World Report

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TEHRAN (JTA) — Iran released one of the 10 Iranian Jews imprisoned for allegedly spying for Israel, according to Iran's state-controlled news agency.

However, U.S. Jewish activists closely monitoring the case have been unable to confirm whether Ramin Nematizadeh was in fact released.

Nematizadeh, 24, a shop clerk from the southern city of Shiraz, was sentenced to two years, the shortest term of the 10.

The other nine Iranian Jews were sentenced to between four and nine years.

Another three prisoners may soon be released on parole, according to activists.

Half of U.K. Jews irked by harassment

LONDON (JTA) — Jews are less worried about harassment than other religious minorities in Britain, according to a new study released by the British government.

Fifty-nine percent of Jewish respondents believe verbal abuse is a problem for the community, as compared with 82 percent of Sikhs and 75 percent of Muslims. Slightly more than 50 percent of Jews reported being concerned about religious vandalism, as opposed to 81 percent of Sikhs and 72 percent of other Hindus.

Frequent flier frenzy: Airline says no Israel

TEL AVIV (JTA) — American Airlines said it would halt TWA's flights between New York and Tel Aviv if it takes over the bankrupt airline because the route is not profitable.

However, Israeli travel agents and TWA workers in Israel disputed the unprofitability claim, saying they suspect political motives behind the move.

TWA employees in here said that they have been receiving hundreds of telephone calls, some from passengers with millions of frequent flyer miles, in concern over the report that if American Airlines does buy TWA it will suspend flights to Israel.

TWA, which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy since January, is to be sold at an auction. American is considered the leading bidder with a bid of $500 million. A bankruptcy court in Delaware is to consider the case today.

TWA employees in Israel have appealed to American Jewish leaders, asking them to intervene and hinting that the American decision could stem from some sort of boycott. The workers say that in 1999, the New York-Tel Aviv route earned profits of $10 million and in 2000, $8.5 million, despite a fourth-quarter drop in tourism to Israel.

Pop and politics meet at Thriller star's charity

LONDON (JTA) — Celebrity Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Israeli psychic Uri Geller joined Michael Jackson when the pop singer launched his Heal the Kids children's charity at Oxford University in on Tuesday.

The organization's Web site says Heal the Kids was formed to "encourage adults to reprioritize children…by bringing our children from the periphery of our attention to the center of our daily consciousness."

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel are board members of the charity, along with Denise Rich, who achieved celebrity of her own as the ex-wife of the pardoned fugitive financier Marc Rich.

Polish head to regret Jewish extermination

WARSAW (JTA) — Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski intends to apologize on the anniversary of a wartime massacre of Jews in the small Polish town of Jedwabne.

The town is the focus of a new book that details how local Poles allegedly herded up to 1,600 Jews into a barn on July 10, 1941, and then burned it down.

The book has sparked debate among Poles, who put all the blame on the Nazis for the genocide that claimed 3 million Polish Jews and millions of non-Jewish Poles.