Shorts: World

Attacks rise in Britain in ’07

Attacks on individual Jews in Britain in 2007 climbed to the highest level ever in the 23 years that records have been kept, according to the Community Security Trust, a Jewish defense organization.

But “anti-Semitic race hate incidents” against the Jewish community as a whole fell 8 percent from 2006, in which incidents reached a record high.

There were 547 hate incidents against the Jewish community in 2007, down from 594 the previous year, of which 114 were violent assaults against individuals. Some 328 of the incidents were abusive behavior, 62 were damage and desecration to Jewish property, 24 were threats and 19 were distributing anti-Semitic literature. — jta

Envoy arrested for aliyah fraud

A Jewish Agency envoy who allowed 200 Venezuelans with false conversions to make aliyah was arrested.

The agency’s envoy to South America told the immigration police who arrested him at Ben Gurion Airport upon his arrival last week that he was aware that the rabbi who converted the Venezuelans was not authorized to do so.

Police suspect that the employee was trying to impress the Jewish Agency with his performance, though the Jewish Agency denies that its emissaries are evaluated by the number of immigrants they send to Israel. — jta

Australian politicians take oath on Tanach

Two Jewish lawmakers took the oath of office on a Tanach when they were sworn in as members of Australia’s parliament last week.

Michael Danby and his new Labor colleague, Mark Dreyfus, both wore yarmulkes while they were sworn in.

Danby, in his first speech, taught the House of Representatives a new Yiddish word when he recommended a colleague to the post of deputy speaker of the house, saying, “I would like to introduce another word to this parliament: nachas.” — jta

Life support case going to trial

An Orthodox family’s fight to keep their 84-year-old father on life support against the wishes of a Winnipeg hospital will go to trial.

Winnipeg judge Perry Schulman ruled last week that doctors should not determine the patient’s fate and ordered the case to trial.

Samuel Golubchuk, an Orthodox Jew, will remain on life support, which he has needed since November 2007.

Doctors say Golubchuk has minimal brain function and that his chances for recovery are slim. But his adult children say hastening their father’s death is a violation of Orthodox Jewish law. — jta