Entries in Jewish (5)


Gun in French School Shooting Linked to Prior Attacks

Gilles Bouquillon/Getty Images(PARIS) -- The French government has confirmed that the gun used to kill three French paratroopers last week is the same gun that a shooter used to fire on a Jewish school in Toulouse Monday morning, killing four, including a 30-year-old rabbi and his two children.

The shooter, who arrived and fled from the Ozar Hatorah school on a scooter or a motorcycle, "shot at everything he could see," according to local prosecutor Michel Valet.

The dead included Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, who taught at the school, his 3- and 6-year-old sons Gabriel and Arieh, and the school headmaster's 8-year-old daughter, according to the Israeli newspaper Ynet. Sandler, a French-Israeli national, had left Israel last September to begin a two year teaching stint at the school, according to the Le Parisien newspaper.

A 17-year-old and two other students were seriously wounded.

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French interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet confirmed to ABC News that the same gun was used in two other incidents where a shooter targeted his victims while driving a motorcycle in the same area. Last Sunday, a paratrooper out of uniform was killed by a gunman on a motorbike outside of a gym in a suburb of Toulouse.

On Thursday, two soldiers were killed and a third wounded by a shooter on a scooter as they used an ATM in Montauban, about 30 miles away.

The same .45 caliber handgun was used in the shootings last week and Monday morning. All the paratroopers targeted were of North African descent. French media is also reporting that the same stolen Yamaha scooter was used in the school shooting and in last week's attack.

Police say they have locked Toulouse down as they hunt for the killer, and the government tightened security at all religious sites in France, particularly Jewish schools. Sixty police officers, including anti-terrorist police, are helping with this investigation after they had already begun examining the attacks on the troops.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is running for re-election, immediately flew to Toulouse, which is about 425 miles south of Paris.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Omar Sharif Jr. Comes Out as Gay, Half-Jewish: "Am I Welcome in Egypt?"

Jason Merritt/Getty Images (NEW YORK) -- The grandson of two-time Golden Globe winning actor Omar Sharif “hesitantly confessed” in an article published Sunday that he is gay and half Jewish, and worried about being welcome in Egypt.

Omar Sharif Jr. wrote in The Advocate, “I write this article in fear. Fear for my country, fear for my family, and fear for myself. My parents will be shocked to read it, surely preferring I stay in the shadows and keep silent, at least for the time being. But I can’t.”

Sharif expressed his disappointment at the recent parliamentary elections, writing that the revolution gave him hope for a “more tolerant and equal society,” but now he is not as hopeful.

“The vision for a freer, more equal Egypt — a vision that many young patriots gave their lives to see realized in Tahrir Square — has been hijacked. The full spectrum of equal and human rights are now wedge issues used by both the Supreme Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces and the Islamist parties, when they should be regarded as universal truths,” Sharif wrote.

“I write … for fear that Egypt’s Arab Spring may be moving us backward, not forward,” he wrote.

The Jerusalem Post noted that Sharif’s mother is Jewish, making him fully Jewish according to rabbinical tradition.

Sharif wrote that admitting he has a Jewish mother is “no small disclosure” for an Egyptian.

“With the victories of several Islamist parties in recent elections, a conversation needs to be had and certain questions need to be raised. I ask myself: Am I welcome in the new Egypt?  Will being Egyptian, half Jewish, and gay forever remain mutually exclusive identities? Are they identities to be hidden?”

Sharif, an actor like his grandfather, left Egypt in January 2011, just before the revolution. He now resides in the United States.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama's Israel Policy Takes Hits But Unlikely to Alter Jewish Vote

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Republican presidential candidates slammed President Obama’s Israel policy in successive speeches before the Jewish Republican Coalition on Wednesday, using a slew of recent off-the-cuff comments on Israel by administration officials as ammunition for their attacks.

Rep. Michele Bachmann accused Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for showing “disdain” toward Israel when he demanded last week that they “get to the damn table” to restart peace talks, and she blasted U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman of “justifying anti-Semitism” in a speech before the European Jewish Union, according to excerpts of her remarks.

Mitt Romney charged Obama with “chastising” Israel, raising the controversy over Obama’s 1967 borders speech in May, and “insulting” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in private comments to French President Nicolas Sarkozy caught by an open mic last month.

“These actions have emboldened Palestinian hardliners who now are poised to form a unity government with terrorist Hamas and feel they can bypass Israel at the bargaining table,” Romney said.  “President Obama has immeasurably set back the prospect of peace in the Middle East.”

Rick Santorum even predicted the situation has given Republicans an edge, with ”Jews all across this country now understanding that the values of the Republican Party are in concert with theirs, and we’ve seen a dramatic growth in Jewish involvement in the Republican Party.”

But while the Republicans’ politically charged claims might help rally conservative primary voters, including Jews, there are few signs their comments on Israel will alter the longstanding Democratic allegiance of the Jewish voting bloc headed into 2012.

Polls show Obama, who won 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008, according to exit polls, retains strong support among American Jews, even if his standing has slipped compared to where it was four years ago.

Among Jews in Israel, Obama’s favorability has even been on the rise, according to a Saban Center for Middle East Policy poll released last week.  Fifty-four percent of Israeli Jews have a favorable view of Obama, up from 41 percent last year.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hamas: Didn't Mean to Fire on Israeli School Bus

Uriel Sinai / Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- Hamas said Saturday that militants did not intend to target an Israeli school bus that was hit two days ago by a Hamas-fired rocket. A 16-year-old boy was critically wounded in the attack and the bus driver was moderately wounded.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused the Islamic group Hamas, which rules Gaza, for crossing the line. Israeli officials said that because the bus was yellow, it should have been easily identifiable to anyone firing a rocket. They said they did not think it was likely that the bus would have been hit by accident.

Since then, Israel has engaged in a series of retaliation strikes on various Hamas targets.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Arabs Earn Less, Work More than Israeli Jews

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ISRAEL) – Despite working longer hours, Israeli Arabs earn less than their Jewish counterparts for the same work, according to data released by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry and the Central Bureau of Statistics.

In 2007, Arab employees earned an average monthly gross wage of NIS (Israeli new shekel) 5,410 compared to the NIS 7,885 earned by Jewish employees, despite Arab men working 3.8 hours longer each week.

Arab households also earned less monthly, NIS 8,818 compared to the NIS 14,242 earned by Jewish households.

Although employment figures were about the same for men, only 22 percent of Israeli Arab women were employed in 2007, compared to 66.6 percent of Jewish women.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio