The Nation and The World

Powell Heads to Israel

Secretary of State Colin Powell is slated to travel to Israel. Powell will hold talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials next Sunday and Monday, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department announced. The talks are expected to focus on how to restart peace talks following the death of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat. On Tuesday, President Bush named current Nation Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to replace Powell, who resigned this week.

Israel, NATO Grow Closer

Israel could take part in NATO military exercises for the first time. NATO officials have asked Israel to take part in exercises, as well as anti-terror activities such as patrols in the Mediterranean, Ha�(tm)aretz reported. Israel�(tm)s inclusion is part of efforts to increase the treaty group�(tm)s “Mediterranean dialogue.” The dialogue includes six Muslim nations: Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania.

Jerusalem Post Gets New Owner

A Canadian media company and an Israeli media group appear set to take over the Jerusalem Post. CanWest Global Communications Corp. and the Mirkaei Tikshoret Group each will own 50 percent of the newspaper, as well as the Jerusalem Report magazine and other properties, according to media reports. The sale by Hollinger International group is believed to be for $13.2 million. Hollinger paid $21.5 million for the newspaper, which it acquired in two stages in 1989 and 1990. Hollinger International has been selling off its holdings after Conrad Black, its CEO, resigned amid an internal investigation that found that Black and others stole tens of millions of dollars from the company. Black has denied any impropriety. Mirkaei Tikshoret has holdings that include TV and radio stations, as well as daily newspapers in Russian and magazines in Hebrew and Russian.

Nazi Salutes Lead to Probe

Five men were placed under judicial investigation for giving Nazi salutes at a concentration camp in France. The men, aged between 22 and 27, were shown on police film giving the salutes earlier this year at Struthof, a Nazi concentration camp near the German border where close to 20,000 political prisoners from across Europe died during World War II. The men were placed under criminal investigation over the weekend by a magistrate in the southeastern city of Grenoble for aggravated violation of a monument. They are also likely to face charges in connection with obscene behavior at a Christian cemetery in the Grenoble region.

Israelis Accused of Operating Spy Drones

French media accused Israeli mercenaries of operating spy drones in the war-torn Ivory Coast. Israeli security sources on Wednesday denied the TF1 television report, but confirmed that a private Israeli company had supplied unmanned aerial vehicles to Ivorian forces. Ivorian forces have attacked French troops in the African country this month. According to the sources, Israel stopped supplying UAVs to the Ivory Coast after unrest erupted. But Jerusalem sources had no immediate comment on a report in the French newspaper Le Monde that 46 Israelis had run an intelligence-gathering center for the Ivorian military.

ICHEIC Cuts Ties With Generali Fund

The commission handling Holocaust-era insurance claims has cut ties with an Israel-based fund. The International Commission of Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) severed ties earlier this month with the Generali Trust Fund, claiming it was not meeting ICHEIC�(tm)s timetable and was unable to improve the quality of its work. Mara Rudman, ICHEIC�(tm)s COO, said all claims being processed by the trust fund, which was established to handle prewar claims taken out by Italian insurance company Generali, will be processed by Generali itself. Meeting in Washington on Tuesday, ICHEIC rolled out plans to cease operations at the end of 2005.

UJC Honors Goldman, Cardin in Ohio

Two legendary and beloved Jewish communal leaders received special honors at the United Jewish Communities�(tm) General Assembly (G.A.) in Cleveland. The Jewish Communal Service Association of North America paid tribute at a G.A. breakfast to Ralph Goldman, executive vice president emeritus of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, in honor of his 90th birthday and lifetime of service to world Jewry. The organization also dedicated a special edition of its Journal of Jewish Communal Service to Shoshana Cardin, who has chaired numerous major national Jewish organizations and umbrella groups.

Russian Jewish Group Gets New Leader

Vladimir Slutsker was unanimously approved as president of the Russian Jewish Congress (RJC). The presidium of the charity group on Tuesday approved the banker, a Kabbalah enthusiast and member of the upper house of Russia�(tm)s Parliament. The RJC�(tm)s former president, Yevgeny Satanovsky, will remain within the group�(tm)s leadership, overseeing its charity projects, while Slutsker is expected to take over financial matters, religious policy and public relations.

Briefs courtesy Jewish Telegraphic Agency.