World news

Schepping nachas on Google's barmitzvah

By Jennifer Lipman, September 27, 2011

Mazel Tov Google, today you become a man.

The internet search giant is celebrating its 13th birthday today and has marked the occasion with a party-themed version of its iconic logo.

The company was founded by two Stanford University students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both of whom came from Jewish families.


Abbas goes for jackpot in UN speech

September 23, 2011

In his much-anticipated speech to the United Nations General Assembly today, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that he would be willing to return to the negotiating table with Israel with on condition that the international community recognise a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and that Israel cease all settlement building.


Mahmoud Abbas submits membership bid to UN

By Jennifer Lipman, September 23, 2011

The Palestinian President has asked the United Nations Secretary General for Palestine to be accepted as a member state.

After months of speculation, Mahmoud Abbas officially submitted a bid for full membership at the United Nations.

The US and Israel have already made their opposition to the unilateral move clear


Vigils planned for US Jew jailed in Cuba

By Anna Sheinman, September 23, 2011

Vigils are to be held today in Washington and New York for Alan Gross, an American Jew currently imprisoned in Cuba.

The Cuban interests sections in Washington and the Cuban Mission to the United Nations in New York will see American Jews and members of Mr Gross's family protest against the 15 year jail sentence for crimes against the state.


Pope Benedict meets German Jewish leaders

September 23, 2011

The Pope praised Jewish-Christian relations in a meeting with Germany's Jewish community on Thursday.

The German-born Pope Benedict met 15 representatives of the Jewish community as part of his three-day state visit to Germany.

During his address at the Reichstag, the Pope spoke of his thankfulness for improving Jewish relations with the Catholic Church.


Mearsheimer backs book by antisemite

By Jessica Elgot, September 22, 2011

A US academic who co-wrote a controversial book about the Israel lobby has praised a new work by the Jewish antisemitic writer Gilad Atzmon.

Mr Atzmon, a jazz musician and vociferous critic of Israel and Judaism, has written a book called The Wandering Who?


Watch the burial - live on the web

By Dan Goldberg, September 22, 2011

A Jewish burial society in Australia has begun trialling live web streaming of funerals over the Internet.

Melbourne Chevra Kadisha installed a camera at the prayer houses of the two main cemeteries in Melbourne, according to a report in Friday's Australian Jewish News.

The web streaming costs about $AU250, according to Chevra Kadisha director Fred Grossman.


New York is paralysed

By Alan Elsner, September 22, 2011

The first week of the General Assembly is always crazy in New York. World leaders stream into the city from every continent, hotels double their prices and motorcades speed around the city, paralysing the traffic.


A perilous yet defining moment

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 22, 2011

Despite the frenzy of diplomacy surrounding the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations headquarters this week, it was still unclear on Wednesday what would happen.

An Israeli offer to renew talks, in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to postpone his demand that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state, was turned down by the Palestinians since it did not inc


Online, after a mere 400 years

By Jennifer Lipman, September 22, 2011

Part of one of the most important texts in the Jewish canon is to be made available online for the first time, fulfilling a request by its previous owner.

The first two books of the Mishneh Torah, the comprehensive code of Jewish law written in the 12th century by Moses Maimonides, the Rambam, were acquired by Oxford University's Bodleian Library around 400 years ago.