World news

Palestine leak - what they forgot to say

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 27, 2011

One message stood out from the publication this week of internal documents of the Palestinian negotiation team by Al Jazeera and the Guardian newspaper: Israel had destroyed the best chance that it had ever had of making peace with the Palestinians.

But the claim, that in talks held from late 2008 to early 2009, Israel refused generous territorial and demographic concessions offered by the Palestinians, presents only part of the picture.

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Here, Shabbat goes out with an AK47

By Ellen Tumposky, January 27, 2011

The Jewish community in Richmond, Virginia, is up in arms over a video posted on YouTube showing Orthodox worshippers passing around an AK-47 at prayers marking the end of Shabbat.

The video, made on January 8 - the day Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Arizona - shows Asher Meza, an Orthodox convert, admiring the gun with other Jews worshipping at the home of Rabbi Joseph Kolakowski.

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Bitter row erupts over Tzipi Livni visit

By Moira Schneider, January 27, 2011

A war of words has erupted between the Israeli Embassy, Israel's Department of Foreign Affairs and the chairman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) over the cancellation of a trip by Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni.

The former vice-prime minister postponed her visit, due to take place this week, because of the ongoing strike at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Board chairman Zev Krengel told Ha'aretz last week that the cancellation would deal a "devastating blow" to the local Jewish community.

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US praises Gaza flotilla inquiry

By Simon Griver, January 27, 2011

The Turkel Commission has concluded that the IDF acted in self-defence over the killings of nine Turkish activists when boarding the Marmara ship last May off the coast of Israel.

The Marmara was part of a flotilla transporting humanitarian aid to Gaza, but the members of the commission found that the dead activists carried knives. In addition, its report stressed that "during the searches conducted on the Mavi Marmara, no humanitarian supplies were found".

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Here you see what genocide means

By Toby Axelrod, January 27, 2011

Often desolate, in isolated fields and overgrown forests, many sites of Second World War mass-shootings of Jews are in danger of being forgotten.

And yet locals remember what happened in these places, and can point the way. Their memories have formed the basis for a new mission to secure and preserve such sites. Of the six million Jews killed, more than a million were murdered by mass-killing units, mostly on the outskirts of towns and cities.

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Egypt violence continues for second day

By Jennifer Lipman, January 26, 2011

Speculation is growing as to whether President Hosni Mubarak will be able to hold on to power in Egypt.

It has been rumoured that the Egyptian leader’s family, including his wife and son, had fled for London, although CBS News reported that an embassy official had denied this.

Violent demonstrations broke out in Cairo and other places across the country yesterday. Security forces used tear gas and water cannons to try and break up the crowds.

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European leader calls for 'zero-tolerance' for antisemitism

By Toby Axelrod, January 26, 2011

Europe should have "zero tolerance" for far-right parties that spew antisemitism, European Jewish Congress president Moshe Kantor said in a press conference here today, ahead of ceremonies marking Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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Irish upgrade Palestinian diplomatic status

By Jennifer Lipman, January 26, 2011

The Irish government has upgraded the status of Dublin’s Palestinian diplomatic mission to that of an embassy, prompting concern that its European neighbours will follow suit.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman condemned the move and expressed regret over it, but said it had not come as a surprise.

Although the decision does not automatically mean Ireland officially recognises an independent Palestinian state, it does represent a break with the rest of the European Union.

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Rahm Emanuel back in Chicago mayoral race

By Jennifer Lipman, January 26, 2011

Barack Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is back in the running to become the next Mayor of Chicago.

Mr Emanuel, the son of an Irgun fighter, confirmed his interest in succeeding long-time Mayor Richard Daley in the post last October, when he left Washington Dc to return to his home city.

However his candidacy has been beset by queries over whether he qualifies as a resident, having lived outside the city, and earlier this week a court ruled that his name should be taken off the ballot.

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Medvedev: Russia needs Israeli-style airport security

By Jennifer Lipman, January 25, 2011

The Russian president has said that the country will adopt Israeli-style security procedures in order to prevent a repeat of yesterday’s devastating suicide bombing.

Speaking less than 24-hours after a bomber blew themselves up in the middle of Moscow's Domodedovo airport, Dmitry Medvedev said "comprehensive checks" as used in Israel would be the only solution.

At least 35 people were killed in the attack, and many more were injured. Islamist militants from the Northern Caucasus region of Russia, which includes conflict-zone Chechnya, are believed to be behind the attack.

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