Jerusalem - Clergy representing Christians, Jews and Muslims met Wednesday near the Jerusalem synagogue where five people died in a grisly Palestinian attack to plead for tolerance amid spiking regional tensions.
The group stood in a sun-dappled courtyard outside the synagogue where two Palestinian cousins armed with meat cleavers, knives and a pistol killed four worshippers and a policeman Tuesday. After a brief gun battle, security forces shot the assailants dead.
Absent from the meeting were Muslim authorities from Jerusalem and senior Israeli rabbis. [VB: Except here is a photo of Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Imam Mohammed Kiwan==>]
“People from all religions which are here in the Holy Land want to express the common belief that this is not the way,” said Rabbi Michael Melchior, a former Israeli legislator who is active in interfaith efforts. “We can have our differences, political differences, our religious differences, but this is not the way.”
Melchior’s moderation seems an increasingly scarce commodity in this region, which in recent weeks has been riven by religious tensions. During that time 11 people have died at the hands of Palestinian attackers — most in Jerusalem, but also in Tel Aviv and the West Bank.
The ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood is uniting to mourn the Druze police officer killed in the terror attack at a synagogue on Tuesday.
Postings on social media are urging ultra-Orthodox community members to attend the funeral of Zidan Nahad Seif, who was critically wounded while trying to stop the attack at the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue.
Seif succumbed to his wounds after being hospitalized in critical condition and his funeral is scheduled to take place Wednesday at 2 P.M. in his Western Galilee village of Yanuh-Jat.
At least one bus departed from the Jerusalem International Convention Center at 12 P.M. that was carrying mourners to Seif’s funeral.
“We are asking anyone from the ultra-Orthodox community who is able to attend the funeral of the police officer who protected our praying brothers with his body,” the post on social media read. “Come show him your gratitude,” it added, describing his actions - being killed while protecting Jewish worshipers - as kiddush hashem.
Ariella Sternbuch, one of the organizers of the drive to honor Seif, told Walla! news that she was touched by a photograph of him with his baby daughter. “I was moved by the thought that he chose to sacrifice his life for the Jewish people,” she said. “Haredim [ultra-Orthodox Jews], who were the main victims of this attack, should come pay him their last respects.”
It’s not clear at present which, if any, Palestinian militant organization was behind Tuesday’s attack at an Orthodox synagogue in Jerusalem. The incident led to at least four deaths, including those of three Israeli-American citizens.
But the two men who carried it out are now believed to have ties to the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group. Udai Abu Jamal and Ghassan Abu Jamal, said to be cousins, were shot dead by police after they burst into a synagogue in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood, wielding axes, knives and guns. The Islamist group Hamas praised the attack but did not take credit for it. Israeli authorities have authorized the demolition of the assailants’ homes in east Jerusalem, a tactic they believe will dissuade other militants.
The PFLP dubbed the attack a “heroic operation,” according to Reuters. The latest communique on its English language Web site is dated from Nov. 13; in it, the organization urges an “escalation of uprising” in the West Bank and Jerusalem, a city which has seen a sharp rise in tensions between Arabs and Israeli Jews in recent months.
The group is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and other Western countries, but its ideology has very little in common with Hamas, whose jihad against Israel has blown hot and cold over the past two decades. Its legacy is a reminder of the older, secular nature of Palestinian militancy against Israel and Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza since the 1960s.
The PFLP was founded in 1967 by George Habash, a Palestinian Orthodox Christian animated by the pan-Arabism of then Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser and the insurgent socialism that inflamed anti-colonial struggles in many parts of the world at the time. At its peak, the PFLP was one of the leading factions within the Palestinian Liberation Organization, alongside the Fateh party of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, the beleaguered current president of the Palestinian Authority.
One of the most shocking aspects of the murderous attack on a Jerusalem synagogue this morning by men with guns and axes is not the attack itself—we’ve seen, from time to time, this sort of sectarian barbarism take place in places like Jerusalem, and Hebron. The most shocking aspect is the wholesale endorsement of this slaughter by Hamas, a group that, during this summer’s war in Gaza, half-succeeded in convincing the world that it wasn’t what it actually is: a group with actual genocidal intentions.
According to witnesses, the two attackers entered the synagogue, in the Har Nof neighborhood, and began killing worshipers with pistols and axes. (Both assailants were killed by police, but not before they murdered four worshipers and injured at least six others, including two police officers.)
“To see Jews wearing tefillin [phylacteries] and wrapped in the tallit [prayer shawls] lying in pools of blood, I wondered if I was imagining scenes from the Holocaust,” said Yehuda Meshi Zahav, who leads an emergency-response team, according to The New York Times. “It was a massacre of Jews at prayer.”
This is how a Hamas spokesman reacted to the massacre of Jews at prayer: “The new operation is heroic and a natural reaction to Zionist criminality against our people and our holy places. We have the full right to revenge for the blood of our martyrs in all possible means.”
Twenty years ago, shortly after the Jewish fanatic Baruch Goldstein massacred Muslims at prayer in Hebron, the then-prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, said of the killer, “You are not part of the community of Israel. … You are a foreign implant. You are an errant weed. Sensible Judaism spits you out.”
Hamas’s endorsement of the massacre of Jews at prayer in their holy city confirms—as if we needed confirming—that its goal is the eradication of Israel and its Jews. We should pray for the day when the leaders of Gaza react to this sort of massacre in the manner of Yitzhak Rabin.
The Palestinian Authority leader, the more moderate Mahmoud Abbas, has condemned the attack, but it is also fair to say that he helped create the atmosphere in which attacks like this one become more likely. As the Times reports, the attackers “were described as being motivated by what they saw as threats to the revered plateau [the Temple Mount] that contains Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has repeatedly asserted that he will not alter the status quo at the site, where non-Muslims can visit but not openly pray, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has called on his people to protect the area and has warned of a ‘holy war’ if it is ‘contaminated’ by Jews.”
Oh look, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is at it again with the scare mongering:
In response to this week’s deadly shootings at Canadian Parliament, perpetrated by a now-deceased Muslim convert, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) believes the United States should go “all out” in its surveilling of the Muslim community, placing blame on media “morons” for the currently limited amount of spying conducted. […]
The New York Republican suggested the media is to blame for limiting his precious surveillance efforts:
What the NYPD used to until those moron at the New York Times editorial board, and Associated Press, the American Civil Liberties Union went after them, the fact is we have to find what people are thinking. We have to find out who the radicals are, we have to find out what’s going on in the mosques which are often incubators of this type of terrorism. […]
Never mind that the Canadian shooter was “estranged from his B.C. mosque over its tolerant views”. Never mind that the internet has become an increasingly effective method for radicalization, particularly for lone wolf types. Never mind that during the years the NYPD spied on Muslims not a single lead was ever generated.
From the Ottowa Citizen (a center-right newspaper, according to Wikipedia):
Shooter Zehaf-Bibeau was staying at Ottawa Mission before rampage: witnesses (with video)
For a time, it likely appeared to the outside world that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was a just petty criminal — a troubled man with no place to live and a drug problem.
But somewhere along the way, the Montreal-born man, who this week gunned down a soldier at the National War Memorial and attacked Parliament Hill, started to show signs that seem, now, to point to the more sinister things that were to come. He became estranged from his B.C. mosque over its tolerant views, connected to an accused terrorist and bent on going to Syria. […]
Zehaf-Bibeau had caused several disruptions at the Masjid al-Salaam mosque in Burnaby, B.C., near Vancouver, in 2011, according to Aasim Rashid, the director of religion for the place of worship. He was apparently unhappy with the mosque’s efforts to reach out to other religious groups, said Rashid.
Rashid said the man known simply as Michael had “drifted in and out” of the Sunni mosque over a period of several months but eventually became upset about efforts to build ties to the non-Muslim community.
The mosque ran interfaith programs and regularly featured panels and speaking events with members of other faiths.
“He didn’t like that,” Rashid said. “He objected to it.”
The leadership of the mosque told Zehaf-Bibeau he should consider somewhere else to pray if he didn’t like the community outreach, Rashid said.
“The chairman of the mosque committee sat him and down and said ‘Look, this is how we operate.’”
After that, Zehaf-Bibeau didn’t raise further objections, then eventually left for Quebec, Rashid said.
People recalled Zehaf-Bibeau as “a little bit rude. He was the kind of person you feel a little uncomfortable around,” Rashid said. […]
From the 2012 deposition of NYPD Assistant Chief, Thomas Galati:
NYPD Testimony on Muslim Surveillance Operation Highlights Futility of Spying on Innocent People
“I never made a lead from rhetoric that came from a Demographics report, and I’m here since 2006,” Galati testified on June 28. “I don’t recall other ones prior to my arrival.” […]
aclu.org (full deposition available at link, the above is from page 124)
From a December 2012 report by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Homeland Security Project, Countering Online Radicalization in America:
Letter from the Co-Chairs
In BPC’s 2011 report Preventing Violent Radicalization in America, we examined this alarming trend and asked who inside our government was in charge of monitoring and preventing violent radicalization. It became clear to us that a growing number of individuals find radical materials and mentors online, whether through direct searches or by chance. Through repeated online interactions with extremist materials, these people become more and more radicalized, develop violent beliefs in their own living rooms, and completely isolate themselves from contact with more moderate, non-violent influences. […]
From the White House blog on February 5, 2013:
Working to Counter Online Radicalization to Violence in the United States
Violent extremist groups — like al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents, violent supremacist groups, and violent “sovereign citizens” — are leveraging online tools and resources to propagate messages of violence and division. These groups use the Internet to disseminate propaganda, identify and groom potential recruits, and supplement their real-world recruitment efforts. Some members and supporters of these groups visit mainstream fora to see whether individuals might be recruited or encouraged to commit acts of violence, look for opportunities to draw targets into private exchanges, and exploit popular media like music videos and online video games. Although the Internet offers countless opportunities for Americans to connect, it has also provided violent extremists with access to new audiences and instruments for radicalization. […]
So, yeah, let’s disregard all that and make the entire American Muslim community terrorism scapegoats—surely trampling all over their civil liberties will make everyone safer, right? Let’s also disregard Peter King’s Terrorism Problem.
Since we’re on the subject, I wonder if Rep. King thinks the we should start surveilling Catholic churches in Italian American neighborhoods as well because, y’know, the Mafia? Do you suppose he’d also agree that we should have done the same with Irish Americans back during The Troubles, just in case?
What an idiot.
Terror returns to Jerusalem: A 3-month-old baby girl was killed and seven other people were wounded Wednesday evening when a Palestinian plowed his car into a crowd of people waiting at the Ammunition Hill station of Jerusalem’s Light Rail.
The driver - a resident of the village of Silwad with a record of security related offenses - attempted to flee the scene on foot, but was shot by police. He sustained chest wounds and was taken to a Jerusalem hospital in serious condition.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the car struck the train station near the national headquarters of the police force.
He said police were investigating but all signs pointed to an intentional attack. “There is a strong possibility that it was a terror attack,” he said.
Interior Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich, who arrived at the scene, also said that, “all signs indicate this is a terror attack.” He further said that the driver had served time in prison before. He praised the police for their quick response.
“This is not an intifada,” Aharonovich said, noting that he had spoken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and that the police and the Shin Bet internal security service were investigating.
Two men in their 20s also were taken to Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus with light wounds. Hadassah at Ein Kerem took in three wounded women, one in serious condition and two lightly hurt.
According to MDA paramedics at 5:54 pm they received a report saying that a car hit a number of pedestrians near the Ammunition Hill station.
A paramedic at the scene told Ynet that the baby’s mother “brought her to me with a serious head wound. She told me that the car hit the stroller and she was hysterical. The baby was unconscious.”
So much for the common claim by Islamophobes that mainstream or moderate Muslims never protest the extremists. Here is yet another example of that occurring, which the anti Muslim wingnuts expects us to believe never occurs. David O’leary reports.
Refugees cross into Turkey from Syria to escape fighting in the border town of Kobani. Picture: Getty
SCOTTISH Muslims are to stage an anti-Islamic State protest rally in Edinburgh condemning the group’s “heinous activities”, with thousands expected to attend.
The demonstration will take place on 2 November at The Mound in Edinburgh and is organised by the city’s Muslim community, who say it will be “open to members of all communities” who wish to voice their opposition to the barbaric acts of IS and condemn the murders of David Haines and Alan Henning.
Organised by award- winning restaurateur Matin Khan, speakers confirmed for the day include Labour MPs Sheila Gilmore and David Hamilton, with more to be announced.
Khan is the owner of Itihaas restaurant in Dalkeith and the current Scottish Curry Chef of the Year, and says he was moved to organise the peace rally in an attempt to show that IS “do not in any way represent Islam”. He said: “The IS beheading of David Haines and Alan Henning and the posting of their actions on the internet is barbaric.
Doktor Zoom rips gun nut, and anti Muslim bigot Jan Morgan a new one, for thinking that Muslims are scary and the civil rights act doesn’t apply to her,
In a world where scary Muslims are cutting off heads every few minutes, and where scary Muslims are also just generally being scary all the time, it only makes sense to be scared of Muslims, and to keep your business safe from them. That’s why Jan Morgan, owner of the Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range in Hot Springs, Arkansas, has declared her business to be a “Muslim-Free Zone.” She has a pretty good reason, too, which we’re sure will be very convincing to anyone who tries to argue that Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 might apply to her business:
This is not a coffee and donut shop. This is a live fire indoor shooting range. People come here to buy, rent, and shoot lethal weapons.
In the range, people are shooting guns in close proximity to each other, so my patrons depend on me and my discretion regarding who I allow to shoot beside them.
One mistake in judgement [sic] on my part could cost innocent people their lives.
Oh, sure, maybe her business is a “public accommodation,” but she has some pretty good reasons why Thomas Jefferson never meant the Civil Rights Act to apply to gun ranges.
*Note: I’m not sure, but she might have already changed her mind on this, since the link to the part of her webpage where she says she wasn’t going to serve Muslims doesn’t exist anymore. Maybe she talked to her lawyers and realized there’s no legal ground that she can do that
Of course the anti Muslim “counter Jihad” will claim that they’re only “pretending” to be againsts violence and extremism, without any real evidence, other than the fact that they’re Muslims. Regardless this is a good thing.
A powerful campaign by British Muslims to condemn the actions of the Islamic State militant movement is gaining momentum.
“Not in my name”, led by the Active Change Foundation, is attempting to counter the presence of extremism on social media.
The campaign was praised in the recent speech by the US President to the UN General Assembly.
President Obama said the whole world, especially Muslim communities, had to expose and publicly renounce the ideologies of hatred and violence.
He added the militants cannot be allowed to continue “perverting one of the world’s great religions”.
The “Not in my name” campaign has now spread to other countries too.
I also want to thank Daniela for alerting me to this story
@joshuafoust that's because it's from 2009 and it crashed in Nevada - http://t.co/mEEuycZiia
So, Joshua Foust caught wind of Ansar al Sharia claiming that they had captured a Predator drone that crashed in Yemen. It’s been reported by multiple outlets in the Middle East with no qualms.
Yet, Joshua was right to think something was up with the photo. Turns out that while the Predator drone indeed crashed in a nearly intact state, the photo wasn’t from a crash site in Yemen or 2014.
It’s from a 2009 crash in Nevada. That’s a US soldier in the background investigating the crash, which apparently was the result of a mechanical failure.
It took all of 30 seconds to find the origin of the photo and watching it pop up time and time again. Yet that isn’t stopping folks in the Middle East and terror groups from pilfering images and claiming them as victories for their terror groups. It’s an attempt at propaganda, but one that fails on all levels.