World news

Giffords steps down a year after Arizona shooting

By Jennifer Lipman, January 23, 2012

The Jewish congresswoman who was severely injured by a gunman in Tucson a year ago has announced that she will be leaving public life for the foreseeable future.

Gabrielle Giffords, who has held her Arizona seat since 2007, was shot in the head at close range at a political event last January. Six people lost their lives during the attack, with a further 13 left seriously injured.

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Jewish writer criticised for Israel presidential assassination column

By Jennifer Lipman, January 23, 2012

A Jewish newspaper owner in Atlanta has issued an apology after he wrote a piece suggesting that Israel should consider assassinating a US president to ensure its own security.

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Dutch decision on chief rabbi suspension criticised

By Simon Rocker, January 20, 2012

The Conference of European Rabbis has criticised Amsterdam’s Orthodox Ashkenazi community for suspending its Chief Rabbi over his views on homosexuality.

Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag was relieved of his duties on Monday after signing an online rabbinical statement decrying same-sex marriage and suggesting that homosexuals should seek therapy to overcome their inclinations.

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Funeral held for Jewish soldier who fought in Afghanistan

By Jennifer Lipman, January 19, 2012

Family and friends of a Jewish American soldier who died in Afghanistan earlier this month have paid tribute to his bravery.

Airman Matthew Seidler, 24, from Maryland, was killed on January 5, by an improvised explosive device attack in the Helmand province.

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New Jersey synagogues in hate fire-bombing

By Nathalie Rothschild, January 19, 2012

A fire in a New Jersey synagogue is being investigated by the FBI as an attempted murder and hate crime arson.

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Hizbollah plotters thwarted in Thailand

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 19, 2012

A Hizbollah cell was plotting to carry out attacks against Israeli targets in Thailand, it was revealed this week.

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Raoul Wallenberg: Moses of the North

By Orlando Radice, January 19, 2012

"Raoul Wallenberg did not save just my world, but many, many worlds. He was our Moses from the North." Thus spoke Annette Lantos, who, together with her late husband, congressman Tom Lantos, was one of the tens of thousands of Jews saved by the Swedish special envoy to Budapest from 1944-1945.

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Palestinian warfare leads to stabbing

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 19, 2012

A Palestinian human-rights activist was stabbed on Friday in Gaza by unknown assailants, widely assumed to be Hamas.

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Fast women of the Middle East feel the burn

By Jessica Elgot, January 19, 2012

In the male-dominated world of streetcar racing, three Palestinian women racers have begun their quest for international glory - starting in the UK.

The Middle East's first all-girl streetcar racing team, "Speed Sisters", were in London this week and training at Silverstone race track. They are three female drivers from Ramallah and Bethlehem, sponsored by the British consulate in Jerusalem.

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Hebrew University comedy on Oscar shortlist

By Jennifer Lipman, January 19, 2012

An Israeli comedy about the rivalry between two bible experts has been shortlisted for an Academy Award.

Footnote, which won the best screenplay award at last year's Cannes film festival, is set at Jerusalem's Hebrew University.

Directed by Joseph Cedar, it tells the story of the rivalry between a father and son who both work as Talmudic scholars.

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