World news

Dieudonne in court accused of supporting Paris attacker

By Naomi Firsht, February 4, 2015

French comedian Dieudonné told a French court today that he condemned last month’s Paris attacks “without any ambiguity”.

The controversial comedian was on trial for condoning terrorism for a comment posted on social media.


French soldiers stabbed while guarding Jewish centre

By Naomi Firsht, February 3, 2015

The three French soldiers stabbed while on-duty in Nice were patrolling a Jewish community centre.

The attacker, who has been named as Moussa Coulibaly, used an 8 in blade to attack the soldiers, injuring two in the face and one in the arm. He was detained soon after the attack.


Carl Djerassi, father of the pill, dies aged 91

By Rosa Doherty, February 3, 2015

Carl Djerassi, the Jewish chemist who developed the birth control pill, has died at the age of 91.

A professor at Stanford University, he was famous for heading a research team which developed norethindrone, a synthetic molecule that became a key component of the first birth control pill.

The pill revolutionised sexual practices and women’s lives.


Bibi calls for UN to drop Gaza report after investigator resigns

By Naomi Firsht, February 3, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for the UN Human Rights Council to drop its report on the 2014 Gaza war following the resignation of the man who led the inquiry, William Schabas.

“After the resignation of the committee chairman, who was biased against Israel, the report must not be published,” Mr Netanyahu said in a statement.


European Jewish leaders push to outlaw antisemitism

By Orlando Radice, February 2, 2015

European Jewish leaders have launched a campaign to create new continent-wide legislation that outlaws antisemitism.

The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), a panel of legal experts, presented a document on “tolerance” at a conference on extremism, part of a two-day event in Prague last week to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.


Family of vanished oil tycoon battle it out over £65m fortune

By Sandy Rashty, February 2, 2015

The estate of a Brazilian Jewish tycoon is being fought over by his mother and wife after he was declared dead by a judge last Thursday.

Oil and gas tycoon Guma Aguiar was last seen two years ago, manning his motor boat in Florida. The boat – called T.T Zion - washed up to shore the next day, with no trace of Mr Aguiar. His mobile and wallet were found on board the 31 ft boat.


To hell, and back

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 29, 2015

"I thought, maybe one day I will go into this crematorium and I will never have experienced a true love's kiss."

Standing metres from the place where her family was murdered, Auschwitz survivor Halina Birenbaum's voice trembled as she told those gathered about what went through her mind as a young girl at the death camp.


Terezin, a nightmare where the music played on

By Orlando Radice, January 29, 2015

Under low-slung clouds, the voices of Moscow's Male Jewish Choir rung out across the western ghetto of Terezin.

A coronet that had not been played at the camp since the war came to melancholic life in the hands of a member of a clarinet trio.

Children performed part of Brundibar, an opera that premiered in 1944 in a building metres away.


Paris Grande Synagogue: 'We will stay open no matter what'

By Naomi Firsht, January 29, 2015

The façade of Paris's Grande Synagogue rises 36 metres into the sky, and with its ornate arches, domed roof and 1,800-seat capacity it is the largest in France. It has been symbolic of the capital's Jewish community since it opened its doors in 1874.


In France, soldiers replace pupils

By Naomi Firsht, January 29, 2015

It has been a time of change for Isaac Touitou, headteacher of the Daniel Mayer-Montreuil ORT school. He has lost 30 pupils who have made aliyah to Israel, but in the past fortnight he has gained nine new recruits - soldiers.