December 14, 2000
Panel 'Won't Point Fingers'
The leader of an international panel probing the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian violence said the panel plans to visit the region several more times before issuing its report. "It's not our intention to inflame the situation," former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell said Tuesday after meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo. "We are not going to be pointing fingers."
Russian Jewish Leader Arrested
Spanish police arrested a Russian media magnate who also heads the Russian Jewish Congress. Vladimir Goussinsky, wanted in Russia for alleged fraud, claims the charges against him are politically motivated. Arrested early Tuesday morning at a beach resort in southern Spain, Goussinsky is slated to face an extradition hearing soon.
Extremist Defeated in Romania
Former Communist Ion Iliescu defeated extreme nationalist Corneliu Vadim Tudor in runoff elections for president in Romania.
Prior to Sunday's vote, the Romanian Jewish Federation had issued a statement saying Tudor had been "a staunch enemy of the Jews" in Romania for many years.
Tudor's publications have repeatedly published anti-Semitic and xenophobic articles.
'Hogan's Heroes' Star Dies
Werner Klemperer, who escaped from Nazi Germany with his family and later played a Nazi colonel on the U.S. television show "Hogan's Heroes," died Dec. 6 at the age of 80.
Klemperer earned two Emmy Awards for his portrayal of the bumbling Col. Wilhelm Klink on the show, which ran from 1965 to 1971.
Doctors Cleared for Circumcisions
Israel's Health Ministry agreed that hospitals can offer circumcision services provided by doctors, not just by ritual mohels certified by the Chief Rabbinate. The decision reverses a decision by former Health Minister Shlomo Benizri, a member of the fervently Orthodox Shas Party.
Israel Seeks Hostages' Release
An Israeli official confirmed that contacts are under way to try to secure the release of three soldiers and a businessman held by Hezbollah, but he said there have been no breakthroughs.
Israel is "attempting through a number of channels to bring the captives home," Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh said Monday on Army Radio.
Sneh downplayed reports, mostly from Lebanon, of progress in negotiations with Hezbollah that could lead to the release of the four Israelis in exchange for 19 Arabs held by Israel. All briefs courtesy of Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
AP Photographer Gets Apology
The Israeli army formally apologized to an Associated Press photographer shot by a soldier in Bethlehem last month.
The army said last Friday that the soldier, who thought the photographer was a Palestinian rioter, went against army rules of engagement, which require that a soldier be in immediate mortal danger before shooting live ammunition. The army also said it would punish the soldier.
Army Gives Soldiers Videocams
The Israel Defense Force is equipping some of its soldiers with video cameras so they can document what happens during clashes with the Palestinians, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The move comes as part of the public relations battle the two sides are fighting in parallel to the violence on the ground.
All briefs courtesy of Jewish Telegraphic Agency.