Australia

Australian politicians try to woo Jews

By Dan Goldberg, July 22, 2010

Just two days after PM Julia Gillard called a snap federal election for August 21, opposition leader Tony Abbott made the first move to woo Jewish voters.

The Liberal leader told the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne that the Labour government weakened Australia's longstanding bipartisan support for the Jewish state.

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Survivor disco dances at Auschwitz

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

A video featuring a Holocaust survivor dancing at Auschwitz to the pop song "I Will Survive" has received a mixed reaction across the internet, with many slamming it as “disgusting” and “tasteless”.

Jane Korman, a Jewish Australian artist, filmed her 89-year-old father Adolk and other family members performing a routine to the disco hit at different points around the Nazi concentration camp.

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'Nazi' to stay in Australia

By Jennifer Lipman, July 8, 2010

An Australian court has refused to extradite an alleged Nazi war criminal to his native Hungary.

As an officer in the Nazi-allied Hungarian army during the Second World War, Charles Zentai is accused of beating a 14-year-old Jew to death for not wearing a yellow star. Now 88, he denies the charges, claiming he was not in Budapest at the time. He has been fighting extradition for five years.

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Judge bars barmitzvah

By Jennifer Lipman, July 6, 2010

Three children have been barred from having bar and batmitzvah ceremonies because their devout Catholic father does not want them to be committed to Judaism.

A court ruled that the children’s Jewish mother could not arrange for them to participate until they either made their own choice to or the father changed his mind.

The father, known only as Mr Macri, sought the injuction in the Australian court so that his children can pick their religion in a ''voluntary and informed'' way when they are more mature.

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Alleged Nazi wins extradition appeal

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2010

The world’s most prominent Nazi hunter has condemned an Australian court for refusing to extradite a man accused of murdering a Jewish youth during the Holocaust.

Dr Efraim Zuroff, from the Simon Wiesenthal centre, described the decision not to deport alleged war criminal Charles Zentai to Hungary as “a sad day for Australian justice”.

Charles Zentai, an officer in the Nazi-allied Hungarian army during the Second World War, allegedly beat a 14-year-old to death in 1944 for not wearing a yellow star.

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Julia Gillard: Israel views my own

By Jennifer Lipman, June 29, 2010

Australia’s first female Prime Minister has denied claims her stance on Israel is influenced by her partner’s connection to a Jewish businessman.

Jewish groups have also denounced the smear against Julia Gillard by a former Australian ambassador to Israel.

The Welsh-born politician, who won the leadership after ousting fellow Labour politician Kevin Rudd, was accused by diplomat Ross Burns of being "remarkably taciturn on the excesses of Israeli actions."

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Australia expels Israeli diplomat

By Dan Goldberg, May 27, 2010

Australia followed Britain's lead this week, ordering the dismissal of a diplomat from the Israeli Embassy in Canberra after an investigation concluded there was "no doubt" that the Jewish state had doctored four Australian passports used in the assassination of a senior Hamas leader in January.

Stressing that the decision was taken "much more in sorrow than in anger," Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said: "These are not the actions of a friend. No government can tolerate the abuse of its passports, especially by a foreign government."

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Australia expels Israeli diplomat

By Jennifer Lipman, May 24, 2010

Israel has expressed disappointment after another diplomat was expelled over the murder of a Hamas leader in January.

The Australian government expelled an unnamed Israeli diplomat today, saying it had no doubt Israel was behind the forged passports linked with Mahmoud al-Mabhouh’s death in a Dubai hotel.

Israeli has denied responsibility for the killing but at least four passports belonging to Australians living in Israel were used in the mission.

Yigal Palmor, from the Israeli foreign ministry, said Israel regretted the deci s ion.

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Peer makes round two in Melbourne

By Dan Goldberg, January 20, 2010

Shahar Peer survived an early scare to secure a berth in the second round of the Australian Open.

Despite losing the first set in a tie-break, Israel’s top-ranked player – who reached the final of a WTA tournament in Hobart last week – defeated Czech Lucie Hradecka 6-7, 6-2, 6-1 in just under two hours on Wednesday.

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Antisemitic incidents on the rise in Australia

By Dan Goldberg, December 3, 2009

Antisemitic incidents in Australia have reached record levels, although the number of physical assaults on Jews have dropped, according to an annual report.

Jeremy Jones, who has been collating data on antisemitic incidents in the country since 1989, told the annual conference of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) on Sunday that an unprecedented 962 reports of anti-Jewish violence, vandalism, harassment and intimidation were received by Australian Jewish organisations between October 1, 2008 and September 30, 2009.

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