World news

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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Qantas staff stop passenger's death jump

By Jennifer Lipman, October 7, 2010

Airline staff had to physically stop an Israeli passenger from leaving the aeroplane mid-air after he threatened to commit suicide.

The man, on board a Qantas flight from Australia to Hong Kong, told staff that he was going to open the plane door.

According to an onlooker, he said: "I'm going to kill myself, you are all going to die, it will be God's will.

He then began praying out loud and said: “What will be will be."

The crew managed to restrain him and none of the 280 passengers were injured.

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Jewish women top Forbes power list

By Jennifer Lipman, October 7, 2010

A Jewish businesswoman has been named as the second most powerful woman in the world.

Irene Rosenfeld appears just behind the First Lady Michelle Obama on Forbes 2010 list of the 100 most powerful women in the world.

Ms Rosenfeld, the chief executive of Kraft Food, is a controversial figure in the UK following her company’s audacious £10.2bn bid for confectionary giant Cadbury Cadbury.

The 57-year-old, who is married with two children, isa psychology graduate of Cornell University, a Master of Business Administration and holds a PhD in marketing and statistics.

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Fury as Jewish paper pulls same-sex marriage announcements

By Jennifer Lipman, October 6, 2010

The publisher of a Jewish newspaper has said a controversial decision to stop printing same-sex marriage announcements may have been made “too quickly”.

The New Jersey Jewish Standard had published a piece on its “Lifecycles page” marking the engagement of Avichai David Smolen, 23, and Justin Taylor Rosen, 24, in the September 24 edition of the New Jersey weekly.

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Chagall painting sets new Asian record

By Jennifer Lipman, October 6, 2010

A painting by Jewish artist Marc Chagall has been sold in Hong Kong for an unprecedented sum.

The 1969 masterpiece Bestiaire et Musique was auctioned for £2.7 million to an unnamed buyer.

Although modest in comparison with global art sales – a Modigliani sculpture went for £35.8m in June - the bid set a new record in the Asian art world.

The impressionist work, of a bride and a fiddler floating in a night sky, is typical of the modernist painter’s recognisable style.

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Holocaust education trip for Chinese teachers

By Jennifer Lipman, October 5, 2010

A group of Chinese teachers have begun a tour of Israel as part of a new Holocaust education programme.

The 20 teachers, from Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, are participating in a seminar to encourage in-depth study of the Holocaust and examine ways in which the subject can be taught.

During the two-week trip they will visit Israel’s Yad Vashem museum and meet historians and Holocaust survivors, as well as tour sites in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

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Johannesburg votes for split with Ben-Gurion University

By Jennifer Lipman, October 4, 2010

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) senate has voted to discontinue its partnership with an Israeli university unless the relationship is “amended to include Palestinian universities”.

In a statement the university also said they would not “engage in any activities with Ben-Gurion University that have direct or indirect military implications.”

Ben-Gurion University has until the beginning of April 2011 to meet the demands.

Several notable South African academics and Archbishop Desmond Tutu had petitioned for UJ to terminate the relationship.

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