Month: February 2018

US ambassador to Israel reportedly says evicting settlers ‘could lead to civil war’

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Evicting hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers from the West Bank “could lead to civil war in Israel,” U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told American Jewish leaders.

His remarks were first tweeted and reported on Israel’s Channel 10 by journalist Barak Ravid, who said he received the remarks from three participants at the meeting.

Friedman spoke Monday night during an off-the-record briefing in Jerusalem for about 100 American Jewish leaders at a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations.

The U.S. Embassy and the Presidents Conference disputed the report.

“We have seen…

Orthodox school in Antwerp says employee wrong to instruct teachers not to teach evolution, reproduction

(JTA) — A haredi Orthodox school for girls in Antwerp has distanced itself from a document handed out by an employee of a high school instructing teachers not to speak with students about sex and evolution.

The Gazet van Antwerpen daily reported Monday on the document titled “general instructions,” prompting the Flemish education minister, Hilde Crevits, to launch an investigation into the Benoth Jerusalem school.

In 2012, Benoth Jerusalem was flagged as “lacking” in an Education Ministry inspection for failing to teach evolution and sexual education, which put into question its continuing eligibility for government subsidies. Benoth Jerusalem is…

Dutch aid group for Syrians accused of discriminating against job seeker with Jewish ties

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — A job seeker said she was advised to hide her ties to the Jewish community during an interview with a Dutch state-funded group trying to help Syrian immigrants integrate.

Laura Vrijsen, who is not Jewish, wrote earlier this month in the Nieuw Israelietisch Weekblad weekly about her 2017 interview for Association Again at Home Rotterdam, prompting an outpouring of condemnations by politicians who accused the organization of discrimination. The association denied the allegations.

According to Vrijsen, the two women who interviewed her for a social worker’s position asked indirectly whether she was Jewish upon noticing that…

Circumcision ban will prevent Jewish community life in Iceland, Scandinavian Jews warn

(JTA) — The leaders of the Jewish communities of four Nordic countries said that a bill proposing to ban nonmedical circumcision in Iceland “will guarantee” that no Jewish community is established there.

The presidents of the umbrella groups of Jewish communities in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland issued the unusual warning Tuesday in an open letter to all Icelandic lawmakers in reaction to the submission last month of a bill proposing to ban all nonmedical circumcision of boys younger than 18 in Iceland, a Scandinavian island nation of some 300,000 people with a few hundred Jews and Muslims.

Lawmakers from…

‘Jews out’ scrawled on monument for synagogue in Poland destroyed by Nazis

(JTA) — A monument commemorating a synagogue that Nazis destroyed in what today is Poland was vandalized with an anti-Semitic slur and far-right imagery written in German.

The incident occurred earlier this month in Zielona Góra, a city in western Poland that was under German control from 1871 until 1945. Unidentified individuals wrote “Jude raus,” German for “Jew out,” on a stone slab commemorating the synagogue that Nazis burned down in 1938. They also crossed out a Star of David on the same slab and drew a Celtic cross, a well-known white supremacist symbol, on an adjacent plaque, Gazeta…