World Report

BELARUS (JTA) — The 60th anniversary of a Nazi massacre in Belarus was commemorated Tuesday. Some of the 1,000 mourners laid flowers and wreaths at a memorial to the 5,000 residents of the Minsk Ghetto who were killed on March 2, 1942.

The memorial known as The Pit sits on top of the site where the murders took place. Among those attending the ceremony were Belarussian officials, ghetto survivors and representatives of international Jewish groups. The slayings marked the start of a killing rampage in which more than 100,000 Minsk Jews were killed.

Surge of anti-Semitism reported in Glasgow

GLASGOW (JTA) — A Scottish Jewish leader reported a rise in anti-Semitism because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Stephen Kliner, president of the Jewish Representative Council in Glasgow, told the Glasgow Herald that Jewish civic and business leaders in the Scottish city recently noticed the spread of anti-Semitic sentiments among "respectable people who should know better."

Kliner also claimed that a synagogue in the city of Aberdeen had periodically received threatening phone calls that usually coincided with new violence in the Middle East.

Displaying Hitler art yields youth's arrest

SLOVAKIA (JTA) — Police in Slovakia arrested a 16-year-old boy who publicly displayed a portrait of Hitler. The youth also was nabbed for displaying Nazi memorabilia and pictures of skinheads giving the Nazi salute.

Police said the teenager admitted that he was a supporter of the extremist Slovak National Youth movement. He faces a charge of promoting a fascist group.

Belgian court sets new hearing date

BELGIUM (JTA) — A Belgian court said it would postpone until May a hearing to decide whether the country can try Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for war crimes.

The appeals court made the announcement Wednesday, saying the new date will give lawyers time to review the relevance of a ruling last month from the International Court in The Hague.

The Netherlands court ruled that Belgium cannot prosecute former and current world leaders because they have diplomatic immunity.

Sharon faces lawsuits filed by Palestinians and Lebanese accusing him of responsibility for the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre, which was carried out by Lebanese Christian militias allied with Israel.

Belgium has a 1993 law on "universal jurisdiction," which enables Belgian courts to judge atrocities committed elsewhere, regardless of whether or not they involved Belgians.

Rally scheduled for abducted Israeli

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Some 500 Israeli demonstrators were set to rally Wednesday in Jerusalem for an Israeli businessman who was abducted by Hezbollah in October 2000.

The demonstrators, who were wearing handcuffs and blindfolds, said their number symbolizes the 500 days that Elhanan Tannenbaum has been held hostage.

Russian political party is deemed racist

MOSCOW (JTA) — A Jewish group condemned a political party that supports anti-Semitism.

NCSJ: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia called on the Russian government to publicly condemn the People's Patriotic Party.

The party leader reportedly stated that Jews "must return what they have looted in Russia and publicly repent to the Russian people for the crimes that Jewish terrorists and extremists have committed."

NCSJ Chairman Harold Luks said, "Those who argue that this is a fringe party must not ignore political anti-Semitism or allow it to gain the trappings of political legitimacy."

Pope voices sorrow over Mideast violence

ROME (JTA) — Pope John Paul II said he is "deeply saddened" by the latest bloodshed in Jerusalem.

Speaking after a suicide bomber killed nine Israelis in an attack Saturday night in Jerusalem, he prayed for an immediate cease-fire and a "renewed sense of humanity" in the embattled Middle East.

"The violence, death and reprisal can only push the civilian populations, both Israelis and Palestinians, even closer to desperation and hatred," he told the faithful gathered at St. Peters Square for his Sunday blessing.