Sunday, May 25, 2014

Belgium: Four murdered in attack on Jewish Museum in Brussels

Hours after the attack, Flemish media was still careful to inform viewers that this might, just might, be an actual attack (but we still can't be sure).

Please note: Belgian media published pictures which in Israel would be considered insensitive towards the victims.  Assume links might contain photos.  Additionally, news-reports from Belgium, even this morning, are quite confused.  I collected the last-minute reports from various sources.

Update: Belgian news sources had reported four people were killed, but Belgian authorities say only three were killed, and one was in critical condition.

Update 2: I'll be adding more info as I find it.

VTM report: "Attack" on Brussels Jewish Museum

The victims:
- An Israeli couple in their 50s, who were touring in Belgium
- A Jewish French citizen in her 60s, volunteer at the museum
- A Jewish Belgian citizen, born in Israel, a 23-year old employee of the museum, was critically injured in the attack. He died from his wounds two weeks later.

The shooter shot the victims in the head and neck without saying a word, then fled.

Belgian police quickly arrested a man seen driving away from the scene, but later established he was not connected to the shootings.  All Jewish institutions in Belgium and the Netherlands are on high alert.

"First anti- Jewish attack in Brussels since World War II"

Maurice Sosnowski , President of CCOJB, the umbrella group of Jewish organizations in Belgium, said that this was the "first anti- Jewish attack in Brussels since World War II", a factoid quickly reported by any journalist who did not bother to check the facts.

The truth is that the Brussels Jewish community (and in fact, the CCOJB) have been the target of several terrorist attacks:
* In 1972, an Israeli diplomat was lured to a cafe and shot to death
* In 1982, four people were injured in an attack on the synagogue in Brussels
* In 1989, Dr. Joseph Wybran, recently elected chairman of the CCOJB, was assassinated

In addition, a child was killed and 16 injured in an attack against Jewish children in Antwerp in 1980.  A year later three were killed in an attack on a synagogue.  Then there were several attempted attacks: In Brussels in 2002 and in Charleroi, in 2003 and 2008.

And that was the result of five minutes of Googling.  All, or at least most, of those attacks were committed by "anti-Zionist" Muslims.

Israel: Result of antisemitic and anti-Israel incitement

Israeli officials placed the blame on antisemitic and anti-Israel incitement.  Incidentally, I reported two such cases just this Friday, by both politicians and anti-Israel activists.
"This act of murder is the result of constant incitement against Jews and their state. Slander and lies against the State of Israel continue to be heard on European soil even as the crimes against humanity and acts of murder being perpetrated in our region are systematically ignored. Our response to this hypocrisy is to constantly state the truth, continue a relentless fight against terrorism and build up our strength," the Prime Minister said. 
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman blamed anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli incitement for inspiring the attack. Those who call for a boycott against Israel and those who act against Israel in international forums have contributed to this incitement, Liberman said.  
Recent anti-Semitic incidents in Kansas, Toulouse, and this evening in Brussels, should be a flashing warning signal to all those who cooperate with such incitement by rushing rushing to condemn Israel and by comparing building a home for a Jewish family in the land of Israel with the cruel and murderous terrorist activity of anti-Semites,” Liberman said

Haaretz jumps to conclusions, blames local Muslims

Israeli left-wing paper Haaretz hurried to speculate that this was a 'lone shooter' attack by the local Muslim community, and not an international operation (which apparently scares left-wingers).  

Haaretz pointed out that there was some planning involved, as the museum is the only Jewish-linked target in the city which does not have security. Written before the identity of the victims was publicized, they also wrote that the fact that the attack occurred on a Saturday, when fewer Jews will visit the place, shows the attackers didn't completely think it through.

"We didn't want to create an atmosphere of fear"

The museum's spokesperson says that security is minimal. "Most of the visitors are not-Jewish and we didn't want to create an atmosphere of fear".


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