Jewish Journal

World Briefs

by JTA Staff

Posted on Nov. 29, 2001 at 7:00 pm

Anti-Arafat Complaint Filed in Belgium

A group of Israelis filed a complaint against Yasser Arafat in Belgium. The group, called the Terror Victims Association, said the complaint against Arafat and several Palestinian groups, including the Palestinian Authority and the PLO, cited attacks against Israelis dating back to 1974. The action came a day before a Brussels court was due to consider whether to go ahead with a lawsuit brought by Palestinian and Lebanese plaintiffs against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Belgium has a 1993 law on "universal jurisdiction," which enables Belgian courts to judge atrocities committed elsewhere, regardless of whether or not they involved Belgians. The court is expected to rule in January.

Man Denies Nuclear Trigger Charges

A 72-year-old man pleaded innocent Monday to charges that he exported potential nuclear triggers to Israel. Richard Henry Smyth faces a 30-count indictment involving the alleged export of about $60,000 worth of triggering devices that can be used in nuclear weapons. Smyth is being held without bail. His trial in a federal court in California is set for Jan. 15. Smyth had been awaiting trial on the charges in 1985 when he fled the United States for Spain. He was extradited from Spain earlier this month.

Lawmaker Decries U.N. Meeting

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) asked Secretary of State Colin Powell to speak out against a U.N. meeting. Waxman said Monday he believes the Dec. 5 meeting in Geneva, where the United Nations will discuss alleged Israeli violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention for its treatment of Palestinians, "will inevitably become a new platform for Arab nations to resurrect the viciously anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist declarations" made at previous U.N. forums. Waxman said he hopes Powell will express to Arab leaders that the meeting could pose a serious threat to the Middle East peace process.

Palestinian Faces Deportation

A Palestinian who faces deportation from the United States allegedly has ties to groups linked to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The Justice Department rearrested Mazen al-Najjar over the weekend after a U.S. appeals court ruled that it could deport him for overstaying a student visa in the early 1980s. Najjar, who was previously held for three-and-a-half years on secret evidence, was involved in the World and Islam Studies Enterprise and the Islamic Concern Project. The U.S. government says these groups raise money for Islamic Jihad and Hamas, but Najjar's lawyers say the groups send money to orphans in Palestinian-ruled areas. Born in the Gaza Strip, Najjar previously taught at a Florida university.

ZOA Names New Director

Milton Sussman was named executive director of the Zionist Organization of America. Formerly the executive director of the Israel Cancer Research Fund, Sussman has also worked for the Anti-Defamation League and B'nai B'rith. He replaces Janice Sokolovsky, who is returning to Israel after a two-year stint in the position.

Controversial Germ an Exhibit Reopens

Right-wing protests are expected to greet the reopening of an exhibit in Germany. The exhibit, which details how ordinary German soldiers committed Nazi war crimes, caused an uproar when it was first launched in 1994 because it countered a widely held belief that the army, unlike Hitler's SS, was not involved in Nazi atrocities. The display closed in 1999 after historians said some photographs showed Soviet security police, not the German army, involved in mass killings. The new exhibit, slated to open Wednesday in Berlin, has less of an emphasis on photography and more on textual sources to make the same point about the Wehrmacht, the wartime German army.

Israel nabs 9 suspected terrorists

Israeli forces arrested nine members of Islamic Jihad in Hebron. The arrests were made when the forces entered Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank city, according to the Jerusalem Post, which cited Palestinian sources. The arrested men were suspected of planning and carrying out terror attacks in Jerusalem.

Jewish home in Jerusalem razed

Jerusalem officials razed a Jewish-built house they said was constructed illegally. It was the sixth such structure in a Jewish neighborhood of the city to be bulldozed during the past year. In the same period, the municipality razed 30 mostly empty Arab-built structures in eastern Jerusalem, according to the Jerusalem Post. Thedemolition of Arab structures generally is condemned around the world.

Save That Toilet Water

An Israeli legislator proposed a bill to flush less water. Nahum Lagenthal proposed the bill, which requires toilet manufacturers to reduce the amount of water used to flush toilets. Cutting the necessary flush water by some 20 percent would help Israel's worsening drought, suggested Lagenthal, a member of the National Religious Party.

All briefs by Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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