accepted the award on his behalf according to the European Jewish Press. 

—JointMedia News Service

Report shows Syria torture

Click photo to download. Caption: Syrian refugee women stand at a refugee camp in Reyhanli district, in Antakya, Turkey, 19 March 2012. A total of 13,700 Syrian refugees have crossed into Turkey. Refugees are escaping increasing violence in Syria, and new reports of torture. Credit: EPA/TOLGA BOZOGLU Human-rights group Amnesty International, known for frequent criticism of Israel’s actions in Israel and the West Bank, has released a report documenting 31 torture methods used by Syrian security forces, army members and pro-government gangs.

The methods described by witnesses or victims in February 2012 are said to include stripping victims, leaving them outside for 24 hours, beating them with sticks, rifle butts, whips, fists and braided cables. Some people have been forced inside a vehicle tire, hoisted up and beaten. Torture via electrical shocking is also widespread.

“The testimonies we have heard give disturbing insights into a system of detention and interrogation which, a year after protests began, appears intended primarily to degrade, humiliate and terrify its victims into silence,” said Ann Harrison, Interim Deputy Director for Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme, according to the organization’s website.

—JointMedia News Service

Mufti call to destroy churches highlights Christian plight

Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, recently told a Kuwaiti delegation that, “Kuwait was a part of the Arabian Peninsula, and therefore it is necessary to destroy all churches in it,” reported Jihad Watch.

Highlighting the plight of Christians in Arab countries, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the Christian population of the Middle East has dropped from 20 percent 100 years ago to less than five percent today.

“In Egypt, 200,000 Coptic Christians fled their homes last year after beatings and massacres by Muslim extremist mobs. Since 2003, 70 Iraqi churches have been burned and nearly a thousand Christians killed in Baghdad alone,” Oren wrote. However, “since Israel’s founding in 1948, its Christian communities (including Russian and Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Armenians and Protestants) have expanded more than 1,000%,” he added.

As of press time, the Saudi embassy in Washington, DC, did not return a request for comment from JointMedia News Service.

—JointMedia News Service

Outrage erupts over anti-Semitic Dutch game

A Dutch television network is offering viewers a downloadable game that features Israeli settlers who colonize the West Bank using moves such as “Jewish stinginess” and “the Anne Frank card.” Organizations fighting anti-Semitism have voiced outrage against the game, called “The Settlers of the West Bank,” which is based on the popular German game “The Settlers of Catan.”

The game also includes a “Jewish stinginess” card that players use to obtain “resources” from each other. Terrorist attacks against Israelis in the game are referred to as a natural outcome of settler expansion.

The game is “likely a product of neo-Nazis or Ahmadinejad,” said Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director for international relations, according to the Jerusalem Post.

—JointMedia News Service


Posted on March 19, 2012 and filed under Briefs, World.