Germany

Controversial German banker claims Jews share gene

By Toby Axelrod, September 2, 2010

The author of a new book on the future of Germany has caused a major stir by claiming that all Jews share the same genetic make-up and espousing theories of racial superiority, according to which Jews are among those who have high-class genes.

Jewish and Turkish leaders have decried the doomsday book, Deutschland schafft sich ab ("Germany abolishes itself"), which also blames the country's problems on Muslim immigrants.

There have been calls for the author, former Berlin finance minister Thilo Sarrazin, to resign from his current position on the board of Germany's central bank.

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German banker in 'Jewish gene' controversy

By Jennifer Lipman, August 30, 2010

German chancellor Angela Merkel has criticised one of the country’s most influential bankers for his inflammatory remarks about Jewish people.

Jewish leaders called for Thilo Sarrazin to lose his seat on the board of the Bundesbank (German Federal Bank) after he said: “All Jews share a particular gene […] that differentiate them from others."

The 65-year-old, who said the same about Basques, is a polarising figure in Germany because of his right wing views.

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Germany frees Mossad agent

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 20, 2010

The Israeli agent arrested two months ago in connection with the alleged assassination of senior Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in January, was released over the weekend and returned to Israel.

The man known as Uri Brodsky was arrested two months ago in Poland, on a German EU-wide arrest warrant.

Brodsky was arrested on charges that a year earlier he had helped another man receive a German passport in the name of Michael Bodenheimer. The passport was used by the team who, according to Dubai police, carried out Al-Mabhouh's assassination.

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'Mossad man' hearing in Germany

By Jennifer Lipman, August 13, 2010

A secret hearing is to take place in Germany to determine whether an alleged Mossad spy will face formal charges.

Uri Brodsky, an Israeli suspected of being implicated in the killing of a Hamas operative in Dubai, was extradited to Germany from Poland earlier this month.

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Emotional return to Germany for last refugees

By Toby Axelrod, August 5, 2010

When he was a boy, Shlomo Jakobovits used to walk from home to school to synagogue and back. He knew his Berlin neighbourhood like the back of his hand.

So it was an emotional return when he visited the city last month for only the second time since he fled in 1939, taking in the synagogue where his father, Julius, had served as rabbi and the apartment building where they had lived.

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Israeli lawyer loses bid to block SOCA probe

August 5, 2010

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) has received a major boost after a disgraced Israeli lawyer failed in a unique legal bid to block investigation of his multi-million pound assets in the UK.

Judges granted Soca power last week to ask Israel Igo Perry about £14m in two London bank accounts.

In October 2007, after a marathon six-year trial in Israel, Perry was given a 12-year jail term for aggravated fraud, embezzlement, obstruction of justice and violation of insurance laws. He was also fined £2.6m, although his jail sentence was later reduced to 10 years.

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Emotional return to Germany for last refugees

By Toby Axelrod, August 5, 2010

When he was a boy, Shlomo Jakobovits used to walk from home to school to synagogue and back. He knew his Berlin neighbourhood like the back of his hand.

So it was an emotional return when he visited the city last month for only the second time since he fled in 1939, taking in the synagogue where his father, Julius, had served as rabbi and the apartment building where they had lived.

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TalkSPORT Shimon Peres slip up

By Marcus Dysch, August 5, 2010

Listeners to a late-night radio phone-in got a shock when a man introduced as a Zionist Federation spokesman announced he could not discuss Shimon Peres's comments on British antisemitism because he was eating a toasted sandwich.

The imposter, pretending to be former ZF public affairs director Gavin Gross, failed to answer any questions about Mr Peres's remarks, saying he was too busy eating.

TalkSPORT presenter Adrian Goldberg, not realising he had been hoaxed, said the man's comments were "absolutely, utterly disgraceful" during Sunday's show.

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Libeskind to revamp Berlin Jewish museum

By Jennifer Lipman, July 20, 2010

Daniel Libeskind, the celebrated architect behind the Jewish Museum in Berlin, has agreed to design an extension for it as part of an £8.5 million project.

The new building, expected to involve three oblique cube structures, will open in 2011, with work set to start next month.

Located next to the current museum, on the site of a former flower market, the extension will be used as an academy, housing archives, a library and classrooms.

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German may be jailed for Hitler ring tone

By Jennifer Lipman, June 30, 2010

Grating mobile phone ringtones are the bane of every train passenger’s existence, but one carriage of Germans reported a particularly unsettling one.

Shocked listeners in Hamburg heard a phone ring several times to the tune of a speech made by Adolf Hitler calling for the “destruction of world Jewry”.

They reported the man to the police and he now faces up to six months in jail for using the hate speech as his ring tone.

The 54-year-old German was also found to have a photo of Hitler on his phone captioned “the greatest commander of all time”, as well as swastika stickers.

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