Thursday, August 13th 2020   |

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Peres lauded in star-studded ceremony

JERUSALEM (JTA) — World leaders praised and serenaded Israeli President Shimon Peres in honor of his upcoming 90th birthday.

The prime-time birthday celebration Tuesday night marked the start of the fifth annual Israeli Presidential Conference. Two of every three Israeli television viewers tuned in to the ceremony, which was broadcast on four Israeli television networks, according to Globes.

Peres was serenaded by Barbra Steisand with the traditional “Avinu Malkeinu” and...

Putin: First Soviet government was mostly Jewish

(JTA) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said that at least 80 percent of the members of the first Soviet government were Jewish.

“I thought about something just now: The decision to nationalize this library was made by the first Soviet government, whose composition was 80-85 percent Jewish,” Putin said June 13 during a visit to Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center.

Putin was referencing the library of Rabbi Joseph I....

Montreal mayor resigns, asserts innocence

TORONTO (JTA) — Michael Applebaum, the interim mayor of Montreal, resigned amid corruption allegations. Applebaum, 50, announced Tuesday that he was stepping down after being charged with 14 counts of fraud, breach of trust and corruption.

“I maintain my innocence,” Applebaum said at City Hall in his first comments since the arrest. “I have every intention of continuing to fight like I always have, and I want to be clear:...

Bill Clinton visits Western Wall, expresses admiration for Jerusalem’s history

(JNS.org) Former U.S. President Bill Clinton visited the Western Wall on Tuesday, calling the visit “an amazing visit to a place that opens one’s eyes,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

Clinton also toured the Western Wall tunnels and expressed admiration for Jerusalem’s long history.

“I really love this place,” Clinton said, the Jerusalem Post reported. “Here we see life in Jerusalem at different times. Here there are layers of different periods,...

Israel apprehends PA security officers who allegedly killed cabinet minister’s nephew

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The Israel Defense Forces apprehended three Palestinian Authority security officers who allegedly killed an Israeli near Nablus in 2011, Israeli officials said on Wednesday. The arrests, which were made in May but embargoed until Tuesday, were carried out with the help of the Shin Bet security agency.

Ben-Yosef Livnat, an Israeli from the Samaria community of Elon Moreh and the nephew of Culture and Sport Minister...

Tel Aviv joins Honolulu, Rio among top 10 beach spots

(JTA) — Tel Aviv was named one of the world’s top 10 beach cities by National Geographic.

“Call it Miami Beach on the Med. Tel Aviv is the Dionysian counterpart to religious Jerusalem,” the magazine wrote in describing Tel Aviv. ” In the ‘bubble,’ as it’s known for its inhabitants’ tendency to tune out regional skirmishes, some restaurants, discos, and clubs are open until dawn.

“By day, the scene shifts...

Nukes are Iran’s ‘inalienable rights,’ its new president says

(JTA) — Iran’s President-elect Hassan Rohani said he would strive for transparency in his country’s nuclear program but would not stop enriching uranium.

Rohani, in his first news conference following his upset victory over the weekend, also said he wants to reduce tension with the United States but would not talk directly with U.S. leaders until economic sanctions were lifted, The New York Times reported.

He said his government would...

Montreal’s Jewish mayor indicted for corruption

TORONTO (JTA) — Montreal’s mayor and a former alderman, both Jewish, were arrested as part of a crackdown on corruption.

Michael Applebaum, who was appointed mayor last November, was taken into custody Monday morning by agents of the anti-corruption unit, UPAC.  He was charged with 14 offenses, including breach of trust, fraud, municipal corruption, conspiracy and receiving secret commissions.

Also arrested was Saulie Zajdel, an ex-City Council member who ran...

Laszlo Csatary indicted in Budapest for war crimes

(JTA) — Prosecutors in Budapest indicted Laszlo Csatary for torturing Jews and deporting them to their deaths during World War II.

Csatary, 98, was charged Tuesday with beating and whipping Jews as the police commander of the Kassa internment camp before sending about 12,000 in 1944 to be murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz and other death camps, the Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

According to Jerusalem’s Wiesenthal Center, Csatary...

Iran’s president-elect Rohani: More of the same or a bridge to the West?

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Former national security adviser, former nuclear negotiator, a decades-old friendship with the supreme leader — Hassan Rohani is as Iranian establishment as it gets.

Which is why, some Iran watchers say, he may be an invaluable asset in the quest to reduce tensions between the Islamic Republic and the United States.

In his first remarks following his election to the Iranian presidency last week,...