06.15.05 Update

6.15.2005

A Jewish cemetery in London has been vandalized. The BBC reports here.

Calls for strikes against “Zionists” are spreading in an eastern Ukrainian city. (JTA) Last week, leaflets blaming the “Zionist regime” for all of Ukraine’s problems were distributed in central parts of Donetsk, the center of the coal mining area that overwhelmingly supported former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich in last year’s hotly contested presidential election in Ukraine. Yanukovich won the election in an allegedly rigged vote, which led to a wave of protests and a new election, in which he lost to Viktor Yuschenko. The leaflets called for strikes against the “Zionist regime” and “American influence” in Ukraine. Leaders of the Donetsk Jewish community demanded that law-enforcement agencies stop anti-Semitic incitement in the city.

Arutz Sheva reports that there was an arson attack at the Central Synagogue in Kfar Chabad (located about five miles south of Tel Aviv).

Thousands of Israelis spent Shavuot in the Sinai despite a terror alert. (JTA) Officials said 16,000 vacationers passed through Israel’s Taba border crossing to Egypt to spend the holiday at Red Sea resorts. There were no mishaps, despite an Israeli government advisory that Israelis could be targeted by Islamic terrorists in Sinai. The previous alert, issued before the High Holy Days, was borne out in October as a series of suicide bombings killed more than 30 people at Red Sea resorts, including a dozen Israelis.

The General Security Service in Israel announced that last month they arrested eight terrorists, four of whom were recruiters, the balance being prospective suicide bombers (between the ages of 15-16) - one of whom had already filmed his 'martyr video'. Full story from Arutz Sheva here.

Reuters reports that it appears Israel will turn oversight of Jenin over to the Palestinians later this year.

Gabi Gal, Police Chief of Human Resources told reporters that about 8,000 civilians have volunteered to help police evacuate settlements in Gaza and the West Bank in August. Story from Yedioth Ahronoth here.

More than 100 graves were vandalized in Budapest’s main Jewish cemetery. (JTA) It’s not clear when the act of vandalism took place, as the cemetery was closed to visitors between Sunday and Wednesday. The Budapest Police Department is investigating the incident. Former Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, among others, condemned the destruction of the graves. “This type of action that so afflicts human dignity has no precedent in our 15 years of democracy,” Orban told the Hungarian Telegraphic Agency. Orban also offered his condolences to affected families and expressed his hope that authorities would find the perpetrators quickly.

At the European Championship in Poland, Israel's men's and women's sailing teams won silver medals. Ha'aretz reports here.

Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, who is the new Israel Defense Forces chief of staff tells Ha'aretz in regards to whether police or soldiers will be permitted, if necessary, to use force: "There will be no [military] use of weapons, unless God forbid one of the [pullout] opponents makes that mistake. There are extremists like that, and we will have to isolate them one way or another."

The Baltimore Sun reports that a small group of Muslims demonstrated outside a Baltimore County School Board meeting last night where a school calendar was approved by the board without including days off for
the Muslim holidays Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur is listed as a day off.

A former prisoner at Auschwitz died Tuesday on a “Train of Remembrance” meant to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the first transport to the infamous death camp. (JTA) Ludwik Wrona, 84, was imprisoned in Auschwitz on the day it opened in June 1940 and was given the number 457. The Train of Remembrance was carrying several Auschwitz survivors and their families, along with students from a high school in the Polish city of Tarnow. The ride was organized by the Christian Association for Families of Oswiecim, the Polish name for Auschwitz. The Polish Press Agency reported that Wrona was overcome by the emotion of the trip, and died on the train.

Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin expressed his doubts that there would be any Israeli elections prior to February 2006. Story from the Jerusalem Post here.

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