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PAGE 18A Equality From page 1A sectors of society," said Alon-Lee Green, an ac- tivist with the far-left Hadash political party. Green said he was more passionate about other issues of women's rights in Israel, as well as with Israel's prohibition of civil marriage. Haredi rabbis dominate Israel's Chief Rabbinate and thus control not only the Western Wall, known in Hebrew as the Kotel, but also civil matters such as marriage, divorce and burial. For most Israelis, religious rules governing these aspects of their lives are far more intrusive and onerous than limitations on prayer at a site they never visit. "Many people feel there are so many battles to be fought, they just gave up on the Kotel," said Lesley Sachs, director of Women of the Wall, a group tha or- ganizes a monthly women's service at the wall. Sachs and other worshipers at the service are frequently detained by police for disobeying the Kotel's prohibitions. For many Diaspora Jews, the Kotel is a symbol of the millennia-old Jewish con- nection to the promised land and an inspirational place of pilgrimage and prayer. Secular Israelis are more apt to see the site as a national monu- ment for which Israeli blood was shed during the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel recaptured eastern Jerusalem from Jordanian control. "It's a religious bubble there," said Ofer Pomer- antz, a secular Tel Aviv resident. "The average Is- raeli is not religious. When I think of those places, I think of the blood spilled over them." Many secular Israelis also see the fight for egali- tarianism at the wall as a distinctly foreign issue. The Reform and Conser- vative movements, whose members have champi- oned the cause of women's prayer at the wall, remain quite small in Israel. Most secular Israelis see Or- thodoxy as the normative expression of Judaism. "It's a holy site," said Shalhevet Adar, also of Tel Aviv. "People who go there know where they're going. It's a little annoying, but I'm not fighting." Adar described the Kotel as Israel's version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a national landmark with historical significance but little spiritual appeal. Tamar, a filmmaker who asked that her last name not be used, says when she goes to the Kotel, "I'm not looking for more than to be there and put a note in the wall. "I don't think about it," she adds. "I'm busy with my life." HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 4, 2013 Miriam Alster/Flash 90/JTA A woman holding a Torah scroll outside a police station in Jerusalem's Old City where four women from the Women of the Wall organization were detained, Aug. 19, 2012. Kerry From page 1A in the past, but on the whole he- a staunch advocate and defender of the U.S.-Israel relationship and Israeli se- curity," the Anti-Defamation League's national director, Abraham Foxman, told JTA in a telephone interview from Israel, where he was meeting with Israeli leaders. Kerry rallied to win the 2004 nomination but lost the presidency, felled in part by images of him windsurf- ing and tales of high-society living with his heiress wife, Teresa Heinz. He won big among Jews, however--75 percent of their vote, in large part because of a connection based on shared liberalism. Staff close to Kerry's cam- paign at the time said the dis- covery by.the Boston Globe of his Jewish antecedents--and the knowledge that relatives had perished in the Holo- caust-deeply affected him. His brother, Cameron Kerry, converted to Judaism before marrying a Jewish woman, Kathy Weinman. Cameron is active in the Jew- ish communities in Boston and Washington, where he is general counsel at the Com- merce Department. Jay Footlik, who ran the Kerry campaign's Jewish outreach, recalled that Kerry would take time out to be briefed on every new wrinkle in matters affecting Israel. "He took a deep interest in the U.S.-Israel relationship," Footlik said. "The community ought to be thrilled." These connecti0;ns are helping Kerry win Jewish support for his nomination to replace Hillary Clinton as U.S. secretary of state. President Obama made the announce- ment that Kerry was his new choice on Dec. 21, after the candidacy of Susan Rice, cur- rently the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was derailed by opponents. In welcoming the nomina- tion, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sug- gested an emotional bond with Kerry. "John Kerry and I have been friends for many years," Netanyahu said. "I very much appreciated the fact that six months ago, after my father passed away, he came to visit me during the week of mourning." As chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Commit- tee, Kerry often has acted as an advance man for Obama's foreign policy, touting ideas the administration might not be ready to fully embrace. In March 2009, he called for a set- tlement freeze months before it became the centerpiece o tensions between the Obama and Netanyahu governments. "Over these many years, Sudoku Solution from page 7 961372584 527468391- 4381 59762 21684395,.7 374695128 895721643 782936.415 149587236 6532 .1 4879 John has earned the respect and confidence of leaders around the world," Obama said lastweekat aWhite House appearance alongside Kerry. "He is not going to need a lot of on-the-job training." In a statement, the ADL noted, "Kerry has consistently been an effective advocate for Israel's security in a danger- ous region and demonstrated his commitment to fighting against anti-Semitism and bigotry all over the world." The statement said that Kerry's first visit to Israel was in an ADL congressional mission in May 1986. Kerry's nomination also earned kudos from J Street, the liberal Jewish group that advocates for more U.S. involvement in Israeli- Palestinian negotiations and encourages U.S. pressure on Israel to stop West Bank settle- ment expansion. "Kerry would be well posi- tioned to play a leading role should President Obama move to revive peace efforts aimed at achieving a two-state solu- tion to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," J Street said in a Iran From page 5A interests, with the Iran moti- vated by loathing of western cultures, values and peoples? Foreign policy realists-- those who think that a state's actions, not itswords, are what really counts--would counsel us to ignore such inflamma- tory statements. It's just the Iranians, they would say, let- ting off steam, or playing to the anti-American gallery. It doesn't really meananything, and it certainly won't impact their "constructive and use- ful" approach to the nuclear negotiations. Actually, if I was an Ira- nian leader, I'd feel weirdly insulted by that approach. I would counter that, as an adult, my views should be respected as genuinely held, however outlandish or shock- ing these might be. In some ways, the villains of this particular piece are not the Iranians, who are completely candid about their statement. "Kerry under- stands that peace is not only essential for Israel's survival, Jut also a fundamental U.S. interest." Such agreement in the Jewish community on Kerry's nomination stands in contrast to another rumored Obama nomination: former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) for defense secretary. Little of substance distin- guishes Kerry and Hagel, in- siders say. Each has advocated outreach to pariah nations like Iran and Syria, and each has issued sharp criticism of Israel--Hagel in 2006 during the Second Lebanon War and Kerryin 2010, againstwhat he saw as the gratuitous excesses of Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip. What differentiates Kerry from Hagel, pro-Israel of- ficials say, is his willingness to engage even when he disagrees, and his familiarity with the issues. "Will we always agree? No," Foxman said."Butwe're going to have in place someone who is knowledgeable, and that always works well for us." Daniel Mariaschin, who directs B'nai B'rith Interna- tional, said he hoped that as secretar of state Kerry would show awareness of the uncertainties roiling the region, particularly in Egypt, where the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood has asserted control, and in Syria, which is mired in civil war. "I would hope that as secretary of state, at least on questions related to Israel, he would take into account the fast-moving variables," Mariaschin said. Even before Obama's an- nouncement, Kerry had the backing of Senate colleagues, Republicans as well as Demo- crats. He has a longstanding friendship with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz), both men are Vietnam veterans and in the 1980s paved the way to reconciliation between the United States and Vietnam. The pick earned quick plau- dits from a leading pro-Israel stalwart in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the senior Democrat on the Appropria- tions Committee. "As chairman of the Serl- ate Foreign Relations Com- mittee, he has worked to marshal support for tough sanctions against Iran and defend our ally Israel, and played a critical role as an envoy to Pakistan and Af- ghanistan," Lowey said in a statement. Kerry has a solid voting record on issues favored by the American Israel PublicAffairs Committee, but rarely has taken the lead on legislation AIPAC favors. Kerry was a leader in the 1980s on Soviet Jewry issues in Congress, and he has maintained close ties with the successors to the Soviet Jewry advocacy movement, said Mark Levin, who directs NC S J: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States and Eurasia. "For the last 20 years he's been intimately involved in every issue impacting the U.S.-Russia relationship," Levin said. "He's had an open door on Russia when it comes to xenophobia and anti-Semitism." opinions, but those western voices who think that we can nonetheless negotiate with them in good faith. True, the Iranians have lied to us for almost a decade when it comes to their nuclear pro- gram, but why would they do anything else? The idea that Ira n is basically an intelligent child given to the occasional tantrum is, in this context, a far more troubling deceit.. Now consider that, on Jan. 16, negotiators from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are scheduled to visit Tehran for a new round of discussions. Yukiya Amano, the shrewd diplomat in charge of the IAEA, has already pointed out a number of major stumbling blocks that are likely to arise. These include Iran's demand that once IAEA questions on a particular issue have been addressed, the matter should be considered closed. Tehran is also insisting on access to western intelligence files on the military uses of its ostensibly civilian nuclear program. Finally, there's the established Iranian strategy of playing for time--as one western diplomat told Re- uters, "We really want to avoid a structured approach that is simply a gateway to further process." Continued "process," how- ever, suits the Iranians, be- cause they have no intention of reaching a compromise that would prevent the wea- ponization of their nuclear program. Why? Well, it's simple. They hate us and everything we stand for, and they know that possessing a nuclear weapon is the best way of defying us. If the Tehran regime were a good faith negotiating partner, it would not authorize its media outlets to crow over the Newtown rflurders. Finally, there's an addi- tional question which advo- cates of negotiations should ask themselves: Why do we not take Iran's insults seri- ously? Is it because we have tow expectations of Muslims to begin with? That while we can never presume that they'll say what's right, they can probably be" persuaded to act in their own interests? I suspect that is the case. And that, plainly, is a form -of racism that, ironically, enables the Iranians to pro- mote their anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism with impunity! I don't, therefore, assume that anything positive will come from further nego- tiations. But I would request that western negotiators do the Iranians the honor of taking their words-- all of their words--at face value. Ben Cohen is the Shill- man Analyst for dNS.org. His writings on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics have been published in Com- mentary, the New York Post, Ha'aretz, Jewish Ideas Daily and rnany other publications. PAGE 18A Equality From page 1A sectors of society," said Alon-Lee Green, an ac- tivist with the far-left Hadash political party. Green said he was more passionate about other issues of women's rights in Israel, as well as with Israel's prohibition of civil marriage. Haredi rabbis dominate Israel's Chief Rabbinate and thus control not only the Western Wall, known in Hebrew as the Kotel, but also civil matters such as marriage, divorce and burial. For most Israelis, religious rules governing these aspects of their lives are far more intrusive and onerous than limitations on prayer at a site they never visit. "Many people feel there are so many battles to be fought, they just gave up on the Kotel," said Lesley Sachs, director of Women of the Wall, a group tha or- ganizes a monthly women's service at the wall. Sachs and other worshipers at the service are frequently detained by police for disobeying the Kotel's prohibitions. For many Diaspora Jews, the Kotel is a symbol of the millennia-old Jewish con- nection to the promised land and an inspirational place of pilgrimage and prayer. Secular Israelis are more apt to see the site as a national monu- ment for which Israeli blood was shed during the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel recaptured eastern Jerusalem from Jordanian control. "It's a religious bubble there," said Ofer Pomer- antz, a secular Tel Aviv resident. "The average Is- raeli is not religious. When I think of those places, I think of the blood spilled over them." Many secular Israelis also see the fight for egali- tarianism at the wall as a distinctly foreign issue. The Reform and Conser- vative movements, whose members have champi- oned the cause of women's prayer at the wall, remain quite small in Israel. Most secular Israelis see Or- thodoxy as the normative expression of Judaism. "It's a holy site," said Shalhevet Adar, also of Tel Aviv. "People who go there know where they're going. It's a little annoying, but I'm not fighting." Adar described the Kotel as Israel's version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a national landmark with historical significance but little spiritual appeal. Tamar, a filmmaker who asked that her last name not be used, says when she goes to the Kotel, "I'm not looking for more than to be there and put a note in the wall. "I don't think about it," she adds. "I'm busy with my life." HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 4, 2013 Miriam Alster/Flash 90/JTA A woman holding a Torah scroll outside a police station in Jerusalem's Old City where four women from the Women of the Wall organization were detained, Aug. 19, 2012. Kerry From page 1A in the past, but on the whole he- a staunch advocate and defender of the U.S.-Israel relationship and Israeli se- curity," the Anti-Defamation League's national director, Abraham Foxman, told JTA in a telephone interview from Israel, where he was meeting with Israeli leaders. Kerry rallied to win the 2004 nomination but lost the presidency, felled in part by images of him windsurf- ing and tales of high-society living with his heiress wife, Teresa Heinz. He won big among Jews, however--75 percent of their vote, in large part because of a connection based on shared liberalism. Staff close to Kerry's cam- paign at the time said the dis- covery by.the Boston Globe of his Jewish antecedents--and the knowledge that relatives had perished in the Holo- caust-deeply affected him. His brother, Cameron Kerry, converted to Judaism before marrying a Jewish woman, Kathy Weinman. Cameron is active in the Jew- ish communities in Boston and Washington, where he is general counsel at the Com- merce Department. Jay Footlik, who ran the Kerry campaign's Jewish outreach, recalled that Kerry would take time out to be briefed on every new wrinkle in matters affecting Israel. "He took a deep interest in the U.S.-Israel relationship," Footlik said. "The community ought to be thrilled." These connecti0;ns are helping Kerry win Jewish support for his nomination to replace Hillary Clinton as U.S. secretary of state. President Obama made the announce- ment that Kerry was his new choice on Dec. 21, after the candidacy of Susan Rice, cur- rently the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was derailed by opponents. In welcoming the nomina- tion, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sug- gested an emotional bond with Kerry. "John Kerry and I have been friends for many years," Netanyahu said. "I very much appreciated the fact that six months ago, after my father passed away, he came to visit me during the week of mourning." As chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Commit- tee, Kerry often has acted as an advance man for Obama's foreign policy, touting ideas the administration might not be ready to fully embrace. In March 2009, he called for a set- tlement freeze months before it became the centerpiece o tensions between the Obama and Netanyahu governments. "Over these many years, Sudoku Solution from page 7 961372584 527468391- 4381 59762 21684395,.7 374695128 895721643 782936.415 149587236 6532 .1 4879 John has earned the respect and confidence of leaders around the world," Obama said lastweekat aWhite House appearance alongside Kerry. "He is not going to need a lot of on-the-job training." In a statement, the ADL noted, "Kerry has consistently been an effective advocate for Israel's security in a danger- ous region and demonstrated his commitment to fighting against anti-Semitism and bigotry all over the world." The statement said that Kerry's first visit to Israel was in an ADL congressional mission in May 1986. Kerry's nomination also earned kudos from J Street, the liberal Jewish group that advocates for more U.S. involvement in Israeli- Palestinian negotiations and encourages U.S. pressure on Israel to stop West Bank settle- ment expansion. "Kerry would be well posi- tioned to play a leading role should President Obama move to revive peace efforts aimed at achieving a two-state solu- tion to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," J Street said in a Iran From page 5A interests, with the Iran moti- vated by loathing of western cultures, values and peoples? Foreign policy realists-- those who think that a state's actions, not itswords, are what really counts--would counsel us to ignore such inflamma- tory statements. It's just the Iranians, they would say, let- ting off steam, or playing to the anti-American gallery. It doesn't really meananything, and it certainly won't impact their "constructive and use- ful" approach to the nuclear negotiations. Actually, if I was an Ira- nian leader, I'd feel weirdly insulted by that approach. I would counter that, as an adult, my views should be respected as genuinely held, however outlandish or shock- ing these might be. In some ways, the villains of this particular piece are not the Iranians, who are completely candid about their statement. "Kerry under- stands that peace is not only essential for Israel's survival, Jut also a fundamental U.S. interest." Such agreement in the Jewish community on Kerry's nomination stands in contrast to another rumored Obama nomination: former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) for defense secretary. Little of substance distin- guishes Kerry and Hagel, in- siders say. Each has advocated outreach to pariah nations like Iran and Syria, and each has issued sharp criticism of Israel--Hagel in 2006 during the Second Lebanon War and Kerryin 2010, againstwhat he saw as the gratuitous excesses of Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip. What differentiates Kerry from Hagel, pro-Israel of- ficials say, is his willingness to engage even when he disagrees, and his familiarity with the issues. "Will we always agree? No," Foxman said."Butwe're going to have in place someone who is knowledgeable, and that always works well for us." Daniel Mariaschin, who directs B'nai B'rith Interna- tional, said he hoped that as secretar of state Kerry would show awareness of the uncertainties roiling the region, particularly in Egypt, where the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood has asserted control, and in Syria, which is mired in civil war. "I would hope that as secretary of state, at least on questions related to Israel, he would take into account the fast-moving variables," Mariaschin said. Even before Obama's an- nouncement, Kerry had the backing of Senate colleagues, Republicans as well as Demo- crats. He has a longstanding friendship with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz), both men are Vietnam veterans and in the 1980s paved the way to reconciliation between the United States and Vietnam. The pick earned quick plau- dits from a leading pro-Israel stalwart in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), the senior Democrat on the Appropria- tions Committee. "As chairman of the Serl- ate Foreign Relations Com- mittee, he has worked to marshal support for tough sanctions against Iran and defend our ally Israel, and played a critical role as an envoy to Pakistan and Af- ghanistan," Lowey said in a statement. Kerry has a solid voting record on issues favored by the American Israel PublicAffairs Committee, but rarely has taken the lead on legislation AIPAC favors. Kerry was a leader in the 1980s on Soviet Jewry issues in Congress, and he has maintained close ties with the successors to the Soviet Jewry advocacy movement, said Mark Levin, who directs NC S J: Advocates on Behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States and Eurasia. "For the last 20 years he's been intimately involved in every issue impacting the U.S.-Russia relationship," Levin said. "He's had an open door on Russia when it comes to xenophobia and anti-Semitism." opinions, but those western voices who think that we can nonetheless negotiate with them in good faith. True, the Iranians have lied to us for almost a decade when it comes to their nuclear pro- gram, but why would they do anything else? The idea that Ira n is basically an intelligent child given to the occasional tantrum is, in this context, a far more troubling deceit.. Now consider that, on Jan. 16, negotiators from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are scheduled to visit Tehran for a new round of discussions. Yukiya Amano, the shrewd diplomat in charge of the IAEA, has already pointed out a number of major stumbling blocks that are likely to arise. These include Iran's demand that once IAEA questions on a particular issue have been addressed, the matter should be considered closed. Tehran is also insisting on access to western intelligence files on the military uses of its ostensibly civilian nuclear program. Finally, there's the established Iranian strategy of playing for time--as one western diplomat told Re- uters, "We really want to avoid a structured approach that is simply a gateway to further process." Continued "process," how- ever, suits the Iranians, be- cause they have no intention of reaching a compromise that would prevent the wea- ponization of their nuclear program. Why? Well, it's simple. They hate us and everything we stand for, and they know that possessing a nuclear weapon is the best way of defying us. If the Tehran regime were a good faith negotiating partner, it would not authorize its media outlets to crow over the Newtown rflurders. Finally, there's an addi- tional question which advo- cates of negotiations should ask themselves: Why do we not take Iran's insults seri- ously? Is it because we have tow expectations of Muslims to begin with? That while we can never presume that they'll say what's right, they can probably be" persuaded to act in their own interests? I suspect that is the case. And that, plainly, is a form -of racism that, ironically, enables the Iranians to pro- mote their anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism with impunity! I don't, therefore, assume that anything positive will come from further nego- tiations. But I would request that western negotiators do the Iranians the honor of taking their words-- all of their words--at face value. Ben Cohen is the Shill- man Analyst for dNS.org. His writings on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics have been published in Com- mentary, the New York Post, Ha'aretz, Jewish Ideas Daily and rnany other publications.