Shorts: World

Olympic award to anti-Semite

athens (jta) | A Greek composer who said that “Jews are at the root of all evil” is being awarded the Olympiart Prize by the International Olympic Committee.

Known for his score for “Zorba the Greek,” Mikis Theodorakis has explained his remarks by saying of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and U.S. Jews: “I am totally opposed to Sharon’s policy and I have stressed this repeatedly, just as I have repeatedly condemned the role of prominent American Jewish politicians, intellectuals and theorists in the shaping of today’s aggressive Bush policy.”

The Anti-Defamation League condemned the award to Theodorakis, whom the group called “an unrepentant anti-Semite.”

Jewish fact-finding trip to Sudan

darfur (jta) | The American Jewish World Service is calling for stepped-up humanitarian efforts in Sudan after its president returned from a fact-finding trip to the African country.

Ruth Messinger returned this week from Sudan’s Darfur region, where humanitarian groups and U.S. officials say Sudanese Arabs backed by the government have killed hundreds of thousands of African tribesmen. The trip took Messinger to three refugee camps housing between 70,000 and 120,000 people, where she met survivors of the attacks. “The nature of life in these places is really appalling,” Messinger said. “There’s a huge need for more money and more support.”

AJWS has raised more than $200,000 for the cause and helped create the Jewish Coalition for Sudan Relief. Because of the high incidence of rape victims among the Sudanese refugees, the coalition has agreed to fund an abortion rights health-care worker for the camps, Messinger reported.

Israel, Vietnam strike deal

hanoi (jta) | Israel and Vietnam signed a commercial agreement.

Signed Wednesday, Aug. 25, in Hanoi, the accord is an effort to boost economic ties between the two nations, which established diplomatic relations 11 years ago.

Last year the two countries did just $40 million in business, a figure that Israel’s Foreign Ministry said doesn’t reflect the trade potential of Vietnam, which is among the fastest-growing economies in the world.

Austrians forgetting about war?

berlin (jta) | A new study shows Austrians are forgetting about World War II.

The study, released Aug. 27 by the Linz- based IMAS Institute, found that 10 percent of Austrians do not know who Adolf Hitler was, an increase of 5 percent over 1985; only 76 percent recognize the name of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin; 69 percent know who British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was; and 64 percent recognize the name of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

The study comes on the heels of another report, released three weeks ago, which indicated that 31 percent of Austrians believe National Socialism had some positive aspects.