News

Former SS soldier charged with denying Holocaust in Germany

(JTA) — A former Nazi SS soldier was charged with denying the Holocaust in Germany. Karl Munter, 96, was indicted in the German state of Lower Saxony on Wednesday for questioning the extent of the Holocaust and offensive comments he made about the victims of a massacre of civilians… Read more »

Abbas says the the Palestinian Authority will ‘sever all ties’ with Israel

(JTA) — Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, reiterated statements about terminating his government’s dealings with Israel. Abbas’ announcement Thursday followed an emergency meeting after Israel razed Palestinian buildings built without permit on the edge of Jerusalem, near the security barrier that Israel built in the West… Read more »

Historian Yuval Noah Harari self-censors Russian translation of his latest book

(JTA) — Yuval Noah Harari, an internationally celebrated historian from Israel, omitted criticism of Russia from a translation of a book to avoid censorship there, he said. The criticism was “liable to be censored by the Russian government,” Harari told Haaretz in an interview published Thursday about the Russian-language… Read more »

CNN photo editor quits after anti-Semitic tweets surface

(JTA) — A CNN photo editor resigned after some anti-Semitic tweets he made in 2011 were discovered. Mohammed Elshamy, a 25-year-old former photojournalist with the Anadolu news agency, quit Thursday night after an employee of Israel’s Government Press Office flagged on Twitter some of the anti-Semitic statements by Elshamy,… Read more »

John Lewis backs the right to boycott — even though he opposes BDS

Rep. John Lewis listens as speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks about the Voting Rights Enhancement Act, H.R. 4, on Capitol Hill, Feb. 26, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., explained why he backed a resolution upholding the right to boycott “at home and abroad” — even though he also voted to condemn the boycott, divestment and sanction movement aimed at Israel Lewis was a cosponsor of a House… Read more »

Six stunning finds from the Met’s exhibit on medieval Jewish treasure

At left, a gold coin of Louis of Hungary, 1342-53; at right, a jeweled silver brooch, second quarter of 14th century, both from the Colmar Treasure. (Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY via Metropolitan Museum of Art)

NEW YORK (JTA) — There are few remnants of the once flourishing Jewish community of the town of Colmar, in France. Jews were blamed for the outbreak of the Black Death plague there in 1348-49, and many were burned to death. A Roman emperor who then controlled the area… Read more »

Six years on, the parents of a Jewish Army veteran who committed suicide are still fighting for change

Howard and Jean Somers testify about their son Daniel's suicide before a U.S. House Committee hearing about the Veterans Affairs' mental health care procedures, July 10, 2014. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) — In 2007, Sgt. Daniel Somers returned home after two tours in Iraq, where he worked in intelligence and special operations. For years he struggled to get on with his life, but his Army service had left him with deep scars, including post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury… Read more »

The Jews getting arrested at ICE centers are just getting started

NEW YORK (JTA) — If you’re going to physically block an entrance to an ICE detention center, the handbook says, don’t act nice about it. Do chant in Yiddish. Do sing Hebrew prayers. “Defiant, angry, urgent, Jewish,” reads the #NeverAgainIsNow Action Toolkit, a six-page Google Doc meant for Jews… Read more »

Anti-Semitic fliers in Massachusetts declare Holocaust ‘fake news’

BOSTON (JTA) — Two anti-Semitic fliers that deny the Holocaust were posted at a Massachusetts synagogue, with reports of similar incidents at synagogues in two other states. Police are investigating what the Anti-Defamation League described as a coordinated campaign by a national online white supremacist group. The fliers at… Read more »

Rhoda Smolow becomes Hadassah president

(JTA) — Rhoda Smolow was officially elected as national president of Hadassah. The new president, the organization’s 27th in its 107 years, will lead over 300,000 members, associates and supporters claimed by the world’s largest women’s Zionist organization, Hadassah announced Tuesday. The announcement camed during Hadassah’s convention at the… Read more »

Rescued twice: The archive that survived the Holocaust and the AMIA attack

Ester Szwarc, the academic coordinator of the AMIA building's Idishe Wiesenshaft Institute, or IWO, said the archive had split in two “like an apple" on July 18, 1994. (Courtesy of IWO)

(JTA) — Abraham Lichtenbaum was getting ready to leave his house on July 18, 1994 when, at 9:53 a.m., he heard an explosion: The headquarters of Argentina’s 200,000-strong Jewish community, the AMIA, located less than four miles from his home, had been bombed. Eighty-five people died and 300 were injured… Read more »