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France: Jewish Couple Assaulted in Suspected Anti-Semitic Attack

By & Reuters

French police have arrested two men in the city of Creteil after a young couple were assaulted in a suspected anti-Semitic incident, the European Jewish Press (EJP) reports, citing the French newspaper Le Parisien. The two suspects, both adults, are in police custody for questioning while a third suspect is still being sought.

The attack occurred on Monday, when three men armed with a pistol and a shotgun stormed the home of a Jewish family in Creteil, located east of Paris. After knocking on the door of the apartment and then breaking in, they demanded money and uttered anti-Semitic insults. One of the sons in the family, 21 years of age, was there at the time with his 19-year-old girlfriend while the parents were away.

One of the assailants proceeded to withdraw money from the nearest ATM with the couple's stolen debit cards while the two others remained in the apartment with the couple. The duo then raped the woman and tied up the young man. After hearing the screams, a neighbor called the police.

A witness told the French channel BFMTV that the men in question, who reportedly knew the residents of the apartment, were looking for the Jewish man's younger brother, who works in a Paris shop, believing he would be carrying large sums of money. "My brother and his girlfriend's feet and hands were tied and their mouths were taped shut," the younger brother said. "The assailants were pointing at them with guns."

"At one point, they even put one [of the guns] on my brother's lap, who was unable to move. They shouted and insulted them as they ransacked the apartment. Everything was destroyed in every room," the young man told BFMTV. The parents of the victims have filed a complaint with the police for the violent attack and the its "aggravating anti-Semitic nature," according to EJP.

Following the brutal attack, the European Jewish Congress (EJC) expressed shock and horror and called for a robust and immediate government response and a plan of action to combat anti-Semitism in France. "Once again Jews have been violently targeted and attacked," said EJC President Moshe Kantor. "Unfortunately, it appears that it is `open season' on Jews in France following so many recent violent attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions going all the way back to the brutal torture and murder of Ilan Halimi."

"We call for the issue of anti-Semitic attacks to be placed at the forefront of the French government's agenda and it requires an immediate response and plan of action to rid France of this scourge and allow Jews to feel safe once again," he added.

The EJC called on police and public authorities to enhance security at Jewish institutions and to protect the Jewish community. France has seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitism in recent years, and it flared particularly during this past summer's Operation Protective Edge, with violent protests in Paris. In one incident, hundreds of Muslim extremists attacked a major synagogue in Paris, provoking clashes with Jewish youths who rushed to defend the site and worshippers trapped inside.

A rise in anti-Semitism has also been seen in Germany, Belgium and Holland. British Jewry was also left shaken following a 400% increase in anti-Semitism overall.

Terror Victim Directed Medics Treating Him after Stabbing Attack


Israel National News has obtained an audio recording of the Magen David Adom paramedic who was wounded in Wednesday's stabbing in a Mishor Adumim Rami Levy store calling the MDA number, 101 - Israel's equivalent of 9-1-1.

During the conversation, the paramedic can be heard briefing civilians nearby how to handle the attack. Listen: I am injured in a Rami-Levy in Mishor Adumim; I am a medic from Jerusalem," the medic says to the hotline operator. "There was an attempt at a terror attack here - I was also injured - someone stabbed me from behind and on my side, I have a fracture in my hand. "The operator then attempts to speak, but he cuts her off.

"Listen," he continues, "the [attacker] went crazy inside the Rami-Levy supermarket in Mishor Adumim." Loud voices can suddenly be heard in the background. "He ran," the medic explained. "I don't know where he ran to and it could be that the scene is now empty [of terrorists - ed.]. I am trying to understand what is going on."

The medic then wrestles verbally with the operator, trying to explain to her that he cannot access the exit to see whether or not the terrorist had been apprehended. The operator then tells him that the terrorist has been injured and apprehended and that the scene has been secured.

The medic responds by telling her that he "is trying to get closer to see what is happening, and you [the hotline] aren't helping me here. There is at least one other injury here," he continues, "apparently in the leg. I can't see if there are any more at the entrance." He then describes his own injuries. "I believe there were gunshots, I am trying to clarify what happened," he then states, emphatically.

He calls over the other injured man, and they explain to the operator that they are attempting to hobble over to the entrance of the store and report their injuries - and what happened to them - together. The medic then tracks down a police officer at the scene and begins to explain what happened, trying to direct other officers and medics to the other injured man, who is suffering a concussion. He can also be heard instructing his own medics on how to treat him and attempting to bring calm to the victims and other witnesses, even as the noise level and chaos in the background escalates.

At approximately 4:20 pm Wednesday, a terrorist - later revealed to be a 16-year-old from the Arab village of Al-Azariya - entered the superstore and began stabbing shoppers, injuring the two men. The stabber was later apprehended by an off-duty security guard at the scene. Two other suspects were arrested in connection to the attack, Walla! News reported some four hours after the fact, and at least one is a suspected accomplice who worked at the Rami-Levy branch.

Burqa-Clad Attacker Murders American Teacher in UAE


The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Interior has released footage of the prime suspect in the murder of an American teacher Monday, after the 37 year-old mother of two was stabbed with a sharp object in a public restroom. See

The problem: the apparent attacker was wearing a full-length veil, or burqa, as well as gloves and face cover - rendering the footage somewhat useless. The footage - which oddly enough comes with a dramatized soundtrack, courtesy of Abu Dhabi police - shows the hooded figure enter an elevator, in the mall, then leave as chaos ensues, at roughly 1 p.m. local time. It then shows evidence from the scene of the crime - but little else.

The victim, a kindergarten teacher, died in Sheikh Khalifa Medical City after being rushed there with serious injuries from stab wounds, the Abu Dhabi police stated Monday. The police have now taken custody of her twin children.

On Monday, the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi confirmed it is working with "all appropriate authorities" to seek further information about the attack, but added that "there is no information available at this time about the nature of the crime." Information on the crime is so sparse that Abu Dhabi dubbed the attacker the "Reem Island Ghost."

The murder was committed just weeks after the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi issued a warning over an anonymous post on a Jihadist website encouraging attacks against American teachers. The October 29 statement said that "U.S. citizens residing in or visiting the UAE should remain vigilant regarding their personal security" - but added that it was "unaware of any specific, credible threat against any American or other school or individual in the United Arab Emirates."

The crime also reflects the growing use of face veils in violent crime. Just last week, two armed men robbed a Toronto jewelry store, using the veils as a cover - both to gain access to the store and to prevent their identification after the fact.

CDC: Male Circumcision Benefits Outweigh Risks

By Reuters

The benefits of male circumcision outweigh the risks, according a long awaited draft of federal guidelines from U.S. health officials released on Tuesday, which indicate that scientific evidence supports recommending the procedure.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that medically performed male circumcision could help decrease the risk of contracting HIV and several other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as other health problems.

The recommendation, which includes counseling parents of male newborns on the benefits and risks of the procedure, comes at a time when the rate of male circumcision has been decreasing in the United States. From 1979 through 2010, the national rate of newborn circumcision declined 10% to 58%, according to the CDC.

The procedure, which has been subject of fierce debate, involves cutting the foreskin around the tip of the penis. "These recommendations are based on an evaluation of available information on the health risks and benefits associated with high-quality, medically performed male circumcision and were developed to pertain to men and male newborns in the United States," the document said.

Several studies conducted in Africa indicated that circumcision could help reduce the spread of the virus that causes AIDS. All uncircumcised adolescent and adult males who engage in heterosexual sex should be informed about the significant, but partial, efficacy of male circumcision in reducing the risk of acquiring HIV and some STIs through heterosexual sex, as well as the potential harms of male circumcision, the draft guidelines said.

The overall risk of adverse events associated with male circumcision is low, with minor bleeding and inflammation cited as the most common complications, according to a CDC fact sheet. The draft recommendations are subject to a 45-day public comment period and a formal external peer review. Comments provided will be considered before recommendations are finalized, CDC said. The agency said it developed the draft guidance based on a systematic review of all evidence on the health risks and benefits of circumcision and consultation with experts in HIV prevention and related fields.

Not All Fun and Games in Hizbullah Children's Magazine

By AFP &

It's aimed at children, but instead of princes and princesses, fairies and magicians, the heroes of Lebanon's "Mahdi" magazine are the "fighters who fell resisting the Israeli enemy."

Produced by Lebanon's Hizbullah movement for the last 11 years, Mahdi aims to teach a new generation the militant Shiite group's ideology of "resistance" to the Jewish state. Packed full of stories inspired by the lives of Hizbullah militants, its cartoons represent bearded fighters and its puzzles teach children how to avoid Israeli landmines.

Critics accuse it of glorifying violence, but its publishers insist the monthly magazine is not about indoctrination or military propaganda. "What we want to do is teach children the values of the resistance," the magazine's general manager Abbas Charara told AFP.

"We don't encourage carrying of weapons, we're just making sure they know about the exploits of the resistance," he added. "We tell them: `Just as these great people resisted and were victorious, so too can you resist and be victorious, and that starts with your education'."

The magazine is part of broad youth outreach—schools, scout troops and summer camps—for Hizbullah, the powerful movement that detractors accuse of being a "state within a state" in Lebanon. Established in 1982 by Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Hizbullah has been a key nemesis for Israel.

The group carried out numerous attacks against Israeli forces during their 22-year occupation of Lebanon, which ended in 2000 with a withdrawal that Hizbullah claimed as a victory. In 2006, Hizbullah's abduction of two Israeli soldiers prompted a massive military response by the Jewish state, but it failed to deal a death blow to the militant group.

The group is the only party in Lebanon that failed to disarm after the country's 1975-1990 civil war, and it remains a powerful political and military institution, with supporters revering its leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Mahdi is named after the ninth-century Imam al-Mahdi, the last of 12 imams venerated by Shiite Muslims who believe he will reappear as a savior at the end of the world. One recent edition of the magazine featured stories set in the three decades when Israel occupied southern Lebanon.

One told of a fighter who detonated a bomb against an Israeli patrol in his occupied village, another of a "hero" Amer, who confides in his mother that he will participate in "a martyrdom operation." Amer blows himself up, killing and wounding 25 Israeli officers and soldiers, and his name is not revealed until 2000, when Nasrallah praises his bravery.

Hizbullah's strong Iranian influence is also reflected in the magazine, with the Islamic republic's founder Ayatollah Khomeini hailed in its pages in a feature on "the best leaders." Critics have said the magazine exposes children to violence and teaches them that their identity as Shiite Muslims takes precedence over being Lebanese. "It goes too far in making guns and violence part of the kids' imagination. It's something really dangerous," said Fatima Charafeddine, an author of children's books. The magazine also emphasizes "religious identity with virtually no mention of their Lebanese identity," she told AFP.

Charara said Mahdi is not exclusively focused on religious and political issues, noting its articles on figures like Alexander the Great, Victor Hugo, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison. Still, there is little ambiguity to a game encouraging children to color in grenades and automatic weapons, nor to a puzzle in which readers draw a route around mines and bombs left by the Israelis in south Lebanon.

The magazine's monthly circulation of 30,000 issues includes three editions—one aimed at four-to-seven-year-olds, one at eight-to-12-year-olds, and one for 13-to-17-year-olds. Eight-year-old Zahraa, who was born while her father was fighting in Hizbullah's ranks against Israel in 2006, told AFP she enjoyed Mahdi's "stories on the resistance and fun games. I like the stories about imams, and especially those talking about victory," the veiled girl added, a smile on her thin face.

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