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Jew Found Beaten Unconscious in Moscow


Authorities are investigating a possible hate crime in which a 50-year-old Jewish man was found lying unconscious with a fractured skull in Moscow, according to the Russian website Witnesses reported that two men assaulted the victim.

The Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union pointed out that the attackers did not rob the victim, indicating that the motive was anti-Semitism. However, police have given no indication that they will press hate crime charges.

Exiled Hamas Leader Welcomes Obama's 'New Language' on Middle East

By VOA News

An exiled leader of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has welcomed what he calls President Barack Obama's "new language" in dealing with the Middle East. Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal made the comment in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica published Sunday.

He was responding to the Obama administration's recent calls for dialogue with Iran and Syria to try to resolve long-running disputes and improve relations. Meshaal said the challenge for the U.S. and European Union is to make Obama's appeals a "prelude" to sincere policy changes, as he put it.

Meshaal predicted that an official U.S. and European overture to Hamas is "only a matter of time," saying world powers need his group to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 in fighting with Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The U.S. and the EU label Hamas a terrorist group. They refuse to deal with Hamas unless it renounces violence, stops calling for Israel's destruction and abides by previous agreements between Abbas' government and the Jewish state.

Olmert Hints Barak is `Villainous'; Barak Calls Him 'Pathetic'


Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lashed out viciously at Labor leader Ehud Barak Sunday because of his intention to join a government headed by Likud's Binyamin Netanyahu.

Without naming names, Olmert said at the weekly cabinet meeting: "Whoever thinks that he can create international cooperation on the subject of Iran, on the basis of a policy that will kill any chance of a political agreement with the Palestinians and the Syrians, is suffering from delusions.

"Whoever believes in that," Olmert said, "all I can say is that I am sorry about his belief. But whoever does not believe in that yet cooperates with it – I can say that I feel sorry for his villainous nature." The first part of his declaration was a hinted reference to Netanyahu. The second was a reference to Barak.

Olmert had more hinted barbs for Netanyahu and Barak: "He who wants to establish a government that will ignore the two-state solution, and who finds a numerical majority for that, will again prove that sometimes, a majority based upon foreign considerations can lead a country to the mouth of the abyss," he said – referring to Netanyahu.

Again referring to Barak, Olmert added: "Those who, in the depth of their hearts, know the truth but prefer other considerations that have nothing to do with the good of the state, I say that they will not be cleansed. Israeli history will not forgive them."

Sources in Barak's bureau said in response that they "do not intend to be drawn into reactions to the pathetic attempts, which Olmert is having difficulty hiding, to hurt Defense Minister Barak in any way and at any cost. Olmert would do better to retire quietly and allow the political arena to function for the best interest of the state."

Austria Frees Former Nazi Guard Deported from US


Josias Kumpf, the former Nazi concentration camp guard who was deported from the United States on Thursday, will be able to stay in Austria without being extradited and he cannot be prosecuted in Austria for the acts that led to his deportation, the Austrian justice ministry said.

Ministry spokeswoman Katharina Swoboda said Vienna had warned U.S. authorities in the past that Austria would be unable to prosecute Kumpf because the statute of limitations relating to his crimes had expired in 1965. She said that Kumpf was deported to Austria because it was the country from which he came when he entered the United States in 1956.

The US Justice Department said on Thursday that Kumpf had admitted to participating in a 1943 massacre of 8,000 Jews - including some 400 children - in the Trawniki labor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. The department cited Kumpf as saying his assignment was to watch for victims who were still "halfway alive" or "convulsing" and "shoot them to kill" if they attempted to escape.

Justice Department officials pushed for Kumpf's deportation, saying Kumpf "presided over and witnessed the torture and murder of helpless people." Kumpf's presence assisted Nazis in perpetrating the massacre by discouraging escapees and controlling the victims, they said. "His culpability in this atrocity does not diminish with the passage of time," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich.

Kumpf and his attorneys argued that the 83-year-old had never played an active role in the atrocities. "He never laid a finger on anyone, he never shot at anyone," said attorney Peter Rogers.

Kumpf was born in the part of Yugoslavia that is now Serbia, as a member of the ethnic German minority there. Kumpf said he was taken from his home in Yugoslavia as a 17-year-old and forced to serve as a guard. After joining the SS as a guard in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany, he moved on to Trawniki. He also allegedly served at slave labor sites in France.

Swoboda cited other reasons that Kumpf would not be prosecuted in Austria. The main reason was that he was younger than 20 at the time of the crimes. The fact Kumpf had never been an Austrian citizen, and that the crimes which he is accused of were not committed in Austria, also made prosecution in Austria impossible.

Swoboda said with his U.S. citizenship revoked, Kumpf was now stateless and had no residence permit in Austria, which technically made him an illegal alien. But since he could not be extradited to another country, he would be able to stay on.

Orangutan at Moscow Circus Have a Jewish Wedding

By Ha'aretz

Moscow's Circus Nikulina has adopted a definite kosher twist, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports, including in its show a Jewish wedding between two orangutan.

According to the JTA, the wedding takes place when a man dressed as a Hassidic Jew "leads two gangly orangutans - one in a suit and kipah, the other in a full bridal gown - on a lurching matrimonial march toward a hastily constructed chupah."

While such a show might never be acceptable in the West, Russian Jewish leaders told JTA that the attraction was not meant to be disparaging of Jews. "Maybe it's not smart; maybe it's a silly thing. But it's not pushing an anti-Semitic purpose," the JTA quoted Motya Chlenov, head of the Moscow office of the World Congress of Russian Jewry, as saying.

Orangutan are closely related to humans, second only to the African Ape. Grown orangutan males weigh in at an average of 200 pounds and are four times stronger than an adult human male.

There are an estimated 50,000-60,000 threatened orangutan currently in the wild and their status varies from "endangered" to "critically endangered."

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