United States

US pulls out of Durban II but UK still going

By Leon Symons, March 5, 2009

America has pulled out of the United Nations Durban review conference on combating racism to be held in Geneva next month — but Britain will still participate.

The US State Department announced its decision last Friday after several days locked in talks about the draft final document, but ultimately admitted defeat, saying it had gone “from bad to worse”.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood said: “The current text of the draft outcome document is not salvageable.”

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US attendance at Durban II still in balance

By Nathan Guttman, February 26, 2009

As the Obama administration attempted to engage with organisers of the UN World Conference against Racism this week, a troubling picture emerged of the resolutions expected to be adopted at the conference.

The April event (dubbed Durban II after the first conference, held in South Africa in 2001) has been high on the agenda of Jewish leaders and Israeli diplomats for more than a year, as they worry it will serve once again as a platform for accusations against Israel of racism.

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Likud man barred from US for spying

By Yaakov Katz, February 12, 2009

The United States is refusing to grant a visa to Professor Uzi Arad, a former top Mossad operative and a senior adviser to Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu.

Mr Arad resigned from the Mossad in 1997 after serving as director of the spy agency’s Intelligence Department.

He served as Mr Netanyahu’s foreign policy adviser during the Likud leader’s first term as prime minister in the late 1990s and has been widely touted as a candidate to head the National Security Council if Likud forms the new government.

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Looted art claim settled

February 5, 2009

Two early paintings by Picasso will remain in New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim after claims they were looted by the Nazis were settled out of court. Claimant Julius Schoeps said his German great-uncle had been forced to sell the works.

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Crisis cash for Madoff victims

January 29, 2009

The Jewish Funders Network has launched a Crisis Loan Fund in the USA to assist non-profit organisations which invested with Bernard Madoff.  With an initial pool of $5 million, the fund will provide financing and interest subsidies to organisations facing budget shortfalls.

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US lift death an ‘accident’

December 11, 2008

San Francisco police said that the death of a pro-Israel activist two weeks ago appeared to be accidental. The body of Dr Daniel Kliman, 38, was found on 1st December at the bottom of a lift shaft and had been there for six days. Police said they believed he had tried to climb out of the lift after it became stuck between floors.

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Don’t ask America who holds the purse strings

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 20, 2008

Nearly one in five Americans think that Jews control the world's financial institutions, although only seven per cent think they have too much power and are to blame for the current financial crisis.

The findings by international pollster Stanley Greenberg also indicated that Israel continues to enjoy a high degree of public support in the United States with 66 per cent saying America should support Israel while only six per cent support the Palestinians.

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Israel embraces Obama

By Nathan Guttman, November 6, 2008

The historic election of Democrat Barack Obama as US President has been warmly welcomed by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described Mr Obama's sweeping victory as "historic and impressive" adding: "America has again proven itself an example to world democracies."

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US soldier sacked for attack

November 6, 2008

A US soldier has been discharged for assaulting a Jewish private during basic training. Victim Michael Handman, 20, was hospitalised after the September attack and complained of discrimination. The army declined to name the soldier who carried out the attack.

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Kosher meat boss charged

November 6, 2008

The former chief executive officer and vice president of the largest kosher meatpackers in the US, Agriprocessors Inc, has been arrested. Sholom Rubashkin, 49, was charged with harbouring illegal immigrants and aiding and abetting identity theft.

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