World news

Rabbis replace Korans damaged in West Bank

By Nathan Jeffay, October 14, 2010

Just over a week ago, residents of the Palestinian West Bank village of Beit Fajar witnessed a strange spectacle. Six settler rabbis arrived, greeted city elders, and made their way to the mosque.

Settlers rarely enter Palestinian areas, both because of concern for their safety and because they are not welcome. But the rabbis and the
village elders felt that special times call for special measures.

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Ralph Lauren to get New York key

By Jennifer Lipman, October 14, 2010

Fashion designer Ralph Lauren is to be given the key to New York City.

Mr Lauren is to receive the prestigious gold plated key today – his 71st birthday.

The key will be handed to him by Mayor Michael Bloomberg during a ceremony at Manhattan’s newest Ralph Lauren clothes store.

The Jewish businessman, born Ralph Rueben Lifshitz to immigrants from Belarus, is the first fashion designer to receive the symbolic honour.

Mr Lauren, a prominent philanthropist who has funded The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention since 2001, is worth an estimated £2.9 billion.

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Ahmedinejad praise for Hizbollah in Lebanon

By Leon Symons, October 13, 2010

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad started his two-day visit to Lebanon by praising Hizbollah, the terrorist group backed by Iran, for standing up to Israel.

The president was due to make a provocative trip to Lebanon’s border with Israel during his brief stay.

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Nicole Krauss nominated for National Book Award

By Jennifer Lipman, October 13, 2010

Jewish American author Nicole Krauss has been nominated for the prestigious National Book Award for her latest book, Great House.

The writer, married to novelist Jonathan Safran Foer, is one of five authors competing in the fiction category.

The book, her third, tells the story of reclusive novelist and an antiques dealer in Jerusalem.

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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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