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World Briefs

October 9, 2003 | 8:00 pm

Syrians Struggle at U.N.

A Syrian-led draft resolution condemning Israel is not getting support at the U.N. Security Council. Syria has been unable to convince Security Council members to vote on the resolution. Introduced Sunday, it criticizes Israel's attack that morning on a terrorist training camp near Damascus. Several Security Council members view the resolution as one-sided in the wake of Saturday's terrorist bombing in Haifa, which killed 19. The bombing was carried out by Islamic Jihad, which is headquartered in Syria.

"Israel hopes that the Security Council members will not cave in to the Syrian agenda," Ariel Milo, spokesman at the Israeli Mission to the United Nations, said. "The cynical attempt by the terrorist state Syria to condemn Israel in the Security Council, on the eve of the holiest day to the Jewish people, demonstrates the norm of that despicable country."

Dean Defends Israel's Rights

Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean defended Israel's right to attack terrorist camps. If the camp Israel struck Sunday outside Damascus was a terrorist camp, then the Jewish state had the right to act as it did, Dean told CNN on Tuesday. Dean previously has come under fire for saying the United States should not tilt toward Israel in its efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.

Israel Arrests Bomber Suspects

Israel arrested two Palestinians allegedly on their way to carry out suicide bombings. The two were captured early Tuesday near the West Bank city of Jenin. Israel also arrested 31 Palestinians overnight during raids in the West Bank.

Name That Jewish Tune

An upcoming conference will celebrate 350 years of American Jewish Music. "Only in America: Jewish Music in a Land of Freedom" will be held in New York from Nov. 7-11. Sponsored by the Jewish Theological Seminary and the Milken archive of American Jewish Music, the conference is part of celebrations of the 350th anniversary of American Jewish history.

Swiss Banks Assailed

Many Holocaust survivors and their heirs may never receive compensation from the Swiss bank fund, the lawyer supervising the process said. The banks, which agreed in 1998 to $1.25 billion in payouts to people who suffered because of the banks' cooperation with the Nazis, have restricted access to documents and as a result have "interfered with the claims process," supervisor Judah Gribetz said in a report. So far, $485 million has been paid out from the settlement, Gribetz said, according to The New York Times. The banks did not comment directly on Gribetz's comments, but other lawyers involved in the case said the banks were surprised by the harshness of the report, the Times said.

FBI Agents Probed

FBI agents are being investigated for funneling up to $5,000 to Hamas in 1998 to track how funds get to terrorist groups. The investigation was launched after news of the operation was made public by Arizona businessman Harry Ellen, an FBI operative who allegedly got the money to the terrorist group in an attempt to see whether cash earmarked for charities was going to terrorists. Ellen, a convert to Islam who later had a falling out with the FBI, said that as far as he could ascertain, the cash went to charitable groups.

Arafat Had Heart Attack?

Yasser Arafat suffered a mild heart attack last week that was kept under wraps, a British newspaper reported. According to a report Wednesday in the Guardian, Palestinian officials called the Palestinian Authority president's condition the flu for fear of causing panic in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Some in the Palestinian Authority have since conceded that the situation was more serious, but P.A. officials denied that Arafat had a heart attack.

Russian Jew Wins Nobel

A Russian Jewish scientist was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics. Vitaly Ginzburg was honored "for pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids," the Nobel Prize committee said. He shares the 2003 prize with another Russian scientist, Alexei Abrikosov, now working in the United States, and with British-born American researcher Anthony Leggett. Ginzburg, 87, who is affiliated with the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow, has been a member of the board of the Russian Jewish Congress since the umbrella organization was founded in 1996.

Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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