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July 19, 2005
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A United Nations spokesman defended a pro-Palestinian meeting that drew the ire of Jewish groups. Both B’nai B’rith and the Anti-Defamation League objected to the recent Paris-based International Conference of Civil Society, sponsored by the U.N. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director, said the committee is biased against Israel and that Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who has pledged to lessen antagonism to Israel at the world body, should not have sent representatives. Edward Mortimer, Annan’s communications director, wrote to Foxman on Friday that Annan had sent a message of reconciliation.

Jews in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, are scrambling to raise funds to rebuild the wall surrounding the city’s synagogue complex. The brick-and-stone wall collapsed Sunday, not long after a post-Shabbat celebration on Saturday night that had drawn about 150 people to the synagogue’s grounds. Community officials said the wall had been in bad condition and that the collapse wasn’t the result of foul play.

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