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April 9, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 9, 2004
 

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IIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 9, 2004 PAGE 15 By Bill Gladstone TORONTO (JTA)--Cana- officials are cau- c that a spree Toronto over the ,mdedwith ree youths. they note that the at- symptomatic of a society that number of anti- double in the wave of attacks began ago when spray- swastikas and hate discovered on and vehicles in a in the later, seven stained- the Pride of Chaim school and Synagogue were Appeal signs and a donation box were :ore r of dark- next struck dewishcem- 27 tombstones, and tearing and a menorah. association has cover the roughly repair costs. In ensuing attacks, a Jewish family received telephoned hate messages, a Lubavitch Synagogue was pelted with eggs and more sites were spray-painted. Steven Vandermey, 18, and two unidentified 15-year-old offenders were arrested last week on charges that could put them in jail for months or even years. Bernie Farber, executive director of the Canadian Jew- ish Congress' Ontario Re- gion, seemed to breathe a sigh of relief at a press con- ference last Wednesday as he thanked police for their com- mitment to solving the rash of crimes. "If there's anything that's going to send a message to hate mongers, it's a quick ar- rest," said Farber, who shared the podium with Police Chief Julian Fantino. Identified as a result of a tip from the public, the three are charged with mischief under $5,000, mischief over $5,000 and mischief against religious property. Farber has urged the Ontario attorney general to consider initiating hate crime charges against the trio. An Iranian-born man also was charged with mischief two weeks ago after he was caught photo by Bruce Kurta/Canadian Jewish Congress 7~venQptwo tombstones were damaged by vandals at the Bathurst-Lawn Jewish Cemetery in Toronto in an incident that was discovered on March 21. spraying anti-Jewish messages that target one community for at a downtown construction hate are not acceptable here," site. Two teenagers also were Farber said. charged with making harass- Representatives of nearly ing and anti-Semitic phone every faith and ethnic group calls that included death in the city, as well as Ontario threats. Premier Dalton McCuinty, Concerned that the crimes Toronto Mayor David Miller could inspire copycat acts, and many other politicians, Jewish officials organized a religious leaders and police community rally two weeks chiefs, sent messages of sup- ago that attracted a diverse port to the Jewish commu- crowd of about 3,000 to the nity. Bathurst Jewish Community Solidarity messages also Center. came from Prime Minister "We wanted to deliver a Paul Martin and members of strong message that attacks the federal House of Com- mons, where a motion con- demning the Toronto attacks and supporting the fight against global anti-Semitism passed unanimously. One local church group even offered to post United JewishAppeal signs on its front lawn. "This was probably the most important ethno-culturai rally of its kind in the history of the city of Toronto," Fai, ber said. "I've been here for 20 years, and I can't remember a rally that has brought together so many diverse communities to stand together as one to offer comfort and support to a com- munity under siege." Frank Dimant, executive vice presi- dent of B'nai Brith Canada, was equally enthusiastic about the country's united front against hatred. "If the politicians and po- lice in France had responded a few years ago to the threats to the Jewish community in the way that the Canadian politi- cians have responded, the cli- mate there would never have deteriorated into the unfortu- nate situation that exists right now," he said. Police officials in Toronto and the neighboring York Re- gion had put officers who pa- trol near Jewish sites on high alert. The police chief of each jurisdiction had posted a re- ward of $10,000 for informa- tion leading to an arrest and conviction. Heartened by the massive show of solidarity--including a second rally of 1,400 high school students--Jewish lead- ers still are still troubled by the incidents and by a recent B'nai Brith finding that the number of reported anti- Semitic attacks across Canada has doubled since 2001. The recent outbreak "is symptomatic of a more insidi- ous undercurrent that exists in our society right now," B'nai Brith spokesperson Joseph Ben Ami said. "I'm not sure that people really appreciate how widespread this intoler- ance is, how deeplg rooted it's and what's feeding it. We have to start taking a good hard look at where this stuff is com- ing from." Dimant and others have speculated that Mei Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ," which opened here several weeks ago, might have influenced the perpetrators to target the Jewish community. However, "it's too early to say whether the film had an effect," Dimant said. With trials pending, police declined to comment on the apparent motives of the ac- cused. Dan Baron (JTA)-- intelligence revelations major erplayingan- of the tes- of former U.S. Rich- the Bush of ignoring intelligence it was focused Steinitz Report Sunday blasted on Iraq. report, com- ;un- Yuval Steinitz, lambastedprewarassessments track Libya's pursuit ofweap- forceforintelligenceanalysis." Yet asked by reporters if Is- Kippur War, should be cut byMossadandmilitaryintelli- ons of mass destruction. Israel stayed on the sidelines of raeli intelligence might have down in size. genceofficiaisthatitwas'S~ery Libyan ruler Muammar the Iraq war out ofconcerns its misled the United States and Unit 8200, the military in- likely" Saddam Hussein had Gaddafi abandoned the pro- involvementwouldalienatethe its ally Britain as to Iraq's real teiligence codebreakers-- missiles with non-conven- gram in December in negotia- fewU.S.alliesintheArabworld, capabilities, Steinitzwas more who, according to a recent re- tional payloads aimed at Is- tions with the United States But Israeli intelligence as- circumspect, port in New Yorker magazine, rael. and Britain that were kept se- sessments were regularly fed "American and British in- tipped off the United States as That perceived threat cret from Israel. to Washington. telligence services had much to Iran's nuclear buildup--- prompted the Defense Minis- "The idea that a hostile ha- "ltis not inconceivable that better access to lraq by simply should become a civilian try to issue millions of gas tion like Libya, with an unpre- assessments passed by an Is- sitting in Kuwait and other agency, the report said. masks and order citizens to dictableleaderlikeGaddafi, was raeliintelligenceagency to iocations, and by being able to Meanwhile, it called for the prepare sealed rooms, atacost intherunningtodevelopamili- afriendlyagencywerebounced fly almost freely over Iraqi Mossad to be boosted. Accord- of millions of dollars, tarized nuclear industry, with- back and force, played a key soil," he said. ing to security sources, the "The military and political out lsrael getting the necessary role in that friendly agency's U.S.andBritishofficialsdid spyagencyhasfallenintoleth- upperechelonsareresponsible advance warning from its intel- planningandultimatelyended not comment, argy recently through a corn- for the mess-up," said the ligence service to act preven- upwiththeagencywherethey The Steinitz report did not bination of military Steinitz Report, which tivelyoratleastprepareaccord- originated in the form of an recommendactionagainstany intelligence's wide reach and charged Israeli intelligence ingly, is---to put it mildly--in- analysis by an altogether dif- specific intelligence officials, an over-reliance on coopera- analysts with overconfidence tolerable," the report said. ferent agency. Such assess- But it said military inteili- tion with foreign agencies. and oversimplification. "The prime ministers lack ments would immediately be gence, which has swollen ThePrimeMinister'sOffice, The report also said Mossad the proper tools that would af- perceived as another authori- steadilyin termsofmanpower which oversees all of Israel's and military intelligence offi- ford them real oversight and tativebodybolsteringandveri- and funding since Israel's fail- intelligence agencies, said it cials are in need of a major orientation on the intelligence fying the original lsraeli view," ure to foresee the Arab assault would consider the recom- overhaul after they failed to apparatus and building a real the report said. which opened the 1973 Yom mendations. from page 1 engage Israel from the Pales- leave, rather than sit in the currently leading the opposi- the Palestinian Authority oughoverhauiofthe Palestin- tinians by removing Jewish govemment,"politicalsources tion--joining ranks with president"aninsuranceliabii- ianAuthority. rpart settlements in the West Bank quotedtheprimeministertell- Sharon's Likud. ity." Ararat, who has weath- "The Palestinian people are and Gaza. ing Eitarn and Eion, whose Still, with Labor lingering ered several such threats from iookingforawayout,"Dahlan But when National Reli-partiesholdfourofthe23seats on the sidelines until Sharon Sharon since the two tangled told a Canadian newspaper, naanaged to carry gious Party chief Effi Eitam in his governing coalition, proves he means to go through in Beirut in 1982, shrugged The Globe andMail, on Satur- and his counterpart from the It was one of the strongest with the disengagement the words off. day. "They are looking for a closure and National Unity bloc, Benny hints yet that Sharon believes plan--itseifawaitingapprovai ButArafatcouldhaveamorePalestinian leadership to take deplored Elon, voiced criticism to that hecouldsurviveasprimemin- by President Bush--the prime serious threat on the domes- them to this exit." Dahlan In the nationalist- effect at Sunday's Cabinet ister without the NRP and minister is talking tough, tic front. Mohammed Dahlan, added: '~/e have to change our who accuse meeting, Sharon quickly re- National Unity. Political pun- In a newspaper interview a former Gaza security chief role. We have to change our Ariel Sharon buffed them. dits have long seen a broad published last Friday, he sug- who hails from Arafat's own way ofthinking, ofworking, of ng Palestinian "Whoever feels uncomfort- coalition government in the gested that Israel could act dominantFatahfaction, called implementing our commit- his plan to dis- able is welcome to get up and works, with the Labor Party-- against Yasser Ararat, calling over the weekend for a thor- ment." from Page 1 "This is just a humanitar- earlysummerandwouid like Jan token payment for people to conclude its work by the information they that had some kind of recol- end of 2004, as it is bud- quite strong, lection," said Roman Kent, geted to do. ICHEIC said chairman of the American Of the 82,000 claims in members Gathering of Jewish Holo- ICHEIC's system, half of the just $300 to caust Survivors and an 17,000 that name an insur- ICHEIC member, ance company have been de- onthecom. The announcement comes cided, Rudman said. As of a higher as ICHEIC has finished col- March 5, $64 million has been disputed lecting applications from offered, notincludingthehu- Holocaust survivors andmanitarian payments, she gure is the their heirs and now is pro- said. minimum cessing the claims. ICHEIC Some in the Jewish com- aaEast, is to distribute more funds munity applauded the an- countries, throughout the spring and nouncement of the humani- tarian awards, but others re- main concerned that ICHEIC is moving too slowly. "I for one do not celebrate the payment of $1,000," said Elan Steinberg, executive vice president of the World Jewish Congress and a member of ICHEIC. "It is certainly some- thing we agreed to with mixed feelings at best." Steinberg estimates that between 150,000 and 200,000 Holo- caust survivors have died since ICHEIC was formed in 1998. "Some of us want to see these payments accelerated and in more realistic sums," Steinberg said. ICHEIC has been accused of not working diligently on payments. It has been sued by some Holocaust survivors, and some mem- bers of the commission have called on Eagleburger to resign. ICHEIC underwent re- forms in October, and is con- sidering selecting an ombuds- man to help survivors and heirs seek redress from the commission and illuminate the actions of i nsu rance com- panies, which have been ac- cused of slowing the payment process. Founded in 1998 by the NationalAssociation oflnsur- ante Commissioners, ICHEIC has encountered repeated problems in the past two years. Eagleburger threat- ened to resign in 2002 over difficulties in securing coop- eration from German insur- ance companies.