World news

Ahmedinejad accuses US, Israel of planning Iran nuclear attack

By Jessica Elgot, May 4, 2010

British delegates walked out of a speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad at the United Nations, in which he attacked the US and Israel’s nuclear programmes at a session on nuclear proliferation.

The US Department of Defence used the same meeting to call for transparency about nuclear arms – revealing it has 5,113 nuclear weapons currently in its arsenal.

More..

Clinton: We support Israel against Syria, Iran

By Jessica Elgot, April 30, 2010

The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has restated the US’s firm commitment to Israel’s security and has warned Iran and Syria against supplying weapons to Gaza and Hizbollah.

In a speech to the American Jewish Committee, Mrs Clinton underlined her commitment to peace in the region, and condemned the transfer of weapons from Syria to terrorists in Gaza and to Hizbollah in Lebanon.

Israel is becoming increasingly concerned over the possible transfer of Scud missiles to Hizbollah, which would allow terrorists to hit Israeli targets more easily.

More..

Iraq urges return of Jewish documents

By Jessica Elgot, April 30, 2010

Iraq has demanded the return of thousands of Jewish documents, sifrei Torah and Haggadot belonging to the Jewish community in Iraq, which were “rescued” to be restored in the US during the invasion in May 2003.

An Iraqi delegation, led by the country’s deputy minister for culture has now met senior State Department officials in the US to arrange for the documents’ return to Iraq.

But there is also a feeling that the materials should actually be returned to their Jewish owners, most of whom now live in Israel.

More..

Goldstone to attend barmitzvah

By Moira Schneider, April 29, 2010

Judge Richard Goldstone will be attending his grandson's barmitzvah after all.

The Washington-based judge, who authored a United Nations report accusing Israel of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, agreed earlier this month to miss the ceremony following negotiations with the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) and the Johannesburg synagogue at which the barmitzvah is due to take place. The SAZF had reportedly threatened to protest outside the shul should Judge Goldstone attend.

More..

Rabbis say no to women rabbas

By Paul Berger, April 29, 2010

The world's largest Orthodox rabbinical group has officially said that women cannot be ordained as rabbis.

The Rabbinical Council of America unanimously adopted a resolution during its annual convention clarifying its position on female rabbis, a subject that has roiled Orthodox Judaism in America for months.

Noting the RCA's commitment to "sacred continuity", the resolution said the RCA "cannot accept either the ordination of women or the recognition of women as members of the Orthodox rabbinate, regardless of the title."

More..

Meat-plant boss Rubashkin faces life after kosher fraud

By Paul Berger, April 29, 2010

The former CEO of America's largest kosher slaughterhouse was this week facing the prospect of life in prison.

A jail sentence was expected to be handed down on Thursday, drawing a line under a two-year drama that has shaken the kosher food industry and elevated ethics to a new level in the kosher world.

More..

Analysis: Why Obama suddenly loves Netanyahu

By Nathan Guttman, April 29, 2010

Last month, the Obama administration chose to go to an extreme when criticising Israel over its settlement activity. Now it is going to the opposite extreme in showing its love for the Jewish state.

More..

Anne Frank's diary returns to Amsterdam

By Jessica Elgot, April 29, 2010

The surviving manuscript of Anne Frank’s diary has been returned to the once secret annexe in Amsterdam where she and her family hid from Nazi occupation for two years.

The 15-year-old diarist died of typhus at Belsen concentration camp, but her diaries became a worldwide sensation.

Now the manuscript will form part of a permanent display, opened by Holland’s Queen Beatrix, to celebrate 50 years of the Anne Frank House as a museum, and to mark 65 years after Anne’s death.

More..

Mel Brooks' star, finally on the Walk of Fame

By Jessica Elgot, April 27, 2010

He has won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony award, but now, aged 83, Mel Brooks has finally won a coveted star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

The comedian, scriptwriter, actor and director, most famous for his comedies Blazing Saddles, The Producers and Young Frankenstein, declared himself so happy to have won the award he burst into song on the podium.

He is the 2406th celebrity to be given a star on the famous Beverley Hills boulevard, which has been celebrating stars for 50 years.

More..

Goldstone invited to hold grandson's barmitzvah in California

By Jessica Elgot, April 23, 2010

A San Francisco rabbi has invited Judge Richard Goldstone to have his grandson’s barmitzvah in California, after Judge Goldstone agreed not to attend the barmitzvah in South Africa.

Rabbi Michael Lerner, of Beit Tikkun Synagogue in Berkeley, the founder of Tikkun Magazine, said that both Judge Goldstone and his grandson would be honoured at the barmitzvah in San Francisco.

Judge Goldstone authored the controversial UN report into Operation Cast Lead, finding both Israel and Hamas guilty of war crimes. He agreed not to attend his grandson’s barmitzvah because of possible protests.

More..