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Jewish Journal

World Briefs

by JTA Staff

September 6, 2001 | 8:00 pm

Labor Party Candidate Claims Election Fraud

Vote counting in elections for chairman of Israel's Labor Party was halted after one of the candidates claimed fraud.

Current Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, who was unofficially trailing Knesset speaker Avraham Burg by 50.1 percent to 48.6 percent with 95 percent of the vote counted, said he would appeal to legal channels to determine the outcome of the vote.

Third Attack on Jewish Doctor

A Jewish doctor in South Africa was beaten by a group of men wearing kaffiyehs and chanting anti-Jewish slogans, but he will not press charges, according to Israeli news reports.

Police said it was the third time the doctor, who was reported to be in satisfactory condition, had been attacked. The attack comes amid virulently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic demonstrations at the U.N. World Conference Against Racism taking place in Durban.

Pollard Spurns Israeli Offer

Calling it a "cheap publicity stunt," convicted spy Jonathan Pollard says he will not accept the $1 million the Israeli government reportedly has offered to cover Pollard's expenses incurred during his imprisonment. "They can take that offer and put it where the sun doesn't shine," Pollard said in an exclusive statement from prison in Butner, N.C.

A former U.S. Navy analyst, Pollard is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel.

Commander: We Fired Out of Fear

A former Israeli police commissioner said his forces killed 13 Israeli Arabs during riots last October because they feared for their lives.

Alik Ron also told a state panel that poor intelligence had failed to prepare police for the intensity of the violence.

Ron said there was a history of tense relations between Arab residents of northern Israel and police.

Students Plan Israel Divestment

Pro-Palestinian students plan to launch a national campaign this fall urging universities to divest from companies doing business in Israel.

Jewish leaders criticize the effort and say it is unlikely to gain momentum, but a University of California at Berkeley group hopes to launch a national movement at an Oct. 12-14 conference called "Holding the University Accountable: Divesting from Israeli Apartheid."

Russian Church Not Charged

A Russian prosecutor will not charge a local diocese with inciting ethnic and religious hatred for publishing and distributing anti-Semitic literature, according to a human rights watchdog group.

This is the fourth time in recent weeks that Russian officials have refused to take legal action against publishers of anti-Semitic material, according to the Union of Councils for Jews in the FSU.

Jewish Institute Opens in Sweden

An international conference on Jewish exile opened at a new Jewish institute in Stockholm.

The idea for the Paideia Institute, which will offer nondegree programs ranging from one week to one year, came during a Holocaust education conference held in Sweden's capital in January 2000.

At the time, Swedish Prime Minster Goran Persson declared that his government would support research on World War II-era Swedish history, and pledged some $5 million to promote Jewish culture, identity and history.

Poll: Americans Blame Both Sides

Seventy-eight percent of Americans blame both Israelis and Palestinians for the breakdown of the peace process, according to a new poll.

Some 12 percent blame only the Palestinians; and 4 percent blame only the Israelis, according to the poll of 1,000 likely American voters commissioned by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and conducted by Zogby International.

In other results, 18 percent of Americans have a favorable impression of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, while 29 percent have a favorable impression of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

IRS Revises Holocaust Tax

The Internal Revenue Service is revising its 2001 instructions to ensure that Holocaust victims or their heirs will not report restitution payments as income on their U.S. tax returns.

The revisions come as a result of a law passed this spring. The IRS will inform tax specialists of the changes through updated training manuals.

Lithuania Soccer Sorry for Foul

Lithuania's soccer federation apologized this week to the country's Jewish community for fans who chanted anti-Semitic slogans during a recent match between a Vilnius team and Maccabi Tel Aviv, according to the Union of Councils for Jews in the FSU.

Chants in German of "Jews get out!" marred the Aug. 23 match. Local Jews say stadium security did not try to stop the chanting.

Ashkelon Gets Desalinatized

An international consortium led by Vivendi, the world's largest desalination company, won a contract to build a water desalination plant in the Israeli city of Ashkelon.

Desalination aimed at improving Israel's chronic water shortage should begin within 18 months after a contract is signed.

Israelis Increase Studying Abroad

The number of Israelis interested in studying abroad has increased by 50 percent since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising last fall, the Israeli daily Ma'ariv reported. According to the paper, universities in the Netherlands and Australia have joined England and the United States as popular destinations.

Google Enters Promised Land

Google launched a Hebrew version of its search engine.The new site, www.google.co.il is believed to be the first Hebrew search engine created by an international company.

Israeli Killed in West Bank Cafe

A masked gunman killed an Israeli as he was eating in a cafe in a Palestinian village near Ramallah.

Amos Tajouri, 60, was killed in an area under Israeli security control. Tajouri loaned the money to help the restaurant open, according to Reuters.

Reports Confirm Swiss Complicity

A report from the Berger commission investigating Switzerland's role in the Nazi war effort "confirms the worst fears about Switzerland's collaboration with the Nazis during World War II," said Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress.

The report, which is part of the commission's ongoing inquiry into Swiss wartime dealings, determined that the Swiss used forced labor and removed Jews from senior business positions.

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