Showbiz

Missy Elliot ignores Israel boycott campaign

By Jennifer Lipman, July 14, 2010

Rap star Missy Elliot has defied pro-Palestinian protesters and landed in Israel ready for a much-anticipated performance.

Activists had launched a campaign to dissuade her from going and join musicians including Elvis Costello and the Pixies in boycotting shows there.

But the American singer has ignored this and is set to perform in Tel Aviv on Thursday, her first ever concert in Israel.

She is also said to be planning to visit the Western Wall and Dead Sea while in the country, before heading to Morocco for the next date of her European tour.

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Johnny Rotten defies Israel-gig protest

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

Former Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten has vowed to perform in Israel despite a campaign by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign for him to boycott the concert.

John Lydon – the punk singer’s real name – said in a radio interview that he has been sent hate mail because his band Public Image Limited is due to play in Tel Aviv in August.

But the controversial star, known for his anti-government stance, said he would not give in even as pro-Palestinian activists said they would picket an upcoming Bristol concert.

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Nazi jibe presenter Jon Gaunt loses court case

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

The former TalkSport presenter, Jon Gaunt, has lost his legal battle with Ofcom over calling a councillor a Nazi on air.

The High Court found that the watchdog was justified in upholding complaints against the radio show host and that this "did not constitute a material interference to his freedom of expression".

Mr Gaunt was fired from TalkSport in 2008 after the media regulator found that he had breached the Ofcom code for addressing Michael Stark, a Redbridge councillor, as a "health Nazi" and an "ignorant pig".

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Swiss let Roman Polanski go free

By Lucy Morris, July 12, 2010

The Swiss Justice Ministry has rejected an extradition request from the United States for Roman Polanski.

The Polish-born Holocaust survivor fled America in 1978 after being charged with the drugging and rape of a 13-year old model.

Mr Polanski, 76, who is an Oscar-winning director, famed for "Rosemary’s Baby", "Chinatown", and "The Pianist", was arrested on the way to collecting a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival in 2009.

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Dustin Hoffman did not cancel Jerusalem appearance

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2010

Jewish actor Dustin Hoffman did not halt arrangements to attend the Jerusalem Film Festival in the wake of the Gaza flotilla clash, despite what one of the organisers had claimed.

Yigal Molad Hayo, the associate director of the Cinematheque, the location of the annual festival, had told the Jerusalem Post he had been “very close to reaching an agreement” for Mr Hoffman to appear at the event.

But he said: “Then the flotilla happened and correspondence was ended.”

However he has now retracted his statement as “misleading and incorrect”.

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Lindsay Lohan and Israeli: just 'friends'

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2010

Actress Lindsay Lohan has denied rumours she is dating a former Israeli soldier.

Gossip sites had claimed the troubled star, who has just been sentenced to a three month jail stint for breaching parole, had fallen for Israeli Eilat Anschel

But the Mean Girls actress told her twitter followers that they are not romantically linked.

She tweeted: “Eilat is one of my best friends! and best friend ONLY - just an fyi.”

Ms Lohan, 23, split up with her Jewish girlfriend Sam Ronson, sister of musician Mark Ronson, early in 2010.

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Glee creator to make film about Jewish activist

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2010

A play about a Jewish Aids activist is to be made into a film by the creator of television show Glee.

American Jewish playwright Larry Kramer is to adapt his semi-autobiographical 1985 drama The Normal Heart for the screen.

Mr Kramer drew on his experiences as one of the founders of the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) in the early 1980s to create the part of advocate Ned Weeks.

The GMHC were crucial in challenging the idea that Aids was only a “gay cancer”.

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Jewish actor to play Spiderman

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2010

A Jewish actor will be stepping into Spiderman’s suit, 48 years after the superhero was invented by Jewish artist Stan Lee.

Californian actor Andrew Garfield has won the part of Peter Parker in the fourth film in the Spiderman franchise, replacing Tobey Maguire in the role.

The 26-year-old, who grew up in what he has described as a privileged middle class British Jewish home, has previously appeared in war film Lions for Lambs and the opposite Heath Ledger in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. He has also been in three episodes of Doctor Who.

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Saatchi donates £25m worth of art to nation

By Robyn Rosen, July 1, 2010

Art collector Charles Saatchi plans to donate his Saatchi Gallery containing 200 works of art worth £25 million to the British public.

Mr Saatchi, who was born to Iraqi Jewish parents and is married to Nigella Lawson, announced his 70,000 sq ft gallery in Chelsea, home to pieces by Tracey Emin and Jake and Dinos Chapman, will be renamed the Museum of Contemporary Art and will be open free to the public when he retires.

A spokeswoman for the gallery said it was “currently in discussion with potential government departments who would own the works on behalf of the nation.

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Jewish Michael Jackson jailed

By Jennifer Lipman, June 30, 2010

A father of 11 who has described himself as Orthodox Jewish music’s answer to Michael Jackson will now have more time to work on his vocals after being found guilty of grand larceny.

Michoel Streicher has been sentenced to up to three years behind bars for stealing nearly £24,000.

He took the money from a woman who wanted to buy a Torah scroll for a dying relative.

Judy Burstein wanted to build a “mini synagogue” at home and was a fan of Mr Streicher, who released several albums in the 1990s.

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