World news roundup 16/10/2014: Syrian Jews smuggled out to Israel

World news roundup 16/10/2014: Syrian Jews smuggled out to Israel

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.
Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.


Syrian President Assad.
Syrian President Assad.

World Roundup 16/10/14

Country: France

The City Council of Lille has frozen a twinning agreement with the northern Israeli city of Safed ‘in order to pressure the government and accelerate the resolution of the conflict’. French Jewish community leader Roger Cukierman said: ‘This decision corresponds with hateful attitudes to the Israeli people.’

Country: Italy

Film clips from 1923 showing Italian Jews, made public for the first time this month, have been recognised as among the country’s oldest home movies. The nine minutes of film were shot in 35 mm by industrialist Salvatore Di Segni. They show a wedding and family outings to the beach and mountains. 

Country: Syria

Reports have emerged that one of the few surviving families of Syrian Jews were smuggled out of the country to Israel several months ago, arriving ‘with nothing’. The Jewish community in Syria is one of the most ancient in the Diaspora and was once concentrated mainly in Aleppo and Damascus. 

Country: United States

New documents show Bill Clinton’s administration used an old Jewish law to excuse his sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. In an email, a senior aide argues that it did not meet the Talmudic definition of adultery, that being between a married man and a married woman, because Lewinsky was single.

Country: Switzerland

The Berne Art Museum, which was named as the sole heir of reclusive German art collector Cornelius Gurlitt, is to accept his bequest of masterpieces, many of which were looted from Jewish families. Gurlitt, who died in May aged 81, stashed hundreds of works by the likes of Chagall and Picasso in his Munich flat. 

Country: South Africa

A group of South African Jews is suing a Jewish commentator from Johannesburg for posting an image portraying Archbishop Desmond Tutu as Adolf Hitler. Members of Jewish Voices for a Just Peace turned on Leon Reich after the 10 September cartoon, saying: ‘This is hateful and does not speak for the Jewish people.’