World news

Alan Dershowitz to help WikiLeaks' lawyers fight Twitter case

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

Harvard law professor and civil rights advocate Alan Dershowitz is to offer his legal expertise to WikiLeaks.

According to a WikiLeaks press release, he will be working with British QC Geoffrey Robertson, head of Julian Assange’s UK legal team.

Professor Dershowitz, who has represented a number of high profile clients including OJ Simpson, is one of the academic world’s most prominent supporters of Israel. His 2003 book on Israel’s history and politics, The Case for Israel, was a bestseller.

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Nazi accomplice loses US deportation appeal

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

A Ukrainian man who during the Holocaust helped perpetrate “some of the most horrific acts against human decency ever known in history” is to be deported from the United States after a Chicago court denied his appeal.

During the Holocaust Osyp Firishchak was part of the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Auxiliary Police, a group responsible for murdering more than 100.000 Jews in occupied Poland.

After the war Firishschak moved to the US and worked as a carpenter, gaining US citizenship in 1954.

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Security worries in Tunisia after Islamist anti-Jewish rally

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

Members of Tunisia’s 2,000 year old Jewish population have raised concerns about rising anti Jewish violence in the country following the collapse of the rule of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali last month.

Earlier this week around 40 Tunisian Muslims gathered outside the main synagogue in Tunis shouting anti-Jewish slogans and reportedly calling for death to Jews.

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'Jewish gene' banker's LSE talk cancelled

By Robyn Rosen, February 15, 2011

A lecture by a German banker who has referred to a “Jewish gene” due to be held at the London School of Economics last night was cancelled at the last minute due to security concerns.

Thilo Sarrazin was due to speak in a debate organised by the university’s German Society last night.
The university stepped in to stop the event taking place on campus after anti-fascist campaigners threatened to demonstrate against the speaker.

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After Egypt, Palestinian Authority cabinet reshuffle

By Jennifer Lipman, February 15, 2011

The Palestinian Prime Minister has six weeks to name a new cabinet after he dissolved the existing one in what experts said was a response to anti-government uprisings in the region.

Salam Fayyad, immediately reappointed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who asked him to form a new cabinet, is expected to attempt to shore up support for Fatah in the new leadership in advance of elections planned for September.

Hamas, the terrorist organisation in control of the Gaza Strip, has already stated it will not participate in the vote.

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Most wanted Nazi war criminal Kepiro charged

By Jennifer Lipman, February 14, 2011

A Hungarian man accused of massacring more than 1,200 Jewish, Roma and Serbian people during the Holocaust has been charged with war crimes by prosecutors in Budapest.

Sandor Kepiro, listed as one of the top ten most wanted Nazis by the Simon Wiesenthal centre, is alleged to have been one of those responsible for the Novi Sad massacre in 1942.

Most of the victims of the attack were taken to the icy Danube River in northern Serbia and shot.

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Israeli politician: Mubarak wants 'honourable' escape

By Jennifer Lipman, February 11, 2011

A former senior Israeli politician who served as an envoy to Egypt has said President Hosni Mubarak was just looking “for an honourable way out”.

Commenting after Mr Mubarak confounded international expectation by transferring some powers to his deputy but refusing to relinquish his post, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said he had spoken to the president that evening.

Mr Ben-Eliezer, a Labour politician who served as defence minister under Ariel Sharon, said: “"He knew that this was it, that this was the end of the road."

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Lithuania attacked over Holocaust

By Simon Rocker, February 10, 2011

The organisers of a conference this week on Lithuanian-Jewish relations have hit back at claims that critics of the Lithuanian government were not invited because it was jointly sponsored by the country's Foreign Ministry.

Francois Guesnet, who teaches modern Jewish history at University College London, said: "To suggest that critics of the Lithuanian government were excluded is not correct. Participants were chosen for their expertise, not on whether they were critical or not of the government."

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Fake Guggenheims tried to defraud ex-president

February 10, 2011

They may have called themselves "Guggenheim". But when it came to the art of the steal, the three supposed multi-millionaires were quickly spotted as likely fakes.

David Birnbaum, Vladimir Zuravel and Catarina Pietra Toumei appeared in federal court this week accused of posing as members or associates of the Guggenheim family to swindle investors out of millions of dollars.

Their targets appear to have included presidents George Bush and George W Bush, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and Coca-Cola Company executives.

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Cyclone hits Australia's Jewish suburbs

By Dan Goldberg, February 10, 2011

Flash flooding triggered by a category five cyclone wreaked havoc on Melbourne's Jewish community last weekend.

Wild waters ripped through several suburbs heavily populated by the city's 50,000-strong Jewish community last Friday night, flooding at least four synagogues, two Jewish schools, a kosher café, the headquarters of the Australian Jewish News and the National Council of Jewish Women.

The Sephardi Synagogue was closed on Shabbat because the men's section was flooded, while other shuls suffered damage to halls, foyers and administrative areas.

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