“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Attacked

Over In Syria And More.

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Khaled Abu Toameh has had some thoughts on Syria:

“Just as Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Seif ul Islam, was once praised as the new, liberal and democratic hope of Libya, so Bashar was projected eleven years ago as representing a new generation of Arab leaders willing to break away from a dark and dictatorial past.

But the events of the last few days in Syria, which have seen unarmed demonstrators gunned down by government forces, prove conclusively that when push comes to shove, Bashar is actually not all that different from his late father. As some of his critic comment, “The apple does not fall far from the tree.”

His handling of pro-democracy protests that have erupted in several Syrian cities since March 15 is a reminder that Bashar is a dictator who, like Colonel Gaddafi and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh, will not surrender power gracefully.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal several weeks ago, Bashar boasted that the Tunisian and Egyptian models did not apply to his country and that there was no fear for the survival of his regime. He was right in the first part of his analysis: both neither the Egyptian nor Tunisian presidents chose to fight their people to the last drop of their blood.

But the second part of his analysis is faulty: Syria is far from immune from the political tsunami of popular uprisings currently sweeping through the Arab world.

Syrian human rights organizations have expressed deep concern over the Syrian authorities’ ruthless and brutal crackdown. They note how in many instances children under the ages of 15 were arrested by the notorious “mukhabarat” secret service for allegedly painting anti-government graffiti on city walls.

In another incident that took place in the southern Syrian city of Daraa, Bashar unleashed his commandos against peaceful worshippers who were staging a sit-in strike in a mosque; he killed dozens and wounded many others.

Syrians are asking: Will the son go as far as his father in stamping down on all protests? The public has not forgotten the terrible events of 20 years ago in the city of Hama, when government forces using artillery and air power killed an estimated 20,000 civilians. “

Reuters’ live coverage on the Middle East is useful.

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Attack on Crete’s Only Surviving Synagogue.

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I must say a hearty thanks to one of my readers, Stepan, who provided a link to the Manchester Evening News and an update on that awful attack on a synagogue in Crete.

Manchester Evening News reports:

“A ROYTON man is one of two from Greater Manchester arrested in connection with arson attacks on a medieval synagogue in Crete.

Craig Forsyth, aged 23 and Ricky Bryan, 33, who is believed to be from Manchester, were held last week after the historic Etz Hayyim – Crete’s only surviving synagogue – was targeted twice this month.

The attacks, which destroyed thousands of rare books, manuscripts and heirlooms, caused outrage around the world.

A 24-year-old Greek man and a US national were also arrested and quizzed over the incidents, which took place in the coastal town of Hania.

Another American is still being sought, according to local police.

The first fire happened on January 5, but it was the second attack on January 16 which caused extensive damage to artwork and the interior of the building.

The Etz Hayyim synagogue, which dates back to the Middle Ages, is the only surviving Jewish monument on the island of Crete.

It was restored in the late 1990s and is regarded as a tourist attraction.”

Written by modernityblog

03/02/2010 at 15:18

British Nightclub Waiters?

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The Guardian has a perplexing story:

“Two British nightclub waiters have been arrested after arson attacks on a historic Jewish synagogue on the Greek island of Crete which have drawn condemnation from around the world.

The men, aged 23 and 33, are in custody alongside a 24-year-old Greek man after the restored medieval Etz Hayyim Synagogue in the port city of Hania, one of the most noted Jewish temples in Greece, was twice set alight this month.

The fires, which destroyed 2,500 rare books and manuscripts, sparked alarm among the 8,000 Jews in Greece. The US state department said the attacks were “clearly intended to intimidate and terrorise Greece’s Jewish community”.

The arsons were the latest of several incidents of antisemitic vandalism across Greece, including attacks on synagogues and cemeteries in Larissa, Volos, Thessaloniki, Ioannina and Athens.

During the first fire, on 5 January, a bottle with flammable liquid was found, according to witnesses. That fire was extinguished. But another, on 16 January, destroyed books and computers as well as causing considerable damage to art work and to the interior of the building, which is Crete’s only synagogue.

The 33-year-old Briton, who has not been named, is accused of being the perpetrator of that second attack but denies the charges. The Greek man and 23-year-old Briton are accused of keeping watch. Two US citizens are being sought in connection with the first attack, with the three detained also accused of involvement, said local police.”

Written by modernityblog

23/01/2010 at 00:37