World Report

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SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — A satellite ground station in Australia is expected to provide military information to Israel, following new arrangements negotiated by Israel and the United States.

The Nurrungar facility, based in southern Australia, is part of the U.S. military's worldwide early warning nuclear attack network, which tracks ballistic missiles.

During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the facility's intelligence information "played a very large part in helping to defend civilians in Israel and Saudi Arabia" from Iraqi missiles, said former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans.

But Lindsay Murdoch, a commentator for the Age newspaper, expressed concern that Arab countries being monitored would be unhappy about Australia's role.

Ian McLachlan, a spokesman for Australia's defense minister, said the government supports all measures that reduce Mideast conflict.

Anti-Semitic graffiti spurs calls for laws

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — An Australian Jewish leader has called for tougher laws against individuals who promote racial hatred after graffiti was painted on a Holocaust memorial in the city of Brisbane.

Laurie Rosenblum, president of the Queensland Jewish Board of Deputies, called for what she described as "European-style" penalties for racial crimes.

"Most people who engage in disseminating anti-Semitic material or Holocaust denial go straight to jail over there," Rosenblum said of European laws. In Germany, anti-Semitic material is banned and punishable by prison terms.

The graffiti, daubed in red paint, included the phrases "Six Million Lies in German Blood" and "House of Satan."

Nazi-hunter awarded Czech doctorate

PRAGUE (JTA) — Simon Wiesenthal was awarded an honorary law doctorate recently at a university in Olomouc, a Moravian town east of Prague.

During the ceremony, Palacky University Rector Josef Jarab praised Wiesenthal's lifelong effort to track down Nazi war criminals, and described the concentration camp survivor as "the voice" of those who died in the Holocaust.

Wiesenthal said only one-third of about 150,000 Nazi war criminals have been called to justice.

Violinist Isaac Stern honored in Venice

ROME (JTA) — Violinist Isaac Stern was honored this week in Venice with an award titled "A Life for Music."

Venice Mayor Massimo Cacciari gave Stern the keys to the city, and Stern participated in a concert.

Stern, who also recently was named a Knight of the Great Cross by Italian President Oscar Scalfaro, announced that he would initiate a fund-raising effort in his name to help rebuild Venice's historic La Fenice theater, which burned to the ground in January.

Jewish war hero on Australian bill

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — A Jewish man generally regarded as Australia's finest military commander has received a new round of publicity 65 years after his death.

His face appears on the newly released Australian $100 bill.

Sir John Monash, who led Australian forces in World War I, was a prominent military, professional and Jewish figure in the first third of this century. Born in Melbourne in 1865, he was knighted in 1918 and appointed as commander of Australia's armed forces. In 1927, he became honorary president of the Australian Zionist Federation.