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March 06, 1992 - Image 106

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-03-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

NEWS

Sephardi Group
Praises Turkey

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106

FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 1992

Ankara, Turkey (JTA) — A
delegation of Sephardic Jews
who came here to express
appreciation for the
hospitality extended to the
Jews by the Ottoman Em-
pire 500 years ago have also
given thanks for the protec-
tion Turkey is now giving
Jewish institutions that
have been targets of ter-
rorist attacks.
The group of 40, headed by
Nessim Gaon of Geneva,
president of the World
Sephardi Federation, arriv-
ed in the Turkish capital a
day after the Neve Shalom
Synagogue in Istanbul was
attacked with hand
grenades by two uniden-
tified assailants.
Only one of two grenades
exploded, and the only
casualty was a blind passer-
by, who suffered minor in-
juries. No damage was done
to the synagogue and one of
the assailants was captured.
Mr: Gaon observed that
the assault might have been
more serious were it not for
the police protection at the
synagogue.
That protection was beefed
up considerably after the
1986 machine gun and
grenade attack on the same
synagogue killed 22 Sabbath
worshippers and the two ter-
rorists who executed it.
Mr. Gaon said he was con-
fident the Turkish au-
thorities would apprehend
and punish those responsible
for the latest attack.
At a meeting at the presi-
dential palace here in
Ankara, Mr. Gaon and his
delegation presented the
World Sephardi Federation's
first Star of Peace award to
both President Turgut Ozal
of Turkey and Prime Min-
ister Suleyman Demirel.
The Star of Peace, a six-
pointed Star of David jux-
taposed with the crescent
emblem of Turkey, sym-
bolizes "the Judeo-Turkish
traditions that have allowed
our people to flourish
together throughout the cen-
turies in peace and
ance," Mr. Gaon said.
The award, mounted on
wood, is made of gold en-
crusted with rubies and
diamonds.
In his presentation to Mr.
Demirel, Mr. Gaon said that
Turkey "has provided a
spirit of tolerance that can
well serve as a model for the
entire region."
Mr. Demirel responded, "If
the Arab, Jewish and
Turkish people can live
together in peace, together

we can achieve many
things."
"We hope we have shown
exemplary behavior over the
last 500 years between
Turks and Jews. We hope we
have been an example for
mankind and a model for
others," the prime minister
said.
The visit to Turkey was
the first leg of a "Sephardi
Odyssey" undertaken to
mark the 500th anniversary
of the expulsion of Jews from
Spain and their dispersion
across Europe and North
Africa, as far east as Turkey,
where they were warmly
received.
The Odyssey will continue
later this year with journeys
to other historic centers of
Sephardic life: Egypt,
Morocco, Brazil and Chile.
The American delegation
participating in the Odyssey
to Turkey included Jack
Nasser, treasurer, and Aga-
jam Nassimi, vice president,
of the World Sephardi Fed-
eration; and Leon Levy,
president, and Raymond
Mallel, vice president, of the
American Sephardi Federa-
tion.
Alberto Nasser of Rio de
Janeiro, chairman of the
World Federation's board of
governors, headed the Latin
American delegation. Other
participants came from
Canada, Mexico and Israel.

LePen-Buchanan
Similarity Seen
Jerusalem (JTA) — A Eu-
ropean Jewish leader has
pointed to worrisome simi-
larities in the messages con-
veyed by Jean-Marie Le Pen,
leader of France's extremist
National Front, and Patrick
Buchanan, the archconser-
vative American commen-
tator challenging President
Bush for the Republican
presidential nomination.
Both, for example, stress
the alleged power of the
"Jewish lobby" over
government, said Jean
Kahn, president of the Eu-
ropean Jewish Congress.
He said he was surprised
to hear Buchanan talk of
rescuing Congress from the
Jewish lobby, which has
turned it into "occupied ter-
ritory."
Buchanan is campaigning
under the slogan "America
First," which is remarkably
like the xenophobic nation-
alism preached by Le Pen,
Kahn said.

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