United States

Helen Thomas: Jews not persecuted since Holocaust

By Jennifer Lipman, February 18, 2011

The US reporter who left her job as a White House correspondent for Hearst Newspapers following uproar over her anti-Jewish comments has made another controversial claim.

Helen Thomas, who last summer was filmed saying that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine", said in a CNN interview that Jewish people did not have to leave Europe after the Holocaust.

The 90-year-old said: "They didn't have to go anywhere really, because they weren’t being persecuted anymore.

“There hasn't been persecution since…World War Two.”

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Alan Dershowitz to help WikiLeaks' lawyers fight Twitter case

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

Harvard law professor and civil rights advocate Alan Dershowitz is to offer his legal expertise to WikiLeaks.

According to a WikiLeaks press release, he will be working with British QC Geoffrey Robertson, head of Julian Assange’s UK legal team.

Professor Dershowitz, who has represented a number of high profile clients including OJ Simpson, is one of the academic world’s most prominent supporters of Israel. His 2003 book on Israel’s history and politics, The Case for Israel, was a bestseller.

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Joe Lieberman quits politics to write Jewish book

By Jennifer Lipman, February 4, 2011

The first viable Jewish candidate for vice president of the United States is to write a book about the religion.

Senator Joe Lieberman, who narrowly lost out on the White House when he and his running-mate Al Gore were beaten by George W Bush in the 2000 presidential election, is working on a book about Shabbat.

Mr Lieberman, who is observant, announced he would not stand for re-election in Connecticut when his term expires next year.

Instead, he will focus on writing, with David Klinghoffer, “Gift of Rest”, a contemplation of his Jewish faith.

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Jimmy Carter sued for Israel 'apartheid' book

By Jennifer Lipman, February 2, 2011

The former US President Jimmy Carter is facing legal action from readers who claim he misrepresented Israel in a book about the Middle East conflict.

Mr Carter, who was president between 1976 and 1980, could have to pay more than £3 million if the case is successful.

The dispute is over his 2006 work “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”, in which Mr Carter compared the Israeli government to the leaders of apartheid South Africa.

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On this day: New Amsterdam becomes a city

By Jennifer Lipman, February 2, 2011

The city now known as the Big Apple began life as a Dutch colonial settlement, taking the name New York in 1664. Chosen as the capital of New Netherland and given municipal rights on February 2 1653, it had a population of just 5,000 by 1700 but by the time of American independence that had grown to about 25,000.

There are now near to 19 million people in New York State; it is estimated that more than 1.6 million of them are Jewish. It wasn’t always that way; the first Jewish community arrived in 1654.

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Angelina Jolie should go to Israel, says dad Jon Voight

By Jennifer Lipman, February 1, 2011

Angelina Jolie’s father has expressed his desire for his daughter to visit Israel.

Actor Jon Voight, a prominent Republican supporter who is in Israel with former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee this week, said he would “love to see” the Tomb Raider star tour Israel.

He said: “That would be a nice thing.”

Mr Voight, 72, the star of Midnight Cowboy, admitted he did not know his daughter’s views on the Middle East. The two were estranged for many years, but have been back in touch over the last year.

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On this day: Roman Polanski flees

By Jennifer Lipman, February 1, 2011

When the Swiss Justice Ministry rejected an extradition request from the United States for Polanski last summer, it was just the latest chapter in a story every bit as dramatic and complex as one of the director’s films.

Born Raimund Liebling in Paris, Polanski survived the Holocaust by escaping from the Krakow ghetto, although his mother was killed in Auschwitz.

After the war he worked his way up in the Polish film world, moving to Hollywood in the 1960s and going on to make Oscar-winning classics including Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, and The Pianist.

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On this day: Norman Mailer is born

By Jennifer Lipman, January 31, 2011

In the canon of influential Jewish writers of the last century, Normal Mailer is up there with the likes of Phillip Roth.

The author of The Armies of the Night, The Executioner's Song and The Castle in the Forest, a man who managed to infuriate feminists in almost everything he did, feuded with Gore Vidal and once ran for the job of mayor of New York, Mailer will certainly go down as one of the greats of literary history.

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Rahm Emanuel back in Chicago mayoral race

By Jennifer Lipman, January 26, 2011

Barack Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is back in the running to become the next Mayor of Chicago.

Mr Emanuel, the son of an Irgun fighter, confirmed his interest in succeeding long-time Mayor Richard Daley in the post last October, when he left Washington Dc to return to his home city.

However his candidacy has been beset by queries over whether he qualifies as a resident, having lived outside the city, and earlier this week a court ruled that his name should be taken off the ballot.

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Rahm Emanuel vows to fight on in Chicago mayoral race

By Jennifer Lipman, January 25, 2011

Rahm Emanuel is expected to appeal against a decision banning him from running for mayor of Chicago.

Mr Emanuel, formerly President Barack Obama’s chief of staff and a onetime senior aide to Bill Clinton, has been declared ineligible for the vote on February 22 because he has not been a resident in the city for long enough.

An Illinois court said that Mr Emanuel did not qualify to appear on the ballot because he had not lived in Chicago for the last year.

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