World news

Two men jailed for 2002 bomb

February 12, 2009

A French court sentenced two men to prison for their part in the 2002 bombing of a Tunisian shul in which 21 people were killed. Christian Ganczarski, a German convert to Islam, was sentenced to 18 years and Walid Nouar, the brother of the suicide bomber, received 12 years.

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Caracas attack arrests

February 12, 2009

Venezuelan police have arrested 11 people, including seven police agents, in connection with an attack on a synagogue in Caracas. President Hugo Chavez had blamed the attack, which caused international outrage, on elements hostile to his government.

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Turkey acts to stop wave of hate

By Sami Kohen, February 12, 2009

The Turkish government has launched a series of measures to combat the antisemitism that hit Turkey during Operation Cast Lead, and has started trying to mend severely strained ties with Israel.

Following strong condemnation of antisemitism by President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the State Religious Affairs Department instructed clerics in all mosques to refrain from delivering sermons that could provoke anti-Jewish feelings. During the Gaza crisis, mass demonstrations after Friday services had featured antisemitic elements.

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Expat couple killed in Australia inferno

By Dan Goldberg, February 12, 2009

The deadliest bushfires in Australian history have claimed more than 180 lives, including at least two Jews, and razed at least six properties belonging to members of the community.

John and Jenny Barnett, originally from London, died trying to escape the inferno from their holiday home some 30km from Victoria.

John, an associate professor at the University of Melbourne, and Jenny, a researcher at the National Parks Association, were in their 60s and had no children.

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Pope tells Holocaust denier to recant

By Simon Rocker, February 5, 2009

Pope benedict XVI has responded to international pressure and ordered a maverick cleric to recant his Holocaust-denying views.

Jewish-Catholic relations were plunged into crisis last week by the Vatican’s rehabilitation of English-born Richard Williamson, along with three other bishops associated with an ultra-conservative breakaway sect.

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Erdogan ‘vows’ to fight hate

February 5, 2009

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan — who has been fiercely critical of Israel’s conduct in Gaza — vowed to act against a wave of antisemitism in Turkey, including street protests, direct threats to Jews and a boycott campaign, following the war.

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South African apology over slur

February 5, 2009

South Africa’s deputy foreign minister apologised for alleging that “Jewish money” controlled the United States. Fatima Hajaig told a rally last month that “control of America, just like the control of most western countries, is in the hands of Jewish money”.

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Looted art claim settled

February 5, 2009

Two early paintings by Picasso will remain in New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim after claims they were looted by the Nazis were settled out of court. Claimant Julius Schoeps said his German great-uncle had been forced to sell the works.

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Arson at kosher Paris shop

February 5, 2009

A warehouse in a Paris suburb belonging to a kosher supermarket was damaged in what police believe may have been an antisemitic attack.

France, home to Europe’s biggest Jewish community, saw almost 70 antisemitic incidents during the recent war in Gaza.

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Hamas keen to show off power

By Jacey Herman, February 5, 2009

If 14-year-old Amira al-Qerem does not get specialist medical care soon, she will never be able to walk again.

She is one of four children in Gaza City’s Al Shifa hospital waiting for permission to be evacuated to France. Hamas in Gaza has agreed, but the Fatah government in Ramallah is refusing, arguing that Hamas is using the children to garner international sympathy. This war of words is just another sign of the ever-increasing rivalry between the Palestinian factions.

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