World news

Anger over ‘disturbing’ Nazi-style imagery in Nicki Minaj video

By Josh Jackman, November 10, 2014

World-famous rapper Nicki Minaj has been condemned for featuring Nazi-style imagery in her new video.

Ms Minaj, the most successful female rap artist in history, released an animated video for her song Only which features swastika-style flags, a gas mask with the word “chamber” over it and the rap star being saluted by troops wearing red armbands.


ICC throws out Gaza flotilla 'war crimes' case

By Shyam Kumar, November 7, 2014

The International Criminal Court will not action over Israel’s raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in which nine Turkish activists were killed in 2010.

Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that despite having “reasonable basis” to believe war crimes had been committed, the incident would not be of “sufficient gravity” to justify further action by the ICC.


The shul that time forgot

By Isabel De Bertodano, November 6, 2014

One night last week as I was walking through central Lublin with a group of Jews from London, an Orthodox rabbi among us was approached by an excited, middle aged man wearing a black hoodie.

Pawel Matraszek accosted the rabbi, speaking in German and then Yiddish. "I can't believe it, a real Jewish rabbi is here," he said.


Whatever their outcome, the talks with Iran are a well of diplomatic poison for Israel

November 6, 2014

There is a consensus in Jerusalem that the outcome of the next few weeks of talks between the world powers and Iran over a possible nuclear agreement will dictate the direction taken by the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process.

A failure to sign any deal will allow the Obama administration, which is the key player within the P5+1 group leading the talks on behalf of the West, to claim it has


Perfect storm

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 6, 2014

Israeli diplomats are concerned that the coming months will see concerted diplomatic pressure on their government to make major concessions to the Palestinians or suffer some form of sanctions.

As the American mid-term elections have drawn to their end, President Barack Obama enters his final two years with no need to be re-elected or help his party win in Congress.


How headstones from Jewish graves rebuilt a post-war European city

By Shyam Kumar, November 6, 2014

After the Second World War, many European municipalities allowed all traces of their cities' Jewish past to fade into obscurity, with not even a memorial to commemorate the vanished communities.

The Communist authorities in Brest, Belarus, however, went one step further: they used Jewish gravestones as building materials to reconstruct the city.


Museum 'risks lawsuits' over looted art gift

By Toby Axelrod, November 6, 2014

Ronald Lauder, head of the World Jewish Congress, has warned a museum in Switzerland against accepting the collection it inherited from reclusive German art collector Cornelius Gurlitt, who died in May this year.

In an interview with Der Spiegel magazine published Saturday, Mr Lauder said the Kunstmuseum in Bern would risk "opening Pandora's box, triggering an avalanche of lawsuits".

Mr Laud


Unease over 'shul museum'

By Isabel De Bertodano, November 6, 2014

Members of a British delegation to Poland last week expressed mixed feelings on being taken to see the Jewish remnants of Chmielnik, a town in the Kielce region north of Warsaw.

The group, which included United Synagogue president Stephen Pack Rabbi Yoni Birnbaum, of the Hadley Wood community in London, was in the country to attend the opening of the £60 million Polin Museum of the History of


Sign above death camp gates stolen

By Josh Jackman, November 6, 2014

Police in Germany are investigating the theft of the "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign from the main gate at Dachau concentration camp.

A section of the wrought-iron sign, measuring 191 cm by 94 cm, was taken on Sunday night.

Security guards failed to spot the thieves, who had to scale another gate to get to the sign.

The site's director, Gabriele Hammermann, condemned the thieves.


Amnesty manager compares Israel to Islamic State

By Josh Jackman, November 5, 2014

A senior Amnesty figure has compared Israel with terrorist group Islamic State.

Kristyan Benedict, Amnesty’s campaigns manager in the UK, tweeted on Wednesday: “Israeli regimes [sic] response to our Gaza report: Amnesty is ‘a propaganda tool for Hamas & other terror groups’ (#JSIL?)”