United States

US congress suspend military aid to Lebanon

By Jennifer Lipman, August 10, 2010

A United States congressional committee has temporarily blocked military aid to Lebanon out of fears Hizbollah militants could use it to attack Israel.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee suspended a military package worth more than £60 million (£100 million) which was due to go to the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Howard Berman, the Californian congressman who chairs the committee, announced that the funding would be suspended on August 2 and called on President Obama to look into Hizbollah’s influence on the Lebanese army.

More..

America: Lebanon attack on Israel 'unjustified'

By Jennifer Lipman, August 5, 2010

America has laid the blame for the flare-up on Israel’s northern border with the Lebanese.

The US State department called the attack, which left an Israeli commander and three others dead, "totally unjustified and unwarranted".

More..

Fiddler on the Roof star sues Lloyds

By Simon Griver, August 5, 2010

Lloyds insurance has submitted a compromise settlement of $935,000 to the Tel Aviv District Court after the Israeli actor Chaim Topol and Galia Productions sued them in February for $1.1 million.

The offer was made by Lloyds's Israeli representative, Tal Syndicate.

Mr Topol sued Lloyds for lost income after he had to withdraw from a north American tour of Fiddler on the Roof last year in which he played Tevya the Milkman, the same role which first brought him fame and fortune in the 1960s and 1970s, on the stage and in the film version.

More..

Adult rating fears for Beastie Boy Holocaust film

By Tom Tugend, August 4, 2010

A documentary on the Warsaw Ghetto has been given an adult “R” rating by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), triggering concern whether historical footage on starvation and death can be shown in high schools for educational purposes.

The film’s distributor, Oscilloscope Laboratories, announced immediately that it will appeal the decision. Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, founder and head of Oscilloscope, said: “MPAA has really gone too far this time. It’s b******t.”

More..

Kosher meat plant boss wins child-labour case

June 17, 2010

The beleaguered former manager of America's largest kosher meatpacking plant has been cleared by a jury of employing underage workers.

"These charges were antithetical to everything Sholom Rubashkin is about and the acquittal vindicates him both as a person and as a businessman," said Guy Cook, a member of Mr Rubashkin's defence team. "He is overjoyed."

The acquittal came as a relief to Mr Rubashkin, the former CEO of the Agriprocessors slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, who was convicted of 86 counts of bank fraud in November.

More..

White House reporter quits job

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2010

The veteran White House journalist who caused a political storm after calling for all Jews to "get the hell out of Palestine" has announced her retirement.

Helen Thomas, a Hearst Newspapers journalist and the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, had faced calls for her resignation from several senior political commentators and has now said she will leave her job immediately.

It comes after video footage emerged of Ms Thomas, 89, saying Jews in Israel should "go back home to Poland, Germany, America and everywhere else."

More..

San Francisco row over Israel support

By Sue Fishkoff, June 3, 2010

The famously left-wing San Francisco community is embroiled in a dispute over how much criticism of Israel it should support.

In February, the city's Jewish Community Federation, which is the community's main funding body and umbrella group, announced new funding guidelines regarding Israel.

More..

Catholic is ordered to keep Shabbat

By Paul Berger, June 3, 2010

A Catholic woman has been banned from driving on Saturdays when looking after her seven-year-old Jewish stepson and ordered to cook him only kosher food.

A Chicago judge ordered Laura Derbigney and her husband Nelson to follow these and other rules during an acrimonious custody battle with Mr Derbigney's Orthodox ex-wife.

The judge also stipulated where Mrs Derbigney could shop for kosher food and instructed that the boy must wear a kippah to school.

Mrs Derbigney, a Hispanic Catholic, described the order as "quite intrusive.

More..

Wiesel blasts 'obscene' Madoff play

By Nathan Guttman, May 27, 2010

Some issues might still be too sensitive. This could be the lesson learned by Washington's Jewish theatre, which had to cancel a play on the Madoff financial scandal.

In Imagining Madoff, by playwright Deb Margolin, a fictional Bernie Madoff is depicted sitting in his prison cell as he recalls a conversation he had with Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate whose foundation lost more than $15 million in Madoff's Ponzi scam.

More..

Nazi to be deported from US

May 27, 2010

An 85-year-old man, who has admitted he was a SS guard at three Nazi concentration camps, has had his US citizenship revoked and will be deported to Austria.

Yugoslavian-born Anton Geiser, who now lives in Sharon, Philadelphia, admitted he served as an SS guard in Sachsenhausen in 1943, where he marched forced labourers and was on orders to shoot attempted escapees. He was a member of the SS Death's Head battalion.

Mr Geiser stayed in Austria from 1948 to 1956, before he emigrated to the US.

More..