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Syrian President Bashar Assad Photo: Reuters
Syrian President Bashar Assad Photo: Reuters
 
 

Syrian Jews: Talk to Syria now

Head of Brooklyn's Jewish-Syrian community calls on PM to talk to Damascus; Jewish Diaspora press roundup

Yaakov Lappin
Published: 11.24.06, 14:09 / Israel Jewish Scene

The head of New York's Jewish-Syrian community, Jack Avital, has blasted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for failing to "check the sincerity" of Syrian President Bashar Assad's peace overtures, the New York Jewish Week reported.

 

"Maybe we should remind you that if any Arab leader is sending signs of peace maybe the slightest ones you should respond. You should

immediately check his sincerity and seriousness. You do not have the moral permission to avoid him. You must do it for the sake of those you may demand to sacrifice their lives in case war commences," Avital was quoted as saying to Olmert in a letter.

 

The letter, described by the Jewish News as a "surprising move," came after Syrian Ambassador to the United States Imad Moustapha told the Jewish News: "Once peace talks between Syria and Israel start, all issues will be on the table. We repeat: We are offering full recognition and full relations in this peace process. They (the Israelis) have nothing to lose. We are very clearly saying, we want to talk to you; we want to have peace."

 

"We had excellent relations in the past with Iran . But it did not prevent us from seriously working on a peace agreement with Israel," the Syrian ambassador added.

 

UK Muslim leader lends support to Holocaust denier 

Meanwhile, Britain's Jewish Telegraph, which covers the north of England, reported that the founder of the radical Muslim Public Affairs Committee in the UK (MPACUK) has faced calls for a media boycott of him, after raising money for the notorious Holocaust denier David Irving.

 

According to the Telegraph, Asghar Bukhari appealed for Muslims to "stand shoulder to shoulder" with Irving, and offered funds for Irving's trial defense in 2000.

 

"In a special Podcast on the MPACUK website, Bukhari claimed he did not know at the time that Irving was anti-Semitic," the Telegraph reported.

 

Bukhari also described an article about his support of Irving in the Observer newspaper an "organized and malicious pro-Zionist campaign."

 

"The Zionist Federation led calls for media organizations to snub Bukhari after the revelations," the Telegraph reported.

 

Synagogues re-established in Estonia, Germany 

The Jews of Tallinn, Estonia, will soon be able to pray in a new synagogue, the first to be established since World War II," the American Jewish Press said.

 

"Work on the ultramodern synagogue which began in 2005 next to the Estonian Jewish Community Center and school is almost completed," the report added.

 

"'I believe it will be one of the nicest synagogues in Europe ,' said Estonia's Chief Rabbi Shmuel Ko. 'After 60 years without a synagogue in this country, it's a big thing not only for Estonia and Jews, but for all of Europe,'" the report said.

 

The Jewish Press added that "virtually none of the more than four thousand Jews who remained in Estonia during World War II survived."

 

The article also noted that "the opening of a new synagogue and community center in Munich to mark the 68th anniversary of Kristallnacht is no indication that German anti-Semitism is a thing of the past. Neo-Nazis attempted to blow up the foundation stone of the synagogue (to which there had been strong local opposition before it reached the building stage)."

 

It added, "East Germany in particular has a burgeoning neo-Nazi movement. Shouting 'sieg heil,' a gang of 16 neo-Nazi youths desecrated a memorial to the infamous events of Kristallnacht in Frankfurt an der Oder, on Germany's border with Poland."

 

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