Shorts: World

Blood libel hits Siberian city

Dozens of posters spreading anti-Semitic blood libel have appeared in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk.

The posters and leaflets warn parents to protect their children from Russian Jews as Passover approaches, and link the recent disappearances of local children to Jews.

“These vermin are still performing rituals, stealing small children and draining their blood to make their sacred bread,” the posters warn.

About 13,000 Jews live in Novosibirsk, according to the Federation of Jewish Communities. — jta

Aliyah lower under Sarkozy

French Jewish immigration to Israel has plummeted since Nicolas Sarkozy became president, according to recent data published this week in Ma’ariv.

Israel’s Immigration and Absorption Ministry says the rate of aliyah from France this year has fallen 42 percent from the same period in 2007.

French Jews told the newspaper they feel more comfortable in their native land since Sarkozy, who is openly friendly toward Israel and tough on crime, assumed office last year. — jta

Pope calls for peace in Easter address

Pope Benedict XVI in his Easter address March 23 told his followers to remember the “tormented Middle East, especially the Holy Land, Iraq, Lebanon and finally Tibet, all of which I encourage to seek solutions that will safeguard peace and the common good.”

His address came a day after he baptized a well-known Italian Muslim journalist, Magdi Allam, 55, who has received death threats for his denunciations of Islamic fanaticism.

Allam has criticized Palestinian suicide bombings, which resulted in death threats from Hamas and required him to have extra security provided by the Italian government. — jta

BBC errs twice on Israel coverage

The BBC apologized for major inaccuracies in two recent reports about Israel.

On March 7, the British broadcaster reported that Israel had bulldozed the home of the Mercaz Harav yeshiva attacker and showed footage of a home being demolished. In reality, the home had not been demolished, as other news service footage showed, a fact revealed by CAMERA, a Boston-based media watchdog.

Last week the BBC apologized on its news program and admitted using footage from the demolition of another home.

In a March 14 report on its Web site, the BBC reported Israel was deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians in Gaza during an incursion to take out Kassam rocket launchers and that Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, also called it an attack on civilians.

In actuality, the BBC had used a statement made two weeks earlier. — jta