News Digest — 4/29/19

Israeli Family Injured In California Attack Sought Refuge In US From Hamas Rockets

Two of the people injured by a gunman who burst into a Chabad synagogue on Saturday (27th) in California had left the Israeli city of Sderot after surviving rocket hits from Gaza on their home.

During the attack, Almog Peretz, 34, heroically saved several children by rushing them out of the sanctuary when 19-year-old John Earnest ran in and began shooting.  He credited his experience under persistent rocket attacks in his Israeli hometown for his quick reaction.

“This is sad, but I am originally from Sderot so we know a bit about running from Kassam rockets,” Peretz told Israel’s Channel 12 as he lay in the Palomar Medical Center Poway, recovering from a bullet wound to his leg.

“There were many small kids next to me,” he recounted.  “I took a little girl who was our neighbor and three nieces of mine and ran.  I opened the back gate and we ran with all the children to a building in the back.  I hid them in that building.”

“Witnesses said that the neighbor he scooped up, five- year- old Julie, would probably have died if Peretz hadn’t acted, as Earnest shot at them while they were running, hitting him instead.  Many other bullets missed him, he told his interviewers.

His niece, eight-year-old Noya Dahan, was wounded by shrapnel in her face and leg.

Noya’s father, Israel, told Israel Radio that he had moved his family to California a number of years ago after their Sderot home absorbed several rocket shots from Gaza over the years, injuring him once.

“We came from fire to fire,” he said, adding, “It can happen anywhere, but we are strong.”

This incident, though far more serious, was not the first time his family experienced anti-Semitism in the U.S., he explained, recounting an incident in which his California home had been spray-painted with swastikas.

Earnest started his rampage by killing 60-year-old Lori Gilbert Kaye, who reportedly jumped in front of a rabbi, taking the bullets meant for him.  She was described by former Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Naftali Bennett as a “hero of Israel.”

The third injured victim, synagogue Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, was injured in both hands, with doctors saying that he will probably lose two of his fingers as a result of the attack.

After fleeing the scene in his car, Earnest surrendered to police, who are investigating the case as a hate crime.



Netanyahu Offers To Help Chabad Synagogue After Deadly Shooting Attack

Israeli leaders have been expressing their sympathies and support for the Jewish community in the San Diego area following the shooting attack Saturday (27th) at the Poway Chabad Synagogue in which one person was murdered, and three others were wounded.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed Israeli consul in Los Angeles Avner Saban to provide any assistance possible to the synagogue and to continue to update him on the developments, according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

President Reuven Rivlin said that “We were shocked and grieved to hear of the shooting.”

In a statement issued by the Presidential Residence, Rivlin added that, “the murderous attack on the Jewish community during Pesach, our holiday of freedom, and just before Holocaust Memorial Day, is yet another painful reminder that anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews are still with us, everywhere.  No country and no society is immune. Only through education for Holocaust remembrance and tolerance can we deal with this plague,” said the president, who also expressed condolences to the family of the woman who was murdered.



Trump Speaks Of Love For Israel During Call With Rabbi From California Attack

A southern California rabbi who was shot during a deadly attack on his synagogue that left one woman dead, said he received a call from President Donald Trump.  Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein on Sunday (28th) told reporters Trump called him to share his condolences on behalf of the American people. Goldstein said Trump was comforting, and spoke of his love of peace, Judaism and Israel.

The White House acknowledged the call.  “The President expressed his love for the Jewish people and the entire community of Poway,” deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.



Enough Is Enough, The War On Jews Has To Stop – IMAM TAWHIDI

Once again, the world witnesses another attack on Jewish people, this time by a white supremacist.  It was only six months ago when we mourned the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting, the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States, which resulted in the killing of eleven people and injuring seven others.

Today however, the question isn’t “why did it happen?” but perhaps: How we got here in the first place.

It was the last day of Passover.  Members of the California Jewish community had gathered at Congregation Chabad in Poway, north of San Diego, when John Earnest, 19, opened fire at the congregants, claiming the life of an innocent 60-year-old woman.  Three others were wounded, one a 57-year-old rabbi.

While genuine condolences poured in to condemn the anti-Semitic attack, another group decided it was a good time to reveal their hypocrisy.

Let’s start with the NYT, a left-leaning newspaper that’s slowly becoming known for its anti-Semitism.  Only three days ago, the NYT internationally printed an anti-semitic cartoon of President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

The cartoon presents Trump as a blind Jew that is being guided by Netanyahu, an Israeli dog.  The NYT then retracted the cartoon, and issued a non-apology.  It’s one thing to criticize Netanyahu and Israeli policy, and it’s another thing to dehumanize an individual simply because he is Jewish.

Giant media corporations have the audacity to publish such content because they know that there is an audience willing to support their anti-Semitism, and in many cases, these audiences include somewhat influential figures like members of the KKK.  Leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan for example, is a self-confessed anti-Semite. In one of his sermons, he states: “I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite.”

Then of course, we have the three sisters in faith and agenda: Linda Sarsour, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who are focused on normailizing anti-Semitism on public platforms and within US government departments.  Their statements have introduced a new level of anti-semitism, one that is significantly more dangerous than what our societies have gotten used to.

There are two types of anti-Semitism.

The first type involves hating Jewish people and rejecting them as a community that deserves equal rights as the rest of citizens.

The second type involves presenting the Jewish people as the main cause behind great evil on planet Earth: That they assassinated God’s prophets in the past, are now controlling the government and media, and that the world would be a wonderful place without them.

The second form of anti-Semitism gives birth to the idea that:

Such an evil community must be removed from society by all means possible.  This is the type of anti-Semitism that promotes not only the rejection of Jewish people, but their elimination.  This violent idea is equally promoted by militant Islam, some extremist Christians and White Supremacists.

Attacks on Jewish communities will come to an end only when the majority of us citizens realize that an attack on Jewish people is an attack on each and every one of us, when governments realize that more than condolences is required to combat this serious level of hate, and when we develop the courage to publicly defend this minority by saying: They are us.  They are not termites.



Israeli Hikers Come Under Fire In West Bank; Soldiers Shoot Suspected Gunman

Israeli troops opened fire at two Palestinian men suspected of shooting at a group of hikers in the northern  West Bank on Monday (29th), the military said.

One of the suspects was injured.  The second fled the scene, and Israeli troops launched a manhunt to find him according to a statement sent to residents of a nearby settlement.

No Israelis were injured in the exchange.

According to the message sent to residents of the town of Mevo Dotan, the shots were fired at a group of hikers near the Tel Dotan archeological site, west of the Palestinian village of Qabatiya.

The Israeli Defense Forces said the troops, who were guarding the tour group, heard gunshots, “returned fire, and arrested one of the subjects.”

The military confirmed that “a Palestinian man was injured in the exchange.”

The extent of the Palestinian’s injuries was not immediately known.