Up to 70,000 people attended a pro-Israel rally in Calcutta organised by the far-right Hindu Samhati movement, which is vehemently anti-Muslim. Organisers said it was ‘the largest pro-Israel rally in history’ and urged the Indian government to move its embassy to Jerusalem. Several arrests were made when it later turned violent.
Scandinavian Jewish leaders in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland have slammed a proposed law in Iceland that would ban ritual circumcision of boys. Jewish Communities in the Nordic Countries said brit milah was ‘one of the most central, if not the most central rite in the Jewish tradition in modern times’.
The French culture minister has returned three 16th century artworks to the grandchildren of a Jewish couple forced to flee the Nazis. Herta and Henry Bromberg sold their art in Paris after fleeing Hamburg in 1938 to pay for safe passage to the United States. One painting is by Belgian ‘master’ Joachim Patinir.
Country: South Africa
Cyril Ramaphosa, the new president of South Africa, received a Chabad rabbi’s blessing at his swearing-in ceremony on Thursday. Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Asher Deren, chairman of the Rabbinical Association of Cape Town, said Ramaphosa ‘very humbly bowed forward’ and ‘seemed very moved by the gesture’.