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April 6, 2018

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 6, 2018 PAGE 13A Netanyahu backtracks, suspending African mi- grants deal he praised hours earlier (JTA)--Israeli Prime Min- ister Benjamin Netanyahu is freezing an agreement made with the United Nations that would have relocated thousands of African asylum seekers to Western countries. Just hours after announc- ing and praising the agree- ment, Netanyahu said Mon- day that he needed to consult with residents of South Tel Aviv before carrying it out. Many of the migrants reside in that region of the Israeli city. In the agreement an- nounced earlier Monday with the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, Israel would have allowed thousands of African migrants to stay in the country for up to five years. The rest, some 16,000 or so, would have been settled in countries such as Canada, Germany and Italy. The plan put Netanyahu under fire from several con- servative politicians, includ- ing some in his own Likud party. Naftali Bennett, head of the right-wing Jewish Home party, said it would "turn Israel into a paradise for infiltrators." Netanyahu will also meet with Interior Secretary Aryeh Deri, head of the religious Shas party, before reconsider- ing the agreement, according The Times of Israel. US blocks UN Security Council resolution call- ing for investigation of Gaza border violence (JTA)--The United States blocked a United Nations Security Council statement calling for an investigation of Israel's use of force against Palestinians who massed on Gaza's border. The statement proposed on Saturday by Kuwait called for an "independent and trans- parent investigation" of the Israel Defense Forces use of live fire, rubber bullets and other crown control methods to push back the estimated up to 30,000 Palestinians in six spots along the border. Some of the Palestinians threw firebombs and rocks, and planted explosives on the border, according to the IDF. The statement also ex- pressed "grave concern at the situation at the border" and reiterated that he Pal- estinians have the right to "peaceful protest." At least 15 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,000 injured during the Friday clashes along Israel's southern border with Gaza. Following the meeting on Saturday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement that an impartial and trans- parent investigation must be conducted into the deaths and injuries of Palestinian protesters during the Friday Land Day clashes. "He also appeals to those concerned to refrain from any act that could lead to further casu- alties and in particular any measures that could place civilians in harm's way," a spokesperson for the Secre- tary General said. The Security Council first met in a closed meeting on Friday night to discuss the violence even after the United States and Israel asked that the discussion be postponed to Saturday due to beginning of the Passover holiday and the first seder night. "While Jews around the world gathered with their family at the Seder table to celebrate the Passover holi- day, the Palestinians sunk to a new deceitful low so that they could use the U.N. to spread lies about Israel," Israel's ambassador to the U.N Danny Danon, said in a statement. "This shameful exploita- tion of our holiday will not succeed in stopping us from speaking the truth about the Hamas terror-gatherings that aim to destabilize the region," he also said. Hamas said the lack of a resolution from the Security Council about the border clashes due to the U.S. rejec- tion showed that Washington is "fully biased" for Israel and said it was "encouraging Israel to commit more vio- lence and terrorism against Palestinian children" The head of the Palestinian Authority's delegation to the United States in a statement issued on Saturday called the killing of the at least 16 Palestinian demonstrators a crime against humanity. "Our legitimate protest against Israeli military oc- cupation, colonization and apartheid is granted in inter- national law and must be pro- tected by the international community," Dr. Husam Zomlot said. He added that "the 70-year-old practice of Israel's shoot-to-kill policy and dehumanization of the Palestinian people must end and Israeli criminals must be brought to justice. These atrocities deserve the stron- gest condemnation from the US government and action to uphold international law." European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogh- erini said in a statement about Friday's violence that "Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are fun- damental rights that mustbe respected ' The statement also said: "The EU mourns the loss of life. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims. The use of live ammunition should, in particular, be part of an independent and transparent investigation. While Israel has the right to protect its borders, the use of force must be proportionate at all times." Israeli soldiers 'did what was necessary' on Gaza border, defense minister says JERUSALEM (JTA)--Isra- el's Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman asserted that there will not be an international inquiry into the Gaza border clashes that left at least 15 Palestinians dead and hun- dreds injured. "Israeli soldiers did what was necessary. I think all our soldiers deserve a medal," Lieberman told Army Radio Sunday. "As for a commis- sion of inquiry--there won't be one." Liberman said that Israeli soldiers did not fire on peace- fully protesting Palestinians and only targeted those who charged the border fence in an attempt to breach it or to plant explosives there. The defense minister also asserted that Israel would act more forcefully if the violent protests continued. On Saturday night Liber- man tweeted: "I do not under- stand the choir of hypocrites who are calling for a com- mission of inquiry. They got confused and thought Hamas organized a Woodstock festi- val and we had to meet them withflowers." At least 30,000 Palestin- ians protested at six points along the Gaza border with Israel on Friday to mark Land Day, which has been observed by Palestinians around the world since 1976, when six Israeli Arabs were killed and another 100 injured in clashes on March 30 with Israeli soldiers and police during protests over the expropriation of Arab-owned land in northern Israel by the state for housing for Jewish citizens. This year's protests have been dubbed the March of Return, and are set to be fol- lowed by six weeks of protest at the border until May 15, the date on the Gregorian calendar marking 70 years since the establishment of the state of Israel, which the Arab world calls the Nakba, or catastrophe. It is also the date by which the Trump administration has pledged to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The six weeks of protest are set to include several tent camps housing thousands of protesters living near the border. The Israeli army on Sat- urday evening announced that at least 10 of those killed in the Friday clashes were "known terrorists with track records of terrorist activity." The IDF spokesman also re- leased photos of the ten men and information about their terrorist activity. "Hamas operatives cam- ouflage themselves among civilians, turning a protest from peaceful to an area of terror," the IDF spokesman said in a tweet. Earlier Saturday, Hamas publicly acknowledged that five members of its military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qas- sam Brigades, were among those killed in the clashes. The bodies of two of the Hamas gunmen reporb edly are being held in Israeli custody. Israel's Foreign Ministry in a stat;ment issued on Saturday ;aid that the bor- der fence letween Israel and Gaza "seprates a state that protects :s citizens from murderer: who send their people intdanger. The fence separates n army that uses force in slf-defense and in a focused nd proportionate manner, fDm Hamas, which has for yeas--including yes- terday--ben trying to harm millions o~sraelis, and which sanctifies nurder and death." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement ssued on Saturday night praised the country's soldiers for "guarding the country's borders and al- lowing Israeli citizens to celebrate the holiday quietly." "Israel acts firmly and with determination to protect its sovereignty and the security of its citizens," Netanyahu also said. The Jerusalem Post cited unnamed Israeli sources as saying that there are photos and videos to back the Israel Defense Forces claim that it only fired on violent pro- testers who posed a threat to the border fence, Israeli troops or civilian Israelis. The evidence will be shown to international officials who accused Israel Of using disproportionate force, ac- cording to the report. But one video clip being widely distributed by news outlets, the Palestinians and on social media shows an 18-year-old Palestinian man shot in the back and killed by Israeli snipers while running away from the border fence. It is not known what actions the fleeing Palestinian man took before he was shot. Pope Francis calls for peace in the Holy Land on Easter (JTA)--Pope Francis called for peace in the Holy Land saying the violence between Israel and the Palestinians "does not spare the defense- less." Francis' Easter address, known as Urbi et Orbi, or to the city and the world, was delivered Sunday from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, two days after at least 15 Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured on the border between Israel and Gaza. The pope called for "recon- ciliation for the Holy Land," which he said was "experienc- ing in these days the wounds of ongoing conflict that do not spare the defenseless." Francis also prayed for peace for "the entire world, beginning with the beloved and long-suffering land of Syria, whose people are worn down by an apparently end- less war." US Supreme Court deals 'terrible blow' to fami- lies suing the PLO WASHINGTON (JTA)-- The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a setback to victims of terrorism seeking the right to sue the Palestine Liberation Organization. The court declined Monday to consider an appeal of a de- cision in a case known as So- kolow v. Palestine Liberation Organization. The plaintiffs won $656 million in a 2015 federal jury verdict, but it was overturned a year later by an appellate court. The court upheld that appeal. The lead plaintiff, Mark Sokolow, his wife and two of his daughters were injured in a Jerusalem suicide bombing in 2002 that killed an 81-year- old man. His fellow plaintiffs are families of victims of ter- rorist attacks in Israel that killed 33, including several Americans, and wounded over 450. Their suit argued that the late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat had paid attackers and their families, and that they had standing to sue his organization under the 1992 Anti-Terrorism Act. Susan Tuchman, the di- rector of the Center for Law and Justice of the Zionist Organization of America, said in an email that the Supreme Court's decision was a "ter- rible blow" for those seeking to hold backers of terrorism accountable. "I'm not sure how, in the future, most terror victims will be able to proceed suc- cessfully with a suit under the Anti-Terrorism Act," she said. The PLO in a statement praised the decision. "This decision reaffirms the vital relationship between the Palestinian and American people, which depends on mutual respect and, as im- portantly, on respect for the rule of law," Husam Zomlot, the PLO envoy to Washing- ton, said. Several administrations, including President Donald Trump's, worried that such lawsuits could undermine American foreign policy interests. U.S. Solicitor Gen- eral Noel Francisco sided with the PLO in February, drawing rebukes from con- servatives, including some of the Trump administration's most steadfast Jewish com- munity defenders. Lawmak- ers in Congress from both parties had urged the Trump administration to back the plaintiffs. "The United States has in effect assented to the juris- dictional hurdles imposed by the [appeals court], which will prevent many if not most victims of international ter- rorism from suing to hold their terrorist attackers ac- countable," the ZOA said at the time. Sokolow told JTA in an interview at the time that he was shocked by the so- licitor general's filing, cit- ing Trump's invocations of "America first" when it comes to foreign policy. The Trump administra- tion said last month that it "sympathizes deeply" with the families, but the case does not meet the standards for Supreme Court review. Netanyahu calls son of murdered Holocaust survivor in Paris to of- fer condolences JERUSALEM (JTA)--Israe- li Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the son of an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor from Paris who was burned and found dead with 11 stab wounds in what is being called an anti-Semitic attack. Netanyahu on Sunday spoke with Daniel Knoll, the son ofMireille Knoll,whowas found dead in her apartment on March 23. "The people of Israel and the State of Israel is with you. This was a shocking murder," the prime minister reportedly said during the phone call. "The story of your dear mother, who was cruelly taken, is a reminder for us that the struggles of our people are still before us." At least 10,000 people participated in a memorial march in Paris on Wednesday for Knoll; many of the march- ers were Jewish. Earlier the same day, French President Emmanuel Macron attended Knoll's funeral in the Paris suburb of Bagneux. He wore a kippah and was seen talk- ing with Knoll's friends and relatives. Two men, including one of her neighbors, have been indicted in connection with what is being tried as a murder with aggravated cir- cumstances of a hate crime. They are also charged with robbery. On Friday, Israel's presi- dent, Reuven Rivlin, sent a letter of condolence to the Knoll family. "On behalf of all of Israel, I send our sincere condolences. The fact that this terrible incident took place merely two weeks before the date when we mark Holocaust Re- membrance Day and mourn the victims compounds the heartbreak," Rivlin said in the letter. Knoll, 85, who escaped deportation to a Nazi death camp when French police rounded up Jews in Paris in 1942 by escaping to Portugal, returned to Paris and spent most of her life living in the apartment in eastern Paris where she was killed. Trump wishes Jewish community a Happy Passover (JTA)--U.S. President Donald Trump offered holi- day greetings for Passover. "During the sacred holiday of Passover, Jewish families around the world give thanks to God for liberating the Jew- ish people from bondage in Egypt and delivering them to the promised land of Israel," Trump said in a greeting re- leased on Friday, which also was combined with Easter greetings. He said in his message released on YouTube that the sacred celebrations of Passover and Easter "remind us that God's love redeems the world." Trump also quoted the book of Isaiah: "For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but upon thee the Lord will arise, and His glory shall be seen upon thee the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light" (Isaiah 60:2, 20). The president concluded: "In America, we look to the light of God to guide our steps. We trust in the power of the almighty for wisdom and strength and we praise our heavenly father for the blessings of freedom and the gift of eternal life. Happy Passover, Happy Easter." Steven Bochco, Emmy- winning creator of 'Hill Street Blues' and 'LA Law,' dies at 74 (JTA)--Steven Bochco, the Emmy-winning television writer and producer who was responsible for iconic series such as "Hill Street Blues," "NYPD Blue" and "L.A. Law," has died. Bochco died Sunday at his home following a years-long battle with leukemia. He had received a stem cell trans- plant from an anonymous donor in 2014, according to the Hollywood Reporter. He was 74. The winner of 10 Emmy Awards and four Peabodys, Bochco also created the pop- ular series "Doogie Howser, M.D," starring Neil Patrick Harris. Bochco worked on "Hill Street Blues" at MTM Enter- prises, a production company started by Mary Tyler Moore, for five of seven seasons, during which time it won 26 Emmys. The Jewish writer and producer later formed the Steve Bochco Productions company. JTA on page 14A