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Jewish Journal

World Briefs

by JTA Staff

June 14, 2001 | 8:00 pm

Israeli Infant Dies After Stoning

An Israeli infant who was seriously wounded in a Palestinian stoning attack died from his wounds Monday.

Five-month-old Yehuda Shoham suffered severe brain damage after the June 5 attack in the West Bank.

A day after the stoning, Israeli settlers went on a rampage near an Arab village in the West Bank, setting on fire at least three Palestinian-owned buildings.

The Shoham baby's great-grandparents, Dr. Morris and Sylvia Harow, were among the founding families of Congregation Beth Jacob in Beverly Hills. The Harows were also instrumental in the founding of Young Israel of Century City. In 1985, they moved with their adult children and grandchildren to the West Bank town of Karnei Shomron.

Wedding Hall Owner Kills Self

The owner of an Israeli banquet hall hanged himself several hours after his operating license was revoked for failure to meet safety regulations. The incident comes against a backdrop of stepped-up activities by local authorities to enforce building codes and regulations following a Jerusalem wedding hall collapse in which 23 people were killed.

Sharon Apologizes

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon voiced regret Monday for the killing of three Bedouin women by tank fire in the Gaza Strip on Saturday night. Sharon called the deaths a "mistake."

Report: Israel Still Has Edge

The Israeli-Palestinian violence of the past year has not significantly altered the strategic balance in the Middle East or Israel's military edge, according to Tel Aviv University's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies. Presenting the center's annual report, analysts from the institute said that Israel's difficulties in dealing with the conflict with the Palestinians are not affecting the country's conventional or nonconventional deterrent capabilities.

Disco Bombing Payment -- $750

An Israeli parliamentary committee has approved payment of about $750 each to the families of the victims in a suicide bombing attack at a Tel Aviv disco earlier this month. Twenty Israelis were killed in the attack, most of them young immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

Legislator Draws Fire

Israel's attorney general lashed out at an Israeli Arab legislator for remarks he made against Israel at a memorial service for the late Syrian President Hafez Assad in Syria on Sunday.

At the service, Azmi Beshara called on Arab countries and Islamic militants to increase their resistance against the Jewish state.

Just the same, Elyakim Rubinstein said there was no legal basis for bringing charges against Beshara, because Israeli laws do not allow authorities to prosecute a Knesset member.

Violence Hurts Peace Camp

Because of the ongoing violence in the Middle East, no Palestinian children will be attending a camp in Maine this summer designed to promote cooperation among Israeli and Arab teenagers.

Despite the decision by the Palestinian Authority's Education Ministry, children from Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco are still slated to attend the Seeds of Peace camp. But an Israeli official said the violence could force Israel to pull its campers from the program.

Poll: West Bank Teens Want Out

One-third of Jewish teenagers living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip want to leave because of the security situation, according to a study to be released Monday in a journal published by Israel's teachers union.

The Israeli daily Ha'aretz reported that the survey of some 1,000 youths aged 14-18 found there were high levels of anxiety among the respondents because of the violence they encounter daily.

Man Wins Lawsuit Over Kipah

A U.S. jury awarded $100,000 to a former telephone company employee who was fired months after he became a practicing Orthodox Jew. The jury agreed Monday with Jeffrey Bander, who says a supervisor told him to shave his beard and stop wearing a kipah and said he couldn't work with Bander because "you people think you're better." BellSouth, which says it will appeal, maintains Bander was fired because he failed to follow procedures for taking time off. Bander became Orthodox following the drunk-driving death of his eldest son.

White Supremacist Sentenced

A white supremacist who defaced two synagogues and the offices of a Jewish U.S. congressman was sentenced to three years in prison. California resident Alex James Curtis pleaded guilty Monday to the charges, which included placing stickers with swastikas that read "Yabba Dabba Doo, Kill Every Jew," on the office of Rep. Bob Filner (D-Ca.).

Court Backs Christian Group

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a public school violated a religious group's free speech rights when it refused to allow the group to meet in a public school building after school hours.

Orthodox Jewish groups hailed Monday's 6-3 decision in favor of the Good News Club, a Christian youth group that is supported by a missionary organization.

But most Jewish groups were disappointed by the ruling, saying that school officials should be able to prohibit religious instruction on public school grounds.

Group Blasts Circumcision Law

The World Jewish Congress said it is "totally unacceptable" for Sweden to impose legal restrictions on circumcisions.

The new legislation, passed June 1, declared that circumcisions can be performed only after the administration of an analgesic by a doctor, nurse or person with special permit.

The law was passed after a circumcision led to the death of a Muslim boy.

Bronx Rabbi Dies at 74

Rabbi Avram Twersky, a Holocaust survivor and seventh-generation descendant of the founder of Chasidism, the Baal Shem Tov. He died May 30 in New York at the age of 74 after a long illness.

During World War II, Twersky's father and brother were killed in their hometown of Chotin, while Twersky himself was interned in several concentration camps.

After the war, Twersky moved to the Bronx, where he founded a congregation named after his father, Rabbi Mordechai Israel Twersky.

Hate Suspected in Death

Swiss investigators say they believe anti-Semitism or a political motive was behind the June 7 shooting death in Zurich of a 71-year-old Israeli.

Rabbi Abraham Greenbaum, the father of 12 and the dean of a yeshiva in Bnei Brak, was in Switzerland on a fundraising mission.

N.Y. Rally for Disco Victims

Politicians and Jewish leaders gathered last Friday in New York to hold a memorial service for the 20 Israeli youths killed June 1 by a Palestinian suicide bomber outside a Tel Aviv nightclub.

The service marked the end of the traditional week-long mourning period for the dead. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said it is time for the United States to deal with Palestinian leaders other than Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, whom Schumer described as unpredictable.

Maccabiah Decision Delayed

Maccabiah leaders from around the world agreed to an Israeli request to postpone a decision on when the Maccabiah Games, scheduled for this summer, will be held.

Also on Sunday, an Israeli deputy minister backed growing calls to postpone the games because of feared Palestinian attacks. Rabbi Michael Melchior, Israel's deputy foreign minister for Diaspora affairs, said he had just returned from a tour of Jewish communities in Europe and found that most sporting delegations would not attend the July 16-26 event.

Briefs courtesy of Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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