Israel Brief March 21, 2012: Thousands attend funeral in Jerusalem for Toulouse Jewish school shooting victims

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Thousands attend funeral in Jerusalem for Toulouse victims

Source: JTA, 3-21-12

Thousands gathered in Jerusalem for the funeral of the four victims of the attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse, France.

Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, his two young sons Gabriel and Arieh, and Myriam Monsonego, the 7-year-old daughter of the Ozar Hatorah school’s headmaster, were buried Wednesday morning as police in Toulouse remained in a standoff with the chief suspect in the attack.

The school reopened Wednesday for the first time since Monday’s attack, in which a man riding a motorbike opened fire outside the school where students were waiting to enter the building at the start of the school day.

“Your grief, your pain is ours, too,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said at the funeral. “All of France is in shock.” Juppe said that France would work to fight against anti-Semitism.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin also spoke at the funeral.

“In Toulouse and Jerusalem, in New York and Buenos Aires, Jews of all factions stand with us with deep pain in their hearts and tears in their eyes,” he said. “Again we stand before small, silent bodies, before small graves.”

Prior to the funeral, the parents of Myriam Monsonego and the pregnant wife and mother of the Sandlers arrived at a Jerusalem funeral home to say their final goodbyes to their loved ones, whose bodies arrived in Israel following a memorial service at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, with President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Francois Fillon in attendance, Haaretz reported.

In a meeting before the funeral, Israeli President Shimon Peres thanked Juppe in French for his actions in the wake of the attack, calling them a “special expression of the deep ties between France and Israel.”

“Your arrival and the actions of President Sarkozy in light of these harsh events prove that Israel and France are on the same front both in seeking peace and in the total war against terrorism,” Peres said. “The people in Israel and in the Diaspora communities were moved by the expressions of grief and consolation that have been voiced in France and by the government’s actions. Children are more precious than anything, and everything must be done to ensure their peace, in the future as well.”

“This was an abhorrent and unacceptable murder that can hardly be described,” Juppe said. “I came to express the solidarity of the French people with the people of Israel, which felt that its children were murdered. The blood of our two peoples was spilled in this murder.”

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Israeli Ministers Inaugurate New East Jerusalem Settlement Ma’aleh Zeitim

Day after Netanyahu addresses Congress, his ministers inaugurate East Jerusalem settlement

Knesset speaker at ceremony comments on Obama’s recent Mideast policy speech, asking what will happen if ‘one day there is a president that thinks Israel’s existence contradicts America’s interest?’

Source: Haaretz, 5-25-11

One day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Jerusalem will not be divided, the speaker of the Knesset and several other government ministers attended a dedication ceremony for the new Jewish settlement of Ma’aleh Zeitim, in East Jerusalem’s Ras al-Amud neighborhood.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, and Information Minister Daniel Hershkovitz all participated in the ceremony – this despite the fact that the Jewish neighborhood has already been inhabited for several years.

Maaleh Zeitim, May 25 2011, Olivier Pitosi Activists at Ma’aleh Zeitim in Jerusalem, May 25 2011.
Photo by: Olivier Pitosi

Rivlin delivered a speech at the ceremony, where he made a warning based on the recent Mideast policy speech laid out by United States President Barack Obama.

“Until today, despite a difference of opinions, there were relations between Israel and the U.S. based on mutual interests, shared democratic values, and recognition of the right of the Jewish people in their country,” Rivlin said.

“But this time, I hear another note from the U.S. president…. That Israel doesn’t need to be strict on the conditions that will protect her existence, that the U.S. will be responsible for [Israel’s] security and existence. And what happens if one day there is a president that thinks that Israel’s existence contradicts Americans’ interests?”

Rivlin condemned those that seek to “cut up” Jerusalem, as bringing “disaster” onto the city and its residents.

The comments come shortly after a weekend where U.S. President Barack Obama called for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians based on borders from 1967, which Netanyahu calls “indefensible”….READ MORE

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