World news

Facebook page promoted 'Auschwitz spa'

By Jennifer Lipman, July 28, 2010

A Facebook page advertising the “Auschwitz Spa” as a “slimming” place has been removed following complaints by the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

The page, created by French-speaking users of the social networking site, encouraged people to “come visit our new spa centre at Auschwitz”, the death camp where the Nazis murdered more than 1.3 million people.

The creators had even added a heart icon at the end of the title.

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Netanyahu meets King Abdullah in Jordan

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu has held “constructive discussions” on the Middle East peace process with Jordan's King Abdullah II.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said that the previously unannounced talks in Amman “focused on the need to advance peace, security and prosperity in the region."

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Israel: no Romania crash survivors

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010

Six Israelis and one Romanian on board a military helicopter have been confirmed as dead after the aircraft crashed into a mountain on Monday night.

An Israeli defence ministry statement said: "Search and rescue teams have found no survivors.

"Defence Minister Gabriel Oprea expresses his deep regret over the death of the seven soldiers."

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‘Black day’: Romania crash survivors unlikely

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010

Israeli officials have said they do not think they will find any survivors in the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed in Romania on Monday night.

The six Israelis and one Romanian are still considered missing and a specialist team from Israel has arrived to help with the search and rescue effort.

But Brigadier General Relik Shafir said: "We have reason to believe that all seven crew are dead.

"It's been a black day for all of us."

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Yemen religious murder appeal denied

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010

A Yemen court has upheld the death sentence of a Muslim man who murdered a Jew for refusing to convert to Islam.

Father-of-nine Masha Yaish Nahari was killed in December 2008 by a man called Abdel Aziz Yahia al-Abdi.

Mr Nahari’s bloodied body was found riddled with bullets after he was shot repeatedly with an AK-47 assault rifle.

Before the murder al-Abdi reportedly said to the 39-year-old teacher: “Jew, accept Islam’s message”.

Al-Abdi, a former pilot in the Yemeni air force, was found guilty and in 2009 was sentenced to death by firing quad.

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Israeli soldiers feared dead in Romania air crash

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010

Israel has sent a specialist search and rescue team to help find any survivors from a helicopter which crashed into a mountain in central Romania, killing at least four of the seven soldiers on board.

The CH-53 military transport helicopter was carrying six Israelis and one Romanian on an aviation training exercise near the town of Zarnest when it is thought to have encountered bad weather.

Officials have not confirmed that the wreckage has been found, but it is believed all those on board have been killed.

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Stone: 'sorry' for saying Jews control media

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010

Director Oliver Stone has expressed his “regret” for controversial comments in which he said “the Jewish domination of the media” was the reason the Holocaust continued to be so widely discussed.

Mr Stone had told an interviewer that he wanted Hitler’s atrocities to be viewed in context.

He said: “Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people, 25 or 30m.”

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Gorillaz play in Syria but boycott Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, July 26, 2010

Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn has told of his delight at performing in Syria just weeks after the band boycotted an Israel concert.

The singer said it had been “a wonderful experience” for Gorillaz to be the first high profile British band to play in Damascus.

Mr Albarn, who shot to fame in the 1990s with indie band Blur, told the BBC that he was “surprised” no other big Western band had performed in the Arab capital before.

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Swedish synagogue attacked

By Jennifer Lipman, July 26, 2010

Members of the Swedish Jewish community have expressed sadness after an attack on a synagogue in the city of Malmö.

Security has been stepped up after a bomb threat was left at the synagogue and the following day a firecracker exploded outside, shattering three windows.

It was reportedly the second threat to the synagogue in as many weeks.

In March 2009 there were violent anti-Israel demonstrations in Malmö when an Israeli tennis team arrived to play Sweden in the Davis Cup.

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Conference cancelled because of Israeli guest

By Jennifer Lipman, July 26, 2010

A French literary conference has been cancelled after pro-Palestinian activists refused to share a platform with an Israeli author who is a Holocaust survivor.

Novelist Esther Orner, 73, was set to appear at the March 2011 event hosted by the University of Provence.

But an anonymous group of Egyptian and Palestinian writers refused to take part in dialogue with an Israeli, prompting Ms Orner to speak out in the French media.

The controversy led university president Jean-Paul Caverni to cancel the entire conference.

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