United States

Netanyahu: I will push Obama to release Pollard

By Jennifer Lipman, December 22, 2010

Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he will push President Barack Obama for the release of a Jewish American jailed by the US for spying in 1987.

The Israeli prime minister said in a statement that he would press for the release of Jonathan Pollard "in a formal and public manner".

However White House officials dismissed the possibility of letting the former Navy intelligence analyst out of prison early.

President Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said: "I am not aware that that's something that the president is looking at doing.”

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Barred from US, Galloway vows 'nothing will stop me'

By Jennifer Lipman, December 17, 2010

George Galloway has been denied entry into America.

The former Respect MP, and notorious pro-Palestinian activist was due to speak in five US cities but was barred by US authorities. The Muslim Legal Fund of America, which organised the tour, said the ban was because of “visa problems”.

Mr Galloway, who last month was disciplined by broadcasting standards monitor Ofcom for breaching the rules on impartiality during his Press TV show, instead used Skype to address crowds via webcam.

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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg named Time Magazine Person of the Year

By Jennifer Lipman, December 15, 2010

The Jewish computer-genius who founded Facebook from his college bedroom has been named as the Time Magazine Person of the Year.

Mark Zuckerberg, 26, joins other Jewish winners of the prestigious award, including US politician Henry Kissinger and Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve. However, in 83 years of naming a Person of the Year, Time has also chosen Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler.

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On this day: Gone With the Wind premieres

By Jennifer Lipman, December 15, 2010

Jewish producer David O Selznick earned an Oscar for the film version of Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel Gone with the Wind. The film, first shown in a star-studded Atlanta screening on December 15, won ten Academy Awards in total and the date of its premiere was declared a state holiday by the governor of Georgia.

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George Bush' niece Lauren to marry Jewish

By Jennifer Lipman, December 14, 2010

Six months after Chelsea Clinton married investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, the granddaughter of President’s George HW Bush has announced she is to marry another New Yorker of Jewish descent.

Lauren Bush, niece of George W Bush, is engaged to the son of Jewish fashion designer Ralph Lauren.

At 39 David Lauren, the executive vice-president at Polo Ralph Lauren, is 13 years older than his future bride. The couple met in 2004.

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US diplomat Richard Holbrooke dies at 69

By Jennifer Lipman, December 14, 2010

The US diplomat credited with bringing peace to the Balkans has died at the age of 69.

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who was of Jewish descent, was serving as the Obama administration's envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He was admitted to hospital on Friday for a torn aorta, but died after unsuccessful surgery.

A diplomat since the 1960s, Mr Holbrooke worked for every Democrat president since John F Kennedy. He served in Vietnam in the 1960s, and later as ambassador to Germany. Most notoriously he was Assistant Secretary of State for Europe under President Bill Clinton.

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Diplomat Richard Holbrooke dies at 69

December 14, 2010

The US diplomat credited with bringing peace to the Balkans has died at the age of 69.

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who was of Jewish descent, was serving as the Obama administration's envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He was admitted to hospital on Friday for a torn aorta, but died after unsuccessful surgery.

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Traffic jam: Time for some Jewish dancing

By Jennifer Lipman, December 8, 2010
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When the road ahead is blocked, the obvious thing to do is to leave your car and dance.

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Helen Thomas: anger over Zionist conspiracy claims

By Jennifer Lipman, December 6, 2010

The former White House journalist who called for all Jews to "get the hell out of Palestine" has caused further controversy by claiming that "Zionists" control US foreign policy.

Helen Thomas, who lost her job with Hearst Newspapers after she caught on film making the denigrating comments, told an audience in Detroit that America is “owned by propagandists against the Arabs.”

The 90-year-old, who enjoyed a decades-long career at the forefront of US political journalism until the scandal last June, was speaking during a seminar on anti-Arab bias.

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On this day: Dedication of the Touro Synagogue, in Newport

By Jennifer Lipman, December 2, 2010

Today the USA is home to the largest Jewish population in the Diaspora, but the first Jewish settlements in North America did not emerge until the 1650s in New Amsterdam, the colonial capital later renamed New York. The first synagogue in the US was not in New York, however, but in the tiny state of Rhode Island.

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