World news

Canada: no to Galloway

April 2, 2009

A Canadian judge has upheld a ban on the British Respect Party MP, George Galloway, from entering the country for a speaking tour.

Federal court Justice Luc Martineau maintained the ruling on the grounds that Mr Galloway had given money to Hamas — proscribed in Canada as a terrorist organisation — and therefore posed a risk to national security.

Judge Martineau denied a request for an injunction to allow the MP in from America. In a written ruling, the judge said he was not willing to exempt Mr Galloway from Canada’s immigration laws.

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Exodus 2009

By Marcus Dysch, April 2, 2009

One of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, the Jews of Yemen, looks likely to come to an end as rescue operations begin to bring Yemeni Jews out of the country to escape persecution from Islamist extremists.

London’s strictly-Orthodox community is working with Immigration Minister Phil Woolas to ensure at least 120 people can move to Stamford Hill, north London.

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MEPs unite against Le Pen

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Politicians across Europe are planning to unite to stop French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen becoming the “father” of the European Parliament.

Mr Le Pen is expected to be the oldest member of the parliament if re-elected in June, meaning he would chair sessions until a new president is elected

But Socialist and Green party members have proposed a rule change to block him taking up the role.

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‘Striking’ liberalism among European Jewish leaders

By Simon Rocker, March 26, 2009

Just 17 per cent of European Jewish leaders would prefer a hawkish government in Israel compared with 69 per cent who would not, according to a new survey.

The poll also found that rising intermarriage and alienation from the Jewish community are considered far more serious threats to Jewish life than antisemitism.

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‘Nazi guard’ deported to US

March 26, 2009

A man accused of being a former Nazi concentration camp guard has been deported to Austria from the US.

US investigators say Josiah Kumpf, 83, took part in a 1943 mass shooting at Trawniki labour camp, Poland.

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Holocaust survivors get cash boost

By Toby Axelrod, March 26, 2009

Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe — many of them living in poverty — are to receive major increases in monthly payments from Germany, following intensive negotiations with the Claims Conference that ended last week in Berlin.

The agreement means that an estimated £55 million in extra funds will be paid over the next 10 years to approximately 13,000 Holocaust survivors in 22 countries.

There will also be major increases in Central and Eastern European Fund (CEEF) monthly payments to survivors in EU and non-EU countries.

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Obama sends ‘let’s talk’ message

By Nathan Guttman, March 26, 2009

True to his campaign promise to reach out diplomatically to Iran, US president Barack Obama issued a public appeal to the Iranian leadership on the occasion of the Iranian holiday of Nowruz.

President Obama’s overture to Tehran marks the beginning of the US effort to engage with Iran, a strategy viewed with skepticism by Israel. The President’s public call for rapprochement comes days after senior administration officials were urged by Israel’s chief of staff not to shelve the military option against Iran.

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Men on death row for ‘Israel emails’

March 26, 2009

A man has been sentenced to death in Yemen having been accused of forging links with Israel.

Bassam al-Haidari, 26, was condemned after allegedly writing to Ehud Olmert, the then Israeli prime minister, offering to work as an agent for Mossad. Two other men were also convicted this week.

Israel denied any having had contact with the three men.

Ali Abdullah al-Mahfal, 24, was jailed for five years and Emad Ali al-Raimi, 23, was sentenced to a three-year term.

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The lawyer, the lies and the fast ladies

By Keren David and Dan Goldberg, March 26, 2009

He was a highly respected member of the Australian Jewish community, a human rights lawyer honoured as an “Australian National Treasure.”

But when, in 2006, former judge Marcus Einfeld, 69, drove his silver Lexus sedan at 60 kmh through a 50kmh zone, he was on a highway to a prison cell — and by the most bizarre route.

Rather than pay a $AU77 speeding fine — around £37 — Einfeld claimed that he had lent the car to an old friend, an American academic called Teresa Brennan.

But his alibi failed when police discovered that Professor Brennan had been dead for three years.

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Blair Foundation unites with World Jewish Relief

March 19, 2009

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair will make a rare appearance at a Jewish community event this month in a collaboration between his own Faith Foundation and World Jewish Relief.

Mr Blair, currently the Middle East envoy for the Quartet - America, Russia, Europe and the UN - will be the guest speaker at a communal breakfast in central London, where he will speak about the work of his foundation and its connection with WJR.

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