Heartbreak, defiance and anger as French Jewish terror victims laid to rest in Jerusalem
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Times of Israel live, January 13, 2015 (Closed)

Heartbreak, defiance and anger as French Jewish terror victims laid to rest in Jerusalem

Merkel at tolerance rally in Berlin; France at war with radical Islam, says Marine Le Pen; Minister wants to send French immigrants to West Bank; Labor chooses Knesset slate

  • The bodies of Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen and Francois-Michel Saad, who were killed in an attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris, are laid out during their funeral in Jerusalem on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture)
    The bodies of Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen and Francois-Michel Saad, who were killed in an attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris, are laid out during their funeral in Jerusalem on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture)
  • Valery Braham, widow of Philippe Braham, who was killed along with three other Jewish men in an attack in Paris, eulogizes her late husband during his funeral in Jerusalem on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture)
    Valery Braham, widow of Philippe Braham, who was killed along with three other Jewish men in an attack in Paris, eulogizes her late husband during his funeral in Jerusalem on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture)
  • President Reuven Rivlin addresses the crowd at the funeral for four French Jews killed in an attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture)
    President Reuven Rivlin addresses the crowd at the funeral for four French Jews killed in an attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture)
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the crowd at the funeral for four French Jews killed in an attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris, January 13, 2015. (screen capture)
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the crowd at the funeral for four French Jews killed in an attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris, January 13, 2015. (screen capture)
  • Rabbi Benjamin Hattab, the father of Yoav Hattab, who was killed in the Pairs kosher supermarket atack, rips his shirt in a Jewish sign of mourning during the funeral for his son and three other men killed in the attack, Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture: Channel 2)
    Rabbi Benjamin Hattab, the father of Yoav Hattab, who was killed in the Pairs kosher supermarket atack, rips his shirt in a Jewish sign of mourning during the funeral for his son and three other men killed in the attack, Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture: Channel 2)
  • A relative mourns at the  funeral procession of Yoav Hattab, one of the four Jewish victims in the Paris Kosher market terror attack, on January 13, 2015. (photo credit: Ben Kelmer/Flash90)
    A relative mourns at the funeral procession of Yoav Hattab, one of the four Jewish victims in the Paris Kosher market terror attack, on January 13, 2015. (photo credit: Ben Kelmer/Flash90)
  • Relatives mourn at the funeral procession of Yoav Hattab in Bnei Brak on January 13, 2015. (photo credit: Ben Kelmer/Flash90)
    Relatives mourn at the funeral procession of Yoav Hattab in Bnei Brak on January 13, 2015. (photo credit: Ben Kelmer/Flash90)
  • The four victims of the Paris Hyper Cacher attack, from left to right: Yoav Hattab, Yohan Cohen, Francois-Michel Saada, Philippe Braham. (Courtesy)
    The four victims of the Paris Hyper Cacher attack, from left to right: Yoav Hattab, Yohan Cohen, Francois-Michel Saada, Philippe Braham. (Courtesy)
  • Front National leader Marine Le Pen interviewed for Channel 2, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. (photo credit: Screen capture)
    Front National leader Marine Le Pen interviewed for Channel 2, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. (photo credit: Screen capture)

The bodies of the four French Jews killed in a jihadist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris last week were laid to rest in Jerusalem at a ceremony marked by grief, resilience and outrage. The ceremony at the Givat Shaul cemetery was attended by Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Rivlin and other Israeli ministers and officials, including a French minister. Also Tuesday, Front National leader Marine Le Pen warned that “France is at war with Islamist extremism.” The Times of Israel liveblogged developments throughout the day.

Bodies arrive in Israel

The bodies of four French Jews killed in a jihadist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris arrived in Israel early Tuesday ahead of a funeral in Jerusalem.

The four will be laid to rest in the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem at noon.

Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen and Francois-Michel Saada were among 17 people gunned down in Paris during three days of bloodshed that shook France to the core and sent shock waves through its Jewish community, the third largest in the world.

Cohen, 22, was an employee of the HyperCacher store; Yoav Hattab, 21, was a student of Tunisian origin and the son of the chief rabbi of Tunis; Phillipe Barham, 45, was an executive at an IT company, a father of four and the brother of a rabbi; and François-Michel Saada, 64, was a retired father of two.

— Marissa Newman

Yoav Hattab memorial held in Bnei Brak

As per the request of the Hattab family, a separate service is held outside a Bnei Brak yeshiva for Yoav Hattab, as the body lies in state.

In an address outside the yeshiva, MK Eli Yishai says the four victims died while “working to honor the Shabbat.”

“But then the abhorrent terrorist came along, a terrorist who sought to murder Jews for being Jews, and brutally stole their lives,” he says.

Several hundred people attend the procession, according to the ultra-Orthodox Kikar HaShabat website, and will later continue to Jerusalem for the joint funeral.

Ha'am Itanu party leader Eli Yishai eulogizes Yoav Hattab on January 13, 2015. (photo credit: Ben Kelmer/Flash90)

Ha’am Itanu party leader Eli Yishai eulogizes Yoav Hattab on January 13, 2015. (photo credit: Ben Kelmer/Flash90)

— Marissa Newman

Police gear up for funeral in Jerusalem

The Israel Police requests that those attending the funerals take public transportation to the Givat Shaul cemetery, as the roads will be sealed off to private vehicles.

— Marissa Newman

Posthumous Legion of Honor for 4 victims

French Minister of Energy and Environment Segolene Royal will bestow the Legion of Honor title on the four victims of the attack at the Paris supermarket on Tuesday.

The prestigious French title of distinction will be accepted by a family member of each of the victims.

— Renee Ghert-Zand

‘I am dead because I’m Jewish’

At the funeral, a man is holding a sign with the text “I am dead because I’m Jewish,” above photos of the four victims, just as people take their seats.

Signs of solidarity

Several people hold signs with text in French reading “Je suis Juif,” “Je suis Israelien” above photos of the victims.

President, PM arrive at funeral

President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife, arrive at the funeral.

Netanyahu shakes hands with relatives of the victims, pats some of them gently on the shoulder. Labor leader Isaac Herzog immediately follows.

ZAKA men carry bodies to cemetery

ZAKA volunteers in yellow vests are seen carrying the bodies of the victims, wrapped in Israel flags, to the cemetery.
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Chief rabbi recites Psalm 150

Chief Sephardi rabbi of Israel, Yitzhak Yosef, recites psalm 150 at the beginning of the funeral

Jerusalem rabbi tears relatives’ clothes

Chief Rabbi for Jerusalem Avraham Stern uses scissors to cut the shirts of the relatives of the terror victims, in a traditional Jewish sign of mourning.

Families of the victims recite Kaddish

The male relatives of the victims recite Kaddish prayer for mourners in unison.

Rabbi Amar recites El Maleh Rahamim

Rabbi Shlomo Amar, former Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel, recites the funeral prayer El Maleh Rahamim for the four victims of the terror attack.

Relatives light memorial torches

Relatives of the victims light memorial torches in their memory, accompanied by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky.

Philippe Braham’s widow Valery breaks up in tears as she delivers a short eulogy for her husband. “Philippe, my love, my dear, was a perfect man. As I said before, a man who thinks first and foremost about others and not about himself. A great husband and a father who lives for his children… I cry but I know you all cry with me, I thank you… Philippe, protect me, protect Shirel, Naor, Ella and Raphael.”

Valerie then is hugged by Sara Netanyahu.

Rabbi Hattab lights torch for his son

Netanyahu and Rivlin warmly hug Rabbi Beto Hattab, who lights a torch for his son Yoav.

“I accept the judgment of Heaven with love,” the rabbi says simply, in a brief, heart-rending few words at the microphone.

Rabbi Benjamin Hattab, the father of Yoav Hattab, who was killed in the Pairs kosher supermarket atack, rips his shirt in a Jewish sign of mourning during the funeral for his son and three other men killed in the attack, Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture: Channel 2)

Rabbi Benjamin Hattab, the father of Yoav Hattab, who was killed in the Pairs kosher supermarket atack, rips his shirt in a Jewish sign of mourning during the funeral for his son and three other men killed in the attack, Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture: Channel 2)

Megane Cohen lights a torch for her brother Yohan. She is accompanied by the chief rabbi of France and by her uncle.

“Yohan was 20, full of life and joy… his family and friends have a dear place in our hearts,” his uncle eulogizes.

Rivlin says, This is not how we wanted you

Rivlin addresses the funeral gathering. He acknowledges the officials present, including French Minister Segolene Royal.

“Dear families, Yoav, Yohan, Philippe, Francois-Michel, this is not how we wanted to welcome you to Israel. This is not how we wanted you to arrive in the Land of Israel, this is not how we wanted to see you come home, to the State of Israel, and to Jerusalem, its capital. We wanted you alive, we wanted for you, life.

“At moments such as these, I stand before you, brokenhearted, shaken and in pain, and with me stands an entire nation.”

‘Attack comes from sheer hatred of Jews’

Rivlin calls the attack “sheer hatred of Jews”:

Dear families, people of Israel. Philippe Braham, Yoav Hattab, Yohan Cohen and Francois-Michel Saada, were murdered on the eve of the Sabbath, in a kosher supermarket in Paris, in cold blood, because they were Jewish. The murderer made sure to be in a Jewish shop, and only then did he carry out the massacre. This was pure, venomous evil, which stirs the very worst of memories. This is sheer hatred of Jews; abhorrent, dark and premeditated, which seeks to strike, wherever there is Jewish life. In Paris, in Jerusalem, in Toulouse, and in Tel Aviv. In Brussels, and in Mumbai. In the streets, and in the synagogues. In the schools, and in the local market. In the train stations, and in the museums.

President Reuven Rivlin addresses the crowd at the funeral for four French Jews killed in an attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture)

President Reuven Rivlin addresses the crowd at the funeral for four French Jews killed in an attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture)

President says Europe must protect Jews

Rivlin says it is dangerous to deny that terror attacks stem from Jew-hatred:

It would be dangerous to deny that we are talking about anti-Semitism, whether old or new. Regardless of what may be the sick motives of terrorists, it is beholden upon the leaders of Europe to act, and commit to firm measures to return a sense of security and safety to the Jews of Europe; in Toulouse, in Paris, in Brussels, or in Burgas.

We cannot allow it to be the case, that in the year 2015, 70 years since the end of the Second World War, Jews are afraid to walk in the streets of Europe with skullcaps and tzitzit. It cannot be allowed that we should see in the news frequent vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, of Jews being beaten, and of synagogues and communities under attack. It is no longer possible to ignore or remain ambiguous, or to act weakly or with leniency against the rabid anti-Semitic incitement. Ignorance and violence will not simply go away on their own.

PM calls terrorists enemies of all mankind

PM Netanyahu speaks at the funeral:

Four dear people, honest and full of love, like the victims from Toulouse who are buried here, were killed solely for being Jews. Their lives were cut short in an attack of hatred by a lowly murderer.

I have been saying for many years and I say it again today: These are not only enemies of the Jewish people, they are enemies of all mankind. It is time all people of culture to unite and uproot these enemies from our midst.

‘You will never, ever beat us; we are an ancient people’

PM Netanyahu continues:

We should focus on the spirit that exists here: You will never, ever beat us.

This is the strength of an ancient people that has always prevailed and thank God, look around you, here in the mountains of Jerusalem, today we have a state of our own, flourishing and advanced, a state that is a moral lighthouse unto the world – and our president was right to say: Jews have a right to live in many countries and have full security, but I believe that they know in their heart, there is one country which is their historic home, a state which will always accept them with open arms. This is the hope of the entire Jewish people.

May their souls be cherished.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the crowd at the funeral for four French Jews killed in an attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the crowd at the funeral for four French Jews killed in an attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture)

Herzog connects Paris to Har Nof

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog speaks at the funeral:

“A straight line connects the murder of the four Jews [in the Paris supermarket] to the bastards who penetrated the Har Nof synagogue and killed people at worship in their prayer shawls two months ago.

“Today we are all united in the knowledge: terrorism will not win, we will not let terrorism extinguish our light.”

Opposition head MK Isaac Herzog addresses the crowd at the funeral for four French Jews killed in an attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture)

Opposition head MK Isaac Herzog addresses the crowd at the funeral for four French Jews killed in an attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (screen capture)

Anti-Semitism has no place in France, Segolene Royal declares

French Minister of Energy and Environment Segolene Royal addresses the funeral gathering:

Today in Jerusalem I want to convey the deep condolences of France for the families of the victims.

I offer the deepest condolences of the French Republic which joins you in your hour of distress. France suffers today like you. Anti-Semitism has no place in France. This is also the message of millions of French people who were out in the streets on Sunday.

Royal bestows Order of Legion of Honor

“Each hit suffered by a Jew is a hit suffered by the French people. France boasts the first Jewish community in Europe. This is a point of pride. […] It is our duty to protect the place of the [Jewish] community in our country,” says Segolene Royal.

“In the name of the president of the republic, I grant you, Philippe Braham, Francois-Michel Saada, Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, the Order of the Legion of Honor.”

French Minister of Energy and Environment Segolene Royal speaks at the funeral of the Paris terror victims, in Jerusalem on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (photo credit: screen capture)

French Minister of Energy and Environment Segolene Royal speaks at the funeral of the Paris terror victims, in Jerusalem on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (photo credit: screen capture)

National anthem brings ceremony to a close

The crowd at the funeral rises to sing Hatikva after French minister Segolene Royal gives relatives of the victims the medal of the Legion of Honor.

Slain French police buried, Hollande attending

Victims of a wave of Islamist attacks in France are being buried as the Charlie Hebdo weekly hits back after the massacre of its staff with a front-page cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed under the banner: “All is forgiven.”

Draped in the red, white and blue of France’s flag, the coffins of three police officers killed during the attacks are carried at a solemn ceremony attended by President Francois Hollande as uniformed colleagues line a large square of the police headquarters in Paris. The ceremony takes place at the same time as the funeral ceremony for the four Jewish victims of the supermarket takes place in Jerusalem.

— AFP

Friend of Saada family says widow is ‘in pieces’

Gary Buchwald, a friend of the Saada family who flew in from Paris with the deceased and their families early Tuesday, tells AFP the impact of the attack was devastating.

“His wife is in pieces. They had to literally carry her to the plane. I am in shock like all of the French community in France,” he says.

“She won’t get over this. It is not three million people marching in the street who will change this reality: other attacks will happen,” he says.

“We only have two choices: either we fight back or we run.”

AFP

French Muslims urge calm over new Charlie Hebdo cover

French Muslim groups call for calm on Tuesday ahead of the release of the new issue of Charlie Hebdo magazine which features a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed under the headline “All is forgiven.”

The French Council of the Muslim Religion and the Union of French Islamic Organizations release a joint statement calling for Muslims to “stay calm and avoid emotional reactions” to the new issue, to be published on Wednesday.

The 'survivor's issue' of Charlie Hebdo, set to be published Wednesday, January 14, 2015. (YouTube screenshot)

The ‘survivor’s issue’ of Charlie Hebdo, set to be published Wednesday, January 14, 2015. (YouTube screenshot)

AFP

‘France must prioritize fighting terror’

Several thousand people, mostly French speakers and mostly young, were at the funeral. Entire busloads of young people came in from around the country. The predominant feeling was suspicion about whether France really understands the threat of terror.

Tanya Klein, who made aliyah four years ago, said, “France is not ready to see the war that’s going on.” Klein said she was doubtful whether the recent attacks would change anything. “The burden [of Islamic terror] is already in France and they need to make fighting it a priority.”

Another participant, Carol, made aliyah from France 30 years ago. “It was emotional to see the marchers on Sunday,” Carol said, but it was very much “of the moment” and will probably not have an impact.

— Renee Ghert-Zand

Terror victims laid to rest

The four terror victims of last week’s terror attack on a Paris kosher supermarket are laid to rest in Jerusalem, following a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Rivlin, opposition leader Herzog and French Minister of Energy and Environment Segolene Royal.

Jimmy Carter ties Paris terror to ‘Palestinian problem’

Former US president Jimmy Carter said on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” that “the Palestinian problem” is one of the causes of the violent terror attack during which four Jews were murdered in a Paris supermarket.

Carter was answering a question by Stewart on whether the violence stems from anything other than Islamic extremism.

“This aggravates people who are affiliated in any way with the Arab people who live in the West Bank and Gaza, what they are doing now — what’s being done to them. So I think that’s part of it,” Carter said.

File photo: Jimmy Carter seen during a press conference in Jerusalem on October 22, 2012. (photo credit: Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/Flash90)

File photo: Jimmy Carter seen during a press conference in Jerusalem on October 22, 2012. (photo credit: Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/Flash90)

US envoy’s ‘heart breaks’ over funeral

US Ambassador Dan Shapiro tweets that “the heart breaks” during the funeral of the four Paris terror victims in Jerusalem.

Danish Jews ask for police protection

Denmark’s main Jewish group on Tuesday calls for police protection for its school and synagogue in Copenhagen.

“With the situation being like it is, we believe it’s very clear that Jewish targets are a high priority for the terrorists,” the deputy chairman of the Jewish Community of Denmark, Jonathan Fischer, tells AFP.

— AFP

Egypt Muslim authority slams new Charlie Hebdo cartoon

Egypt’s state-sponsored Islamic authority on Tuesday denounced as a provocation the planned publication of another cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed in the new issue of French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

“This action is an unjustified provocation against the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims,” the Dar al-Ifta said in a statement.

— AFP

20% of Labor members vote so far in primary

On the day Israel’s eyes are focused on the funerals of four Jewish-French victims whose remains were flown in from Paris to be buried in Jerusalem, 49,000 Labor Party members were readying to vote in their party primary.

Members can vote for 36 candidates in 76 ballots across the country. Voting stations opened at 10 a.m. and by 2 p.m. around 20 percent of members had already cast their ballots.

The Labor list will presented on Wednesday at 11, and on Wednesday evening the party’s candidates for the next Knesset will be presented to the public at an official party event in Kibbutz Shfayim.

Former chairman of the Labor party, Shelly Yechimovich, seen during the Labor party preliminary electionson January 13, 2015. (photo credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Former chairman of the Labor party, Shelly Yachimovich, seen during the Labor primaries on January 13, 2015. (photo credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Sri Lanka sheikh tells pope, We must understand each other

Sri Lanka’s religious stripes were all on colorful display for a meeting of representatives of the major faiths on the island.

Traditional Hevisi drummers set the scene, followed by Buddhist chants, Hindu and Muslim benedictions, an ecumenical prayer by an Anglican bishop, then speeches by a Buddhist monk and Pope Francis, who was visiting as part of a 2-day Asia tour.

The scene was far different in 1995 when Buddhist leaders boycotted John Paul’s visit to protest his criticism of the Buddhist concept of salvation.

In a sign of belonging, Francis sported a saffron-colored robe over his shoulders. Such robes are a cultural sign of honor among Tamils, a mainly Buddhist ethnic minority in Sri Lanka.

The Muslim representative at the meeting, Ash-Sheikh M.F.M Fazil, used his speech to condemn the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. Extremists have used many religions as a shelter to cover their own evil deeds and lies, he said. “We need to understand each others’ faiths” and support each other to build a healthy nation, the sheikh said.

— AP

Kouachi brothers’ ex-mentor condemns attack

The one-time mentor of the Kouachi brothers, the terrorists behind the Charlie Hebdo massacre last week, says one of the brothers came to consult him recently and he expressed his disdain from acts of violence.

“Two months ago, Cherif came to me unexpectedly. With him, it was always the same subject of conversation. He always wanted to discuss the struggle with me. Good relations with his neighbors, how a good Muslim must conduct himself, he didn’t know all that. He also wanted to speak to me about the Merah affair, I told him I was against. It seemed like he accepted the criticism. Nothing could predict such acts,” Farid Benyettou, who has in the past been jailed for terrorist related offenses, told a French TV station.

Benyettou, training nowadays as a nurse, said he was “living proof” that France was not oppressing Muslims. “I have a criminal record difficult to understand. I was convicted for terrorism, it’s one of the worst cases. And despite this I was never discriminated against, on the contrary, people helped me. People continue to believe in me.”

French parliament observes minute’s silence

French lawmakers on Tuesday observed a minute’s silence for the 17 victims killed in Islamist attacks, in their first meeting since the deaths last week.

Afterwards, the MPs broke out into a rousing rendition of the “Marseillaise” national anthem.

— AFP

France will ‘never yield’ to terror, Hollande vows at ceremony

French President Francois Hollande laid the country’s highest decoration, the Legion d’honneur, on the coffins of three fallen police officers draped in the red, white and blue flag.

“Our great and beautiful France will never break, will never yield, never bend” in the face of the Islamist threat that is “still there, inside and outside” the country, said Hollande, surrounded by weeping families and uniformed colleagues.

— AFP

Next Charlie Hebdo also in Arabic and Turkish

The editor in chief of Charlie Hebdo says that the upcoming edition of magazine will “notably” be translated also into Arabic and Turkish.

— AFP

Next ‘Charlie’ issue to mock gunmen

The next issue of Charlie Hebdo will include cartoons by its murdered cartoonists.

An advance copy obtained by AFP contained cartoons mocking the two Islamist gunmen who carried out the attack. One has them arriving in paradise and asking, “Where are the 70 virgins?”

“With the Charlie team, losers,” comes the reply.

The remaining Charlie Hebdo staff who put the issue together said they wanted Mohammed on the cover to show they would not “cede” to extremists wanting to silence them.

— AFP

Jewish community mourns ‘child of Tunisia’

Yoav Hattab, 21, was one of four victims of the deadly terrorist attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris on January 9, 2015. (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Yoav Hattab, 21, was one of four victims of the deadly terrorist attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris on January 9, 2015. (Photo credit: Courtesy)

The loss of a “child of Tunisia” has plunged its small Jewish community into mourning after Yoav Hattab, son of a Tunis rabbi, was killed in last week’s jihadist attack on a Paris kosher supermarket.

Hattab, a 21-year-old who was in France for international business studies, had a bright future in front of him.

“Tunisia paid a heavy price” in the attacks which killed 17 people over three days in the French capital, said Jacob Lellouche, who runs a restaurant in the Tunis suburb of La Goulette and is president of a Jewish cultural organisation.

Apart from Yoav, who held Tunisian citizenship, other victims had their roots in the predominantly Muslim country, such as renowned Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Georges Wolinski, psychiatrist Elsa Cayat, who wrote a column in the French satirical weekly, and Francois-Michel Saada, gunned down like Hattab in the supermarket.

— AFP

Arms used in attack said to have come from outside France

A French police official says the weapons used in the terror attacks in France last week were acquired outside the country.

French police are seeking the source of the weapons.

Rotterdam mayor to Muslims: If you don’t like it here, f*ck off

Ahmed Aboutaleb, the mayor of Rotterdam and a Muslim whose father was an imam, addressed Dutch Muslims in uncompromising terms last week, on the day of the Charlie Hebdo terror attack.

A Labour politician and former government minister, Aboutaleb is known for his direct and sometimes rough language.

“It is incomprehensible that you can turn against freedom. But if you do not like freedom, in Heaven’s name pack your bag and leave,” said Aboutaleb.

“There may be a place in the world where you can be yourself,” he continued. “Be honest with yourself and do not go and kill innocent journalists. And if you do not like it here because humorists you do not like make a newspaper, may I then say you can f*ck off.”

Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb (R), chief-editor of Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad Christiaan Ruesink (L) and Frank Pauw (C) deputy chief constable of the police in Rotterdam observe a minute of silence in front of a banner reading 'I am Charlie' at Square 1940, in Rotterdam on January 8, 2015. (photo credit: Jerry Lampen/AFP)

Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb (R), chief-editor of Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad Christiaan Ruesink (L) and Frank Pauw (C) deputy chief constable of the police in Rotterdam observe a minute of silence in front of a banner reading ‘I am Charlie’ at Square 1940, in Rotterdam on January 8, 2015. (photo credit: Jerry Lampen/AFP)

Aboutaleb was voted mayor in 2008, and has repeatedly made headlines for his outspoken views on the integration of immigrants, including praise from London Mayor Boris Johnson.

“[His] is the voice of the Enlightenment, of Voltaire. We can and will protect this country against these jihadist thugs,” Johnson wrote in Monday’s Telegraph.

Printing press survivor saved by hiding under sink

Hiding under a sink for eight and a half hours – this is how Lilian Lepère, a 26-year-old graphic designer at the press in Dammartin-en-Goële, some 40 kilometers north of Paris, may have saved his life by hiding from the Kouachi brothers.

Lepère probably owes his life to Michel Catalano, his boss, who was taken hostage by the Kouachis and told Lilian to hide.

Speaking on France 2, Lilian said he needed courage to even look at his cellular phone, which was on silent as downstairs the terrorists were hoping to negotiate their release with Catalano’s life.

By sending police forces SMS though, Lepère supplied useful intelligence on the movements on the Kouachis. He told the TV station he only dared come out from hiding after he heard an exchange of fire downstairs, and realized the fight was over.

Lilian Lepère, who survived being taken hostage by the Kouachi brothers by hiding under a sink at a printing press outside Paris, speaking on France 2 about his ordeal, on January 13, 2015. (photo credit: Screen capture)

Lilian Lepère, who survived being taken hostage by the Kouachi brothers by hiding under a sink at a printing press outside Paris, speaking on France 2 about his ordeal, on January 13, 2015. (photo credit: Screen capture)

Merkel: Racism and extremism have no place in Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to join a Muslim community rally Tuesday to condemn the Paris jihadist attacks, promote tolerance and send a rebuke to a growing anti-Islamic movement.

“Hatred, racism and extremism have no place in this country,” she said in a speech earlier in the day. “We are a country based on democracy, tolerance and openness to the world.”

President Joachim Gauck was to address the event at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, organized by the Central Council of Muslims under the banner “Let’s be there for each other. Terror: not in our name!”

The ceremony will start at 1645 GMT with a wreath laying outside the French embassy, where the ground is covered with flowers, candles and condolence cards.

The wreath will be made of colored pens, a symbol of freedom of expression in honor of the 17 victims of the attack on satirical paper Charlie Hebdo and subsequent bloodshed that shook France last week.

— AFP

Merkel, German ministers at tolerance rally in Berlin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and most of her cabinet are present at a Muslim community rally to promote tolerance, and condemn and send a rebuke to a growing German anti-Islamic ‘Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident’ (PEGIDA) movement.

Members of PEGIDA held a rally on Monday where they held banners brandished with the portrait of Merkel wearing an Islamic head scarf.

From left to right (first row): President of the Bundestag Norbert Lammert, German President Joachim Gauck, Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany Aiman Mazyek, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, and representative of Germany's Muslim community Ayten Kilicarslan pay tribute to victims of the jihadist attacks in Paris against Charlie Hebdo during a Muslim community tolerance rally on January 13, 2015 in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. (photo credit: Tobias Schwarz/AFP)

From left to right (first row): President of the Bundestag Norbert Lammert, German President Joachim Gauck, Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany Aiman Mazyek, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, and representative of Germany’s Muslim community Ayten Kilicarslan pay tribute to victims of the jihadist attacks in Paris against Charlie Hebdo during a Muslim community tolerance rally on January 13, 2015 in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. (photo credit: Tobias Schwarz/AFP)

Hevra Kadisha to families: Pay NIS 50,000 for each grave

Hevra Kadisha, the Israeli burial society, is demanding that each of the families of the victims of terror attack at the Hyper Cacher kosher market in Paris pay NIS 50,000 ($12,600) for their burial in Jerusalem, after the families refused to have the victims buried in multi-story graves, Yedioth Ahronot reported.

Hevra Kadisha will receive the funds from the Jewish community in France. The Hevra Kadisha manager in Jerusalem, Hillel Horowitz, refused an offer by an Israeli-French businesswoman to cover the burial expenses on behalf of the families, the paper reported.

France declares war on terrorism after attacks

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Tuesday declared “war against terrorism”, as the satirical magazine targeted in last week’s jihadist killing spree hit back with a defiant issue featuring the Prophet Mohammed on the cover.

A rare outpouring of national unity in the wake of the attacks that left 17 people dead spread to parliament where a packed house gave a stirring rendition of the Marseillaise anthem, a first since the end of World War I.

The special sitting came after President Francois Hollande oversaw a solemn ceremony paying tribute to three police officers killed in France’s bloodiest week in decades, while four Jews shot dead in one of the attacks in Paris were laid to rest in Israel.

— AFP

France is at war against Islamist extremism, warns Le Pen

“France is at war against Islamist extremism,” Front National leader Marine Le Pen tells France’s Channel 2 in an interview Tuesday evening after the funerals of the four victims of Friday’s terror attack. “The first issue is to know who’s your enemy,” Le Pen says.

Hollande called during the rally for unity and was flanked on his left and right by Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA President Abbas. Le Pen’s absence was thus felt as sharply undercutting his message, especially as polls in September found Hollande at an all-time low and Le Pen topping the poll – a first for the right-wing party.

Front National leader Marine Le Pen interviewed for Channel 2, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. (photo credit: Screen capture)

Front National leader Marine Le Pen interviewed for Channel 2, on Tuesday, January 13, 2015. (photo credit: Screen capture)

I can be France’s next president, says Le Pen

“France is at war against Islamist extremism,” Front National leader Marine Le Pen tells France’s Channel 2 in an interview Tuesday evening after the funerals of the four victims of Friday’s terror attack.

“The first victory is to know who’s your enemy,” an energized Le Pen says. “We need to act forcefully.” Le Pen seems understandably energized by the passing week’s tragic events, since polls three months ago put her as leading candidate for president and a new surge in anti-Islamic sentiment in France can only add wind to the sails of the far-right FN party.

Having long called for a tighter control of immigration, Le Pen tells Channel 2 that “the clear understanding is that war was declared by Islamist fundamentalists. We must return to our hands the control of our borders: to know who enters and who leaves our territory. No responsible country can think to fight terror without controlling borders.”

Le Pen says she feels she “can be France’s next president. If I wasn’t convinced the solutions I bring are the only ones that can bring security, prosperity and protection of our identity – since I think every nation has a right and duty to protect its identity – I would not go into politics.”

There would be a modicum of irony if the first woman president of France would hail — of all parties — from a far-right, and some would say overtly fascist — political movement. FN was a fringe party until polls in September showed Le Pen overtaking Hollande as candidate for president, as Hollande was embroiled in scandals over a book written by his ex wife and a failed reshuffle of his government.

From Paris to beyond the Green Line?

There are opportunities to be found at every crisis: Outdoing PM Netanyahu’s call for French Jews to make aliyah, Housing Minister Uri Ariel penned a letter to the Yesha Council calling to settle all potential French immigrants in settlements across the Green Line.

Ariel instructed professionals in the Housing Ministry and Israel Lands Authority to draw plans to expand settlements and prepare for absorbing the French olim, Channel 2 reports Tuesday evening.

“There’s no doubt French Jews feel a deep identification with the Judea and Samaria settlement enterprise, and they will want to make their home there,” Ariel wrote.

With elections only two months away, French Jews felt ill at ease on Sunday between Netanyahu’s calls for immigration and French PM Manuel Valls assertion that “without French Jews, France is not France”. They probably feel even more queasy by Tuesday, when, in the wake of a very painful week, Ariel decided to use them as pawns in an electioneering game.

Labor list unveiled; Jewish Home vote begins

The Labor party list is announced on Wednesday morning, and female candidates Shelly Yachimovich and Stav Shaffir win the first spots behind party leader Isaac Herzog and Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni.

The full Labor-Hatnua list:

1. Isaac Herzog
2. Tzipi Livni
3. Shelly Yachimovich
4. Stav Shaffir
5. Itzik Shmuli
6. Omer Bar-Lev
7. Hilik Bar (reserved slot, party secretary-general)
8. Reserved Hatnua slot (likely Amir Peretz)
9. Merav Michaeli
10. Eitan Cabel
11. Reserved Herzog appointee
12. Erel Margalit
13. Micky Rosenthal
14. Revital Sweid
15. Danny Atar
16. Reserved Hatnua slot
17. Zouheir Bahloul
18. Eitan Broshi
19. Michal Biran
20. Nachman Shai
21. Reserved Hatnua slot
22. Ayelet Nachmias-Verbin
23. Yossi Yona
24. Reserved Hatnua slot
25. Reserved Hatnua slot

Read more about the Labor-Hatnua results here.

The Jewish Home party members were set to vote for the party’s Knesset slate Wednesday, even as a court challenge over voting procedures threatened to derail the primary election. Eyal Bar Lev and Daniel Bashari, party members, obtained a court injunction Tuesday to halt the vote, but on Wednesday morning the Lod District Court rejected their claims and allowed the vote to go ahead as planned.

Some 77,000 party members are eligible to vote on the party list, which has 37 candidates competing for realistic places in the 20th Knesset.

Read more about the Jewish Home primaries here.

Nearly half of British hold anti-Semitic views — poll

Almost half of British Jewish people fear they have no long-term future in Britain or Europe, while nearly one in two British people hold anti-Semitic views, a pair of surveys published on Wednesday shows.

A poll of 2,230 British Jewish people by the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA) found that 45 percent feared Jews have no future in Britain, and 58% were concerned they have no long-term future in Europe.

A second survey, conducted by pollster YouGov for the CAA, found anti-Semitic views to be common among British people.

Of the 3,411 adults surveyed, 45% believed at least one statement defined as anti-Semitic.

AFP

Read more on this story here.

Border cop killed after gun discharges

A 19-year-old Border Policeman is killed after his friend’s gun went off in what appears to be an accident.

The cop is named as Avi Grunov. Police open an investigation into the circumstances of his death.

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