Mideast Report

JERUSALEM (JPS) — Christoph Meili, the guard who was fired by the Union Bank of Switzerland after preventing records of Nazi-confiscated Jewish property from being destroyed, said Tuesday that he was inspired by the movie, "Schindler's List."

Meili was given an award for humanitarian values and ethics at Boystown Jerusalem, a religious boarding school. The prize was founded in memory of Jan Zwartendijk, an honorary Dutch diplomat who helped Jews escape from Lithuania by issuing bogus visas to Curacao.

Rabbi Ronald Gray, Boystown's executive vice president, said Meili was honored for doing "the right thing because it's the right thing to do." Some 500 pupils at Boystown gave Meili a hero's welcome. Some hoisted him on their shoulders, and because of the commotion, a white satin kippah he received as a prize nearly fell off his head.

At a later news conference, Meili lashed out at the Swiss government, demanding an apology.

"In all the world I am a hero. In Switzerland, no. The people say, `Why have you stolen the documents? Why have you broken the bank secrecy law?'"

Netanyahu UJA talk focuses on security

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Security, not religious pluralism, dominated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech this week before a delegation of major American Jewish donors.

In an address Monday to members of the United Jewish Appeal's Prime Minister's Mission, Netanyahu focused on the obstacles standing in the way of peace in the region.

He reiterated his stance that the Palestinian Authority must crack down on terrorism, and that trust and compromise will be necessary for peace to succeed.

Only a small portion of the prime minister's speech was devoted to the issue of religious pluralism. "The most important thing to achieve is peace among ourselves," he said. "Jews around the world are all part of a whole, a part of one people."