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Belgium - Non-Jewish Arab Wearing Kippah And Carrying Knives Stopped In Attempt To Enter Antwerp Synagogue

Published on: June 11, 2019 05:02 PM
By: JTA
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Romi Goldmuntz SynagogueRomi Goldmuntz Synagogue

Belgium - A non-Jewish Arab man wearing a kippah and carrying several concealed knives was intercepted by guards attempting to enter an Antwerp synagogue.

The 34-year-old Iraqi citizen was questioned by guards when he tried to enter the Romi Goldmuntz Synagogue in the Belgian city on Monday, during the holiday of Shavuot, the Joodse Actueel newspaper reported Tuesday. The man said he spoke neither Hebrew nor Yiddish but insisted he was a member of the city’s Jewish community, the report said, citing police sources.

The guards — members of the community’s Shmira security service — had approached the man with some suspicion because they saw him arrive on a bicycle, a means of transportation that few observant Jews in Antwerp use on Jewish holidays.

The man did speak good Flemish, the report said. The guards called police, who detained the man in for questioning.

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“He came in wearing a hat and a kippah and pretended to be Jewish, but it was immediately clear to us he did not belong to the Jewish community,” one guard, who was not named, told Joods Actueel.

Attempts to gain access to synagogues, which are restricted to worshippers for security reasons, are common in Antwerp. But such attempts by men carrying knives are extremely rare.

Still, the incident may not have been an attempted attack, Joods Actueel wrote. The knives he carried were small, not much larger than the blade of a pocket knife, and the man seemed not entirely focused, the report said.



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Read Comments (4)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 11, 2019 at 05:26 PM Anonymous Says:

No need to repeat the headline, If we're talking about an Arab it's known universally that he is non Jewish.

2

 Jun 11, 2019 at 06:10 PM Jews from Arab countries Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

No need to repeat the headline, If we're talking about an Arab it's known universally that he is non Jewish.

When we say Arab we usually mean non -jew bur jews can come from arab countries. I have an aquiantance named Abdo which is usually short for abdl. In his case he grew up among arabs but his Hebrew name is Ovadi-a

3

 Jun 11, 2019 at 08:28 PM Anonymous Says:

I knew of a Moroccan-American Jew, who was hassled on both sides of the Atlantic. In Israel, they were suspicious that he was Jewish, and asked him to name his Bar Mitzvah portion, and when it was. In New York, the ICE officials questioned whether or not he was Jewish, and wanted to know what he was doing in Israel. He explained to them that he had Jewish relatives there.

4

 Jun 12, 2019 at 08:04 AM adar29 Says:

Because he wasn't entirely focus and the knives weren't so big then it might have not be a terrorist? Do they forget about box cutters and 911? Do they think he came to cut the cheese cake or to spreadcream cheese on the lox and bagels?

5

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