BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Survivors of last year's terrorist bombing of the Jewish headquarters here have joined the relatives of victims in boycotting events marking the reconstruction of the building.
Both groups are highly critical of the government's efforts to find those responsible for the attack on July 18, 1994, which killed 86 people and wounded at least 300.
Survivors and relatives of the victims refused to participate as the foundation stone of the new building was laid last week, at the same site of the bombing.
They also boycotted earlier ceremonies at the presidential palace.
Argentine President Carlos Menem had invited Jewish leaders Aug. 15 to a ceremony at which he signed his name to a parchment that was later placed under the new building's foundation stone.
Beneath his signature, the president added the words, "With love to the Jewish community."
Among those present at the signing ceremony were Ruben Beraja, president of DAIA, the Argentine Jewish political organization, and members of the Argentine Cabinet.
But survivors and relatives were dismayed by the activities.
"We find this whole thing a travesty," said a woman who lost her husband in the bombing.
"It is a shame that they turn this into a high-profile publicity stunt for a government that is doing so little to find the culprits of so much death and pain," she added.
Argentina, Syria sign nuclear deal
BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Argentina has signed an agreement to provide Syria with nuclear materials, but Argentine officials stress that the isotopes will only be used for medical research.
"This act is not related to any further sales of Argentine nuclear technology or materials to Syria, and particularly to any future sale of a nuclear reactor," the Argentine Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
Last month, amid reports that Argentina planned to sell a nuclear reactor to Syria, Israeli officials urged Argentine Foreign Minister Guido di Tella not to proceed with the sale.
Di Tella, on a visit to Israel at the time, said Argentina would not do anything to compromise the prospects for Middle East peace.
A high-level diplomatic and scientific Syrian delegation arrived in Buenos Aires on Aug. 13 to begin discussions about possible transfers of nuclear technology.
Danish neo-Nazis mark Hess suicide
COPENHAGEN (JTA) — Some 150 Danish neo-Nazis and their European cohorts marched through the eastern city of Roskilde over the weekend to mark the eighth anniversary of the suicide of Hitler deputy Rudolf Hess.
Police in Roskilde, located near Copenhagen, offered protection to the neo-Nazi marchers from counter demonstrators, whose march was restricted to the other side of the city.
But at one point the two parade routes converged, and fistfights broke out.
Police arrested demonstrators from both sides.
Hess was the longest surviving Nazi leader. He served as Hitler's deputy at the beginning of World War II, but fled to Scotland in 1941, hoping to negotiate a separate peace treaty with the British.
British authorities arrested him and he was sentenced to life imprisonment at the post-war Nuremberg trials.
The sole remaining prisoner in Berlin's Spandau Prison, Hess committed suicide on Aug. 13, 1987. Neo-Nazis have since marked the day of his death with demonstrations and with visits to his gravesite in the Bavarian town of Wunsiedel.
Danish neo-Nazis, led by 29-year old Johnny Hansen, are estimated to include 500 to 1,000 active militants.
French Jews training rabbis for E. Europe
PARIS — The French Jewish community plans to create a rabbinical seminar to train rabbis for communities in Eastern Europe, according to the Consistoire Central, the body responsible for the religious needs of French Jews.
Explaining the need for the new program, Paris Chief Rabbi Alain Goldmann said, "In Warsaw, the rabbi in charge of the community is an [older] Israeli of Polish origin. He will soon retire. In Moscow, the rabbi comes also from Israel. In Romania, there are almost no rabbis at all."
Goldmann added: "We know there is a strong demand for religious leaders in all the countries of the former Communist bloc. We think it is the duty of the French community, the most important one in Western Europe, to provide for the needs of the Jews of the rest of our continent."
The chief rabbi said the Consistoire would search for candidates in all the countries of the region. Their training will take place at the Paris Rabbinical Seminar, which ordains about 10 rabbis annually.
The Council of Europe, an assembly of 21 European parliamentary democracies, is expected to provide partial funding for the program as part of a larger project to train leaders for Eastern Europe.
Head of Oslo Jewry dies at age 73
COPENHAGEN (JTA) — Kay Feinberg, 73, the chairman of the Jewish community in Oslo, was found dead in his Oslo apartment over the weekend.
Police were called to his home after he failed to appear at several appointments.
Feinberg, a Holocaust survivor, apparently died of natural causes. There were no signs of criminal mischief in his apartment.