Joy for rabbi and campaigners as council agrees to take in 50 Syrians

By Rosa Doherty, October 1, 2015

A London council has agreed to resettle Syrian refugees after a campaign led by a local rabbi.

Rebecca Qassim Birk, rabbi at Finchley Progressive Synagogue, headed a Citizens UK effort to get Barnet Council to take in the refugees.

Council leader Richard Cornelius announced that the local authority would accept 50 Syrians at a meeting at the synagogue on Sunday, attended by 200 people.


Deep fears over Russia's Syria push

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 17, 2015

Russia's decision to deploy warplanes and military units to Syria could have far-reaching implications beyond the ongoing civil war. It is already driving a wedge between Jerusalem and Moscow.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said he would fly to Russia to voice Israel's concerns over the deployment.


Benjamin Netanyahu rejects call for Israel to take in Syrian refugees

By JC Reporter, September 6, 2015

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a call to allow Syrian refugees into the country.

Mr Netanyahu told cabinet colleagues that Israel was not indifferent to the plight facing the refugees.

But, according to Israeli media, he warned: “Israel is a small country, and we do not have the geographic and demographic depths [to absorb them].


Syria has not fully complied with chemical weapons agreement

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 29, 2015

The Syrian regime has not fully complied with the agreement it signed two years ago to join the international Chemical Weapons Convention and dismantle its entire chemical weapons programme.

The Russian-brokered deal was signed in 2013 after the US threatened to attack the Assad regime in retaliation for its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians.


Jewish peer organising rescue mission for Christians in Syria and Iraq

By Rosa Doherty, July 14, 2015

Lord Weidenfeld is funding a rescue mission of up to 2,000 Christian families from Syria and Iraq.

Weidenfeld's Safe Havens Fund flew 150 Syrian Christians who were fleeing Daesh (sometimes known as Isis) to Warsaw on Friday to seek refuge in Poland.

But the project has faced criticism over Lord Weidenfeld’s decision not to include Muslims in the rescue effort.


Memorial planned in journalist's honour

July 9, 2015

A permanent memorial to American Jewish journalist Steven Sotloff is set to be created by the Florida community in which he grew up.

He was murdered by Daesh terrorists last year after being kidnapped in Syria.


Plight of Druze threatens to draw Israel deeper into Syria’s civil war

By Tim Marshall, June 17, 2015

From an Israeli military base in the Golan Heights, you can look down onto Syria's glorious ancient heritage, its terrible present, and its troubled future.


Royal snub signals US disarray on Iran

May 14, 2015

Last Saturday, White House officials were boasting about the significance of Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud's presence at a summit of Gulf leaders at Camp David, Maryland.


Israel playing nuanced game in Syria

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 30, 2015

for the past four years, report after report has emerged attributing air strikes on Syrian military targets to Israel. The Israeli government has not acknowledged a single one - not even when the remnants of bombs with labels in Hebrew were found on the scene. However, Israeli officials have developed a way of taking indirect responsibility that - theoretically - serves the country's interests.


On a lush plateau, jihadis swirl along Israel’s border

By Orlando Radice, April 1, 2015

Bright green fields stretch down the hill towards the Syrian border from the Quneitra Lookout Point in the Golan. The twitter of birds is interspersed with the pop of machine-gun fire.