World news

Pope's silent prayers as he visits Nazi death camp

By Daniel Sugarman, July 29, 2016

Pope Francis visited Auschwitz today during his five-day trip to Poland.

The Pontiff entered alone through the notorious “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate of the camp.

He prayed silently at several locations within the complex, and met former inmates as well as people designated “righteous amongst the nations” for sheltering Jews during the Holocaust.

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Pope Francis's trip to Auschwitz brings both praise and criticism

By Daniel Sugarman, July 28, 2016

The Pope is due to visit Auschwitz on Friday, as part of a five-day official trip to Poland.

Earlier this month Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland, hailed Pope Francis’s decision to visit Auschwitz as setting “an example for humanity.” However, the visit has already been the cause of some controversy.

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University's 'blood libel' seminars

By Lianne Kolirin, July 28, 2016

A German university is teaching students that Israel has committed genocide and that the IDF harvests organs from Palestinians, it has been claimed.

Material entitled "Our sons were robbed of their organs" was included as part of a course about the situation facing Palestinian youths.

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Writer helped Michelle Obama find her voice

By Rosa Doherty and Josh Jackman, July 28, 2016

The Jewish speechwriter behind Michelle Obama's address to the Democratic National Convention has revealed how she penned the emotional address.

Sarah Hurwitz has worked with Mrs Obama for nearly seven years.

The speech the First Lady delivered on Monday night was hailed as a high point of this week's convention and sent her popularity soaring.

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Protesters burn Israeli flag outside Democratic convention

By Daniel Sugarman, July 27, 2016

An Israeli flag was set on fire by protesters outside the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Shouts of “long live the Intifada” were heard as the flag was torched, while a Palestinian flag was waved nearby.

Posters supporting former candidate Bernie Sanders were also set alight outside the arena where the convention is being held.

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We'll sue UK over Balfour Declaration, says Palestinian leader

By Lianne Kolirin, July 26, 2016

Palestinian officials are planning to sue Britain over the Balfour Declaration of 1917 which laid out a framework for the future state of Israel.

The lawsuit will be filed in an international court, according to Riyad al-Maliki, the Palestinian foreign minister.

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Murderer to sue prison service after kosher meals argument

By Rosa Doherty, July 26, 2016

A prisoner on death row in Kentucky has launched a legal case claiming he has been denied access to kosher meals while in jail.

William Harry Meece, a convicted murderer, was removed from the prison's kosher programme after he ate an unlabelled rotisserie chicken.

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Al Qaeda group urges attacks on Israeli Olympic athletes at Rio

By Daniel Sugarman, July 22, 2016

Jihadists have reportedly been using social media to encourage lone wolf-style attacks on Israelis at the Rio Olympics.

According to material obtained by the Foreign Desk news website, social media messages from a group backing Al Qaeda urge would-be jihadists to attack athletes from a number of Western countries, including France and the UK.

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Nice community reels from terror hit

By Shirli Sitbon, July 21, 2016

Nice's Jewish community was in shock this week after Thursday's terrorist attack left one of its members dead and 10 seriously injured.

France-born Muslim Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, of Tunisian origin, drove a truck into the crowds celebrating Bastille Day along the city's promenade, killing 84 people and injuring more than 300 before being shot dead.

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Trump right hand man is fan of Israel

By Josh Jackman, July 21, 2016

The Republican candidate for vice-president has a long history of supporting Israel.

Donald Trump chose Indiana governor Mike Pence to be his running mate ahead of the Republican National Convention on Monday.

Under Mr Pence's leadership, Indiana passed a law that required the state to actively avoid doing any business with companies which boycott, divest from or sanction Israel.

The gove

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