Shorts: World

Funds possible for Austrian Shoah survivors

berlin | Several million dollars has been made available for needy Austrian Holocaust survivors following negotiations between the Austrian government, businesses and the Claims Conference.

Eligible applicants must be Jewish victims of Nazi persecution, or fled Austria to escape persecution on or after July 11, 1936. Applicants must meet specific income requirements, and spouses and heirs are not eligible.

For more information, write to [email protected] or visit

France mum on who’s paying for Arafat

paris (jta) | France is refusing to say who will foot Yasser Arafat’s hospital bill.

Some legislators have begun questioning who will pay for Arafat’s stay at a hospital near Paris, where he has been undergoing tests for a blood disorder since last Friday.

On Tuesday, Nov. 2, the Union of Jewish Employees and Professionals, a pro-Israel lobby group, said in a statement that it was “one thing for France to provide care for Yasser Arafat, but it’s another if some taxpayer is paying the bill. That is why we are calling on the government to publicly announce the cost of this operation.”

Ceremony at French Jewish cemetery

paris (jta) | Some 500 people gathered for an interfaith ceremony at a French Jewish cemetery that was desecrated.

Representatives of Christian and Muslim communities gathered for the Monday, Nov. 1, ceremony at the Jewish cemetery in Alsace, in which 92 tombstones were desecrated.

Swastikas and Nazi insignia were daubed on the tombstones at the cemetery in Brumath near Strasbourg the night of Oct. 29, the latest in a series of desecrations that have hit burial sites of all faiths across the Alsace region in eastern France.

For the first time, markings on the tombs also alluded to a number of far-right-linked organizations in the United States, including White Power, Racial Holy War and the World Church of the Creator.

On Sunday, Oct. 31, French President Jacques Chirac said the government would “take all necessary measures without delay in order that the authors of this disgusting act are found, arrested and brought before the courts.”

Article enrages British Jews

london (jta) | British Jews are outraged by an anti-Israel article in a publicly funded newspaper.

An article about an upcoming Palestinian trade fair in the November edition of The Londoner accused Israel of “strangling the Palestinian economy” via “hundreds of military checkpoints in the areas it occupies in defiance of United Nations resolutions.”

The Board of Deputies, British Jewry’s main group, issued an angry complaint to the Greater London Council, headed by Mayor Ken Livingstone, decrying the lack of context in the article’s “vicious anti-Israel propaganda.”

But a spokesman for the council said: “The article was not politically biased. It was factually correct, explaining that the Palestinian economy has been devastated by the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel since 1967 in defiance of international law and United Nations resolutions.’