French Jewish leaders ‘outraged’ by mosque desecration near Toulouse


French Jewish leaders are calling the tossing of two pig heads into a mosque not far from Toulouse “an odious desecration.”

Worshippers at the Salam mosque in Montauban in southern France discovered two pig heads at the entrance to the building yesterday.

On March 15, Muslim extremist Mohammed Merah murdered two French soldiers in the city. Days later, he murdered three children and rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse, which is about 31 miles north of Montauban.

The CRIF, the umbrella organization of French Jewish communities, called the incident “an odious desecration” and said it “identifies with the outrage of the Muslim community, which was deeply offended by the act perpetrated during Ramadan.”

The Jewish communities of France convey their “sincerest sentiments of friendship” to the Muslim community, the statement said.

France’s Union of Jewish Students also said in a statement that it was appalled by an incident that had occurred in a “worrying climate of hatred.”

According to AFP, the incident on Thursday was the first of its kind in the Tarn-et-Garonne region, leading to speculation it was a response to Merah’s March shooting spree.

In 2009, unknown individuals hung pig’s feet outside a mosque in Castres, about 75 miles southeast of Montauban.

P.A’.s Fayyad shuns ban, attends Jerusalem dedication


Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad attended dedication ceremonies for a school in eastern Jerusalem, despite an Israeli ban.

Fayyad on Tuesday attended the dedication of a school in the Dahiyat al-Barid neighborhood, which is located on the Palestinian side of the security fence. He skipped ceremonies to inaugurate a road in Shuafat and visit a school in Sheikh Jarrah.

The events were part of an effort to celebrate P.A.-sponsored renovations of 15 schools in eastern Jerusalem. The P.A. also repaired several roads in the areas near Palestinian neighborhoods.

On Monday, a warrant was issued by Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch saying that P.A. events are prohibited on Israeli soil. Aharonovitch’s office clarified Tuesday that Fayyad’s visit to a school on the Palestinian side of the security fence did not violate that order.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday also ordered security officials not to allow the P.A. to hold political events within Jerusalem’s municipal borders.

The P.A. renovations on the schools, which do not receive funding from either the education ministry or the city of Jerusalem, came as a surprise to Israeli officials.

Speaking at the ceremony in Dahiyat al-Barid, Fayyad said that the suburbs of Jerusalem were part of the Palestinian capital, Israel Radio reported.

“Netanyahu defined these suburbs as suburbs of Jerusalem, the united capital. And we say, yes, these are suburbs, but suburbs of our occupied capital which will always be the capital of our independent state,” Fayyad said. He planted an olive tree at the entrance to the school.