World news

LA jews oppose gay ban

November 13, 2008

Los Angeles Jews voted against Proposition 8, a Californian move to ban same-sex marriages, according to an exit poll by Loyola Marymount University.

Although the ban was ultimately approved, 78 per cent of Jews opposed it and 8 per cent supported it.


US woman freed on $10m bail

November 13, 2008

A us woman accused of defrauding dozens of companies was freed on $10 million (£6.5 m) bail. Dina Wein-Reis of New York was alleged to have persuaded up to 50 companies to give her discounted goods for charities, which she allegedly then sold.


Couple fight for son’s right to life

By Leon Symons, November 13, 2008

A children's hospital in America has sought a legal ruling that it can turn off the support systems of a 12-year-old boy suffering from a severe form of brain cancer and whom they believe to be brain-dead.

The hospital, the Children's National Medical Centre in Washington DC, wanted to override the wishes of the boy's parents, Eluzer and Miriam Brody from Brooklyn, New York. The parents argued that under Jewish law there was no such thing as brain death and that other systems in their son's body were still functioning, albeit with mechanical support.


Expert doubts Auschwitz ‘plans’

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 13, 2008

A leading historian has poured scorn on the publication of Auschwitz death-camp blueprints in German tabloid Bild over the weekend.

The blueprints were purported to show the crematorium and gas chamber at the death-camp. One of the blueprints apparently was initialled by SS chief Heinrich Himmler.


Arab envoys flock to European Union Kristallnacht memorial

By Toby Axelrod, November 13, 2008

A new project for tolerance and reconciliation was formally launched in Brussels at ceremonies marking the Kristallnacht pogrom - also attended by EU representatives from Arab states including Saudi Arabia.


German war crimes trial for Demjanjuk

By Marcus Dysch, November 13, 2008

Former Nazi death-camp guard John Demjanjuk may face a war crimes trial in Germany after officials said new evidence would be used to charge him.

On Tuesday, state prosecutors announced plans to extradite the 88-year-old from the United States and prove he was responsible for the deaths of 29,000 Jews at the Sobibor camp in Poland.

Kurt Schrimm, Germany's chief war crimes investigator, said new files and witnesses provided "a great chance" to make Demjanjuk "face up to the responsibility for his crimes".


Cash crisis rocks Chabad

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 13, 2008

The world's biggest Jewish outreach group faces a cash crisis fuelled by fears that its biggest donor, billionaire diamond mogul Lev Leviev, may slash funding due to his own financial difficulties.

Chabad has around 4,000 emissaries in 70 countries, running 3,300 community centres worldwide.
Sources within the movement say many of the emissaries in charge of running Jewish religious activities around the globe have been told that their funding will be stopped.


Obama mulls future team

By Nathan Guttman, November 11, 2008

With the American economy heading toward recession, president-elect Barack Obama intends to name his future economic team before announcing the make up of his top foreign policy and national security posts.

Mr Obama's first pick as president-elect was of Rham Emanuel, a Jewish congressman from Illinois, to serve as his Chief of Staff. Mr Emanuel, son of a former Israeli who understands Hebrew and volunteered inthe IDF during the first Gulf War, is considered a close friend of Israel and the community.


Israel embraces Obama

By Nathan Guttman, November 6, 2008

The historic election of Democrat Barack Obama as US President has been warmly welcomed by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described Mr Obama's sweeping victory as "historic and impressive" adding: "America has again proven itself an example to world democracies."


Palestinians ‘optimistic’ over Obama

By Ben Lynfield, November 6, 2008

Palestinian leaders are hoping Barack Obama's campaign emphasis on change will translate in office into a shift away from what they view as reflexive American support for Israel.

"I don't know if there is going to be pressure on Israel but he may have a different approach, one of engaging the Israelis, of persuading them," former Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Ziyad Abu Amer said.