World news

Israel lobby lied about George Soros cash

By Jessica Elgot, September 28, 2010

The billionaire Jewish financier George Soros has secretly donated vast sums of money to the dovish American Israel lobby J Street, despite repeated denials by the organisation.

Hungarian-born Mr Soros, 80, has been regarded with suspicion by Zionist groups since he claimed in 2003 that Jews and Israel were to blame for rising antisemitism.

The businessman, worth more than $14bn, has always spoken of his support for J Street, which was created in 2008 as an alternative to the highly influential, Conservative lobby Aipac.

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Turkish Tesco offers Nazi bargain

By Jennifer Lipman, September 26, 2010

A British tourist has expressed his surprise at finding Nazi helmets on sale in a supermarket owned by Tesco.

Cambridge resident Lee Gillett came across the “black Nazi helmets” – on sale for just £8.50” – in a store in a Turkish seaside resort.

The helmets were being sold at a Kipa supermarket in the town of Bodrum. The Kipa chain was bought by Tesco in 2003.

Tesco, founded in 1919 by Jewish businessman Jack Cohen, started as a stall at Well Street Market in Hackney. The first Tesco store opened 13 years later in Burnt Oak.

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Rachel Weisz to star in Peter Morgan drama

By Jennifer Lipman, September 22, 2010

Rachel Weisz is to star in a new “psychosexual drama” written by Jewish director Peter Morgan.

The London-born actress, who recently appeared in The Lovely Bones, will play the lead in the upcoming film 360.

The film will be a loose adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s play Reigen and will reunite her with Fernando Meirelles, who directed her in the thriller The Constant Gardener.

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Steve Jobs fights Jewish journalism student

By Jennifer Lipman, September 21, 2010

A Jewish student from New York spent Yom Kippur thinking about Steve Jobs after she received an email from the Apple chief executive telling her to leave him alone.

Chelsea Kate Isaacs described Mr Jobs as rude after he refused to help her with her university coursework. The 22-year-old former model, who studies journalism at Long Island University, had asked him for a comment for an article she was writing about the iPad. The university has launched an initative providing students with iPads.

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Insights into slave labour from a Holocaust survivor

By Toby Axelrod, September 21, 2010

Hidden behind protective trees on a green hillside is a small, private Holocaust memorial. At the feet of six rough, natural boulders on a low stone, forged in metal, is the word zachor - remember.

It is the key word in the title of Marcel Tuchman's new autobiography, Remember: My Stories of Survival and Beyond, to be published in coming weeks by Yad Vashem and the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Project.

It offers rare into a little-known chapter: the recruitment of slave labourers at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp by Siemens, the German industrial giant.

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Hebrew schools for non-Jewish children

By Paul Berger, September 21, 2010

It's Thursday morning and 25 boys and girls are leaping on the spot in four lines, counting out jumping jacks in Hebrew.

"Echad! Shtayim! Shalosh!"

These are second grade students at the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in Brooklyn, in which children - the majority of whom are not Jewish - study a large part of their curriculum in Hebrew.

When it opened last year, the HLA was only the second Hebrew-language charter school in America. Within a few years it could be among up to 30 such schools.

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Ex-Islamist Husain to fight extremism in USA

By Jennifer Lipman, September 21, 2010

Ed Husain, the Muslim co-founder of a British counter-extremism organisation is to take the “battle of ideas” to America.

Mr Husain, who set up the Quilliam think tank in 2007, will leave the organisation this November to become a senior fellow at the US Council for Foreign Relations (CFR).

He is also planning to take on an academic role at an American university and work on a follow-up book to The Islamist.

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Increase in Dutch antisemitism

By Jennifer Lipman, September 20, 2010

The Dutch Jewish community suffered almost double the number of antisemitic incidents in 2009 than in 2008. Experts said this increase might only be “the tip of the iceberg”.

Police said the 209 cases of antisemitism were documented in the Netherlands last year, representing a 48 per cent rise year-on-year and accounting for nearly a tenth of all discriminatory incidents in the Netherlands.

During Israel’s Gaza offensive in January 2009, 98 attacks were documented, including nine physical assaults.

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Stewart plans Washington anti-Tea Party rally

By Jennifer Lipman, September 19, 2010

Jewish satirist is leading the fight against America’s right wing Tea Party movement in the run-up to November’s mid-term elections.

Jonathan Leibowitz, better known as The Daily Show presenter Jon Stewart, has announced plans for a "Rally to Restore Sanity” with a “Million Moderate March” on Washington.

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Chavez talks antisemitism and hugs a Jew

By Jennifer Lipman, September 19, 2010

Hugo Chavez has met representatives of the Venezuelan Jewish community to discuss antisemitism in the national media – and ended the conversation with a hug.

Following the meeting with the Venezuelan Confederation of Israelite Associations, Mr Chavez wrote on Twitter that it had been “an extraordinary meeting”.

He added: “We finished the meeting embracing and praying for peace".

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