World news

Legislation to tackle antisemitism gathers pace in France

By Shirli Sitbon, April 23, 2015

The French government has presented draft legislation which includes 40 measures aimed at tackling the dramatic rise of antisemitism in the country.

It intends to back the plan with 100 million Euros of funding, to be used to train teachers in fighting intolerance.

A special government unit could also be set-up to challenge antisemitism and racism on social media sites.


Leading Italian rabbi Elio Toaff dies aged 99

By Sandy Rashty, April 22, 2015

Rome’s Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff – who fought the Nazis and strengthened relations between the Italian Jewish community and Catholic Church after centuries of mistrust – died on Sunday.


Rabbis convicted of Sopranos-style New Jersey divorce kidnap plot

By Rosa Doherty, April 22, 2015

Three Orthodox rabbis have been convicted for a Sopranos-style plot in which they planned the torture of Jewish men who refused to divorce their wives.

Rabbis Mendel Epstein, Jay Goldstein and Binyamin Stimler were found guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping in a New Jersey federal court on Tuesday.


Nazi 'book-keeper' admits to moral guilt

By Charlotte Oliver, April 22, 2015

A former SS guard known as the “book-keeper of Auschwitz” has asked for forgiveness as he stands trial for contributing to the murder of at least 30,000 Jews.

Oskar Groening, now aged 93, said he was “morally guilty”, as he appeared before almost 70 Holocaust survivors and victims’ relatives in court in the north German city of Lueneburg on Tuesday.


Israel honours Arab teen who was killed in revenge attack

By Rosa Doherty, April 21, 2015

Israel has added Muhammed Abu Khdeir’s name to a monument for terror victims on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl.

The Palestinian teenager was kidnapped and killed last summer in an act of revenge following the murder of Israeli teenagers Gilad Sha'ar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach by Hamas terrorists.


Iran plans new Holocaust cartoon contest

By Rosa Doherty, April 21, 2015

Iran will host its second international Holocaust cartoon contest next month.

Artists are invited to submit work based on Shoah denial, and touching on subjects including what the organisers call oppression of Palestinians and caricatures of Benjamin Netanyahu and Hitler.


'Book-keeper of Auschwitz' goes on trial in Germany

By Charlotte Oliver, April 21, 2015

A former SS guard, known as the “book-keeper of Auschwitz”, faces trial today, charged with contributing to the murder of at least 300,000 Jews at the Nazi concentration camp.

More than 50 Holocaust survivors and relatives of victims have travelled to the north German city of Lueneburg to witness the case against Oskar Groening, now aged 93.


European rabbis in first meeting with Pope Francis

By Naomi Firsht, April 20, 2015

Pope Francis has spoken of his concern over the "troubling" rise of antisemitism in Europe and said Holocaust commemorations should serve as a warning for future generations.

In his first meeting with the Conference of European Rabbis, the Pontiff said Christians around the world must show solidarity with Jews.


Chief Rabbi urges community to aid Ukrainian Jews

By Josh Jackman, April 20, 2015

The Chief Rabbi has called for the community to do more to help Jewish refugees in Ukraine in a cross-communal open letter.


Israeli app gives hands-free smartphone control for drivers

By Josh Jackman, April 17, 2015

An Israeli company has developed the first ever eyes-free smartphone, allowing drivers to call, text, email and play music without looking away from the road.