Vandalism at three New England synagogues aims to intimidate community, ADL regional leader says

A swastika painted at Temple Ohawe Sholam in Pawtucket, R.I. (Courtesy of Marty Cooper/Jewish Alliance for Greater Rhode Island)
A swastika painted at Temple Ohawe Sholam in Pawtucket, R.I. (Courtesy of Marty Cooper/Jewish Alliance for Greater Rhode Island)

A swastika painted at Temple Ohawe Sholam in Pawtucket, R.I. (Courtesy of Marty Cooper/Jewish Alliance for Greater Rhode Island)

BOSTON (JTA) – Recent vandalism targeting three New England synagogues is aimed at intimidating the Jewish community, the director of the New England office of the Anti-Defamation League said.

Robert Trestan said the attacks at two synagogues in the Boston area and one in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, are part of a spike in anti-Semitic incidents in the region since the start of the year. [Read more…]

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75th anniversary of Baghdad pogrom to be commemorated in Washington, New York, London and Jerusalem

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The author of a work on the Nazi-era massacre in Baghdad believed to have precipitated the Jewish exodus from Iraq is commemorating its 75th anniversary with candle lightings in four cities.

Edwin Black, who in 2010 published “The Farhud,” about the June 1-2, 1941 massacre of at least 180 Jews in Baghdad, will convene candle lightings on Tuesday in the morning on Capitol Hill and in the afternoon at the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue in New York. [Read more…]

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Historic Jewish wedding in Turkey triggers hate speech online

(JTA) – A historic wedding in Turkey triggered a deluge of anti-Semitic speech online, a leader of the country’s Jewish community said.

Ishak Ibrahimzadeh, president of the Jewish Community of Turkey, said Sunday that some social network users responded with hate speech to his invitation to watch a live streaming video of the first Jewish wedding in 41 years in Edirne, a city in western Turkey near its border with Greece. [Read more…]

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Ohio Israeli eatery to close following February machete attack

(JTA) – An Israeli restaurant owner in Ohio whose eatery was targeted by a knife-wielding assailant said the incident has caused him losses requiring him to declare bankruptcy.

Hany Baransi, the Christian Israeli Arab whose Nazareth Restaurant & Deli in Columbus was attacked in February, reopened shortly after the attack but has been unable to stay afloat, the Times of Israel reported Monday. The restaurant has been open for 27 years. [Read more…]

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Holocaust monuments vandalized in Poland, Italy

(JTA) – Newly erected Holocaust monuments in Poland and Italy have been vandalized.

In Poland, a monument in Raigrod, 130 miles northeast of Warsaw, was hit last week for the second time since its unveiling in September 2014. The vandals, who have not been identified, broke off part of its surface and spray-painted expletives and a neo-Nazi symbol on what remained. [Read more…]

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Sanders: Israel has a right to U.S. protection

(JTA) – Israel has a right to be protected by the United States, Bernie Sanders, a candidate in the U.S. presidential primaries of the Democratic Party, said.

Sanders, who has spoken in favour of Palestinian interests as well as Israel’s right to exist in security, made this assertion Sunday during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.” [Read more…]

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Israeli Cabinet OKs appointment of Avigdor Liberman as defense minister

Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, speaking at a news conference at the Knesset, May 18, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, speaking at a news conference at the Knesset, May 18, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

(JTA) – The Israeli Cabinet unanimously approved the appointment of Avigdor Liberman as defense minister on Monday, formalizing a coalition deal between his Yisrael Beiteinu party and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud.

The vote came after weeks of talks initiated by Netanyahu to add the five Yisrael Beiteinu seats to his ruling government, bringing the total to 66 lawmakers out of the 120 in the Knesset, Israel Radio reported. [Read more…]

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New Jersey man who fire-bombed rabbi’s home convicted of terrorism

(JTA) – A 24-year-old New Jersey man was found guilty of terrorism for vandalizing Jewish temples and firebombing a rabbi’s residence four years ago.

A jury cleared Anthony Graziano of Lodi, New Jersey of several attempted murder charges and one count of aggravated arson but convicted him of terrorism – the most serious offense – and 19 other charges connected with Graziano’s actions. [Read more…]

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Argentine ex-minister’s Iran tape admitted as evidence of alleged treason

BUENOS AIRES (JTA) – Argentine judges reviewing treason charges against a former minister admitted as evidence a recording of him speaking about Iranian involvement in a terrorist attack in Buenos Aires.

The justices of the federal appeals court ruled last week to admit the 2012 recording of former foreign minister Hector Timerman, who is Jewish. In it he is heard justifying the negotiations with Iran to jointly investigate the 1994 terrorist attack, even though he is heard saying the Islamic Republic was responsible for the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community centre, which killed 85 people. [Read more…]

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CRIF’s new president: French Jews’ situation worst since 1945

(JTA) – French Jews are experiencing the most difficult situation they have encountered since the end of World War II, the newly-elected president of France’s umbrella of Jewish communities said.

Francis Kalifat, 64, said Sunday that his first priority as president of CRIF is to fight against the anti-Semitism that he said was responsible for the situation he described. [Read more…]

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