World news

Show reveals how hate lingered in East Germany

By Toby Axelrod, September 26, 2008

An exhibition detailing the extent of antisemitism in the former East Germany has opened in East Berlin.

"There was no such thing!" - Antisemitism in the German Democratic Republic is the the product of Erik Thews, 21, and several other students who began researching the subject as part of a high-school assignment. 

Mr Thews and his fellow students were presented with piles of archival documents that their advisor, Konstanze Ameer, obtained.


Conviction over hate article in Greek paper

By Solette Eliezer, September 26, 2008

The publisher of a far-right weekly newspaper and one of his columnists have been convicted of violating anti-discrimination laws in a 2006 article.

Dimitris Zafeiropoulos, the publisher of Eleftheros Kosmos, and columnist Theodoros Hadzigogos were convicted on September 18 by a three-member Athens Appeals Court and handed a five-month suspended sentence for violating Greek anti-discrimination legislation.


Sydney shul hosts first gay 'marriage'

By Dan Goldberg, September 26, 2008

In an Australian first, a same-sex commitment ceremony was held in a synagogue on Sunday.

Scott Whitmont, 47, and Christopher Whitmont-Stein, 38, stood under a chuppah at Emanuel Synagogue in Sydney in front of about 75 guests.

The pair, who had a civil-commitment ceremony six years ago, exchanged rings, smashed a glass and walked around each other three-and-a-half times.


Prague to honour ‘Golem’ rabbi

September 26, 2008

A Jewish institute named after the 16th-century rabbi who created the mythical Golem has opened in Prague.

According to legend, Judah Loew ben Bezalel - the Maharal - made the giant figure out of clay to protect the Jews of Prague.


NY summit on Israeli Arabs

September 26, 2008

The Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan, the flagship of the US Conservative Movement, held a summit on the importance of Israeli Arab issues to the Jewish state. Chancellor Arnold Eisen told the Jerusalem Post that Israel did not give the issue enough attention.


Sarkozy’s Wiesel award

September 26, 2008

French President Nicolas Sarkozy was given the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity annual Humanitarian Award in New York. The president "has contributed greatly to impoverished countries," said Mr Wiesel, a Nobel prize-winner and Auschwitz survivor.


Pius XIIi ‘helped Jews’

September 26, 2008

A Rome symposium on Pope Pius XII heard that he may have tried to save Jews from the Nazis. The meeting was organised by dialogue group Pave the Way Foundation, which claimed that the pontiff did not ignore the fate of Jews and may have attempted to help some.


Ukrainian accused of hate

September 26, 2008

Jewish leaders in Ukraine have accused a city councillor of antisemitism. In an open letter, communal leaders in Kherson accused Sergey Kirichenko, a member of the Union of Left Powers in Ukraine, of accusing Jews of plotting to rob and enslave Ukrainians.


Historic European shuls ‘falling apart’

By Ruth Ellen Gruber, September 26, 2008

Time is running out to save scores of historic former synagogues in Central and Eastern Europe, a heritage foundation has warned.

"If we want to be serious about saving this heritage, we must do it now, as the synagogues are falling apart," said Monika Krawczyk, CEO of the Warsaw-based Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland.

Nearly 20 years after the fall of Communism, a question-mark still looms over the fate of scores, perhaps hundreds, of former synagogues ravaged during the Second World War.


Sanctions on Iran are failing, warns Israel

By Yaakov Katz, September 24, 2008

Iran already has one-third of the amount of enriched uranium it needs to develop a nuclear weapon, a top Israeli intelligence official has revealed.

Brig-Gen Yossi Baidatz, head of Military Intelligence's Research Division, told the Israeli cabinet that international efforts to stop Iran's nuclear programme were failing, despite the recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report which lambasted Tehran for failing to cooperate with United Nations inspectors.