Shorts: World

Seven countries flunk Nazi report card

jerusalem (jps) | Seven countries received failing grades, with Austria called an “absolute disaster,” in the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s sixth report on international efforts to prosecute Nazi war criminals.

Estonia, Norway, Romania, Sweden, Syria and Ukraine also received Fs, the lowest mark possible.

The report graded 44 countries on their efforts to investigate and prosecute Nazi war criminals on a scale of A to F. The United States was the only country to receive an A.

Norway defends upcoming Hamas meeting

oslo (ap) | Norway’s foreign minister said this week that a planned meeting next month between members of his staff and Hamas representatives would go ahead, despite U.S. advice to cancel the talks.

The two Hamas representatives on the Palestine Legislative Council, Salah Mohammed el-Bardawil and Mohammed al-Rantisi, were scheduled to visit Norway’s capital, Oslo, on May 15 as guests of the Norwegian Palestine Committee.

The two Hamas representatives were also scheduled to visit Sweden on May 16, but would not be meeting with government representatives.

Israeli stabbed in Ukraine

kiev (jta) | An Israeli yeshiva graduate who was helping to lead Passover seders was attacked in the Ukrainian city of Dnepropetrovsk last week.

Haim Gorbov, 20, was attacked not far from the city’s main shul, the Golden Rose Synagogue. Several young men, who witnesses said looked like skinheads, allegedly hit Gorbov on his head with a bottle and stabbed him with a knife. Gorbov suffered head injuries, a knife injury to his chest and a broken nose. He was hospitalized and later released. Police are investigating the incident.

Vatican condemns anti-Israel protest in Milan

milan (ap) | The Vatican newspaper this week called the trampling and burning of Israeli flags during a march in Milan a “disgusting” offense to all Jews.

The protests occurred near a march Tuesday, April 25 commemorating the 61st anniversary of Italy’s liberation from fascism.

“To offend a flag means to offend the people for whom it is a symbol, and therefore in this case it was an offense to the entire Jewish people, precisely on the day in which we celebrate liberation from their infamous oppressors,” the L’Osservatore Romano newspaper wrote.

Israel’s ambassador to Rome, Ehud Gol, said the incident filled him with “shame and rage.” Protesters also reportedly were shouting “intifada” and “free Palestine.”

Czechs mark Yom HaShoah publicly for first time

prague (jta) | Holocaust Remembrance Day was marked this year in Prague for the first time in an open public space.

The open venue for the Tuesday, April 25 ceremony was chosen by the Terezin (Theresienstadt) Initiative Institute so that it speaks to the entire public, not just Jews. The names of 80,000 Holocaust victims from Czech lands — 89 percent of Czechoslovakia’s Jewish population at the time — were read at the ceremony, and their photographs were shown.

Previous ceremonies were private affairs held at venues such the Pinkas Synagogue, where victims’ names are inscribed on a wall, or at the grounds of Theresienstadt, a former concentration camp.