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March 28, 2003

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PAGE 2 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 28 JTA Weekly Summary Following are Jewish Telegraphic Agency's news briefs for Tuesday, March 25, 2003. Israel: Iraqi threat still there Iraq still poses a threat to Israel, Israel's defense min- ister said. Speaking in the Knesset on Monday, Shaul Mofaz said American forces are operating in western Iraq to prevent the firing of missiles at Israel. While there is no information any Iraqi missile launchers are in the area at the moment, that could change, Mofaz said. Report: Israel drafts new peace proposal An Israeli security official reportedly has drafted a new plan for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The head of the National Security Council, Ephraim Halevy presented the plan to Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Army Radio reported. The plan was developed to head off international pressure if the "road map" toward Israeli- Palestinian peace, developed by the diplomatic"Quartet," fails, the report said. According to the plan, Israel would support the creation of a Palestinian state in return for Palestinians giving up the right of return for refugees and declaring an end to the conflict. Fears of Muslim attacks in France Muslim youths could attack Jewish property in France out of anger at the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a French official said. Yves Bertrand, the head of France's domestic intel- ligence agency, made his comments this week after a French Islamic leader said the Iraq war is polarizing French Muslims and is undermining moderate Islam in France. Palestinians phone support for Iraq A Palestinian Islamist group has launched a solidarity phone campaign for Iraqis. Leaflets distributed in the Gaza Strip instructed Palestinians to phone a switch- board which connects them to residents of Baghdad, Israel Radio reported. Hoops moved to Greece An international basketball game involving an Israeli team was moved to Greece. Thursday's game between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Italy's Virtus Bologna was moved after officials with the Israeli team were unable to con- vince European basketball officials to play the game in Tel Aviv. A decision on a European tournament, slated to be played next weekend in Tel Aviv, is expected to be made later in the week. Maccabi Tel Aviv has not played a home game on foreign soil since the 1991 Persian Gulf War. By JTA Staff NEW YORK (JTA)--Jewish communities around the world are divided in their feel- ings about the attack on Iraq, but united in their concern that Israel could be endan- gered - and that they them- selves could suffer an anti- Semitic backlash. Besides fears that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein could send missiles against Israel, as he did in the 1991 Persian GulfWar,"people are very con- cerned about the risk that the Jews are going to be identified with the war, and this could lead to a backlash." Such sen- timents were echoed in Jew- ish communities across Eu- rope, North and South America and elsewhere as the first bombs began raining down on Baghdad. "This war is going to have terrible consequences for Jews in France," Alain Seror told JTA. Seror had come to buy his regular morning croissant at a kosher bakery in Paris's popular Belleville district, a neighborhood shared by Jews and Muslims and where Is- lamic bookstores and Halal butchers intermingle with kosher dells and falafel joints. Seror and others had little doubt that the war would fur- ther increase tensions between the two communities. Muslim youths are consid- ered largely responsible for several waves of anti-Semitic attacks since the Palestinian intifada began in September 2000. With many Muslims ar- mmunity Do You Have Pre-Paid Funeral Arrangements With Another Funeral Home? We Can and Will Accept All Other Pre-Paid Plans [ 10% Discount on I :services and merchandise[ : on any new ", Pre-need contracts. I ! 640 Lee Rd. Orlando, Florida W.E. "Manny" Adams, LFD Marilyn J. Glenn, LFD, James R. Cardinal, Executive Director Michael Meyer, Family Pre-need Counselor Tzvi Halikman, Ritual Director guing that the United States is out to attack Islam in general - and with some even saying that the United States is act- ing at Israel's instigation - the potential for a new outburst of violence is clear. "Every Arab in France is going to regard this as a per- sonal attack on Islam," Seror said. "Yes, we are afraid." Across the border, the presi- dent of the Consistoire Cen- tral Israelite de Belgique, the official representative body of Belgian Jewry, said the com- munity was "living moments of high anxiety." "We are scared that Saddam Hussein will use weapons of mass de- struction against Israel," Julien Klener said. Closer to home, he said, "I hope that the Belgian authori- ties will take all the necessary steps to ensure that Jews will not be the scapegoats of the Middle East turmoil." Yet Philippe Markiewicz, presi- dent of the body that coordi- nates all of Belgium's Jewish communities, noted sadly that Jews in Belgium "are always a 'privileged target.' ""The Jew- ish communities in Europe will suffer from the war, by the way it will be portrayed in the media," added Martha Mucznik, a Portuguese na- tional who serves as executive director of the European Union of Jewish Students. In Russia, Jews by and large agreed with their photo by Community Security Tr~t A joint police-Community Security Trust patrol in a Je " ish area of Manchester, England. The CST is a London-ba nonprofit that monitors anti-SemiHc activity and works witJ Jewish groups and law enforcement to improve securi o Among the American groups the CST has helped is tht Orthodox Union. government's anti-war stance. Concern was felt primarily for the huge population of immi- grants from the former Soviet Union now living in Israel. "The first thing people in the synagogue asked me this morning was, 'What's going to happen with our relatives in Israel?' "said Berel Lazar, one of Russia's two chief rab- bis. "I'm telling people noth- ing bad will come out of the situation for their families in Israel." Not all were comforted, however. "More than a million of our compatriots live today in Is" rael. Many of these people art Russian citizens," YevgenY Satanovsky, president of the Russian Jewish Congress una" brella group, said in a state' ment released Thursday evening. The war "makes these people hostages to the global interests of the United Statesf Satanovsky continued. '`we call on the United StateS to end this war as soon aS possible with as few civilian See "Fear" on page 15 spending to include Israel aid By Matthew E. Berger WASHINGTON, D.C. (JTA)--Israel will get signifi- cantly less in military aid than it had wanted from the United States- but a larger loan guar- antee than it expected. Hours before the United States launched its waragainst Iraq, Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, no- tiffed Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the administration's bill to cover Israel's aid request, which comes in addition to nearly $2.7 billion in military and economic aid already allocated to the Jewish state, preceded the certainty of war. Suffering a deep economic crisis, Israel says it needs the additional aid to combat the increased threat of terrorism and to offset the costs of de- fending against a potential missile strike from Iraq. Congressional support for the aid is strong - and tying it House, Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), and the House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). , Some Jewish organizatior~ officials said they hoped that, because the aid for Israel is such a small percentage of the Iraq war spending bill and be- cause the bill will be intrO" duced while troops are on the ground, there will be little re- sistance from lawmakers. Still, it might be a tough battle. Given the U.S. federal deft" the costs of war with Iraq intotheoverallspendingpack- cit, a weak economy and the would include $1 billion in age for the war against h~aq tack of allies to defray the cost supplemental military aid for might make its passage even of war, getting additional aid Israel, as well as $9 billion in easier, some analysts say. through Congress may be dip loan guarantees. Numerous Israeli officials ficult, some said. Israel had asked for $4 bii- traveled to Washington in re- Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) lion in military aid and $8 bil- cent months to work out de- told a meeting of the Orth~ lion in guarantees, tails of the plan. dox Union here on March 1T According to Netanyahu's The loan guarantees allow that supporting aid to Israe~ office, Rice said the Bush ad- Israel to borrow money at a will be a tough case to make ministration decided to up the lower interest rate, and there back home to his constituentS' loan guarantees because the is no cost to the United States "We very much need you to administration was %cry im- if Israel repays its loan. Israel be making that case,' Wyden pressed bytheTreasury'seco- maintains that it has never told the Jewish audience. nomic reform plan. U.S. offi- defaulted on a loan. Some, including the dovi# cials had demanded to see the Aid to Israel has received a JewishorganizationAmeri tea~ plan to make sure that any aid boost from congressional lead- for Peace Now, have suggest would be used well. ers on both sides of the aisle that additional aid to Israel Israeli officials publicly ex- who have sent letters to the should be linked to movement pressed satisfaction with the White House, urging that aid decision, to Israel be included in the "When you ask for theseemergency supplemental sums, you don't complain if package. you don't get everything you "Now, with the possibility want," one Foreign Ministry of conflict with Iraq, Israel is official told theJerusalem Post. confronted with skyrocketing However, officials in the defenseexpenditurestoensure Treasury, who recently drew that the Israeli people are not up an austerity plan because once again madeinnocentvic- of Israel'syawningbudgetdefi- tiros of attack by Saddam cit, were disappointed, the Is- Hussein," said one letter, raeli daily Ha'aretz reported, signed by Senate Majority The total package sent to Leader Bill Frist ( Congress, estimated to be as Minority Leader Tom Daschle much as $100 billion, will (D-S.D.). mostly be used to cover the "We are concerned that, if costs ofthe military campaign, not addressed soon, these is- aswellasprovidingadditional sues could severely affect aid to U.S. allies in the region, Israel's short- and long- term including Israel, Turkey and security." Similar letters have Jordan. been sent by the speaker of the on the Israeli-Palestinian con" flict, including a freeze oa settlement development. Most Jewish groups strongly oppose these ideas, and are cor " cerned that the Bush adminis" tration may try to link the aid with progress towards peace. The settlement issue wasf major stumbling point in 1991, when President Bush's# negotiated loan guarantees with Israel. The United Sta and Israel agreed that aidwotdd not be used for the West and Gaza Strip, and any Israe! funds used for those are " [ are would be subtracted fromhol amount of aid Israel received" i ~ Yot This time around, both sideS Pa~ agreed on that formula as the 75 . start of negotiations.