World news

Sweden orders inquiry into hate vandalism

By Nathalie Rothschild, April 11, 2014

The swedish government has ordered an inquiry into hate assaults and vandalism following an intensification of neo-Nazi attacks on Jewish and Muslim targets.


Rabbi attacks Orthodox over disconnect from IDF

By Daniel Easterman, April 11, 2014

A prominent Israeli rabbi has described the lack of respect shown by Charedim towards the IDF as a “huge blemish”, arguing that the “obligation to serve in the army is greater than the obligation to learn Torah”.

Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth is the head of Beit Hillel, an organisation that promotes moderate approaches to Judaism. He presides over an alliance of 200 modern Orthodox rabbis.


New low as racist abuse aimed at Irish politician Alan Shatter

By Marcus Dysch, April 11, 2014

The campaign of antisemitic abuse against Ireland’s most senior Jewish politician has intensified with images of Nazi soldiers, swastikas and a package of white powder sent to his home.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter’s Jewish background, support for Israel and even domestic reform policies have been used as excuses for antisemitic insults.


‘Employer bias against Charedim and Arabs’

By Nathan Jeffay, April 11, 2014

Some 37 per cent of Israeli employers prefer not to hire Charedi men, according to a new survey which points to widespread discriminatory attitudes among bosses.


Sheldon Adelson pledges £10 million to Israeli space mission

By Daniel Easterman, April 10, 2014

American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has pledged $16.4 million (almost £10 million) to fund the Israeli SpaceIL mission to the moon.

With only 20 full-time staff and 250 volunteers, the SpaceIL project is one of the most ambitious of its kind. The project organisers aim to land a spacecraft on the moon at a cost of just £22 million – a tiny amount compared to most space programmes.


Adelson takes another chunk of Israeli media

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 10, 2014

This week, Ma’ariv, once the most popular newspaper in Israel, got its fifth owner in less than four years when it was bought by Jerusalem Post owner Eli Azur for NIS 4 million (£700,000).

Mr Azur was taking advantage of a fire-sale of the media assets of UK-born businessman Shlomo Ben Zvi, whose firm owed NIS 3.5 million (£600,000) to creditors and employees.


Le Pen blocks kosher food for school children

By Ian Sparks, April 10, 2014

France’s far-right National Front party has been accused of undermining religious freedom after it banned state schools from serving kosher and halal food in the 11 town councils it now controls.

Party leader Marine Le Pen declared school canteens should not cater for religious restrictions on food, in line with France’s secular values.


One in five votes for antisemitic party in Hungarian election

By Valentina Jovanovski , April 10, 2014

Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party increased its support in Sunday’s general election to 20.5 per cent per cent of the vote, up from 15.9 per cent in 2010.

The party will now have 23 seats out of 199 in the newly downsized parliament.

“This is truly a dark day for Hungary,” said European Jewish Congress President Dr Moshe Kantor .


Israeli device charges phone in 30 seconds

By Charlotte Oliver, April 9, 2014

Waning battery life is a modern-day annoyance every phone user knows all too well.

But Israeli startup StoreDot claims to have found the answer to our problems by developing a device that can charge a smartphone in under 30 seconds.


West Bank settlers clash with Israeli soldiers

By Rosa Doherty, April 8, 2014

Israeli security forces have demolished several illegal buildings in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, despite resistance from its hard-line Jewish residents.

Six border police officers were injured as hundreds of settlers threw rocks at the demolition workers.