I Prayed have prayed
Lord, we pray that you would comfort those who are hurting from this situation. Would you reveal the true nature of your son, Jesus, to each person affected.

One Jewish leader says the FBI got it wrong after an official said the Texas synagogue hostage-taker’s demands were “not specifically related to the Jewish community.”

A Texas SWAT team responded to Congregation Beth Israel on Saturday after British national Malik Faisal Akram, 44, allegedly entered the building and held four people, including a rabbi, hostage for hours. A livestream of the service was on Facebook during a portion of the hostage situation, before it was taken down.

Investigators said the hostage-taker expressed support for Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist who was sentenced to 86 years in prison in 2010 for attempting to murder and assault U.S. military personnel and was being held at Federal Medical Center Carswell at a prison in Fort Worth.

After almost 12 hours of negotiations with the hostage-taker, the hostages were freed after a loud bang and the sound of gunfire could be heard at Congregation Beth Israel.

At a news conference after the hostages were released, FBI Special Agent in Charge Matt DeSarno said that “the Texas synagogue hostage taker’s demands were specifically focused on issues not connected to the Jewish community.”

Kenneth Marcus, the founder and chairman of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law and former assistant U.S. secretary of education for civil rights, disagreed, telling Fox News Digital that “the FBI got it wrong.”

He said that the attack was ‘obviously a matter of antisemitism.’

‘Failure of the FBI to understand this is something of a pattern with law enforcement in the United States and frankly in Europe. It seems that time after time, we see law enforcement officials fail to understand when an antisemitic incident occurs, even when it’s entirely obvious, and sometimes the results of that are tragic. This time, fortunately, they have not been,’ Marcus said.”

“If the law enforcement community doesn’t understand what’s going on, they’re not going to be able to address the fallout from this,” he added. “This was not a mere slip-up. It is symptomatic of a widespread failure with law enforcement to understand the problems of antisemitism and anti-Zionism,” Marcus said.

Roz Rothstein, co-founder and CEO of StandWithUs, an education organization that educates individuals about Israel and combats antisemitism, told Fox News that the notion the hostage-taker did not target the Jewish community is “insulting and disappointing.”

“Trying to separate Jews from the idea that JEWS were targeted on their holy day at their house of worship, is a mistake and it is insulting and disappointing,” Rothstein said.

“It is also dangerous to downplay an attack against Jewish people as being something else at a time of rising anti-Jewish bigotry that we should all be paying attention to. It makes no sense to try and separate Saturday’s hostage crisis from the people who suffered and who were the most impacted: Jews, their Jewish families and the Jewish world,” she added.

The FBI followed up in a statement late Sunday: “All of us at the FBI are relieved the hostage situation in Colleyville, Texas, was resolved without physical injury to those taken hostage. We never lose sight of the threat extremists pose to the Jewish community and to other religious, racial, and ethnic groups. We have had a close and enduring relationship with the Jewish community for many years. We continue to work tirelessly with the Secure Community Network, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federation, and others to protect members of the Jewish community from all potential threats.”

The bureau continued by clarifying, “This is a terrorism-related matter, in which the Jewish community was targeted, and is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Preventing acts of terrorism and violence is the number one priority of the FBI.” . . .

Rothstein said that one reason that the FBI agent could have misspoken is because antisemitism “is not properly identified and condemned, intentionally or out of ignorance. It underscores the needs for a consistent definition.”

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(Excerpt from Fox News. Photo Credit : Istock)

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January 18, 2022

I found these two interviews to be very helpful in gaining a deeper understanding about this tragic incident. The first is with local Texan Rabbi Nancy Kasten. The second is about the woman who was named by the hostage-taker and problems with the FBI and media reporting.


Prayers for peace and inter-faith community.

January 18, 2022

It does sound like a case of misunderstanding, if I read it correctly. The FBI stated that the demands had nothing to do with the Jewish community, not that the incident had nothing to do with the Jewish community. Perhaps it was their viewpoint because Aafia Siddiqui had been arrested for attempting to murder military personnel, not Jews.

Lisa Moreira
January 18, 2022

One of the hostages in an interview said that the gunman made anti-Semitic remarks about Jews controlling the media and news, etc. The hostage also said they escaped the first opportunity they saw (when the gunman set his gun down and drank his soda) – not because the FBI rescued them as the media said.
As a Messianic Jew in the Dallas area near where this happened, we heard about it while we were at our synagogue and prayed for them. The gunman chose to do this when the most people would be during the weekly Shabbat service. The Messianic synagogue I used to attend (before I went there) also had a gunman open fire during service. However, God prevented anyone from getting killed by sending His angel to jerk the gun suddenly upward as he shot, and then jamming his gun.
Jewish synagogues know they are a frequent target, and we trust in God to watch over and protect us so we can worship Him, strengthen and comfort each other, and grow in Him.
Please pray that God continues to have His hand upon us and bring our people to salvation in our Messiah, Savior, Redeemer, and Deliverer Yeshua amen!

Mark Hill
January 18, 2022

Our family lives in Colleyville, about 2 miles from Beth Israel. A simple look at the map will show that there is a Baptist church across the street, a Catholic church up the road, and to the south a couple of blocks on Church Street is a Methodist Church, Church of Christ, and a Baptist church campus (with 6 buildings). This was obviously related to the Jewish community!

January 18, 2022

Deliberate obfuscation. This current government is a danger and threat to Jews everywhere on this earth. May God continue to protect His Chosen people and may we, who are grafted into this community, be responsible for our brothers and sisters in our Father,Jehovah who has called to be faithful siblings.


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