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March 22, 2013

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PAGE 22A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 22, 2013 • { Beautiful background Piano music Make an event extraordinary. Reasonable fee. (239) 821-2177 Glickstein • Laval • Carris • P A CERT~FIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS Wishing Our Clients and Friends A Happy Passover 555 WINDERLEY PLACE, STE 400 MAITLAND, FL 32751 PHONE: (407) 645-4775 • FAX: (407) 629-1606 Development Corporation for Israel State of Israel Ponds 12600 South Belcher Road, Suite 101A IS RAEL ,~I BONDS .......... Largo, Florida 33773 -Reva Pearlstein Monica OiGiovanni Assistant Director Registered Representative 727-539-6445 g 800-622-8017 i.~a~ .~ i. sm:e ~tsraet ~ Issues subjea ~ a~La~t~ We are uour source for: Invitations- Brochures Letterlqeocls- Envek:~oes - Business Cards Programs • Flgers Post Cords • Forms Digital Photographg - LaDe~s Direct Moil 407.767.7110 .~ www. e legantprinting, net " ~~th Street • Longwood, FL 32750 SERVICE Handy man and General Maintenance Air Conditioning • Electrical • Plumbing • Carpentry Formerly handled maintenance at JCC References available STEVE'S SERVICES Call Steve Doyle at (386) 668-8960 Watch From page 4A ping on the toes of the Welfare Minister. Details of what is cobbled with what may change before the Prime Minister asks the Knesset to approve all of the above, or as the new govern- ment gets up and running, just as they changed between when most of us went to bed last night [March 17] and the early morning news. Also in play are appoint- ments to the Inner Cabinet. which may meet in secret'and makes the decisions that get Israel most of its attention in myths and reality. Signs are that the Prime Minister has used membership in this body as a sweetener to ministers not happy with the administrative functions they managed to win. Not a few Knesset Members. especially of Likud (ostensibly but perhaps not really the "ruling party" due to the alliance between Lapid and Bennett), are disappointed with the results, and may be waiting to use their votes against the Prime Minister. or be absent from the Knes- setwhen he needs their votes. Some have been as- suaged by an appointment as DeputyMinister to one or another Ministry, with fuzzy or nonexistent duties; others by slots as chair of a Knesset committee, which vary from the important to mean~ng- less. Netanyahu offered fo one of the unhappy youngsters, Tsipi Hotovely, the slot of Deputy Minister of Justice, Picture From page 4A tion, hoping to conduct 1,000 video interviews with men and women who played a role in the effort to create a Jewish state• But he came to New York to begin fundraisingon the day the world learned Lehman Brothers wentunder. Giventheeconomic climate, Halivni decided to change his priorities. Rather than first raise funds and advertise the project, he used the money he had to start documenting the testimonies of national leaders, those who fought and everyday people who recalled the War of Inde- pendence and the early days of statehood. "It's a race against time," says Halivni,who noted that the pool of possible interview candidates has diminished by more than half since he began the project. but the designated minister Tsipi Livni nixed the deal. The problem was not two Tsipis in the same building, but a clear difference bztween them on the matter of Palestine. which Tsipi Livni has taken as her main mission. But she is likely to be disappointed, either by the Palestinians or by the Israeli Prime Minister, or by the min- ister with responsibility for Regional Cooperation, which presumably has something to do with Palestine. or by the Minister of Trade and Indus- try, who heads Jewish Home with more Knesset votes than Livni and strongly opposed to the idea ofa Palestinian state. Missing from all of the above is a real Minister of Foreign Affairs. The function is usually ranked among the most prestigious slots along with Defense and Finance. However, politics has risen its many heads and has kept the function in limbo since 2009. Avigdor Lieberman • was the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2012, but was shunned by rank- ing politicians in the major capitals of Europe and North America• Lieberman retains enough clout (of questionable basis) for Netanyahu to hold the position open for him while he deals with a trial for corruption• Netanyahu is formally the Minister of Foreign Affairs along with his real function of Prime Minister. He has appointed Zeev Elkin, one of the rising Likud MKs to be the Deputy Minister, presumably with the mission of actually running the ministry. However, the professional diplomats in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have signaled that Elkin lacks the experience and charm necessary to deal with the worthies of'the world. Whether this will make a difference, only time will tell. The noise reminds me of tensions between political appointees to ambassador- ships in the United States who received snotty treat- ment from who they called the "cookie pushers" of the State Department. Some of the same has been occurring here since 2009 and seems likely to continue. The Palestinians do not have much of a government to cause worry about the distribution of functions, but they do have politics that are messy enough. Leaving aside the macro split between the West Bank and Gaza. compounded by one controlled by the "moderate" Fatah and the other by the rejectionist Hamas. there are more quarrels than consensus within the West Bank focused on how--if at all to receive the visiting U.S. President. One cluster put the empha- sis on protesting the lack of infrastructure that would per- mit the use of "smart phones." of a 3G capacity throughout the West Bank. Others sneer at the materialistic concerns of younger, up and coming gadgeteers, and demanded that officials take down the posters reading "President Obama, don't bring your smart phone to Ramallah; you won't have mobile access to Internet; we have no 3G in Palestine!" According to one oppo- nent of the posters. "The Palestinian cause is much bigger than the issue of 3G .... This is a very silly idea that does not help the Palestinians." Opponents of the 3G post- ers did not agree on what they wanted to emphasize. Some stressed the "Juda- ization" of Jerusalem. the refusal of Israel to release Palestinian prisoners (many of who have been sentenced to multiple life sentences for multiple murders), settle- ment construction, or the inability of Palestine to pay the salaries of its public servants. Yet others objected alto- gether to Obama's entry into Palestine. They see him as nothing more than a sup- porter of Israel, with his visit meant to soothe the feelings of Israelis and American Jews. or to reinforce the prestige of Mahrrioud Abbas and his colleagues, who others see as corrupt, impotent and a barrier to the Palestinians true interests. Remember that messy politics is a sign of democracy, or at least of considerable personal freedom. Impressive order comes from a strong leader and security forces that are loyal, disciplined and willing to break the heads (or worse) of those who object to the ruler's dictates. Part of the complex realities of Israel and Palestine is that neither is run like a Swiss watch. Ira Sharkansky isprofessor emeritus in the Department of Political Science, Hebrew University of JerusJem. Though still essentially a one- man operation, Toldot Yisrael has managed to produce lengthy interviews with 630 people to date, the youngest of whom is 80 ( - The material has been used in different formats. Together with the History Channel in Israel, Toldot Yisr~el produced a series of 20 two-minute seg- ments from the interview foot- age, which is being Shown on Israeli television. There is also a series of films,about 15 minutes each, which tell a dramatic story. One recalls the lobbying effort behind the historic U.N. vote for statehood on Nov. 29, 1947; another features six men, now elderly, at the Kotel, telling how they violated British Mandate law in the 1940s to blow the shofar atYom Kippur's end, and then re-enacting their "crime;" and the most recent is of the tragic death ofthe"Lamed Hey," the 35 young Israeli soldiers ambushed and killed in ][948 while trying to bring aid to the beleaguered community of Gush Etzion. A major breakthrough for the project was the recently signed agreement securing a permanent home for Toldot Yisrael's archives in Israel's National Library. Halivni believes the archives will be "a valuable resource for many movies, but it will also serve students, teachers, aca- demics and the general public, andwill change thewaywe study and understand the history of Israel's founding•" 'The Prime Ministers' One of the best-received and mostpopularbooksabout Israel in recent years is "The Prime Ministers," a fly-on-the-wall recollection ofmajorencounters between Americanand Israeli leaders from the 1960s to the early 1980s by former ~sraeli diplomat Yehuda Avner, who Sudoku solution from page 7 634819257 892573614 517462893 32 46 8 .6 459 7 .1 1927538 975138462 156,.784329 28935 1 746 7,432-961.85 was on the scene as adviser and note-taker. The Simon Wiesenthal Cen- ter's documentary division, Moriah Films (winner of two AcademyAwards for Best Docu- mentary), is coming out with the first half of the two-part series based on the book this spring. Entitled "The Pioneers," it is a 105-minute film focusing on the tenures of Levi Eshkol (1963-1969) and Golda Meir (1969-1974), and will have its New York premiere on May 8. Part Two, on Yitzchak Rabin (1974-1977) and Avner's hero, Menachem Begin (1977-1983), is scheduled to be completed in about six months. "We were very loyal to the book, andwe interviewedAvner for 35 hours," Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told • me last week. "Hopefully itwiU make up for a lot of the negativity" result- ing from the release of "The Gatekeepers," he said. "This film will make Jews and fans of Israel proud." The efforts of Nancy Spiel- berg, Eric Halivni and the Wi- esenthal Center underscore the fact that the best way to defend Israel--and educate this and future generations--is to tell its story, through the authentic voice of those who were there. It's notafairytale.Therewere, and are, mistakes along the way. But the Jewish people's transi- tion in the 20th century from passive to active, from victim to participant and contributor, is a transformative and inspi- rational account worth telling, again and again. Gary Rosenblatt is editor and publisher of The New York Jew- ish Week, from which this article was reprinted by permission.