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February 9, 2018
 

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 9, 2018 PAGE 3A By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)-- President Donald Trump called on Congress to pass a law that would extend foreign assistance only to "friendly" nations, a dig at the countries that voted in the United Na- tions to censure the United States for recognizing Jeru- salem as Israel's capital. "Last month, I also took an action endorsed unani- mously by the Senate just months before: I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," Trump said Tuesday in his State of the Union address to Congress to a standing ovation from Republicans, as well as his Jewish daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner. "Shortly afterwards, doz- ens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America's sovereign right to make this recognition," he said. "In 2016, American taxpayers generously sent those same (JTA)--Staples CEO Shira Goodman abruptly departed as head of the retailer after a year and a half on the job. The company announced Friday that Goodman was stepping down. Her succes- sor was later announced as former Coca-Cola executive Alexander Douglas. Staples went private less than a year ago after it was acquired by Sycamore Part- ners for $7 billion. Goodman worked for the company in various execu- tive roles for 26 years She was named CEO in Septem- ber 2016 after serving three months as interim CEO. "Shira has played a criti- cal role in the evolution of North American Delivery, from its earliest days as just an idea to its current market leadership," Mark Cautela, a spokesman for Staples, said Friday in a statement. "We are immensely grateful for the contributions she has made to Staples over the i By JNS.org Former President Barack Obama this week defended his controversial decision to allow a December 2016 United Na- tions Security Council reso- lution condemning Israel's presence in eastern Jerusa- lem, Judea and Samaria to pass in the waning days of his administration, blaming the "skyrocketing" pace of Israeli construction. "The pace of settlement construction skyrocketed, making it almost impossible to make any kind of Palestin- ian state," Obama said during a talk at Temple Emanu-El in New York City on Wednesday, the Daily Mail reported. countries more than 20 bil- lions of dollars in aid every year. That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve Ameri- can interests, and only go to friends of America, not enemies of America." In the General Assembly vote last month, 128 coun- tries voted to censure the United States, nine voted against and 35 abstained. Among the majority were many U.S. allies, includ- ing some--like Egypt and Jordan--that the Trump administration has cultivated to combat terrorism and which receive substantial U.S. assistance. Trump also repeated his call on Congress to amend the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which he has reviled as one of the worst deals in history. "When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent," he said, Staples CEO Shira Goodman last 26 years and she departs having led this organization with the highest level of integrity." The company's corporate headquarters are located in Framingham, a suburb west of Boston. Goodman is a leader in the Boston Jewish com- "Voting against the reso- lution would have damaged our credibility on affirming human rights only when it's convenient, not when it has to do with ourselves and our friends," the former president said. At the time, the Obama administration refused to use US veto power in the Security Council to block Resolution 2334, breaking with decades of American policy of defending Israel against one-sided UN mea- sures targeting the Jewish state. Obama also downplayed America's relatively strained relationship with Israel under his administration, arguing referring to ongoing Iranian anti-government protests. "America stands with the people of Iran in their coura- geous struggle for freedom. I am asking the Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal." Trump wants the deal, which swaps sanctions re- lief for Iran's rollback of its nuclear program, to be expanded to include restric- tions on missile development, as well as to remove "sunset" clauses allowing Iran to lift some restrictions on the en- richment of fissile materials in a decade or so. Among those on hand at the State of the Union as guests of Trump were the parents, brother and sister of Otto Warmbier, a Jewish American student impris- oned by North Korea who was returned to his family last year as he was dying. "After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard la- munity. She is a member of the board of directors of Combined Jewish Philan- thropies of Greater Boston and past president and ex- officio trustee of the Solo- mon Schechter Day School. A mother of three, she has been active in promoting Boston-area day schools for more than a decade. She is married to Rabbi Wes Gardenswartz of Temple Emanuel, a Conservative synagogue in Newton, a Boston suburb. Prior to Staples, she worked at Bain Capital, a private venture capital firm based in Boston that was founded by Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential can- didate in 2012 and a former Massachusetts governor. Goodman is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. She also earned a master's degree in management science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. that his decisions on the Jewish state were reflective of the strong bonds between the countries. "To be a true friend of Israel it is important to be honest about it, and the politics of this country sometimes do not allow for it," Obama said. Obama pointed to the September 2016 signing of a historically large $38 bil- lion US military aid package to Israel as a sign that he is a staunch supporter of the country. "It is not a subject for dis- pute," Obama said, explaining that his staff joked often that he was "basically a liberal Jew." bor before returning him to America last June--horribly injured and on the verge of death. He passed away just days after his return," Trump said. "We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies. Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto's memory with total American resolve." The applause extended by Congress to the Warm- bier family was among the lengthiest of the evening. Delivering the response was Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, D-Mass a scion of the Kennedy clan. He addressed the divisions that Democrats say Trump has sown among Americans with fraught at- tacks on minorities and by not robustly repudiating the support of white suprema- cists. "Many have spent the past year anxious, angry, afraid," he said. "We all feel the fault lines of a fractured country." Among the "fault lines" Kennedy described, he listed "Hatred and supremacy proudly marching in our streets, bullets tearing through our classrooms, concerts and congrega- tions." Also delivering remarks was Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt the first Jewish candi- date to win major party nomi- nating contests when he ran last year in the Democratic primaries. Much of Sanders' speech was focused on income equal- ity, but he also addressed the divisiveness. "I want to offer a vision of where we should go as a nation which is far different than the divisiveness, dishon- esty and racism coming from the Trump administration over the past year," he said. (JTA)--The U.S. Embassy in Poland said it was "con- cerned about the repercus- sions" for bilateral relations after the Polish Senate passed legislation that criminalizes accusing the Polish state of the crimes committed by the Germans during World War II. The bill passed Wednesday in the upper house of the Polish parliament days after passing in the lower one, the Sejm. To become law, the president must sign the measure, which prescribes up to three years in prison for "whoever claims, publicly and contrary to the facts that the Polish Nation is responsible" for Nazi crimes or "grossly diminishes the responsibility of the true perpetrators." Among its critics are Israeli lawmakers, Yad Vashem, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and scholars. The embassy statement is unusual in that it suggests the United States would sanc- tion Poland for the bill if it becomes law. "We are also concerned about the repercussions this draft legislation, if enacted, could have on Poland's stra- tegic interests and relation- ships--including with the United States and Israel," it said. "The resulting divisions that may arise among our allies benefit only our rivals." Polish officials have cited use of the term "Polish death camps" as a major reason for the legislation by a member of the ruling Law and Justice party. The Nazis built several death camps in Poland, which they occupied and whose sovereignty they dismantled during World War II. "The history of the Holo- caust is painful and complex. We understand that phrases such as 'Polish death camps' are inaccurate, misleading, and hurtful," the statement read. "We are concerned, however, that if enacted this draft legislation could undermine free speech and academic discourse. Open debate, scholarship, and education are the best means of countering inaccurate and hurtful speech." Separately on Wednesday, ~', 85 Jews and non-Jews of Pol- ish descent, including promi- nent Holocaust researchers, published an open letter condemning the bill. "This unfortunate bill has made major news in Poland and internationally, raising logical, moral and legal concerns," wrote the co-signatories, including the - American journalist Anne Applebaum, Holocaust re- searcher Jan Tomasz Gross, poet Ryszard Krynicki and Sergiusz Kowalski, head of Poland's B'nai B'rith Jewish organization. "The intention behind this bill was to defend the good name of Poland," they added, but it "goes further than that--it assumes the Poles' complete innocence, framing them as the only guiltless nation in Europe. This is not the way to reclaim Poland's collective dignity." Every day that you're outside, you're exposed to dangerous, but invisible, ultraviolet (UV) sunlight. Left unprotected, prolonged exposure to UV radiation can seriously damage the eye, leading to cataracts, skin cancer around the eyelid and other eye disorders. Protecting your eyes is important to maintaining eye health now and in the future. 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