World news

Crisis cash for Madoff victims

January 29, 2009

The Jewish Funders Network has launched a Crisis Loan Fund in the USA to assist non-profit organisations which invested with Bernard Madoff.  With an initial pool of $5 million, the fund will provide financing and interest subsidies to organisations facing budget shortfalls.


Award for Oz Everest mother

January 29, 2009

Cheryl Bart, the Jewish mother who made history last year when she climbed Mount Everest with her daughter, has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia. The Sydneysider dedicated her award to her late father, Eric Klinghoffer, a Holocaust survivor.


Gaza spurs Latin American fears

By David Labi, January 29, 2009

Israel’s Gaza operation has led to a rise in antisemitism in Latin America and fresh fears for the safety of Venezuelan Jews, according to a prominent Latin American Jewish organisation.

In an open letter, the Confederación Latinoamericana Maccabi (CLAM) has expressed grave concerns over a new wave of antisemitism in Venezuela, prompted by events in Gaza.


Al Qaeda leader calls for Gaza reprisal in Britain

January 22, 2009

A Reuters reports says that an Al-Qaeda leader has called for retaliation attacks in Britain in return for the Gaza conflict, because, he says, the UK was behind the creation of Israel.

In a video posted on an Islamist website, Abu Yahya al-Libi, whose group took responsibility for the July 2005 terror attacks, said "It's high time that this criminal country, I mean Britain, paid the price of its historic crime. There is no child who dies in Palestine ... without this being the outcome of the (country) that handed Palestine to the Jews ... Britain."


Egypt turns a blind eye to arms tunnels

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 22, 2009

The Egyptian regime is still enabling Bedouin smugglers to use the tunnels under their border with the Gaza Strip to transfer arms to Hamas, the JC can reveal.

Despite announcements by senior Egyptian officials that they would clamp down on the smuggling, local Bedouin traders are still offering — even after the Gaza ceasefire — to smuggle goods and people under the border.

These were the tunnels that enabled Hamas and the other Palestinian organisations to bring through materials to manufacture the missiles fired on Israel.


War weakened Abbas, Palestinians warn

By Ben Lynfield, January 22, 2009

President Mahmoud Abbas has been politically wounded by the Gaza war, with Hamas enjoying a surge of popularity in the West Bank, according to Palestinian analysts.

“In political terms, Hamas has become much stronger and its rivals much weaker,” said Ghassan Khatib, a former PA minister.

“The mere fact that Israel is targeting Hamas makes Hamas popular, as does the fact that Hamas fought back and did not surrender, and in Palestinian eyes put on an impressive performance by being disciplined, organised and continuing to fire rockets until the last minute.”


Analysis: Keeping track of Obama’s promises

By Shmuel Rosner, January 22, 2009

The Obama Promise Tracker is an electronic tool with which to follow all the promises the new President has made – 895 by its inventor Todd Smith’s count.

Of these 895 promises, made between February 10 2007 — the day he announced his candidacy — and November 4 — the day he was announced President-elect — 14 are tagged under “Foreign Policy, Israel”.


Interfaith tensions rise in Britain and France

By Marcus Dysch and Rebecca Assoun, January 22, 2009

Interfaith groups are attempting to preserve lines of communication amid the fallout from events in the Middle East.

British-based organisations say their members are working to remain united despite events in Gaza, but in France tensions have risen after Muslims quit the country’s only Jewish-Muslim forum.

Jane Clements, director of the UK-based Forum for Discussion of Israel and Palestine (Fodip) said the past month had created “difficulties. When these things happen it always points out that relations are not improving.


Anti-Israel violence erupts across world

January 8, 2009

Violence against Jews, and protests and demonstrations linked to the Gaza conflict, have occurred around the world.

The French Jewish community has suffered a number of attacks. The most serious incidents were in Toulouse, where a burning car was crashed into the gates of a synagogue on Monday. According to police, a second car was about to be rammed into the shul but the attackers abandoned the vehicle when an alarm went off. Police found petrol bombs in the vehicle.


Angry Muslim ally sides with Hamas

By Sami Kohen, January 8, 2009

Israel’s relations with Turkey, its closest Muslim ally, are in crisis as a result of the Israeli offensive.

As thousands of Turks took to the streets of Istanbul and other cities to condemn Israel’s action, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed Israel for dealing what he called “a fatal blow” to Turkey’s mediation efforts between Israel and Syria and called Israel’s action a “crime against humanity”.