World news

Welcome to Nazi Hollow

By Toby Axelrod, January 13, 2011

With only 37 residents, ten houses and two streets, the village of Jamel seems harmless.

But this small part of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has been taken over by neo-Nazis.

Observers say that at least two thirds of Jamel's residents identify with the far-right extremist National Democratic Party (NPD) of Germany and its anti-foreigner platform. The local magnate is Sven Krüger, an NPD representative on the district council.

According to reports, the town has become a place of pilgrimage for neo-Nazis from around the country.


Australia hit by worst floods since Noah

By Dan Goldberg, January 13, 2011

At least a dozen Jewish families in north-eastern Australia have been evacuated from their homes as a "flood of biblical proportions" ripped through Queensland this week, killing at least 12 people.

More than 50 people are still missing and one Jewish man remains unaccounted for near the rural town of Toowoomba, which was flattened on Monday by what police described as an "inland instant tsunami".


Tears for Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona

January 13, 2011

The shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has brought an outpouring of grief from her friends and colleagues within Arizona's Jewish communities.

Candlelit vigils were held outside Ms Giffords's congressional office and at local synagogues, and Jewish leaders have spoken of their anguish over the attack.

On Sunday morning, more than 150 people attended a service at Congregation Chaverim, where Ms Giffords is
a member.

Chaverim's Rabbi Stephanie Aaron officiated at the congresswoman's marriage to astronaut Captain Mark Kelly in 2007.


Ahmadinejad's government described as 'worse than Goebbels'

By Jennifer Lipman, January 13, 2011

A leading Iranian opposition figure has compared the behaviour of his government with that of the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Mir-Hossein Mousavi said of the Iranian government, led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "They've surpassed Goebbels in telling lies.”

He told an anti-government website: “Levelling accusations and telling lies is part of their ossified faith.”


Rony Fuchs fraud trial breach of international law

By Jennifer Lipman, January 12, 2011

An Israeli businessman is on trial in Tbilisi in a fraud case which a high-profile British lawyer has called a breach of Georgia's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC, who is working on the case, said: "In its pursuit of Rony Fuchs, Georgia has acted in a manner contrary to [its] obligations under international law.”

In March 2010 Mr Fuchs and his business partner won a £62 million payout from the Georgian government for a breached agreement on the construction of an oil pipeline.


Arizona shooting: Sarah Palin accuses media of 'blood libel'

By Jennifer Lipman, January 12, 2011

Sarah Palin has accused her critics of “a blood libel” in their coverage of her controversial statements last year, about a Jewish congresswoman who was shot and severely injured in Tucson on Saturday.

Speaking in an online video broadcast, Mrs Palin said: "Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn.

“That is reprehensible.”


Germany top for prosecuting Nazi war criminals

By Jennifer Lipman, January 12, 2011

Germany has been praised for its efforts to bring suspected Nazi war criminals to justice.

The country has been awarded an “A” grade by the Los Angeles - based Simon Wiesenthal Centre in a new report on the international commitment to tracking down former Nazis.

It is the first time anywhere other than the United States has been given the top mark. The findings are based on the period between April 2009 and March 2010.

However, countries including Hungary and Canada have come under criticism in the new report for failing to prosecute suspected Nazi war criminals.


Perfect punishment for Dutch teen's anti-Jewish slur

By Jennifer Lipman, January 12, 2011

A teenager whose offensive comments about Jews were published online has been given a particularly fitting punishment.

The Dutch 18-year-old, referred to as Omar E in court, has been sentenced to community service at the Holocaust hiding place of Jewish diarist Anne Frank.

He had told the website GeenStijl that he believed Jewish people should be exterminated.

Despite a claim by Omar E’s lawyer that the case should not even have come to court because of the negative publicity his client had faced, a judge ruled that the teenager should do16 hours of community service.


ADL: Antisemitism not motive in Arizona attack

By Jennifer Lipman, January 12, 2011

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has dismissed speculation that the alleged Arizona gunman Jared Loughner was motivated by antisemitic or extremist views.

In the wake of the shooting a memo from the US Department of Homeland Security suggested a possible connection between the extremist organisation American Renaissance and the fact that one of the people targeted was Arizona’s first Jewish Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords.


Pastor blames Australian floods on Rudd's Israel views

By Jennifer Lipman, January 11, 2011

An Australian pastor has blamed the country’s former prime minister for causing devastating floods because of his stance on Israel.

At least 20 people have died and many more been injured, while thousands have been left homeless as a result of the flash flooding that has hit the northeastern Australian state of Queensland.

Daniel Nalliah, who two years ago explained bushfires in Victoria in terms of the state’s abortion law, said he had been reminded “that every time America went against Israel, there was disaster in the land”.