World news

Egypt protests: start of a new Middle East?

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 3, 2011

The hundreds of thousands of protesters crowding Tahrir Square this week seemed to have little idea of what they wanted to happen next.

"We must have multi-party elections and then all Egyptians can decide what they want to happen," said Sayyed Nasri, a civil engineer from Cairo's Giza neighbourhood, who had come to the square every morning to join the call for democracy and the end of the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak.

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Israel trembles as Egypt quakes

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 3, 2011

There is no single emotion that defines a revolution. Across Cairo, 30 years of autocracy are pouring out in streams of tears and screams of joy.

But the hope, fear and uncertainty coursing through the Egyptian uprising is shaking Israel.

Peace with Egypt under President Hosni Mubarak has been, according to one defence official, "Israel's second biggest strategic asset after the United States".

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Adam Sandler gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

By Jennifer Lipman, February 3, 2011

Adam Sandler has joined the ranks of Jewish actors with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mr Sandler, whose hits include The Wedding Singer and Big Daddy, has become the 2,341st person to be honoured on the famous Beverley Hills boulevard.

At the ceremony the actor, 44, praised his two daughters for always making him feel like he was good at things.

He said: “Even when I was terrible at things made me brim with confidence.

"This is a big deal. I can't believe this has happened in my life."

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Israelis arrested in Cairo as Egypt protests continue

By Jennifer Lipman, February 2, 2011

Four Israelis are among the rising number of journalists who have been arrested during the violent anti-government demonstrations in Egypt.

They were detained for allegedly violating the curfew in place and entering Cairo without the appropriate work visas.

A spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Israel was working on the case. He added: "We call on all Israeli reporters arriving in Cairo to remain alert, act responsibility and honour the place's rules.”

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Jimmy Carter sued for Israel 'apartheid' book

By Jennifer Lipman, February 2, 2011

The former US President Jimmy Carter is facing legal action from readers who claim he misrepresented Israel in a book about the Middle East conflict.

Mr Carter, who was president between 1976 and 1980, could have to pay more than £3 million if the case is successful.

The dispute is over his 2006 work “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”, in which Mr Carter compared the Israeli government to the leaders of apartheid South Africa.

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Muslim leader urges tolerance on Auschwitz visit

By Jennifer Lipman, February 2, 2011

A senior British Muslim leader has called on Muslims to support Jews in the fight against prejudice while on a multifaith visit to Auschwitz.

More than 150 Christian, Muslim and Jewish dignitaries from around the world, including Jordan, Turkey and Iraq went on the visit, organised to follow last week’s international Holocaust Memorial Day. Prayers were read in both Arabic and English.

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Date set for Chilean miners' Israel tour

By Jennifer Lipman, February 1, 2011

A date has finally been set for the Chilean miners’ long-awaited visit to Israel.

Soon after “Los 33” were rescued from deep beneath the Atacama desert in October, having survived 69 days below the surface, Israel extended the offer of a “pilgrimage of thanks” to the Holy land.

The Israeli Tourism Minister, Stas Misezhnikov, said when he invited them on the all-expenses paid visit: "Your bravery and strength of spirit, your great faith that helped you survive so long in the bowels of the earth, was an inspiration to us all.”

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Arsonists attack Tunisian synagogue

By Jennifer Lipman, February 1, 2011

The security of Tunisia’s dwindling Jewish community has been called in to question following an arson attack on a synagogue in the south of the country.

Jewish communal leaders said vandals set fire to the synagogue in Tunisia’s southern Gabes region on Monday evening, damaging the Torah scrolls inside the building.

Trabelsi Perez, who also heads a community in Djerba which in 2002 was attacked by Al-Qaeda, told news agency AFP that the police had not done enough to prevent the attack.

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Jordan's King Abdullah II dismisses Prime Minister

By Jennifer Lipman, February 1, 2011

The King of Jordan has dismissed his government and named a new Prime Minister, as anti-government protests continue around the Arab world.

King Abdullah II has asked his new Prime Minister, Marouf Al Bakhit, to move the country along the path to democracy.

He has replaced Samir Rifai in the role, but it does not necessarily represent a break with the past – Mr Al Bakhit was Prime Minister from 2005 to 2007.

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Aussie poker playing grandpa wins millions

By Jennifer Lipman, February 1, 2011

A Jewish grandfather from Australia celebrated winning £1.2 million in an international poker competition by eating some fruit and going back to work.

David Gorr, who is 68 and has five grandchildren, took the top prize at the Crown Aussie Millions Main Event tournament on Sunday.

The computer-analyst from Melbourne even went straight back to work after his win. His prize, for which he beat 721 other players, also included a diamond-studded gold bracelet and a trophy.

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