World news

And the Oscar doesn't go to...Holocaust films?

By Tom Tugend, February 17, 2011

This is the first year for nearly 50 years that not a single Oscar or Golden Globe entry has focused on the horrors of the Shoah.

Equally ignored, with one peripheral exception, are films on World War II and the Nazi regime. Only a year ago, Jewish GIs were wiping out Hitler and his minions in Inglorious Basterds, and the year before we fed on German guilt and anti-Nazi resistance in The Reader, Defiance and Valkyrie.

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Conservative Jews face a rapid decline

By Paul Berger, February 17, 2011

The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, once the largest denomination in America, has announced sweeping changes aimed at halting a precipitous decline in membership.

The number of families affiliated with Conservative Judaism has fallen by 14 per cent in 10 years, according to a strategic report issued recently by the USCJ.

"Among congregations of every size and in every region, there is growing ambivalence about their continued membership in USCJ," the report warned.

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Joy in Egypt but uncertainty elsewhere

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 17, 2011

The announcement that the Supreme Council of the armed forces was taking control in Egypt for the duration of the transition period to a new civilian government, reassured the Israeli leadership in the wake of the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.

Despite initial efforts to mobilise international support for the embattled president, Israeli analysts had realised, perhaps belatedly, that the Mubarak era was finally over and that Israel would do best to lower its profile while the Egyptians muddle their way, hopefully, towards some form of democracy.

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Egypt assault victim Lara Logan also faced Jewish slur

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

An American journalist who was sexually attacked while working in Egypt last week was allegedly also subjected to anti-Jewish chanting.

CBS news reporter Lara Logan is recovering from “a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating”, the news organisation said last night.

They said: “She and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into a frenzy.”

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Alan Dershowitz to help WikiLeaks' lawyers fight Twitter case

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

Harvard law professor and civil rights advocate Alan Dershowitz is to offer his legal expertise to WikiLeaks.

According to a WikiLeaks press release, he will be working with British QC Geoffrey Robertson, head of Julian Assange’s UK legal team.

Professor Dershowitz, who has represented a number of high profile clients including OJ Simpson, is one of the academic world’s most prominent supporters of Israel. His 2003 book on Israel’s history and politics, The Case for Israel, was a bestseller.

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Nazi accomplice loses US deportation appeal

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

A Ukrainian man who during the Holocaust helped perpetrate “some of the most horrific acts against human decency ever known in history” is to be deported from the United States after a Chicago court denied his appeal.

During the Holocaust Osyp Firishchak was part of the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Auxiliary Police, a group responsible for murdering more than 100.000 Jews in occupied Poland.

After the war Firishschak moved to the US and worked as a carpenter, gaining US citizenship in 1954.

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Security worries in Tunisia after Islamist anti-Jewish rally

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

Members of Tunisia’s 2,000 year old Jewish population have raised concerns about rising anti Jewish violence in the country following the collapse of the rule of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali last month.

Earlier this week around 40 Tunisian Muslims gathered outside the main synagogue in Tunis shouting anti-Jewish slogans and reportedly calling for death to Jews.

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'Jewish gene' banker's LSE talk cancelled

By Robyn Rosen, February 15, 2011

A lecture by a German banker who has referred to a “Jewish gene” due to be held at the London School of Economics last night was cancelled at the last minute due to security concerns.

Thilo Sarrazin was due to speak in a debate organised by the university’s German Society last night.
The university stepped in to stop the event taking place on campus after anti-fascist campaigners threatened to demonstrate against the speaker.

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After Egypt, Palestinian Authority cabinet reshuffle

By Jennifer Lipman, February 15, 2011

The Palestinian Prime Minister has six weeks to name a new cabinet after he dissolved the existing one in what experts said was a response to anti-government uprisings in the region.

Salam Fayyad, immediately reappointed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who asked him to form a new cabinet, is expected to attempt to shore up support for Fatah in the new leadership in advance of elections planned for September.

Hamas, the terrorist organisation in control of the Gaza Strip, has already stated it will not participate in the vote.

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Most wanted Nazi war criminal Kepiro charged

By Jennifer Lipman, February 14, 2011

A Hungarian man accused of massacring more than 1,200 Jewish, Roma and Serbian people during the Holocaust has been charged with war crimes by prosecutors in Budapest.

Sandor Kepiro, listed as one of the top ten most wanted Nazis by the Simon Wiesenthal centre, is alleged to have been one of those responsible for the Novi Sad massacre in 1942.

Most of the victims of the attack were taken to the icy Danube River in northern Serbia and shot.

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