World news

Praise as compromise nears for Dutch kosher meat slaughter ban

By Jennifer Lipman, December 14, 2011

Rabbis and Jewish groups have welcomed the emergence of a deal to block a proposed ban on kosher and halal meat slaughter in the Netherlands.

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Senate support falls for Dutch kosher meat ban

By Jennifer Lipman, December 14, 2011

The proposed ban on kosher and halal meat in the Netherlands looks increasingly unlikely to pass at a vote next week.

The ban, which was backed by the Dutch Parliament in June, requires a yes vote from a majority in the Dutch Senate. But there are already hints that members of the Dutch Labour party, who make up the second largest party in the Senate, will not support it.

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Matisyahu shaves, quits Chasidic rap industry

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2011

The Orthodox Jewish rapper Matisyahu has shocked fans by shaving his beard and informing them that there is to be "no more Chasidic reggae superstar".

After posting a photograph of himself – shaven – on Twitter, he elaborated on his change on his website.

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Iranians want to attack Israel - with a computer game

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2011

Iran is planning an attack on Tel Aviv – but it is not one that will leave many Israelis quaking in their boots.

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Galliano Hitler slur makes antisemitism top ten

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2011

Comments by designer John Galliano and filmmaker Lars Von Trier have appeared in a now-annual list of the top ten antisemitic slurs of the year.

Earlier today the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, a US human rights organisation, released its list of the worst anti-Jewish comments of 2011.

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Blossom actress joins Maccabeats for charity campaign

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2011

The Maccabeats and TV star Mayim Bialik have teamed up to help raise money for a bone marrow charity.

They are hoping to raise $80,000 - $10,000 for every night of Chanucah – to support the work of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, which works to find donor matches for people who need transplants.

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US politicians urge Dutch to block 'unfair' kosher meat ban

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2011

A group of leading US congressmen and women from both the Republican and Democratic parties have launched an appeal to the Dutch Senate to block legislation that would ban kosher slaughter of animals.

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Republicans battle over who is Israel's biggest supporter

By Jessica Elgot, December 8, 2011

US Republican presidential candidates last night battled over who could declare the strongest support for Israel, all pledging to strengthen the bond between the two countries.

Addressing the Republican Jewish Coalition, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said his first foreign trip as president would be to Israel.

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Europe forming its own Anti-Defamation League

By Toby Axelrod, December 8, 2011

A new European task force is being created to fight rising antisemitism on the continent, Jewish leaders in Brussels announced last week.

The new body will be run with the help of the New York-based Anti-Defamation League and will be modelled on the American organisation.

The announcement came at a conference hosted in Brussels by the European Jewish Union (EJU) and Tzedek, a European Jewish

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Hamas exits Syria - and orbit of Iran

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 8, 2011

Hamas has largely deserted its headquarters in the Syrian capital in recent weeks, in what has become an unofficial departure by the Palestinian movement.

The exodus reflects both the widely-held belief that the Assad regime is entering its dying days, and the proximity of Hamas to Islamist elements in the Syrian opposition.

Hamas was founded 24 years ago in the Gaza Strip by Palestinian mem

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