World Report

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is concerned about a Russian plan to sell ballistic missiles to Iran, which poses a "very real threat to the state of Israel," an Israeli spokesman said.

Russia agreed to resume conventional weapons sales to Iran after a five-year hiatus. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the United States is waiting for more details about the weapon exchange, but is concerned that the sale could threaten Persian Gulf countries.

Freudians give the slip to Palestinian speaker

VIENNA (JTA) — The Freud Society of Vienna canceled a lecture by a leading Palestinian intellectual because a photograph showed him poised to throw a stone across the Israeli-Lebanese border last summer.

The May 6 lecture by Edward Said, a professor at Columbia University, was canceled because several members of the society "can't accept" a Palestinian who "throws stones at Israeli soldiers," August Schulein, the president of the society, told the New York Times.

Said responded to the cancellation by saying, "Freud was hounded out of Vienna because he was a Jew. Now I am being hounded out because I'm a Palestinian."

Radical group wants accomplice pardoned

TEL AVIV (JTA) — A right-wing women's group in Israel has launched a petition drive to secure a presidential pardon for a woman convicted for her role in the 1995 assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.

Margalit Har-Shefi is set to be jailed on charges of failing to notify the authorities of her friend Yigal Amir's plan to kill the prime minister.

The Women in Green group said Israeli officials themselves knew of Amir's intentions.

U.N.'s cartographers incorrect, group says

JERUSALEM (JTA) — B'nai B'rith International blasted a U.N. program for funding publication of a map that does not show the state of Israel.

The map, published by the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism with the support of the U.N.'s Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People, details the Old City of Jerusalem, shows churches and mosques, but makes no mention of synagogues or the Western Wall.

"It is unconscionable that the U.N. should fund a map — or any other publication — that ignores Israel or any other member state," said the president of B'nai B'rith International, Richard Heideman.

Toronto synagogue target in Purim scare

TORONTO (JTA) — Police evacuated 1,000 people from a large Toronto-area synagogue after security officials discovered a suspicious package outside the Sephardic Kehila Center on Purim eve.

The package had wires on the outside in order to resemble a bomb, but was found to contain no explosive material. The synagogue had been filled with congregants when the March 8 scare took place.

In other news, Keith Landy is expected to be named president of the Canadian Jewish Congress at the group's national plenary here in May.

Landy, the only candidate in the nominations process, will succeed Moshe Ronen. Landy, a lawyer, recently served as chair of the congress' Ontario Region.