World news

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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Extremists threats at Rahm Emanuel son's barmitzvah

By Simon Griver, May 21, 2010

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is in discussions with his family about whether to hold the barmitzvah of his son Zack in Israel next week after he received threats from right-wing extremists.

Mr Emanuel had told a conference in Washington last year that he was going to arrange the barmitzvah by the Western Wall in late May. Israel's Foreign Ministry received an enquiry in January from Mr Emanuel's office about the logistics.

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Diaspora critics rallying to challenge Israel

By Simon Rocker, Nathan Guttman and Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2010

Signs of growing diaspora discontent with Israeli policy have emerged with the launch of a petition by American Jewish figures calling for a settlement freeze and a compromise over Jerusalem's sovereignty.

For the Sake of Zion was inspired by a European initiative, JCall, headed by French Peace Now earlier this month.

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Jews for Jesus founder Moishe Rosen dies

By Jessica Elgot, May 21, 2010

The controversial founder of Jews for Jesus, Moishe Rosen, has died from prostate cancer, aged 78.

Mr Rosen was the most famous Jewish evangelist; having “found Jesus” aged 21. He and his wife made it a life-long mission to convert Jews to the teachings of Jesus. He died at his home in San Francisco, California.

Born in Denver, Colorado, Mr Rosen was rejected by his Jewish family after his decision to leave Judaism.

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