World news

Goldstone forced to miss his grandson’s barmitzvah

By Moira Schneider, April 15, 2010

Judge Richard Goldstone, author of the Goldstone report on Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, is effectively being barred from attending his grandson’s barmitzvah, due to be held in Johannesburg early next month.

Following negotiations between the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) and the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue in Sandton, the Johannesburg suburb where the event is due to take place, an agreement was reached with the family whereby Judge Goldstone would not attend the service.

More..

Iraq cleric slams plan to turn Jewish tomb into mosque

By Jessica Elgot, April 12, 2010

One of Iraq’s leading clerics, Ayatollah Shaykh Ayad al-Rikabi, has denounced the proposed conversion of the ancient tomb of the Prophet Ezekiel into an Islamic site.

Iraq’s Department of Antiquities and the Iraqi Shi’i “waqf”, which controls religious heritage sites in the country, has stated that the historic tomb does not belong to Iraq’s dwindling Jewish community.

It asserted that since Ezekiel is described in the Koran as a Muslim, the tomb should be declared an Islamic site. Plans are now under way to turn the site into a mosque.

More..

Bishop 'blames Jews' for Catholic criticism

By Jessica Elgot, April 12, 2010

An Italian website, which quoted an Italian bishop as saying Jews were behind the criticism of the Catholic Church over sex abuse claims, has upheld the quotes.

The Catholic website Pontifex published comments from Bishop Giacomo Babini, 81, the emeritus bishop of Grosseto, Tuscany, in which he said he believed the current attacks raging against the Catholic Church were a “Zionist attack”, proven by the “powerful and refined” nature of the criticisms.

More..

Netanyahu cancels Washington trip

By Miriam Shaviv, April 9, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has cancelled his attendance in the nuclear summit in Washington next week, due to fears that Israel would be pressured to sign the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The summit, which will include 47 nations, is part of Mr Obama's agenda towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

More..

Former Georgian minister makes aliyah

By Lev Samovsky, April 8, 2010

The former Minister of Defence of Georgia, David Kezerashvili, has moved to Israel.

Mr Kezerashvili, 31, headed the defence ministry during the Georgia-Russia war in 2008, but was dismissed from the post amid criticisms of the way the war was conducted.

Sources told the Rezonansi newspaper that an investigation is being conducted into corruption in the ministry during Mr Kezerashvili's tenure, including possible arms procurement. The former minister did not comment.

More..

Former Czech minister's Jewish slur

April 8, 2010

The former Czech prime minister has resigned as chair of the Civic Democratic Party after making derogatory comments about Jews and gays.

During an informal conversation with the staff of the gay magazine Lui, Mirek Topolanek said that Transport Minister Gustav Slamecka is a homosexual who "gives in when he faces a serious problem".

Jewish Prime Minister Jan Fischer, he said is "simply a Jew; he's not gay and he gives in even sooner".

More..

Hungary's far-right set for poll surge

By Thomas Land, April 8, 2010

Hungary's extreme-nationalist Jobbik party is widely expected to become the second largest party in parliament following the two-round national election set for April 11 and 25. The outcome will be of enormous concern to the Hungarian Jewish community, the largest in eastern Europe.

More..

New York's Chasidic rebels learn to be secular

By Rebecca Schischa , April 8, 2010

Right in the heart of Manhattan is an unusual refuge - a place where New York's 'Chasidic rebels' gather to socialise, meet and learn.

Footsteps, which runs the centre, is the only organisation that exists outside Israel to provide defectors from the Chasidic community with the practical and emotional support they need to make it in mainstream society.

"People don't come to Footsteps for sex, drugs and rock'n'roll," says executive director Paula Winnig. "They're with us because they want to learn."

More..

Antisemitic comic Dieudonné London gig cancelled

By Marcus Dysch, April 8, 2010

A planned London performance by a controversial French far-right comedian has been cancelled following complaints from the Jewish community.

Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, who was last year fined by a French court for performing an antisemitic stunt, was due to perform in Kensington on Saturday evening.

The Cameroon-born performer has previously stood for the European Parliament as head of the Anti-Zionist Party, which he formed with Alain Soral, a former member of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s extreme-right National Front.

More..

Bibi back in US for security talks

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 7, 2010

Only three weeks after the traumatic meeting in the Oval Office, Binyamin Netanyahu will be returning to Washington next week and participating in President Barack Obama's nuclear security summit.

The two leaders are not expected to meet privately as the Israeli government has yet to respond to the administration’s demands regarding the peace process.

More..