SWI NEWS: Wed, Mar 28, 2012 5 Nisan, 5772
The worrying anti-Semitic aftermath of the Toulouse murders
Dienstag, 27. März 2012 | Ryan Jones
The brutal and merciless slaughter of a Jewish man and three Jewish children in southern France last week shone a spotlight back onto a problem many had been doing their best to downplay - the escalating anti-Semitism in Europe. The the Toulouse shooting itself was an anti-Semitic act driven by the killer Mohammed Merah's irrational hatred of Jews is without question. And yet, there are many coming to his posthumous defense. Merah's older brothers, Abdelkader Merah, is now suspected of assisting in the attack on the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school, and told French investigators that he was "very proud" of what Mohammed had done. "I regret nothing for him and approve of what he did," said Abdelkader. Merah's father, Mohammed Benalel Merah, told French media that he intends to sue the French government for killing his murderous son. Mohammed Merah was eventually killed after a 32-hour standoff during which he shot and wounded several French police officers. "France is a big country that had the means to take my son alive,” the elder Merah told the AFP. “They could have knocked him out with gas and taken him in. They preferred to kill him. ...I will sue France for killing my son." The remarks made by Abdelkader Merah and his father will be quickly dismissed by many as being the rantings of distraught family members. Unfortunately, their sentiments are shared by many. Most schools in France last week marked one minute of silence for the victims of the Toulouse shooting. But at the Gustave Flaubert High School in Rouen, Normandy an English teacher had her class mark a minute of silence for the deceased murderer. Many of teacher Lorraine Collin's students reportedly walked out in protest, but some remained and were quoted as saying the Jewish victims "deserved" what happened to them. Back in Toulouse, a large group of women held a public gathering to honor the memory of Merah. The leader of the group told participants, "What we ask today is that we stop demonizing Mohamed... We share the pain and suffering of the families because it is the same pain for us here." It is the same argument used by the families of Palestinian terrorists, who insist that their own hardships put them on equal footing with the families of Israeli Jews killed in terrorist attacks. Also around Toulouse, French authorities found and cleaned up graffiti reading "Viva Merah" and "F**k the kippa." [via Elder of Ziyon] On the Internet, a French Facebook page was set up to in "Homage to Mohamed Merah," and received many favorable comments before being shut down at the request of the French government. Meanwhile, the Palestinian-run propaganda website Electronic Intifada accused Israel of trying to cover up alleged abuses of Palestinians by focusing so much attention on the Toulouse murders. Some print media employed the tactic of turning the aggressor into the victim, suggesting that Merah's actions were a natural result of social and economic hardships. Le Figaro wrote that it had "no doubt" that Merah's killing of four innocent Jews was incited by the "Islamophobia" of so many in France. The New York Times similarly noted that in France "Muslims complain widely of feeling vilified by some political elements, on the right in particular." Neither newspaper explained how Merah's emotional state, even if the result of real discrimination, could possibly justify the heartless slaughter of innocent children. The French government has responded to all this with a firm hand, demanding that media outlets not broadcast footage Merah took of his murders, banning the entry of radical Islamists, and suspending the teacher who tried to get her class to honor the killer of innocent Jews. But it is clear that a new wave of anti-Semitism is rising, this time fueled by Europe's exploding Muslim populations. And once those Muslim anti-Semites reinvigorate the Jew-hating European ultra-nationalists, the situation could quickly spiral out of control. It may already be happening. In a conference call hosted by the French Jewish publication Le P'tit Hebdo, a recent French Jewish immigrant to Israel painted a picture of modern-day Europe that Israel National News described as looking a lot like pre-Holocaust Europe, at least as far as Jews are concerned. "Jews are being attacked all the time," said Liora Zachary. "Children, in the buses, in the Metro, going to school, coming from school, couples in the street – this is just an unbearable situation."
Jordanian authorities confirmed they will permit a planned march in the Jordan Valley “in support of Jerusalem.”
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/28/2012, 4:15 AM
Jordan Valley Checkpoint
Flash 90Jordanian authorities confirmed on Tuesday that they will permit a planned Global March to Jerusalem in the Jordan Valley on Friday. The Iranian news agency Fars quoted the Jordanian Public Security Department (PSD) as having confirmed authorities will allow Islamist activists to lead a march as part of global demonstrations “in support of Jerusalem.” PSD Spokesperson Lt. Col. Mohammed Khatib told Fars a “heavy” security presence will be deployed to maintain order during Friday's march. The Global March is being staged in Lebanon and Jordan as another ploy to drum up international supports for the Palestinian Authority (PA) demand for unilateral recognition of PA territorial and political demands following the demise of the Oslo Accords and of the ensuing diplomatic process towards negotiations with Israel for the establishment of the PA as an independent entity. Previous “million-man” marches have fizzled with few participants, but the Jordanian and Lebanese governments have offered more support this time around. Israel has warned them not to try cross the international borders. According to the report in Fars, the Islamist movement stressed that the march will be “peaceful and well organized,” dismissing fears of participants attempting to storm the border as “baseless.” Kathem Ayesh, a Muslim Brotherhood member and march organizer, told Fars that participants will not stray from the designated rally site, pointing out that Islamists held a similar rally in the Jordan Valley last November without incident. “This will be a peaceful rally in support of Jerusalem, not a call to storm Jerusalem,” Ayesh was quoted in the report as having told The Jordan Times. The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) has presented information that the Iranian regime is behind the initiative and openly supports it. The march has also been endorsed by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was U.S. President Barack Obama's pastor for 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 27, 2012, 5:28 PM (GMT+02:00)
IDF Golan border unitIsrael boosted its Syrian and Lebanese border units as special flights carrying thousands of pro-Palestinian activists from Tehran touched down in Damascus Tuesday, March 27 for the international Global March to Jerusalem Friday, March 30. Before taking off, they were split into small groups and tutored by Iranian Al Qods Brigades officers in tactics for breaching Israeli border barriers, bursting through and challenging the Israeli military forces defending the border. On arrival in Damascus, one group of activists was sent by special bus to Lebanon, where Hizballah officers stood by to lead them to villages close to the Israeli frontier; a second is assigned to face Israeli lines on the Golan. These anti-Israeli activists from several countries are being planted at strategic points to carry out the plan hatched together by Iran, Syria and Hizballah to ignite Israel’s two northern borders in solidarity with the annual Israeli-Arab Earth Day next Friday. Earlier reports from Damascus that the demonstrators would keep the Quneitra sector of the Golan and the Lebanese Beaufort were meant to put the Israeli command off its stroke by disguising the real scope of their plans and their objective: a mass assault on Israeli borders. They are programmed to coincide with the outbreaks the Palestinian Authority is preparing for Jerusalem and the West Bank and Israeli-Arab disturbances inside Israel – all on the same day, as debkafile reported earlier Tuesday. The Palestinian extremists of the Gaza Strip will certainly not stand aloof.
'Next escalation in Gaza will be more violent'
The next confrontation between Israel and Palestinian terror organizations in the Gaza Strip will be "more violent" than previous rounds, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch warned Tuesday. Aharonovitch made the comments during a visit to Israel Police's southern district, which dealt with five consecutive days of rocket fire on southern cities, towns and villages earlier this month. While acknowledging the undesirability of being dragged in to battles in Gaza, the minister said Hamas and other groups are firing rockets into Israel "every day or two days, and the solution to that is to be more aggressive," according to Israel Radio. Ahronovitch also addressed plans by pro-Palestinian activists to land at Ben-Gurion Airport next month as part of an "aerial flotilla," and said Israel is working with other governments and foreign airlines to identify activists and stop them from boarding planes to Israel. Police would not allow any disturbances at the airport, he vowed. Last year, only a small number of activists managed to circumvent measures put in place by Israel. Most of the activists were stopped at their points of origin, or detained at Ben-Gurion and deported.
US president Barack Obama sought to allay damage from his second high profile open mic gaffe saying he was not hatching secret plots.
By Gavriel Queenann
First Publish: 3/27/2012, 7:44 PM
ReutersUS president Barack Obama on Tuesday told America he has no hidden agenda with Russia for his second term, after a revealing gaffe. Obama was caught on tape Monday telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev he would have more room to negotiate on missile defense after getting through a November election. Obama's Republican rivals immediately went on the offensive – accusing him of making secret deals that would affect national security behind America's back. Mitt Romney, the leading Republican contender likely to face Obama this fall, told a San Diego audience the open mic gaffe was "an alarming and troubling development." "This is no time for our president to be pulling his punches with the American people, and not telling us what he's intending to do with regards to our missile defense system, with regards to our military might and with regards to our commitment to Israel," Romney said. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, also issued a statement saying Obama "needs to level with the American public about his real agenda." Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich also questioned Obama's motives. "I'm curious, how many other countries has the president promised that he'd have a lot more flexibility the morning he doesn't have to answer to the American people?" Gingrich said on CNN. According to Obama, he merely wants to "work with Russia on the deeply divisive issue of a missile defense shield in Europe," knowing that only by building trust first on that matter can he make gains on another goal of nuclear arms reductions. "This is not a matter of hiding the ball," Obama said, well aware of criticism erupting at home. "I'm on record." Still, Obama – now in his second open mic faux pax after having insulting Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu alongside French president Nicolas Sarkozy – had not meant for his initial political assessment to be heard. "This is my last election," Obama was heard telling outgoing Russian president Medvedev. "After my election, I have more flexibility." For Russia, the issues of nuclear weapons reduction and the proposed missile shield are related. Russian fears of new U.S. missiles at its doorstep in Europe have helped to stymie further progress on nuclear arms reductions after a breakthrough agreement two years ago. Obama said he wants to spend the rest of this year working through technical issues with the Russians, and said it was not surprising that a deal couldn't be completed quickly – not before 2013. "I don't think it's any surprise that you can't start that a few months before presidential and congressional elections in the United States, and at a time when they just completed elections in Russia, and they're in the process of a presidential transition," Obama told reporters.