World news

Race still on after US poll win

By Nathan Guttman, April 25, 2008

The Democratic race for the party’s nomination is no closer to a result despite Hillary Clinton’s win in Tuesday’s primary elections in the state of Pennsylvania. According to exit polls, Mrs Clinton benefited more than Barack Obama from efforts to lobby the local community, with 55 per cent of Jewish voters supporting her and only 45 per cent giving their vote to Mr Obama. Both contenders had made a special effort to reach out to Jewish voters in Pennsylvania.


Spate of thefts from Czech site

April 25, 2008

More than 1,000 bronze plates have been stolen from graves at the former Nazi camp of Theresienstadt. Officials at the site in the Czech Republic warned of insufficient funds for security. Replacement plaques will be made from resin to deter thieves.


Beckhams ‘to send son to LA Jewish nursery'

By Neil Wolfson, April 18, 2008

David and Victoria Beckham are reportedly planning to send their youngest son, Cruz, to the top Jewish nursery in Los Angeles, attached to a Reform synagogue, the Stephen S Wise Temple.

But Sheryl Cohen, director of the private Early Childhood Centre at the synagogue, was tight-lipped on the issue: “No comment,” she told the JC.

Glen Lehrman, the Beckhams’ spokesman, was equally non-committal: “I cannot comment on the Beckham children.”

The Temple is one of the biggest in the city, with a 3,000-strong congregation, and six rabbis to minister to their spiritual welfare.


Bibi: Iran will exploit withdrawals

By Daniella Peled, April 18, 2008

Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu has warned that any Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank will result in a power vacuum that Iran will exploit through proxy organisations.

“The promise of additional Israeli withdrawals today is that if the IDF moves out, Hamas moves in — and so does Iran,” he told a Jerusalem press conference on Wednesday. “We can stick to political correctness and pretend this is not going to be the case but it will be, because of the endemic weakness in Palestinian leadership and society.”


Fears growing for Israeli missing in New Zealand

By Dan Goldberg, April 18, 2008

Fears are escalating for the life of an Israeli backpacker missing in New Zealand for the last three weeks.

Liat Okin, 35, was last spotted walking alone on March 26 on the 35km Routeburn Track, a three-day trek near Queenstown on the South Island.

The alarm was raised when she failed to collect her passport, money and belongings from a friend’s place or to call her parents.

Her brother, Itamar, and Hilik Magnus, one of Israel’s most renowned search-and-rescue personnel, arrived in New Zealand over the weekend to aid the rescue mission.


'Top 50 US rabbis' named

April 18, 2008

Newsweek magazine’s second annual list of the 50 most influential rabbis in America has again placed Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, in the number-one spot.

The list was compiled by three friends — Michael Lynton, chairman & CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment; Gary Ginsberg, executive VP, global marketing and corporate affairs, News Corp; and Jay Sanderson, CEO and executive producer, JTN/JTN Productions.


Prisoner wins payout

April 18, 2008

A former prison inmate in Vermont, Gordon Bock, 53, is to receive $25,000 (£12,500) in compensation after complaining that he had been denied Pesach food and festival items during his prison term in 2004 and 2005.


Budapest protests far-right

April 18, 2008

Some 2,000 protesters, including Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany and former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, joined a counter-demonstration in Budapest against right-wing groups.


Cemetery to be surveyed

April 18, 2008

A survey to determine the exact size of an ancient Jewish cemetery in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius is to go ahead, a year after it was first agreed. The fate of the 700-year-old Snipiskes cemetery was the subject of an international outcry after the Lithuanian government allowed a construction company to start redeveloping the site.

Protests were led by the Stamford Hill-based Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe.


German Jews call for prayer to be changed

April 18, 2008

German Jewish leader Charlotte Knobloch insisted that the Vatican drop references to conversion of Jews from its Good Friday prayer before she will consider interfaith dialogue. She said that many Jews see the prayer as a call to convert them, despite Vatican reassurances.