World news

Obama Chief of Staff to meet Netanyahu and Peres

By Jessica Elgot, May 26, 2010

President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will meet Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today and President Shimon Peres tomorrow.

Emmanuel, who is in Israel for his son Zach’s barmitzvah, is expected to have an informal chat with both men about the current proximity talks with the Palestinians and to discuss general US-Israel bilateral relations.

The barmitzvah ceremony will be held in Jerusalem, but it is not clear if it will take place at the Western Wall.

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Ireland’s President thanks Jewish donors

By Jessica Elgot, May 25, 2010

Ireland’s President Mary McAleese has personally thanked the Jewish community for a donation of $82,000 given to the victims of the Irish Potato Famine in 1847.

The President was speaking at New York's Temple Shearith Israel, a synagogue founded in Crosby Street in 1654 by Brazilian, Spanish and Portuguese Jews.

In 1847 Jacques Judah Lyons, who was chazan of the synagogue, organised a donation of $1,000 from the congregation to be sent to the victims of the famine. The Irish famine killed more than a million people between 1845 and 1852.

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Sarah Jessica Parker shines at premiere

By Jennifer Lipman, May 25, 2010

Sarah Jessica Parker wowed the crowds at the Sex and the City 2 premiere in New York in a fluorescent yellow dress.

The Jewish actress did her alter-ego Carrie Bradshaw proud in a floor length Valentino piece as she launched the much anticipated second film in the popular series.

Sporting a tan and characteristic killer heels, Ms Parker was joined on the blue carpet by fellow cast members Kim Catrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon.

After the film the stars enjoyed a Middle Eastern style dinner of hummus and kebabs.

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Peres denies offering South Africa nuclear weapons

By Jennifer Lipman, May 24, 2010

The Israeli president has slammed The Guardian newspaper for its claim that Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons in the 1970s.

Shimon Peres said the allegations had no basis in reality and demanded a correction after the newspaper accused Israel of holding secret negotiations with South Africa's defence minister, PW Botha, in March 1975.

The newspaper said an American academic had uncovered secret documents showing that as Israel’s defence minister, Mr Peres had offered three sizes of warheads to the apartheid regime.

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Brittany Murphy's husband found dead

May 24, 2010

The Jewish husband of actress Brittany Murphy has died age 39 after suffering a suspected heart attack at the couple’s former home in Hollywood Hills.

Screenwriter Simon Monjack’s death comes just five months after Brittany, 32, died in his arms after suffering a heart attack in the shower at the same house.

After Brittany’s death Monjack ruffled feathers when he tried in vain to block plans for a post-mortem examination.

Monjack, who was born in North London, met Brittany through a mutual friend and they married soon afterwards in a Jewish ceremony in LA in May 2007.

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Auschwitz reopens after flood threat

By Jessica Elgot, May 21, 2010

Auschwitz has reopened to visitors after extreme floods, which have claimed the lives of seven people in Poland, forced the museum to close.

Thousands were evacuated from their homes after the Vistula and Sola rivers flooded after heavy rain.

Auschwitz’s museum has been closed since Monday, as volunteers and firefighters worked to build flood barriers to protect it from the rising water. Archives and thousands of items belonging to the camp’s victims were re-stored in top floors of the museum’s buildings.

The water reached within a few metres of the grounds on Tuesday night.

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Man, 85, deported to Austria for Nazi crimes

By Jessica Elgot, May 21, 2010

An 85-year-old man, who has admitted he was a SS guard at three Nazi concentration camps, has had his US citizenship revoked and will be deported to Austria.

Anton Geiser, who lives in Sharon, Philadelphia, admitted he served as an SS Guard in Sachsenhausen in 1943, where he marched forced labourers and was on orders to shoot attempted escapees. He was a member of the SS Death’s Head battalion

He also admitted serving as an armed guard at Buchenwald and Arolsen between November 1943 and April 1945.

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Turkish PM rules against media hate

By Sami Kohen, May 21, 2010

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned government and municipal authorities not to discriminate against non-Muslims, and instructed the country's judicial authorities to act against print and broadcast material that provokes racial and religious hatred.

"Although legal readjustments were made on matters concerning the non-Muslim minorities in our democratisation programme, it has been noticed that these have not been fully implemented," he said in a decree.

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Analysis: New nuclear deal is an Iranian triumph

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, May 21, 2010

Brazil's President Ignazio Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have emerged as big global players after delivering a compromise over Iran's nuclear fuel following intensive diplomatic talks in Tehran.

Though not all its details are known yet, it is safe to conclude that this deal is even worse than the one it aimed to "improve" - namely, the uranium transfer deal that Iran first agreed to and then rejected last autumn.

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Hungarian community in fear of extremist violence

By Thomas Land, May 21, 2010

The Hungarian Jewish Congress (HJC) has issued a desperate appeal to the mainstream political parties, asking them to prevent the new, extreme-Rightist deputies from turning the parliament into a theatre of antisemitic demonstrations.

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