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NEWS of B'nai B'rith

January 22, 2015


The terror attack over the weekend in Paris brought the world to a standstill. The targets of the main attacks: the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, and the kosher supermarket, were meant to provoke a level of terror past that of murder. Here we are facing an attack on our freedoms, our freedom of speech and press, our freedom of religion, our freedom for a peaceful and civil society: the very liberties for which we stand.

For a complete timeline of the events of what happened you may follow this link:

Thousands of people gathered at the Place de la République in Paris for a spontaneous demonstration Wednesday after the attacks. There were no speeches by politicians, just spontaneous cries of "Je suis Charlie!" Many people, braving the cold, symbolically brandished pens, in sympathy with the cartoonists and journalists who died in the attack. Others in the crowd held up back issues of Charlie Hebdo featuring controversial cartoons.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo proposed that Charlie Hebdo "be adopted as a citizen of honour" by the city. "What we saw today was an attack on the values of our republic, Paris is a peaceful place. These cartoonists, writers and artists used their pens with a lot of humour to address sometimes awkward subjects and as such performed an essential function."

Retired teacher Agnes Quandalle said: "In the 1960s and '70s, we grew up with those cartoonists . . . It feels as if those behind the attack want to kill us all." Spontaneous demonstrations also took place in other French cities, including Marseille, Lyon, Lille and Toulouse, and all over Europe.

French President François Hollande declared a national day of mourning for Thursday, and political parties called for a united mass demonstration in Paris next Saturday. For now, the world is taking a stand for free speech. Proclaiming the pen mightier than the sword. On Monday, France's interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, paid a visit to the Montrouge school – on the premises of a synagogue – to reassure the staff and parents. He announced the reinforcement of security measures outside Jewish schools and synagogues where police have already been deployed following other antisemitic attacks.

In addition to the deployment of 4,700 police and paramilitary gendarmes, he said the army would also be on hand within two days. He appointed a prefect, Patrice Latron, to oversee security in future at France's 717 Jewish schools and places of worship.

Sources: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/11/opinion/sutter-je-suis-charlie/
BBE SlideShow Paris A procesion near Tel Aviv on Tuesday for Yoav Hattab, who was killed in an attack at a kosher grocery store in Pars late week, before his burial in Jerusalem.

Seventeen people, including journalists and policemen, were killed in three days of violence that began with a shooting attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, Jan. 7, and ended with a hostage-taking at a kosher supermarket on Friday.

Yesterday, on Tuesday January 13th, the four Jews who were killed in a hostage attack over the weekend were buried in Israel.

"They died so that we may live in freedom," Mr. Hollande said. To the officers' families, he said, "I assure you that all of France shares your pain."

"We must be relentless in the face of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim acts," Mr. Hollande said Tuesday, "unrelenting in the face of apologists for terrorism and of those who carry it out, and above all of the jihadists who head for Iraq and Syria and who return afterward."

On Monday, as France wrestled with whether to consider legislation similar to the USA Patriot Act in the United States, the French authorities announced an extraordinary deployment of more than 10,000 military personnel and thousands of police officers to guard sites regarded as at risk, including transportation hubs, major buildings and Jewish schools.

Sources: http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.636618
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On Sunday November 30th, from 14h30 to 18h30, come and assist to various conferences held by B'nai B'rith France, in la Mairie du 17ème, 16-20 rue des Batignolles, 75017 PARIS.
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This article has been written by B'nai B'rith International. B'nai B'rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B'nai B'rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence in more than 50 countries, it is the Global Voice of the Jewish Community.

(Washington, D.C., Oct. 29, 2014)—Member of the European Parliament and newly appointed Chair of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Israel Fulvio Martusciello, a Christian Democrat from Italy, visited Israel this week for the first time at the invitation of B'nai B'rith International. Joining Martusciello on the trip was MEP and previous delegation chair Bas Belder, a European Conservative from the Netherlands.
The two day visit was prepared in tandem by the B'nai B'rith International EU Affairs Office in Brussels and the B'nai B'rith World Center in Jerusalem. The delegation met with the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi; MK and Chair of the Economic Affairs Committee Avishay Braverman; MK and Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Zeev Elkin; and MK and Chair of Knesset Lobby for the Struggle Against Anti-Semitism Shimon Ohayon. The delegation also met with the Head of the Bureau of the European Division of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Shmuel Revel. Major issues raised during the meetings included EU-Israel relations, the Iranian threat and the latest on anti-Semitism throughout Europe.


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The Jewish Community of Brussels was once again attacked in an flagrant antisemitic effort

Although investigations are still ongoing, there may be no doubt that persons with racist, extremist and antisemitic intentions set fire at the Anderlecht synagogue. It happened only several hours after the reopening of the Jewish Museum of Brussels where, three months ago, four people were killed.

In the days leading up to Rosh Hashana, B’nai B’rith Europe and the  Brussels lodges are standing firmly behind the Jewish Community and, once again, urge the authorities to protect Jewish buildings and act strongly against the perpetrators.
B’nai B’rith Europe commends the Greek legislature for passing a law strengthening the country’s anti-discrimination laws and making it a crime to deny the Holocaust. This decisive action by lawmakers comes at a time of need as the rise of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party has sparked anti-Semitic and xenophobic crimes throughout the country.

The law was passed by parliament on Sept. 9 after a year of debate. It increases jail time for offenders from two to three years and sets the fine at $26,000 as the maximum penalty for “inciting acts of discrimination, hatred or violence” based on religion, race or disability.

This change in policy, updating anti-discrimination legislation passed in 1979, is a positive and necessary step toward tolerance and inclusiveness in Greek society.

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