World Briefs

Israel Prepares to Call Reservists

The Israel Defense Force (IDF) is making preparations to call up tens of thousands of reservists abroad in the event of a major war. According to an IDF spokesman, recruitment branches have opened in nine cities, which include Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

Military Aid for Israel

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a $15.2 billion foreign aid bill that contains $2.7 billion in military and economic assistance for Israel and $2 billion for Egypt. The bill, which goes next to the Senate, also calls on President Bush to impose sanctions if he determines that the Palestinian Authority is not combating terrorism.

Israel May Ban Conductor

A Knesset committee called for conductor Daniel Barenboim to be declared persona non grata in Israel until he apologizes for conducting a piece by Richard Wagner at the Israel Festival earlier this month. Wagner was an anti-Semitic composer and a Hitler favorite.

Fatah Claims Slaying

Fatah group claims slaying of Jerusalem youth Members of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat’s Fatah said the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a group affiliated to Fatah, was behind the killing of 18-year-old Yuri Gushchin of Jerusalem. The Israeli teenager’s body was found Tuesday near the West Bank city of Ramallah. He was to be drafted into the IDF next month.

Shoah Denier Denied Appeal

British Holocaust denier David Irving was denied permission to appeal his defeat in a libel suit he brought last year against author-historian Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books, her publisher.

Last Friday, the Court of Appeal in London rejected his request for an appeal, with one of the three judges on the panel calling Irving “one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial.” Irving must quickly pay the first installment in a legal bill estimated at close to $3 million.

Youth Group Gets Financial Boost

The newly independent B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO), one of the largest youth groups in North America, received gifts of $1 million dollars to fund regional offices and other needs.

The funding comes two months after B’nai B’rith International announced it would spin off its youth program into an independent nonprofit, in order to make it easier to raise money for the youth group.

The donations, $250,000 each from Edgar Bronfman, Lynn Schusterman, Michael Steinhardt and Newton Becker, will compensate for the approximately $1 million decrease in allocations this year from B’nai B’rith, which — due to the fraternal organization’s ongoing financial and membership reductions — has consistently cut funds to BBYO in recent years.

According to some insiders, major donors had been reluctant to contribute when BBYO was a B’nai B’rith department out of concern that gifts had to be channeled through B’nai B’rith, which could siphon money off the top.