World news

Geneva: the inside story

By Leon Symons in Geneva, April 23, 2009

The Serpent bar was where it all happened. In a vast room with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over Lake Geneva, the wheelers and dealers worked to reach accommodations during the Durban Review Conference hosted at the United Nations centre in the Swiss town this week.

People huddled around tables drinking coffee and talking about the events of the week, dominated of course by the speech of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday.

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The rhetoric and the reality

By Leon Symons in Geneva and Anshel Pfeffer, April 23, 2009

Two contrasting aspects of the Middle East conflict were brought home this week in Geneva and Israel.

In Geveva, there was the circus of the UN’s conference on racism; and in Israel, the revelation to the JC that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will agree to the principle of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Jewish groups in Geneva were in uproar over the response among UN officials to the antisemitic opening-day speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. None of the UN hierarchy joined the walk-out, and UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi

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Russian leadership plan

April 22, 2009

A $2.7 initiative to promote leadership among Russian-speaking Jews living in the US has been announced in New York.

The money will go to training lay leadership in the community and supporting professional development.

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Rise in antisemitic attacks worldwide

By Isabel Janner, April 22, 2009

Holocaust images are increasingly used in antisemitic attacks worldwide, according to a new survey.

The survey, carried out by Tel Aviv University and the European Jewish Congress, shows the number of incidents increasing gradually from 1989 to 2007, peaking in 2007 and dropping slightly in 2008.

The start of 2009 saw sharp increases, triggered by the economic crisis and war in Gaza.

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Prince Charles stars in The Rescuers: Heroes of the Holocaust

By Tom Tugend, April 22, 2009

The Prince of Wales is to appear in a new film telling the stories of 12 non-Jewish diplomats who helped save an estimated 200,000 European Jews during the Second World War.

The film also highlights others who helped Jews survive, including Princess Alice of Greece, Prince Charles’s grandmother, who hid Jews in the royal palace in Athens during the German occupation and withstood interrogations by Nazi officials. The Prince pays tribute to his “very remarkable” ancestor in the film.

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Holocaust denier Dr Fredrick Toben faces jail

By Dan Goldberg, April 22, 2009

Australia’s most notorious Holocaust revisionist faces a possible jail sentence less than six months after he spent 50 days inside Wandsworth Prison.

Dr Fredrick Toben, the director of the Adelaide Institute in South Australia, was found guilty last week of criminal contempt for continuing to publish material denying the Holocaust, doubting the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz and vilifying Jews in defiance of a 2002 Federal Court order.

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Hitler's Mein Kampf on Indian curriculum

By Isabel Janner, April 22, 2009

Hitler is being promoted as a management guru for business studies students in India, who are advised by lecturers to read Mein Kampf and Hitler’s autobiography for educational purposes.

Sales of Mein Kampf topped 10,000 in New Delhi alone in the past six months and are expected to rise further.

A spokesman for Embassy Books in Mumbai, who publish Mein Kampf, said: “People are looking at it from a business angle, especially as Hitler had such a strong influence on the world.

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Holocaust denier faces jail

By Dan Goldberg, April 20, 2009

Australia’s most notorious Holocaust revisionist faces a possible jail sentence less than six months after he spent 50 days inside Wandsworth Prison.

Dr Fredrick Toben, the director of the Adelaide Institute in South Australia, was found guilty last week of criminal contempt for continuing to publish material denying the Holocaust, doubting the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz and vilifying Jews in defiance of a 2002 Federal Court order.

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Egypt in backlash against Hizbollah

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 14, 2009

The discovery of a Hizbollah terror network in Sinai could lead to a major Egyptian backlash against the Shiite movement and Iran.

Egyptian security forces this week revealed the arrest of dozens of suspects, allegedly belonging to cells recruited by Hizbollah in Egypt. At least 15 terrorists are still at large in Sinai and hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and policemen have been involved in the searches. Shots were twice fired at Egyptian security forces by Bedouin tribesmen believed to be working with the terrorists.

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Clouds gather over Durban II

By Keren David and Dan Goldberg, April 14, 2009

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will attend the United Nations anti-racism conference in Geneva next week.

The news increased Jewish concerns about the conference, a follow-up to the 2001 conference held in Durban which was dominated by heated rows over the Middle East.

Israel, Italy and Canada are to boycott the Geneva meeting, with Australia expected to follow suit.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said it was “most unlikely” his country would attend.

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