Shorts: World

Canada downplays Hezbollah reports

Canadian Jewish officials are downplaying news reports that Hezbollah operatives are training near Toronto and plan to attack.

ABC News leaked details last week of an ongoing international intelligence investigation with allegations that up to 20 “sleeper cell” suspects from Hezbollah were activated, including a “weapons expert” spotted at a firing range south of Toronto.

Bernie Farber, the CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said there has been “chatter” since the assassination of a Hezbollah leader in February, but that authorities said there is nothing to lead them to believe the reports are true. — jta

France rejects Holocaust plan

A French panel rejected President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to get schoolchildren to identify with Holocaust victims.

Earlier this year Sarkozy proposed that sixth graders adopt the story of a French child murdered during the Holocaust. Critics said the proposal would be overly burdensome for


An Education Ministry panel — headed by Simone Weil, a Holocaust survivor and former education minister — recommended that general education about the Holocaust include mentioning the names of victims, but concluded that personal identification would be inappropriate. — jta

Survivors protest Ukraine honors

Former concentration camp prisoners called on Ukraine’s president not to recognize Ukrainian Insurgent Army members as heroes.

In an open letter to Victor Yuschenko, members of the International Union of the Former Juvenile Prisoners of Fascism wrote, “The resurrection of the nationalistic forces from the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, or UPA, in Ukraine, and your personal rather strange attitude to this issue alarms us.”

In October 2007, Yuschenko signed a decree calling for a law recognizing Ukrainians who fought alongside the Nazis.

Several international Jewish organizations called on Yuschenko in 2007 to reverse his decision to award Gen. Roman Shukhevych, a commander of the insurgent Nachtigal battalion, with his country’s highest award, the Hero of Ukraine.

Holocaust researchers and Jewish groups have charged that a force under Shukhevych’s command took part in pogroms in 1941 in which 4,000 Jews were killed. — jta

Bronze menorah stolen in Brazil

A bronze menorah was stolen last week from a major square in Rio de Janeiro.

The 61⁄2-foot-tall chanukiah, which weighs 440 pounds, adorned the beachfront square Zozimo Barroso do Amaral in the Brazilian city’s wealthiest neighborhood of Leblon. — jta