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Home of Netherlands chief rabbi attacked

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 10:20

(JTA) – A chief rabbi of the Netherlands said unidentified individuals hurled stones at his home in what he said was the second anti-Semitic attack on him in a week.

Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs said the latest attack took place at 5 a.m. Thursday, when two stones were hurled through a window of his home in Amersfoort.


An earlier incident outside his home on July 10 ended without damage, he said. Jacobs’ home has been targeted five times in recent years, he told JTA.

“The fact that these attacks are recurrent shows the depth of hatred that exists against Jews,” he added.

On Thursday, the pro-Israel organization CIDI prepared for a support rally to express solidarity with Israel for its military operation against Hamas and other terrorists in Gaza. Israel launched the operation last week amid ongoing rocket fire on Israeli cities and towns.

One Israeli and more than 200 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, which triggered a wave of anti-Semitic incidents across Western Europe and especially France.

Anti-Israel protesters said they would hold a counterdemonstration opposite the CIDI rally at Amsterdam’s Dam Square.

Khalid Sinouh, a goalkeeper for Rotterdam’s Sparta soccer team, called CIDI “a criminal organization” and a “pro-apartheid organization” on Twitter on Thursday, the Telegraaf daily reported.

U.S. Senate panel advances bill on cemetery desecration

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 08:14

WASHINGTON (JTA) – A U.S. Senate committee advanced a bill that would make the desecration of cemeteries around the world a violation of religious freedom.

If approved, the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 would be amended to include the vandalizing of cemeteries. Under the proposed change, the United States could penalize countries that obstruct religious freedom by cutting foreign aid, imposing trade sanctions, and canceling cultural and scientific exchanges.

On Wednesday, the Foreign Relations Committee sent the measure to the full Senate for consideration. The House of Representatives has approved the bill.

“The defacing or destruction of a cemetery — based on an affiliation with a particular religious or spiritual group — should not be tolerated by governments,” said U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who helped lead the effort in the Foreign Relations Committee, of which he is a senior member.

“Freedom of religion requires respect for those practicing their faith alone as well as in community with others.  It also requires protection for those who identify as members of a religious community, for the symbols of the community, for the houses of worship and other institutions of the community.”

In 2013, Jewish cemeteries were desecrated in a number of countries, including the Netherlands, Hungary, Russia, Poland, France, Germany, Georgia, Moldova and Argentina, according to Cardin’s office.


Palestinian-American teen beaten by Israeli police returns to Tampa

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 07:10

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestinian-American teen who was seen in a video being beaten by Israeli soldiers returned home to Florida.

Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, and his mother arrived in Tampa late Wednesday night, where they reportedly were greeted by about 50 family members and supporters. Khdeir was under house arrest after being released on bail.

“I am only 15, but I will never think of freedom the same as I did two months ago,” he said at the airport, according to The Associated Press. “No child, whether they are Palestinian or Israeli, deserves to die.”

Khdeir reportedly said he was ready to play with his friends and go fishing.

Khdeir is a cousin of the Palestinian teen found murdered in a revenge attack on July 2 in the Jerusalem forest. Three Jewish Israelis have been indicted in the slaying.

He was on a summer vacation visiting family in eastern Jerusalem when the murder occurred hours after the funeral of three kidnapped and murdered Israeli teens. Khdeir was one of six eastern Jerusalem teens arrested at a riot following the funeral.

In a video that garnered widespread attention internationally, a masked teen identified as Tariq is shown being pinned down by an Israeli border policeman while another office pummels him with his feet and kicks his head. Tariq is seen in photographs after his arrest with a bloody face, black eyes and a severely swollen lip.

The officer, who has not been named, was suspended for at least 15 days pending a hearing on whether charges will be brought, a statement from Israel’s Justice Ministry said last week.

Following a probe of the July 3 arrest of Khdeir, the ministry said that “apparent evidence was found supporting the guilt of the police officer suspected of severe violent crimes, committed after the arrest of the minor, and while the minor was handcuffed.”

The U.S. State Department at the time said that the U.S. was “profoundly troubled” by the beating and called for “a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force.”


3 Israeli suspects in Palestinian teen’s murder indicted

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 06:24

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Three Jewish Israelis in the apparent revenge murder of a Palestinian teen were indicted.

The indictment filed Thursday in Jerusalem District Court charged the still unnamed suspects with the murder and kidnapping of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, of eastern Jerusalem, as well as other crimes.


The suspects’ names remain under a court-ordered gag order. They are identified as a 29-year-old man from the Adam settlement outside Jerusalem, and two 16-year-olds, from Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem.

Khdeir was kidnapped from outside a mosque in his Shuafat neighborhood early on the morning of July 2, hours after the funerals for three Israeli teens who were kidnapped and murdered, allegedly by Hamas members. Khdeir’s badly burned body was found hours later in the Jerusalem forest.

According to the indictment, Khdeir was beaten unconscious and then set afire while still alive.

The three suspects, who reportedly reenacted the crime, have confessed and said the slaying was in revenge for the kidnapping and murders of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach. Khdeir’s murder touched off rioting in Arab areas throughout the country.

“The indictment that was filed details a grave and shocking act, perpetrated against a background of racism, against an innocent teenager,” Israel’s attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, said in a Justice Ministry statement, according to reports. “The attorney general wishes to express his deep sorrow over this cruel act that counters all basic human morals.”

Rockets strike Israel during humanitarian cease-fire

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 05:29

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip struck southern Israel two hours after a humanitarian cease-fire went into effect.

Israel halted its aerial fire on Gaza at 10 a.m. Thursday, as agreed upon the previous evening. The rockets violating the cease-fire targeted the Eshkol region near the Gaza border; no damage or injuries were reported.

It is not known what group fired the rockets. Hamas was the only Gaza terror group to officially agree to the cease-fire.

The brief truce was to allow Palestinian civilians an opportunity to purchase food and other necessities. Most Gaza civilians have not ventured far from their homes since the launch 10 days ago of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge to stop rocket fire on the country. In addition to Gazans flooding supermarkets, hundreds reportedly lined up outside an open branch of the Bank of Palestine in Gaza City.

Israel agreed to a request from Robert Serry, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, to hold its fire for humanitarian reasons.

Prior to the start of the cease-fire, a rocket salvo was fired at several heavily populated cities in central Israel, including Tel Aviv, Petach Tikvah and Netanya. The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted one rocket; the rest fell in open areas. Several rockets also targeted Beersheba.

Israel’s Air Force reportedly struck 37 targets in Gaza overnight. The Palestinian death toll since the beginning of the operation is above 200, according to Palestinian reports. One Israeli civilian has been killed since the beginning of the current conflict.

Video: Israel’s military foils large-scale infiltration from Gaza

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 04:52

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli forces foiled an infiltration attempt that its military said was aimed at carrying out a major terror attack.

The Israel Defense Forces identified 13 armed men exiting a tunnel inside Israel early Thursday morning by a kibbutz near the Gaza border. Once the men realized they had been spotted, they attempted to dive back into the tunnel, but were thwarted by an Israeli airstrike. The IDF said some of the infiltrators were injured.

The IDF said  the Hamas terrorists planned to attack civilians living in an Israeli kibbutz, the IDF said in a statement. According to photos taken by the IDF, the infiltrators were carrying weapons including shoulder-mounted RPGs, or rocket-propelled grenades.


Hours after the infiltration attempt, the IDF posted video of the infiltration and the airstrike on the tunnel opening.

Hamas took responsibility for the attempted infiltration and said all its members returned home, according to the Times of Israel. Palestinian radio in Gaza aired a report that the infiltrators killed and injured Israelis, but the IDF said it had no reports of deaths or injuries.

Residents of Kibbutz Sufa and nearby communities had been instructed to remain in their homes in the hours after the infiltration attempt while Israeli troops searched the area.

Israel probing deaths of four Palestinian boys shelled on Gaza beach

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 16:29

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s military said it was investigating the deaths of four Palestinian boys who were playing on a Gaza City beach when it was shelled.

Gaza officials said the shelling on Wednesday afternoon was an Israeli naval or aerial attack.

“Based on preliminary results, the target of this strike was Hamas terrorist operatives,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. “The reported civilian causalities from this strike are a tragic outcome.”

The statement added, “We are carefully investigating the incident in question.”

The boys, aged 9 to 11, were brothers and cousins, according to reports; seven others were wounded in the attack. The family appears to be affiliated with the Fatah faction, rivals of Hamas, as photos of the funeral show the boys wrapped in Fatah flags.

The strike took place near a hotel frequented by journalists, many of whom provided first-person accounts in their publications and on social media.

More than 200 Palestinian Gazans have been killed in the eight days of Operation Protective Edge, the majority civilians, according to Palestinian reports.

‘Red’ Klotz, player-coach for Globetrotters ‘opponent,’ dies at 93

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 16:18

(JTA) — Louis “Red” Klotz, the driving force behind the team that served as the foil for the Harlem Globetrotters, has died.

Klotz, who with his Globetrotters counterpart, Abe Saperstein, formed a Jewish-run traveling basketball show that has traveled around the world for more than six decades, died Saturday at his home in Margate, N.J. He was 93, and had suffered several strokes the past two years.

He was the founder, owner and coach of the squad best known as the Washington Generals, which has squared off against the Globetrotters in over 100 countries dating back to 1952. The 5-foot-7 Klotz, a standout in college and professionally in the NBA’s forerunner league, also played for the Generals and often was the victim of the Globetrotters renowned hijinks.

Their games, at least in theory, were meant to be competitive — as competitive as a team (Klotz’s) that goes 1-14,000 against an opponent can be. The Generals’ sole victory, in 1971 in Tennessee, was documented and a source of pride for Klotz, although he maintained that an earlier win went unrecorded due to a scoreboard operator’s error.

The Globetrotters “had to play somebody,” Klotz’s biographer, Tim Kelly, told JTA this week.

The teams were independent organizations that traveled and practiced separately, he said.

“You’ve got a 5-7 guy, the son of Jewish immigrants, playing in front of the shah of Iran, three popes, at the bottom of a drained pool and in bull rings,” said Kelly, whose biography, titled “The Legend of Red Klotz: How Basketball’s Loss Leader Won Over the World – 14,000 Times,” was published last year. To the end, he added, Klotz “was very, very aware of [the Generals’] role as ambassadors.”

A star point guard at South Philadelphia High School and Villanova University, Klotz joined the largely Jewish professional club known as the SPHAs (for the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association), which was owned and coached by fellow SPHS alumnus Eddie Gottlieb.

Klotz would go on to play for the Baltimore Bullets when it won the 1948-49 championship of the Basketball Association of America, defeating Gottlieb’s Philadelphia Warriors. A few months later, the league merged into what is now the National Basketball Association.

Klotz served as a player-coach the next season for the Cumberland (Md.) Dukes of the All-American Professional Basketball League. Dukes management scheduled an exhibition game against the Globetrotters.

“The Trotters expected to come in there and walk all over us,” Klotz said in the Kelly book. “I told our guys to make them respect you, and they responded.”

Cumberland took the Globetrotters to overtime before losing, but Saperstein was impressed. He invited Klotz to join a traveling team playing against the Globetrotters on an exhibition tour of Latin America. That eventually led to Klotz’s founding of his team.

Israel agrees to humanitarian cease-fire of five hours for Gaza

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 15:53

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli military agreed to a humanitarian cease-fire to allow civilians in Gaza to resupply their households with basic necessities.

The cease-fire will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday  and last for five hours, the Israel Defense Forces announced Wednesday evening. During the cease-fire, the IDF said in a statement that it “will cease operational activity within the Gaza Strip and hold its fire.”

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, or COGAT, and representatives of the United Nations brokered the humanitarian truce on Wednesday.

“Should the humanitarian window be exploited by Hamas or other terror organizations for the purpose of launching attacks against Israeli civilian or military targets, the IDF will respond firmly and decisively,” the IDF said.

Also Wednesday, Israel’s Cabinet approved the call-up of 8,000 more reservists, in addition to the 48,000 that already have been called up, to assist in the Gaza operation dubbed Protective Edge.

Szymon Szurmiej, Jewish actor and Polish leader, dies

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 15:27

(JTA) – The Jewish actor and director Szymon Szurmiej, the longtime head of Poland’s State Jewish Theatre, has died.

Szurmiej, a leading Jewish figure for years during the post-Holocaust communist era, died Wednesday in Warsaw. He was 91.

He survived the widespread anti-Semitic purges of 1968 and, in addition to heading the theater since 1970, served as the longtime president of the Social and Cultural Association of Polish Jews, or TSKZ, a secular, state-allied body that was one of the few Jewish organizations permitted to operate under communism.

Szurmiej also served as a member of Poland’s Parliament in the 1980s and represented Polish Jewry in international Jewish organizations.

Israeli tech sector continues investment surge with nearly $1B quarter

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 15:01

(JTA) — Israeli high-tech firms raised $930 million in the second quarter of 2014, the sector’s strongest quarter in more than a decade.

The figure, drawn from a survey by the Israeli Venture Capital Research Center and financial firm KMPG, was the highest quarterly figure since 2000 and an increase of 109 percent from one year ago.

Combined with the results from the first quarter of this year, Israeli high-tech firms raised $1.6 billion in the first half of 2014, which the research center calls “the strongest capital raising period on record for Israel’s high-tech industry.”

The strong quarter was led by a $135 million investment in Landa Digital Printing by the Altana Group, a German investment company. Life science firms raised more than any other sector, drawing $251 million in capital.

The data indicate the continuation of a recent investment surge in the Israeli tech sector. In 2013, Israeli high-tech firms raised $2.3 billion, the most in a decade, according to Reuters.

Woman battling deportation cites judge’s Jewish ties in recusal request

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 14:49

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A woman convicted in Israel in connection with a 1969 terrorist bombing filed a motion to recuse the judge presiding over her deportation case because of his Jewish community ties.

The motion filed this week and first reported by Politico suggests that Rasmieh Yousef Odeh will allege at trial that she was tortured and raped while in Israeli custody.

Odeh is facing charges that she failed to note her Israeli conviction when she applied to enter the United States in 1993 and then when she became a citizen in 2004.

“Clearly, one who has been a life-long supporter and promoter of Israel and has deep ties to the State of Israel spanning over 50 years, who no doubt believes that Israel is a great democracy and protector of human rights, cannot be ‘reasonably’ said to be impartial when these claims of torture and illegality are raised by a Palestinian defendant,” Michael Deutsch, a lawyer for Odeh, wrote in the motion.

Paul Borman, a U.S. District Court judge in Detroit, and his wife have donated at least $3 million to the Detroit Jewish federation, according to the motion.

Deutsch casts Borman’s involvement with the federation as purely pro-Israel, although it is unclear from the motion how much of his donations and activism were designated for Israel-related activities.

For instance, Deutsch cites Borman’s earning the title of “Builder of Israel,” apparently unaware that the term dates from the biblical Book of Ruth and often is a rubric for an array of Jewish community activities.

Borman also has been credited by the federation for being “instrumental in bringing hundreds of Detroiters to Israel,” including state lawmakers, according to the motion.

Israel jailed Odeh for life for her involvement in a number of Jerusalem bombings in 1969, including one at a supermarket that killed two Hebrew University students, Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe.

She was released in a prisoner exchange with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1980 and immigrated to the United States from Jordan in 1995.

Odeh was arrested last October for failing to disclose her terror attack conviction in her immigration papers. Her trial date is Oct. 21.


Henry Kissinger recovering from heart surgery

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 14:40

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is recovering from heart surgery at a New York City hospital.

Doctors at New York-Presbyterian Hospital replaced an aortic valve in his heart on Tuesday. Kissinger, 91, is resting comfortably, according to a statement released by the hospital.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has experienced previous heart trouble, according to CNN, including a triple coronary bypass in 1982 and an angioplasty in 2005.

Kissinger, a Holocaust refugee from his native of Germany, served as national security adviser and secretary of state under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He has remained a prominent voice on U.S. foreign policy, particularly within the Republican Party, since leaving public office.

‘Tyrant’ quitting Tel Aviv over rocket fire

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:59

(JTA) — The production of “Tyrant” is leaving Tel Aviv because of the ongoing rocket fire in Israel.

The television drama, which was co-created by Israeli writer Gideon Raff, will move its operations to Istanbul, Turkey, Variety reported Wednesday. Air raid sirens and ongoing rocket fire from Gaza have disrupted the production, and members of the cast and crew have posted on social media about the stresses of running to bomb shelters.

The show’s producers reportedly hope to return the production to Israel if the situation allows it.

“Tyrant,” which airs on the American cable network FX, is set in the fictional Middle Eastern country of Abbudin.

Meanwhile, executives of the USA Network’s “Dig,” which had been filming in and around Jerusalem, are waiting to determine their next move, according to a report in TV Guide. The show delayed its return to shooting from a hiatus because of the current violence; the break will be extended by several days.

“Dig,” which also was created by Raff,  was on hiatus when Operation Protective Edge began last week.

“Our first priority is the safety of our cast and crew,” said a statement from Universal Cable Productions, according to TV Guide. “We will continue to assess the situation and plan accordingly.”

Senate panel approves $350 million in Iron Dome funding

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:44

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A key U.S. Senate panel approved a spending bill that would double President Obama’s request for funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

The defense subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved the $620 million missile defense package for Israel, which includes $350 million for Iron Dome, a short-range missile interceptor that is being credited with keeping Israelis safe during the current Israel-Gaza conflict.

The funding was already in the pipeline and had been approved last month by the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, the same overall $549 billion spending bill approved by the Senate panel on Tuesday.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the chairman of the subcommittee, indicated that Iron Dome’s success during the recent hostilities helped spur support for the package, telling The Associated Press that the anti-missile system “works.”

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee commended the panel “for standing with Israel by significantly increasing funding for these critical defensive programs, including Iron Dome, at a time when the citizens of our ally are under an unprovoked attack by Islamist terrorists in Gaza,” Marshall Wittmann, the AIPAC spokesman, said in an email.

Israeli officials said the system has had a success rate of 86 percent.

The full Senate Appropriations Committee is set to consider the defense spending bill by the end of this week.

Missile cooperation funding is above the $3.1 billion Israel is set to receive in defense assistance this year. Israel contributes its own funds to the missile cooperation programs, and the United States maintains a proprietary claim to the technologies.

Obama, who initiated funding for Iron Dome in 2009, had requested $175 million for the program for the 2015 budget year. Congress traditionally increases presidential requests for Israel-related spending.

Hamas lists cease-fire demands

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:27

(JTA) — Hamas proposed its own 10-point plan for a cease-fire in hostilities with Israel.

Versions of the Hamas plan, which includes U.N.-supervised border crossings and the release of prisoners, appeared Tuesday and Wednesday in Maariv, an Israeli newspaper, and “Arabs Now,” a Palestinian-focused news website. Maariv quoted a “senior Palestinian source.”

Hamas rejected a cease-fire proposal from Egypt that was to go into effect Tuesday morning.

Both reports said Hamas proposed an end to hostilities, including a pullback of Israeli tanks; lifting the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip; opening air, sea and land entries to Gaza under the auspices of the United Nations and other countries; and the release of prisoners detained in last month’s sweeping West Bank search for the kidnappers and murderers of three Israeli teenagers.

Arabs Now reported that Hamas also was proposing a 10-year “tahdiya,” a tamping down of hostilities that stops short of a full truce.

The Egyptian proposal included an immediate end to hostilities, with issues to be negotiated in Egypt in its aftermath. Israel had accepted the plan but resumed its operation after six hours when Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel.

The Times of Israel reported Wednesday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was proposing P.A. supervision of the Gaza-Egypt crossing at Rafah, and that Israel does not oppose the idea.

Israel began launching airstrikes on July 8 after an intensification of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

Relief agencies say that approximately 200 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in airstrikes on what Israel has said are military targets. Four children were killed Wednesday in a strike on Gaza City’s port.

One Israeli has been killed by rocket fire from Gaza, which has targeted civilian areas.


Pew survey: Jews most popular religious group in U.S.

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:50

NEW YORK (JTA) – Jews are the most warmly regarded religious group in America, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.

The survey of 3,217 adults conducted in June asked respondents to rate their feelings toward various religious groups on a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being coldest, 100 warmest and 50 meaning they have neither positive nor negative feelings.

Jews rated 63, slightly ahead of Catholics (62) and evangelicals (61). Buddhists, Hindus and Mormons prompted neutral ratings, from 48 to 53. Muslims were given the worst rating, at 40. Atheists rated 41.

Respondents rated their own faith groups highest, the survey said, explaining that evangelicals and Catholics are so fondly viewed in the United States because they are the country’s largest religious groups (the survey counted Protestants as evangelicals). Together, Catholics and evangelicals represented 52 percent of respondents.

Jews gave themselves an 89 rating. For other faith groups, Jews gave Catholics a 58 rating, Buddhists 61, Hindus 57, atheists 55, Mormons 48, Muslims 35 and evangelicals 34.

Evangelicals in the survey rated Jews positively with a rating of 69.

Sixty-one percent of respondents said they know someone who is Jewish; Jews constitute approximately 2 percent of the U.S. population.

The survey showed a divide between older and younger Americans. Older Americans view Jews, evangelicals and Catholics most favorably. Younger Americans gave higher ratings to atheists and Muslims than older Americans did — ratings of 49 each by Americans aged 18-29.

Jews were viewed most favorably by whites, at 66. Blacks and Hispanics each gave Jews a 58. Blacks gave evangelicals and Muslims more favorable ratings than whites.

The survey had a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.

Demolition orders issued for homes of alleged killers of Israeli teens

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:46

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli military issued demolition orders for the family homes of two West Bank Palestinians who allegedly kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teens.

The orders were delivered Wednesday to the families of Amer Abu Aysha and Marwan Kawasme, both of Hebron. The two men, identified by the Israel Defense Forces as the alleged killers, have been missing since the June 12 kidnapping of Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel in a West Bank settlement bloc. Their bodies were found 18 days later in a shallow grave in a field near Hebron.

The families have two days to challenge the orders.

The homes were damaged more than a week ago when Israeli troops came looking for the men, according to the Palestinian Maan news agency.

Also Wednesday, Israel’s State Attorney’s Office said the state would file an indictment on the following day in Jerusalem District Court against the alleged Jewish murderers of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir.

Paris police seeking ban on pro-Palestinian protest

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 10:32

(JTA) — Paris police recommended that the city forbid pro-Palestinian activists from going ahead with plans to hold a massive anti-Israel protest.

Police sources told the AFP news agency on Wednesday that the prefecture has made its position known to city officials over the planned demonstration Saturday outside the Barbas–Rochechouart metro station near the northern Gare du Nord train station.

The Paris Prefecture of Police has taken the position due to “serious risks to public order” in “a context of elevated tension,” the RTL broadcaster quoted a police source as saying.

On Sunday, several dozen pro-Palestinian demonstrators who splintered off a demonstration against Israel’s actions in Gaza besieged a synagogue in central Paris, near the Gare de Lyon station.

Chlomi Zenouda of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, told JTA that his organizations believe “there is a serious risk that despite the [possible] ban, the protesters will hold illegal gatherings because their objective is not to protest in a legal manner but to destabilize the life of the Jewish community.”

On Tuesday, the website Europe-Israel.org reported that pro-Palestinian activists were calling on social media for “smashing the Jews” at the demonstration they were planning.

“We’ll smash the Jews Saturday,” wrote one activist identified by the Twitter handler “Amine Blmh.” “Obviously we won’t be alone on Saturday, the Jews will also be there.”

In the incident Sunday, video taken at the scene showed guards from the SPCJ security unit, as well as members of the Jewish Defense League and Beitar on patrol there, confronting the protesters and chasing them away. Police later arrived with reinforcements who broke up a massive street brawl that erupted outside the Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue.

The incident provoked angry reactions from Jewish organizations in France and abroad, as well as from French President Francois Hollande, who said during a television interview, “Political conflicts will not be allowed to be imported into France. Places of worship will not be threatened.”

Swastikas painted in front of Jewish frat house at Univ. of Oregon

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 09:31

(JTA) — Swastikas were painted on mailboxes in front of a Jewish fraternity at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

A report on the vandalism at the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house was filed with the Eugene Police on Monday night, the Daily Emerald student newspaper reported.

The police do not have any leads in the case, a police spokeswoman told the Register-Guard newspaper.

Anti-Semitic or other discriminatory graffiti “hasn’t happened a lot” in Eugene in recent years, the spokeswoman told the newspaper.

Swastikas were painted on the back door of the fraternity house several years ago, a student told the local television station KMTR.

Andy Gitelson, executive director of the university’s Hillel, said there is a heightened sensitivity to the graffiti due to Israel’s current military operation in Gaza.

The city of Eugene’s human rights commission “strongly condemns these types of hateful actions,” commission member Phil Carrasco said in a statement, the Register Guard reported. “This symbol comes from a place of hate and is used to promote hate.”