World news

The view from the Gaza strip

By Ben Lynfield, June 20, 2008

“Everyone is waiting for the ceasefire because our lives are terrible.”

With those words, Raed al-Atamneh, a taxi-driver in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, summed up the mood in advance of the Egyptian-brokered truce.

“People expect goods to come into Gaza now. I hope this agreement will stop the shooting, stop the dying. People want to feel safe and have a good life, but the power is in Israeli hands, not Palestinian hands,” Mr al-Atamneh added.


African rabbi in Britain tells of crisis faced by Zimbabwe Jews

By Shelly Paz, June 20, 2008

A South African rabbi came to London this week to “create awareness in the local Jewish community” of the difficulties faced by Zimbabwe’s tiny Jewish community, and to seek help for the regular support his organisation is having to offer its members.

Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft is rabbi to the African Jewish Congress, which represents 13 African countries including Zimbabwe. He is also the president of the AJC’s Zimbabwe Fund, responsible for all aid and assistance to the 320 Jews in Zimbabwe.


Jews may pull cash from F1, says Ecclestone

By Dana Gloger, June 20, 2008

Bernie Ecclestone, president and chief executive of Formula One motor racing, has said he is concerned that Jewish investors in the sport are unhappy with Max Mosley’s continuing involvement in its regulating body.

Mr Mosley, president of the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA), a non-profit association that represents the interests of motoring organisations and is the governing body for Formula One, was accused by the News of the World newspaper in March of taking part in orgies involving Nazi role-playing and several prostitutes.


Plight of cancer-gene sisters

By Candice Krieger, June 20, 2008

Three sisters whose lives have been affected by breast cancer as a result of a genetic mutation common in Ashkenazi women are campaigning to raise awareness of the gene.

Glasgow-based Sue Faber, 44, and her sisters Elaine Mishkin, 43, and Karen Rosen, 37 — whose mother Lorna Klineberg died from breast cancer aged just 47 in 1986 — all chose to undergo mastectomies and reconstructive surgery in 2006. 


Scrutiny of Claims Conference grows

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 20, 2008

The Claims Conference is facing a deeper scrutiny of its affairs, both from the Israeli Comptroller and the German Auditor’s Office.

The German investigation into the Conference’s accounts is the result of rising criticism of the lack of transparency of the body which transfers pensions to Holocaust survivors from the Berlin government.


Israel and Syria keep talking…

By Sami Kohen, June 20, 2008

Israeli and Syrian representatives held the second round of “proximity’’ talks in Istanbul this week through Turkey’s mediation.

Israeli sources described the atmosphere of the two-day talks as positive and constructive. There are indications that these indirect talks will continue in the coming weeks, although officials refrained from giving any clue as to the date of the next round.


Sarkozy gets cosy with Assad

By Shirli Sitbon, June 20, 2008

Jewish institutions and opposition parties have criticised the welcome extended by French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy to Syrian leader Bashar Assad to the summit launching the Med Union on July 13 and to the next day’s Bastille Day celebrations.

“It is not the invitation to the summit itself we are criticising, but the honours given to Assad the next day when he’ll be the nation’s guest at the presidential tribune for the national celebration,” a spokesman for the Jewish umbrella body CRIF told the JC.


‘Nazi’, 95, says he is innocent

June 20, 2008

A suspected Nazi war criminal tracked down by The Sun newspaper at the Euro 2008 games in Austria has denied wrongdoing. Milivoj Asner, 95, allegedly transported hundreds to their deaths in war-time Croatia, but has successfully maintained that he is too ill to be extradited.


US church text full of ‘bias’

June 20, 2008

More than a dozen US Jewish bodies have complained about a Presbyterian church statement on anti-Jewish bias and the Middle East conflict. The groups, including the American Jewish Committee, complained that the church statement was “infused” with prejudice.


JDC to cut aid and staff

June 20, 2008

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is to reduce its number of programmes and cut 60 jobs in offices in the US and abroad due to financial pressures. The weak dollar has left the aid organisation with a budget shortfall of some $60 million (£30m).