World news

Religious basketball player barred from contest in modesty spat

By Jennifer Lipman, June 10, 2011

An Orthodox Jewish basketball player has been forced to drop out of an international competition after officials ruled that she could not wear a T-shirt rather than a vest which would leave her shoulders bare.

Naama Shafir was due to play for the Israeli national team at the European women's basketball championship, which opens in Poland next week.

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Hague to Syria's Assad: reform or step aside

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2011

William Hague has called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to reform or step aside.

The Foreign Secretary said the Syrian leader was losing legitimacy.

In an address to the House of Commons, Mr Hague condemned the Syrian regime, which human rights groups blame for the deaths of 1,200 protesters since anti-government uprisings began in the country three months ago.

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Israeli Dr Water Molecule barred from Emirates event

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2011

A star children's entertainer has been barred from a science fair in Abu Dhabi – because he is Israeli.

Uri Weil, who is better known to young Israelis as Dr Water Molecule, was due to perform 40 shows in the Emirates' first ever science festival.

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Weinergate: Tweeting congressman comes clean

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2011

A married Jewish Congressman from New York has been left red-faced and a political punch bag after it emerged that he had sent a lewd photograph of himself to a woman he met online.

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Santa Monica anti-circumcision bill dropped

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2011

A leader of the anti-circumcision push in Santa Monica has dropped the campaign in the wake of allegations that another Californian campaigner is using antisemitic tactics.

Moves were underway in Santa Monica to secure a public vote in November for an initiative calling for the circumcision of males under the age of 18 to be made illegal and punishable by jail time.

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The Smurfs condemned as racist and anti-Jewish

By Jennifer Lipman, June 3, 2011

They are bright blue, three apples tall and make the perfect fancy dress idea. But according to a French writer, the Smurfs are actually antisemitic and racist.

Introduced in a French comic book in 1958, the Smurfs have appeared on television and film and will be in cinemas with actors Hank Azaria and Neil Patrick Harris once again this summer.

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Sobibor museum rescued from closure

By Jennifer Lipman, June 3, 2011

A Holocaust awareness group has praised the Polish government for announcing plans to save the museum at Sobibor Concentration Camp from closure.

On Wednesday the museum's administrators said they could no longer remain open to visitors because they had not received enough funding this year from the regional government.

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Foreskin man takes on Monster Mohel in comic book

By Jennifer Lipman, June 3, 2011

The campaigners seeking a San Francisco-wide ban on the circumcision of males under the age of 18 have employed the services of a new superhero – Foreskin Man.

Matthew Hess, president of the Male Genital Mutilation Bill group, which wants the US government to make circumcision punishable by jail time, has written two issues of the comic book.

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After Israel controversy, Tony Kushner to accept honorary degree

By Jennifer Lipman, June 3, 2011

Tony Kushner will accept an honorary degree from New York's City University (CUNY) today, a month after one of its board members attempted to block him from the award because of his stance on Israel.

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Death camp museum closed over money worries

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2011

The museum at the Nazi death camp where convicted war criminal John Demjanjuk was a guard during the Holocaust has been closed because of a lack of funding.

Around 20,000 people visit the site of Sobibor death camp in eastern Poland every year to pay tribute to the 250,000 Jews and non-Jews who were murdered there.

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