World news

Mel Brooks' star, finally on the Walk of Fame

By Jessica Elgot, April 27, 2010

He has won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony award, but now, aged 83, Mel Brooks has finally won a coveted star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

The comedian, scriptwriter, actor and director, most famous for his comedies Blazing Saddles, The Producers and Young Frankenstein, declared himself so happy to have won the award he burst into song on the podium.

He is the 2406th celebrity to be given a star on the famous Beverley Hills boulevard, which has been celebrating stars for 50 years.

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Goldstone invited to hold grandson's barmitzvah in California

By Jessica Elgot, April 23, 2010

A San Francisco rabbi has invited Judge Richard Goldstone to have his grandson’s barmitzvah in California, after Judge Goldstone agreed not to attend the barmitzvah in South Africa.

Rabbi Michael Lerner, of Beit Tikkun Synagogue in Berkeley, the founder of Tikkun Magazine, said that both Judge Goldstone and his grandson would be honoured at the barmitzvah in San Francisco.

Judge Goldstone authored the controversial UN report into Operation Cast Lead, finding both Israel and Hamas guilty of war crimes. He agreed not to attend his grandson’s barmitzvah because of possible protests.

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African 'Jewish' tribe displays its lost ark

By Moira Schneider, April 22, 2010

Members of an African tribe are displaying a sacred object they believe to be the Ark of the Covenant in a Harare museum.

The item is a ngoma, a sacred drum made of wood. According to oral tradition, a ngoma was carried from Israel by the Lemba, a South African tribe who believe they are descendants of Jews from the Middle East. After it burst into flame and was destroyed, another ngoma - the one currently on display - was constructed from the ruins.

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US warns Syria over Hizbollah missiles

By Jessica Elgot, April 20, 2010

Syria’s most senior diplomat in Washington has been summoned to the state department to explain the country’s “provocative behaviour” in apparently transferring scud missiles to Hizbollah.

Zouheir Jabbour, the deputy chief of mission for Syria in Washington, was told that the US condemned his country’s actions.

US state department spokesman Gordon Duguid said: "This was the fourth occasion on which these concerns have been raised to the Syrian embassy in recent months, intended to further amplify our messages communicated to the Syrian government.

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Analysis: How I decide which Nazis we must pursue

By Efraim Zuroff, April 15, 2010

Earlier this week, Israel and the Jewish world marked Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Memorial Day.

This year, for the ninth time, we used the day to release our annual report on the worldwide investigation and prosecution of Nazi war criminals, and a "Most Wanted" list of Nazi criminals.

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Analysis: On Iran, at least, Bibi and Obama agree

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 15, 2010

Commentators have been competing with each other to come up with the best superlative to describe the apparent crisis in Israel-American relations, but it has gone almost unnoticed that on one very significant issue, President Barack Obama seems to be closer now to Israel's position that the Bush administration.

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Terror cells 'rife' in Sinai

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 15, 2010

Israel’s Anti-Terrorism Bureau warned all Israeli tourists to leave Sinai in Egypt as soon as possible on Tuesday, due to a serious terror threat.

Defence officials said that the Egyptian security forces were making a “serious attempt” to clamp down on the terror cells in Sinai but that a number of terror groups were operating in the peninsular almost at will.

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Analysis: Goldstone synagogue ban is dangerous

By Rabbi Reuben Livingstone, April 15, 2010

I am no fan of Judge Richard Goldstone. As a lawyer, I consider his report on the Gaza campaign to be unbalanced, prejudicial and defamatory — certainly not a piece of work of which any professional jurist ought to be proud.

It has undoubtedly resulted in gratuitous political and moral damage to Israel and the IDF.

As a South African, I understand the outrage and sense of betrayal felt by a community which has always been exemplary in its loyalty to Israel and the Jewish people.

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Goldstone forced to miss his grandson’s barmitzvah

By Moira Schneider, April 15, 2010

Judge Richard Goldstone, author of the Goldstone report on Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, is effectively being barred from attending his grandson’s barmitzvah, due to be held in Johannesburg early next month.

Following negotiations between the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) and the Beth Hamedrash Hagadol synagogue in Sandton, the Johannesburg suburb where the event is due to take place, an agreement was reached with the family whereby Judge Goldstone would not attend the service.

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Iraq cleric slams plan to turn Jewish tomb into mosque

By Jessica Elgot, April 12, 2010

One of Iraq’s leading clerics, Ayatollah Shaykh Ayad al-Rikabi, has denounced the proposed conversion of the ancient tomb of the Prophet Ezekiel into an Islamic site.

Iraq’s Department of Antiquities and the Iraqi Shi’i “waqf”, which controls religious heritage sites in the country, has stated that the historic tomb does not belong to Iraq’s dwindling Jewish community.

It asserted that since Ezekiel is described in the Koran as a Muslim, the tomb should be declared an Islamic site. Plans are now under way to turn the site into a mosque.

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