Shorts: World

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Russians shun Iran after denial conference

Russia called off a parliamentary mission to Iran to protest its recent Holocaust denial conference.

The speaker of the Russian Parliament revealed the decision this week in talks with Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Aharon Abramowitz, who was visiting Moscow. — jta

Britain more risky for Jews than Muslims

Jews in Britain are four times more likely to suffer hate crimes than are Muslims, according to police figures.

The Sunday Telegraph reported this week on data collected from July to September. Crimes recorded ranged from assault and verbal abuse to vandalism and other criminal damage at places of worship. The results show that only one in 1,700 Muslims, as compared to one in 400 Jews, is likely to be the victim of a hate crime. — jta

Hezbollah still operating in Canada

Hezbollah is still engaged in fundraising and other activities in Canada.

The Toronto-based National Post newspaper used the Access to Information Act to attain copies of several secret intelligence assessments. One of the heavily edited reports indicated that Hezbollah still has a presence in Canada and its “activities in Canada include fundraising, [censored] collection and the procurement of equipment.” — jta

Prof sues college over anti-Semitism charge

Canadian history professor David Noble sued York University in Toronto and various Jewish organizations, claiming they defamed him with accusations of anti-Semitism.

In 2004 Noble, who is Jewish, distributed a flyer at York asserting that the university was repressing pro-Palestinian activists due to the influence of several prominent Jewish philanthropists on the board of the York University Foundation. The flyer named the individuals and listed their ties to Jewish and Zionist causes.

Noble’s $21.5 million lawsuit also names representatives of Hillel and the Canadian Jewish Congress who accused him of anti-Semitism.

Several years ago Noble launched a complaint with Canada’s Human Rights Commission, alleging that York’s practice of canceling classes on major Jewish holidays was unfair to other minority groups. That case is still working its way through the system. — jta

3 Jews attacked in Ukraine

Three Orthodox Jews were attacked in Ukraine’s capital. Elhanan Shershevsky, an Israeli teacher at a Kiev synagogue, and two other Orthodox Jews, all in traditional Orthodox garb, were attacked Dec. 10 not far from Kiev’s main synagogue.

According to witnesses, 10 young men hit the three Jews and a passer-by who tried to stop the attackers. Shershevsky suffered injuries and a concussion. The two other Jews were able to escape and call police. — jta

Orthodox historian barred from Dublin bimah

An Orthodox historian who published a book on Jewish anti-Zionism said he was prevented from giving a blessing from the bimah in Dublin’s main synagogue.

University of Montreal professor Yakov Rabkin, whose book “A Threat From Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism” charts the history of religious objections to Zionism, tried during Shabbat services Saturday, Dec. 16 to recite a thanksgiving blessing after crossing the ocean, but was stopped by two members of the congregation.

In a letter published in Wednesday’s Irish Times, Rabkin complained that Dublin Jews had “yet to come terms with the contradictions” between religion and ideology, and therefore were “hostile” even to writing about Jewish opposition to Zionism.

Community members said they objected not to Rabkin’s political views or scholarship, but to the fact that he was in Ireland to promote his book at the invitation of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, an anti-Israel organization regarded by many in the community as a hate group. — jta

Polish president hosts menorah lighting

Poland’s presidential palace hosted a Chanukah lighting for the first time ever.

President Lech Kaczynski lit a candle Monday, Dec. 18 in a Warsaw ceremony that included local Jewish community leaders and Israeli Ambassador David Peleg.

Kaczynski, a staunch supporter of Israel, said, “The miracle of Chanukah is about never giving up. It’s about the few over the many, the weak over the strong.” — jta