World news

Heroine of the Warsaw Ghetto dies, aged 98

By Ruth Ellen Gruber, May 16, 2008

Tributes have been paid to Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic resistance heroine who helped save 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto and died this week aged 98.

“A great person has died — a person with a great heart, with great organisational talents, a person who always stood on the side of the weak,” Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, told Polish television.

Heroine: Irena Sendler as a young woman


US kosher factory raided

May 16, 2008

America's biggest kosher meat-packing plant was raided by immigration and customs officers this week seeking illegal immigrants. The Agriprocessors complex in Postville, Iowa, was established in 1987 by a butcher from Brooklyn Heights in New York, who arrived in Postville with some 200 Chasidim. More than 1,000 people work at the plant and there were thought to have been scores of arrests carried out by officials in the raid.


Germany must lead Iran pressure, summit told

By Toby Axelrod, May 9, 2008

Israel is on the brink of a decision similar to the one it faced 60 years ago and should be prepared to go it alone unless the world helps pressure Iran to drop its nuclear ambitions.

So argued those at a conference in Berlin last weekend.


Revealed: how the Exodus Jews hit back

By Bernard Josephs, May 9, 2008

Holocaust survivors whose efforts to reach Palestine after the war were halted by the Royal Navy were sent in 1947 to grim camps in Germany and Austria surrounded by barbed wire and watchtowers.

But they did not go without a fight, according to secret documents released this week by the National Archive.

The struggle between well-equipped troops and the refugees brought deep embarrassment and international criticism for the British government.


Bush visit played down by Jerusalem

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 9, 2008

US President George Bush’s visit to Israel next week will be mainly ceremonial and there is little expectation that it will achieve a breakthrough in the peace process, according to diplomatic sources.

President Bush with Ehud Olmert during his visit earlier this year

Mr Bush will arrive in Israel on Wednesday with his wife Laura for a two-day visit — his second this year — devoted mainly to Israel’s 60th-anniversary celebrations.


Royal pride in Krakow

By Leon Symons, May 2, 2008

Prince Charles is ‘moved’ as he opens a Jewish centre that he helped to fund Prince Charles was so taken by his involvement in creating a new Polish Jewish community centre, which he opened in Krakow on Tuesday, that he now intends to become involved in another Jewish project in Eastern Europe, the JC understands. “To stand between the Tempel and Kupa synagogues in the heart of the Jewish community is like touching history,” he said during the opening ceremony.


Livni to meet Egyptian counterpart in London

By Candice Krieger, May 2, 2008

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was due in the UK today for a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit at the Palestinian Authority donors’ conference.

The meeting between the two ministers is reportedly the first of its kind since they fell out over Egypt’s handling of the arms smuggling into Gaza.


Avram Grant goes to Auschwitz

By Simon Griver, May 2, 2008

Chelsea soccer coach Avram Grant was due to be a keynote speaker at Auschwitz yesterday (1st May) for Holocaust Memorial Day.

He was scheduled to fly to Poland after his team’s Champions League game against Liverpool on Wednesday evening.

Mr Grant, the son of Holocaust survivors, has taken part in the March of the Living, in which mainly young people march between Auschwitz and Birkenau, seven times before.

Israeli football fans wanting to watch the match live were ironically forced to see it screened with German commentary, because of Holocaust Memorial Day.


How a royal gift gave the Krakow community a new beating heart

By Leon Symons, May 2, 2008

Six years ago, Prince Charles promised to provide a group of  Polish Jews with a place to come together. Last Tuesday, he opened its new centre to a sea of smiles

Zofia Radikowska summed up the feelings of the Krakow Jewish community towards Prince Charles.

“So many people have been here in the past and made promises that they would help us. They went away and never came back,” said the beaming 72-year-old academic, who taught law at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University — known as the Cambridge of Poland — until she retired.


Gaza family deaths spark fresh violence

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 2, 2008

The deaths of a mother and her four children in the Gaza Strip have sparked fresh violence — despite ongoing ceasefire talks in Cairo — and a debate within Israel on how to respond to disputed Palestinian deaths.

Miyasar Abu Meatak and her four children Rudina, Hana, Saleh and Mousad, aged 15 months to six years, were killed by an explosion while eating breakfast in the town of Beit Hanoun on Monday morning. Two more children were severely wounded.