World news

Cartoon Kahane is comic book character

By Jennifer Lipman, November 2, 2010

An extremist right-wing rabbi has been made into a comic book cartoon, 20 years after his assassination.

Rabbi Meir Kahane is the "star" of “Miracle Man”, a 50-page graphic novel designed to educate children about his life and political ideology.

It has been published by the Jerusalem-based Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea, set up in 1987 by Rabbi Kahane and now run by his followers.

Its English director Levi Chaden said: “[The comic] is for those who never had the chance to meet him.”

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Egyptian Jewish leader not guilty of fraud

By Jennifer Lipman, November 2, 2010

The head of Egypt’s Jewish community has escaped prison after winning an appeal against a fraud conviction.

Carmen Weinstein was found not guilty of defrauding a businessman out of more than £320,000 by an appeals court in Cairo.

In July Ms Weinstein, 82, was sentenced to three years in prison for selling a property which she did not own. She was alleged to have taken money from an investor for the purchase but not given him the deeds to the building.

She denied the charges and said that the documents supplied as evidence were false.

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Vandals target Jewish centre on Illinois campus

By Jennifer Lipman, November 1, 2010

A Chabad house at a prestigious American university has been vandalised.

Attackers broke the bulbs and one branch of a statue of a menorah outside the Jewish centre, which serves students at the Northwestern University campus in Illinois.

Local police said they were viewing the incident as a hate crime and investigating what happened.

The Chabad director, Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein, told the student newspaper that the vandalism reinforced “the need to educate people on the importance of different religious symbols.”

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Jewish graves in France vandalised

By Jennifer Lipman, November 1, 2010

Vandals have desecrated nearly 50 graves in a Jewish cemetery in France.

A passer-by noticed the damage to the Bar-le-Duc cemetery in northeastern France and alerted the police.

In total, 49 graves were found to have been knocked over or broken.

The attack was described as antisemitic by The National Bureau of Vigilance Against Antisemitism.

They said investigators should “take into consideration the racist character of the degradations in this old Jewish cemetery.”

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JFK speechwriter Sorenson dies

By Jennifer Lipman, November 1, 2010

Theodore Sorensen, John F Kennedy’s speechwriter, has died at the age of 82.

Mr Sorenson, whose mother Annis Chaikin was of Russian Jewish descent, died in New York following a stroke.
He joined the future president’s senatorial staff in 1953, when he was 25 and just out of law school.

He worked with President Kennedy during the 1960 presidential election and was one of the main figures in what came to be known as Camelot.

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Security high after Chicago synagogue cargo bomb threat

By Jennifer Lipman, November 1, 2010

Security has been stepped up at Jewish organisations in Chicago following the attempt to mail two bombs to synagogues in the city.

Jewish groups across the United States are on high alert after two packages containing explosive material hidden inside printer cartridges were intercepted on planes coming out of Dubai and East Midlands airports.

John Brennan, the US deputy national security adviser, has cautioned that there might be more attempts of the same type.

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European spat over oligarch role

By Jenni Frazer, October 29, 2010

Three leading members of the European Council of Jewish Communities board resigned this week at the organisation’s Presidents’ Conference in Berlin, in protest at the nomination of Ukrainian oligarch, Igor Kolomoisky, as incoming leader of the ECJC.

Jaws dropped in the plenary session of the conference when the British-based president for the last six years, Jonathan Joseph, announced that the ECJC “had the opportunity to elect as our new president a person from the east — a man with the financial resources” to make the organisation viable once more.

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Hizbollah leaks signal Lebanon escalation

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 28, 2010

The detailed account of the Hizbollah missile shipments that appeared this week in Le Figaro is another indication of the escalation in the intelligence war being waged by the West against the Iran-Syria-Hizbollah axis.

According to the French newspaper, special Hizbollah units are operating in Syrian and Lebanon to prepare launching sites for an attack on Israel.

The report that appeared in Le Figaro on Monday was attributed to sources in the French Defence Ministry.

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Monopoly, Cluedo, Holocaust the board game?

By Jessica Elgot, October 28, 2010

A video-games designer has created a disturbing board game to teach players difficult lessons about complicity in the Holocaust.

Brenda Brathwaite, the creative director of Lolapps in San Francisco, is exhibiting her board game "Train" at US exhibitions and universities.

And now she is planning to demonstrate it in the UK next year.

The game is simple: players put human-shaped yellow figures into train carriages without realising until later that they are sending them to death camps.

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Fiddler on the Roof writer dies

By Jennifer Lipman, October 27, 2010

The writer behind the stage and screen versions of the musical Fiddler on the Roof has died at the age of 98.

Playwright Joseph Stein, who won a prestigious Tony award in 1965 for the Broadway hit, had been suffering from prostate cancer. He died in New York.

Born to Polish immigrants to New York, he worked with Woody Allen and Mel Brooks, and wrote for both radio and television.

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