World news

Presbyterians water down their anti-Israel resolution

By Ellen Tumposky, July 15, 2010

American Jewish groups are expressing cautious relief after the US Presbyterian Church diluted what had threatened to be a venomously anti-Israel report at its General Assembly.

The church's 700 delegates in Minneapolis last week passed a revised Middle East Study Committee Report that unambiguously recognised Israel's right to exist and accepted the need to stem the flow of weapons into Gaza.

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Obama-link firm drops anti-Israel campaign

By Ellen Tumposky, July 15, 2010

An American public relations firm with ties to President Obama has decided not to renew a contract to orchestrate a campaign aimed at breaking the blockade of the Gaza Strip after Jewish organisations expressed dismay at the arrangement.

Fenton Communications - which boasts on its website that "we only represent causes we believe in ourselves" -- was being paid $240,000 for communications work this year for Al Fakhoora, a group that participated in the flotilla to Gaza. The money came from the office of Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, the second wife of the emir of Qatar.

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Outcry over Polish 'NaziSexyMouse' poster

By Jennifer Lipman, July 14, 2010

A poster featuring a swastika, Disney’s Mickey Mouse and a naked woman installed just yards from a synagogue has caused outrage in a city in western Poland.

The image advertising an upcoming art exhibition has already been vandalised twice, while a member of the Poznan city council has called for it to be banned for breaching Poland’s strict regulations on glorifying Nazism.

The "NaziSexyMouse” image is part of a project by an Italian artist and a version has been on display in a Berlin gallery.

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Pakistan blamed for Mumbai terror killings

By Jennifer Lipman, July 14, 2010

An Indian government minister has directly accused Pakistan of masterminding “from beginning to end” the Mumbai terror attacks during which militants killed more than 150 people including a Chabad rabbi.

Indian Home Secretary GK Pillai told a newspaper that Pakistan's main intelligence agency, ISI had controlled and coordinated the three-day-long assaults in November 2008.

Although Indian officials have already implicated ISI, Mr Pillai said Pakistan had more than "just a peripheral role" and that the ISI chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed “knew everything."

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Anti-Israel protesters block Athens flight

By Jennifer Lipman, July 14, 2010

Greek pro-Palestinian protesters delayed a flight to Israel for two hours by staging a demonstration against the situation in Gaza at the airport.

The Tel Aviv bound El Al plane could not take off on time after the group from a Communist backed union obstructed five counters, preventing passengers from checking in their luggage.

Police at Athens International Airport did not intervene but there were no reports of violence.

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Matchmaking mum's web bid to find son a wife

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

A Jewish mother has become so fed up with waiting for her son to settle down that she has set up a website to find him a wife.

Just weeks after an enterprising son tried to auction his Jewish mother on eBay the tables have turned as New Yorker Geri Brin launched a site to find her son Colby a girlfriend.

Ms Brin, an Internet entrepreneur who works with Colby, has started “Date My Single Kid" to help her and other parents find matches for their single offspring.

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Survivor disco dances at Auschwitz

By Jennifer Lipman, July 13, 2010

A video featuring a Holocaust survivor dancing at Auschwitz to the pop song "I Will Survive" has received a mixed reaction across the internet, with many slamming it as “disgusting” and “tasteless”.

Jane Korman, a Jewish Australian artist, filmed her 89-year-old father Adolk and other family members performing a routine to the disco hit at different points around the Nazi concentration camp.

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Chelsea Clinton wedding rumours

By Jennifer Lipman, July 12, 2010

Former "First Daughter" Chelsea Clinton has finalised plans for her wedding to Jewish fiance Marc Mezvinsky, according to reports.

Speculation has been growing for months about the event and now a resident has let slip that the pair are likely to marry in the upstate New York village of Rhinebeck.

Ms Clinton, 30, and Mr Mezvinsky are believed to be marrying on July 31 at a mansion owned by a donor to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, Kathleen Hammer.

The 50-acre Astor Courts estate is modelled on Paris’s Versailles.

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Artist torches barn in Holocaust memorial

By Jennifer Lipman, July 12, 2010

A Polish artist has fired up debate after he burned down a barn to commemorate a Holocaust massacre and campaign against antisemitism.

Members of Poland’s Jewish community criticised the project but performance artist Rafal Betlejewski said he had been trying to remind the public of the 1941 Jedwabne massacre in which hundreds of Jews were burnt alive by Polish Nazi sympathisers.

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Swiss let Roman Polanski go free

By Lucy Morris, July 12, 2010

The Swiss Justice Ministry has rejected an extradition request from the United States for Roman Polanski.

The Polish-born Holocaust survivor fled America in 1978 after being charged with the drugging and rape of a 13-year old model.

Mr Polanski, 76, who is an Oscar-winning director, famed for "Rosemary’s Baby", "Chinatown", and "The Pianist", was arrested on the way to collecting a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival in 2009.

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