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(JTA) Norwegian rapper not charged with hate speech A Norwegian rapper who cursed Jews while performing at an event in Oslo promoting multiculturalism will not be charged with hate speech, because his words may have been criticism of Israel, prosecutors said.
by JTA STAFF | Mar 14, 2019

Kaveh Kholardi said “f***ing Jews” on stage at an event last year, for which he was hired by the city.

Tor-Aksel Busch, Norway’s director of public prosecutions, rejected legal action last week, the news site Document.no reported.

Pro-Israel activists had filed a police complaint, but it was dismissed. Busch rejected their appeal, explaining that whereas what Kholardi said “seems to be targeting Jews, it can, however, also be said to express dissatisfaction with the policies of the state of Israel”.

Empire actor indicted by grand jury on 16 felony counts

Actor Jussie Smollett, who stars in the musical drama series Empire, was indicted by a grand jury in Chicago on 16 felony counts related to making a false police report in which he said he was the victim of a hate attack last month.

The police believe Smollett, who is black, Jewish and gay, paid two Nigerian brothers to stage the 29 January attack in downtown Chicago. Smollett has denied the allegations.

He told police that two men “gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs” towards him before attacking, pouring an “unknown chemical substance” on him, and wrapping a rope around his neck. The assailants said “This is MAGA country” as they fled, he also told police.

Smollett was released on bail from jail the day after he was charged. He is scheduled to appear in court next week.

Israeli businessman running for president of Guatemala

A Guatemala-born Israeli businessman is running for president of his native country.

Yitzhak Farhi (58) moved to Israel at age 46 after heading the Central American country’s 1 200-strong Jewish community. Farhi, who is Jewish, was a director of the Chevrah Kadisha Jewish burial society.

Farhi was spurred to run by a Guatemalan television interview in June 2018 in which he was asked about the secret of Israel’s success. He replied that “ideals and unity” were behind the reasons, and suggested that Guatemala could also benefit from adopting these principles.

He received an offer from the ViVa party and announced his candidacy for the June elections on Thursday. At this point he is not among the frontrunners in the race.

Police close Temple Mount after firebomb thrown at officers

All entrances and exits to the Temple Mount were closed by Israel police after a firebomb was thrown at a police outpost at the site. The police said in a statement following the attack on Tuesday afternoon that one of the suspects was identified and detained. Dozens of police officers reportedly entered the Temple Mount compound after the incident, and worshippers were ordered to leave. Clashes reportedly broke out between the police and Muslim worshippers. Police and Muslim worshippers have repeatedly clashed in recent weeks over the Bab al-Rahma structure, located at the Golden Gate, or the Gate of Mercy, the only eastern gate to the Temple Mount. The building has been closed and locked since 2003, because the police determined that the Islamic heritage organisation that had operated out of the building was associated with Hamas.

Netanyahu pre-indictment hearing delayed until after elections

Prosecutors in the corruption cases against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not be able to get their hands on the investigation files until after the country’s election on 9 April because of fears of leaks to the media. The Justice Ministry made the announcement on Monday evening, responding to a request from Netanyahu’s attorneys.

The prosecutors and the attorneys for the prime minister will be given three months to review the materials before a pre-indictment hearing in which Netanyahu can present his argument for dropping the case. This means that the hearing will be held on, or shortly after, 10 July.

Attorney-general Avichai Mandelblit announced late last month that, pending the hearing, he plans to indict Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases – the first time a sitting prime minister will face criminal charges.

 

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