World news

Study says Reuters biased in favour of Palestinians

By Eti Shechtman, December 22, 2011

An academic study carried out by Roosevelt University in the US has concluded that Reuters' coverage of the Middle East conflict is systematically biased in favour of the Palestinians.

The study, which took three months, claims to have found over 1,100 "ethical" or "reporting" failures in a sample of 50 Reuters articles.

The "failures" were divided into three broad categories - "propaganda",


US switches to hawk over Iranian threat

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 22, 2011

America's defence chiefs have adopted a belligerent new tone over the possibility of carrying out a military strike against Iran.

In an interview with CBS on Monday, Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta said that the Iranians are at a point in the their nuclear programme where they can develop a bomb in a year or less.


Dutch compromise over kosher slaughter ban

By Jessica Elgot, December 22, 2011

The Dutch government will not ban shechitah or halal slaughter outright, but said it would draw up new guidelines in an attempt to satisfy animal rights activists.

The government announced this week it would appoint a commission to set out tighter procedures for slaughter.


Effect of Kim Jong-Il death on Middle East 'hard to predict'

December 22, 2011

The death of North Korean Kim Jong-Il on Saturday also signalled the departure of one of the most significant players in the Middle East.

While the military involvement of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the region goes back to the 1973 Yom Kippur War when the "Great President" Kim Il-Sung sent a squadron of fighter jets to Egypt's aid, it was his son who transformed his isolated c


Anniversary marked at Mumbai synagogue

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2011

The Jewish community of Mumbai has marked 150 years since the founding of a synagogue by Jews from Baghdad.

The Magen David Synagogue in Byculla was built in 1861 by the former leader of the Baghdadi Jewish community and is one of the oldest in the country.


Will the real Mark Zuckerberg please stand up

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2011

An Israeli has changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg in the hope that it will discourage Facebook from suing him.

The man, formerly known as Rotem Guez, took the dramatic action after he received letters from Facebook’s lawyers warning him that he was in breach of the company’s terms and conditions.


Hope for kosher slaughter in Holland

By Jessica Elgot, December 21, 2011

The Dutch government will not ban shechitah or halal slaughter outright – but will draw up new guidelines in an attempt to satisfy animal rights activists.

A commission will be appointed to draw up tighter procedures for slaughter.


Tunisian Jews asked to return by new president

By Jennifer Lipman, December 20, 2011

The Tunisian president has extended the hand of friendship to the Jewish community.

The North African country was once home to 100,000 Jews but after independence from France and the Six Day War in Israel many fled, fearful of their safety. The population now stands at around 1,500 Jews and is concentrated on the island of Djerba.


Havel praised as 'voice of freedom' by Israeli leader

By Jennifer Lipman, December 19, 2011

The Israeli President has paid tribute to the late leader of the Czech Republic.

Playwright turned politician Vaclav Havel, who died on Sunday at the age of 75, led the nation as it moved from Communism to democracy.

Shimon Peres described Mr Havel as a friend of Israel and a personal friend, and said he was like nobody else.


Holocaust expert Lipstadt on Ahmadinejad threat

By Jennifer Lipman, December 16, 2011

One of the most influential academics on the Holocaust today has suggested that supporters of Israel are too preoccupied with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Deborah Lipstadt, who famously won a libel battle with Holocaust denier David Irving, said people made too much of a fuss about his incendiary statements, which include Holocaust denial and attacks on Israel’s existence.