World news

Justin Bieber's Hebrew tattoo from Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, May 27, 2011

Justin Bieber may have left Israel with more than some sand in his suitcase.

The teenage pop star, who delighted fans with a concert in Tel Aviv last month, was recently spotted sporting a new tattoo.

The tattoo, on his left ribcage, is of the Hebrew word Yeshua, translated into English as Jesus.

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Zach Braff and James Franco team up on Disney film

By Jennifer Lipman, May 27, 2011

Former Scrubs star Zach Braff has joined the cast of Disney's remake of The Wizard of Oz.

Mr Braff will play the put-upon sidekick to James Franco's Wizard. Other cast members include the Jewish actresses Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz.

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A barmitzvah with liver (not chopped)

By Jennifer Lipman, May 26, 2011

A man has celebrated the barmitzvah of his liver.

Toronto academic Frank Bialystok underwent a liver transplant in 1998.

Thirteen years later, he decided to mark the organ's birthday with a traditional Jewish coming of age ceremony.

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Hotel holds prison parties at former Nazi jail

By Jennifer Lipman, May 26, 2011

Tourists are being offered the chance to experience life as a prisoner at a hotel on the site of a former Nazi jail.

For a bargain £38, visitors to the four-star Hotel Stadt in the German town of Hameln can attend special "Prussian prison parties".

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NIF Australia's launch provokes war of words

By Dan Goldberg, May 26, 2011

A branch of the New Israel Fund has opened in Australia, triggering a forceful reaction from detractors who accuse the human rights organisation of crossing "red lines" by funding groups that seek to delegitimise Israel.

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EU hits Iran with sanctions

By Benjamin Weinthal, May 26, 2011

The European Union announced this week a new round of economic sanctions targeting 100 Iranian companies, including Tehran's main European financial hub, the Hamburg-based European-Iranian trade bank (EIH).

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Russian row over nature of hate text

By Nissan Tzur, May 26, 2011

An angry debate has erupted in Russia over the antisemitic text The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The Public Chamber of Russia, which oversees the activities of parliament, is pushing to have the 19th century forgery banned, while another state body, the Prosecutor General, recently argued that it is "politically and historically educational".

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Rabbis finally break silence on sex abuse

By Yoav Sivan, May 26, 2011

The portraits of the founders of psychoanalysis looked on with approval as rabbis joined mental health experts to discuss the problem of sexual abuse in the Orthodox Jewish community.

The groundbreaking event took place at the William Alanson White Institute, a top psychoanalytic training and treatment centre, on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

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Charedim accused of Shabbat hypocrisy

By Nathan Jeffay, May 26, 2011

It made the street parties for the royal wedding seem minuscule. On Saturday night, 500,000 Israelis flocked to the Galilee village of Meron, where they sang, danced and feasted, in honour of the festival of Lag B'Omer.

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Spy, arms trader or military envoy: will the real Colonel now stand up?

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 26, 2011

An arms deal gone bad? A bungled attempt to obtain intelligence? Or internal rivalries within the Russian security establishment?

Whatever the case, the arrest of Colonel Vadim Leiderman, Israel's military attache to Russia, in Moscow two and a half weeks ago was a rare occurrence in the normally stable relationship between the two countries.

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