World news

Catholic sues Jewish store in crucifix row

By Jennifer Lipman, December 14, 2010

A Catholic woman has begun legal action against a Jewish-owned business because she claims she was banned from wearing a crucifix at work.

Jamie Errico was fired from her sales job at watch store Concepts in Time in Manhattan last year.

However the 41-year-old is now alleging that she was discriminated against by the Orthodox owner Saul Jemal, because other staff members were permitted to wear kippot or necklaces with the star of David on.

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US diplomat Richard Holbrooke dies at 69

By Jennifer Lipman, December 14, 2010

The US diplomat credited with bringing peace to the Balkans has died at the age of 69.

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who was of Jewish descent, was serving as the Obama administration's envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He was admitted to hospital on Friday for a torn aorta, but died after unsuccessful surgery.

A diplomat since the 1960s, Mr Holbrooke worked for every Democrat president since John F Kennedy. He served in Vietnam in the 1960s, and later as ambassador to Germany. Most notoriously he was Assistant Secretary of State for Europe under President Bill Clinton.

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Diplomat Richard Holbrooke dies at 69

December 14, 2010

The US diplomat credited with bringing peace to the Balkans has died at the age of 69.

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who was of Jewish descent, was serving as the Obama administration's envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He was admitted to hospital on Friday for a torn aorta, but died after unsuccessful surgery.

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The 'tefillin terrorist' and a scare on a New Zealand ferry

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2010

Armed police forced a religious Israeli man to his knees and took him away for questioning after passengers on a New Zealand ferry mistook his tefillin boxes for an explosive device.

The man and a friend were later freed without charge, after police realised that they were not a terrorist threat and were merely observing Jewish practice.

An elite police unit was called in when another passenger saw the man strapping the leather boxes to his arm and alerted crewmembers.

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Jewish voices join call for for Ashtiani release

By Jennifer Lipman, December 13, 2010

Jewish politicians, comedians and writers are among those who have signed a letter demanding that Iran release Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the widowed mother-of-two sentenced to death by stoning for adultery and murder.

The letter, published in The Times, comes just days after the Iranian regime appeared to have freed her, only for it to be revealed as a stunt to get her to re-enact the murder in her former home. The “documentary” was broadcast on the Iranian-backed channel Press TV.

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Board backs Netanyahu's condemnation of anti-Arab rentals

By Simon Rocker, December 9, 2010

The Board of Deputies has welcomed Israeli President Shimon Peres’s condemnation of rabbis who have told Jews they should not rent home to Arabs in Israel.

A number of prominent rabbis backed Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu’s declaration that it was forbidden to rent or sell land in Israel to non-Jews.

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Antisemitic theories on the rise in Germany

By Toby Axelrod, December 9, 2010

Higher-earners are more xenophobic than the average German, and resentment of Jews and Muslims is on the rise, according to an annual study of social trends released last week.

The 9th annual "German Situation" study, from the University of Bielefeld Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence, suggests a clear "cooling of the social climate" as a result of tougher economic times.

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'Politics' destroying top leadership body

December 9, 2010

Canada's top communal organisation, the 91-year-old Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), looks set to be dismantled to make way for what organisers say will be a more streamlined yet more widely representative body.

Rumours of a consolidation of some Jewish advocacy agencies have circulated for years. They first took form in 2004 with the creation of the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA), which many saw as a hostile takeover of the community's leadership by about a dozen of the country's top donor families.

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Care for Holocaust survivors doubled

By Jessica Elgot, December 9, 2010

The German government is to double funding to help care for elderly Holocaust survivors - but there is no indication of how much the UK will benefit.

The Claims Conference has secured £93m, double last year's grant, for its Homecare scheme to support Holocaust survivors around the world.

Gordon Greenfield, director of the Association of Jewish Refugees, said: "We already receive substantial funding for elderly Holocaust survivors, but we don't know how exactly this increase will affect us or how much more we will get in 2011.

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'Jews have no future in Holland'

By Michel Zlotowski, December 9, 2010

Due to the growing hostility ofa large part of Holland's Muslim population, Dutch Jews should emigrate to the United States or to Israel, said Frits Bolkestein, former European Commissioner and ex-leader of Holland's ruling right-wing VVD party.

The statement appeared in the book Het Verval (The Decline), written by Manfred Gerstenfeld, a Netherlands-born Holocaust survivor and senior researcher at the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs.

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