World news

Tributes for leader of Warsaw ghetto uprising

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

World leaders have paid tribute to the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, who has died aged 90.

Marek Edelman was the last leader of the resistance group which organised the uprising in 1943, the most successful armed urban resistance to the Nazis during the second world war.

Edelman was one of half a million Jews forced into Europe’s largest ghetto, in Warsaw.

When the Nazis began deporting people from the ghetto in 1942, Edelman formed the ZOB (Jewish Combat Organisation- in Polish) with Mordechai Anielewicz.

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Asteroid named after Anne Frank rescuer

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

An asteroid has been named after the Dutch woman who hid Anne Frank’s family in Amsterdam and preserved her diary during the war.

The International Astronomical Union has named the asteroid Miep Gies, who is the last surviving member of the group who helped the Frank family and their friends hide in a secret apartment for two years.

Mrs Gies retrieved Anne Frank’s diary before the apartment was looted by the Nazis and saved it in her desk drawer for Anne's return.

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Ahmadinejad: More Jewish roots surface

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

Claims have resurfaced about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s possible Jewish heritage.

A close-up of Mr Ahmadinejad holding up his identity card has been released, showing that the Iranian President’s previous name was Saburjian.

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Iran nuclear deal agreed in Geneva

By Jessica Elgot, October 2, 2009

Iran will open its controversial enrichment plant to UN inspectors within two weeks and has agreed to export much of the uranium it has already enriched, the country’s chief nuclear negotiator told six countries meeting in Geneva.

The plans, tentatively agreed by Iran's Saeed Jalili, signify a temporary let up in a possible Iranian nuclear crisis, but representatives of the countries involved in the talks, including Britain and the US, warned that details were yet to be finalised.

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Move to outlaw Shabbat 'lifts'

By Anshel Pfeffer and Simon Rocker, October 1, 2009

A new edict by senior Charedi rabbis forbidding the use of “shabbat lifts” is causing an uproar in the Orthodox world.

For decades, the great majority of rabbis have approved the use of lifts that operate automatically, stopping for a few seconds on every floor, on Shabbat.

But on Tuesday, the Charedi daily Yated Ne’eman published a new ruling signed by some of the leading halachic decision-makers in Israel, including Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Rabbi Shmuel Halevy Wosner.

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Women break the kashrut barrier

By Sue Fishkoff, Los Angeles, October 1, 2009

Evelyn Prizont, an Orthodox woman in Washington State, spends her days poking through pantries, vetting vegetables and sniffing spices, all part of her job as a kosher supervisor for the Rabbinical council of Greater Seattle.

“I do it for the glamour,” she notes sarcastically, “and the respect”.

Mrs Prizont is in the minority. There are thousands of shomrim, or kosher supervisors, working in North America, but very few are women.

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Geneva: No breakthrough in Iran negotiations

October 1, 2009

British and US diplomats are among those meeting in Geneva to put more pressure on Iran to halt its uranium enrichment.

Representatives from the UK, US, France, Germany, Russia and China met in a hotel on the shores of Lake Geneva with Saeed Jalili, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator.

They are said to have insisted Iran name a date for a UN inspections of the nuclear plant in Qom, and have offered to freeze sanctions if Iranian uranium enrichment comes to a halt.

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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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