Archive for November 14th, 2011

“ANTI-SEMITIC VANDALISM IN BROOKLYN SPARKS COMMUNITY OUTRAGE” by Fern Sidman

Monday, November 14th, 2011

In the early morning hours of Friday November 11th, vandals set fire to several parked cars and scrawled anti-Semitic graffiti on nearby benches in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood of Midwood in Brooklyn in what the police said was a hate crime.

The arson took place along Ocean Parkway between Avenue I and Avenue J in what is commonly referred to as the Flatbush section, where three cars; a BMW, a Lexus and a Jaguar, were set ablaze. In addition, the epithet “KKK” was scrawled on the side of a red van, the police said, and swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs could be found on benches.

“The violence – I’m calling it violence when you blow up three cars – adds a sickening dimension to this type of anti-Semitism,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who lives two blocks away and represents the 48th assembly district. He said he regularly walked past the benches with his 90-year-old mother to Sabbath services. “We walk down Ocean Parkway every single week,” Mr. Hikind said. “All I could think about was my mother sitting on a bench with a swastika. She survived Auschwitz.” Mr. Hikind said that this area of Brooklyn, including Midwood and Borough Park, contains one of the largest concentrations of Holocaust survivors outside of Israel.

The Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is involved in the investigation and Mr. Hikind said the police promised to increase their presence in the neighborhood. “The fact that this most recent attack came on the heels of the 73rd anniversary of Kristallnacht may or may not be a coincidence,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said in a statement in response the episode in Brooklyn. “Either way, this kind of hateful act has no place in the freest city in the freest country in the world.”

“Somebody had to have seen something,” remarked Hikind. “Even the tiniest detail that may seem irrelevant could prove to be a vital piece of information to the investigation. It is simply impossible that three cars were set on fire in the middle of a residential neighborhood and nobody saw anything. To the cowards who did this, who are responsible for this vicious and depraved anti-Semitic act, I say, ‘we will hunt you down and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law for this hate crime.’”

Since Friday, the reward for credible information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this heinous crime has increased by $25,000. The monies were put together by both Mr. David Ben-Horeen, publisher of The Jewish Voice, as well as other leaders of the community, and $1000 by NYC council member David Greenfield. The reward now stands at $30,000.

As of Sunday afternoon Police police had made no arrests The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said dozens of empty beer bottles were found at the scene. He said they would be tested for fingerprints and DNA samples. Police in the 66th Precinct bolstered patrols in the neighborhood; especially the scene of the attack.

Separately, the police said Friday that they had arrested a man accused of scrawling swastikas in five incidents last week in Jackson Heights, Queens. The man, Franco Rodriguez, 40, spray painted the symbols on the doors of several local libraries and a Catholic church, the police said.

On Sunday, November 13th, about 100 Midwood residents along with elected officials staged a peaceful protest march on Ocean Parkway past the four public benches from which the 16 swastikas had been removed after the pre-dawn attack Friday. Carrying an Israeli flag, the marchers were led by Mr. Hikind, State Senator Eric Adams, Rabbi Chaim Gruber, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel and other community leaders. “There was a time when vandals used magic markers to express hate; now they’re using gasoline,” Adams said.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer condemned the vandalism during an unrelated event on Sunday. “It’s disgraceful and they should throw the book at the people who did it,” Schumer said. “Sometimes vandals think they’re pranks, sometimes they’re more malicious than that. Either way they cause great harm.”

Protesters noted the attack occurred one day after the 73rd anniversary of Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany on Nov. 9-10, 1938, when synagogues were set on fire and the windows of Jewish-owned shops were broken. Sunday’s march also included about 25 people from the Occupy Wall Street movement in Manhattan, which put out a statement condemning the vandalism. The mix of people who showed up for the march “shows that we stand together against hatred. And it makes residents here feel better,” Hikind said.

The NYPD has established special hotlines for tips. Anyone with information concerning Friday’s incident is urged to call 718-265-7327 or 718-265-7387. All calls will be kept confidential.

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

“What’s Going on in Oklahoma ?” by Todd Strandberg

Monday, November 14th, 2011

We’ve had a remarkable year for the occurrence of natural disasters. It is amazing how many records were set in just the past eleven months. If the world lasts another decade, any flood, tornado, or earthquake event in the U.S. will have to use the year 2011 to judge its historic significance.

The most striking headlines that I keep seeing are the ones that read “hundred-year” flood, tornado, or earthquake. I’ve even seen some events given the title “five-hundred-year.” If the cycle is one hundred or five hundred years, it makes me wonder why they keep happening every year. I remember the great flood of 1993 was given the title of “one hundred-year flood.” Now, eighteen years later, we have another flood that is eight decades too early.

Last week, Oklahoma was struck by a large earthquake. The 5.6 trembler was centered near the town of Sparks, and it sent out shockwaves that were felt as far away as Wisconsin. This was the most powerful quake in the state’s history. The previous record was a 5.5 magnitude earthquake that struck near the town of El Reno in 1952.

Oklahoma is not known as a geologically active state. It typically only had about fifty earthquakes a year until 2009. In the past three years, the number of quakes has dramatically spiked, with 1,047 quakes shaking the state last year. The increase has prompted researchers to install seismographs in the area.

The breaking of records often causes the media to highlight other recent records. An ABC News report stunned me as the reporter listed four records that have occurred since February in Oklahoma. After doing some research, I found two more records. Here is the list:

Most snow – In February, a snowstorm dumped 11.8 inches on Oklahoma City and 13.2 inches in Tulsa, shattering the all-time daily snowfall records for February in both cities.

Coldest temperature – The Oklahoma Mesonet weather station at Nowata reached -31° F on February 10. The low set a record for the whole state.

Tornadoes – April had more tornadoes than in any previous year. This is a remarkable record for a state that is in the bull’s eye of tornado alley.

Highest wind – In May, Doppler radar detected the highest wind speeds ever recorded in Oklahoma. An EF5 tornado was found to have winds of 318 miles per hour.

Hailstones – On May 23, a supercell thunderstorm in Kiowa County produced a record hailstone that measured six inches in diameter.

Record heat – Oklahoma City had the hottest average temperature summer on record (June thru August) – 87.5 (2011). The previous record was 85.9° set in 1934.

Drought – Year-to-date, Oklahoma has had its driest year since 1921.

Terry and I have joked with some our friends who live in Oklahoma. I’ve requested a notice if sulfur and brimstone start falling from the sky. Some folks have started using the term “Oklageddon.” All kidding aside, I don’t think the people of the Sooner State have done anything special to invoke God’s wrath. After all, the weather has been perfect out in San Francisco. You would think the Lord would cause the so-called gay capital of America to slide into the ocean before He would go after a Bible-belt state like Oklahoma.

There may actually be a divine connection to all the natural disasters taking place in Oklahoma. Rather than being a form of judgment, the events of this year may be part of God’s end-time warning plan. Jesus said the sign of the Tribulation hour’s nearness would be an increase in calamities. He said these birth pangs would lead right up to the very end.

What is remarkable is that few people are asking the question, “What is going on in Oklahoma and other parts of the world?” Earlier this year, Japan was hit by the largest earthquake in recorded history. Here in Arkansas, we had the most powerful earthquake in thirty-six years. In August, a 5.8 quake rocked the East Coast of America. Forget about prophecy; I don’t even see people looking for natural reasons to explain why we are having so many quakes.

Jesus warned that there would a profound state of apathy about end-time signs right ahead of His return. The profound lack of attention to these warning events would seem to indicate that we are at the saturation point of apathy, and that the Rapture must be very near.

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness” (2 Peter 3:10-11).

— Todd

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