Shorts: Mideast

Sharon links Islam, growing anti-Semitism

jerusalem (jta) | Ariel Sharon blamed Muslim influence for growing anti-Semitism in Europe.

“These days, to conduct an anti-Semitic policy is not a popular thing, so the anti-Semites bundle their policies in with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the Israeli prime minister said in an interview published Nov. 24, by, a European Union current affairs site.

“An ever-stronger Muslim presence in Europe is certainly endangering the life of Jewish people,” he said. “E.U. governments are not doing enough to tackle anti-Semitism.”

Parents seek surrogate mom for terror victim’s sperm

jerusalem (jta) | An Israeli couple’s appeal for a surrogate mother to be inseminated with their dead son’s sperm drew 28 applicants.

The Ma’ariv newspaper, which carried Ya’acov and Rachel Cohen’s advertisement, reported the response Nov. 24 and said the couple was conducting interviews to find a suitable mother for their grandchild.

The Cohens’ son, Kevin, was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper while serving as a soldier in the Gaza Strip last year.

His sperm was harvested under Israeli laws allowing the practice unless the deceased expressly opposed it.

Two Israelis killed near separation fence

jerusalem (jta) | Palestinian gunmen killed two Israelis guarding the construction site for a security wall outside Jerusalem.

Saturday night’s attack in the village of Abu Dis, just outside Jerusalem, might have been prevented were security regulations followed, police said.

Three other guards in the crew were absent, and the site did not have proper lighting. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, in which the guards’ guns were stolen.

Residents of Abu Dis have been outraged by Israel’s planned security fence, which divides their community.

‘Geneva accord’ has support, poll says

jerusalem (jta) | A majority of Israelis and Palestinians back an unofficial peace proposal, a new poll said.

Fifty-three percent of Israelis and 56 percent of Palestinians back a summary that was read to them of the “Geneva accord,” which was drafted by out-of-office Israeli politicians and Palestinians close to Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.

On Nov. 21, thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in Gaza against the proposal.

Daniel, Mohammed, Noa most popular Israeli names

jerusalem (jta) | Daniel, Noa and Mohammed were the most popular Israeli names in 2002.

Among girls, Noa was followed by Shira, Maya, Adi and Yael. Daniel was followed by Itai, David, Noam and Ido.

Among Israel’s Muslims, Mohammed led the way for boys, and Aya among girls.

Mussolini: World should beg for Israel’s forgiveness

jerusalem (jta) | The world should beg forgiveness of Israel, Mussolini’s granddaughter said.

In an interview with Ha’aretz on Nov. 23, Alessandra Mussolini said “the entire world, including the Vatican and the pope, should beg forgiveness of Israel.”

The interview coincided with the arrival of Italian Deputy Prime Minister Gianfranco Fini to Israel.

Both Mussolini and Fini belong to the National Alliance Party, a party trying to distance itself from its neo-fascist roots.