World news

Republican leader pledges US Israel support

By Jennifer Lipman, February 18, 2011

One of the most powerful members of the Republican opposition has vowed that the United States will stand by Israel.

John Boehner, who became Speaker of the House of Representatives after the Republican Party won a majority at the mid-term elections last November, made the promise during a meeting with the Israeli ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren.

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Helen Thomas: Jews not persecuted since Holocaust

By Jennifer Lipman, February 18, 2011

The US reporter who left her job as a White House correspondent for Hearst Newspapers following uproar over her anti-Jewish comments has made another controversial claim.

Helen Thomas, who last summer was filmed saying that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine", said in a CNN interview that Jewish people did not have to leave Europe after the Holocaust.

The 90-year-old said: "They didn't have to go anywhere really, because they weren’t being persecuted anymore.

“There hasn't been persecution since…World War Two.”

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Rahm Emanuel offers reward for Twitter alter-ego

By Jennifer Lipman, February 17, 2011

Barack Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has offered a charity reward if an internet user pretending to be him on Twitter comes forward.

The politician, who is in the last stages of his campaign to become the next mayor of Chicago, has offered up to £3,100 if the person reveals their identity.

The Twitter account, unlike Mr Emanuel’s real one, is filled with angry and often obscene remarks, in recognition of Mr Emanuel’s famously short temper.

“@MayorEmanuel” has 2,000 more followers on Twitter than Mr Emanuel.

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And the Oscar doesn't go to...Holocaust films?

By Tom Tugend, February 17, 2011

This is the first year for nearly 50 years that not a single Oscar or Golden Globe entry has focused on the horrors of the Shoah.

Equally ignored, with one peripheral exception, are films on World War II and the Nazi regime. Only a year ago, Jewish GIs were wiping out Hitler and his minions in Inglorious Basterds, and the year before we fed on German guilt and anti-Nazi resistance in The Reader, Defiance and Valkyrie.

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Conservative Jews face a rapid decline

By Paul Berger, February 17, 2011

The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, once the largest denomination in America, has announced sweeping changes aimed at halting a precipitous decline in membership.

The number of families affiliated with Conservative Judaism has fallen by 14 per cent in 10 years, according to a strategic report issued recently by the USCJ.

"Among congregations of every size and in every region, there is growing ambivalence about their continued membership in USCJ," the report warned.

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Joy in Egypt but uncertainty elsewhere

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 17, 2011

The announcement that the Supreme Council of the armed forces was taking control in Egypt for the duration of the transition period to a new civilian government, reassured the Israeli leadership in the wake of the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.

Despite initial efforts to mobilise international support for the embattled president, Israeli analysts had realised, perhaps belatedly, that the Mubarak era was finally over and that Israel would do best to lower its profile while the Egyptians muddle their way, hopefully, towards some form of democracy.

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Egypt assault victim Lara Logan also faced Jewish slur

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

An American journalist who was sexually attacked while working in Egypt last week was allegedly also subjected to anti-Jewish chanting.

CBS news reporter Lara Logan is recovering from “a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating”, the news organisation said last night.

They said: “She and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into a frenzy.”

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Alan Dershowitz to help WikiLeaks' lawyers fight Twitter case

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

Harvard law professor and civil rights advocate Alan Dershowitz is to offer his legal expertise to WikiLeaks.

According to a WikiLeaks press release, he will be working with British QC Geoffrey Robertson, head of Julian Assange’s UK legal team.

Professor Dershowitz, who has represented a number of high profile clients including OJ Simpson, is one of the academic world’s most prominent supporters of Israel. His 2003 book on Israel’s history and politics, The Case for Israel, was a bestseller.

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Nazi accomplice loses US deportation appeal

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

A Ukrainian man who during the Holocaust helped perpetrate “some of the most horrific acts against human decency ever known in history” is to be deported from the United States after a Chicago court denied his appeal.

During the Holocaust Osyp Firishchak was part of the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Auxiliary Police, a group responsible for murdering more than 100.000 Jews in occupied Poland.

After the war Firishschak moved to the US and worked as a carpenter, gaining US citizenship in 1954.

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Security worries in Tunisia after Islamist anti-Jewish rally

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

Members of Tunisia’s 2,000 year old Jewish population have raised concerns about rising anti Jewish violence in the country following the collapse of the rule of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali last month.

Earlier this week around 40 Tunisian Muslims gathered outside the main synagogue in Tunis shouting anti-Jewish slogans and reportedly calling for death to Jews.

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