World news

Kushner responds to university on Israel views

By Jennifer Lipman, May 5, 2011

Playwright Tony Kushner has criticised New York's City University for delivering a "grotesque caricature" of his views on Israel after the university's board voted against plans to give him an honorary degree.


Is the Fatah-Hamas deal a disaster?

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 5, 2011

"From my perspective, the Hamas-Fatah deal is fiction," said the IDF officer, looking out from a hilltop over the northern West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday morning. "None of the Palestinian local representatives or security officers I have spoken to over the past week have said that it changes anything for them."


German party under fire over Sarrazin

By Toby Axelrod, May 5, 2011

A prominent member of Berlin's Jewish community has withdrawn from Germany's Social Democratic Party after it became clear that the party would not exclude controversial author Thilo Sarrazin over statements he made last year about Muslims and Jews.


Now the Malmö mayor opposes Jewish studies

By Nathalie Rothschild, May 5, 2011

Swedish school pupils will have the opportunity to take Jewish studies as an optional subject starting from this autumn.

After a lengthy consultation period, the Swedish government has commissioned the National Agency for Education to formulate a study plan for the new course, which will be available to pupils in years seven to nine (ages 13 to 15).


Sorry about the Jew-burning, says Mallorca

By Simon Rocker, May 5, 2011

On May 6 1691, Rabbi Raphael Valls, leader of the Chuetas, descendants of forced converts to Christianity in Mallorca who practised their Judaism in secret, was burned at the stake.

It was one of a series of auto da fes that year which took the lives of more than 30 Chuetas, the Catalan for "pigs", as the crypto-Jews were locally known.


Thousands of Holocaust documents go online

By Simon Rocker, May 5, 2011

A new online database will make it easier to find out what happened to the thousands of artworks pillaged by the Nazis after Hitler's rise to power in 1933.

It is one of several initiatives in aid of Holocaust research that were announced this week in the wake of Yom Hashoah on Sunday.


Nazi-hunter Zuroff cleared as war crimes trial begins

By Adam Lebor, May 5, 2011

For Nazi hunter Ephraim Zuroff, it is the end of a long court battle - but for Sandor Kepiro, Mr Zuroff's accuser in the libel stand-off that ended this week, the beginning of another.

On Tuesday, a Budapest court acquitted Mr Zuroff, director of the Simon Weisenthal Centre in Israel, of libel for describing Sandor Kepiro, a former officer in the Hungarian Gendarmerie, as a war criminal.


University blocks honour over Tony Kushner's Israel stance

By Jennifer Lipman, May 4, 2011

Tony Kushner will not be honoured with an honorary degree after a New York university cancelled plans because of the award-winning Jewish playwright's stance on Israel.

After one of the City University of New York (CUNY) board members objected to the institution celebrating Mr Kushner's career at its commencement ceremony later this year, the rest of the board voted against the plans.


Oprah honours Freedom Rider rabbi

By Jennifer Lipman, May 4, 2011

A rabbi who was arrested during civil rights demonstrations in America’s Deep South in the 1960s is to be honoured by Oprah Winfrey later today.

The talk show host has dedicated an episode of her popular show to the efforts of the Freedom Riders, who began their crusade for racial equality 50 years ago today.


Galliano fires Jewish lawyer before court date

By Jennifer Lipman, May 3, 2011

John Galliano's Jewish lawyer has been dismissed from the case with just a week before he is due to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing

Mr Galliano, sacked as chief designer for Dior following worldwide controversy over his allegedly racist and antisemitic remarks in a Paris café, is facing charges for public insult.