Sharon, Massachusetts teenager murdered in terror attack in Israel
Greetings from Chicago where I have VERY limited internet access.
An 18-year old on his 'gap year' in Israel was murdered today in a terror attack near Gush Etzion. Below is the email sent out by my alma mater, Maimonides School in Brookline, Mass. from which Ezra Schwartz HY"D (May God Avenge his blood) graduated just a few months ago (Hat Tip: Lance K).
It is with a broken heart that I must share with you the very sad news that Ezra Schwartz, z"l, a graduate of the Class of 2015, was murdered in a terrorist attack in Israel earlier today. Ezra was spending his gap year studying at Yeshivat Ashreinu in Beit Shemesh.
While here at school we are focused on supporting our 550 students and our alumni in the Class of 2015, I am writing you this brief note because we are all part of the Maimonides School family and today we suffered an unbearable loss.
We offer our deepest condolences to Ezra's parents Ari and Ruth Schwartz of Sharon and siblings Mollie '14, and current Maimonides students Avi, Elon, and Hillel.
May the Schwartz family and the Maimonides School family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Head of School
No, he was not in the IDF - he was in the Ashreinu Yeshiva in Beit Shemesh. Here's Arutz Sheva.
[Ezra Schwartz] and the other students who were hurt in the attack had come to
help build the Oz Vegaon site, which was established in memory of the
three yeshiva students who were abducted and murdered last summer.
His funeral will be held in Boston on Sunday.
ZAKA emergency services have contacted his family in the US, as well as a relative in Israel who is to identify his body.
The Beit Shemesh Municipality announced that it is "shocked and
grief-stricken by the murder of the yeshiva student, in the shooting
attack at Guush Etzion."
Schwartz had come, together with five other students from abroad, to hand out food to soldiers in Gush Etzion.
The five other students were lightly wounded and are being treated at Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem.
The students are in Israel as part of a program in which youths
volunteer for 9.5 months, studying at yeshiva during the day and
volunteering in the evenings.
The adult who was killed in the attack was Yaakov Don, an alumnus of Yeshivat Har Etzion, where I also studied.
Full story of the Alon Shvut terror attack here. There was also a terror attack at a Tel Aviv synagogue today. That story is here. 'Peace' is not at hand.
Inevitable: Sweden's Foreign Minister blames Israel for Paris attacks
Carl Bildt may not be the foreign minister of Sweden anymore, but his replacement is no better. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom has told a Swedish television station that the Paris attacks happened because - you guessed it - Israel has refused to give a 'state' to the 'Palestinians.'
“Here again, you come back to situations like that in the Middle East
where not least the Palestinians see that there isn’t any future [for
them]. [The Palestinians] either have to accept a desperate situation or
resort to violence,” Margot Wallstrom said in an interview with Sweden’s SVT television station about the Nov. 13 killing of 132 people in a series of attacks in the French capital.
French President Francois Hollande said the attack was “an act of war” by the Islamic State terrorist group.
Queried by the Times of Israel over the statement by Wallstrom,whose
government last year was first in the European Union to recognize the
Palestinian Authority as a country that Sweden calls Palestine, a
spokesman for the Israeli foreign minister said her words reflected
“It would seem that the Swedish foreign minister is afflicted with
total political blindness,” said the spokesman, Emmanuel Nahshon. “This
blindness may lead to tragedy.”
The Swedish Embassy in Israel later said in a tweet: “FM has not said
that Israeli Palestinian conflict is linked to tragic events in Paris.
Sweden condemns all acts of terrorism.”
Later on Monday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry summoned Sweden’s ambassador in Israel for a meeting with Director-General Dore Gold.
What can you say about a country that has someone like this as their chief diplomat? /Spit.
CNN's Jim Acosta: 'Why can't we take out these b**t*rds?
At the G-20 conference in Antalya on Monday, CNN"s Jim Acosta asked President Obama a question that many people around the world have on their minds: 'Why can't we take out these b**t*rds?' President Obama's answer left much to be desired.
“Jim, I just spent the last three questions answering that very
question, so I don’t know what more you want me to add. I think I’ve
described very specifically what our strategy is, and I’ve described
very specifically why we do not pursue some of the other strategies that
have been suggested.”
Well, maybe he did, but I sure didn't see it. Go watch the video here. Does Obama make you feel confident? I think he's trying to avoid doing anything about it, just like he's done every other time he's been called upon to oppose a Muslim group in the last seven years (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
The woman hanging out the window on the left of the building when everyone was escaping is pregnant. I have no idea how she got down from the window. You'll see her again briefly in the second video below.
Greetings from the Big Easy, New Orleans, where I will be spending the next three days in business meetings. It's been 34 years since I was last here, and that trip lasted for less than 24 hours, so I'm looking forward to this.
Here in New Orleans, Republican Gubernatorial candidate David Vitter has said that Syrian refugees are not welcome.
“President Obama’s plan to bring 10,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S. –
just like his statement made a day before the Paris attacks that ISIS
was ‘contained’ — is outrageous and irresponsible,” Vitter said in a
statement today. “That’s exactly how at least one, maybe more of the
Paris terrorists got there. These Syrians have already started arriving
in Louisiana. That needs to stop immediately, and I will continue to
lead that fight and protect the people of Louisiana.”
Vitter, who has been staunchly fighting illegal immigration and
sanctuary cities in the state like New Orleans and Lafayette Parish,
took to Facebook yesterday to say that as governor he will shut down
So how many Syrians are there in New Orleans? According to this blog post, 13.
Despite blog posts and social media rumors indicating that thousands
of Syrian refugees had already arrived in the New Orleans area, the U.S. State Department reported only 14 Syrian nationals have resettled in Louisiana since Jan. 1.
The State Department's Refugee Processing Center handled three cases,
settling seven refugees in Kenner, six in New Orleans and one in Baton
Rouge, a spokesperson said.
Seven Syrian refugees arrived in Louisiana in April, and another
resettled in June. Six more refugees arrived in November, according to
processing center data.
I get the locals. Why should they have responsibility for refugees from the other side of the world, many of whom may not be Syrians and might be ISIS plants.
And I have to tell you that two different people have warned me not to walk the streets alone at night. Hmmm.
UPDATE 7:55 PM NEW ORLEANS TIME
Breitbart.com reports that Republican Presidential candidate and governor Bobby Jindal has gotten into the act.
The 2016 GOP presidential contender framed his demands in the context of the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday. He wrote:
Last week, the city of New Orleans began receiving its
first wave of Syrian refugees. As with former immigration crises and
federal relocation policy, Louisiana has been kept in the dark about
those seeking refuge in the state. It is irresponsible and severely
disconcerting to place individuals, who may have ties to ISIS, in a
state without the state’s knowledge or involvement.
As Governor of Louisiana, I demand information about the Syrian
refugees being placed in Louisiana in hopes that the night of horror in
Paris is not duplicated here.
Jindal demanded information about whether “additional protections and
screenings will be put in place,” particularly following the Paris
attacks and the discovery “that some of those responsible…held Syrian
Additionally, Jindal demands to know the level of background screening conducted on the Syrian refugees, and whether “all Syrian refugees seeking relocation in the United States will now be cleared by the Terrorist Screening Center?”
Finally, Jindal expects to receive information about the level of
monitoring of the refugees that will be conducted once they are placed
“As Americans, we embolden freedom and opportunity to the rest of the
world, but by opening up our borders and refusing to collaborate or
share information with states, you are threatening that reality,” Jindal
writes, telling the president “it would be prudent to pause the process
of refugees coming to the United States. Authorities need to
investigate what happened in Europe before this problem comes to the
This post has been corrected - I thought Vitter was the Governor already when I wrote the original post.
In 2006-2009 at leat, Le Bataclan hosted the annual fundraising gala
of the French Jewish Migdal nonprofit group for the Israeli Border
Police. Last month, it hosted a gathering of some 500 Zionist Christians
who came there in support of the Jewish state.
In one case involving threats against Le Bataclan, a group of
approximately 10 men wearing Arab keffiyehs over their faces arrived in
December 2008 at the theater, demanding to speak to management.
“This is something we cannot continue to accept,” one of the men from
the group was filmed telling the security guards outside Le Bataclan.
“You will pay the consequences of your actions,” the same person, his
voice electronically distorted, told the camera after the confrontation,
which ended peacefully. “We came here to pass along a small message. Be
warned. Next time we won’t be coming here to talk.”
The massacre at Le Bataclan Friday, during a rock concert by The
Eagles of Death Metal band from the United States, was by far the
deadliest of the six simultaneous attacks which French security forces
said were perpetrated by at least eight terrorists. According to a tally
released by French authorities on Saturday, 127 people died [that's now been raised to 132. CiJ] and some
180 were wounded.
Le Bataclan, two terrorists fired at patrons at random but in a calm
and deliberate manner, survivors said. Police stormed the building
approximately 40 minutes after the killing began. The terrorists were
killed in the takeover.
Whereas the men who showed up at Le Bataclan in 2008 presented
themselves as “residents of the area,” threats of attack against the
concert hall as payback for Israel’s actions also included foreign
players, according to a 2011 report by Le Figaro.
According to that report, a French woman named Dodi Hoxha told French
counterterrorism officers in 2010 of a plot by Jaish Islam, Al Qaeda’s
branch in Gaza whose name means “the Army of Islam”, to organize an
attack at Le Bataclan, which Hoxha said had been selected because “the
owners are Jewish.”
Hoxha was arrested that year in connection with an attack against
French students in Cairo in 2009, in which one student died. DGSE, the
French external security agency, believed the attack on the students in
Cairo was to punish France for its perceived role in Israel’s blockade
of the Gaza Strip.
According to the website of Le Bataclan, the venue is being run by
Jules Frutos and Olivier Poubelle, who owned most or all of the place
until the media group of the billionaire Arnaud Lagardère bought 70
percent of the asset in September.
Attempts to verify claims of a Jewish link relevant to Frutos, Poubelle or Lagardère were not immediately successful.
for France’s far-right Jewish Defense League, LDJ, the threats against
Le Bataclan are proof that it was targeted as punishment for hosting
“Pro-Palestinian groups designated it openly as a
‘Zionist’ concert hall, and now we see the result,” LDJ wrote in a
statement shortly after the attacks. “France woke up to a taste of
Yet Nicolas Shashani, a prominent French pro-Palestinian activist,
said that despite some incidents, Le Bataclan is not generally
associated with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Le Bataclan may have had a Zionist link in the past, but if the
perpetrators wanted to select a site tied to Israel to send a message,
it doesn’t strike me as a very effective target,” he said. “To the
general population, Le Bataclan is just a concert hall and nothing
more,” he said.
Shashani noted that “unsubstantiated rumors” also linked the attack
to the Eagles of Death Metal band, because it performed in Israel in
July. During the concert in Tel Aviv, lead singer Jesse Hughes recalled
how Roger Waters, a former member of the Pink Floyd band and a promoter
of a boycott against Israel, asked the band to stay away. “I answered
with two words: F**ck you!” he told the cheering audience, adding: “I
would never boycott a place like this.”
The band escaped the attack unscathed.
Shashani said it was “far-fetched” to suppose the band was the reason for Le Bataclan’s targeting.
“In previous attacks, there were clear targets,” Shashani said.
“Soldiers, cops, a kosher supermarket. This time, the attacks were
against cafes, restaurants, a soccer stadium – attacks against the
Frenchman on the street.”
In a statement issued Saturday night about the Paris terrorism of the previous day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said
that he had “instructed Israel’s security and intelligence forces to
assist their French counterparts and their counterparts from other
European countries in any way possible.”
Israel’s minister of intelligence, Yisrael Katz, later clarified
Netanyahu’s statement, telling reporters that intelligence cooperation
among Israel, France and other European countries is “ongoing,” but that
“intelligence material relevant to what happened has been relayed, and
we will also deepen the cooperation.”
Katz added that the information would help the French and
other countries deal with the aftermath of the attack and future
attacks, Reuters reported.
Israel’s Army Radio reported
Sunday that some intelligence may have come from Israel’s surveillance
of Syria and Iraq, two strongholds of the Islamic State terrorist group
that claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks.
Were it not for the fact that it's an Israeli interest to have these people neutralized, I would be inclined to tell the Europeans, 'you made your mess, now go lie in it.' (As my mother a"h would have said).
Lesson from the Paris terror attacks: Europe needs to join forces with Israel
Greetings from somewhere over eastern Kentucky - my next stop (which is not my final stop today) is Dallas, Texas.
David Harris of the AJC (not necessarily a source from which I would expect it) has some very wise advice for Europe.
And finally, when will Europe finally wake up and realize that democratic Israel is part of the solution, not the problem?
At the end of the day, the terrorism faced by France - or Belgium,
Denmark, Germany, Spain, the U.K., etc. - is a kissing cousin of that
confronted by Israel. Some European leaders go to great lengths to deny
that obvious truth, seeking instead to draw distinctions that are, in
fact, largely non-existent, or suggesting that Israel somehow "deserves"
what it gets, while implying that Europe does not.
Let's get real.
The authors of 9/11 detested who and what America is. They didn't give a
darn what political party was in power, because they attacked the Twin
Towers when Clinton was president and again when Bush was in the Oval
The same with Europe. The target is Europe's value system - its democracy, openness, freedom, and secularism.
And, yes, the same with Israel. The terrorists of Hamas (with which the
Palestinian Authority made a pact), Iranian-backed Hezbollah, Islamic
Jihad, and ISIS don't want Israel to exist, period. They're not
interested in who's in power in Jerusalem or how to get to a two-state
accord, but rather establishing their rule over the entire land.
A good morning to all of you from Boston Logan Airport where today is a travel day for me. I won't tell you yet where I'm going, but I'm going to be spending much of today over 'flyover country' and I am not heading to the West Coast. Hmmm. PS I should have WiFi.
I thought you'd all want to see the tweet above. First, because it shows just how out of control the situation with 'refugees' is in Europe. My fear now is that trying to stop it may be closing the barn door after the cow has escaped.
And second, the comment (which may have been inserted by Honest Reporting) is spot-on. What happened in Paris on Friday night is no different than what we're wary of 24/7 in Israel... except that in Israel the victims are (God Forbid) Jews, so CNN and the rest of the liberal media fall all over themselves to avoid calling it terrorism.
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-four years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 11 to 31 years and seven grandchildren. Three of our children are married! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com