World news

Another blow in California for anti-circumcision activists

By Jennifer Lipman, October 3, 2011

The Governor of California has signed a law which will effectively prevent groups from attempting to ban circumcision.

Jerry Brown said on Sunday that he had signed the bill making it illegal for local authorities to ban the practice.


BMW owners acknowledge Holocaust record

By Jennifer Lipman, September 28, 2011

The owner of the car company BMW have admitted that they used forced labour during the Holocaust.

The German company, founded in 1916, produced arms, including rifles and U-boat batteries, for the Nazis during the war years and around 50,000 of its factory workers were slave labourers.


Thai school holds 'disgraceful' Nazi parade

By Jennifer Lipman, September 28, 2011

A Jewish human rights group has condemned a Thai school for holding a Nazi-themed parade.

The Sacred Heart Preparatory School in the northern city of Chiang Mai recently held a Nazi-themed rally; Thailand's second such event in four years. The Sacred Heart parade featured students making Nazi salutes, holding flags with the swastika logo on and people wearing SS or Adolf Hitler costumes.


Al Jazeera journalist convicted of Hamas conspiracy

By Jennifer Lipman, September 28, 2011

A senior Al Jazeera journalist has been convicted of conspiring against Israel with the terrorist group Hamas.

Samir Allawi, the news network's Kabul bureau chief, was arrested last month as he left the West Bank for Jordan.

He admitted being recruited by Hamas in Pakistan 18 years ago and said he had helped direct Hamas activities.


Freed hiker Josh Fattal is Jewish, has Israeli family

By Jennifer Lipman, September 27, 2011

The Israeli family of one of the American hikers who was freed after 781 days in captivity in Iran has expressed relief at his release.

Josh Fattal, who turned 29 while in an Iranian jail, was back home in Philadelphia this week for the first time in more than two years.


Neo-Nazi group is banned

By Toby Axelrod, September 27, 2011

Germany's decision to ban one of the country's largest neo-Nazi organisations has been welcomed by Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors, who hope for further crackdowns on the far-right.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said Wednesday that HNG - "national organisation for political prisoners and their relatives" - purports to help criminals become productive members of society, b


Quake-hit congregation rents house for New Year

By Dan Goldberg, September 27, 2011

The small Jewish community in earthquake-ravaged Christchurch will celebrate Rosh Hashanah in a rental property because part of the city's only synagogue needs to be demolished and rebuilt.

Canterbury Hebrew Congregation acting president Bettina Wallace said in a recent report to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which donated $US20,000 to the community's earthquake appeal, that


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