•   
  •   
  •   

Canada 'A loss felt the world over': Montrealers among dead after stampede in Israel

21:10  30 april  2021
21:10  30 april  2021 Source:   montrealgazette.com

Vaccines: Israel continues on its momentum with millions of doses in addition to

 Vaccines: Israel continues on its momentum with millions of doses in addition to © Reuters - Amir Cohen in Israel, more than half of the population is now immune against coronavirus and life upset its quasi-normal course, Like, here, to Tel Aviv, April 18, 2021. Four months after the beginning of its Vovid-19 vaccination campaign, Israel reaches a form of collective immunity. The country remains on its launch and announces the signing of new agreements for the purchase of doses of additional vaccines. Report in the Laboratories of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

a group of people standing next to a man wearing a hat: Montrealer Sharga Gesttner was among the dead after at least 45 participants were crushed at a religious bonfire festival in Israel April 30, 2021. © Provided by The Gazette Montrealer Sharga Gesttner was among the dead after at least 45 participants were crushed at a religious bonfire festival in Israel April 30, 2021.

Two Montrealers are among the dead after at least 45 participants were killed and more than 150 injured at a religious bonfire festival in Israel Friday.

Officials said it appears the dead had been asphyxiated or trampled in a stampede at the Lag B’Omer event in Mount Meron in the Galilee.

In a post on his Facebook page, David Levy, Israel’s consul-general for Montreal and eastern Canada, sent prayers to the family.

Human Rights Watch demands action against Israel for 'crimes against humanity'

  Human Rights Watch demands action against Israel for 'crimes against humanity' OTTAWA — An international human-rights organization is calling on the Trudeau government to take action against alleged "crimes against humanity" by the Israeli government. The demand from Human Rights Watch comes alongside a new report from the group that accuses Israeli authorities of methodically discriminating against Palestinians within both Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Based on interviews, field work and a review of government documents, the 218-page report concludes that Israeli laws and policies have confined and subjugated Palestinians "by virtue of their identity," amounting in some cases to "persecution and apartheid.

“We are heartbroken by the terrible tragedy at Mount Meron, where a night of joy turned into a night of mourning,” Levy said in a Facebook post.

One of the Montreal victims was Dovi Steinmetz, 21, from the Darlington district in Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. The other was Outremont native Shraga Gestener, 35, a father of five who was living in Monsey, N.Y., according to the website Arutz Sheva . Gestetner was a Hassidic music composer and singer. His funeral was held at 3 p.m. Friday in Israel. Levy urged anyone who could to attend Gestetner’s funeral. Since many close family members could not attend, Levy said it was a good deed to attend the funeral.

Montreal city councillor and leader of the opposition Lionel Perez expressed his grief over the death of Steinmetz.

These students in modeiring this icon of our childhood

 These students in modeiring this icon of our childhood This is the first time that a large international human rights NGO takes over the term "apartheid" in its account © Ahmad Gharabli / AFP the Israeli police to Jerusalem, April 23, 2021.

In an interview, Perez said he is close with the Steinmetz family, and his son Amram Perez was his classmate and friend. The families live one street apart.

Steinmetz was studying post-secondary studies at Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

“He was a lovable, social individual, friends with everyone. Always looking to help and really in the image of his family,” Perez said. “It’s truly a great loss, not only for the family, but for the community and the neighbourhood. It’s very, very hard.

“It’s something that’s indescribable as a parent,” he said.

He said the family intends to travel to Israel after the Sabbath ends Saturday night.

Two Montrealers among dead after stampede at religious festival in Israel

  Two Montrealers among dead after stampede at religious festival in Israel MONTREAL — Two Montrealers taking part in a religious festival in Israel were among the dozens of people killed when a stampede erupted early Friday. Shraga Gestetner, 33, was a well-known singer in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, and Dovi Steinmetz, 21, was in Israel for post-secondary religious studies. Multiple sources identified them Friday as being among the victims. Mayer Feig, a member of the Quebec Council of Hasidic Jews and a community activist, described Gestetner, who performed as Shragee Gestetner, as a "very, very giving person." He said he had left a successful music career to focus on helping vulnerable people in his community.

Perez added that Jews all around the world have been saddened by this incident.

“It’s a tragedy that not only hits Israel, but people from the Jewish community all around the world,” Perez said. “It shows the connection between the Jewish diaspora and Israel, and how it’s truly a loss that is felt the world over.”

Alex Werzberger, a spokesperson for Montreal’s Hassidic community, said Gestetner’s father and grandfather live in Outremont, and the whole community is shaken.

“It’s really, really incomprehensible,” he said. “It happened out of nowhere, and nobody was to blame.”

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante posted her condolences on her Twitter account, writing that her thoughts were with the city’s Jewish community.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also conveyed sympathies.

“I want to extend my deepest condolences to the families, friends and victims of the tragedy at Mount Meron,” he said Friday. “Canada stands with the people of Israel and the Jewish community.”

Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews had gathered in Mount Meron at the tomb of the second-century sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai for annual commemorations that include all-night prayer and dance.

It is thought to be one of the largest gatherings of people — certainly in Israel and perhaps farther afield — since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic more than a year ago.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said 103 people had been injured, including dozens fatally. Police shut down and evacuated the site.

The tomb is considered to be one of the holiest sites in the Jewish world and it is an annual pilgrimage site during a holiday that marks the only day during the solemn 49-day Omer period after Passover when celebrations, and playing music are permitted.

Politically sensitive 'Made in Israel' wine-labelling case sent back to food agency

  Politically sensitive 'Made in Israel' wine-labelling case sent back to food agency TORONTO — A finding that wine from the West Bank can be labelled as a product of Israel was not reasoned properly and should now be thrashed out again, the Federal Court of Appeal has ruled. As a result, the appellate court said the politically sensitive case, which at one point threatened to put Middle East politics on trial, should go back to the Complaints and Appeals Office of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. "The administrative decisionAs a result, the appellate court said the politically sensitive case, which at one point threatened to put Middle East politics on trial, should go back to the Complaints and Appeals Office of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

On Twitter, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “heavy disaster” and added: “We are all praying for the well-being of the casualties.”

✡️???? — HEARTBREAKING: Dovi Steinmetz Z”l from Montreal, Canada, who tragically died in the Meron incident, scene pouring oil at the Toldos Aharon Hadlaka just 1 hour before he passed away.

Posted by Belaaz on Friday, April 30, 2021

The gathering had been held in defiance of health officials who had worried that crowding could pose a COVID-19 risk.

Private bonfires at Mount Meron were banned last year because of health restrictions, but lockdown measures were eased this year amid Israel’s rapid COVID-19 vaccination program, which has seen more than 50 per cent of the population fully vaccinated.

Related

All our coronavirus-related news can always be found at montrealgazette.com/tag/coronavirus.

Sign up for our email newsletter dedicated to local COVID-19 coverage at montrealgazette.com/coronavirusnews.

Help support our local journalism by subscribing to the Montreal Gazette here.

more than 90 wounded in new clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters .
video Your Browser Does NOT SUPPORT THIS VIDEO New clashes between Israeli policemen and Palestinian protesters have made more than 90 wounded in different districts of Jerusalem-East On Saturday night, the day after the most important clashes of the last years in the holy city that fears a new climbing of the violence.

usr: 1
This is interesting!