World news

All bets are off in Middle East

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 16, 2011

The Obama Administration is trying to restart the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinians as soon as possible, before an attempt to gain UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state and to ward off alternative European peace plans.

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No feet - but he's suing over a pedicure

By Ellen Tumposky, June 16, 2011

A wheelchair-bound Chasidic Jew has filed more than 80 lawsuits in the past year over handicapped access, including suing a pedicure salon in Manhattan - even though he has no feet.

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I'll put shuls back in Libya (with a little rebel help)

By Nathan Jeffay, June 16, 2011

The Libyan rebels have a new recruit: a softly-spoken, Kabbalah-studying, Orthodox Jewish psychoanalyst.

Rome-based David Gerbi has been making regular visits to Libya, where he meets rebel leaders to help them plan strategies for instituting democracy and gaining international recognition.

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Interfaith effort to fight San Francisco circumcision ban

By Jennifer Lipman, June 16, 2011

A Jewish congressman has been backed by a Muslim politician in his fight to prohibit US cities from banning circumcision.

Brad Sherman, a Californian Democrat, is set to introduce a bill to counter the San Francisco campaign to make circumcision illegal for underage males.

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Manischewitz makes massive Monster Matzah

By Anna Slater, June 15, 2011

The global leaders in matzah production have celebrated the opening of new headquarters by baking a giant version of the product.

The "Monster Matzah" was baked for the opening ceremony of Manischewitz's new Newark office.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker did the honours and measured the matzah, which was nearly 42 inches wide and weighed about 25 pounds - the equivalent of 330 regular matzot.

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Christian leader stands firm on Weiner Jesus advice

By Anna Slater, June 15, 2011

A Christian leader has refused to apologise for suggesting that disgraced Jewish Congressman Anthony Weiner could only find redemption through Jesus.

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'Antisemitic' Disney film shown on Austrian TV

By Jennifer Lipman, June 15, 2011

An animated version of the fairytale The Three Little Pigs has caused controversy in Austria.

Austrian state television has been forced to issue an apology for showing Disney's 1933 cartoon of the story, in which the Big Bad Wolf was depicted as a Jewish tramp.

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Baby joy for Black Swan star Natalie Portman

By Jennifer Lipman, June 15, 2011

Natalie Portman has become a mother.

The Black Swan star has given birth to a baby boy, according to People magazine.

The Jerusalem-born actress, 30, is engaged to the baby's father, choreographer Benjamin Millepied.

Ms Portman has not yet revealed the name of her firstborn.

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Noah and the award-winning director Darren Aronofsky

By Jennifer Lipman, June 14, 2011

Darren Aronofsky is set to take on a biblical task.

The award-winning Black Swan director is in talks to film a live-action adaptation of the Genesis story Noah and the Ark.

According to Hollywood industry website Deadline, Mr Aronofsky has already written the script for a film and is expecting to make it with a budget of £80 million.

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Call for Carla Bruni to sing for Shalit's freedom

By Jennifer Lipman, June 14, 2011

An Israeli singer has appealed to Carla Bruni to campaign for the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who also holds French citizenship, by recording a tribute song.

Amir Benayun, a popular musician in Israel, wrote a letter to Ms Bruni asking her to record the song he wrote about the soldier's plight.

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