World news

Israeli religious authorities at war with the rabbi who lets women dance in shul

By Nathan Jeffay, June 10, 2015

He is one of America's most renowned rabbinic exports and a hero to many modern-Orthodox Jews around the world. But Israel's Chief Rabbinate does not share the admiration for Shlomo Riskin, and has now taken its gloves off in its fight against him.


Controversial Israeli laws blocked

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 10, 2015

Plans to push through legislation that would limit the powers of the Israeli Supreme Court are on hold for now because there is no majority in the Knesset for the new laws.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to pass an "override clause" that would allow the new legislation to pass even if the Court rules they are unconstitutional.


What the Turkish election means for the Middle East

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 9, 2015

The schadenfreude in the West and in Israel over the electoral blow suffered by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday is understandable.


Hamas struggles against pro-Islamic State groups in Gaza

By Naomi Firsht, June 8, 2015

Hamas is trying to control a variety of jihadi groups inside Gaza who are believed to be behind recent attacks on Israel.

Salafist militants who support Islamic State are thought to have carried out bombings at Hamas security posts, and shot rockets at Israeli towns, actions that have provoked reprisals from Israel.


Naked sauna session rabbi apologises

By Franciska Fabriczki, June 5, 2015

A Rabbi accused of encouraging young men to undress and join him in the steam room has addressed the allegations in a letter to members of his synagogue.

After an article published on May 29 in The New York Times, accused him of improper conduct spanning several decades, Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt remained quiet for almost a week.


'Lone wolves' hunt in packs, says cyber expert

By Josh Jackman, June 4, 2015

A cyberterrorism expert has rejected the popular idea of "lone wolf" terrorists, arguing that deadly attacks, such as those in Copenhagen and Brussels, are orchestrated by online helpers.

Professor Gabriel Weimann, who teaches communications studies at Haifa University, is currently advising the European Union on how to combat violent political extremism online.


Woman gets PhD, aged 102

June 4, 2015

A doctor who was denied a PhD by the Nazis will receive the qualification from the University of Hamburg on Sunday - aged 102.

Seventy seven years after she handed in her thesis, Ingeborg Rapoport passed her viva on March 13 at an examination held in her Berlin home.

"We cannot make up for the injustice that has already occurred but we can contribute to working through the darkest sides of G


Ugly truth about wartime Netherlands

June 4, 2015

In 1940 about 140,000 Jews lived in the Netherlands. By 1945, almost three-quarters of them were dead. The Holocaust in the Netherlands, wrote Hannah Arendt, "was a catastrophe unparalleled in any Western country; it can be compared only with the extinction, under vastly different and, from the beginning, completely desperate conditions, of Polish Jewry".


Dutch dog-walkers say no to Jewish Holocaust memorial

By Jens Sørensen , June 4, 2015

Dutch residents are objecting to the construction of a Holocaust memorial in their local park.

Reasons given by a community group opposing the erection of the Dutch Holocaust Memorial of Names in Amsterdam's Wertheim Park - in the city's Jewish Quarter - include the fact that they do not want to be confronted with the victims' names every time they take the dog for a walk.


UK chief rabbi hopeful 'urged boys to strip'

By Franciska Fabriczki, June 4, 2015

A New York rabbi who was once considered for the post of chief rabbi of Britain has been accused of encouraging male members of his congregation to join him for naked sauna sessions.

Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblatt, currently the leading rabbi at Riverdale Jewish Centre in the Bronx, is a well-respected member of New York's Orthodox Jewish community and a visiting scholar at Harvard University.