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Court rejects Rothman’s petition to bar chief justice from reasonableness hearing

The Times of Israel is liveblogging Thursday’s events as they unfold.

Catholic-Jewish research backs reports Catholic convents sheltered Jews during WWII

Researchers have discovered new documentation that substantiates reports that Catholic convents and monasteries in Rome sheltered Jews during World War II, providing names of at least 3,200 Jews whose identities have been corroborated by the city’s Jewish community, officials say.

Researchers from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust research institute and Rome’s Jewish community release the findings at an academic conference today held at the Museum of the Shoah, part of Rome’s main synagogue.

The documentation doesn’t appear to shed any new light on the role of pope Pius XII during the Nazi occupation of Rome. Historians have long debated Pius’s legacy, with supporters insisting he used quiet diplomacy to save Jewish lives and critics saying he remained silent as Roman Jews were rounded up and deported from the Vatican’s backyard.

Rather, the new documentation provides names and addresses of people who were sheltered in Catholic institutions during the war, which had only previously been reported in vague terms and numbers by Italy’s preeminent historian of the period, Renzo de Felice, in a 1961 book, according to a joint statement from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Yad Vashem and Rome’s Jewish Community.

The documentation was discovered in the archives of the Biblical Institute, which is affiliated with the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University. It lists more than 4,300 people who were sheltered in the properties of 100 women’s and 55 men’s religious orders. Of those, 3,600 are identified by name, and research in the archives of Rome’s Jewish community “indicates that 3,200 certainly were Jews,” the statement says.

More than 800 people rescued from floodwaters in Greece after severe rainstorms

More than 800 people have been rescued over the past two days from floods in Greece, the fire department says, after severe rainstorms turned streets into raging torrents, hurling cars into the sea and washing away roads.

The rainstorms have also hit neighboring Bulgaria and Turkey, leaving 14 people dead in the three countries, including three people in Greece.

Fire department spokesperson Vasilis Vathrakogiannis says swift water rescue specialists and divers from the department’s disaster response units, as well as the army, were participating in rescue efforts and were trying to reach remote areas despite roads having been washed away.

The flooding follows on the heels of devastating wildfires that destroyed vast tracts of forest and farmland, burned homes and left more than 20 people dead.

High Court rejects Rothman’s petition to bar Hayut from reasonableness hearing

The High Court rejects a petition filed by Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee MK Simcha Rothman seeking to have Chief Justice Esther Hayut barred from the panel hearing petitions against the government’s “reasonableness” law on the basis that she is biased on the issue.

Rothman, of the far-right Religious Zionism party, based his request Monday on a speech given by Hayut in January in which she strongly criticized all aspects of the judicial overhaul agenda presented by Justice Minister Yariv Levin earlier that month, including the plan to limit the High Court’s use of the reasonableness standard.

However, Justice Uzi Fogelman ruled that the contents of Hayut’s speech did not directly relate to the issues raised in the petition against the reasonableness law.

The reasonableness law, an amendment to Basic Law: The Judiciary, is the only part of the government’s broad judicial overhaul program to have been passed so far. It prohibits the High Court from using the reasonableness standard to annul governmental and ministerial decisions and actions on the basis that they are unreasonable.

The hearing on petitions against the reasonableness law is scheduled for September 12.