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  • Jewish day schooler, 10, among five killed in Melbourne traffic rampage

    SYDNEY (JTA) — A 10-year-old Jewish day school student in Melbourne was killed and her 9-year-old sister and mother were critically injured in a rampage by the driver of a stolen car in the city’s downtown. Thalia Hakin was one of five people killed Friday when Dimitri Gargasoulo, 26, plowed the vehicle into pedestrians on a street near…

  • Australian mayor declines synagogue invitation, cites Israel’s ‘gross and illegal occupation’

    SYDNEY (JTA) — The mayor of a Sydney suburb who said he is half-Jewish declined to attend a ceremonial service at the city’s Great Synagogue, citing his opposition to Israel’s actions in the West Bank. Mayor Peter Abelson of the Mosman municipality thanked Rabbi Benjamin Elton for the invitation to the annual Law Service but…

  • New Zealand foreign minister defends UN resolution vote

    SYDNEY (JTA) — The foreign minister of New Zealand said his country’s vote for the anti-settlements resolution at the United Nations was consistent with its policy toward Israeli settlements. “For the whole of New Zealand’s two-year term on the Security Council, the Secretary-General and his Special Coordinator have expressed alarm that the forces of incitement…

  • Ben Cowen, Australian entrepreneur and Jewish community activist, killed in gliding accident

    SYDNEY (JTA) — Ben Cowen, an entrepreneur and a Jewish community leader in Australia, died in a paragliding accident while on vacation with his family. Cowen, the youngest child of the late Governor-General Zelman Cowen, crashed after being caught in strong winds on Sunday afternoon. He was 50. Cowen was known as a keen adventurer and…

  • New Zealand foreign minister’s office vandalized over sponsorship of UN anti-settlement resolution

    (JTA) — The Auckland office of New Zealand’s foreign minister was vandalized with pro-Jewish graffiti believed to be in response to the country’s co-sponsoring of an anti-settlement resolution at the United Nations. On Wednesday, the outside wall of Murray McCully’s office was spray-painted with the words “traitor Jew hater McCully.” New Zealand was the only…

  • Australia’s ex-PM Tony Abbott: Cut $40M aid to Palestinians, move embassy to Jerusalem

    SYDNEY (JTA) — Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called on his country to cut its $40 million aid to the Palestinian Authority and to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv if President-elect Donald Trump moves the U.S. Embassy. “In discussions with the Australian MPs, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah claimed…

  • Australia’s prime minister makes impromptu visit to synagogue

    SYDNEY (JTA) — Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull paid an unexpected visit to Sydney’s Central Synagogue to join its Friday night service and menorah lighting, telling the congregation that Australia stands “shoulder to shoulder” with Israel. Turnbull called the synagogue’s rabbi, Levi Wolff, Friday afternoon in honor of Hanukkah. During the call, Wolff, invited Turnbull to attend…

  • Australian prime minister blasts UN resolution on Israeli settlements

    (JTA) — Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull condemned last week’s United Nations Security Council Resolution criticizing Israeli settlements, calling it “one-sided” and “deeply unsettling” for his country’s Jewish community. Turnbull made the remarks during a speech Friday at Central Synagogue in Sydney where he attended a Hanukkah candle-lighting event, the Australian Jewish News reported. He referenced Security…

  • Following UNSC vote, New Zealand Jewish community calls for Israel to keep embassy open

    SYDNEY (JTA) — After New Zealand was one of four countries to sponsor a resolution in the United Nations Security Council condemning Israel, the country’s Jewish community has called on the governments of New Zealand and Israel to work together to keep the Israeli Embassy in Wellington open. The plea follows the recall to Israel…

  • Australian government: Jewish community members ‘discouraged from reporting’ child sex abuse

    SYDNEY (JTA) — Some members of the Jewish community in Australia were “discouraged from reporting” allegations of child sexual abuse against employees of two yeshivas, according to a government report. The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse published its report Tuesday on the response of Yeshiva Bondi in Sydney and Yeshivah…