Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tajikistan's Only Synagogue Is Attacked Again
















Tajikistan's only Synagogue Is attacked again.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Once again the world is silent as Jews are persecuted and hounded into leaving another country. Over 2,ooo years of Cultural history don't seem to count for much nowadays.
Where is the World outrage??
For the second time in a month, vandals this past week, attacked the last remaining synagogue in the city of Dushanbe, capital of the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan, in what is believed to have been an attempt to set the building on fire.

"Last Wednesday, two youths approached the synagogue and hurled a Molotov cocktail into the courtyard, which burst into flames," David Gourevich, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement's chief rabbi of Central Asia, told The Jerusalem Post by phone from neighboring Uzbekistan, where he is based.
"Two elderly Jews who were inside at the time saw the youths and began to chase them, but they managed to get away," he said, adding that local police were called but failed to intervene.
The incident marked the second time in the past month that the synagogue has come under attack, the rabbi said.
On August 18, unidentified assailants started a fire in the building and fled the scene. The flames damaged some curtains before being extinguished. The perpetrators were never caught.
"The authorities are refusing to provide protection for the site, and say that it is the Jewish community's responsibility to pay for security," Gourevich said. "But the community does not have any money to pay for guards or security on its own."
The Dushanbe synagogue garnered international attention earlier this year, when Tajik authorities announced plans to raze it in order to make way for the expansion of a presidential palace.
The Synagogue has already been partly demolished,the destruction ceased after ProtestsIn February, demolition teams began tearing down the century-old synagogue, but halted in the wake of an international outcry, though not before they had managed to destroy the community's mikve, an office and a classroom.
The US government, various Jewish organizations, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) had all pressed Tajikistan not to knock down the country's sole Jewish house of worship.
But the fate of the synagogue continues to remain uncertain. According to Gourevich, there has been no change on the ground in the intervening six months.
"When I visited Dushanbe a few months ago, I met with the city's chief architect as well as with other officials," he said. "They told me they were going to draw up plans for an alternative site for a synagogue in the city, but as far as I know, this has not yet happened.
"Nonetheless, I told the authorities it would be better if the synagogue were left in place," the rabbi said. "If world Jewry showed more of an interest, it wouldn't be touched."
It is unclear if the two attacks on the synagogue in the past month are connected with the controversy over the government's desire to demolish the building.
Gourevich noted that services continue to be held at the synagogue on the three days a week - Mondays, Thursdays and Shabbat - when the Torah is read.
He also noted that he recently received official permission from the Tajik government to open a Chabad-Lubavitch office in Dushanbe, and that he is now looking for a full-time emissary, and financial support, to staff it.
Some 350 Jews, most of whom are elderly, still reside in Dushanbe. "Virtually no young people remain, and most members of the community are either ill or destitute," said Gourevich, who sends a shohet to the city once a week to provide kosher meat for them. "They too are Jews, and we have to help them," he saidGourevich added that he hopes to visit the community before Rosh Hashana to assess the current situation.
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BagelBlogger:
Don't allow the world to be fooled by this. This isn't just ' a long steady escalation of anti semitism' it appears even more sinister. The Tajikistan authorites have been trying to destroy the few remaining elements of Jewish Infrastructure. Is it a co-incidence that 'youths' are trying to burn the last remaining Synagogue, I fear there may be more behind this than meets the eye. This the same Synagogue that the Tajikistan Authorites wanted to pull down for palace extensions! This is the Synagogue which just happens to be where a Presidential Palace is being planned/built.
Intimidation and Oppression.The Authorities have tried to bully the Dushanbe Jews many times. They had commenced destroying the Synagogue once before, until its destruction was holted.
In an atmosphere of Oppresion and Hatred, the Dushabe Jews are intimidated. The last time the Synagogue was being pulled down a local citizen reported that when a Jewish member of the synagogue filmed the destruction, officials threatened to break his video-camera. Reports have circulated that members of the community indicate that they have been threatened by government officials for raising their voices. What were the poor Jews of Dushanbe,Tajikistan offered? A peice of land in an undeveloped part of Dushanbe and no assistance with rebuilding. Oh and the option to pay rent on a facility 200 metres away from the block of land. Rip down the Synagogue. Steal the Land the Synagogue has been on for over a 100 years. Pay no compensation. Offer a remoter piece of land in an undeveloped area of the city. Pay rent for facilities you once owned, but now would be forced to pay rent for!
The latest fire bombing has brought the official response: Security is the concern of the Jewish community. It is their responsibility to pay for security. A State sponsored plan of forced exodus? Where is the world outrage here?
AaronBagelblogger
To help the Jews of Dushanbe, Tajikistan make a donation. I want to support the Jewish Community of Dushanbe, Tajikistan by making a donation here: DONATE [The Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS]
References:Jerusalem Post: Tajikistan's only synagogue attacked
Fed of Jewish Communities of the CIS , Dushanbe Dushanbe, TajikistanJewish Community of Dushanbe Takes Steps to Revive ItselfTajikistan's Only Synagogue Saved in Nick of TimeDestruction of Dushanbe's Historic SynagogueTajikistan to Destroy Its Only SynagogueTajik Synagogue May be Torn Down to Make Way for a Presidential PlaceVisit Aims to Save Century-Old Synagogue[2004]
International Sephardic Leadership Council
Synagogue, Kosher Butcher Shop and Jewish Classroom DestroyedUpdate with Dushanbe SynagogueTajikistan Government Destroys Only Synagogue
Jewish Agency for Israel: Tajikistan moving ahead with demolition of only shul
Forum18: [Organisation for Religous freedom] Write a letter to Forum18
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posted by Bagel Blogger @ Tuesday, September 19, 2006

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