World news

Being a Jew in New Zealand requires a strong DIY culture

By Miriam Bell, August 27, 2015

It's not easy being Jewish at the bottom of the world.

Living on an isolated island in the Pacific Ocean poses some weighty geographical and cultural challenges for New Zealand's Jewish community.

These challenges are further complicated by the fact the community itself is a relatively small one, numbering around 8,500, according to the most recent census.


The businessman saving Yazidi sex slaves from Daesh

By Valentina Jovanovski, August 26, 2015

After spending a year being held by Daesh, a woman and her two young children are finally reunited with their family. She had been bought and sold five times, raped and forced to watch as her kidnapers beheaded her husband in front of their children.


Abbas in fight to maintain position of power in Palestinian Authority

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 26, 2015

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s resignation from his post as president of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s Executive Committee has fuelled speculation that he may be planning to step down from his position as president of the Palestinian Authority as well.


Holocaust trauma passed on to children via genes, says scientist

By Jessica Weinstein, August 24, 2015

A study of Holocaust survivors and their children has shown that trauma can be passed on through genes.

The study, led by Rachel Yehuda from New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, looked at the genes of 32 men and women who directly experienced the Holocaust - either in a concentration camp or who had to hide during the Second World War.


Matisyahu performs at music festival he was banned from

By Jessica Weinstein, August 23, 2015

American Jewish Reggae star Matisyahu has performed at the Spanish music festival he was banned from - and then re-invited to - to catcalls and an audience waving Palestinian flags.


Abbas resigns as PLO chief

By Jessica Weinstein, August 22, 2015

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has resigned as the Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation’s executive committee, it has been announced.

At a PLO committee session on Saturday night Mr Abbas announced that he would be resigning as head of the PLO. He will retain his post as Palestinian Authority president, however.


Men claim to have found Nazi train carrying stolen gold

By Jessica Weinstein, August 21, 2015

Two men have claimed to have found an Nazi-era train carrying loot – stolen from Jews - that disappeared without a trace during the Second World War.

The men – one Pole and one German – filed the claim in the south-west Polish town of Walbrzych, where, according to Polish law, treasure finders can keep 10 per cent of the value of their discovery.


Johansson, Kunis and Portman among highest-paid actresses

By Jessica Weinstein, August 21, 2015

Three Jewish actresses are among the highest paid actresses in the world.

According to Forbes’ annual list, Scarlett Johansson ranked second, earning $35,500,000 from June 2014 to June 2015. Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman also made it on to the list, but pulled in significantly less than the Lost in Translation star, earning $6,500,000 and $6,000,000 respectively.


Britain to reopen embassy in Iran after four-year closure

By Naomi Firsht, August 20, 2015

The UK is set to reopen its embassy in Tehran after a four-year closure.

Foreign secretary Philip Hammond will reopen the embassy in the Iranian capital this weekend. At the same time, the Iranian embassy in London will also re-open.


Reggae festival apologises to Matisyahu and re-invites him to perform

By Jessica Weinstein, August 19, 2015

Jewish reggae star Matisyahu has been re-invited to perform at Spanish Reggae Festival Rototom having been dropped earlier this week.

Rototom issued a statement apologising for having asked the Jewish musician to publically support the Palestinians as a condition for performing and invited him to sing as originally scheduled on 22 August.