Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is to take on perhaps his most controversial role yet.
Having played the fast-talking Ali G, the Kazakhstani businessman Borat and the fashionista Bruno, he will now play Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Mr Baron Cohen, who was just eight years old when Saddam took control of Iraq, will be the star of a Hollywood love story about an Iraqi leader’s illicit affair with a poor subject trapped in an unhappy marriage.
Natalie Portman has been nominated for Britain’s most important film award.
Two days after she picked up a Golden Globe for her performance as an ambitious, tortured ballerina in Black Swan, the Israeli-born actress has been placed in the running for the Bafta award for Best Actress.
The drama, which arrives on British screens this week, has been nominated for five awards, including the Best Director nod for its Jewish filmmaker Darren Aronofsky.
The pop-singer partner of Hollywood star Johnny Depp has cancelled a performance in Israel after she was targeted by pro-Palestinian campaigners calling on her to boycott.
French star Vanessa Paradis, who shot to fame as a 14-year-old with the hit “Joe Le Taxi,” was set to sing at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Centre next month and meet President Shimon Peres while in the country.
However Ms Paradis has now said that she cannot play the February 10 show because of a commitment in Los Angeles on the same date relating to her film career.