World news

Reform and Conserviative synagogues merge

By Paul Berger, July 8, 2010

Corpus Christi, Texas, is not the first place you would think to look for a Jewish community - and not just because of its name.

"This was once a frontier," said local rabbi Ken Roseman. "There were Indians, there were cowboys, there were bandits, there was adventure."

Yet over the last century and a half, this port city on the Gulf of Mexico, known for its oil and farming industries, sustained a small but vibrant Jewish community.


'Nazi' to stay in Australia

By Jennifer Lipman, July 8, 2010

An Australian court has refused to extradite an alleged Nazi war criminal to his native Hungary.

As an officer in the Nazi-allied Hungarian army during the Second World War, Charles Zentai is accused of beating a 14-year-old Jew to death for not wearing a yellow star. Now 88, he denies the charges, claiming he was not in Budapest at the time. He has been fighting extradition for five years.


German concern at rare anti-Israel vote

By Toby Axelrod, July 8, 2010

Pro-Israel groups in Germany have reacted sharply to a unanimous Bundestag motion criticising Israel's blockade of Gaza.

The resolution suggests a shift in Germany's approach to Israel, critics say.

The unanimous cross-party motion, passed last week, demands that Israel end its blockade of the Gaza Strip, while adding that weapons smuggling into Gaza and rocket attacks against Israel must be stopped as well.


Analysis: Recep Erdogan's strategy may soon backfire

By Meir Javedanfar, July 8, 2010

The results of the recent poll conducted by the Israel Project in the United States must have come as great news to the Turks. According to its findings, only 34 per cent of Americans support the Israeli operation against the flotilla, and this is in a country where public opinion is very sympathetic to Israel.


Israeli coalition hit by secret Turkish meetings

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 8, 2010

A meeting between Israeli and Turkish ministers last week, intended to be secret, seems to have done nothing to improve the countries' rocky relations, instead causing at least two crises within Binyamin Netanyahu's coalition.

Trade and Industry Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer has close ties with politicians in many Muslim countries and has undertaken delicate diplomatic missions in the past. Following the breakdown of Israel's relationship with the Erdogan administration after the Gaza flotilla incident last month, Mr Ben-Eliezer tried to use back channels to mend fences.


Analysis: Is Barack Obama finally learning to be nice to Israel?

By Jonathan Tobin, July 8, 2010

Both President Barak Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pulled out the stops to show the world that all is well between them this week.

But however much they protested that the US-Israel alliance is as strong as ever, Mr Obama is still convinced that his predecessor's closeness to the Jewish state was a mistake that harmed the prospects for peace.

In response to Washington's cold shoulder, Mr Netanyahu has wisely made concessions, accepting a two-state solution and even a limited settlement freeze.


Analysis: Obama and Netanyahu smile for the cameras

By Anshel Pfeffer, July 8, 2010

The master of oratory was a bit off-form on Tuesday. President Barack Obama said all the right words at the end of his Oval Office meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, but his heart obviously was not in it.

He stuttered slightly, repeatedly failed to make eye contact with the camera and almost fluffed his lines. Mr Netanyahu seemed much more at ease, but then he has a lot more practice than the president at glossing over compromise in public.


Judge orders warring couple to build wall across flat

By Ellen Tumposky, July 8, 2010

She wants him out of the house. He thinks she should be the one to leave.

A judge thinks the solution for a warring Orthodox Jewish couple in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, might be for both of them to stay put.

So he has suggested that they consider building a wall to divide their roomy flat into very distinct "his" and "hers" sections.

Judge Eric Prus of Brooklyn Supreme Court floated the suggestion in the acrimonious and ongoing divorce proceedings between Pinchus and Nechama Gold. The case was most recently in court last week.


Camp David: Ten years on for Middle East peace

July 8, 2010

Ten years after the Camp David summit between the Israelis and Palestinians ended acrimoniously, one of the main architects of the peace plan that emerged from the negotiations is still certain that it presents the only viable solution to the conflict.


CNN editor sacked for Hizbollah "admiration"

By Jessica Elgot, July 8, 2010

The CNN Middle East editor has been sacked after using Twitter to express her admiration for a Hizbollah cleric.

Beirut-born journalist Octavia Nasr said in a Tweet last week: “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah... One of Hizbollah's giants I respect a lot."

A CNN spokesman said that Ms Nasr was leaving because her impartiality had been “compromised”.

The Shia cleric was believed to be the spiritual leader of Lebanese terrorist group Hizbollah, and was one of the top clerics in the country.