News Brief

Israel’s Supreme Court president came under criticism for reportedly meeting the U.S. ambassador to discuss the settlements.

The Forward newspaper reported this week that Justice Dorit Beinish held talks with Ambassador Richard Jones in which he asked her to explain Supreme Court rulings regarding the jurisdictions of West Bank settlements.

Beinish confirmed meeting Jones but said the Forward’s account of the talks was inaccurate. Nonetheless, right-wing Israeli lawmakers, sensing a threat to the already controversial status of settlements, were quick to condemn both parties.

Zevulun Orlev of the National Religious Party accused Beinish of denigrating the Supreme Court and demanded her resignation. Aryeh Eldad of the National Union said the Olmert government should complain to the U.S. State Department about Jones.

The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv played down the importance of the Beinish-Jones meeting, while Israeli government officials had no immediate comment.

A program to intensify the search for former Nazi war criminals was launched in Argentina.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center will use its “Operation Last Chance,” inaugurated Tuesday, to find former Nazi war criminals still hiding in South America.

The program, which started in Lithuania in 2002, is running in nine European countries. They will be joined by Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Uruguay in an effort to locate some of the thousands of former Nazi

war criminals believed still to be hiding in South America.

Wiesenthal Center officials expect to continue a second stage of the South American program in Paraguay and Bolivia.

Local newspaper advertising campaigns constitute the first step, including a reward offer.

There are 1,019 ongoing investigations of former Nazi war criminals in 14 countries. Since the beginning of the program, 488 suspects have been identified. Some 99 names have been submitted to local law enforcement in the countries where the suspects reside. Three arrest warrants have been issued and two extraditions requested.

The Wiesenthal Center received the names of four suspects in Argentina on the day of the launch.

“One of them seems quite serious,” Efraim Zuroff, the director of the Wiesenthal Center office in Israel, told JTA.

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