World news

Anne Frank gets her wish

June 11, 2009

It is a heartbreaking and striking image, made all the more poignant by the knowledge that the pretty, white-haired old lady never existed.

Instead, to mark what would have been the 80th birthday today of the wartime diarist, the UK Anne Frank Trust has commissioned an age progression photograph.

A Michigan company, Phojoe, specialises in digitally adjusting photographs. The company uses its techniques to help in forensic detective work, frequently aiding police to show witnesses how missing people may look.


Museum shooter is ‘antisemite’

By James Martin, June 11, 2009

The gunman who opened fire at the entrance of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington on Wednesday was thought to be an 89-year-old white supremacist.

Media reports identified him as James W Von Brunn, a Second World War veteran who ran an extreme antisemitic website, Holy Western Empire.

The man was reported to have entered the museum, just a mile from the White House, shortly before lunchtime and to have fired indiscriminately, injuring a security guard, before other guards shot back. The guard later died in hospital.


Make or break for Bibi

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 11, 2009

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will deliver his most important policy speech to date on Sunday, outlining his government’s plans for peace.

Few details have been leaked, but speculation is rife that he will discuss the future of the settlements and the Palestinian Authority, as well as relations with Arab countries.

It is unclear whether he will formally endorse a two-state solution — a formulation he has avoided in the past.


Museum shooting guard dies

By James Martin, June 10, 2009

An 89-year-old man with ties to white supremacist groups killed a security guard at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington yesterday.

James von Brunn opened fire with a rifle as he walked into the museum at 12.50pm, shooting his victim at close range, before being hit in an exchange of fire.

He was taken to the George Washington University hospital and was said to be in critical condition. Police sources said that Mr von Brunn had written a book and had a website that raged against Jews and Christianity.


Anne Frank remembered

June 9, 2009

Image enhancing experts have produced a fascinating image of Anne Frank as she would have looked, had she reached the age of 80.

It was created for the Anne Frank Trust UK to mark her birthday on Friday, using the same techniques developed to artificially age missing people such as Madeleine McCann.

It is hoped it will help inspire schoolchildren to remember the loss of six million people in the Holocaust.

In the meantime, we thought it was a timely excuse to celebrate her life in pictures:


Madonna to end tour in Tel Aviv

By Marcus Dysch, June 4, 2009

Madonna is to end her “Sticky and Sweet” world tour with a concert at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park on September 1.

It will be the Kabbalah student’s second performance in Israel. Her last appearance was in 1993.

On her website, she said: “I’m very excited about returning to Israel for my final show. I know it will be unforgettable.”

In 2004 Madonna, who has adopted the Hebrew name Esther, made a private pilgrimage to visit the graves of Jewish sages.

The announcement of the concert made front page news in Israel before tickets went on sale on Tuesday.


Aliyah soars as crunch bites

By Marcus Dysch, June 4, 2009

The recession has seen the largest influx of British Jews making aliyah for a quarter of a century.

The Jewish Agency for Israel and the immigration charity Nefesh B’Nefesh are predicting a “historic year” with the number of British olim expected to reach 800, the most since 1984.

Their forecast follows figures released this week showing that 201 people made aliyah from Britain between January and April, an increase of 53 per cent on the same period last year.


Argentina re-opens Amia bombing probe

By David Labi, Buenos Aires, June 4, 2009

The Argentinian Supreme Court has voted to re-open the investigation into the 1994 terrorist attack on the Amia Jewish community centre.
Though the car-bomb attack in the heart of Buenos Aires killed 85, injured hundreds and reduced the building to rubble, no one has ever been convicted for the crime. The federal judge who led the investigation, Juan José Galeano, was impeached in 2005 after being accused of “serious irregularities”.


German rabbis get historic ordination

By Toby Axelrod berlin, June 4, 2009

For the first time in seven decades, two homegrown Orthodox rabbis have been ordained in Germany.

The historic ceremony, which was broadcast live on television, is seen as further evidence of the return of Jewish life to the country — and in particular, of Orthodox Jewish life, which has revived at a far slower pace than the other denominations.


Yemenite move to US sparks Israeli ire

By Anshel Pfeffer and Marcus Dysch, June 4, 2009

The emigration of 113 Yemenite Jews to the United States over the next few weeks has opened up a rift between Zionist organisations and the Jewish American leadership.

The Zionist groups argue that the Americans should not be encouraging Jews to move anywhere other than Israel, while the Americans insist that Israel does not have a monopoly on resettling Jews.

The Yemenite group is headed for the anti-Zionist Satmar community in Monsey near New York. The Satmars, together with United Jewish Communities (UJC), are facilitating their emigration, together with the US State Department.