World news

John Galliano, Charlie Sheen discuss their Jewish roots

By Jennifer Lipman, March 7, 2011

Former Two and a half Men actor Charlie Sheen has claimed he has a Jewish mother, while disgraced fashion designer John Galliano is said to be obsessed with his “Jewish” roots.

Mr Sheen, who last week was accused of “borderline antisemitism” by the Anti-Defamation League following comments about his Jewish manager, said he was proud of his Jewish background.


Toledano at Dior Paris fashion show: 'deeply painful week'

By Jennifer Lipman, March 4, 2011

Christian Dior’s Jewish chief executive Sidney Toledano has described designer John Galliano’s departure over alleged antisemitism as “an exceptional tragedy”.

The Dior show at Paris Fashion Week went ahead but John Galliano’s collection was shown without the presence of the designer who supervised it.


American 'spy' Alan Gross to be sentenced in Cuba

By Jennifer Lipman, March 4, 2011

A Jewish American accused of spying on the Cuban government could find out today whether he is to spend the next two decades behind bars.

Alan Gross claimed that he was on the Communist-run island to support the Cuban Jewish community by providing them with internet access, but the authorities there accused him of subversive activity.


Oscar-winning Weinsteins face bribery lawsuit

By Jennifer Lipman, March 3, 2011

Just days after they won the Best Film Oscar for The King’s Speech, studio heads Harvey and Bob Weinstein have been accused of trying to bribe their way out of bad publicity.


Pope insists Gospels are not antisemitic

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

A new book by Pope Benedict XVI will make clear that the Gospels cannot be used to justify antisemitism or the Jews blamed collectively for the death of Jesus.

According to the Catholic Truth Society, which publishes Jesus of Nazareth- Holy Week next week, it will also explain why Catholics should not attempt the conversion of Jews.


People trafficking horror in Sinai

By Nathan Jeffay, March 3, 2011

Just a few miles from Israel's border, a cruel but lucrative business in kidnap and ransom is growing, according to separate reports just released by two Israeli charities.

Since 2005 more than 35,000 illegal African immigrants have reached Israel via Egypt, most with the help of paid Bedouin traffickers who helped those who approached them in return for an agreed fee.


In Morocco, we trust our King

By Andrew Rosemarine, March 3, 2011

The president of the Jewish Community of Marrakech-Essaouira, Jacky Kadoch, has insisted that there is no reason for the Jewish community to fear the unrest in the country.

Over 37,000 people protested across the country this week, calling for "the overthrow of autocracy" and ransacking government buildings, banks and commercial centres.


German Iran-link bank under fire

By Toby Axelrod, March 3, 2011

Protesters in Germany demanded this week the closure of an Iran-owned bank which they claim helps finance the regime's nuclear programme.

The demonstration, which was made up of Jewish, Christian, exile-Iranian and other groups, was organised by Stop the Bomb, a German NGO.

It follows heightened pressure by the US government on Germany to crack down on the European-Iranian Trade Bank.


Siemens opens Nazi camp file

By Toby Axelrod, March 3, 2011

Each February, Gilbert Michlin invites fellow survivors and their spouses to his birthday party at his home in Paris. Before making a l'chaim, Mr Michlin remembers how, two days before his 18th birthday in 1944, he was deported from Paris and sent to a slave-labour sub-camp of Auschwitz.


Fears in diaspora as Israel rejects convert

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 3, 2011

The Israeli Chief Rabbinate is trying to impose its stringent conversion rules on Orthodox organisations outside Israel.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai recently denied citizenship to a Canadian convert on the grounds that the Chief Rabbi, Sholmo Amar, does not recognise the authority of the rabbi who converted him in Canada.