Israel in the News Jan/Feb 2001
Father to AP: He’s my son, and he’s Jewish
Dr. Aaron Grossman of Chicago, Ill., was shocked to discover that the Associated Press had supplied newspapers with a photograph of his badly beaten son and had identified him as a Palestinian being brutalized by Israeli police.
After seeing the photograph in The New York Times, Dr. Grossman sent the following letter to the newspaper:
“Regarding your picture on page A5 (Sept.30) of the Israeli soldier and the Palestinian on the Temple Mount—that Palestinian is actually my son, Tuvia Grossman, a Jewish student from Chicago. He and two of his friends were pulled from their taxicab while traveling in Jerusalem, by a mob of Palestinian Arabs and were severely beaten and stabbed. That picture could not have been taken on the Temple Mount because there are no gas stations on the Temple Mount and certainly none with Hebrew lettering, like the one clearly seen behind the Israeli soldier attempting to protect my son from the mob.”
Tuvia Grossman was on his way to the Western Wall when attacked. He was so severely wounded he had to be hospitalized.
Palestinians beat him on the head with a rock and stabbed him in the leg. He ran away with a knife in his leg, “and I was able to make it up the hill where there were soldiers by the gas station and they took care of me,” he told Arutz-7, an Israeli newspaper.
“That policeman was yelling at the Arabs to back off,” Tuvia told the paper, “and was protecting me from them—so to change it around and to say that he was beating me, that’s just total distortion, and the world must be notified about how this is not true—the Jews are the ones suffering at the hands of the Arabs.”
Arutz-7 reported that the Times published a correction, but identified Grossman only as an American, not as a Jew. And it incorrectly identified the site of the attack as “Jerusalem’s Old City,” when, in fact, it was an Arab-populated neighborhood of Jerusalem, not in the Old City.
An Associated Press spokesman told Arutz-7 that it was looking into the matter.
Anti-Semitism up around the world
Firebombings, anti-Jewish demonstrations, graffiti, and flagrant anti-Semitism of all kinds have erupted in Europe and Australia since the Middle East crisis escalated in October.
According to reports in The Jerusalem Post, a Paris synagogue was firebombed and nearly 100 anti-Semitic incidents were reported in France. In Germany a wave of Jewish hatred has prompted attacks on Jewish sites and a demonstration by about 100 Palestinians and Lebanese.
In London, a yeshiva student was stabbed more than twenty times in the chest, face, arms, and legs while riding a bus. The Post said the incident followed a spate of attacks on synagogues throughout Britain and “is linked to the violent rhetoric of Islamic extremists,” who have mounted daily demonstrations near the Israeli Embassy in London’s upscale Kensington shopping district and at university campuses throughout Britain.
Wallenberg coworker honored in Israel
The Jerusalem Post—Per Anger, a Swedish diplomat who took part in the desperate attempt to save Hungarian Jewry in 1944, has been rewarded with honorary citizenship by the State of Israel.
Together, Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg and Anger saved as many as 100,000 Jews, a figure unmatched by any other rescuer.
Anger risked his life to issue provisional passports and phony documents to Jews destined for extermination. Wallenberg set up thirty-two safe houses in Budapest, each flying the Swedish flag and ultimately housing more than 20,000 Jews. Wallenberg and Anger routinely pulled Jews out of line as they were herded together for deportation, shoving the life-saving passes into their hands. More than once they jumped aboard the crowded death trains and dragged Jewish people off.