World news

Jewish philanthropist gives £6,000 to each Chilean miner

By Jennifer Lipman, October 13, 2010

A Chilean Jewish businessman has announced that he is donating more than £6,000 to each of the 33 miners trapped underneath the Atacama Desert.

Leonardo Farkas, a philanthropist with stakes in the mining industry, has written cheques in each of the trapped miners’ names. The 53-year-old, who is of Hungarian descent, has also launched a fund for others to donate to.

In 2008 Mr Farkas gave nearly £100,000 to a children’s charity.

Nineteen men have been pulled out of the San Jose gold and copper mine so far, which lies 7000m below the ground. The ordeal has lasted 69 days.

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Jewish billionaire: sex-scandal is Turkish plot

By Jennifer Lipman, October 13, 2010

A senior figure in the World Jewish Congress has accused Turkey of an anti-Israel smear campaign after it was alleged that he had been involved in a prostitution scandal.

Alexander Machkevtich, the billionaire head of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, had been linked in Turkish news reports to a raid of a yacht last month after which police took two underage prostitutes into custody.

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Fears as Hizbollah welcomes Ahmadinejad to Lebanon

By Jennifer Lipman, October 13, 2010

The Iranian president has arrived in Lebanon for a two-day tour.

Israeli officials expressed fears that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will give Tehran's Shia ally hizbollah a boost and use the opportunity to attack Israel.

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Helen Thomas: 'you can't criticise Israel'

By Jennifer Lipman, October 12, 2010

Helen Thomas, the White House reporter who resigned after calling for all Jews to "get the hell out of Palestine" has dismissed claims that she is antisemitic as “baloney”.

However the 90-year-old veteran Washington correspondent said that even after apologising for the comments she “had the same feelings about Israel's aggression and brutality.”

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Call for Human Rights Watch to act on Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, October 12, 2010

An Israeli academic has written to the new chairman of Human Rights Watch (HRW) urging him to make changes to the organisation and restore its “moral integrity.”

Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of Jerusalem-based research organisation NGO Monitor, called on James Hoge to take actions “to end support for the anti-Israel ideology that has permeated the organisation.”

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David Schwimmer marries in secret

By Jennifer Lipman, October 12, 2010

David Schwimmer has revealed that he secretly married a British photographer in June.

The Jewish actor, star of the hit series Friends, tied the knot with Zoe Buckman in a small private ceremony.

It is the first marriage for the 43-year-old. The couple announced their engagement in March.

The new Mrs Schwimmer, 25, was working as a waitress in London in 2007 when the couple met. He was in Britain directing the film Run Fat Boy Run.

He has previously been linked with the Israeli actress Mili Avital.

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Israeli author wins German peace prize

By Jennifer Lipman, October 11, 2010

An Israeli novelist has been awarded a German peace prize for giving a literary voice to coexistence.

David Grossman, whose books include The Smile of the Lamb and Someone to Run With, was announced as the recipient of the peace prize of the German book trade on Sunday.

Mr Grossman, 56, is a prominent figure of Israel’s left , and a campaigner for a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict. He is close friends with fellow Israeli writer Amos Oz.

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J Street now under fire for Goldstone aid

By Nathan Guttman, October 7, 2010

The dovish Israel lobby J Street is facing even more criticism in the US following claims the group had been involved in arranging meetings for Judge Richard Goldstone on Capitol Hill.

This report, published in the Washington Times, comes only a week after the paper revealed that J Street has been receiving donations from billionaire George Soros, a fact that had previously been denied by heads of the lobby.

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Ahmadinejad's Lebanon visit sparks fears in Israel

October 7, 2010

The Israeli government is worried that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Lebanon next week could signal the start of an escalation on its northern border.

Mr Ahmadinejad is scheduled to arrive on October 13 for a two-day visit. His itinerary includes a tour of towns and villages in the south of Lebanon where heavy fighting took place between the IDF and Hizbollah during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. According to some reports, the Iranian president may even take part in symbolic stone-throwing towards Israeli soldiers on the border.

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Wiesel: build interfaith centre at Ground Zero

By Jennifer Lipman, October 7, 2010

Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel has called for the establishment of an interfaith centre near the site of the September 11 terror attacks rather than the controversial “Ground Zero mosque.”

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