Shorts: World

Graves desecrated in French cemetery

paris (jta) | Around 60 graves were daubed with swastikas and Nazi symbols at a Jewish cemetery in the French city of Lyon.

Lyon’s chief rabbi, Richard Wertenschlag, said the tombs were sprayed Monday, Aug. 9, with a variety of insignia including inverted swastikas and references to Hitler.

Some tombstones were also spray-painted with anti-Muslim expressions and the name Phineas (Pinchas in Hebrew), a biblical figure associated with acts of zealotry committed to cleanse the Jewish community from impurity, Wertenschlag said.

The cemetery is the only Jewish burial ground in the center of Lyon, France’s third largest Jewish community after Paris and Marseille, and dates from the end of the 18th century.

Russian Israeli killed in Moscow

moscow (jta) | A man believed to be the only Russian-born Israeli ever extradited from Israel to Russia was shot and killed.

Andrei Zhuravlev, who was also known by his underworld nickname Terrasini, was killed Aug. 5 near his house in a village near Moscow, likely by members of a rival criminal gang, police said.

Zhuravlev was widely regarded as one of leading figures in Moscow criminal circles. He was suspected of multiple crimes including killings. Facing criminal prosecution in Russia, he fled to Israel in 1999 where he converted to Judaism and became an Israeli citizen.

Three years later Israel extradited Zhuravlev on a request from Russian law-enforcement agencies on the condition that he would serve his sentence in Israel if convicted. Earlier this year, a jury acquitted him.

Hate tapes kept out of Canada

toronto (jta) | Canadian officials prevented a cassette tape featuring a speech by a late American white supremacist from coming into the country.

The move was made on grounds that the recording, made by William Pierce, constitutes hate literature.

On the tape, which features a speech recorded in February 2002, Pierce alleges that CanWest Global Communications, the media conglomerate owned by a leading Canadian Jewish family, the Aspers, is part of a Jewish conspiracy to control the media and that the family exerted “monopoly Jewish control of the Canadian mass media.”

Sudan claims rebels linked to Israel

johannesburg (jta) | Sudan said a rebel African group in the Darfur region has ties with Israel.

The foreign minister of the Islamist government in Khartoum said on Sunday, Aug. 8, that several leaders of Justice and Equality Movement had bolted because others among the group’s chiefs were making frequent visits to Israel. Mustafa Osman Ismail, who was in Cairo seeking Arab support for his government, said the breakaway leaders “confirmed that the leadership of the movement make regular visits to Israel.’

A spokesman for the movement denied the allegation, casting it as an attempt to stir up Muslim sentiment.