World Report

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MONTREAL (JTA) — B'nai B'rith Canada's League for Human Rights has found that the number of reported incidents of anti-Semitic harassment and vandalism in 1995 was at its highest point in 14 years.

The league's annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, released last week, showed that there were 331 incidents in 1995, compared with 290 reported the previous year.

The 1995 figure may be an underestimation of the actual number of anti-Semitic incidents, said Karen Mock, national director of the League for Human Rights.

"The audit depends on the voluntary reporting of incidents," she said, adding that "people are often afraid to report, and frustrated when they fear nothing will be done."

Nearly 50 percent of the reported incidents occurred in Toronto.

Larouchites settle lawsuit by top Jew

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — The U.S.-based Lyndon LaRouche group has agreed to settle a defamation suit by a prominent Melbourne Jew.

As part of the settlement, the extremist organization will pay legal costs and publish an apology to Michael Danby.

In 1993, the Australian LaRouchite group Citizens Electoral Council published a series of allegations against Danby, who at the time was the editor of the Australia/Israel Review.

Danby also has been heavily involved with the Australian Labor Party.

In a document called "Is the Anti-Defamation Commission Spying on You?" the council made what were apparently false claims about Danby's activities in the Jewish and political communities.

LaRouche's ideology combines anti-Semitism and bizarre conspiracy theories, such as the claim that Queen Elizabeth heads a drug-pushing ring and that former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was in the employ of the Soviet KGB.

Martinique gets first modern synagogue

PARIS (JTA) — The 500-strong Jewish community on the Caribbean island of Martinique has obtained a synagogue, the first Jewish temple on the French island in 350 years.

The chief rabbi of France, Joseph Sitruk, and Jean Kahn, the secular leader of France's Jewish community, inaugurated Kenaf Aretz Synagogue two weeks ago in Fort-de-France, Martinique's capital.

Nearly all of Martinique's Jews came from Morocco and Tunisia in the early 1960s, when the former colonies wrested their independence from France.

Nothing remains of a synagogue that was built in Martinique in 1653 for a small number of Jews who once lived there.

A rabbi, who is also a mohel, from the nearby island of Guadeloupe, will also officiate at the Martinique synagogue.

British government seeks to stem Hamas

LONDON (JTA) — The British government has taken steps to curb the transfer of funds to Hamas, the militant Islamic movement that claimed responsibility for a series of deadly bombing attacks in Israel.

The bank accounts of the Palestinians' Relief and Development Fund, a charity also known as Interpal, were temporarily closed by the British government.

The fund, as well as the Palestine and Lebanon Relief Fund, were put under surveillance by British intelligence.

Israeli authorities have accused the two organizations of raising more than $1.5 million for Hamas.

The Times of London reported that there might be as many as six British charities sending funds to Hamas.

A spokesman for Interpal reportedly denied that the group funds terrorist activities, adding that Interpal solely supports social welfare activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israeli envoy fears attack in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Terrorists belonging to the Islamic fundamentalist Hezbollah movement could launch another attack against a Jewish target here, Israel's ambassador to Argentina fears.

Ambassador Itzhak Aviran said Hezbollah operatives might have established a network of cells in Argentina and neighboring countries.

Aviran issued his comments on the eve of the fourth anniversary of a terrorist attack that destroyed the Israeli Embassy here. Israel has accused Hezbollah of carrying out the March 17, 1992, car bombing of the embassy, which killed 29 people and left more than 100 injured.

Israel has also charged that Hezbollah was behind the July 18, 1994, bombing of the Jewish communal headquarters here. Eighty-six people were killed in that attack and more than 300 were wounded.

The judge investigating the 1994 bombing is now looking into the role that an Iranian woman who is allegedly leader of a local Hamas cell may have played in that incident, according to Argentine judiciary sources.