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  • Adviser sounds out idea of papal trip to Israel, Iraq

    ROME, June 9 (JTA) — Pope John Paul II may soon be walking in the footsteps of Abraham. An aide to the pope is in Iraq to discuss the possibility of the pope’s visiting that country as part of a long anticipated papal tour of Middle East states to mark the start of the new…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Italy’s Jews split over twist in Priebke war crimes case

    ROME, March 9 (JTA) — The case involving former Nazi SS Capt. Erich Priebke has taken more than a few dramatic twists and turns since he was discovered in South America more than a decade ago. The latest act in the lengthy legal drama was played out over the weekend, when an appeals court in…

  • Suspect in 1944 massacre near Rome found in Austria

    ROME, Jan 26 (JTA) — A former Nazi who may have taken part in Italy’s worst wartime massacre has been discovered in Austria, according to an Italian newspaper report. The Rome daily La Repubblica reported Sunday that 83-year-old Wilheim Schubernig, who reportedly took part in the 1944 Ardeatine Caves massacre of 335 residents of Rome,…

  • Arafat invites pope to visit, calls on Europe to press Israel

    ROME, June 14 (JTA) — Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has called on Europe to use economic pressure to force Israel to accelerate the peace process. Arafat’s call came during an awards ceremony Saturday in Florence, a day after he met with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican and invited the pontiff to visit…

  • AROUND THE JEWISH WORLD Poland tries to make amends for 1968 actions against Jews

    ROME, March 16 (JTA) — When Lena Stanley-Clamp was 18 years old, she was denied entrance to university. Her father, a civil engineer in Poland, was fired from his job without explanation. Within a few months, her entire family was stripped of its Polish citizenship and forced to leave the country. They were just a…

  • Italian Jewish leader ready to step down after 15 years

    ROME, June 14 (JTA) — For 15 years, Tullia Zevi has used her position as the leader of Italy’s Jewish community to speak out forcefully against anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination, both at home and in the international arena. In doing so, the elegant, silver-haired grandmother has become one of Italy’s most prominent and…

  • Leader of Italian rightists makes overtures to Israel

    ROME, March 2 (JTA) — A leader of an Italian party with neo-fascist roots has been busy building bridges to the Jewish world. But his actions have raised questions among some regarding whether his moves have been made in an effort solely to improve his party’s image. At a three-day convention ending Sunday, Gianfranco Fini…

  • Vatican document focus of Catholic-Jewish talks

    ROME, March 24 (JTA) — A Jewish leader who played a key role in rescuing Jews during the Holocaust has denied Vatican claims that the wartime pope, Pius XII, saved hundreds of thousands of Jews. Gerhart Riegner, honorary vice president of the World Jewish Congress, spoke Monday night at the opening of talks between the…

  • In annual Easter sermon, pope slams Christian teaching

    ROME, April 13 (JTA) — Pope John Paul II’s Easter message criticized the Christian teaching that Jews bear responsibility for the death of Jesus. But the pope also criticized the Israeli policy of building Jewish settlements in eastern Jerusalem, saying peace is being threatened by “dangerous political decisions.” The self-criticism came during the traditional Way…

  • Poles mark 30th anniversary of 1968 anti-Semitic campaign

    ROME, March 4 (JTA) — Hundreds of people in Poland marked this week the 30th anniversary of the 1968 anti-Semitic campaign that forced 20,000 Polish Jews to emigrate. A standing-room-only crowd of more than 350 people filled a downtown Warsaw auditorium Sunday to hear a panel discussion and take part in a question-and-answer session on…