Shorts: Mideast

Lubavitcher rebbe used for votes

jerusalem (jta) | Signs were posted in Israel saying the deceased Lubavitcher rebbe would bless Likud Party members who vote against the Gaza withdrawal plan.

The signs, which went up overnight Tuesday, April 27, were sponsored by the Committee for Saving the Nation and the Country, a Lubavitch group, the Jerusalem Post reported. The Likud vote on the withdrawal is slated for May 2.

Vanunu holes up in church

jerusalem (jta) | Nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu is refusing to leave Jerusalem’s Anglican Church, where he went after release from an Israeli prison.

Anglican officials said that Vanunu, a Jewish convert to Christianity, has refused to move to a church recommended to him in Israel’s north, prompting a standoff, Israeli media reports said. The Jerusalem church is under surveillance by police and news photographers.

Vanunu, a former employee at Israel’s nuclear plant in Dimona who spent 18 years in an Israeli prison for revealing some of the country’s nuclear secrets to a British newspaper, has said he plans to emigrate from Israel as soon as possible.