World news

Demjanjuk: Judgment day for the 'last Nazi'

By Toby Axelrod, November 26, 2009

When John Demjanjuk enters Munich District Court II on November 30, it will be the second time he has stood trial for crimes against humanity, allegedly committed during the Second World War.

Sixteen years ago, Israeli courts released Demjanjuk from a death sentence after evidence showed he probably was not the notorious Treblinka guard “Ivan the Terrible”.

This time, the Ukrainian-born 89-year-old is charged with involvement in the murder of 27,900 Jews in the notorious Sobibor death camp in 1943, as an SS guard trained in the Trawniki camps.


Hizbollah given right to arm against Israel

By Josie Ensor, November 26, 2009

Lebanon’s new cabinet has agreed on a policy statement that recognises Hizbollah’s right to use arms against Israel, despite reservations from the Western-backed ruling majority.

The cabinet had already met eight times in an attempt to iron out the clause which refers to the party’s substantial arsenal, with some ministers arguing it undermines the authority of the state.

The clause in question states the right of “Lebanon, its government, its people, its army and its resistance” to liberate all Lebanese territory.


Brit named in Israel helicopter crash

By Jessica Elgot, November 26, 2009

The 43 year-old British man killed in the Netanya helicopter crash has been named as Roberto Arvanitakis.

The Foreign Office has confirmed that Mr Arvanitakis was a British citizen, but he is believed to have been living in Cyprus.

The Israelis who were killed in the crash are said to have been showing the British businessman around the Netanya coast when the helicopter malfunctioned. He is believed to have worked in the airline industry.

The other victims were named as 35 year-old Yoav Tamir from Tel Aviv, the co-owner of Tamir Airways which owned the helicopter.


Pupils suspended for 'Kick a Jew' Day

By Jessica Elgot, November 26, 2009

Students at a Florida school have been suspended for participating in ‘Kick a Jew’ Day.

Ten pupils at North Naples Middle School were suspended for a day, after a female student told the school’s head that she believed she had been kicked as part of ‘Kick a Jew Day’.

Local expressed concerns that the students may have been inspired by TV show South Park where an episode featured ‘Kick a Ginger Day’. The attacks are believed to have been co-ordinated via a Facebook group.


Jewish athlete's record restored by Germany

By Jessica Elgot, November 24, 2009

A 95 year-old Jewish woman stripped of her high jump record by Nazi Germany has had her record restored by the German track and field association.

Gretel Bergmann, who is now Margaret Bergmann Lambert, emigrated to New York in 1937 after she was 'replaced' at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by the Nazi government because she was Jewish.

Mrs Lambert had already left Germany for the UK in 1934 after she was banned from her athletics club for being Jewish.

She had previously recorded a world record high jump of 5 feet and 3 inches, having been on the German team for two years.


Body of journalist Alec Collett found in Lebanon

By Josie Ensor, Beirut, November 24, 2009

The body of British journalist Alec Collett who was executed by Palestinian militants has been found this week in Lebanon after a 24-year hunt.

The search for the 64-year-old’s remains, organised by the British embassy in Lebanon, began last week in the eastern region of Bekaa after the excavation team received a tip-off.

Both the British Foreign Office and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) confirmed the DNA results Monday.


Analysis: Our kosher meat is improving already

By Sue Fishkoff, November 23, 2009

Sholom Rubashkin’s convictions on 86 of 91 federal fraud charges ends one chapter in an ugly story of monetary scandal and worker exploitation that has rocked the North American Jewish community. But the case’s implications for kashrut are ongoing.

Rubashkin’s arrest following a massive May 2008 immigration raid that eventually ruined the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa, bitterly divided American Jewry, brought shame to the kosher meat industry and depleted the country’s supply of kosher meat.


Kosher abattoir owner faces 1,255 years for fraud

November 23, 2009

The former CEO of America’s largest kosher slaughterhouse has been convicted on 86 charges of fraud.

A South Dakota jury declared Sholom Rubashkin, formerly of the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant in Iowa, guilty of bank, mail and wire fraud; making false statements to a bank; money laundering; and ignoring an order to pay livestock providers. He was acquitted on five counts.

A date for sentencing has yet to be announced but Rubashkin, 50, could face up to 1,255 years in jail.
He still faces trial on 72 charges relating to immigration violations.


Israel fencing teens sing anthem lost by Austria

By Jessica Elgot, November 23, 2009

Officials at a fencing tournament in Austria misplaced a recording of the Israeli national anthem this week, leaving two Israeli teenagers who had won awards to sing a capella.

The two Israelis won gold and bronze medals at the European Cup fencing tournament for under 17s. Dana Stralinkov, 14, won gold and Alona Komarov, 13 won bronze.

But the Austrian official in charge of arranging the national anthems played when the winners went on the podium said he could not locate the recording of ‘Hatikvah’.


Yemen 'foils murder attempt on Rabbi'

By Jessica Elgot, November 20, 2009

Yemen has claimed it has foiled an assassination attempt on a Jewish leader, Rabbi Yahiya Ben-Yousef.

Three armed Houthi rebels have been arrested attempting to enter the Jewish area of the Yemeni capital Sana’a.

They were believed to be trying to kill Rabbi Ben-Yousef, the head of the local community.

Rabbi Ben-Yousef had apparently been critical of the Houthi rebellion, claiming the rebels had displaced and intimidated Yemeni Jews and stolen their property, including Torah scrolls.