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Jews See Need to Defend Themselves in France

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Synagogues are targets during increasingly violent protests against Operation Protective Edge

For The Times of IsraelCnaan Lipshiz reports: For the past 14 years, French Jews have grown accustomed to coming under attack during periods of conflict in the Middle East from hostile elements within their country’s large Arab and Muslim communities.

One recent incident, however, stood out: the July 13 riot by Palestinian sympathizers outside the Synagogue de la Roquette in central Paris that trapped some 200 terrified people inside the building. A street brawl ensued between the rioters and dozens of Jewish men who arrived to defend the synagogue.

“In people’s minds, there will be a before and after the Synagogue de la Roquette,” Joel Mergui, president of the Consistoire, French Jewry’s central religious services organization, told the French newsweekly Le Nouvel Observateur.

The incident involved pro-Palestinian protesters who reportedly had just come from a large demonstration against Israel’s airstrikes in Gaza.

The violence drew a stern rebuke from French President Francois Hollande. Read the rest of this entry »

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GLOBAL PANIC of July 2014 STRIKES PARIS: Anti-Israel protesters rally across France

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Thousands march through French cities in protest of Israeli operation in Gaza Strip; French president says will not allow violence to spill over into France

REUTERS – Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters marched in French cities on Saturday to condemn violence in Gaza, defying a ban imposed after demonstrators marched on two synagogues in Paris last weekend and clashed with riot police.

“The far-left New Anticapitalist Party, an organizer of last Sunday’s rally and the banned one in Paris, urged protesters in Paris to defy the ban, prompting police to issue a warning”

A Reuters photographer said demonstrators in northern Paris launched projectiles at riot police, who responded by firing teargas canisters and stun grenades.

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Demonstrators also climbed on top of a building and burned an Israeli flag. At least one car was set on fire.

A police spokesman said that 38 demonstrators had been arrested by early evening and that the clashes were dying down.

French President Francois Hollande said he understood emotional responses to the killing of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in a flare-up of hostilities with Israel but would not allow violence to spill over into France. Read the rest of this entry »


Los Angeles Heat: Federal Officer Fires Weapon in Confrontation at Pro-Israel Rally

Supporters of Israel descended on the Federal Building on Wilshire Boulevard to show support for the nation as renewed fighting has taken place recently between Israelis and Palestinians. Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Supporters of Israel descended on the Federal Building on Wilshire Boulevard to show support for the nation as renewed fighting has taken place recently between Israelis and Palestinians. Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

For the Los Angeles TimesJulie Cart reports: A federal officer attempting to break up an altercation during a pro-Israel demonstration Sunday at the federal building in Westwood fired a single shot but no one was harmed, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. Read the rest of this entry »