World news

US blasts Israel on religious freedom

By Paul Berger, November 25, 2010

The State of Israel discriminates against non-Orthodox Jews and non-Jews, according to a US State Department report.

The critical assessment is included in the department's Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, released last week.

Among the many criticisms, the report found that Israeli state funding favours the Orthodox and that the government puts greater resources into Jewish holy places than other religious sites.

Eight countries - Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan - gave the US most cause for concern.

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Doughnut eater scores Facebook hole-in-one

November 25, 2010

There is a new cult activity on the internet - watching how many doughnuts a Chanucah-obsessed Israeli can eat.

Elie Klein, a 30-year-old father-of-two from Beit Shemesh, has Facebook users from all over the world following his doughnut consumption, and pledging big money to charities for each fried 500-calorie snack he eats.

On Wednesday, after around a week of doughnut-eating and with six full days to go before the first Chanucah light, he had already eaten 30 doughnuts and was raising 322 shekels - more than £50 - for each.

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How my Supernan took off

By Jennifer Lipman, November 25, 2010

A French photographer has transformed his 91-year-old Holocaust survivor grandmother into a superhero.

Sacha Goldberger, from Paris, began snapping grandmother Frederika in unusual costumes and poses three years ago to try to cheer her up.

He has since taken thousands of them and now has more than 2,200 MySpace followers. They have also been exhibited in a gallery.

Mrs Goldberger, who was born in Budapest in 1919, emigrated to France when Hungary was under Soviet control.

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Finally, Britain to end arrest threat to visiting Israelis

By Martin Bright, November 25, 2010

Measures to stop magistrates issuing arrest warrants for foreign politicians and military figures accused of war crimes could be introduced as early as next week.

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Matisyahu takes on Adam Sandler with new Chanucah song

By Jennifer Lipman, November 24, 2010

The Grammy-nominated Orthodox Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu has released a Chanucah song Jewish kids can “be proud of.”

The new tune Miracle is one of the tracks that can be heard on Festival of Light, the musician’s fifth Chanuach compilation.

It has been produced by Kool Kojak, who has worked with stars including Katy Perry and Ke$ha.

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Dirty Dancing star triumphs over Sarah Palin's daughter

By Jennifer Lipman, November 24, 2010

Despite the efforts of her mother’s supporters, Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol lost out to Jewish actress Jennifer Grey in the final of the popular American reality series Dancing With the Stars.

Ms Grey, best known for her role as shy Jewish teenager Baby in the 1987 hit Dirty Dancing, gained full marks from the programme’s three judges to win the top spot.

Critics had said previously that Ms Palin, 20, had stayed in the competition because of a campaign by fans of the former vice presidential candidate.

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Murdered Mumbai rabbi's father sues Pakistan intelligence agency

By Jennifer Lipman, November 24, 2010

The father of the Chabad rabbi who was murdered by terrorists in Mumbai two years ago is taking legal action against the Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI.

Rabbi Nachman Holtzberg filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in a Brooklyn federal court.

The rabbi, whose son and pregnant daughter-in-law were killed during the two-day siege at the Indian Jewish centre in November 2008, is also suing the Pakistan-based terrorist group Lashkar-E-Taiba.

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Barack Obama's man Rahm Emanuel challenged by own tenant?

By Jennifer Lipman, November 24, 2010

Barack Obama’s former chief of staff has hit an unusual obstacle in his bid to become the next mayor of Chicago.

Rahm Emanuel, the Jewish politician who left the White House in September to concentrate on the 2011 vote, could be challenged by his own tenant.

Rob Halpin, who has described himself as “a businessman, not a professional politician”, has told US reporters that he is planning to take on his landlord.

He has already proved a problem by refusing to move out of the property he was renting when Mr Emanuel returned to the city from Washington.

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Zuckerberg, Emanuel on Fortune power list

By Jennifer Lipman, November 23, 2010

The 26-year-old founder of Facebook has been placed fourth in an annual list ranking the world’s top businesspeople by Fortune magazine.

Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg, who created the influential social networking site from his college dorm-room in 2004, is the highest ranked Jewish businessman on the list.

The list also includes the CEOs of Starbucks and Kraft Foods, Howard Schultz and Irene Rosenfeld.

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Third most-wanted Nazi suspect dies before trial

By Jennifer Lipman, November 22, 2010

A man suspected of helping murder 430,000 Jews during the Holocaust has died before he could be brought to trial.

Dr Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre described it as “incredibly frustrating” to lose the chance to try Samuel Kunz for his alleged role in the Nazi massacres at the Belzec death camp in Poland.

Mr Kunz, third on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s list of wanted Nazis, was indicted in Germany in July for this and also for allegedly shooting ten Jews in two separate incidents.

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