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  • Sydney synagogue blocked over terror fears will resubmit application

    SYDNEY (JTA) — A Chabad congregation whose bid for a new synagogue building was blocked out of fears that it would become a target for terrorism will resubmit plans to the local municipality. Leaders of the congregation, known as Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe, or FREE, met Wednesday with Sydney’s Waverley Council to discuss…

  • Australian municipality: Don’t blame us for banning synagogue on terror grounds

    SYDNEY (JTA) — A municipal council in a suburb of Australia’s largest city said it was not to blame for a decision to ban the construction of a synagogue because it could become the target of a terrorist attack. In a statement Friday, the Waverley Council asserted that the decision to reject the synagogue was…

  • Australian state Labor Party votes to recognize a Palestinian state

    SYDNEY (JTA) — The members of Australia’s New South Wales Labor Party have voted for the recognition of a Palestinian state following a push by former Foreign Minister Bob Carr, but in a watered-down version of its original. The resolution passed Sunday at the party’s conference in Sydney failed to follow its original call for…

  • Indigenous Australians form Israel support group

    SYDNEY (JTA) — Indigenous people in Australia have launched an Israel support group in a bid to counter the growing move in the Labor Party to recognize a Palestinian state and to maintain the country’s bipartisan support for Israel. Indigenous Friends of Israel is concerned that Labor is “going down a dangerous path” in its…

  • Frank Lowy, Australian shopping center magnate and Holocaust survivor, is knighted

    SYDNEY (JTA) — Frank Lowy, a Holocaust survivor who fought in Israel’s War of Independence and went on to become a billionaire shopping magnate in Australia, was knighted in the United Kingdom as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honors. Lowy’s knighthood was announced Friday night. He is chairman of the Westfield Corp., a global shopping…

  • New Zealand prime minister says he did not apologize for UN settlements resolution

    (JTA) — New Zealand’s prime minister said his government still supports a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israel on settlement construction. Prime Minister Bill English’s comments to the New Zealand Herald came one day after the two countries restored diplomatic ties and Israel agreed to order its ambassador to New Zealand to return to his…

  • Teacher at Melbourne Jewish day schools arrested after child porn allegedly found on computer

    SYDNEY (JTA) — Victoria state police arrested a teacher at a Melbourne Jewish day school after his previous employer, also a Jewish day school, allegedly uncovered child pornography and surreptitiously taken photos on a computer he used. “Detectives have charged a man following an investigation into child pornography and upskirting incidents at an Eastern suburbs…

  • New Zealand reaches out to restore diplomatic relations with Israel

    SYDNEY (JTA) — New Zealand’s newly appointed foreign affairs minister has contacted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an effort to restore diplomatic relations. Gerry Brownlee received his ministerial warrant on Tuesday, Israel’s Independence Day, and hours later wrote to Netanyahu to get the relationship back on track. “I’ve sent a letter to Mr. Netanyahu…

  • Australian body piercing shop declares, ‘No Israelis served here’

    SYDNEY (JTA) — A body piercing shop in Australia is displaying a sign saying “No Israelis served here.” On Saturday, an Israeli tourist posted a photo of the sign from Cold Steel Piercing in Cairns on Facebook, writing that she and a friend with whom she was traveling around Australia entered the shop the previous day to have…

  • Holocaust denial leaflets strewn at 2 Australian universities

    SYDNEY (JTA) — Leaflets denying the Holocaust were placed on car windshields on two university campuses in Melbourne, Australia. The leaflets began appearing in recent days at Monash University and the University of Melbourne at the same time of the opening in the city of “Denial,” a movie that portrays the court battle between Jewish historian…