Shorts: World

London mayor won’t apologize

london (jta) | London’s mayor refused to apologize for comparing a Jewish journalist to a concentration camp guard.

Ken Livingstone made the refusal this week at a disciplinary hearing investigating his comments, which he made earlier this year.

If found guilty of breaching the Greater London Authority code of conduct, he could be banned from office for five years, the Scotsman newspaper reported.

France unveils Holocaust memorial

strasbourg, france (ap) | A memorial to the victims of a Nazi doctor who collected the skeletons of Jews killed in World War II gas chambers was unveiled at a cemetery in eastern France on Sunday.

The memorial at the Jewish cemetery in Cronenbourg, near Strasbourg in the Alsace region, is an austere dark stone engraved with the names of 86 victims of Dr. August Hirt. The Nazi anatomy professor, based in Strasbourg during the war, preserved his victims’ bodies in formalin and used them for experiments.

Another plaque honoring the victims was inaugurated Sunday outside the anatomy institute at Strasbourg’s university hospital.

Denier backed at Prague rally

prague (jta) | Extremists staged a demonstration outside the Austrian Embassy in Prague in support of Holocaust denier David Irving.

Irving was recently arrested in Austria, where denying the Holocaust is a crime.

Opponents of last week’s demonstration, including Jewish community representatives and former concentration camp prisoners, tried to thwart the protest by ringing bells.

Ukrainian Jew appointed governor

kiev (jta) | A Jewish leader was appointed governor of one of Ukraine’s key industrial regions.

Yevgeny Chervonenko, an aide to President Viktor Yuschenko and a former Cabinet member, was appointed last week as governor of the Zaporozhye region, which has one of the largest concentrations of industrial facilities in the country.

Chervonenko, 46, is a vice-president of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine umbrella group, and a vice president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.

He has never been shy about his Jewish heritage: As a Cabinet member, he was the first Jewish official in Ukraine to affix a mezuzah to his government office, and a few weeks ago he made headlines by announcing that he had recently undergone a ritual circumcision.

Soccer team fined for chants

budapest (jta) | A Hungarian soccer team was fined after fans chanted anti-Semitic slurs.

The Hungarian Football Federation fined Ujpest FC $23,250 for last month’s incident against MTK Budapest, and the referee was suspended for more than two months for failing to take action.

The Budapest team has Jewish roots, and the Hungarian Jewish community protested the behavior of Ujpest fans.

French Jews, Catholics meet

paris (jta) | French Jews and Catholics met at Paris’ City Hall to discuss anti-Semitism and pay tribute to the late Pope John Paul II.

The meeting last week was the third between community representatives. Pierre Besnainou, president of the European Jewish Community, said he was pleased by the “almost privileged relationship” between the two communities.

He emphasized that much remains to be done, such as opening the Vatican’s Holocaust-era archives, fighting anti-Semitism and spreading the teachings of the Vatican II conference, when the church repudiated the idea of collective Jewish guilt for Jesus’ death.

Brazil hosts Israeli dance festival

sao paulo, brazil (jta) | Dancers from six countries spent the weekend in Sao Paulo, Brazil, at what is considered the largest Israeli folk dance festival outside Israel.

Some 3,200 dancers, mostly youths, from Argentina, Mexico, Panama, the United States, Venezuela and Brazil gathered in Sao Paulo’s plush Hebraica club over the weekend at the annual Carmel Festival.

The event featured several presentations, dance sessions and other dance-related activities. This year’s gathering celebrated the event’s 25th anniversary and marked the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.