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January 26, 2018

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 26, 2018 PAGE 13A Missouri Gov. Eric Greit- ens says he will not step down amid blackmail allegations WASHINGTON (JTA)--Mis- souri Gov. Eric Greitens said he will not resign over allegations that he threatened to black- mail a one-time lover despite calls by state lawmakers of both parties. "I'm staying," Greitens said this weekend in an interview with The Associated Press, his first since the allegations emerged earlier this month. "The mistake that I made was that I was engaged in a consensual relationship with a woman who was not my wife. That is a mistake for which I am very sorry." Greitens, a Republican, denied allegations that he threatened to blackmail the woman, whom the media have not named. A number of Democratic and Republican state lawmakers have called on him to step down. A St. Louis prosecutor has said she is investigating the blackmail allegations. Sepa- rately, CNN has reported that the FBI is also investigating Greitens, although it is not clear whether that investiga- tion is related to the blackmail. Greitens told the AP that he had not been contacted by law enforcement "As far as my conduct, there is nothing to investigate," he said. Greitens, a former Navy SEAL whose seven military awards include the Bronze Star, became the first Jewish governor of Missouri when he was elected in November 2016. ' The~affair, which happened in March 2015, was first reported by the St Louis TV station KMOV. The ex-husband ofthewom- an with whom Greitens had the affair provided a secretly recorded tape of her confession to him that included details of their first encounter. The woman, who met Greitens when she cut his hair, said that Greitens took a photo of her in a compromising position to use if she ever came forward about their relationship. Palestinian group pulled out of Women's March over Scarlett Johansson's Israel ties (JTA)--A Palestinian wom- en's group pulled out of the Women's March Los Angeles over the inclusion of Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson as a featured speaker. Several other pro-Pales- tinian groups also boycotted the march held on Saturday, one of dozens that took place across the United States to fight for women's rights and progressive causes. The first march held last year took place in cities around the world the day after President Donald Trump's inauguration. The Palestinian American Women's Association cited in a post on Facebook Johans- son's "unapologetic support of illegal settlements in the West Bank, a human rights violation recognized by the in- ternational community whose calls only led to a reaffirma- tion of her position, sending a clear message that Palestinian voices and human rights for Palestinians do not matter." Johansson is a former spokeswoman for SodaS- tream, whose main plant was formerly located in the West Bank. The plant was moved to the Negev Desert in southern Israel in 2015, where it employs 1,400 employees, one-third of them Bedouin Arabs. More than 70 of the West Bank Pal- estinians who worked for the company when it was located in Maale Adumim, also work at the new plant. Johansson resigned as a goodwill ambassador for Ox- fam, which supports boycot- ting West Bank settlements, over her employment by Soda Stream. "While herposition may not be reflective of all organizers at the Women's March Los Angeles Foundation, PAWA cannot in good conscience partner itself with an organi- zation that fails to genuinely and thoughtfully recognize when their speaker selection contradicts their message," the Palesitnian women's group. Other pro-Palestinian groups that boycotted the march included: A1-Awda: The Palestine Right to Return Co- alition, Jewish Voice for Peace, Code Pink, BDS-LA, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return and other organizations who have signed the petition below in boycott of the Jan. 20 march in Los Angeles. Actress Natalie Portman recalls 'sexual terrorism' to Women's March Los Angeles (JTA)--Jewish actress Nata- lie Portman told thousands of marchers at the Women's March Los Angeles that she experienced "sexual terrorism" at the age of 13 following the release of her first movie. She said her first fan letter after the releaseof"The Profes- sional," in which she played a young girl who befriended a hit man in hopes of avenging the murder of her parents, was from a man describing his "rape fantasy," involving the young actress. Portman, 36, said she re- jected movie roles including a kissing scene, began to dress in an "elegant" style, and built a reputation as a "prudish, conservative, nerdy, serious" young woman "in an attempt to feel that my body was safe and that my voice would be listened to." "At 13 years old, the message from our culture was clear to me," Portman, the first speaker of the afternoon, said. "I felt the need to cover my body and to inhibit my expression and my work in order to send my own message to the world that I'm someone worthy of safety and respect. The response to my expression, from small comments about my body to more threatening deliberate statements, served to control my behavior through an envi- ronment of sexual terrorism." In November, the Israeli- born actress was named the winner of the 2018 Genesis Prize, the so-called Jewish Nobel, and said the $1 million prize will go to programs that focus on advancing women's equality. Also in November, she told the Vulture Festival LA that she has had "discrimination or harassment on almost ev- erything I've ever worked on in some way." During her speech to the Women's March in Los Ange- les, Jewish actress Scarlett Jo- hansson called out actor James Franco, accused of sexual misconduct by five women in an article recently published in the Los Angeles Times, for wearing a Time's Up pin at the Golden Globe Awards. The "Time's Up" initia- tive spearheaded by several prominentactresses including Johansson, and supported by hundreds more, was founded to fight sexual harassment, as- sault and inequality forwomen in the workplace. "How could a person pub- licly stand by an organization that helps to provide support for victims of sexual assault while privately preying on people who have no power? I want my pin back," she said. Johansson did not name Franco but her representative toldVanity Fair that iswho she was referring to. She decried male abuse of power and spoke of the rage she felt when she heard an- other woman had been taken advantage of. "Suddenly I was 19 again and I began to remember all the men who had taken advantage of the fact that I was a young woman who didn't yet have the tools to say no, or understand the value of my own self-worth," said Johansson Two Berlin museums return works to heirs of Jewish collector (JTA)--Two Berlin muse- ums have returned works to the heirs of a Jewish collector who liquidated them during World War II, according to the Foundation of Prussian Cultural Heritage. The foundation returned 11 works from the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Skulpturensammlung that had belonged to Margarete Oppenheim, whose familywas forced to sell them at a deflated price to the National Socialists in 1936. Margarete Oppenheim, widow of the chemist and in- dustrialist Franz Oppenheim, died in 1935, six years after her husband. Her collection has been described as one of Gemany's largest and most vahable, containing works by mpressionists and small scuptures, as well as of por- celan, majolica, faience and silvr work. ~he state arranged for the return of the works in keeping witl the 20-year-old Wash- ingon Declaration signed by 4 countries committing theaselves to seeking long- lostartwork that ended up in mueums and other public col- lectons. Germany was among thesigners. Rve of the 11 works re- tuned to the Oppenheim heis were repurchased by the museums--two paint- ing on Christian religious thenes from the 16th-century Dmau School, and three 18th-century porcelain objects produced by the Meissen and Frankenthal firms. 1he foundation has over- seen the return of some 350 works of art and more than 1,000 books to the heirs of persecuted Jews. Its president, Hermann Parzinger, said in a statement that he was grateful to the heirs for their role in coming to a "fair and just solution," and added that the founda- tion remained dedicated to researching the provenance of works in Berlin museums. Imke Gielen, spokeswoman for the law firm of Rowland & Associates, said the heirs appreciated the foundation's procedure for return of the works, as well as the "tireless efforts of the foundation" to uncover the history of the works in its collection. According to the founda- tion, Margarete Oppenheim had ordered the executors of her estate to auction her works after her death "at the most appropriate moment" and reinvest the funds in her estate. But because the auc- tion took place in May 1936, at a time when Jews were be- ing persecuted and pressured to divest of their property at greatly deflated value, the auc- tion is considered to have been forced and thus illegitimate, according to the Washington Declaration. Provenance researchers have found two additional objects thatMargarete Oppen- heim had lent to the museums personally and were never returned. Amnesty International UK 'targeting Jewish community,' British Jew- ish group alleges (JTA)--The main umbrella group of British Jews accused its local branch of Amnesty International of targeting the community following the abrupt cancellation of a joint event. The accusation by the Jew- ish Leadership Council--a charity founded 15 years ago comprising 32 groups with different politics, including the Board of Governors of British Jews, the Jewish World Relief aid organization and several synagogues - came Monday following the cancellation of an event concerning Israel and the United Nations. Amnesty had undertaken to host the event on Jan. 24 butwithdrew the invite Friday. "We are currently cam- paigning for all governments around the world to ban the import of goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements," the human rights group said. "We do not, therefore, think it appropriate for Amnesty International to host an event by those actively supporting such settlements." In its statement, the Council wrote: "We have long argued that the aggressive criticism of Israeli government policy creates an environmentwhere antisemitism thrives and it is highly regrettable that on this occasion Amnesty Interna- tional UK's decision has tar- geted the Jewish community." Amnesty canceled a panel session titled"The UNHRC and Israel: How itworks,what's not working, and how it might be repaired." Danny Friedman, a prominent human rights lawyer, was to chair the event with speakers including Fred Carver of the United Nations Association-UK and Hillel Neuer of UN Watch. Israel and its support- ers have accused the U.N. Human Rights Council of disproportionately targeting the Jewish state with criticism while overlooking abuses by other countries. From the council's creation in June 2006 through June 2016, over half of its resolutions condemned Israel, according to UN Watch, awatchdog that monitors criti- cism by the United Nations of the Jewish state. Amnesty International UK initially committed to joining the panel debate but withdrew some months ago. It did agree, however, to maintain its offer of the event space, according to the Jewish Leadership Council. But four days before the event was scheduled to take place, Amnesty International UK withdrew the offer, according to the council's statement. It is "disgraceful that a Jewish charity is barred from the offices of Amnesty Inter- national UK," Jonathan Gold- stein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, said in the statement. "It is clear that Amnesty International UK's claim 'to protect Freedom of Expression' is only on their terms." Israel and many of its supporters, including the American Jewish Congress, have criticizedAmnesty Inter- national for what they call an anti-Israel bias and allegedly evenhanded treatment of it and terrorist groups, includ- ing Hamas. In November 2012,Amnesty UK chastised staffer Kristyan Benedict, Amnesty UK cam- paigns manager, over his posting on Twitter of a remark deemed anti-Semitic regard- ing three Jewish members of parliament. "Louise Ellman, Robert Halfon and Luciana Berger walk into a bar each orders a round of B52s #Gaza," he wrote. New Orleans mayor elect walks back support of pro-BDS resolution she authored (JTA)--New Orleans Mayor- elect LaToya Cantrell has walked back her support for a resolution she authored and supported that lends support to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. The resolution to boycott investments with human rights violators, which passed the New Orleans City Council on Jan. 11 with all five mem- bers presentvoting in support, mentions neither Israel nor the Palestinian territories, but BDS and anti-Israel activists claimed the passage as a vic- tory for their cause. Cantrell was not present for the vote on the resolution, which she wrote and intro- duced as part ofherWelcoming Cities initiative, reportedly in collaboration with the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee. In a statement issued on Saturday, Cantrell said she would support the council in its plans to reconsider and withdraw the resolution. On Wednesday City Coun- cil President Jason Williams called for reconsideration of the resolution, saying he was not aware of the boycott move- ment or its mission when he and the councilvoted, the New Orleans Advocate reported. Other council members have told the local media that they will move to reconsider the resolution at their next council meeting. "After extensive discussion and deliberation about the impact of this resolution, I can say that the unintended impact does not reflect my commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and respect and sup- port for civil rights, human rights and freedoms of all New Orleanians," Cantrell, who takes office in four months, said in her statement. She noted that the resolu- tion introduced at the last minute was taken up at the end of a nearly six-hour meeting after a suspension of the rules, "needlessly denying interested parties notice, transparency, and open discourse." Cantrell said in the state- ment that she regrets that the council's passage of the resolution has encouraged outsiders to claim that New Or- leans is one of the largest U.S. cities to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. "This is totally inaccurate, untruthful and does notreflect the values of New Orleans. We are a city that is welcoming, and open to all. Well inten- tioned actions can be taken out of context by others for their own political benefit, with negative connotations that overshadow any original mo- tives; I believe that is what hap- pened with this resolution," according to the statement. The mayor-elect reiterated her support of the Jewish com- munity and Israel. "While I will continue to examine issues of civil rights and fair contract- ing, I want to unequivocally reiterate that I am neither supportive of the BDS move- ment nor in any way hostile to the Jewish community or the State of Israel. Nor was it my intention to commit the City of New Orleans to such positions," she said. Diego Schwartzman loses to Rafael Nadal in Australian Open BUENOSAIRES,AYgentina (JTA)--Jewish Argentine ten- nis star Diego Schwartzman lost to top-seeded Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open in a nearly four-hour match. Nadal, of Spain, reached the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 victory over the 24th- seeded Schwartzman in the first Grand Slam of the year. "What a great match against a fantastic player and a great person #great is the word," Nadal, the highest-ranked player in the world, wrote following the match on his Instagram account, where he posted a photo of the two players shaking hands after the match. Schwartzman, 25, is the world's highest-ranked Jewish player at No. 26 in the ATP rankings. Israeli player Dudi Sela, at age 32, is ranked 95th and lost in the first round of the tournament. "I feel great," Schwartzman said following the match. "I think I did a good job inside the court. I think Rafa played good points in those moments, playing aggressively. That's why he's one of the best in history." Schwartzman, 25, who was raised in a Jewish family in Buenos Aires, has steadily risen in the rankings since turning pro at 17. Between 2010 and 2012, he won nine tournaments in the Interna- tional Tennis Federation, the sport's minor leagues. He won his first ATP Tour title at the Istanbul Open in 2016, upset- ting the highly ranked Grigor Dimitrov. In online survey, 27 per- cent of European Jews say they feel unsafe (JTA)--In a survey conduct- ed online among hundreds of respondents who identified as Jews, 27 percent of Europeans JTA on page 14A