The bodies of the four Jewish men killed in Friday’s terror attack in Paris are being flown to Israel for burial on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Israeli politics returns to center stage, with resignations and comebacks. The Times of Israel liveblogged developments through Monday.
Netanyahu at scene of supermarket attack
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at the scene of an attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris, where four Jews were killed on Friday in a terror attack.
The prime minister, accompanied by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, want to “pay homage” to the victims by conducting a brief ceremony, according to a statement.
Netanyahu has expressed his gratitude to Lassana Bathily, a Muslim employee of the supermarket who had saved many of the store’s clients by hiding them from Amedy Coulibaly.
Herzog calls PM’s conduct in France ‘symptomatic’ of his rule
Labor leader Isaac Herzog says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acted correctly by deciding to go to France to take part in a rally for the victims of Friday’s terror attack, but behaved wrongly in the hours leading to his decision to go.
Speaking to Ynet, the Labor leader says this is “symptomatic” of Netanyahu’s governance and warns viewers that another term with Netanyahu as prime minister will bring “more of the same.”
“I think the decision to go was correct. But everything that happened before it, all the wrong decisions… There is something also to the fact that the French were not enthusiastic about this aggressive entrance to the stage, they wanted to keep it a French event, a European event.
“France, the same France that Netanyahu rushed to, is the country that led a difficult diplomatic campaign for Israel at the United Nations Security Council. This is not going to change. Israeli-French relations are a symptom of the problem of our standing in the world under the rule of Benjamin Netanyahu.”
Herzog also criticizes Netanyahu’s call to French Jews to make aliya: “It’s about walking a fine line. Aliyah is a dear aspect of Zionism and an inherent part of our life here, but one must be careful because it’s not the French government or French democracy that waged war on the Jews – it’s segments within the population.”
Dieudonné declares, ‘I am Coulibaly’
In an apparent paraphrase of the “Je suis Charlie” solidarity campaign that began after the terror attack on the headquarters of a satirical French magazine last week, anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonné declares his admiration for the terrorist who murdered four people at a kosher supermarket in Paris last Friday.
Dieudonné wrote on his Facebook page after the 1,500,000 strong “march against hatred” in Paris: “As far as I am concerned, I feel I am Charlie Coulibaly.”
Dieudonné M’Bala M’bala, 48, came to international attention 12 months ago as the originator of the “quenelle,” a reverse Nazi salute, after the footballer Nicolas Anelka performed the gesture during a Premier League match.
HyperCacher victim had lost aunt to terror
Yoav Hattab, one of the victims of the terror attack on the HyperCacher kosher supermarket in Paris on Friday, is not the first victim of his family to be killed in a terror attack.
Hattab’s aunt Yehudit Buchris was killed when she was 14 years old in a terror attack on the Ghriba synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba on October 8, 1985.
According to Ynet, Yehudit’s mother made aliyah 15 years after the attack. Yehudit’s remains were brought for burial in Israel six months ago.
New Charlie Hebdo issue to ‘obviously’ feature Mohammed
The new “survivor’s issue” of satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which is scheduled to be printed on Wednesday in a run of a million copies instead of the usual 60,000, will “obviously” contain more caricatures of Islam’s prophet Mohammed, the magazine’s attorney Richard Malka tells French radio station France Info.
“We won’t give up on anything,” says Malka. “The mood evoked by ‘Je suis Charlie’ also means the ‘right to blaspheme’,” says Malka.
The special Wednesday edition of the magazine will be sold throughout the world, after the magazine made deals with distributors outside France. Work on the next issue “is complicated” because of time management, with “burials taking place throughout the week, but it is progressing, it will be completed this evening,” Malka adds.
PM urges Europe to ‘wake up’ about terror
Netanyahu, visiting the scene of the terror attack at a Paris kosher supermarket, says that Europe should support Israel in its fight against terrorism the same way that Israel supports Europe.
“There is great significance to what the world has seen, the Israeli prime minister marching along with all the world’s leaders in a united effort against terrorism. The terror strikes that we have experienced here will grow to dimensions people do not yet understand, and this is why I hope Europe will unite, I hope it will wake up in time. Israel supports Europe in its fight against terrorism and it’s time Europe supported Israel in the same fight,” says the prime minister.
J.K. Rowling mocks Murdoch for his ‘all Muslims’ tweet
British author JK Rowling, of Harry Potter fame, condemns media mogul Rupert Murdoch for a tweet saying “all Muslims” must be held responsible for a recent wave of terror attacks in France even though “most Muslims” are peaceful. Murdoch says Muslims must recognize and destroy the “Jihadist cancer” in their midst.
Rowling responds dryly: “I was born Christian. If that makes Rupert Murdoch my responsibility, I’ll auto-excommunicate.”
I was born Christian. If that makes Rupert Murdoch my responsibility, I'll auto-excommunicate. http://t.co/Atw1wNk8UX
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 11, 2015
Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible.
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) January 10, 2015
PM on FB: I’ll see to it that Israel stays safe
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will always be “in the first line of countries” regarding taking care of its security. He’s apparently alluding to critical comments by some Israeli journalists about his having elbowed his way into the front row of the linked-arm march in Paris yesterday.
Writing on Facebook, the prime minister says “a direct line connects extremist Islam attacks throughout the world and the attack that took place” in the HyperCacher supermarket in Paris last week.
“I expect all leaders, after we marched together in the streets of Paris, to fight terror wherever it strikes, also when it is against Israel and Jews. So far as it depends on me, I will always see to it that Israel marches in the first line of countries regarding its security and future.”
Zaka prepares terror victims’ bodies for burial
ZAKA volunteers in Paris complete their work preparing the terror victims for burial and transfer to Israel on Monday afternoon.
Dieudonné to be probed for ‘inciting terrorism’
French prosecutors say they are investigating notorious French comedian Dieudonné for “inciting terrorism” after he posted a Facebook comment that could be interpreted as sympathizing with one of last week’s attackers in Paris.
“Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly” (“Sachez que ce soir, en ce qui me concerne, Je me sens Charlie Coulibaly”), the comedian wrote, playing on the expression “Je suis Charlie”, adopted as the rallying cry after shootings at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people died.
Gunman Amedy Coulibaly killed five people in two other Paris attacks, four of them in a kosher supermarket.
The comedian made international headlines in 2013 when the footballer Nicolas Anelka was banned for five matched by English football authorities for using a hand-gesture created by Dieudonné which many see as anti-Semitic.
Israel to lead UN discussion on anti-Semitism
UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa has accepted an Israeli initiative and a request by 40 other member countries to hold a special discussion on anti-Semitism at the UN.
Forty countries joined the request signed by Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, including the US, Canada, Australia, Rwanda, Panama, Andorra and all members of the EU including France, the UK and Germany.
The US, Canada and an EU delegation alongside Israel will lead the day-long discussion, slated to take place on January 22. The event will be streamed live on the UN’s website.
Jewish-French thinker and publicist Bernard-Henri Levy already confirmed his participation in the event.
Prosor said that “the new year opens with tragic anti-Semitic incidents, one of the old issues refusing to die out, on the UN’s agenda. The UN’s mission is to fight such phenomena and it is its duty to offer ways to cope with such incidents. I am proud that many countries around the world joined Israel’s request to discuss this issue, in order to put an end to a phenomenon that should have, by now, been learned in history class and not receive painful headlines in morning papers.”
Pictures emerge of hostages who hid in freezer
The French police officers who killed the terrorist who held hostages at the Paris kosher supermarket fired 40 bullets at him when they killed him, according to The Daily Mail.
The officers were exhausted after working for 50 hours straight but were spurred on by the thought of avenging their colleague Ahmed Merabet, an officer who was killed two days earlier during the attack on the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine.
The Mail also published pictures of the Jewish hostages who hid inside a freezer in the store and were thus saved. See the pictures here.
Mosques vandalized around France
A fire, probably of criminal origin, broke out briefly Sunday night at a mosque under construction in central France, officials say, the latest in a series of attacks on Muslim targets.
The fire at the mosque in Poitiers was extinguished before firefighters arrived, and according to local officials appeared to be the work of arsonists.
A mosque in the eastern city Aix-les-Bain was seriously damaged by arsonists Thursday night while another fire targeted a mosque in the southwest town of Albi.
In Corsica Friday night, bodies of wild pigs were dumped outside Muslim prayer halls, according to police, and the building housing the island’s main Muslim organization near Ajaccio was painted with the slogan “Arabi fora” (“Arabs out”).
A mosque in the Basque city Bayonne was defaced with green spray-painted racist slogans making reference to the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
The Poitiers mosque has also been attacked by vandals who spray-painted “Death to Arabs” on the gate Thursday. Following Sunday’s fire, the site will be placed under police guard.
PM didn’t push his way forward in Paris march
The order of world leaders marching in a rally commemorating the victims of last week’s terror attack in France was defined strictly in advance, according to Paris Match.
The piece in the prestigious magazine contradicts reports which were widely repeated in the Israeli media that suggested that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “elbowed” his way to the front row.
Places were decided by a consideration of role (head of state, prime minister, king etc.) Thus French President Francois Hollande is flanked on his left by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who stands just next to PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, and on his right by the president of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who himself stands next to Netanyahu.
French PM Manuel Valls and former president Nicolas Sarkozy were placed in the second row, due their lower rank compared to persons of higher rank and leaders who are currently in office.
Sarkozy, according to Paris Match, was pushed by the crowd to the front row when the cameras were filming, but the officially sanctioned order was restored when the world leaders stood for a moment of silence.
Clip claims to show terrorist’s wife entering Turkey
A short video posted by Turkish newspaper Haberturk reportedly shows Hayat Boumedienne, the spouse of Amedy Coulibaly, the terrorist who killed Jewish shoppers in the attack on the Paris supermarket.
Likud calls Herzog criticism of PM’s Paris trip ‘cynical’
Likud officials lashed out at Labor leader Isaac Herzog, saying that his criticism of Netanyahu’s trip to Paris was cynical and intended for his own political benefit.
“Instead of standing as a fortified wall for the State of Israel during these days, difficult for the entire Jewish community, Herzog chose to cynically and blatantly exploit the event in order to make political gains at the expense of the country and the Jews in the Diaspora.
“Herzog’s words are the perfect evidence of what the Israeli public can expect if a left-wing government is established after the election – a government that will be limp and irresponsible, toeing the line for foreign interests instead of forcefully insisting on defending Israel’s interests,” the Likud officials were quoted by Ynet as saying.
There actually was a world leader who elbowed his way to the front…
Israeli media, including this publication, insistently reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu pushed his way into the front row of a rally commemorating the victims of last week’s terror attacks, whereas PA President Abbas was given a prize spot walking next to Germany’s Merkel.
All the reports flew in the face of a Paris Match piece saying the places in the front row were decided in advance.
The reports were apparently based on a mixture of misunderstanding video clips from the rally and some Israeli pundits’ deep-seated political animosity to the Likud leader.
But there was one (former) world leader who actually did push his way to the front: Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy then found a place between Netanyahu and Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. A hashtag, #JeSuisNico, ridicules Sarkozy for the move.
The French Brain magazine responded with a meme consisting of pasting Sarkozy into historical events from the landing on the moon to the fall of the Berlin wall.
It’s possible Sarkozy’s struggle into the front row included some “elbowing” involving Netanyahu, and this was gleefully pounced upon by the prime minister’s critics in Israel.
French terror victims’ bodies to arrive overnight
The coffins of the four victims of Friday’s terror attack will land in Israel overnight Monday, ahead of a state funeral that will be held for them Tuesday afternoon.
Attending the ceremony will be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, opposition leader Isaac Herzog and other ministers, MKs and rabbis.
Also attending will be French Energy and Environment Minister Segolene Royal, who ran in the 2007 presidential election but lost to Nicolas Sarkozy.
Lapid slams PM in Paris as ‘uncouth Israeli’
It’s election season in Israel and this means political knives out: Like others disregarding the fact that the cutter-in-line during the Paris rally for the terror of victims was former French president Sarkozy and not Netanyahu, former finance minister and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid cites Netanyahu’s conduct during the rally as “exemplifying for the world the uncouth Israeli, the Israeli who cuts in line, and this is a shame.”
“It comes in two parts: First part is that it’s good that we have senior representation during such an event and Israel’s voice is heard loudly and clearly, The second part is that we were yesterday exposed to the behavior of the impolite Israeli. An Israeli prime minister cutting in line is impolite,” Lapid says.
He continues: “This is exactly how Netanyahu behaved with the Americans when he began, little by little, to demolish our relations with the US, and I don’t want this to happen with Europe.”
Lapid says he decided not to go himself to France because Israel was overrepresented.
US CENTCOM Twitter account hacked by IS supporters
The twitter account of the US Military’s Central Command, CENTCOM, has apparently been hacked by supporters of the Islamic State. Tweets from jihadi activists who took over the account included what looked like the phone numbers of senior US officers and operational plans regarding China and North Korea.
CENTCOM Twitter account suspended after IS hack
The CENTCOM Twitter account that was apparently hacked by activists affiliated with Islamic State has been suspended.
Pope Francis: Extremists eliminate God, use Him as a pretext
Pope Francis condemns “deviant forms of religion” that are used to justify violence, and says that “religious fundamentalism, even before it eliminates human beings by perpetrating horrendous killings, eliminates God himself, turning him into a mere ideological pretext.”
The global leader of Roman Catholicism says the attacks were the result of a “throwaway culture,” where human beings and God are rejected outright.
The brother of Ahmed Merabet, the Muslim police officer killed by the Charlie Hebdo gunmen, pleaded with people not to mix up Muslims and extremists, saying madmen have no race or religion.
“My brother was Muslim and he was killed by people who pretend to be Muslims,” Malek Merabet said. “They are terrorists — that’s it.”
US CENTCOM YouTube account also hacked by IS activists
Islamic State activists who hacked the US Central Command’s Twitter account also hacked CENTCOM’s YouTube account.
White House says erred in not sending official to Paris
The White House says it erred in not sending higher level official to anti-terror march in Paris.
Earlier the State Department said US Secretary of State John Kerry would have gone, and wanted to, but couldn’t. It calls criticism of Washington for not sending a senior official “unfair.”
Just now. State Department calls criticism of U.S. for not sending top officials to yesterday's Paris march "unfair."
— Charlie Kaye (@CharlieKayeCBS) January 12, 2015
Likud hopeful Michael Ratzon appeals primaries results
Former Likud deputy minister Michael Ratzon appealed the results of primaries in the Likud party, following irregularities at a ballot in Or Yehuda. Ratzon joins a long list of candidates who have appealed the results.
Ratzon claims that clips filmed during the primary in Or Yehuda — and exposed yesterday — show that he did not receive a single vote, even though the people who examined the ballots can be heard saying his name several times. “This should ring an alarm bell,” Ratzon said.
Judge Menahem Neeman, head of the interior Likud election committee, said the issue will be discussed in the coming days.
Herzog may give up reserving slot for ex-general on Labor list
Labor leader Isaac Herzog may decide ahead of the party primary — scheduled for Tuesday — not to reserve a slot on the list for a person from the security-military establishment, officials at the party told Channel 10 TV.
Herzog and Tzipi Livni may not necessarily totally forgo a military personality, but — in order to appease many of the candidates in the primary — they have decided not to set aside a high slot in the list for one.
Labor’s list contains many pre-reserved slots, and the two positions in the top ten (Nos. 2 and 8) reserved by Livni for herself and for Amir Peretz mean that veteran Labor MKs may be elected to slots that may not necessarily be realistic for a Knesset seat, considering the party’s performance in the polls.
IsraAid marks 5 years of providing assistance to Haiti
IsraAID volunteers are still on the ground in earthquake-hit Haiti, working closely with communities affected by the disaster.
Monday marks five years since the earthquake struck on January 12, 2010.
Did senior French cop kill himself over Charlie Hebdo attack?
The death last week of Helric Fredou, a high-ranking police commissioner from Limoges who was in charge of the Charlie Hebdo massacre investigation — and who turned his police-issued rifle on himself Thursday — was cited by several media outlets (here and here in French) as related to the terror attack.
Fredou met with relatives of one of the victims of the attack on the satirical magazine (which would seem to be routine practice for a top officer investigating a case) before he turned his gun on himself.
Unmarried and childless, Fredou was reportedly overworked and exhausted. French police issued a statement lamenting his passing, but have not officially linked his suicide to the terror attack, even though — in a French-language Canadian paper — he was hailed as the “13th victim” of the attack.