World news

Rabbi obstructs fraud probe, citing Talmud

By Ellen Tumposky, September 15, 2011

A US federal judge is weighing the fate of a Chasidic rabbi who is citing Talmudic law as a justification for his refusal to testify against fellow Jews before a Los Angeles grand jury investigating tax evasion.

Moshe Zigelman, who was the executive assistant to Grand Rabbi Naftali Tzi Weisz of the Brooklyn-based Spinka sect of Chasids, received a two-year sentence in 2009 after he pleaded guil


Settler rabbi backs Palestinian move

September 15, 2011

The Chief Rabbi of Tekoa, Menachem Froman, made his declaration of support in person to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the end of last month, when he visited his office in Ramallah.

Rabbi Froman, former Israeli army paratrooper and one of the founders of the settlement movement, told Mr Abbas that he regarded the declaration as a "present" for the Muslim holiday of Eid, when gifts are t


Late rush to stop Abbas bid at UN

By Anshel Pfeffer and Martin Bright, September 15, 2011

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is due to deliver a speech today in which he is expected to announce the Palestinian Authority's finalintentions regarding the UN General Assembly at the end of the month.

Mr Abbas has been under intense diplomatic pressure from all sides in recent days over his decision.


Erdogan tells Cairo: 'Flotilla cause for war'

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 15, 2011

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was received with mixed feelings in Cairo this week on the first leg of his Middle East tour.

While his criticism of Israel was accepted with enthusiasm, the Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood were anxious to make it clear that they would decide their own policies independently.


'Jew or Not Jew' iPhone app axed by Apple

By Jennifer Lipman, September 15, 2011

Apple's French officials have removed from the online store an application which allowed users to guess whether someone was "Jew or Not Jew".

The decision was taken after a French anti-racism group criticised the app and suggested it violated France's laws against identifying people based on religion. SOS Racism threatened legal action if Apple did not comply and remove the app.


Terror alert over backgammon set on plane

By Jennifer Lipman, September 14, 2011

Israeli travellers sparked a security alert on an aeroplane this week – over a board game.

The US Airways flight between New York and Phoenix was diverted to St Louis on Tuesday. According to news site KSDK the three men were of Russian descent and spoke poor English.


PLO envoy: Palestinian state should be Jew-free

By Jennifer Lipman, September 14, 2011

A Palestinian official has called for a Palestinian state without any Jewish residents.

Maen Areikat, who served as the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's envoy to the United States, said "it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated" in any future state.


'Jew or Not Jew' iPhone app targeted by racism group

By Jennifer Lipman, September 14, 2011

In recent months developers have created iPhone apps for hunting Nazis, finding chametz before Passover and encouraging Palestinians to rise up in a third intifada.

Now, technology which asks users to guess whether people are "Jew or Not Jew" has provoked the ire of anti-racism campaigners.


Republicans cause upset in New York election

By Jennifer Lipman, September 14, 2011

New Yorkers made their thoughts on President Obama's administration clear this week as they handed a Republican candidate a victory in a seat which has been Democrat-run since the Prohibition era.


Israel key issue for Jewish voters in New York 9th race

By Jennifer Lipman, September 13, 2011

New Yorkers go to the polls today in what is being seen by many commentators as a referendum on President Barack Obama's popularity.

The vote for the congressional seat of New York's ninth district, which includes parts of Brooklyn and Queens, was called after the resignation of Jewish representative Anthony Weiner amidst a sex scandal.