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April 24, 2009     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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PAGE 12A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 24, 2009 King Abdullah of Jordan (right, with Shimon Peres) was the first Arab leader to meet with President Obama in the White House. U.S. says Durban changes welcome but insufficient WASHINGTON (JTA)--The United States commended changes in the draft docu- ment for "Durban II" but said more was needed to entice it into joining the anti-racism conference. Jewish groups had wel- comed the U.S. decision ear- lier this year not to attend the event reviewing the original U.N. conference in Durban in 2001. The South Africa parley had devolved into an anti-Israel and anti-Jewish free-for-all, and the review conference April 20-24 in Geneva promised more of the same. Earlier versions of the "draft outcome document" singled out Israel and called for measures against "defa- mation of religion," seen as a nod to Islamist extremists who seek to marginalize their critics. After the Obama adminis- tration announced its deci- sion to stay away, European diplomats worked to soften the document. Rumors have swirled in Jewish community circles in recent days that the Obama administration would do an about-face and attend the conference. The State Department statement released late Mon- day night April 13 suggested, however, that there was a way to go before the United States would reconsider its decision. Significantly, it repeated a demand that first gained cur- rency in Jewish groups: the draft document must not even implicitly endorse the first Durban conference through any generic approbation of its outcome. "The U.S. believes any viable text for the Review Conference must be shortened and not reaffirm 'in toto' the flawed 2001 Durban Declara- tion and Program of Action (DDPA)," it said. "In addition, while references to 'defama- OAKMONTE VILLAGE AT LAKE MARY A Brand New Luxury Senior Living Community tion of religion' have been removed from the current draft text, we cannot support restrictions on freedom of expression that could result from some of the document's language related to "incite- ment" to religious hatred a concept that the United States believes should be narrow and clearly defined and made consistent with human rights obligations ensuring freedom of expression." The statement commended other changes in the draft document. "Substantial improvements have been made, including shortening the document, removing all language that singled out any one country or conflict, and removing language that embraced the concept of 'defamation of religion' and that demanded reparations for slavery," it said. Further changes might bring about a shift in the U.S. position, the statement said. "We hope that these re- maining concerns will be addressed, so that the United States can re-engage the conference process with the hope of arriving at a Confer- ence document that we can support," it said. U.S. reportedly changing strategy on Iran WASHINGTON (JTA) The Obama administration reportedly is changing its strategy on negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. The New York Times report- ed that the United States and its European allies will insist that Iran must gradually open up its nuclear program to full inspection, but would allow Tehran to continue enrich- ing uranium for some period during the talks. That differs ............. :: from the Bush administration ............ approach, which demanded ::: :~ that Iran stop enrichment, at least for a short time, at the beginning of negotiations. Unnamed officials involved in discussions said it isn't clear ............ how long Iran would be able to ',~::'.~!i'/:!;i! continue operating its facili- . ii: iiill ..... ............ .... sa,d ! believe that Iran will not ac- i ,: .... ............... .... i iiiii ceptan immediate shutdown :ii:!! !ill i !!ii!!iiii!i of its activities at the start .... of negotiations. The officials is,o I an reiterated, though, that the ............. cease enrichment. ::::: Presidents Conference calls ('::~: he wait is over. Oakmonte theater, fitness facilities, and for Ahmadinejad walkout NEW YORK (JTA) Lead- :i Village at Lake Mary a restaurant-quality dining, ers of the Conference of brand new, state-of-the-art senior Oakmonte Village will have all the ::~ii~:i~']:~:'~:!~::i::i ............. PresidentsofMajorAmerican ............ ", Jewish Organizations called ....... ...... ........ living community is coming accoutrements of a luxury resort. ~:.:,:~ .................... ,,. ........ for a walkout when the presi- x: iZiiy to Central Florida. Construction is Independent living residences are .;~ii!:!~,~!!:!f': dent of lran speaks in Geneva ,: nearly complete on the beautiful available through a monthly leasenext week. .......... !fill:::::.:: ii; The Jewish community's ======================= 25-acre site conveniently located program and include studios, one- ::i:::" .: umbrella group on foreign : " in the heart of Lake " and two-bedroom :~'::: -' affairs issued the call in ad- Mary/Heathrow. apartments, and two .... ~,~: ..... vance of the appearance by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at With an extensive bedroom villas. And;;',:';;:,,!}~, the Durban Review Confer- . :::::i,:. amenities package the best news: There's :'::~:~'~ ......... ..... ence.Delegationsshould"ab- i:!:ii: i!i!iiiii!iiiiiii that includes a no expensive buy-in sent themselves or walk out performing arts required, making the when Iran s radical president speaks, the conference said in ::~;i;i:::::,i:,,., ........ center, Italian bistro, transition to a new a statement April 13. . j~ ...... s:,:. : i::]i health and bankingO A X N T E lifestyle simple and The conference, a follow- up to the infamous 2001 ~)V ,,,iV~ services, movie cost-effective! ~;i~:!~:!~: U.N. conference on racism iii i::i ;iS" i AT Ma Y :I 5;S:!::::;::: in Durban, South Africa, is ~"!:"~Y::'::; THE LIFESTYLE YOU'VE KNOWN. THE LIFESTYLE YOU'VE EARNED. ........... :i~i~:: i: .......... expectedtofocus extensively i~:!{~i:~::;i::~: :~i~, ;i!~~ on Israel. Jewish groups have 1021 Royal Gardens Circle Lake Mary, Florida 32746 !;: organizedaseriesofeventsto Phone: 407.444.0147 Fax: 407.444.0148 www.oakmontevillage.com :i::.;)i~:i:ii: protest the event. Obama extends PLO office allowance WASHINGTON (JTA) President Obama extended the allowance for the Wash- ington office of the Palestine Liberation Organization. An April 9 statement deemed it "important to the national security interests of the United States" to waive 1980s-era laws banning such a presence. Presidents have routinely exercised their right to waive the ban for six-month periods since the mid-1990s following the launch of the Oslo peace process. Abdullah to meet Obama JERUSALEM (JTA)--King Abdullah of Jordan was to lobby President Obama to work harder to implement a two-state solution when they were to meet on April 21. Abdullah was to be the first Arab leader to meet with Obama in the White House, it was announced April 12. The king was to discuss with the U.S. president his concerns about prospects for peace under Israel's new government led by right-wing leader Benjamin Netanyahu, Reuters reported. Abduilah is expected to tell Obama that the Arab League is still committed to the Arab peace initiative granting Israel peace with all Arab countries in exchange for withdrawing to pre-1967 borders. French Holocaust memorial vandalized PARIS (JTA)--Large black swastikas were painted on a French Holocaust memorial. Avideo surveillance camera late April 10 caught a young, "European'-looking man drawing swastikas on the wagon commemorating more than 70,000 Jews detained in the northern Paris town of Drancy, and deported to Nazi death camps during World War II, according to French reports. The French Jewish com- munity and the Ministry of the Interior strongly condemned the crime in separate state- ments. By the next morning the memorial, which includes a World War II-era wagon and a large stone plaque and statue, was repainted and cleaned, the daily Le Parisien reported. Pope cites Mideast in Eas- ter message ROME (JTA)--Pope Bene- dict XVI said he would bring a message of"justice and truth, mercy, forgiveness and love" when he visits the Middle East next month. In his Easter message, the pope said reconciliation of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinianswas "difficult but indispensable" for security in the region. The pope, who turned 82 on April 16, delivered his message to tens of thousands in St. Peter's Square as well as to millions in a broadcast audience worldwide. The pope travels to Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority May 8-15. Australian Jewish come- dian crucified SYDNEY, Australia (JTA)-- A Jewish comedian from Aus- tralia had himself crucified in the Philippines on Good Friday for a new show. John Safran, 36, who became a renowned TV and radio personality in Austra- lia for staging outlandish stunts, was one of several people who chose to be nailed to a cross near Manila as part of the ritual symbolizing Jesus' suffering on Easter, the French news agency AFP reported. Photographs clearly show Safran, a graduate of Yeshiva College, an Orthodox boys- only school in Melbourne. Naked from the waist up and wearing a long-haired wig, he was heard moaning as the nails were hammered through his skin and into the giant cross. Afterward Safran, who identified himself as John Michaels, was rushed to a medical tent. His first encounter with notoriety was in 1997 when he was part of the Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s "Race Around The World," a TV contest for young documen- tary makers during which Safran ran naked through the streets of Jerusalem. Seven years later, during the award-winning series "John Safran Vs. God," he tried to join the Ku Klux Klan in California. His latest stunt was filmed for a new show titled "John Safran's Race Relations." Paris court to try comedian for anti-Semitism PARIS (JTA)--A contro- versial French comedian will be prosecuted on charges of anti-Semitism. Dieudonne Mbala Mbala will go on trial May 5 in Paris for bestowing a bogus prize on a notorious Holocaust denier, Robert Faurisson, in a Dec. 2 performance for an audience of 5,000 near Paris, according to French reports. If convicted, the 42-year- old comedian faces a maxi- mum fine of nearly $30,000, the French news agency AFP reported April 15. Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the far-right Na- tional Front political party who recently called Nazi gas chambers a historical "de- tail," sat among thousands of spectators who cheered and laughed when Faurisson made his surprise stage debut alongside Dieudonne. Dieudonne recently an- nounced his intention to run for election to the Euro- pean Parliament on an "anti- Zionist" ticket that groups together supporters from far left and far right political par- ties. The election is scheduled for June 7. Palestinians decry Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit TORONTO (JTA)--Pal- estinian officials called on Canada to cancel a planned exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The officials say the exhibit would violate international law. In a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harp- er and directors of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Hamdan Taha, director gen- eral of the archaeological department in the Palestin- ian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, alleges the scrolls were acquired illegally by Israel when the Jewish state annexed East Jerusalem in 1967. The Palestinians claim the six-month exhibit slated to begin in June violates at least four international con- ventions or protocols on the treatment of cultural goods thatwere"illegally" obtained, the Toronto Star reported April 10.