Shorts: mideast

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Shas legislator sorry for Hitler remark

jerusalem (jta) | A Shas legislator apologized for comparing Israel’s attorney-general to Hitler.

Yair Peretz on Dec. 18 called Elyakim Rubinstein “worse than Eichmann” — a reference to Holocaust mastermind Adolf Eichmann — and Hitler, after Rubinstein recommended lifting Peretz’s immunity as a Knesset member so he could face corruption charges.

Sharon adviser to aid Romania anti-Semite

jerusalem (jta) | A former consultant to Ariel Sharon may advise an anti-Semitic candidate for Romania’s presidency.

Eyal Arad, whose advice helped guide the Israeli prime minister to victory in this year’s elections, has met several times with Vadim Tudor, who heads the ultra-nationalist Great Romania Party.

Officials from Sharon’s office have tried to dissuade Arad from taking the job, Ha’aretz reported recently.

Arad says Tudor has renounced his earlier anti-Semitic attacks and remarks denying the Holocaust.

Iran honors slain Palestinian teen

jerusalem (jta) | Iran renamed a street after a Palestinian teenager killed in the early days of the Palestinian intifada.

Mohammed Al-Durrah Street will replace Khaled Al-Islambouli Street, named for the assassin of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The name change comes during a thaw in Egyptian-Iranian relations, including a recent meeting between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Iranian President Mohammed Khatami.

Televised footage of Al-Durrah, ostensibly taken by Israeli troops during a Gaza Strip shootout with Palestinian Authority security forces, enraged The Arab world.

Subsequent investigations later showed that Al- Durrah probably was killed by a bullet from the Palestinian side.

Sad homecoming greets Israeli hiker

jerusalem (jta) | An Israeli hiker abducted in Colombia discovered upon his release that his best friend had been killed in a suicide bombing.

Benny Daniel was among four Israelis and a Briton freed by ELN rebels Monday, Dec. 22, after more than 100 days of captivity in the Colombian jungle.

Reunited with his family in Bogota, Daniel learned that his best friend, Alon Mizrahi, had died in a Jerusalem suicide bombing, Israeli media said on Wednesday.

Mizrahi, a security guard at Jerusalem’s Cafe Hillel, was killed as he confronted a Palestinian bomber on Sept. 6. Six Israelis died in that attack, but police said Mizrahi’s intervention probably spared the lives of many more people.

Air time leads to jail time

jerusalem | jta Four producers of Israel’s Arutz-7 radio station received jail sentences for making pirate radio broadcasts.

Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Monday found the four guilty of broadcasting without a license from a ship off Israel’s coast, as well as from stations in the West Bank.

The defendants, who also have to pay fines, may have their three- to six-month jail terms commuted to community service.

Arutz-7 suspended broadcasts in October, but its producers say the state has refused to license the station because of its right-wing tendencies.

Meanwhile, the government is proposing that stations like Arutz-7 be granted operating licenses.