Amnesty manager compares Israel to Islamic State

Amnesty staff member Kristyan Benedict

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?)”

“#JSIL” is used on Twitter to compare Israel with terrorist organisation Islamic State by replacing ‘Islamic’ with ‘Jewish’ in the group’s common alias, ISIL. Read more of this post


Year of enriching egalitarianism

It has been a year since Orthodox men and women in London came together for a new, experimental type of service, one in which women leyn and lead certain parts of tefillah while still considering their practices halachically acceptable.

The founders of the partnership minyan in the UK – who started services at Borehamwood and Hampstead – have hailed the progress made so far in “an absolutely amazing year.”

JC columnist Miriam Shaviv, who helped to set up the minyan in Borehamwood, said it has been “an overarching success” which has provided “a really rewarding, enriching experience for everyone involved”. Read more of this post

Israel slams Amnesty ‘war crimes’ report

Rocket attack on Sderot in June 2014 (Photo: Wikipedia)

Israel has rejected claims by Amnesty International that its army committed war crimes in the latest Gaza conflict, alleging that Amnesty “serves as a propaganda tool for Hamas and other terror groups”.

The Israeli Embassy in London condemned Amnesty for its “extreme bias” and for “producing no evidence” to back up allegations in a new report, entitled ‘Families under the Rubble: Israeli attacks on inhabited homes’.

The 47-page dossier focuses on eight attacks by the IDF which Amnesty said caused the deaths of “at least 104 civilians, including 62 children”. The NGO said that “several of the attacks directly and deliberately targeted civilians or civilian objects, which would constitute war crimes.” Read more of this post

Thieves steal Arbeit Macht Frei sign at Dachau

The Arbeit Macht Frei sign at Dachau concentration camp

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 191cm by 94cm, was taken on Sunday night.

Security guards failed to spot the thieves, who had to scale another gate before getting to the sign. Read more of this post

Lib Dem Friends attack Bibi new home plans

A senior figure in a prominent pro-Israel group has spoken out about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to expand existing settlements in East Jerusalem.

Lord Monroe Palmer, vice president of the Liberal Democrats Friends of Israel, said that Israel was “aggravating some of its friends as well as giving ammunition to its enemies” by approving construction of 1,060 new houses in Ramat Shlomo and Har Homa.

“Sadly, the announcement this week for more than 1,000 new homes outside of the ’67 borders in East Jerusalem doesn’t make friends and influence people outside Israel and the Friends of Israel,” he said. Read more of this post

Netanyahu ‘chickenshit’, says top US official

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with President Barack Obama

A senior US government official has called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “chickenshit”, while another has accused him of being a “coward.”

In an interview with The Atlantic, unnamed figures in the Obama administration said that fear and political self-interest was preventing the prime minister from making peace.

The first official said: “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit.” Read more of this post

Now he’s a real Transformer: LaBeouf becomes a Christian

Transformers actor Shia LaBeouf has moved away from his Jewish roots to embrace Christianity following his latest role.

Mr LaBeouf, whose mother is Jewish and who had a barmitzvah, told Interview magazine that his time spent portraying the deeply religious Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan in David Ayer’s Fury had greatly affected him.

“I found God doing Fury. I became a Christian man … in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page. But it was a real thing that really saved me.” Read more of this post