World news

Polanski's supporters demand 'immediate release'

By Jessica Elgot, September 29, 2009

Jewish filmmakers and artists have spoken out against the arrest of Rosemary's Baby director Roman Polanski.

Woody Allen, actor Wim Wenders and British director Stephen Frears are among the 138 Hollywood names who have signed a petition pledging to fight Mr Polanski’s extradition to the US.

Mr Polanski, who is a Holocaust survivor, has not returned to the US since pleading guilty to drugging and raping 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977. He currently resides in France where he holds citizenship.

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Jackson: I could have changed Hitler

By Jessica Elgot, September 25, 2009

Michael Jackson spoke of his admiration and love for Hitler “the showman”, newly discovered recordings have revealed.

Jackson, who died in June aged 50, recorded over 30 hours of conversation with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach eight years ago.

He spoke of his belief that he could have rehabilitated Hitler and said: “Hitler was a genius orator. To make that many people turn and change and hate he had to be a showman and he was.”

Rabbi Boteach replies: "You believe that if you had an hour with Hitler you could somehow touch something inside of him?"

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VIDEO: Netanyahu's UN speech in full

By Jessica Elgot, September 25, 2009
The full speech from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the UN, where he launched a savage attack on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmidinejad and the UN countries who gave him an audience.

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Netanyahu: Ahmadinejad is a 'disgrace'

By Jessica Elgot, September 24, 2009
Binyamin Netanyahu has launched a savage attack on Iran’s president, including holding up Nazi Holocaust plans to counteract Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust denial.

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Jews cost me UN job, says Egyptian minister

By Ben Lynfield, September 24, 2009

Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni has blamed the Jews for his defeat in his bid to become head of UNESCO, the UN’s agency for culture and education, this week.

A Western conspiracy “cooked up in New York” was at fault, he said.

“European countries and the world’s Jews” wanted him to lose.

Mr Hosni was considered a leading opponent of “normalisation” of relations with Israel and last year threatened to personally burn any Israeli books found in Egyptian libraries.

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New seal for kosher food that is 'ethical'

By Paul Berger, September 24, 2009

When US immigration officers raided Agriprocessors, America’s largest kosher slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant, last year, the Jewish community was shocked and ashamed. Dozens of illegal immigrants were arrested, many alleging sexual harassment, unpaid wages and forced overtime.

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Ukrainian pilgrims riot on Rosh Hashanah

By Edward Doks, September 24, 2009

As 25,000 Bratslav Chassidim descended on the Ukrainian town of Uman last week to celebrate Rosh Hashanah at the grave of their rebbe, Rav Nachman, an unprecedented row broke out over the authorities’ demands for money.

The Rebbe Nachman Foundation complained to Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko that the Chassidim are being required to pay some $22,000 to the Uman water company to supply and purify water, $1,700 to sanitation inspectors, $3,200 for gas and $8,300 for rubbish collection services.

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US: It was mistake to say we will block Goldstone

By Jessica Elgot, September 24, 2009

The White House has claimed reports that the Goldstone report would be blocked by the US from going to the International Criminal Court, were a mistake.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said an anonymous official "misspoke" when he told Jewish organisations that the US would not allow the report’s recommendations to go beyond the Human Rights Council.

Mr Vietor said the US policy towards the Goldstone report remained the same as was given in the statement by Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN.

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Mass walkout during Ahmadinejad UN speech

By Jessica Elgot, September 24, 2009

British, American and French diplomats led a walkout at the United Nations general assembly during a virulently anti-Jewish and anti-Israel speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mr Ahmadinejad infuriated many delegates with claims of a 'Jewish conspiracy'.

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Egypt's Farouk Hosni beaten to UN job

By Jessica Elgot, September 23, 2009

The Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni, tipped to become head of Unesco, has been beaten to the post by former Bulgarian Foreign Minister Irina Bokova.

It took a committee five rounds of votes to decide that the new Director General of Unesco, the United Nations’ cultural arm, would be Ms Bokova.

Mr Hosni, who would have been the first Arab to hold the position, has been an outspoken critic of Israel and his campaign was dogged with allegations of antisemitism.

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