World Report

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MOSCOW (JTA) — Russian lawmakers rejected hate crimes legislation that would have tightened laws against anti-Semitism and other forms of ethnic hatred.

In response to last week's failure of the Anti-Defamation League-sponsored measure, which received only 138 of the 226 votes needed to pass, a Jewish legislator resigned from Russian President Vladimir Putin's faction.

Alexander Fedulov said his resignation was prompted by the hypocrisy of his colleagues in the Unity faction, three-quarters of whom did not vote on the measure.

U.K. coeds pressure Oxford to nix Irving

LONDON (JTA) — Britain's Union of Jewish Students is pressing the Oxford Union to cancel a planned address by Holocaust denier David Irving at its debating society on May 10.

Plans call for Irving, who lost a high-profile libel lawsuit against Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt last year, to be part of a panel debating freedom of speech at Oxford.

A previous invitation to Irving was withdrawn last year after protests by Jews and anti-racist groups.

Croatian clerics join to remember Jews

ROME (JTA) — Catholic, Serbian Orthodox and Muslim clerics from Croatia joined Jewish leaders to commemorate the tens of thousands killed by Croatian fascists during World War II at the Jasenovac death camp.

Jasenovac's victims included some 17,000 Jews. Government officials and World War II anti-fascist resistance fighters also participated Sunday in the annual ceremony.

Jewish participants included a delegation from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and a 30-member group of Jewish youths from across the former Yugoslavia.

Students in Uruguay say 'Hola!' to Hillel

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (JTA) — Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life opened its first branch in Latin America here in this capital city situated on the Atlantic coast.

The South American center will serve an estimated 2,000 Jewish students of the country's three universities.

Hillel also has affiliates at universities in North America, Europe, Australia, the former Soviet Union and Israel.

Gravestones defaced with hateful graffiti

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Vandals spray-painted swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans on headstones at a Jewish cemetery in southern Holland.

Police said about 70 of the 120 headstones at the cemetery near the town of Dorst suffered damage and one was destroyed. The vandals also spray painted "Go to Hell" and "We are Back" in German on walls and headstones at the cemetery.

Polish bishops offer regrets for massacre

WARSAW (JTA) — Poland's bishops plan to apologize at a religious ceremony next month for the 1941 massacre of Jews by their Polish neighbors in the town of Jedwabne.

The bishops will apologize "for the sins committed in this painful event," a spokesman for the bishops said Wednesday.