A Portugal, led to quite an unexpected find for archaeologists after a dozen bodies were uncovered along with evidence that suggested they had been “unceremoniously dumped outside the Inquisition Court along with regular garbage,” according to Forbes.

With the help of the structural plans of the building they were able to infer that the bodies were found in what was either the cleaning yard or trash dump of the jail associated with the Inquisition Court. They were also able to narrow down the time frame of the usage of the yard to between 1568-1634.

In a recent issue of the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology,archaeologists write that “the sediment surrounding the skeletons is indistinguishable from the household waste layer where they were placed, suggesting that the bodies were deposited directly in the dump,” leading excavators to believe those buried at the site were considered heretics within Portuguese society.

Although not as well known, the Portuguese version of the Inquisition was very similar to Spain’s.

The Portuguese capitulated to pressure from Spain and eventually launched their own inquisition in 1536 that echoed both the method and reasoning of the Spanish.

The Roman Catholic Church’s attempts at ensuring the population maintained the purity of the faith as well as the basic Catholic ethos led to a witch-hunt of perceived heretics within Portugal.

By using the prisons records as a template, researchers believe that the skeletal remains found at the excavation site were those of individuals secretly practicing Judaism.

By The Jerusalem Post

I have always been fascinated by the story of the Beta Israel Jews of Ethiopia.

At the time of the epic Operation Solomon, I was living in Russia. By the time I made aliya, the majority of the Ethiopian Jews were already in Israel. Here in Israel, I met many Ethiopian Jews and my interest in Beta Israel history and traditions became even stronger.

This is how one day, while reading a journey diary written in 1910 by the prominent European scholar Jacob Faitlovitch, I read his account of an encounter with a group of Falashas residing in the highlands of North Shewa region of Ethiopia, an area between Gondar, where most Jews lived, and the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.

It took Faitlovitch some time to win the trust of these Falashas, to get any information from them. Finally, they revealed to him that they had come to North Shewa from the Dembiya region near Gondar, mostly at the time of Emperor Menelik II’s rule.

In his account, Faitlovitch discussed the difficulties they faced, which pushed them to pretend to be Christians.

“These Falashas live in a relationship of dependence and a lack of freedom which almost borders with slavery and they are strictly forbidden to ever leave the boundaries of the Shewa. Only rarely some of them succeed to move away secretly from the Shewa and to return to their homeland, where they will live again in the Falasha community as Jews.”

Faitlovitch expected this group to vanish in two generations, due to assimilation and persecution. More than two generations passed since that time.

Fortunately nowadays, access to information is much easier than at the time of Faitlovitch. With the help of the Internet, I contacted a group of Jews in the Kechene neighborhood of the northern part of Addis Ababa, who claim to be descendants of Beta Israel who migrated from Gondar to North Shewa.

I went on a long journey, not only a geographically but also in time.

The first historical account of Jewish presence in Ethiopia came from a 10th-century Jewish merchant and traveler Eldad Ha-Dani. He recounts that when the Northern Kingdom tribes of Israel went to war against the Southern Kingdom tribe of Judah, the Danites, who were renowned as skilled warriors, refused to fight against their kinsmen and left Israel for Egypt. They continued their journey until they reached the land of Cush where they finally settled.

According to their oral history, the Beta Israel of North Shewa settled in Kechene when Menelik II decided to build his new palace in Entoto, north of today’s Addis Ababa. Menelik II needed them for their skills in crafts to build his palaces and produce weapons.

For years, the Jews of Kechene continued practicing Judaism in secret, following the  instructions of the leaders who still remained in North Shewa. However, recently a group of young people of Kechene have decided to disclose their faith. They have opened a synagogue right in the heart of Kechene, creating serious tensions between the youth and the elders.

They call their synagogue Bet Selam, the House of Peace. Thanks to modern technologies, these young Jews have learned about the world Jewish community and modern Jewish practices. In their synagogue, they combine pre-Talmudic practices of their forefathers that trace back to the times of the First Temple and modern rabbinical Jewish practices which they have learned about from the Internet and from visitors.

Kechene is the neighborhood of craftsmen, Bal Ej in Amharic. Men mainly work as weavers and blacksmiths and the women work as potters.

Similar to the Beta Israel community in Gondar, Bal Ej are slandered as buda, or evil eyed. Their neighbors believe that they are humans at day and hyenas by night. They believe that eye contact with Bal Ej can bring illness or even death. Suspicions remain even among those who are educated, like civil servants and university professors. They avoid approaching Kechene attach a clove of garlic to their arm to protect them from the evil eye if they have to visit the neighborhood.

Even though Bal Ej provide Addis Ababa and surrounding areas with clothes, utensils and blacksmith products, they cannot sell their products on their own at markets. Instead, they are forced to sell their items through Christian merchants, which causes them to lose as much as 80 percent of the product price. However the difficulties that people of Kechene are going through, cannot be compared to those experienced by craftsmen from the community who still live in towns and villages of North Shewa.

I visited Morat, a small town of North Shewa, where the Beta Israel community first settled when they migrated from Gondar. Most of them are blacksmiths and potters. Almost every month, a member of the community is murdered or has property is destroyed since the Christian neighbors believe each time a person gets sick or dies, it is because of the curse of the “hyena people.” They randomly choose a victim to avenge. Most of the crimes committed against Bal Ej of North Shewa remain unpunished. The police allows murderers to escape or simply fail to investigate the crimes.

Life in this town is a life of fear since nobody knows who will be the next victim. To reduce the danger to some degree, community members pretend to be Christians. They go to church on Sunday, but attend hidden synagogues on Saturday.

When I interviewed the community members, we had to change topic whenever a stranger entered the room. To protect their secret, I pretended to be an American visitor, since the word Israel itself can raise eyebrows.

The biggest challenge was garnering a visit to the synagogues. The locations kept under strict secrecy and visitors are not welcome. It took a long time to build the trust and confidence of elders in order to gain permission to visit a few.

The synagogues are located deep in the mountains and getting there requires a long, tiring and sometimes dangerous trek. This strategy of building synagogues in remote and inaccessible places has protected the community for centuries.

The compound does not contain Jewish symbols. This is for two reasons. The first is to stave off unwelcome attention from hostile neighbors. The second is that most modern Jewish symbols, such as the Star of David, are simply unknown to the members of the community.

There are two entrances to the synagogue, one for men and another for women. Most of the prayers are conducted in Ge’ez, the liturgical language of Beta Israel. Surprisingly, the spoken language of many community elders is Quarenya, a language of an area near Dembiya.

Another interesting feature of the synagogues is that they are always located near a river because the Jews of North Shewa strictly observe the Biblical laws of ritual purity, or niddah. To observe the laws of niddah, a menstruating woman stays in a separate house for seven days. After the seven days she immerses in the river and can then join the rest of the community.

The members of the secret synagogues practice pre-Talmudic Judaism, and therefore practice of animal sacrifice for Passover and other occasions. I had a chance to witness the process of sheep slaughter, which corresponds to the laws of Kashrut. It was reminiscent of the traditions of other ancient Jewish communities, such as Bukharian Jews of Central Asia.

Even though the community has strong historical evidence of their connection to the Beta Israel of Gondar as well as a remarkable resemblance to their traditions, the community remains unknown to the most of the Jewish world.

The chances of the Beta Israel of North Shewa gaining recognition from the Israeli government seems slim. Currently, 6,000 Falash Mura are still waiting to emigrate to Israel, some for 10 to 20 years at the compound near the Israeli embassy in Addis Ababa.

To generate awareness of this amazing community, I decided to make a documentary about this community – their culture, traditions, music and struggle to survive and preserve their identity. The film is called Bal Ej: The hidden Jews of Ethiopia and it is due to be released at the beginning of 2016.

The Beta Israel of North Shewa are as important to us as we are to them. It is now our turn and obligation to bring the remaining Jews of Ethiopia back to Israel and ensure that both their lives and traditions from Ethiopia are not endangered.

For more information about the upcoming documentary Bal Ej: the hidden Jews of Ethiopia, visit www.ireneorleansky.com 

By Irene Orelansky – The Jerusalem Post


With India renovating Jewish heritage sites in the country, search its envoy to Israel has appealed to young Jews of Indian origin to utilise the ease of travelling to the land of their forefathers and to contribute in strengthening bilateral ties by connecting to their roots.

“We want to tell the world proudly about the rich Jewish life in India. With your efforts we are working to preserve the Jewish heritage in India and hope to have a package tour to Jewish heritage sites in Mumbai and elsewhere by early next year,” Ambassador Jaideep Sarkar told more than 3,500 Indian-origin Jews gathered here from all over Israel to celebrate the 3rd National Convention of Indian Jews in Israel.

Earlier this year, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, during his visit to Israel, said his government would take initiatives to preserve the Jewish heritage sites in the state as it looked to promote tourism.“The state government is planning to celebrate 2017 as ‘Visit Maharashtra year’. By that time, we will create a lot of circuits for tourism. I feel if we could preserve the erstwhile Jewish heritage, a lot of tourists could come there,” Fadnavis had said.The Paravoor and Chennamangalam synagogues in Kochi, Kerala, were recently renovated and could be major attraction for the 25,000-strong Cochini Jews living in Israel.

Encouraging members of the community to pass on their rich tradition to generations to come, the Indian diplomat told the gathering about various schemes launched by the Indian Government like e-visa, and Know India Programme for children of Indian origin.He also urged them to consider the option of taking advantage of quality education at affordable prices available in India in the field of science, engineering and medicine which is recognised the world over.“The important thing is to continue what you began so well and pass on the spirit and idea behind the convention to the next generation. The house of Indian Jewish unity has a strong foundation. Now we have to build upon it,” Sarkar said.

By TribuneMedia.com

Montreal real estate promoter Sammy Bitton, the man behind the 5e Quai condominium project in the Old Port of Montreal has been indicted on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering in Tel Aviv Court.

The 5e Quai project suddenly shut their sales office on July 29, after the allegations against Bitton became public. Dvir Bitton, the development company’s president confirmed to The Journal de Montreal that he has asked McGill Real Estate to resell the land. Debby Doktorczyk, president of McGill Real Estate told the Journal that the sale will probably begin in September.

5e Quai, located at 1000 de la Commune, the last waterside property  available in downtown Montreal has been controversial from the start. It was originally owned and was going to be developed by alleged Montreal mobsters Vito Rizzuto and his son Nick Jr. Bitton and his son purchased the land in 2011 for 4 Million dollars.

According to the documents filed in Tel Aviv Court, Samy Bitton has been in Israeli prison since June 15th. The courts have valued his family fortune in Israel at approximately 11 million dollars. The courts have seized 18 properties owned by the Bittons in Tel Aviv and a residential project in Tiberias. The have also frozen all bank accounts that Bitton and his family have used to finance various Israeli businesses.

When approached by the TVA News Network at his Hampstead home, the Bitton family refused to comment, entered his car and drove away. Associates also refused to comment.

The indictment comes as a result of a major police investigation, known as Case 512, which has dominated Israeli news for months largely because of the more than a half a dozen mob bosses included among the more than 40 suspects.

The investigation covered a global drug trafficking, money laundering and tax evasion network run by Yitzhak and Meir Abergil, the top lynchpins of Israel’s underworld.

The Abergils, as well as 18 of their associates were also indicted for a range of murders and failed attempts on the life of Israeli gangster Ze’ev Rosenstein in Tel Aviv in December 2003, which left 3 bystanders dead and dozens injured.

The case also includes seven state witnesses mentioned in the indictments, among them well-known and feared mafia enforcers, drug traffickers and associates of the Abergil family.

The indictment focuses on the criminal syndicate’s operations from 2002-2006 when it imported and exported ecstasy, cocaine, hashish and other drugs around the globe from North America to New Zealand, Japan, Europe and South America. The drug trafficking reached a value of at least NIS 227,949,856 during that time period, the indictment alleges.

Yitzhak Abergil was at the top of the totem-pole and managed all the different arms of the organization – the primary groups being in Israel, Europe and Japan.

The indictment details how in May and June 2003, Yitzhak hatched a conspiracy with Yaniv Ben-Simon, Yitzhak’s right-hand man, and D.D., a former top operative turned state’s witness whose name is under gag order, to murder Rosenstein near one of his offices close to the Plumer square in Tel Aviv. Eventually, Yaniv, D.D., Shimon Sabah and state witness E.E. were all working on the plot to murder Rosenstein.

At the time, Rosenstein was probably Israel’s most well-known underworld figure and was involved in a bitter feud with Abergil.

In the failed plot, defendant Shimon Amsalem allegedly stole a car and rigged it with 2 kg. of explosive bricks and a remote detonator. When Rosenstein and his three bodyguards walked into his office, they detonated the bomb, wounding Rosenstein, the bodyguards and a state witness known as G.G.

In November 2003, Yitzhak, Ruhan, Meir and several others began to plan another attempt on Rosenstein’s life at a currency-exchange establishment on Yehuda Halevi Street in Tel Aviv, where he did business, by placing a bomb on the awning of the storefront.

On December 11, 2003, the group activated the bomb when Rosenstein was nearby, killing bystanders Rahamim Tzruya, Moshe Mizrahi and Naftali Magad, and wounding Rosenstein and 50 others, including bodyguards and bystanders.

The case is broken down into 13 separate indictments, some for drug charges and others for murders, with names like “The Big Score,” “The Mule,” “The Million-Dollar Deal” and “12 tons of hashish,” among others.

“The Big Score” gives a window into how the international operations of the Abergil family and their associates worked to make millions in drug trafficking and covered their tracks through legitimate businesses.

The case names four defendants, including the Abergil brothers, Ruhan and Canadian-Israeli businessman Samy Bitton.

The case was built by state witness G.G., a former top member of Ruhan’s gang.

The case began in 1998, when two Abergil associates purchased 800 kg. of cocaine in Peru and stashed it inside the iron wheels of a large industrial machine.

Eventually, sometime between 2001- 2002, a plot was worked out to ship the machine to Canada where Bitton stashed it in a warehouse belonging to his company, Sanielle Finance. In exchange for housing the machine and laundering the drug money though his Cote Des Neiges based finance company, Biton took 10 percent of the profits, the indictment says.

Over the coming year, Bitton allegedly began wiring laundered money back to an account run by G.G. in Israel and sent money by way of “mules” who carried cash on their bodies and flew into Israel on at least seven occasions, totaling well over $2 million. Laundered money also was sent by Biton to G.G., who then gave the cash to Yitzhak Abergil during meetings in a number of places in Europe.

All four defendants named in the Big Score face charges of drug trafficking and membership in a criminal organization, with Bitton also facing money laundering charges.

The indictments also cover the 2003 murder of an Abergil associate named David “Dieudonne” (gift from God) Biton, who allegedly was killed because he mouthed off about some of the crime family’s associates.

The indictment describes how state witness D.D. – himself an Abergil family enforcer and hit man – conspired along with Moti Hassin and Yitzhak Abergil to kill Biton after he exited a nightclub in Holon. The indictment describes how Hassin allegedly invited Biton to the nightclub and had two gunmen wait outside the entrance. Once Biton was intoxicated, Hassin walked with him outside the club, where he was followed on foot by one of the gunman to a secluded street and he was shot twice in the back.

Also indicted Monday as part of the wider Case 512 was Rico Shirazi, a Netanya mob boss, and Asaf Yariv, who are accused of paying a hit man $50,000 in 2003 to murder Guy Yehezkel, an associate of Shirazi’s arch rival, Netanya mob boss Asi Abutbul.

The two also were indicted Monday for plotting to murder Abutbul in Prague where he ran a casino. On August 1, 2004, a man on a motorcycle threw a hand grenade at Abutbul as he entered an armored car outside the casino, but the target was not harmed.

Abutbul himself also has been arrested as part of Case 512 and is expected to be indicted for his role in murders and on organized crime charges.

By Montreal Jewish News, with files from The Jerusalem Post, TVA Nouvelles and Le Journal de Montreal

Tosher Rebbe, 94, has died

The Tosher Rebbe, recipe HaRav Meshulam Feish Segal-Lowy, one of the oldest Rebbes in the world died this morning in Broisbriand Quebec, he was 94 years old.

A Holocaust survivor, the Rebbe was born in Nyirtass Hungary in 1921 (or 22) and was put into Hungarian Labour Camps by the Nazis. He was liberated by the Red Army from a camp outside of Marghita in October 1944.

His sect was wiped out. The few surviving members, who were students of his father who was murdered during the war with most of his extended family, appointed him their Rebbe and the lived for a few years in Nyiregyhaza Hungary.

Fearing the Communist Government in 1951, the Rebbe and his followers left Hungary and moved to Montreal. In 1963, he and his Chassidim purchased land in Broisbriand, just outside of Montreal and formed the town of Kiryas Tosh.

A 1966 article in the Canadian Jewish News by Norman Abrahams described the Tosher Rebbe’s dedication to his followers, many of whom were Holocaust survivors who turned to the Rebbe for guidance.

“Indicative of the Rebbe’s devotion to Judaism and his followers, this great man stays up most of the night fulfilling the many requests for advice and prayer and it is not uncommon to see him eating breakfast, his first meal of the day at five o’clock in the afternoon.”

A Talmudic expert, the Rebbe was incredibly knowledgeable in many other areas, frequently offering medical advice and guidance on other topics.

“His wisdom extends to other fields, particularly those of politics and law,” wrote Abrahams. “It is said that even lawyers come to him for advice.”

Renowned for his insistence to read from the Torah on his own for over 50 years, the Rebbe would complete the entire Sefer Tehillim daily and could stand in shul for over five hours, according to Israeli news site Kikar HaShabbat.

Over the past five decades, Tosh became a destination for those seeking spiritual counsel, advice and brachos, with thousands coming every year from all walks of life to seek out the Tosher Rebbe’s guidance.

A six volume set titled Avodas Avodah features the Rebbe’s discussions of the parsha, yomtim tovim and other insights, in both Yiddish and Hebrew, as well as a Yiddish/Hebrew collection of the Rebbe’s teachings about yahrtzeits of various tzadikim.  Satellite Tosher communities have been established in various locations including Borough Park, Williamsburg, Kiryas Joel, Monsey and London.

In 1946, The Rebbe married his first wife Chava Weingarten, a direct decendant of Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk, she passed away in 1996. In 2007 he married his second wife Malka Haas, she survives him.

Funeral services for the Rebbe are expected to take place tonight, Wednesday August 12, 2015 at 7pm in Kiryas Tosh in Broisbriand Quebec.

By Staff at Montreal Jewish News

Israeli scientists have made a breakthrough in researching the HIV virus, vcialis 40mg Ben Gurion University of the Negev has announced.

Dr. Ran Taube of the Department of Microbiology, mind Immunology and Genetics says that his team has found similarities between HIV and leukemia.

The study aims to wipe out AIDS, ask which is caused by the HIV virus, and also to slow down the development of leukemia as well. The study is aiming specifically at the rare mixed -lineage leukemia (MLL) that occurs mostly in children and hinders the development of cells in the blood.

Taube and his team worked in collaboration with Dr. Uri Rubio, of Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.

The researchers said the discovery will lead to a “revolutionary diagnosis and the key to the clinical solution that will prevent infection with HIV and will destroy the deadly virus.”

By Hana Levi Julian – The Jewish Press

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre says the Jewish Defence League isn’t wanted in the city.

Coderre took to Twitter on Monday night to express his concern about the ultra-nationalist Jewish-rights group.

“Message to JDL:You are not welcome in Mtl!! The Jewish community doesn’t need the Jewish Defense League”

The Jewish Defence League has said it wants to set up a chapter in Montreal following what national director Meir Weinstein called an increasing threat from Islamic radicalization.

About 100 people showed up at a restaurant last night for a meeting held under heavy security.

People at the meeting were scanned by security guards wearing bullet-proof vests and carrying metal detectors.

Samer Majzoub, president of the Canadian Muslim Forum, has said he has serious concerns about the group.

An FBI report 15 years ago identified the organization as a “right-wing terrorist group.”

Authorities arrested two of its members in 2001 after suspecting them of planning to blow up a mosque in California.

By CBC News

JDL Launches its Montreal Chapter

More than 150 people braved the freezing temperatures to attend the official opening of the Jewish Defence League (JDL) in Montreal on Monday night.

About the JDL

The JDL is an organization established by Rabbi Meir Kahane in the 1960s to confront and fight anti-Semitism. Their motto is “never again” and they deal with anti-Semitism through educating people about the realities of anti-Semitism, stomach teaching self defence and appropriate response to verbal abuse to the Jewish community, working with the police to ensure security of Jews and Jewish institutions, monitoring the media for anti-Semitic bias and holding public protests at anti-Semitic events.

Over the years, the JDL has developed a reputation as a terrorist group, partially due to several incidents involving members of the US chapter of the JDL and partially due to a leaked memo that listed the personal opinion of an FBI agent. According to the Concordian, the head of the US chapter of the JDL was once suspected of threatening members of the Concordia Student Union on a voicemail back in 2001.

In August, the JDL held a secret meeting in an undisclosed location where 50 people heard from JDL directors Meir Weinstein and Julius Suraski who explained that they are not a vigilante group. In fact, the JDL works directly with the police and local government and monitors the threat of Muslim extremists. Weinstein and Suraski also lauded their successes in Toronto, where they have succeeded in cutting funding to an organization that had ties to Hamas.

Opposition to the JDL in Montreal

Several hours prior to Monday night’s meeting, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) released a statement that the Jewish community of Montreal doesn’t need the JDL. “The Jewish community of Quebec categorically rejects the sensationalist tactics of the JDL and rejects its claim of ensuring the safety of Quebec Jews and their institutions,” said Rabbi Reuven Poupko of CIJA. “The JDL is a small, marginal group that does not receive any substantial support within our community. By claiming that the Jews of Quebec need a rapid response team to antisemitic threats, the JDL is irresponsibly contributing to the creation a climate of fear within the Jewish community.”

“The Jewish community of Quebec has no use for the JDL,” continued Rabbi Poupko. “Federation CJA, the central planning and coordinating body of the Jewish community, has always ensured the safety of Jewish institutions with a team of qualified professionals working closely with the City of Montreal Police Department. In Quebec, antisemitic crimes are thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators are punished with the full force of the law, while at the political level, antisemitism is strongly denounced.”

Rabbi Poupko also blasted those who compare the JDL with radical Islam, noting that JDL Canada has never commited any criminal acts. “The goal of those making the comparison is none other than to distract the attention of the public and of the authorities from the realities of radical Islam, the only religious fundamentalism currently constituting a security threat to all Quebecers,” said Rabbi Poupko. “There is no doubt that the presence of the JDL is problematic, however it is worth noting that the JDL of Canada has never committed any criminal or violent act, nor has it been accused of inciting hatred.”

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre also opposed the opening of JDL’s Montreal chapter. In a tweet on Monday afternoon, he linked to CIJA’s press release, adding “Message to JDL: You are not welcome in Mtl!!”

The head of the Muslim Council of Montreal, Salam Elmenyawi, was also worried about the JDL coming to Montreal. He told the Canadian Press that he will be meeting with Muslim and non-Muslim groups to work out a strategy that would prevent the JDL from operating in Montreal. “If what we’ve been reading about them is true, then their presence should not be accepted by the authorities and they should work towards evicting them from Canada in general and Quebec in particular,” he said.

Meeting discusses why there is a need for the JDL in Montreal

On Monday night, more than 150 people made their way to Hotel Ruby Foo’s for the official opening of JDL Canada’s Montreal chapter. Three police vans sat outside the hotel and members of JDL Canada’s security team kept a watch both outside and inside the hotel as well. Everyone who attended the meeting had to pass through a security checkpoint.

Julius Suraski, Regional Coordinator for the JDL in Ontario, opened the meeting by leading the crowd in the singing of the Canadian National Anthem after which he explained what the JDL is all about. “We are a law abiding organization working directly with the police,” he stressed. “We are not vigilantes, we are here to defend western values. We work with Muslim groups, Hindu groups, Christian groups and others who are facing the same persecution that we face in order to promote interests that are common to all of us.”

Suraski noted that Montreal has a need for an organization like the JDL. “The urgency for our activities is no less in Montreal than in Toronto,” he said. “We have a good core of supporters here and we hope you all can join us.”

He also blasted CIJA and Rabbi Poupko for their “disparaging remarks,” and pointed out that he couldn’t find any information on their website as to how they are dealing with Islamic radicalism. “Instead, their page discussing advocacy includes the importance of increasing access to kosher chicken,” he noted.

Pulling out old travel documents that his parents, who were concentration camp survivors, had to use in Europe and the Star of David patch that they were forced to wear in Poland in order to be marginalized, Suraski emphasized that such items should never be seen again. Instead, he held up a JDL patch that he wears proudly, thanking the Canadian government for making Canada one of the world’s safest countries where Jews can live freely and proudly.

Valerie Price of ACT! for Canada spoke about meeting the JDL at a rally in Huntingdon against an anti-Semitic mayor. “It was cold like tonight,” recalled Price. “Meir, Julius and others from the JDL drove through the night to stand with us at that rally. That is how committed they are to defending the Jewish people.”

From neo-Nazi groups to radical Islamism

JDL National Director Meir Weinstein went through recent events that point to a dramatic rise in radical Islamism. He also briefly went through the history of the JDL in Canada, who in the 80s dealt with neo-Nazi groups and Nazi war criminals. “I testified at the Deschenes Commission,” he confessed. “And we made sure that those who took away the freedom of babies did not enjoy freedom here in Canada.”

In the 90s Weinstein thought the JDL may no longer be necessary, until word came out about a pro-Hezbollah rally in Toronto that attracted thousands. “I asked community organization what are they doing to stop it and they told me not to worry, that they have everything under control,” said Weinstein. “Six years ago, we reopened the JDL.”

Weinstein read several articles pointing to the rise of radical Islam in Canada and how government organizations have their hands full. He mentioned recent incidents in Montreal, such as the revelation that a Muslim organization hassent $300,000 to Hamas, anti-Semitic materials discovered on the website of an Arabic school in Montreal and an upcoming talk at a large mosque in Brossard that will be given by an Imam who was alleged to have been a co-conspirator of the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing.

“We pledge with all our might and faith that never again will we turn a blind eye,” concluded Weinstein. “And we pledge with all our might and faith that never again will we follow blind leadership.”

Question and Answer period

During the Question and Answer period, Weinstein and Suraski informed everyone that there is a template of activity for their Montreal chapter and that while a board is currently being formed, they are not ready to announce the leader of the Montreal chapter. They also announced that anyone who would like to join should contact them.

Also noted was the fact that requests for JDL chapters had come in from Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver. “At the moment we are setting up a corridor between Montreal and Toronto and then we will move west,” said Suraksi.

Weinstein was asked whether he supported Baruch Goldstein’s actions, a physician who killed 29 Palestinians at the Mearas Hamachpelah (cave of the patriarchs) in 1994 and was condemned throughout the Jewish world. In response, Weinstein spoke about the boats full of Jews escaping the Nazis who waited several miles off the shore of Miami and how all the Jewish establishment did was meet the US President for 20 minutes and report that the President refused them entry. “If I were there, I would have stopped Goldstein from committing the massacre,” responded Weinstein, who went on to talk about how sometimes there is a need to take action. “If 20 minute meetings don’t work and you’re trying to rescue your brothers, you might have to try something else,” he said, pointing out how Moshe Rabbeinu, who saw an Egyptian killing a Jew did not stop and “form committees” and instead rose up against the Egyptian, killing him.

Surasky was asked to cite a recent example of the JDL presence accomplishing their goal and he pointed to the Palestine House in Toronto who were defunded by the Federal government as a result of work done by the JDL and their partners. “They had recently praised the murder of some rabbis in a Synagogue in Israel,” said Suraski. “We wrote a letter to the police and a criminal investigation was opened against them.”

The practical goals of the JDL in Montreal will be to monitor and infiltrate radical Islamic groups and pass all information to the authorities. As well, they will offer protection at some events and train community members in self defence.

By Zvi Hershcovich – Bill613.com

fter the latest attack on his home, no rx Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs sat down on his couch, picked up the phone and made three calls.

A chief rabbi of the Netherlands, Jacobs first phoned police and a Jewish community leader to tell them that late on the night of July 17, just over a week after the onset of the latest round of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, four bricks were hurled through a window of his home. It was the fifth time in recent years that Jacobs’ residence had been attacked.

Then Jacobs called his friend Roger van Oordt, director of the Netherlands-based Christians for Israel organization. Within an hour, van Oordt, his wife and two of their children were at the rabbi’s door, with its prominent mezuzah and Hebrew sign bearing the name of the Chabad Hasidic sect to which Jacobs belongs.

“They didn’t allow Bluma, my wife, and me to touch anything, they cleaned up all the mess,” Jacobs told JTA in an interview at his home 25 miles southeast of Amsterdam. “The attacks do not inspire much hope. The response by Christians, Muslims and other friends do.”

To Jacobs, a 65-year-old rabbi who has worked intensively to build bridges between non-Jews and Holland’s Jewish community of 40,000, the latest attack sharpens the dilemma facing Dutch Jews.

A perceived rise in anti-Semitic incidents this summer has led many Dutch Jews to consider leaving the country, according to Jacobs. Yet the country’s reputation as a liberal bastion has not entirely dimmed their hopes that the situation can be reversed.

After the latest attack, Jacobs shocked many Dutchmen when he told local media that if not for his obligations to the communities he serves, he would leave, in part because of the anti-Semitism problem. His statement grabbed headlines and generated a passionate response from other religious leaders.

“No one will tell us when to leave Holland,” Jacobs said. “I’m staying here because it’s my shlichut, or mission. But would we stay here if we were private people? I don’t think so.”

Anti-Semitism is only part of the problem, Jacobs says. Along with intermittent threats and violence, much of it sparked by events in the Middle East, he cites the 2011 passage of a law that effectively banned kosher slaughter — a measure later reversed by the Dutch Senate.

“And then there’s assimilation in a liberal society where many people have anti-religious sentiments,” Jacobs said. “It all comes as part of a package.”

Immigration from the Netherlands to Israel has remained relatively stable over the past decade, with an average 63 new arrivals in the Jewish state each year. Still, the growth in anti-Semitism has created significant unease for Jacobs and his family, who now have six police cameras installed outside their home.

In 2010, a stone was hurled at his front window, missing him by a few inches. Jacobs says he tries not to walk near schools in his middle-class neighborhood and elsewhere in Holland because he doesn’t want to be cursed at by children.

“It’s a very uneasy feeling when someone attacks your home like that,” said Bluma Jacobs, the rabbi’s British-born wife. “When I come to the door at night, I switch on the light of my cellphone so people think I may be filming.”

Six of the Jacobs’ eight children live outside the Netherlands.

Jacobs was born and raised there and is the country’s senior Chabad emissary. He also serves as president of the Rabbinical Council of Holland. In 2012 he became an officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau, a civic honor similar to British knighthood, for his interfaith efforts, among other activities.

His comments about leaving the country prompted a passionate response from the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, the country’s second largest church. On July 28, the church’s secretary, Arjan Plaisier, published an open letter in which he vowed to oppose anti-Semitism with other church leaders.

Plaisier concluded with a plea: “Chief Rabbi Jacobs, please stay in the Netherlands.”

His sentiments were echoed by several other religious leaders, including leaders of the national Catholic Church and several imams who know Jacobs from his outreach efforts to non-Jews. Last Hanukkah, Jacobs climbed into a crane to light a giant menorah built by Christians for Israel, an international network of Christian Zionists.

Also last year, Jacobs spoke to 150 youths from Arnhem, a city in eastern Holland where some Muslim youths expressed virulent anti-Semitism in interviews with a university researcher. Many Dutchmen were shocked by the expressions, which included one youth saying he was “happy about what Hitler did to the Jews.”

Esther Voet, director of CIDI, the Dutch watchdog on anti-Semitism, says she is confident of Dutch Jewry’s ability to weather the storm. Dutch authorities are taking the issue seriously, she says, as are other civic groups.

But Voet acknowledges that Jacobs encounters a different reality.

“I’m not recognizably Jewish and I live in the Jordaan,” she said, referring to her central Amsterdam neighborhood. “But Rabbi Jacobs, in his travels across the country and in his own neighborhood, faces a different set of problems.”


In an attempt to intimidate the Jewish community and gain attention, viagra sale a group of about 20 anti-Israel extremists entered Cummings Square at 4:40 PM on Thursday afternoon, salve announcing their opposition to Israel’s right to exist, salve while also calling Quebecois “settlers” and calling for an end to the “occupation” of the Americas, including Quebec.

The anti-Israel group entered the lobby of the building and accused the community of being complicit with so called “ethnic cleansing” in Gaza. Inside the building are the Federation CJA and Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs offices, as well as the offices of numerous other Jewish organizations including the Jewish Public Library and the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.

While the anti-Israel group announced that they had “occupied” the building, in fact the group was escorted out of the building quickly and effectively by security personnel and the police.

Federation CJA and CIJA condemned the attempt to spread misinformation about the Jewish community of Montreal and unfounded allegations about Israel, so as to incite hatred against the Jews of Quebec. “It is clear that Pro-Palestinian demonstrations in many European countries are escalating to violent anti-Semitic riots,” said both organizations in a press release. ”The group’s argument that anti-Zionism should not be conflated with anti-Semitism is misguided at best, as they have clearly aligned themselves with those pro-Palestinian militants in Montreal looking to establish a similar climate of hate and violence here in Montreal.”

“The group’s mission was not to engage in dialogue or frank discussions, but rather to disrupt and create a scene,” continued the release. “Federation CJA is proud to stand with Israel in times of peace as in times of war; to stand with Israel, a lone democracy in the Middle East fighting against the Palestinian shackles of international Islamism that has been wreaking absolute havoc all over the world. We respect the right of every Quebecer to express his or her opposition to the policies or actions of the Israeli Government, just as all Israeli citizens are free to do in the democratic State of Israel. We will not, however, offer a platform to those – Jews or non-Jews – who deny the right of Israel to exist as a free, democratic and Jewish state.”

The statement closed by announcing that Federation CJA will continue to implement measures to ensure the security of our community’s institutions, and that CIJA will continue to sensitize the public in Quebec of the legitimacy of Israel’s fight against Islamic terrorism. ”This kind of stigmatization and intimidation of the Jewish community of Montreal is an assault on democracy, the civic society, and the pluralism of Quebec,” read the statement. “We call on our fellow citizens to strongly reject all forms of intimidation aimed at all communities living in Quebec.”

This is the second act of intimidation at the Federation building, following an attempt to incite at the pro-Israel gathering several weeks ago (see below for video).

By Zvi Hershcovich – Bill613.com