World news

Protests greet Iranian leader

By Ruth Ellen Gruber, June 6, 2008

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prompted street protests and diplomatic snubs during a one-day visit this week to Rome, where he also reiterated attacks on Israel.

The controversial Iranian leader, making his first trip to the West as Iranian president, was in Rome on Tuesday for the World Food Summit of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

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Portman visits Rwanda to open youth village

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 6, 2008

Hollywood star Natalie Portman visited Rwanda this week to highlight the opening of a youth village for orphans of the genocide, sponsored by Jewish donors and staffed by Israelis.

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Obama woos Israel lobby

By Nathan Guttman, June 6, 2008

The largest-ever conference of pro-Israel activists convened in Washington DC this week. It took a political flavour as presidential candidates used the event to tout their pro-Israel credentials and tried to court the Jewish community for support in the coming November elections.

The main message sent out by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) focused on the need to take tough measures against Iran. Presidential hopefuls followed suit, promising to increase pressure on Tehran, if and when elected to the White House.

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Olmert in his Aipac swansong

By Nathan Guttman, June 6, 2008

In what may be his last trip as prime minister to Washington, embattled Israeli leader Ehud Olmert met President George Bush and congressional leaders.

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Ex-slave lobbies Israel to aid Darfur refugees

By Ben Lynfield, May 30, 2008

While he was settling into his new life in the United States in 1991 Simon Deng saw a newspaper headline proclaiming that human beings were for sale in Sudan for 10 dollars.

“It brought out everything I had been through as a child,” he said over coffee at a Jerusalem hotel this week. “I almost lost it. I did not sleep for three days. My choice was to live in denial or come out of the closet. I realised I had to come out and tell the world that that newspaper was true because I myself was a slave as a child.”

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Hizbollah ‘eager’ to do prisoner swap

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 30, 2008

Hizbollah has indicated that it is eager to reach a prisoner-swap deal with Israel, which will include the two captured Israeli soldiers and six Lebanese prisoners being held by Israel.

Lebanese media outlets close to Hizbollah have been reporting an impending deal this week, although Israeli sources suggest this is an effort by Hizbollah to push the negotiations forward.

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McCain’s pastor isolated after saying Shoah was ‘God’s plan’

May 30, 2008

John Hagee, the controversial American preacher and endorser of Republican presidential nominee John McCain, has vowed “to fight antisemitism and to support Israel” as he hit back at criticism over his contentious Holocaust theology.

Mr McCain recently cut his ties with the preacher — who founded Christians United for Israel — after a sermon by Mr Hagee came to light in which he explained the Shoah as a divine plan.

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Durban II set for Geneva

May 30, 2008

The 2009 UN World Conference Against Racism is to be held in Geneva. Its 2001 predecessor in Durban, South Africa, was criticised for singling out Israel for censure.

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Kosher boss set to resign

May 30, 2008

Sholom Rubashkin, the CEO of US kosher meatpacking plant Agriprocessors Inc, is to resign after police raided the factory looking for illegal immigrants.

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Saudis invite WJC to talks

May 30, 2008

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has invited the World Jewish Congress to attend an interfaith summit. WJC head Ron Lauder said the move was “laudable”.

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