World news

Court blocks cross-border Holocuast lawsuits

By Toby Axelrod, February 9, 2012

A ruling last week by the International Court of Justice in The Hague that victims of the Nazis will not have the right to sue Germany in foreign courts has dashed hopes for speedier justice for Holocaust survivors.

The judgment overturned a 2004 decision by the Italian Supreme Court, which ruled that Germany should pay reparations to an Italian former slave labourer, Luigi Ferrini.

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Hungary rounds on far right

By Orlando Radice, February 9, 2012

The Hungarian government and the country's Jewish community have condemned the shocking statements made by a Jobbik representative in an interview with JC last week.

MP Marton Gyongyosi, the ultra-nationalist party's foreign affairs spokesman, refused to acknowledge the official figures for the number of Jews murdered in the Hungarian Holocaust, saying: "It has become a fantastic business to ji

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World Forum for Jewry, but to do what?

By Heather Jacobsohn, February 9, 2012

When Alexander Levin, Ukrainian businessman and President of the Kiev Jewish community, announced the creation of the World Forum of Russian Jewry at the UN last month, nobody - including himself - appeared to know exactly what it was for.

In a vague statement, Mr Levin said: "Our goal is to bring together Russian-speaking Jews from around the world in order to save ourselves and other people f

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'Indiana Jones' rabbi admits to $400k fraud

By Nathalie Rothschild, February 9, 2012

A charity founder who claimed he travelled the world as a "Jewish Indiana Jones" to rescue Torahs admitted to fraud in a Manhattan court last week.

Rabbi Menachem Youlus, 50, co-founded the Save a Torah charity in 2004 with the aim of retrieving and restoring holy scrolls that had survived the Holocaust or had been forcibly taken from Jewish communities.

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Is the peace process over with handshake between Fatah and Hamas?

February 9, 2012

The agreement between Fatah and Hamas for a Palestinian unity government, to be headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, almost certainly signals the end of the short-lived attempt to re-launch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

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Peres calls for peace as Iran steps up rhetoric

By Jennifer Lipman, February 9, 2012

Shimon Peres has called for Iran and Israel not to live as enemies even as a website linked to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime called for "the final annihilation of Israel".

The Israeli president and Nobel laureate, at a speech marking the creation of the Knesset 63 years ago, said that the two countries "were not born enemies".

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Limmud conference planned for Beijing Jewish community

By Jemimah Steinfeld, February 8, 2012

Limmud is set to land in the Chinese capital this year - and an organiser claims it could turn out to be a historic moment for Jewish life in the country.

The festival of arts and discussion is due to take place in Beijing in December, with a small-scale "taster" event timetabled for June 3.

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Woman's memoir lifts lid on New York Chasidic life

By Jennifer Lipman, February 8, 2012

A woman who has renounced her Chasidic background is set to send shockwaves around New York's strictly Orthodox community after writing a tell-all memoir about her upbringing.

Deborah Feldman turned her back on life in Brooklyn's Satmar community two years ago, after being pushed into an arranged marriage at 17 years old and becoming a mother at the age of 20.

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Super Bowl bet winner giving money to charity

By Jennifer Lipman, February 7, 2012

An Orthodox Jewish sports fan who won $50,000 on a bet before the Super Bowl has announced that he will donate the money to charity.

New Yorker Jona Rechnitz is a lifelong fan of the Giants, and decided to place a $1,000 bet on his team before the biggest match in the American football calendar.

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Obama orders sanctions on Iran

By Jennifer Lipman, February 6, 2012

President Barack Obama is ordering a new wave of sanctions on Iran.

The US president announced the executive order this afternoon instating additional sanctions on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government and on Iran's Central Bank, because of the "deceptive practices" of it and other Iranian banks.

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