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Another country has left the European Jewish Congress. The Central Council announced its decision Monday to suspend its membership in the EJC, becoming the fourth European Jewish organization to leave the EJC over a controversial decision made at its recent meeting in Paris.

The EJC, which has 42 member countries and is a subsidiary of the World Jewish Congress, voted 51-34 on Feb. 10 to extend terms for officers to four years from two. The extension was applied retroactively to the EJC’s president, Moshe Kantor, who was elected in June 2007, as well as to his board. Kantor is the first person from a former Eastern bloc country to lead the organization. The German-Jewish umbrella group, at its Sunday meeting, unanimously condemned the developments at the Paris convention. It announced its solidarity with the other three countries that had left the body in protest: France, Portugal and Austria. The German council condemned “the methods of EJC President Moshe Kantor” as “deeply disturbing.”

But the council’s secretary general, Stefan Kramer, told JTA that his group’s withdrawal is a suspension and that he’d rather see the EJC’s “success story continue” than build an alternative organization, as some other countries have proposed.

The development underscores months of tensions between some of the Western European EJC members and Kantor.

The EJC issued a statement of regret after Germany’s decision, saying the EJC was working on “a conciliatory commission so that we can find the best way to bring unity back to the organization.”

Hezbollah will destroy Israel, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said.

Mohammad Ali Jafari, whose cadre is the elite force of Iran’s ruling mullahs, said in a letter published Monday that last week’s assassination of Hezbollah’s terrorist commander Imad Mughniyeh was the beginning of the end for the Jewish state.

“In the near future, we will witness the destruction of the cancerous existence of Israel by the powerful and competent hands of the Hezbollah fighters,” Jafari wrote.

Iran and Hezbollah accused Israel of killing Mughniyeh with a car bomb in Damascus on Tuesday night. Jerusalem denied involvement, and is bracing for possible reprisals by Hezbollah or Iranian agents.

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