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Police Release Details on Suspected Gunman in Copenhagen Attacks

By VOA News & DEBKAfile

Danish police shot and killed a man early Sunday suspected in the slayings of two people in Copenhagen since Saturday, in what the country's prime minister calls a "cynical act of terror against Denmark."

Authorities said the Denmark-born 22-year-old alleged gunman was fatally shot after he opened fire on officers near a train station. His previous criminal record included violence and weapons offenses, according to police. Officials said no evidence suggests other gunmen were involved in the shootings, one at a free-speech event and the other outside a Copenhagen synagogue.

In the first attack, a gunman with an automatic weapon killed one person and wounded three police officers at a cafe. Danish media identified the deceased as film director Finn Norgaard, 55.

In the second incident, outside the main synagogue in central Copenhagen, a young man was shot in the head at close range and two police officers guarding the building were injured. The gunman ran from the scene on foot.

Dan Uzan was guarding a bat mitzvah ceremony when he was killed and two police officers wounded in the synagogue shooting. Standing in front of the temple, Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt offered condolences on Sunday.

"Our thoughts go to the whole of the Jewish community today. They belong in Denmark, they are strong part of our community. And we will do everything we can to protect the Jewish community in our country," Thorning-Schmidt said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the deadly attacks. The United States condemned the attack at the cafe, calling it deplorable. We remain in communication with Danish authorities and have offered to be of assistance in any way needed," State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The Danish police have named the perpetrator of two Copenhagen terrorist attacks Saturday night, costing two lives and injuring five policemen. Omer Abd al-Amir Hossein, 22, a Muslim born and raised in Denmark was shot dead in a firefight with police at the northern Copenhagen Metro. He had a criminal record and recently served time in prison.

The man killed in a shootout with police at a Copenhagen metro was on Danish intelligence service radar before he attacked a café and synagogue and killed two people Saturday night, Jens Madsen of the Danish Security and Intelligence service (PET) told reporters Sunday. He may have been inspired by ISIS propaganda and the attacks in Paris last month

Israel Calls for Mass Jewish Immigration after Denmark Attack

By VOA News & Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called for "massive" Jewish immigration to Israel in the wake of the shooting at a synagogue in Copenhagen that left a 37-year-old Jewish security guard dead in the attack.

Speaking Sunday at the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said Jews deserve to live in security in every country, but he questioned whether Europe could provide it. He said anti-Semitic attacks "are expected to continue in Europe… where Jews are being murdered because they are Jews." The prime minister blamed the attacks on Islamic extremists. Addressing the Jews of Europe as "our brothers and sisters," Netanyahu said, "Israel is your home."

Netanyahu made a similar appeal to French Jewry in January after the terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris. And many French Jews are responding, saying they no longer feel safe amid a growing wave of anti-Semitism. About 7,000 Jews from France immigrated to Israel in 2014 and officials said that number is expected to rise to 10,000 this year.

But Israel's appeals for the immigration of European Jews have not been well received by their host countries. Leaders in France said Jews are an integral part of French society and history and they should remain in the country.

In Denmark, the chief rabbi expressed disappointment with Netanyahu's remarks. The rabbi said that "terror is not a reason to move to Israel." Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt vowed her country will "do everything we can to protect the Jewish community."

In Yemen, a few worried families are all that remain of that nation's ancient Jewish community, and they too may soon flee after a Shi'ite Muslim militia seized power in the strife-torn country this month.

Harassment by the Houthi movement - whose motto is "Death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory to Islam" - caused Jews in recent years to largely quit the northern highlands they shared with Yemen's Shi'ites for millennia.

But political feuds in which the Jews played no part escalated last September into an armed Houthi plunge into the capital Sanaa, the community's main refuge from which some now contemplate a final exodus.

Around six Yemeni Jews from the same family arrived in Israel on Friday, members of the community told Reuters. "Since last September, our movements have become very limited for fear of the security situation, and there are some members of the community who preferred to leave Yemen," sighed chief rabbi Yahya Youssef, sitting in his apartment within a walled compound next to ministry of defense.

Dressed in the traditional Yemeni flowing robe, blazer and headwrap, Rabbi Yahya's lined face is framed by two long curls on each side. Along with Hebrew he and his co-religionists speak Arabic, value local customs and are wary of life beyond home. "We don't want to leave. If we wanted to, we would have done so a long time ago," Yahya said as his infirmed old father rested in the sun outside their home.

Jews evacuated from the Houthi stronghold of Saada province in 2009 to the government-guarded compound have dwindled from 76 to 45. A group of 26 others live in a city north of the capital. Their total number is down from around 200-300 just a few years ago and now makes up a tiny fraction of Yemen's 19 million-strong population.

Yemen's Jewish community numbered over 40,000 until 1949, when Israel organized their mass transfer to the newly-established state. Those who stayed say they had lived in peace with their neighbors in the Muslim Arab country.

Boredom and isolation reign at the Jews' lodgings in their unlikely ghetto in a luxury enclave called "Tourist City" near the now-evacuated United States embassy. Cut off from the carpentry and metalworking shops that were their renowned trade for centuries, residents now subsist on small government allowances that they say barely meet their living costs.

Young men who venture into the souk often tuck their distinctive curls up into their headwraps for fear of bullying. Boys are no longer eager to grow them in the first place. The local Houthi official now responsible for the surrounding neighborhood visited Rabbi Yahya on Thursday to offer reassurances, according to a Reuters correspondent who was present.

"Jews are safe and no harm will come to them," said Abu al-Fadl, who like other leaders in the movement goes by a nom de guerre and not his given name. "The problem of the Houthis is not with the Jews of Yemen but with Israel, which occupies Palestine," he added. But memories of death threats and Houthi fighters burning down Jewish homes during the militia's decade of on-off war with the now nonexistent Sanaa government will not be soon forgotten.

Israel-linked organizations have in the past repeatedly helped whisk Jews out of Yemen, but Israeli government spokespeople declined comment on the matter, citing reluctance to endanger Yemen's Jews by association with Israel. "There are certainly discussions going on over options available regarding the Yemenite Jews," said an Israeli official briefed on immigration matters.

But these are individuals who will have to make their own individual decisions about what to do," the official added. Safety may not be the only concern for the deeply conservative community though, who fear life in Israel or elsewhere will be an affront to their traditional values. "In Israel, the girls rebel against their fathers, and we fear for our daughters. I could not accept that my daughter might come to me one day and tell me that she was married to her boyfriend," Rabbi Yahya said. "This is not permissible in our religion."

Government Approves Slimmed-Down Plan to Encourage Immigration


The Israeli government approved on Sunday a plan to encourage immigration from France, Belgium, and Ukraine, following the rise in anti-Semitic attacks in western Europe and the war in Ukraine.

The plan, which includes improvement of the system for absorbing immigrants, will be allocated NIS 180 million – significantly lower than the original sum suggested in an Immigration Ministry proposal. The plan aims to bring about a "significant increase" in the number of immigrants by boosting Hebrew studies, holding immigration fairs, and posting more immigration officials in those countries, according to a government statement.

The plan was designed to bring a large influx of immigrants from the aforementioned countries, and involves the Ministries of Immigrant Absorption, Education, Economy, Welfare and Social Services, Interior, and Health.

A recent ADL poll in Denmark found relatively low levels of anti-Semitic attitudes among the general population. According to the ADL Global 100 Survey, fielded in late 2013 and early 2014, only 9% of adults harbor anti-Semitic attitudes in Denmark, the same level as found in the United States and one of the lowest findings in Western Europe.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and the Jewish Agency, there has been a large increase in the number of people considering immigrating to Israel, especially Jews in France and Ukraine. The Jewish Agency's call center in France received 69,000 applicants, 84,000 in 2014, and more than 11,000 in January 2015 alone. Ukraine had 13,000 applicants call in 2013, 15,000 in 2014, and more than 1,300 in January 2015.

American Officials Deny Obama Admin is 'Punishing' Israel


Senior officials in both the State Department and White House denied on Sunday evening reports in the Israeli media that the Obama administration is "punishing" Israel for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress and has stopped sharing information with Israel about the nuclear talks with Iran.

The report on Channel 2 News stated that Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, who is in charge of the nuclear talks with Iran, has announced that she is no longer briefing Israel about the talks, because the Israeli government is using the information in a manipulative and political way.

Susan Rice, Obama's national security adviser, has also announced that she is cutting off contact with her Israeli counterpart, Yossi Cohen, because Israel has turned an international security issue to a political one, and is using it to influence internal U.S. politics, reported Channel 2.

Senior Obama administration officials denied the reports as false and told the Washington Free Beacon that conversations with Israel are ongoing. "Conversations continue with Israel on the Iran nuclear negotiations," a senior State Department official who asked not to be named told the website. "And Secretary Kerry continues his conversations with Prime Minister Netanyahu about this issue, as has always been the case," the senior official continued.

The speech that Netanyahu will give before Congress at the beginning of next month has brought to light the tensions between Israel and the United States, as the White House has made clear that neither President Barack Obama nor Secretary of State John Kerry would meet Netanyahu while he is in Washington, explaining that American policy is not to meet foreign leaders on dates that are close to national elections in their countries. Furthermore, Vice President Joe Biden has announced that he will be travelling abroad during the joint session of Congress and will not be present when Netanyahu gives his speech.

Controversy over Nationalists' 'Eternal Jew' Video


The grassroots Samaria Regional Council has produced a highly controversial animated video that shows leftist groups that "tattle" on Israel and the IDF in a way similar to how Nazis depicted Jews in their anti-Semitic propaganda. See

The video's message is that while leftists may think that Europe has changed since the Holocaust, the Europeans see them in the same way that they saw Jews in those dark days – as they pay them money to betray their countrymen.

It is called "The Eternal Jew?" – just like the title of the infamous 1940 Nazi propaganda film, but with a question mark at the end. The video shows a hook-nosed figure accepting repeated payments of Euros from a German-accented master for carrying out various provocations that are used in leftist-controlled media to portray Israel in a bad light: from sawing down trees in order to blame "the settlers," to manufacturing faux news reports about supposed IDF cruelty and abuse of Arab human rights.

The video ends with the German master suggesting that the Jew "take care" of himself – and the Jew ending his own life.

Dani Dayan, the former head of the Yesha Council, an unofficial organization of Judea and Samaria local leaders, attacked the Samaria Regional Council for creating the video. "As a resident of Samaria for 26 years, I wish to state again that this council does not represent me. I am convinced that it does not represent most of the residents of Samaria," he wrote on Facebook.

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett said that while he agrees with the video's content, he finds its style to be wrong. Europe does, indeed, fund leftist organizations that harm IDF soldiers, he said, "and groups like B'tselem and Yesh Din collect information on IDF soldiers and pass it on to the enemy and the Goldstone report."

Incitement works both ways in Israel, he noted. "Not a day goes by in which I do not receive messages that I am a fascist, a murderer," said Bennett, reminding his audience of an appearance before the Ha'aretz Conference in which he was attacked physically.

He added that he opposes making censorship of content on the internet stricter, saying: "We need to tolerate the things that are hard to bear. I oppose using Nazi images regarding what is happening in Israel," he stated, however. "The Holocaust was a singular event."

The Samaria Regional Council's head, veteran Samaria settlement leader Benny Katzover, told Army Radio that he had "censored" some elements in the video and that the version uploaded was actually softer than the original. However, he noted – "we included some sharp elements in it on purpose."

"There were even more extreme images in there, because the image of leftist organizations that woo the greatest anti-Semites is despicable, but we know that the Israeli ear is sensitive to overdoses, so we made it more delicate," he explained.

"The video is about the shameful phenomenon in which Israeli leftist groups receive funding from anti-Semitic Israel-hating elements in Europe," Katzover told Channel 2. "What would you call a Jew who collaborates with them? A lowly 'Jew-boy' whose acts need to be publicized, so that maybe he will stop them."

"The huge nose is an anti-Semitic motif," Katzover admitted, and we used these motifs because these are lowly 'Jew-boys' who are able to receive their payment from anti-Semitic elements. The Jewish nose is their symbol and they are the ones who want to continue what Nazi Germany started, and finish off the state of Israel – and it is a disgrace that there are Jews who are ready to collaborate with them."


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