World news

We don't repossess the shul, we just destroy it

By Lawrence Joffe, August 7, 2014

Down the road from more famous, 16th century Paradesi Synagogue of Cochin, south-west India, stands a dilapidated yet even older house of worship.

The Kadavumbhagom Synagogue was founded in 1551 and once housed a Talmud Torah and an adult yeshivah. But it was sold off when most congregants emigrated to Israel decades ago.

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Lawyers for accused killer do the quenelle

By Michel Gurfinkiel, August 7, 2014

Mehdi Nemmouche, the French jihadi who has been extradited to Belgium to stand trial for the massacre in Brussels' Jewish Museum on May 24, will be defended by far-right lawyers.

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Hollande tries not to offend Muslim voters

By Michel Gurfinkiel, August 7, 2014

On July 31, the left-wing newspaper Liberation floated on its front page the idea that Ligue de Défense Juive (LDJ), the group that played a key role in defending Don Isaac Abravanel Synagogue in central Paris when it was attacked by a Muslim mob on July 13, should be banned.

According to other liberal or left-wing media outlets, the French Interior Ministry "was about" to issue such a ban.

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It's even war in Tinseltown as stars try out Gaza soundbites - and get bitten

By Tom Tugend, August 7, 2014

"Rule 1: talk about anything in Hollywood … except Gaza" read a headline in the Hollywood Reporter last week.

In the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, meanwhile, entertainment columnist Danielle Berrin noted that "prominent entertainment industry leaders, who have raised money for Israel and accepted awards from pro-Israel organisations in the past, have not been heard from".

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Hadar Goldin not kidnapped but died in battle, says IDF

By Marcus Dysch and Orlando Radice, August 1, 2014

The Israeli soldier thought to have been abducted by Hamas fighters in Gaza has been declared dead.

Forensic information indicated that Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, a 23-year-old from Kfar Saba, was killed in a gun battle near Rafah on Friday, a special IDF panel said this weekend.

Two other Israeli soldiers were killed in the attack.

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A truce agreed - then war erupts within hours

By Orlando Radice, August 1, 2014

A 72-hour ceasefire agreed on last night by Israel and Hamas already appears to be falling apart.

The halt, brokered by the US and the EU, was due to take effect at 8am this morning local time. But within two hours, mortar shells had been fired from Gaza, landing near a town by the border, and Israeli forces had returned fire.

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It's Solomon's Temple, complete with helipad

By Isabel De Bertodano, August 1, 2014

A vast replica of Solomon's Temple opened this week in Sao Paulo, with the capacity to seat 10,000 followers of the evangelical Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.

The temple, which engulfs an entire city block and cost about £176 million to build, has polarised opinion, particularly among the Jewish community from which it borrows much of its most eye-catching symbolism.

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Museum 'killer' extradited for trial in Belgium

By Michel Gurfinkiel, July 31, 2014

Mehdi Nemmouche, the French-Algerian jihadist believed to have shot dead four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on May 24, was transferred to Belgium on Tuesday to stand trial, having been held in Paris for almost two months.

Nemmouche, 29, is thought to have fled to Amsterdam after the massacre. He was eventually arrested on May 30 on a bus in Marseilles.

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Obama picks rabbi as faith ambassador

By Simon Rocker, July 31, 2014

American President Barack Obama has turned to one of the world's leading Reform rabbis to be his advocate for religious freedom across the world.

Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Centre, the American Reform movement's social action and justice arm, was nominated this week as an ambassador-at-large.

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Hungarian 'raging antisemite' envoy quits after days on job

By Valentina Jovanovski, July 31, 2014

The man nominated to be Hungary's ambassador to Italy, who has expressed strongly antisemitic views and written for a far-right publication, has left his job under two weeks after the news of his appointment went public.

Péter Szentmihályi Szabó notified the Foreign Ministry that he did not want the position following heavy criticism from opposition parties and Jewish groups.

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