Africa

Plea to let refugees remain

July 11, 2008

A coalition of Jewish groups has lobbied the Home Office over the deportation of Darfuri refugees to Khartoum, despite evidence that increasing numbers are being arrested and tortured.

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African rabbi in Britain tells of crisis faced by Zimbabwe Jews

By Shelly Paz, June 20, 2008

A South African rabbi came to London this week to “create awareness in the local Jewish community” of the difficulties faced by Zimbabwe’s tiny Jewish community, and to seek help for the regular support his organisation is having to offer its members.

Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft is rabbi to the African Jewish Congress, which represents 13 African countries including Zimbabwe. He is also the president of the AJC’s Zimbabwe Fund, responsible for all aid and assistance to the 320 Jews in Zimbabwe.

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Secret airlift for Zimbabawe

By Shelly Paz, June 13, 2008

An emergency mission to airlift the few remaining Zimbabwean Jews to Israel has been launched by the Jewish Agency.

Staff have spoken individually to every member of the 350-strong community and are believed to be making arrangements for their removal at short notice.

Details are a closely guarded secret. There is no Israeli embassy in Harare and there are no direct flights to Tel Aviv, but the countries do have diplomatic ties.

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Portman visits Rwanda to open youth village

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 6, 2008

Hollywood star Natalie Portman visited Rwanda this week to highlight the opening of a youth village for orphans of the genocide, sponsored by Jewish donors and staffed by Israelis.

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Ex-slave lobbies Israel to aid Darfur refugees

By Ben Lynfield, May 30, 2008

While he was settling into his new life in the United States in 1991 Simon Deng saw a newspaper headline proclaiming that human beings were for sale in Sudan for 10 dollars.

“It brought out everything I had been through as a child,” he said over coffee at a Jerusalem hotel this week. “I almost lost it. I did not sleep for three days. My choice was to live in denial or come out of the closet. I realised I had to come out and tell the world that that newspaper was true because I myself was a slave as a child.”

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South Africans slam 60th

May 23, 2008

More than 10 South African government ministers were among the signatories of a statement criticising “apartheid” Israel’s 60th anniversary. Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Intelligence and Pallo Jordan, Minister of Arts and Culture joined in insisting: “Apartheid was a gross violation of human rights. It was so in South Africa and it is so with regard to Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians!”

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WJR raises £200,000 for Darfur

May 2, 2008

World Jewish Relief’s Darfur emergency appeal has raised over £200,000 in its first year, benefiting 30,000 women, children and elderly refugees.

The London-based humanitarian charity launched the appeal believing that the community would identify with a cause “that resonates so closely with our own horrific past”.

Major donations account for about one-third of the cash and the appeal has received a steady stream of small contributions. Schools and synagogues have also held fundraisers.

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Darfur protest

By Neil Wolfson, April 18, 2008

Harry Potter star Jason Isaacs was among a large Jewish presence at Sunday’s fifth annual London protest rally against the genocide in Darfur.

Mr Isaacs, Board of Deputies president Henry Grunwald, JC columnist Jonathan Freedland and several hundred Jewish students were among the 2,000 people outside the Sudanese embassy. Students wore T-shirts bearing the slogan: “Never Again? It’s Happening Right Now”.

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