World news

Joe Lieberman quits after 'barrier-breaking' rise in US politics

By Jennifer Lipman, January 19, 2011

One of the most senior Jewish politicians in the United States, and the only Jewish vice-presidential candidate in the history of the major parties, has announced his departure from the Senate today.

Senator Joe Lieberman, who was first elected to represent Connecticut for the Democratic party in 1988 but left to run as an independent in 2006, said he will not contest a fifth election next year.

Speaking to an audience including six of his grandchildren, he recalled the journey his grandparents had made to America a century before.

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Singing card causes Israeli bank bomb scare

By Jennifer Lipman, January 19, 2011

A bomb-scare at the Manhattan headquarters of an Israeli bank turned out to be nothing more than a joke birthday card.

The Bank Hapoalim building was evacuated earlier today because of fears that it had been targeted by extremists.

However police, investigating what had set the alarm off, found that the “suspicious package” was actually a musical greeting card.

Security staff raised the alert due to the lack of return address given and a spelling mistake on the address.

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Macy Gray asks Facebook fans whether to boycott Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, January 19, 2011

American singer Macy Gray has gone on Facebook to ask her fans whether she should give in to the demands of anti-Israel boycotters.

Ms Gray, who is set to perform two shows in Tel Aviv next month, has been the target of an online campaign to encourage her to cancel the tour.

More than 470 people have responded to a question by the singer, known for the hit “I try” on what she should do.

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Jewish mother matchmaking site launches

By Jennifer Lipman, January 19, 2011

The stereotype of the Jewish mother meddling in her children’s love-lives has moved one step closer to the truth.

A site allowing Jewish mothers to pick potential sons and daughters-in-law has launched in Kentucky in the United States.

TheJMom.com was set up by Danielle Weisberg and her brother Brad at the end of last year, after their mother Barbara got involved in his online dating search.

After Mrs Weisberg found ten potential partners for her son in two hours, the siblings decided the idea would be worth expanding.

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Joe Lieberman to quit ahead of difficult senate race

By Jennifer Lipman, January 19, 2011

One of the most senior Jewish politicians in the United States, and the only Jewish vice-presidential candidate in the history of the major parties, is expected to announce his departure from the Senate today.

Senator Joe Lieberman, who was first elected to represent Connecticut for the Democratic party in 1988 but left to run as an independent in 2006, will not contest a fifth election next year.

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Sarah Palin: critics spun my 'blood libel' remark

By Jennifer Lipman, January 18, 2011

Sarah Palin has defended the use of the term “blood libel” in a video address last week about the media reaction to the attempted assassination of a Jewish congresswoman in Tucson, Arizona.

She told a Fox News interviewer that those “on the left” criticising her for employing the phrase, which refers to an age-old slur accusing Jews of using Christian blood for ritual purposes, had deliberately spun her statement.

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Jewish community reacts to Tunisia violence

By Jennifer Lipman, January 17, 2011

The political instability in Tunisia could put the future of the country’s 2,000 year-old-Jewish community under threat.

More than 100 people are believed to have died and many more been injured in violent anti-government clashes in the North African country, which last week triggered the president of 23 years to flee to Saudi Arabia.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) said that the target of the rage was the ruling party and not Tunisia’s Jewish population, which is estimated to be anywhere between 1,500 and 3,000-strong.

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Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp not going to Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, January 17, 2011

The pop-singer partner of Hollywood star Johnny Depp has cancelled a performance in Israel after she was targeted by pro-Palestinian campaigners calling on her to boycott.

French star Vanessa Paradis, who shot to fame as a 14-year-old with the hit “Joe Le Taxi,” was set to sing at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Centre next month and meet President Shimon Peres while in the country.

However Ms Paradis has now said that she cannot play the February 10 show because of a commitment in Los Angeles on the same date relating to her film career.

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Demand for Rupert Murdoch to remove Glenn Beck from Fox News

By Jennifer Lipman, January 17, 2011

More than 10,000 people have signed an American Jewish organisation’s petition calling on Rupert Murdoch to fire controversial pundit Glenn Beck because of his “grotesque falsehoods” about Jews.

Jewish Funds for Justice (JFSJ) launched the petition following the showing of Mr Beck’s recent three-part series “Puppet Master” on Fox News. The channel is part of Mr Murdoch’s media empire.

On the programme Mr Beck attacked Jewish businessman George Soros’ Holocaust record and accused him of helping “to send the Jews to the death camps”.

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Natalie Portman, Aaron Sorkin triumph at Golden Globes

By Jennifer Lipman, January 17, 2011

Jewish stars were celebrating last night after they swept the boards at the Golden Globes ceremony in Los Angeles.

Jerusalem-born actress Natalie Portman has been widely tipped for an Oscar-nomination after she was named Best Actress for Black Swan.

The film, released in Britain this week, stars Ms Portman as a tormented prima ballerina and is directed by Jewish filmmaker Darren Aronofsky.

Mr Aronofsky was nominated for Best Director but lost out to The Social Network, a retelling of the origin of Facebook and its Jewish misfit creator Mark Zuckerberg.

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