World news

NIF boss sees 'progressive surge' in Jews around world

By Simon Rocker, June 17, 2010

There is a "progressive awakening" among diaspora Jews in their attitude towards Israel, according to one of its best-known left-wing activists.

Professor Naomi Chazan sees evidence of a growing trend in the formation of the doveish lobby group, J Street, in the USA and the recent J Call petition in Europe, which urged a settlement freeze.

The former Knesset member for the socialist Meretz party, now president of the New Israel Fund, was in London this week on behalf of the NIF. She also had a meeting at the Board of Deputies.

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New threat to shechitah as Euro MPs vote to label meat

June 17, 2010

The European Parliament has voted for new regulations which will see meat from animals killed through shechitah labelled as "meat from slaughter without stunning," in a move Jewish bodies believe is "discriminatory".

The decision, two weeks after New Zealand banned the kosher slaughter of animals, was made as part of a proposal for a regulation on the provision of food information.

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New European threat to shechita

By Robyn Rosen, June 16, 2010

The European Parliament has voted in favour of a new regulation which will see kosher meat labelled as “meat from slaughter without stunning” in a move which Jewish bodies fear is “discriminatory”.

The decision was made today as part of a proposal for a regulation on the provision of food information to consumers.

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Canadian PM: Israel-denying politician should go

By Jennifer Lipman, June 16, 2010

The Canadian prime minister has called for a senior politician to step down after she questioned Israel’s right to exist.

Stephen Harper joined other Canadian figures in demanding the resignation of Libby Davies from her position as the deputy leader of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) following comments at an anti-Israel rally.

Ms Davies was asked in a video interview whether “the occupation in Israel started in '48 or '67”.

Laughing, she replied: “1948, the year Israel became a State.

“It’s the longest occupation in the world.”

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Kyrgyzstan Jews offer humanitarian aid

By Jennifer Lipman, June 15, 2010

The Jewish community in Kyrgyzstan has offered humanitarian support to victims of ethnic violence in the central Asian country.

Jewish donors in the city of Bishkek have collected sacks of flour and rice to send to southern Kyrgyzstan, where thousands have been injured and hundreds killed in ethnic rioting.

The aid will be distributed amongst the 70 Jewish people living in the affected area as well as to non Jews in need.

Kyrgyzstan’s Jewish community numbers about 1,500.

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Castro Nazi comments outrageous, says Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, June 15, 2010

Israel has responded furiously to a Nazi jibe made by Fidel Castro.

The former Cuban president said that the “Fuhrer's swastika is today Israel's banner” and likened the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians with the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust.

He said: "The hatred felt by the state of Israel against the Palestinians is such that they would not hesitate to send the one and a half million men, women and children of that country to the crematoria where millions of Jews of all ages were exterminated by the Nazis.”

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China wants more Israeli tourism

By Jennifer Lipman, June 15, 2010

Israeli backpackers have become a familiar sight around Asian destinations like Thailand and India. Now China wants to be part of the lucrative Israeli tourism market.

The Chinese tourism minister, Shao Qiwei, has announced plans to encourage tourism links between the two countries.

Following a meeting with his Israeli counterpart in Shanghai, he described the country as an intriguing holiday spot and said that the two countries will hold a joint tourism conference.

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Ireland expels Israeli diplomat

By Jennifer Lipman, June 15, 2010

The Irish government is expelling an Israeli diplomat because of the use of forged passports in the assassination of a senior Hamas militant.

Foreign Minister Micheal Martin said an investigation into the death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January had shown that eight fake Irish passports had been used.

Israeli has denied responsibility for the killing and the inquiry did not establish any more of a link between them and the use of Irish passport.

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Modigliani scuplture sold for record figure

By Jennifer Lipman, June 15, 2010

A sculpture by Jewish artist Amedeo Modigliani has sold for a record amount at auction.

The limestone sculpture of a woman’s head was auctioned in Paris for 43.2m euros (£35.8m), beating both previous figures on the artist's work and overall records for French art sales.

An anonymous telephone bidder bought the 65 cm artwork, created around 1910 and first exhibited in the French capital in 1912.

The piece, held until now in a private family collection,is one of just 27 sculptures by Modigliani.

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Survivors retrace first Auschwitz journey

By Jennifer Lipman, June 14, 2010

A trio of Holocaust survivors has set off on a journey to retrace the first rail convoy to Auschwitz exactly 70 years after it happened.

A memorial train will retrace the 140 kilometre route from Tarnow, in southern Poland, to Oswiecim, where the Nazis built the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1940.

On June 14 1940 the first train left for Auschwitz carrying 728 Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution to the gas chambers.

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