Putin’s elevation of Crimea to Russia’s Holy Land status baffles historians

President Vladimir Putin’s elevation of Crimea to the status of Russia’s Holy Land has prompted puzzlement and scorn from historians and commentators. Crimea for Russians is “like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem” for Muslims and Jews, Putin said, and would be regarded this way “from now on and forever.” Vladimir the Great was baptized in […]

Israel’s government on verge of collapse as PM Netanyahu’s ratings continue to fall

Israel’s government was on the verge of collapse Sunday night as a split over a controversial new law designating the country as a Jewish state deepened into an all-out assault by cabinet rivals on Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister. Mr. Netanyahu signalled that he was ready to call an early general election to stifle the […]

Pope Francis visits Istanbul Mosques

ISTANBUL, Turkey – Pope Francis continues his visit to Turkey this morning, a Muslim nation that has been a crossroads of religious faith, and sometimes conflict, for centuries. It’s the second-day of his three-day visit. Francis is only the fourth pope to have made the trip. He was greeted at Istanbul airport by the Orthodox […]

In Turkey Pope Calls for Muslim Opposition to Islamic State

In his first visit as pope to a predominantly Muslim country, Pope Francis said in Turkey on Friday that inter-religious dialogue, more than just military action, was required to combat Islamic State militants who are attacking Christians and other religious minorities along the country’s southern border. “To this end, it is essential that all citizens […]

Israel set to make Arabs second class citizens

AFTER an angry debate, the Israeli cabinet has endorsed a controversial bill declaring the country a Jewish state, a move that will alienate the Palestinian minority further and push the government closer to early elections. The bill affirms that Jewish law should inspire the Israeli legal system, and reserves other “national rights” for Jews, including […]

Jerusalem violence: Fear of deadly ‘religious war’ between Jews and Muslims

JERUSALEM —Israelis and Palestinians expressed fear Wednesday that their decades-old conflict was moving beyond the traditional nationalist struggle between two peoples fighting for their homelands and spiraling into a raw and far-reaching religious confrontation between Jews and Muslims. The threat — perhaps more accurately the dread — of an incipient but deadly “religious war” was […]

Bulgaria bus bombers studied engineering in Lebanon

Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Tsvetanov says the Hezbollah suspects behind the attack that killed five Israelis and their bus driver in the Black Sea resort town of Burgas in July 2012 ‘maintained part of Hezbollah’s structures in Canada, Australia’. “The Burgas bombers were maintaining part of Hezbollah’s structures in Canada and Australia and had contacts with […]

Bulgaria says Lebanon’s Hezbollah behind Burgas bombing

Two individuals with links to Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah were involved in a bomb attack on a bus in the Bulgarian resort of Burgas that killed five Israeli tourists last July, Bulgaria’s interior minister said on Tuesday. The conclusions of the Bulgarian investigation may open the way for the European Union to join the United […]