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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 8, 2019 PAGE 3A e (JNS)--Israeli govern- ment officials congratulated Israeli director Guy Nattiv for winning the Academy Award for Live Action Short Film on Sunday--the first Israeli Oscar in 41 years. "Skin," a 20-minute movie, focuses on hate crimes and their impact on a skinhead and two young children, one black and one white. The elated Nattiv ascended the stage to accept his award, telling attendees that "I moved here five years ago from Israel," adding "Lila Tov, Yisrael!" (Goodnight, Israel!). "My grandparents are Ho- locaust survivors," he said. "The bigotry that they ex- perienced in the Holocaust, we see that everywhere today--in America and in Europe. This film is about education; it's about teach- ing your kids a better way." "We dedicate this to our 5-month-old baby, who is sitting at home with my parents watching this," said Nattiv's wife and film producer, Jaime Ray New- man. "We hope that you grow up in a world where these things don't happen because people learn to love and accept each other." Israelis screenwriter Sha- ron Maymon also accepted the award, and told Ynet that "it's exciting to realize a childhood dream and send a message about racism, parenthood and education. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin congratulated Rivlin on Twitter. "Congratulations to Guy Nattiv on winning Best Live Action Short at tonight's Academy Awards. Dear Guy, all credit for 'SKIN' goes to you, Sharon and Jaime Ray, but the movie is a gift to our children and grandchildren and for the future we wish for them," Rivlinwrote. "Proud to be Israeli! Mazal Tov!" "This win is another story of the success of Israeli cinema," said Sports and Culture Min- ister Miri Regev. "Nattiv, the son of Holocaust survivors. Nattiv's win, for a film about hatred and racism, is an im- portant cinematic chapter in the uncompromising struggle against those who choose racism as their way of life. I congratulate Guy and all those whowere partners in his film." Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Lieberman said Nattiv was "waving a red flag with his film in front of the troubling growth of anti-Semitism in the world. It is more food for thought for Jews around the world that only Israel is their real home." The last Israeli film which won anOscar was the 1979 "Madame Rosa," which won Best Foreign Language Film for its adaptation of the 1975 novel "The Life Before Us" by Romain Gary. Nattiv's full-length film, also titled "Skin," is based on an 2012 MSNBC documentary about Bryon Widner, one of Director Guy Nattiv and his wife, film producer Jaime Ray Newman, accept the Academy Award for Best Short Film for "Skin," Feb. 24, 2019. the FBI's most wanted white supremacists, who changed his ways after meeting a single mother and her three young daughters. It is expected to be released later this year. Eitan Tal Shown here (l-r): Heather Johnston, founder and executive director of USIEA; Ashraf Jabari, a Palestinian business and community leader from Hebron; and Avi Zimmerman, co-founder of the JSC. By Israel Kasnett (JNS)--With so many new businesses sprouting up in Is- raeli and Palestinian commu- nities in Judea and Samaria, isn't it possible to create some form of collaboration between them to share resources and take advantage of shared op- portunities? That's what many people hope to achieve. Last week, the Judea Sa- maria Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Israel Education Association came together at Jerusalem's David Citadel hotel to launch the Regional Development Financial Ini- tiative as part of the Israeli- Palestinian International Economic Forum. It would see Israeli and Palestinian business leaders in Judea and Samaria partner together to advance regional economic opportunities. Avi Zimmerman, co-found- er of the JSC, told JNS that "the objective is economic development for the region of Judea and Samaria. As we see it, from a capitalist perspective, economic devel- opment is for all parties--all populations living in the area--and through all par- ties. We need to engage the business community, which needs to become a leader. It's an area that lives with a great deal of uncertainty. We need to create circumstances that are more conducive to stabil- ity and sustainability." Zimmerman highlighted the possibilities of collabora- tion, which include the tech industry, tourism, rehabilita- tion projects, transportation, regional development and plenty of other areas. He ad- dressed the elephant in the room, of course, which is the political aspect of Israeli- Palestinian relations, but said that the emphasis is on busi- ness a|one, with the intention of staying away from politics. U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman seemed to support this when he ad- dressed the forum. "The politi- cal process will continue," he said. "We're hopeful we will make real progress on that in the near future, but it is never a substitute or a means to de- lay the opportunity to provide a better future for the Jews and the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, who are entitled to the very same things that we all want for our families." Eli Cohen, Israel's Minister of Economy and Industry, spoke about the government's commitment to the economic development of Judea and Samaria. "The State of Israel is a country of innovation and technology," said Cohen during his address at the forum. "There is a term we use called tikkun olam, which means 'repairing the world.' We are trying to make the world a better place, andwe use technology to make Israelabetter place. I congratu- late all those who took part in organizing this important Viability on page 14A By Ben Sales (JTA)--Deborah Lipstadt, the prominent Holocaust historian, is resigning her membership in her local synagogue because it be- longs to a movement that defended an Israeli politi- cal deal with the extremist right wing. Lipstadt belonged to Young Israel of Toco Hills in Atlanta, an Orthodox congregation. The broader Young Israel movement, in a statement Monday to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, defended an agreement be- tween Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jewish Power, a far-right political party. Critics of the deal note that Jewish Power is led by followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, who advocated the expulsion of Arabs from Israel. "Prime Minister Netan- yahu acted to get right-wing parties to merge in order to meet the threshold necessary to secure avictory in the elec- tion," read the statement by Farley Weiss, president of the National Council of Young Israel. "We understand what Prime Minister Netanyahu did, and he did it to have min- isters of the national religious and national union parties in his coalition." The rabbi of Lipstadt's synagogue, Adam Starr, himself condemned the statement in a Facebook post Monday, writing "Not in my name and not in my shul's name!" But Lipstadt still felt that she could not continue to be associated with the Young Israel movement, despite having fond words for her synagogue and rabbi. "I cannot be associated with an organization that gives such racism, celebra- tion of violence, and immoral policies a'heksher,'" or impri- matur, she wrote in an open letter posted to Facebook Tuesday. "At this time of ris- ing antisemitism, Jew hatred, and prejudice of all kinds, each of us--and not just our spiritual leaders--must speak out and act individu- ally and collectively. And so I speak out with deep sadness that such a despicable action is given 'cover' by people who claim to walk in the ways of the Kadosh Baruch Hu," a Hebrew term for God. Lipstadt told JTA Tuesday that she felt a particular urgency to act because her latest book is about present- day anti-Semitism. "This is a party that has racist views," she said. "This is a party that condones murder. This is a party that condones the man who committed the largest mass murder in Israel by a Jew. Those are all things that I find despicable, and to say it's just politics is really bad." One of the leaders of Jewish Power hung a picture in his home of Baruch Goldstein, the Jewish terrorist who killed 29 Palestinians at the Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994. Lipstadt also condemned Netanyahu for the agree- ment, which saw Jewish Power merge with other right-wing parties in a joint slate for Israel's upcoming election. The unified slate will give the parties a better chance of getting enough votes to enter Israel's Knes- set. She said the deal was of a piece with Netanyahu's recent tendency to cozy up to right-wing nationalist lead- ers in Europe, like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. "It was sadly in sync with a number of things we've seen," she said. "This was just one more step but this was a dealbreaker." Netanyahu defended the deal on Twitter by noting that the Labor Party partnered with non-Zionist Arab par- ties to maintain power in the mid-1990s. "Such hypocrisy and dou- ble standards from the left," Netanyahu wrote. "They con- demn a bloc on the right with right wing parties while the left worked to bring extrem- ist Islamists into Knesset to create a bloc The height of absurdity." 9 (JNS)--U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to comment on last week's controversial merger between the Jewish Home and the far- right Otzma Yehudit parties ahead of the Israeli elections in April. "We're not about to get involved in an election, to interfere in an election of a democracy, Pompeo told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sun- day. "Election campaigns are tough. We'll allow the Israeli people to sort this out, and I am confident that when the election's over the United States will continue to have a strong, important, very, very deep relationship with Israel that protects the American people and benefits Israel as well." Otzma Yehudit, or "Jewish Power," was formed by follow- ers of the late extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Last week, the American Israel Public Affairs Commit- tee and the American Jewish Committee condemned the merger. "The views of Otzma Yehu- dit are reprehensible. They do not reflect the core values that are the very foundation of the State of Israel," said AJC in a statement, prefacing that it was compelled to speak out despite its prerogative not to "comment on political par- ties and candidates during an election." "The party might conceiv- ably gain enough votes to enter the next Knesset, and potentially even become part of the governing coali- tion," added the organization. "Historically, the views of ex- tremist parties, reflecting the extreme left or the extreme right, have been firmly re- jected by mainstream parties, even if the electoral process of Israel's robust democracy has enabled their presence, how- ever small, in the Knesset." "We agree with AJC. AIPAC has a longstanding policy not to meet with members of this racist and reprehensible party," the latter tweeted. Despite Israeli Prime Min- ister Benjamin Netanyahu brokering the merger, AIPAC announced that he will ad- dress next month's annual policy conference in Wash- ington.