World news

Fiddler on the Roof writer dies

By Jennifer Lipman, October 27, 2010

The writer behind the stage and screen versions of the musical Fiddler on the Roof has died at the age of 98.

Playwright Joseph Stein, who won a prestigious Tony award in 1965 for the Broadway hit, had been suffering from prostate cancer. He died in New York.

Born to Polish immigrants to New York, he worked with Woody Allen and Mel Brooks, and wrote for both radio and television.

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Ukrainian billionaire is European community leader

By Jennifer Lipman, October 26, 2010

A Ukrainian billionaire has been chosen to take charge of the European Council of Jewish Communities (ECJC).

Igor Kolomoisky was appointed as the organisation’s president at the annual ECJC conference in Berlin.

He succeeds Jonathan Joseph, the London-based businessman who has been ECJC president since 2004.

The ECJC represents Jewish people in around 40 countries, not only those in the EU but also some of the countries of the former Soviet Union.

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Chilean president makes Nazi gaffe in Berlin

By Jennifer Lipman, October 26, 2010

The Chilean president has apologised for writing a phrase associated with the Nazis in a message to the German government while on a state visit.

President Sebastian Pinera wrote in the government’s guest book the slogan “Deutschland uber alles" which translates as “Germany above all.”

The phrase was used by Nazi politicians during the Third Reich and after the Second World War was removed from the German national anthem because of its connotations.

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Catholic who took Jewish daughter to mass cleared

By Jennifer Lipman, October 21, 2010

A Catholic man from Chicago who took his Jewish daughter to midnight mass has been cleared of contempt of court.

Joseph Reyes's ex-wife Rebecca Shapiro applied for a restraining order in 2009 to prevent him from exposing their three-year-old daughter to any religion other than Judaism.

The couple was embroiled in a custody battle at the time.

Mr Reyes had previously arranged for Ela to be baptised and even sent his former wife a photograph of the ceremony.

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New York Shul attackers planned missile launch

By Paul Berger, October 21, 2010

Four Muslim converts have been found guilty of attempting to blow up two New York synagogues and to shoot down military planes.

After eight days of deliberations, a New York jury this week returned
a verdict of guilty on all eight counts against James Cromitie, 44, and David Williams, 29. The charges included attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Onta Williams, 34, and Laguerre Payen, 29, were acquitted of attempting to kill officers and other employees of the United States. They were convicted on the remaining seven counts.

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Analysis: To really gauge Iran, look inside it

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, October 21, 2010

On the eve of the Islamic Revolution, the Shah had an army that could project power across the region - its planes could fly to Egypt, its warships could sail to Madagascar. But despite the military might and the considerable oil wealth amassed to finance his imperial ambitions, the Shah's might was a paper tiger. His rule crumbled under the weight of the uprising that eventually swept him from power and swept Ayatollah Khomeini and his Islamic Revolution to Iran's helm.

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Ahmadinejad: welcome to Iran's western axis

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 21, 2010

There was a farcical ending to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit last week to Lebanon.

Hours before his departure on Thursday, he had one last meeting, at the Iranian embassy in Beirut. His local ally, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, emerged from his hideout bringing him, as a tribute, a rifle supposedly taken from an Israeli soldier during the Second Lebanon War. But it was a sham. The rifle was an AK-47 Kalashnikov - not a weapon used by Israeli forces.

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Brazilian schools to teach about Nazis

By Jennifer Lipman, October 20, 2010

Schoolchildren in one of Brazil’s largest cities are to be given compulsory Holocaust education.

Following a spate of neo-Nazi attacks in the area, the authorities in the southern state capital Porto Alegre are to add the topic to the public school curriculum.

The 96 schools in the city will be the first in Brazil that are legally required to teach about the rise of Nazism. As of next year, some 60,000 pupils will take classes on the subject.

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America's Next Top Model: Esther Petrack's mother hits back

By Jennifer Lipman, October 19, 2010

The mother of an Orthodox Jewish reality show contestant has blamed bad editing for the “scandalous” suggestion that her daughter would give up Shabbat for the sake of her modelling career.

Esther Petrack, 18, is one of the candidates for the latest season of America's Next Top Model.

From a religious family in Boston, she was born in Jerusalem and attended a Jewish school.

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Activist: Israel boycott does mean end of Jewish state

By Jennifer Lipman, October 19, 2010

A prominent pro-Palestinian campaigner has admitted plainly that purpose of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement is to hasten the end of a Jewish state in the Middle East and not to find a route to a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Supporters of a cultural or academic boycott have in the past claimed that the tactic is a way to push for an end to the occupation.

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