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  • UN human rights office decries Israeli sentence of soldier as ‘excessively lenient’

    (JTA) — The United Nations’ human rights office said it is “deeply disturbed” by the 18-month prison term given to an Israeli soldier who killed a wounded Palestinian terrorist after he had been subdued. Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, criticized the sentence for manslaughter as “excessively lenient” and “unacceptable” on…

  • Israeli tourist arrested for climbing Brooklyn Bridge for a selfie

    (JTA) – Police in New York arrested an Israeli tourist who climbed the Brooklyn Bridge to take a selfie there. The tourist was an 18-year-old man whom the New York Post identified as “Shivel Dikstein.” Unlike Shoval, Shivel is not a common Israeli name. He was arrested at 7 p.m. Thursday after allegedly jumping a…

  • Belgian anti-racism official defends Palestinian he helped convict for hate speech

    (JTA) — Jews from Belgium’s Flemish Region said they “lost all confidence” in the country’s anti-racism authority over its lawyer’s defense of a Palestinian man whom the lawyer helped convict for hate speech over calls to slaughter Jews. The unusual rebuke Thursday by the Forum of Jewish Organization of Flanders came after the Jewish weekly…

  • Citing ‘bias,’ Israel denies visa to Human Rights Watch regional director

    (JTA) — Israel is refusing to issue a visa to an American employee of Human Rights Watch over his group’s alleged bias against the Jewish state. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised against granting a visa to Omar Shakir, the new Israel and Palestine director for Human Rights Watch, a leading nongovernmental organization in its…

  • Report: Attackers saw off Jewish man’s finger, beat his brother near Paris

    (JTA) — Two Jewish brothers said they were abducted briefly and beaten by several men in suburban Paris in an incident that ended with one brother having his finger sawed off by an assailant. The brothers were hospitalized in what was described as a state of shock following the incident Tuesday night in Bondy. A…

  • Judge drops hate crimes charges in rape and robbery of French Jewish couple

    (JTA) — French prosecutors dropped hate crime charges in the case of four men suspected of rape and robbery at a suburban Paris home they acknowledged was targeted because it belonged to Jews. The magistrate responsible for conducting the investigative hearing that precedes a criminal trial decided against including hate crime charges in the 2014 incident in…

  • Warsaw initiates 6-month deadline for renewing dormant restitution claims

    (JTA) — The municipality of Warsaw published a list of 48 buildings claimed in now-dormant restitution suits, opening a six-month window for new claims under recent legislation. If no action is taken on the property before the deadline, it will be transferred permanently to the city, the World Jewish Restitution Organization, or WJRO, wrote in a…

  • Jonathan Safran Foer: My Israeli friends want to raise kids elsewhere

    (JTA) — Jewish-American novelist Jonathan Safran Foer said his Israeli friends no longer wish to raise their children in a country that is excluding itself from the Western world and thus encouraging boycotts against it. Foer, 40, who is among the world’s best-known Jewish writers of fiction, delivered his criticism of Israel under Prime Minister…

  • Report: Lithuania reconsiders plans to build atop former Jewish cemetery

    (JTA) — Lithuania’s government is reconsidering plans to build a convention center atop what used to be a Jewish cemetery in Vilnius, rabbis said after meeting with the country’s ambassador to the United States. The seven-member delegation of American haredi Orthodox rabbis and activists met Rolandas Kriščiūnas last week to discuss the controversial plan to build…

  • Meet the gonzo Jewish filmmaker behind Trump’s fake news on Sweden

    (JTA) — Pressed to explain his false claim that something terrible had happened in Sweden last week, President Donald Trump traced the canard back to the reporting of Ami Horowitz, a gonzo Jewish-American filmmaker who spoke about Sweden’s problem with Muslim immigrants on Fox News. On Saturday, during a campaign-style speech in Florida on border security…