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March 9, 2018

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 9, 2018 PAGE 13A Trump says he may at- tend Jerusalem embas- sy opening WASHINGTON (JTA)-- President Donald Trump said he may be present in Jerusalem when the U.S. Embassy opens in May. "We're looking at coming," Trump said Monday in open- ing his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington, D.C. "If I can, I will" Trump said last month that the embassy move from Tel Aviv would take place in May, timed with Israel's 70th anniversary, following his recognition in December that Jerusalem is the capital. He is also planning to build a new embassy in Jerusalem, which could take up to nine years. In the meantime, the embassy will be housed in a consular building. "This will be remembered by our people through the ages," Netanyahu said. "Oth- ers talked about it. You did it." The two leaders met in the Oval Office in a closed-door session said to have been scheduled to coincide with Netanyahu's visit here this week for the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Com- mittee. A photograph of the visit showed Trump and Netanyahu flanked by their wives, Melania Trump and Sara Netanyahu. Netanyahu was effusive in his opening remarks. "I've been here for nearly four decades with, talk- ing, seeking to build the American-Israel alliance. Under your leadership, it's never been stronger," he said to Trump. "And the people of Israel see your position on Jerusalem. They see your position on Iran. They see your magnificent defense of Israel and the truth in the United Nations." Netanyahu and Trump were to discuss a range of issues, White House spokes- man Josh Raffel said. "The President and the Prime Minister share a great relationship and make an effort to meet whenever the opportunity arises," Raffel said in an email ahead of the meeting. "The Prime Minis- ter will be in Washington for AIPAC and the two leaders look forward to discussing a variety of issues, includ- ing the Iran nuclear deal, the Syrian Civil War, efforts to thwart Iran's attempt to establish a permanent pres- ence in Syria from which to threaten Israel, and the Administration's ongoing peace efforts." Father of Parkland victim calls students' efforts against assault rifles misdirected (JTA)--The father of a teenager killed in the shoot- ing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, said the students' gun control efforts are misdirected. Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was slain in the Feb. 14 attack, told CNN's "New Day" on Mon- day that now may not be the time for the students to work toward a ban on assault weapons. "I want them to focus their energy on something that is achievable right now," Pol- lack said. "Be productive in the country. Work with us. Let's make these schools safe and once every school is safe in America, do what you have to with the gun laws." Pollack appeared on CNN to support a Florida Senate bill to raise the age to pur- chase a firearm from 18 to 21, and also provide funding for armed school resource of- ficers and for mental health services. Over the weekend, the state Senate rejected a ban on assault weapons. The teen leaders tweeted their anger over the rejection of the ban on AR-15 rifles, the weapon used in the attack on their school. "I understand their pain, the children," Pollack said. "My kid was murdered in that school, so there's no one that could feel the way I do." Pollack gained notice in the days after the shooting by attending what was billed as a listening session at the White House with President Donald Trump. "How many schools, how many children have to get shot?" he asked Trump. "It stops here, with this admin- istration and me." Former Netanyahu me- dia adviser turns state's witness in corruption investigation JERUSALEM (JTA)--A former media adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu and his family has turned state's witness in a corruption investigation, which could strengthen the case against the prime minister. Nir Hefetz signed the state's witness agreement on Sunday night, the Israel Police said in a statement Monday afternoon. Hefetz was released from police detention on Sunday after two weeks in jail. He will remain under house arrest until March 13. Hefetz is a suspect in the investigation dubbed Case 4000, or the Bezeq corrup- tion probe, according to reports. Both Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, were questioned separately in relation to the case, each for about five hours on Friday. Shlomo Filber, the sus- pended director general of the Ministry of Communica- tions, turned state's witness last month in the same investigation. In exchange for a lighter sentence, Filber agreed to provide police with information about Netan- yahu's part in the case, which alleges that Shaul Elovitch, the majority shareholder of Bezeq, received political favors for the Israeli tele- communications giant in return for favorable coverage of Netanyahu on the Walla! news website owned by the company. Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing in the case and others against him. Last month, the Israel Police recommended that Netanyahu be indicted on bribery and breach of trust charges in two other corrup- tion cases. State prosecutors must decide whether or not to file indictments. Netanyahu currently is in the United States, where he is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump and address the annual AIPAC policy conference in Wash- ington, D.C. Actress Amber Tamblyn says 'Hasidic man' tried to run her over (JTA)--Actress Amber Tamblyn claims a "Hasidic man" tried to run her and her baby over in Brooklyn. The accusation, made in a tweet asking if there were any witnesses to Sunday's incident, led to some angry responses against Tamblyn and condemnations of the Hasidic community. "If anyone in Brooklyn near the intersection of Washington Ave and Atlan- tic Ave just saw a Hasidic man in a grey van try to hit a woman and her baby in a stroller as she crossed a crosswalk, honking and touching the stroller with the car's bumper, please DM me. That woman was me," Tamblyn, who was unhurt, tweeted Sunday morning. Tamblyn described herself as "shaken" but "okay" after the incident, in response to followers who asked how she was doing. Some Twitter followers accused her of being anti- Semitic and stereotyping Hasidic Jews."What kind of ant-semitic BS is this?" tweeted Mordechai Light- stone the social media manager for "It's awful for any pedestrian, let alone a mother, to be threatened by an aggressive driver But bad drivers are bad drivers. I'm sorry but this is an incredibly troubling genenlization." Others criticized the Ha- sidic community. "They really don't follow our laws or really care. It's scary," one of Tamblyn's fol- lowers wrote. Tamblyn responded to the criticism of her tweets as being anti-Semitic by point- ing out that she is married to a Jewish man, comedian David 2ross. Tan blyn starred in "The Sisterlood of the Traveling Pants'and "127 Hours," and had a "ecurring role in the CBS s com "Two and a Half Men." Her father, dancer and actor Russ Tamblyn, starred in "West Side Story" and "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." Guatanala will move its Islaeli Embassy to Jerusalem in May WASHINGTON, D.C. (JTA)--President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala said his country will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusa- lem in May. Speaking at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Com- mittee in Washington, D.C Morales said Guatemala will make the move on May 16, two days after the 70th anniversary of Israel's inde- pendence, when the United States will also move its embassy from Tel Aviv. The UnitedStates and Guatemala recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December. "In Vlay of this year, we will celebrate Israel's 70th anniversary, and under my instruction, two days after the United States, Guate- mala will move its embassy permanently to Jerusalem," Morales said to raucous ap- plause. "We are sure that many other countries will follow in our footsteps." President Donald Trump's decision last year to recog- nize Jerusalem as Israel's capital departed from de- cades of U.S. policy. At the AIPAC conference, cheers have greeted every mention of the recognition. The em- bassies of most countries are located in Tel Aviv. Morales noted that Gua- temala was among the first nations to recognize Israel after it declared indepen- dence in 1948, and was the first country to establish an embassy in Jerusalem in 1959, before subsequently moving it. He said Israel and Guatemala share com- mon goals, from fighting terrorism to combating the spread of drugs and protect- ing human rights. Guatemala "maintains the highest level of political dialogue with Israel, and has a very strong relationship," Morales said. "This is why we must stand together and support each other." The AIPAC conference that opened Sunday also featured a speech by the chairman of Israel's Labor Party, Avi Gabbay. Vice President Mike Pence will address the con- ference on Monday night, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak on Tuesday morning. Former Trump Jewish aide Sam Nunberg says he won't appear before grand jury on Russia investigation (JTA)--Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg said he will ignore a subpoena to appear before a federal grand jury investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Nunberg, who was fired by the Trump campaign in the summer of 2015 over racist Facebook posts, told The Washington Post on Monday that he was asked to appear Friday before the grand jury. According to the newspaper, he also sent an email list from the office of special counsel Robert Mueller requesting his appearance. The subpoena seeks cor- respondence and "records of any kind" related to Presi- dent Donald Trump and nine others, notably two former top advisers to Trump, Steve Bannon and Roger Stone. Nunberg said he would provide neither testimony nor documents. "Let him arrest me," Nun- berg told The Washington Post in an interview. "Mr. Mueller should understand I am not going in on Friday." He added: "The Russians and Trump did not collude. Putin is too smart to collude with Donald Trump." It is not known what ac- tions Mueller would take if Nunberg, who is Jewish, follows through on his vow not to appear. "Donald Trump won this election on his own," Nun- berg told The Post. "He campaigned his ass off. And there is nobody who hates him more than me." Later Monday, Nunberg in an interview on MSNBC again said he would not appear before the grand jury. He also suggested that Mueller may have evidence against Trump. "I think they may," Nun- berg said, according to The Washington Post. "I think that he may have done some- thing during the election." In response, White House press secretary Sarah Huck- abee Sanders told reporters, "There was no collusion with the Trump campaign." Nunberg was a consultant to the Trump campaign before he was dismissed for his racist and incendiary posts, which included calling the daughter of the Rev. Al Sharpton's daughter "N--!" The posts had been made in 2007, before he went to work for Trump. In a 2017 interview with Newsmax, Nunberg said his grandfather Simon survived Auschwitz but that the rest of Simon's family, including his parents, were murdered. Asked where he might move if he had to live in another country, Nunberg replied, "Easy question--the Jewish State of Israel." Florida public school investigating teacher who reportedly hosted white supremacist podcast (JTA)--A Florida public school has launched an investigation into a teacher who reportedly hosted a white supremacist podcast and shared anti-Semitic and Islamophobic content on social media. Dayanna Volitich, a teach- er at Crystal River Middle School in the western part of the state, has been removed from her classroom as the Cit- rus County School District looks into the podcast she hosted under a pseudonym. The probe started Friday, after HuffPost reported that using the name Tiana Da- lichov, the teacher bragged about secretly injecting her beliefs into the classroom. She reportedly bashed diver- sity, said Muslims should be eradicated "from the face of the Earth" and praised the work of Kevin MacDonald, a retired psychology professor who holds anti-Semitic views. MacDonald has said Jews are genetically programmed to destroy Western societies, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The district said Volitich would not be teaching until its investigation was com- plete, HuffPost reported. Volitich denied subscrib- ing to racist views and said in a Sunday statement to WFLA News Channel 8 that her podcast was satire. "None of the statements released about my being a white nationalist or white supremacist have any truth to them, nor are my politi- cal beliefs injected into my teaching of social studies curriculum," Volitich said in the statement. "While operating under the Russian pseudonym 'Tiana Dalichov' on social media and the Unapologetic Podcast, I employed political satire and exaggeration, mainly to the end of attracting listeners and followers, and generat- ing conversation about the content discussed between myself and my guests." Brooklyn residents demonstrate against matzah factory (JTA)--The residents of a Brooklyn neighborhood demonstrated against the smoke coming from a local matzah factory. Dozens of members of the South 5th Street Block Association in Williamsburg protested Sunday against the Congregation Satmar's factory. The residents told WPIX- TV that the factory spews what they described as toxic coal smoke, which is so bad in the early morning that some residents say they have to wear masks in order to get to the subway. They added that they have been complaining to the city for seven years to no avail. The factory burns coal and wood during the baking of the matzah. One neighborhood resi- dent, Rosa Ortiz, told WPIX that the smoke is irritat- ing her 9-year-old child's asthma. She said the smoke wakes them up in the middle of the night. Factory officials refused to speak with WPIX reporters. A year ago, the bakery was heavily damaged in a fire caused by a new wood- burning oven that had been used for the first time Its specialty is hand- made shmura matzah, the artisanal, disc-shaped type considered extra special because the ingredients are "guarded" against leaven- ing before the wheat is harvested. George W. Bush to at- tend launch of Jewish Agency institute in NY (JTA)---The Jewish Agency is launching an institute in New York to prepare Isr~aeli emissaries for their service. The Shlichut Institute, which will be launched Wednesday, will provide the emissaries, or shlichim, with training, tools and technol- ogy before they serve, as well during and after. Natan Sharansky, the outgoing chairman of the Jewish Agency, will serve as the founding chair of the institute. The launch will be part of a special event in New York celebrating the end of Sharansky's nine-year tenure as chairman of the Executive Committee. President George W Bush will be among those on hand for the launch, along with 43 emissaries working in North American communities. Some 2,000 Israelis cur- rently serve in the Jewish Agency's shlichut program, living in countries around the world and working as camp counselors, representatives on college and university campuses, or staff in Jew- ish schools and community organizations. The emissar- ies connect Jews around the world to Israel, including promoting aliyah. They re- turn with insights into Jewish life outside of Israel, as well. The Shlichut Institute will create an online community in which emissaries are al- ways connected and training no matter where they live. "On the one hand, it is essential for Jews around the world to get to know Israelis to strengthen their connection to Israel. And on the other, there is no better way to strengthen the Jewish identities of Israelis JTA on page 15A