World news

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.


Miliband in Mid-East diplomacy drive

By Bernard Josephs and Anshel Pfeffer, November 6, 2008

Talks with Syria and the Palestinian Authority will be high on the agenda during Foreign Secretary David Miliband's visit to Israel in 10 days' time. Mr Miliband will be reporting to his Israeli counterparts on his meeting last week with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.

Mr Miliband will be travelling to Israel during its election season, and in addition to meeting outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, he will also be sounding out Defence Minister Ehud Barak of Labour and Likud's Binyamin Netanyahu.


US soldier sacked for attack

November 6, 2008

A US soldier has been discharged for assaulting a Jewish private during basic training. Victim Michael Handman, 20, was hospitalised after the September attack and complained of discrimination. The army declined to name the soldier who carried out the attack.


Kosher meat boss charged

November 6, 2008

The former chief executive officer and vice president of the largest kosher meatpackers in the US, Agriprocessors Inc, has been arrested. Sholom Rubashkin, 49, was charged with harbouring illegal immigrants and aiding and abetting identity theft.


Rabbi abused in Berlin

November 6, 2008

Police have arrested two men after a rabbi and eight students were abused in Berlin. Rabbi Yehudah Teichtal, 36, was driving his students home when men in a passing car shouted antisemitic abuse and attempted to throw a burning object at them.