World news

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.


Kristallnacht pogrom to be marked across Europe

By Toby Axelrod, November 6, 2008

The 70th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom is to be marked by communities across Europe on November 9.

The German government and the Central Council of Jews are co-sponsoring a ceremony at the Rykestrasse Synagogue in the former East Berlin, one of the few shuls to survive the war. The city's Jewish community will mark the day at a community centre on the site of a shul destroyed in the attack.


Romanian graves smashed

October 30, 2008

Romanian police launched an investigation after 200 graves in Bucharest's largest Jewish cemetery were vandalised.

The scale of the desecration led to suggestions that it had been an organised campaign. More than 40,000 Jews are buried there.