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  • Belgian high school ‘proud’ of teacher honored at Iran’s Holocaust cartoon show

    (JTA) — Faculty at a Catholic high school in Belgium said they were proud of a senior teacher who won an award and a cash prize at Iran’s controversial cartoon contest about the Holocaust. Luc Descheemaeker, who this summer retired from the Sint-Jozefs Institute high school in the city of Torhout, 60 miles west of Antwerp,…

  • Why Spain is standing up to BDS — for now

    (JTA) — Only last year, Spain was still the undisputed bastion for the BDS movement in Europe. Some 50 Spanish municipalities had passed resolutions in recent years endorsing BDS — an acronym for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel — more than in any other European country. Relying on backing from a strong far left, the branches of…

  • Belgian government official who called Israel ‘identical twin’ of ISIS apologizes

    (JTA) — A Belgian Muslim official in charge of promoting tolerance apologized for his vitriol against Israel, which he said was a modern Nazi Germany and “an identical twin” of the Islamic State terrorist group. Youssef Kobo, the adviser on diversity for the minister in charge of equal opportunity in the regional government of Brussels,…

  • Lithuanian city defends recreational events at former Nazi concentration camp

    (JTA) — The city of Kaunas in Lithuania defended the operator of a former concentration camp where recreational events are held near the graves of thousands of Jews killed by Nazis and local collaborators. Deputy Mayor Povilas Maciulis made his defense of the Seventh Fort this week following an article published last month by JTA…

  • Raising Christian money for Jewish causes, a star rabbi earns praise and scorn

    PARIS (JTA) — The summer drizzle that soaked the French capital did little to dampen Yechiel Eckstein’s enthusiasm as he arrived recently with his wife Joelle at the city’s Great Synagogue for a private tour. But a run-in inside with a local community leader moments later — typical, perhaps, of this Israeli-American Orthodox rabbi’s often strained relationships with…

  • Report: Traveling zoo set up on Holocaust execution site in Ukraine

    (JTA) — A city in northwestern Ukraine authorized the placing of a traveling zoo on the mass grave of thousands of Jewish Holocaust victims, a leader of the country’s Jewish community said. Eduard Dolinsky, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, wrote Monday on Facebook about the traveling zoo that was erected this summer in the…

  • Spain naturalizes 220 Sephardim, including Jerusalem’s chief rabbi

    (JTA) — The Sephardic chief rabbi of Jerusalem, Shlomo Amar, was among the latest group of recipients of Spanish nationality under that country’s law of return for descendants of Sephardic Jews. The Spanish nationality was conferred on Amar Friday, according to the EFE news agency, along with 219 others. They were made Spanish nationals by…

  • At Auschwitz-Birkenau, controversial sprinklers again make an appearance

    (JTA) — Shower-like misters are back at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, one year after similar cooling devices were removed after an outcry. Installed to help visitors beat the heat at the site of the former Nazi death camp in Poland, the misters are again leading to complaints that they are reminiscent of the decoy “showers” used by…

  • Memphis Jewish lawyer David Kustoff wins GOP primary in Tennessee

    (JTA) — Memphis attorney David Kustoff won the crowded Republican primary race for the 8th Congressional District seat in Tennessee. Kustoff, who is Jewish, came out on top Thursday in a race that had 13 candidates all vying to replace incumbent Stephen Fincher, The Associated Press reported. Fincher, a Republican from Frog Jump, announced earlier…

  • UK Jews slam Labour’s ‘reward’ for author of ‘whitewash’ anti-Semitism report

    (JTA) — British Jews accused the head of the United Kingdom’s Labour party of rewarding the author of a “whitewashed” report about the party’s anti-Semitism problem by appointing her a lawmaker. Shami Chakrabarti, a human rights activist and Labour member, was recommended by Labour for peerage – a term that means being appointed to the House…