Shorts: world

Vienna Jews face wave of violence

vienna (jta) | Jews in Vienna have been confronted with increasing physical attacks during the past two years, according to the Austrian Jewish community.

In a statement on the European Union Monitoring Center’s report on anti-Semitism, released last week, the Jewish community expressed concern that the report found that the “taboo against anti-Semitism” had been greatly weakened in Austria.

The statement said that in addition to abuse and insults, there had been a rise in reports of anti-Semitic graffiti, offensive letters and vandalism.

It said Orthodox Jews had been most affected by both physical and verbal attacks.

The incidents follow the recent release of a report from the Center that notes the rise of anti-Semitism throughout Europe.

Toronto teens blamed in grave vandalism

toronto (jta) | An 18-year-old accused of multiple acts of anti-Semitic vandalism in the Toronto area is the son of the caretaker of a Jewish cemetery.

Steven Vandermey is accused, along with two unidentified 15-year-olds, of toppling 27 tombstones in March near the cemetery where his father works.

The younger Vandermey was set free on bail last week after taking part in the anti-Semitic spree, causing $20,000 in damage at Bathurst-Lawn Cemetery.

His father, Frank Vandermey, has been a caretaker at the nearby Beth Tzedec Memorial Park Cemetery for more than a decade.

The elder Vandermey “treats the work that he does as sacred labor,” said Beth Tzedec’s rabbi, Baruch Frydman-Kohl.

Magazine pinpoints Jewish neo-cons

toronto (jta) | The editor of a Canadian magazine is defending an article that identifies the Jews on a list of 50 leading U.S. neo-conservatives.

Even after a deluge of complaints and canceled subscriptions, Kalle Lasn, who edits the journal Adbusters, refuses to back down from his article, “Why Won’t Anyone Say They Are Jewish?”

Lasn says it’s important to identify the disproportionately high number of Jewish neo-conservatives because of their disproportionate influence in shaping pro-Israeli American foreign policy.

Names on his list include the U.S. deputy defense secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, and intellectual Daniel Pipes.

American neo-conservatives “are the most powerful group of people in the world,” Lasn said. “They are intellectual thugs who have the power to start wars and stop wars.”

Controversial Jew takes over BBC

london (jta) | A Jewish media mogul was named chairman of the BBC. Michael Grade, 61, a high-profile but controversial figure in British media, will take the top non-executive position at the state broadcaster after he receives royal assent.

Grade formerly was head of Britain’s Channel 4, where he was dubbed “pornographer-in-chief” for some of his late-night programming.

A keen supporter of Yiddish culture, Grade is vice president of the London-based JMI International Forum for Yiddish Culture. Israeli and Jewish groups have been harshly critical of the BBC, accusing it of anti-Israel bias.