March 21, 2002
Seven Killed in Bus Bombing
A Palestinian suicide bomber killed seven people and wounded more than 30 in northern Israel on Wednesday morning. A number of Israeli Arabs were among the dead, Israel Radio reported. The bombing took place on an Egged bus near the Israeli Arab town of Umm el-Fahm, close to Afula. The bus was ripped in two by the large quantity of explosives carried by the bomber. The Palestinian Authority denounced the "operation," saying it opposed attacks on civilians within Israel proper. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the blast. In other violence, an Israeli was wounded in a shooting attack near the West Bank city of Nablus. A senior U.S. official said Yasser Arafat must intensify his efforts to end violence.
Israel, Jews Blast Annan Leak
Israel and American Jewish groups criticized Kofi Annan for his letter blasting the Jewish state's recent military offensive against the Palestinians. "The tactic of using the media for selective criticism [is], at the least, counterproductive," the Israeli mission to the United Nations said. "It is regrettable that the secretary general's letter fails to reflect the basic fact that it is Palestinian terrorists that are deliberately targeting civilians." In his letter, which he released to the press Monday, Annan accused Israel of launching illegitimate attacks on Palestinian civilians and said Israel's incursion into Palestinian cities and refugee camps earlier this month resembled "all-out conventional warfare." The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said the letter, and Annan's reference days earlier to Israel's "illegal" occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, "undermine his credibility and confidence in the U.N. Secretariat and further compromise the international body."
Report: Boy Killed by Palestinians
A Palestinian boy whose death became a symbol of the intifada actually was killed by Palestinian gunfire, according to German ARD Television. The footage of the death of Mohammed Al-Durrah was censored by the Palestinians to make it look as if he had been killed by Israeli gunfire, ARD officials said.
ADL: Russian Anti-Semitism Up
The number of serious anti-Semitic attacks increased in Russia last year, from 18 in 2000 to 24 in 2001, according to a new Anti-Defamation League (ADL) report. ADL officials, as well as other United States-based experts, attribute the growth to a general rise in hate crimes and to better monitoring. The report also stresses the unprecedented growth of ultra-nationalist and xenophobic organizations in Russia in 2001, some of it on the Internet.
Berlin Cemetery Damaged in Attack
Right-wing extremists likely were behind an explosion at a Jewish cemetery in Berlin. Police are investigating whether Saturday's homemade grenade attack that damaged a courtyard was the work of Arab terrorists or right-wing fanatics.
Reform Help Sept. 11 Victims
The Union of American Hebrew Congregations Disaster Relief Fund has donated $1.5 million to help victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. With more than 5,500 donations from individuals, corporations and Reform congregations, the movement selected nine organizations to receive $500,000 in grants to help primarily with legal services, medical services and job training and placement.
Arabic 'Mein Kampf' Is Best Seller
Arabic-language copies of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" are selling briskly in London and the Palestinian territories. The Arabic edition, published by a Lebanon-based company, has a picture of Hitler and a swastika on the cover, according to the British Daily Telegraph newspaper. The translator wrote in the foreword that "National Socialism did not die with the death of its herald, rather, its seeds multiply under each star."