World news

Ahmadinejad may have a kosher secret up his sleeve

By Simon Rocker, February 19, 2009

He wants Israel to disappear; he has questioned the Holocaust; he believes Zionists pull the financial strings in the world. Many Jews would probably rate him public enemy number one. But could President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad be hiding a secret?


France ‘facilitated’ Nazi-era crimes

February 18, 2009

The highest court in France has for the first time recognised the state’s responsibility in the deportation of tens of thousands of Jews during the Nazi era. The Council of State said that the collaborationist Vichy regime had “allowed or facilitated the deportation from France of victims of antisemitism” and called for the “formal admission of the state’s responsibility”.

Around 76,000 French Jews were deported to Nazi camps.


Hizbollah attack feared in Venezuela

By Daniella Peled - Foreign Editor, February 18, 2009

Venezuelan Jews fear they face a terror attack like the Hizbollah-linked Amia bombing in Argentina, a leading community member has warned.

The Iranian-backed movement was thought to be behind the 1994 attack on the Buenos Aires community centre in which 85 people died.

“Hizbollah is growing in force here,” said Sammy Eppel, Director of the Human Rights Commission of B’nai B’rith Venezuela. “We are trying to avert something like Amia happening in Venezuela.”


Australian, 90, survives bush fire

By Dan Goldberg, February 18, 2009

A 90-year-old Jewish man feared dead in Australia’s worst bush fires has been found alive.

Eugene Goodvach’s burnt-out car was found last week near his country house in Marysville, a small Victoria town destroyed in fires that have killed more than 180 people.

His family was unable to contact him but it is now understood that Mr Goodvach had been evacuated to a nearby village by emergency personnel.


Likud man barred from US for spying

By Yaakov Katz, February 12, 2009

The United States is refusing to grant a visa to Professor Uzi Arad, a former top Mossad operative and a senior adviser to Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu.

Mr Arad resigned from the Mossad in 1997 after serving as director of the spy agency’s Intelligence Department.

He served as Mr Netanyahu’s foreign policy adviser during the Likud leader’s first term as prime minister in the late 1990s and has been widely touted as a candidate to head the National Security Council if Likud forms the new government.


Two men jailed for 2002 bomb

February 12, 2009

A French court sentenced two men to prison for their part in the 2002 bombing of a Tunisian shul in which 21 people were killed. Christian Ganczarski, a German convert to Islam, was sentenced to 18 years and Walid Nouar, the brother of the suicide bomber, received 12 years.


Caracas attack arrests

February 12, 2009

Venezuelan police have arrested 11 people, including seven police agents, in connection with an attack on a synagogue in Caracas. President Hugo Chavez had blamed the attack, which caused international outrage, on elements hostile to his government.


Turkey acts to stop wave of hate

By Sami Kohen, February 12, 2009

The Turkish government has launched a series of measures to combat the antisemitism that hit Turkey during Operation Cast Lead, and has started trying to mend severely strained ties with Israel.

Following strong condemnation of antisemitism by President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the State Religious Affairs Department instructed clerics in all mosques to refrain from delivering sermons that could provoke anti-Jewish feelings. During the Gaza crisis, mass demonstrations after Friday services had featured antisemitic elements.


Expat couple killed in Australia inferno

By Dan Goldberg, February 12, 2009

The deadliest bushfires in Australian history have claimed more than 180 lives, including at least two Jews, and razed at least six properties belonging to members of the community.

John and Jenny Barnett, originally from London, died trying to escape the inferno from their holiday home some 30km from Victoria.

John, an associate professor at the University of Melbourne, and Jenny, a researcher at the National Parks Association, were in their 60s and had no children.


Pope tells Holocaust denier to recant

By Simon Rocker, February 5, 2009

Pope benedict XVI has responded to international pressure and ordered a maverick cleric to recant his Holocaust-denying views.

Jewish-Catholic relations were plunged into crisis last week by the Vatican’s rehabilitation of English-born Richard Williamson, along with three other bishops associated with an ultra-conservative breakaway sect.