World news

EU summit seeks peace consensus

By Danielle Mitzman, September 26, 2008

Israeli, Palestinian and European politicians and activists have used an international summit in Pisa, Italy, to demand an agreement to end the occupation by the end of 2008.

The conference last weekend, entitled Europe's Role in the Resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, was the second annual meeting aimed at building a consensus on peace.

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A German shul boom

By Toby Axelrod, September 26, 2008

Just in time for the New Year, two Jewish communities in Germany have new synagogues.

But the buildings themselves are not new. In Bielefeld, a former church has been refitted, its steeple and church bells replaced with a dome. And in Krefeld, a former commercial building has been redesigned, using elements rescued from the synagogue destroyed in the town during the anti-Jewish Kristallnacht pogrom nearly 70 years ago.

Both new synagogues, which each hold 300 worshippers, are located in the former West German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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