Tag: Germany

Jews one of Germany’s most prominent rabbis has been charged after publicly vowing to continue to perform circumcisions

By Raphael Ahren

Charges filed against prominent Berlin rabbi for vowing to continue circumcisionsAfter appearance on popular TV show, Yitshak Ehrenberg becomes the second German rabbi to be charged for defying controversial Cologne ruling
Rabbi Yitshak Ehrenberg on the Anne Will show in July. (screenshot, via YouTube)

The office of Rabbi Yitshak Ehrenberg, who has been serving the Berlin Jewish community since 1997, on Wednesday confirmed in an email that criminal charges had been filed against him. Ehrenberg has received a letter from the prosecutor’s office because of comments he made on a nationwide broadcast television show, an aide confirmed. At this point it is not known who filed the complaint and what exactly the letter states.

Secret 100 billion Euro’s popping up Greek Banks

By: Ralph Atkins in Frankfurt

There has been no official announcement. No terms or conditions have been disclosed. But Greece’s banking system is being propped up by an estimated €100 billion or so of emergency liquidity provided by the country’s central bank — approved secretly by the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. If Greece were to leave the eurozone, the immediate cause might be an ECB decision to pull the plug.

Extensive use of “emergency liquidity assistance” (ELA) to help banks in the weakest economies has been one of the less-noticed features of the eurozone crisis. Separate from normal supplies of liquidity and meant originally as a temporary facility for national authorities to use when banks hit problems, ELA proved a lifesaver for the financial system Ireland and is now even more so in Greece. As such, it has given the ECB — which has ultimate control over the facility — considerable power to determine countries’ fates.

Whether that power would ever be exercised is unclear. ELA is a subject on which the ECB is deeply reluctant to provide information — even on where or when it is provided.

Israel to take delivery of 4th German submarine

By YAAKOV KATZ Defense delegation arrives in Germany ahead of delivery of Dolphin-class sub, rumored to be capable of carrying nukes. A defense delegation arrived in Germany on Wednesday ahead of the planned delivery of Israel’s fourth Dolphin-class submarine, widely rumored to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

Led by Defense Ministry director-general Udi Shani, the delegation met with senior German defense officials and was scheduled to visit the shipyard where the submarine is being built. It is expected to arrive in Israel in the coming months.

The three Dolphin-class submarines in the navy’s fleet are called Dolphin, Leviathan and Tekuma and are believed to be some of the most advanced diesel-electric submarines in the world.

German politician: Euro downgrade is an American plot

Standard & Poor’s warning that no less than fifteen eurozone states, including Germany, could lose their AAA credit rating has been met with howls of protest from leading German politicians. The general secretary of the Social Democratic party (SPD), Andrea Nahles, described the Standard and Poor’s announcement as “shameless.” Former German finance minister Peer Steinbrück, also of the SPD, spoke of a “provocation” and urged the European Commission to subject the rating agencies to “far stricter regulation.”

The current German economics minister, Philipp Rösler of the ostensibly pro-free market Free Democratic Party (FDP), employed somewhat more measured tones, stiffly commenting, “Germany will not let itself to be impressed by the day-to-day and very short-lived judgment of a single ratings agency.”

Germany approves subsidized sale of military submarine to Israel’

German official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says his country set aside $180 million to fund about a third of another Dolphin-type submarine. By The Associated Press

A senior German official said Wednesday that the government has approved the subsidized sale of another Dolphin-type military submarine to Israel.

The official said Germany has set aside €135 million ($180 million) in next year’s budget to pay for about a third of its cost.

A Dolphin submarine. A better option for strategic deterrence.

Euro on death watch

John Melloy

Investors began to fear the worst for the euro after unusually weak demand at an auction for bonds from Germany, the region’s largest economy. One analyst went so far as to put the currency on a “death watch.”

Germany sold just 60 percent of the 6 billion euros in 10-year bunds it brought to auction, about the weakest demand seen for the country’s debt in the currency’s 16-year history, economists said. The rejection of debt from Europe’s safe harbor marks a new stage for the crisis.

“No bunds wanted equals no Euros wanted equals the Euro death watch,” wrote Mark Steele, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets. “We have seen many poor German auctions. This is not the issue. The issue is how badly the euro is doing after the weak auction.”

The euro [EUR=X 1.3328 -0.0017 (-0.13%) ] fell more than 1 percent against the dollar to a 7-week low against the Greenback. The currency threatened to break through the October lows that came amid the height of turmoil in Italy and Greece. Both countries would go on to install new Technocrat leaders, lifting confidence in the currency briefly.

The European Central Bank does not have the same freedom, and therefore firepower, as the Federal Reserve, which announced two rounds of massive purchases of Treasurys (QE) in the aftermath of the U.S. credit crisis. Germany has been reluctant to follow the Fed’s lead and buy up other countries bad debt because of fear over inflation.

Israel may lose German sub deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s frustration over new east Jerusalem housing plans may jeopardize Israel’s chances of getting new Dolphin class submarine Shimon Shiffer

Germany is “reconsidering” its decision to sell Israel a sixth Dolphin class submarine, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the move was prompted by the tensions between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Merkel’s frustration over the new housing plans approved in east Jerusalem.

Top political sources said that Merkel was irked with Netanyahu, who “gave her the impression that he would be willing to suspend settlement expansion in order to push the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.”

Israel’s recent approval of 1,100 housing units in the Gilo neighborhood in Jerusalem led Merkel to announce that Netanyahu “cannot be taken seriously and has no intention of complying with the basic terms needed to renew the negotiations with the Palestinian.”

France, Germany propose ‘True European Economic Government’

by Eyder Peralta
Philippe Wojazer
France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, speaks to German Chancellor Angela Merkel as he welcomes the German leader at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
With the sovereign debt crisis deepening, the leaders of France and Germany announced that they would seek a “true European economic government” made up of all the heads of state of eurozone countries but led by European Union President Herman Van Rompuy.

The AP reports that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who met in France after a turbulent week in the world markets, also want the 17 nations to make a balanced budget part of their constitutions.

If Only

by Sara Debbie Gutfreund On Tisha B’Av I can feel the weight of thousands of years of “if onlys.”

For the past few weeks I have been walking around in a daze. The terrible tragedy of Leiby Kletzky’s death feels like a constant loss wherever I turn. Last Shabbos a neighbor’s nine-year-old boy came to pick up his little sister from our house. And he looked exactly like the picture of Leiby. I felt tears spring suddenly to my eyes. Not on Shabbos, I warned myself. Do not cry on Shabbos in front of all of your children while you are serving dessert. But I felt like I was choking, like my heart was in my throat. Like I could feel somehow another mother’s heart shattering across the ocean. And I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

I don’t know why. Usually it takes me a day or two to digest an awful story in the news. Sometimes it only takes me an hour, or just a few minutes. But these past few weeks have been different for some reason. Maybe because I have children that are around Leiby’s age. Maybe because I worry when my children are even a minute late, and I can so readily feel the agony of a mother whose child will never come home.

But what is taking my breath away lately is how the summer sun can still shine in the shadow of such loss. I cannot comprehend it. How can the sky be such a startling shade of blue on a morning like this? How can the branches of the olive tree reach so majestically upwards, cradling tiny, colorful birds who continue to sing as if no one is crying? As if a nation’s heart isn’t broken? As if a child has not just disappeared forever? How could the world just continue this way with its stunning sunsets and dawns full of hope?