World news

Settlement freeze ends, talks teeter on knife edge

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 28, 2010

Israel's version of procrastination is epitomised in the phrase acharei ha-chagim. In other words, "after the High Holy Days", which is when Israelis promise to get things done, start a new diet and generally set their lives in order. This week, acharei ha-chagim also symbolises the next stage of the diplomatic process.

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New Israel Fund halts grants to non-Zionists

By Nathan Guttman, September 28, 2010

The New Israel Fund will no longer give grants to any group that "works to deny the right of the Jewish people to sovereign self-determination within Israel".

The new guidelines were released late last month following months of deliberations, in an attempt to clarify the group's relationship with grantees that question Israel's definition as a Jewish state.

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Swedish comedians stand up for Judaism

By Nathalie Rothschild, September 28, 2010

While stand-up comedy has been common in Sweden since the late 1980s, Swedish-Jewish stand-up is a new phenomenon. Spearheaded by performers Aron Flam and Jonatan Unge, comedy by and about Jews is becoming an unexpected, and big, hit.

Mr Flam (pictured) and Mr Unge, both in their early 30s, met at a Jewish summer camp in the Stockholm archipelago and later co-authored a sardonic book of quotes and facts about death. Since their stand-up debuts in 2007, both have become regular guests in Swedish TV studios, asked to comment on everything from Jewish identity to Swedish politics.

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Anti-Zionist mayor wins re-election easily

By Nathalie Rothschild, September 28, 2010

Malmo mayor Ilmar Reepalu, who has been accused of indifference to a sharp rise in antisemitic attacks in his city, easily won re-election last week.

Some believe that the Social Democrat mayor was so popular he played a key role in allowing the left to cling to power in Sweden's third largest city. The red-green coalition, made up of the Social Democrats, the Green Party and the Left Party, secured a narrow win.

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Analysis: J Street is master of double-speak

By David Hazony, September 28, 2010

What are we to make of the recent revelations thatJ Street has been receiving large donations from George Soros? Critics say the organisation previously lied when they said he wasn't involved, while J Street adamantly denies ever having denied it.

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Israel lobby lied about George Soros cash

By Jessica Elgot, September 28, 2010

The billionaire Jewish financier George Soros has secretly donated vast sums of money to the dovish American Israel lobby J Street, despite repeated denials by the organisation.

Hungarian-born Mr Soros, 80, has been regarded with suspicion by Zionist groups since he claimed in 2003 that Jews and Israel were to blame for rising antisemitism.

The businessman, worth more than $14bn, has always spoken of his support for J Street, which was created in 2008 as an alternative to the highly influential, Conservative lobby Aipac.

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Turkish Tesco offers Nazi bargain

By Jennifer Lipman, September 26, 2010

A British tourist has expressed his surprise at finding Nazi helmets on sale in a supermarket owned by Tesco.

Cambridge resident Lee Gillett came across the “black Nazi helmets” – on sale for just £8.50” – in a store in a Turkish seaside resort.

The helmets were being sold at a Kipa supermarket in the town of Bodrum. The Kipa chain was bought by Tesco in 2003.

Tesco, founded in 1919 by Jewish businessman Jack Cohen, started as a stall at Well Street Market in Hackney. The first Tesco store opened 13 years later in Burnt Oak.

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Rachel Weisz to star in Peter Morgan drama

By Jennifer Lipman, September 22, 2010

Rachel Weisz is to star in a new “psychosexual drama” written by Jewish director Peter Morgan.

The London-born actress, who recently appeared in The Lovely Bones, will play the lead in the upcoming film 360.

The film will be a loose adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s play Reigen and will reunite her with Fernando Meirelles, who directed her in the thriller The Constant Gardener.

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Steve Jobs fights Jewish journalism student

By Jennifer Lipman, September 21, 2010

A Jewish student from New York spent Yom Kippur thinking about Steve Jobs after she received an email from the Apple chief executive telling her to leave him alone.

Chelsea Kate Isaacs described Mr Jobs as rude after he refused to help her with her university coursework. The 22-year-old former model, who studies journalism at Long Island University, had asked him for a comment for an article she was writing about the iPad. The university has launched an initative providing students with iPads.

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Insights into slave labour from a Holocaust survivor

By Toby Axelrod, September 21, 2010

Hidden behind protective trees on a green hillside is a small, private Holocaust memorial. At the feet of six rough, natural boulders on a low stone, forged in metal, is the word zachor - remember.

It is the key word in the title of Marcel Tuchman's new autobiography, Remember: My Stories of Survival and Beyond, to be published in coming weeks by Yad Vashem and the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Project.

It offers rare into a little-known chapter: the recruitment of slave labourers at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp by Siemens, the German industrial giant.

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