United States

ADL: Antisemitism not motive in Arizona attack

By Jennifer Lipman, January 12, 2011

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has dismissed speculation that the alleged Arizona gunman Jared Loughner was motivated by antisemitic or extremist views.

In the wake of the shooting a memo from the US Department of Homeland Security suggested a possible connection between the extremist organisation American Renaissance and the fact that one of the people targeted was Arizona’s first Jewish Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords.

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Loughner lawyer represented extremist anti-Jewish gunman

By Jennifer Lipman, January 11, 2011

The lawyer for the man in court over the shooting of a Jewish Congresswoman and killing of six others in Arizona previously defended a white supremacist who attacked a California Jewish centre in 1999.

Jared Loughner, 22, appeared in court yesterday for the attack on Gabrielle Giffords as she spoke at a political event in Tucson.

He was represented by Judy Clarke, a lawyer known for defending notorious clients including the "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, and for securing life sentences rather than the death penalty for several high-profile clients.

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Arizona shooter Jared Loughner could face death penalty

By Jennifer Lipman, January 11, 2011

The 22-year-old man accused of attempting to assassinate a Jewish US congresswoman from Arizona and of killing six others has appeared in court.

Jared Loughner was in a Phoenix court yesterday, two days after he allegedly rampaged through a supermarket as Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords met constituents at a routine political event.

He was told by the judge that he could face either life behind bars, or the death penalty, for the shooting spree, which also left 14 people injured.

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Arizona shooter Jared Loughner thought to have antisemitic links

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2011

The US authorities are understood to be exploring whether the shooting of a Jewish congresswoman in Arizona was motivated by the gunman’s links to an extremist group.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has noted both that the Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, is Jewish and that her shooter may have been involved with an allegedly antisemitic group.

Ms Giffords, Arizona’s first Jewish representative and a former member of the regional board of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), is still in hospital in intensive care following the rampage on Saturday at a political event.

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A 'Jewish visionary': singer Debbie Friedman mourned

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2011

An influential American singer-songwriter who led a guitar session at Limmud last month has died after being hospitalised with pneumonia.

Debbie Friedman, who was in her late 50s, was considered a key figure in the revival of music within prayer and credited with "reminding Jewish people how to sing”.

In a career spanning more than three decades, Ms Friedman released more than 20 albums, a host of awards and played to vast audiences at venues around the world, including at several Limmud conferences in Britain.

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Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords critical as suspect Loughner appears in court

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2011

Doctors for the Jewish congresswoman critically wounded during a shooting rampage at an Arizona supermarket have said there are signs she could recover.

Six people were killed, including her political aide Gabe Zimmerman, and 13 others injured in the attack on Saturday in Tuscon.

The man suspected of being behind the shooting spree, Jared Loughner, will appear in court today on several charges including attempting to assassinate Gabrielle Giffords.

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On this day: Arrest in Mississippi Civil Rights murders

By Jennifer Lipman, January 6, 2011

In the “Freedom Summer” of 1964 three civil rights activists in America’s Deep South – two of whom were Jewish - were lynched in Philadelphia, Mississippi.

In 1988 the murders of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney became the subject of the Oscar-winning film Mississippi Burning. But it took more than four decades for their killer to be brought to justice, when a jury indicted Edgar Ray Killen on three counts of murder.

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Jewish Harvard grad aims for Miss America crown

By Jennifer Lipman, January 4, 2011

The granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor is in the running to become the next Miss America.

Harvard graduate Loren Galler Rabinowitz, whose parents are both doctors, won the Miss Massachusetts contest last year, making her the state’s representative for the national pageant.

Ms Rabinowitz, 24, is a former ice-skating champion. She entered her first pageant with the hope of using the prize to fund medical school.

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On this day: The beginning of the Klu Klux Klan

By Jennifer Lipman, December 24, 2010

In the aftermath of the American Civil War, veterans of the Confederate side grouped together in Tennessee to form the KKK.

Also known as the Klan, the far-right organisation was ostensibly a private social club dedicated to returning the greatness of the antebellum Old South but soon became known for hunting down black people and other minorities under a mixture of nationalist and white-supremacist ideology.

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Galloway barred from USA

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2010

George Galloway was denied entry into America last week. The former Respect MP and notorious pro-Palestinian activist was due to speak in five US cities, but was barred from flying in from London by US authorities.

The Muslim Legal Fund of America, which organised the tour, said the ban was because of "visa problems".

Mr Galloway reportedly said that the decision to ban him was not political, but down to a "technical glitch at Heathrow Airport".

He added: "My office is now in touch with the embassy in London to fix it."

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