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JewishJournal.com

November 15, 2001

World Briefs

http://www.jewishjournal.com/nation/article/world_briefs_20011116

Russian-American Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan

The United States and Russia plan to step up efforts to end Israeli- Palestinian violence. President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a joint statement after summit talks in Washington on Tuesday that they would be "acting in concert with other key parties" to end the conflict. Israeli and Palestinian officials praised the statement. However, in a sign of the challenges ahead, Israeli and Palestinian officials traded new charges over who is to blame for the failure to halt the bloodshed.

New Israeli Primaries

The two candidates for leadership of Israel's Labor Party agreed to new elections. The September primary was declared void amid allegations of voter fraud. The candidates, Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg, agreed to limit harm to the party by holding a new vote.

Israeli killed by Arab Gunman

An Israeli man was shot dead by a Palestinian gunman in a village in central Israel. Aaron Ussishkin, 50, the security officer for Kfar Hess, was killed when he responded to warnings of a suspicious stranger in the village. Two other Israelis were wounded by the gunman, who is still being sought by police. Israeli security forces received warnings two days ago of an impending attack on Kfar Hess, according to Army Radio.

13,000 to Go on Birthright Trip

Some 13,000 young people are registered to go on free 10-day trips to Israel this winter. Of the number expected on the trip, sponsored by Birthright Israel, 8,000 are from the United States.

The program, which will include Jews from Hungary and Paraguay for the first time, works with young Jews from 17 countries. Birthright has sent 22,702 people to Israel since the program began.

Red Cross May Admit Israel

Israel's relief organization may soon be admitted into the International Red Cross. "There is now, I think, a genuine willingness on the part of the leadership" of the International Red Cross to "find an answer" regarding Magen David Adom, American Red Cross chairman David McLaughlin told the Jerusalem Post.

He made the comment after he told the international relief organization that he plans to continue withholding annual dues because of its exclusion of Israel.

"I think there's an increasing sentiment" that Magen David Adom "should be admitted. Many of the European countries are coming to that view, though not all of them," he said.

BBYO Chooses New Leader

The largest nondenominational Jewish youth organization named its new international executive director.

Brian Greene was formerly executive director of Camp Ramah of California. B'nai B'rith Youth Organization has long been an arm of the Washington-based B'nai B'rith International and is in the process of becoming an independent nonprofit. It has approximately 20,000 teenage members around the world.

Nazi War Crimes Suspect Dies

A Nazi war crimes suspect died before he could be extradited to stand trial. Konrad Kalejs, 88, who was appealing his extradition to Latvia, died Nov. 8 in his nursing home in Australia. He reportedly suffered from dementia. For years, Kalejs has faced charges of being involved in the wartime slaughter of civilians when he was an officer in Latvia's pro-Nazi Arajs Kommando unit. The militia is held directly responsible for the deaths of some 100,000 civilians, including 30,000 Jews, between 1941 and 1943.

Mistrial in Neulander Murder Trial

The case of a rabbi accused of arranging his wife's murder has ended in a mistrial. Judge Linda Baxter declared a mistrial Tuesday after the jury said it had been unable to decide on all three counts against Rabbi Fred Neulander. Jurors deliberated for more than 40 hours over seven days before sending the judge a note saying they could not reach a decision. There is the possibility that Neulander will be tried again. Neulander's wife, Carol, was found beaten to death at the couple's home in 1994. Neulander, who had been the religious leader of one of the largest Reform congregations in southern New Jersey, could have received the death penalty if found guilty.

Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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