Country: Sri Lanka
Volunteers from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee have flown into Sri Lanka to assist with emergency aid after devastating floods and mudslides left more than 200 dead and hundreds injured. Up to 2,000 homes were destroyed and 77,000 displaced in the island’s worst storms for almost 15 years.
A Dutch national has been jailed in County Cork for saying ‘all Zionists should have their throats cut’. Shmael Heirouche, 40, who has previously been diagnosed as schizophrenic, was sentenced to five years in prison after threatening his two French housemates, praising ISIS and threatening to behead Jews.
A Chabad house has opened in the city of Luang Prabang in Laos, near guesthouses popular with Israeli travellers and backpackers touring the Far East after army service. The two-storey villa in the landlocked South East Asian state makes Laos the 92nd country in which there is a permanent Chabad presence.
Israeli author Amos Oz has been given the Abraham Geiger Award by Germany’s Reform rabbinical school for being ‘an eloquent spokesperson of the Zionist left’. Rabbi Walter Homolka said the 78-year old novelist remained ‘a firm believer in human beings and their ability to change the world for the better’.