World news

Analysis: As Hamas loses control, the risk for Israel grows

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 14, 2010

AT Around 11pm on Monday, a large explosion was heard near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. Reports began to stream in from civilians on both sides of Israeli Air Force strikes, dead Hamas fighters, IDF units concentrated near the border and forces on the move. For a few minutes, it seemed as if a year after Operation Cast Lead, another Israeli invasion of Gaza was under way.

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Israeli and Jewish aid to Haiti earthquake

By Jessica Elgot, January 14, 2010

Israeli and Jewish aid organisations have flown to Port-au-Prince to deal with the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake which may have killed up to 100,000 people.

El Al has sent two planes, one cargo and another for passengers, and an IDF delegation is due to arrive in the Carribean country today with experts in engineering, medicine and rescue tactics.

IsraAID have also dispatched a 12-man search-and-rescue team to Haiti.

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PA claims the Dead Sea Scrolls

By Ron Csillag, January 14, 2010

LETTER FROM CANADA

Weirdly, the sideshow was almost as compelling as the main event.

For six months, ending in January, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto hosted the Dead Sea Scrolls, the ancient parchments recovered from the caves of Qumran beginning in 1947. The Scrolls comprise the earliest known examples of Jewish biblical writings and offer a tantalising glimpse of life during the Second Temple period.

None of that stopped local Palestinians from staging noisy demonstrations at the museum, demanding that Canada close the show.

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Tweet this one: the rabbi’s on Facebook

By Sue Fishkoff, January 14, 2010

Rabbi Jonathan Blake of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, New York, videotapes his thoughts on the Torah portion and uploads it to his Facebook page every Wednesday. When members show up for Shabbat morning discussions, they are prepared for a lively give-and-take.

Congregation Ner Tamid in Henderson, Nevada, posts live webcasts of bar and batmitzvah services for anyone who cannot attend in person.

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Auschwitz plea for UK donation

By Jessica Elgot, January 13, 2010

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation has called on Gordon Brown to fulfill his promise to donate some of the £110m needed to save the former concentration camp from decay and ruin.

The camp has been built on marshland between two rivers and damp is seeping into the barracks, which are rotting and splintering.

Restoration experts have warned that the camp has less than two years before some parts are beyond repair.

In early December, the infamous ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ sign was stolen by vandals, highlighting the vulnerability of the site.

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Demjanjuk's lawyers calls to abandon trial

By Jessica Elgot, January 12, 2010

The alleged Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk may have his trial postponed yet again after an appeal from his lawyer.

The 89-year-old Ukrainian is on trial in Munich charged with being an accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews at the Sobibor death camp.

The case resumed today after being suspended in early December due to Demjanjuk’s apparent ill health.

His defence lawyer Ulrich Busch has launched a new argument that German law cannot be applied to Demjanjuk, who was born in the Ukraine.

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Tributes for Miep Gies, Anne Frank's 'helper'

By Jessica Elgot, January 12, 2010

Tributes have been paid to Miep Gies, the helper of Anne Frank's family, who has died aged 100.

Israeli president Shimon Peres wrote a letter to Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands to express his admiration for Ms Gies.

In the letter he wrote: "I bow my head in mourning and deep respect for Miep Gies.

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Oliver Stone: "Hitler was a scapegoat"

By Jessica Elgot, January 12, 2010

A new project from the Oscar-winning film director Oliver Stone will aim to “correct” 20th century historical "inaccuracies", including his belief that Adolf Hitler was a scapegoat.

The Natural Born Killers director is putting together a ten-hour crash course on the history of the last century for American TV channel Showtime, Oliver Stone’s Secret History of America.

Launching his series in Pasadena, California, Mr Stone said: "Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and it's been used cheaply.

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Anne Frank's helper Miep Gies dies aged 100

By Jessica Elgot, January 12, 2010

Miep Gies, the last survivor of the group which hid Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis, has died aged 100.

Mrs Gies was the first to discover 15-year-old Anne’s diary of her life in hiding for two years in Amsterdam. Anne died of typhus in concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, just two weeks before liberation.

Miep Gies kept the diary safe until after the war, when she returned it to Anne’s father Otto Frank.

She helped Otto publish the diary in 1947. It was eventually published in dozens of languages worldwide and sold, and continues to sell, millions of copies.

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Analysis: A sinister scheme to devalue the Holocaust is gathering steam

By Efraim Zuroff, January 8, 2010

The question of how Lithuania deals with its Holocaust past has simmered for 18 years, ever since it gained independence.

But in the past few weeks it has become crucial, due to Lithuania’s campaign to obtain recognition that Communism is the equivalent of Nazism.

The current controversy kicked off on November 30, 2009, when Lithuanian PM Andrius Kubilius was the guest on BBC’s Hardtalk.

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