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PAGE 10A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 11, 2012 Israel scraps early elec- tions as Kadima joins unity government JERUSALEM (JTA)--Is- raeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded the new government coalition includ- ing the Kadima Party as the "broadest unity government in Israeli history." At a news conference Tues- day afternoon to announce Kadima's agreement to join his coalition, Netanyahu said the new government would '%enefit Israel" and is a way "to restore stability without elections." Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz said he agreed to enter the gov- ernment because Netanyahu showed that he was "open to issues that are a central part of Kadima's platform." "Our decision is a great, historic step--not blackmail," Mofaz asserted, adding that he had not asked for a position for himself in the government. Netanyahu also said dur- ing his remarks that a broad government coalition could advance "a responsible peace process" Israel's planned move to early elections was scrapped early Tuesday morning when Kadima, the main opposition party, agreed to join the rul- ing coal withNetanyahu's Likud PatY.  The deal caught the Is- raeli political establishment by surprise. During the pri- mary campaign for Kadima's leadership, Mofaz hadvowed to keep Kadima in the opposition, telling Haaretz that he believed "the current government rep- resents all that is wrong with Israel." "Listen up: I won't join Bibi's government 7 Mofaz wrote on his Facebook page 0n March 3. "Not today, not tomorrow and not after I head Kadima on March 28. This is a bad and failed governmentand Kadima under my leadership will re- place it in the next elections. Is that clear enough?" Under the deal between Ne- tanyahu and Mofaz, the prime minister reportedly agreed to make Mofaz a vice prime minister and pledged to back an alternative version of the "Pal Law, which enables haredi Orthodox men to defer military service indefinitely in order to pursue religious studies. Once the agreement was reached at about 2 a.m. Is- rael time, Kadima's faction approved it unanimously, The Jerusalem Post reported. Netanyahu called Israeli President Shimon Peres,who is on a state visit to Canada, to tell him about the decision to form a national unity government. Peres congratulated Netan- yahu on the decision and said that a national unity govern- ment "is good for the people of Israel and that the good of the state, in light of the crucial challenges facing it, requires broad national unity," accord- ing to a statement from the President's Office. Coalition partners Avigdor Lieberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party, and Eli Yishai of the haredi Orthodox Shas Party reportedly have endorsed the deal. Labor Party Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich called the deal "shady." "This is an alliance of cow- ards and the most ridiculous zigzag in Israel's political his- tory," she said. Left-wing Meretz lawmaker Weekly roundup of world briefs from JTA Nitzan Horowitz called the agreement "the mother of all dirty deals." At the start of the news con- ference, Horowitz began shout- ing "You've lost all shame!" and "This is corruption in the fullest meaning of the word." He was escorted from the room by security guards. On Monday evening, the Knesset had been planning to dissolve itself as the first move to new elections, passing a pre- liminary bill to dissolve by avote of 119 to 1, according to Israeli media reports. Analysts had been projecting that Kadima, the Knesset's largest faction with 28 seats, would lose about half its seats. Israel's next regularly sched- uled election is slated for Octo- ber 2013. Hollande beats Sarkozy to win French presidency (JTA)--Francois Hollande became the first Socialist presi- dent of France in nearly two decades, defeating incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. With half the votes counted nationwide, Hollande was leading Sarkozy, 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent. Sarkozy, the center-left candidate, was con- sidered the favored candidate among French Jews. "Francois Hollande is 'the president of the republic; he must be respected," Sarkozy said in a concession speech shortly after the polls closed. "I want to wish him good luck in the midst of these tests." Polls had showed Hollande finishing with about 52 percent of the vote to 48 percent for Sar- kozy of the Union for a Popular Movement party. Sarkozy is the first French president to lose re-election in 30 years. Holiande is France's first So- cialist president since Francois Mitterrand, who served from 1981 to 1995. Sarkozy is the ninth Euro- pean leader to be ousted since the start of the continent's debt crisis, Bloomberg reported. Incumbent Johnson edges Livingstone in London may- oral race (JTA)--Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who stirred controversy with re- marks called anti-Semitic by the city's Jewish leaders, losthis bid to reclaim his post. Incumbent Boris Johnson, Livingstone's successor, won the tight mayoral race in London, according to results announced late last Friday. Johnson, of the conserva- tive Tory Party, garnered 51.5 percent of the vote compared to 48.5 percent for Livingstone of the Labor Party. Upon conceding the race, Livingstone reportedly said that this would be his last election. London Jewish leaders said Livingstone in a March meeting made remarks that they called nearly "classic anti-Semitism." Livingstone said that the Jew- ish community would not vote for him because "the Jewish community is rich." The Jewish leaders also said that Livingstone had used the words ZionisL Jewish and Israeli interchangeably and"in a pejorative manner." Livingstone apologized for the statements and called on the Jewish community to "move on from the 'Ken and the Jews dramas.'" Noted historian, father of Israel's prime minister, dies at 102 JERUSALEM (JTA)--Ben- zion Netanyahu, a noted Jewish Yonatan SIndel/Flash 90 Israeli President Shimon Peres (I) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his wife, Sara, attending the funeral of Netanyahu's father, Benzion, April 30 at Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem. historian and Zionist thinker, and the father of Israeli Prime MinisterBenjaminNetanyahu, has died. Netanyahu died April 30 at his home in Jerusalem. He was 102. Netanyahu was born Ben- zion Mileikowsky in Warsaw in 1910, and immigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1920. Netanyahu studied at the David Yellin Teachers' Col- lege and later at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His research focused on the history of the medieval Spanish Jewish community ald the history of Zionism. Among his books are a biography of Don Isaac Abra- vanel; a history of the Spanish Marranos; and his major work, 'the Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century SpainY He also authored "The Founding Fathers of Zionism," about the lives of the founders of political Zionism--Leon Pinsker, The- odor Herzl, Max Nordau, Israel Zangwill and Ze'ev Jabotinsky. Netanyahu was the editor in chief of the Hebre Encyclo- pedia for more than a decade beginning in the 1950s. He served as a professor of Jewish studies at various universities in the United States, concluding his academic career as professor emeritus at Cornell University. From his time as a student in Jerusalem, he was involved in public Zionist activities. Netanyahu was a supporter of Jabotinsky and edited a newspaper that also featured Joseph Klausner and poet Uri Tzvi Greenberg on its staff. In 1939, Netanyahu traveled to London and persuaded Jabo- tinsky to relocate to the United States and from there mobilize support for the Jewish state. Ja- botinsky died shortly after their arrival in the U.S.; Netanyahu continued to raise support for the Jewish state throughout the war and afterward. In this context he met with many U.S. Jewish leaders of the period, as well as lawmakers, writers and other leaders. Upon the establishment of the State of Israel, he returned from the United States and moved with his young family to Jerusalem's "Palpiot neighborhood. Netanyahu's political views were "relentlessly hawkish," the New York Times said in its obituary. He believed that Jewish his- tory is one of persecution and holocaust, and that Arabs are fundamentally the enemy of the Jews and that they would not be able to compromise in order to make peacewith Israel. He told the Israeli daily Maariv in 2009 that a'arast majority of Israeli Arabs would choose to exterminate us if they had the option to do so." Many believe he has had an undue influence on the decision making of the prime minister. He was predeceased by his wife, Tzila, with whom he was married for more than 50years, and a son Yonatan, who was killed during a hostage-rescue operation at EntebbeAirport in Uganda. Along with Benjamin, he also is sbyason Ido, a doctor, author and playwright. Shin Bet  raz-  hom of Ford  JERU (JTA)--ismel's Shin Bet security service has recommended that the family homes of the two Palestinian cousins who killed five mem- bers of the Fogel family be razed. Government legal advisors must agree to the recommen- dation to destroy the homes of Hakim and Ajmad Awad of the West Bank town of Awarta, ac- cordingtoArmy Radio, because of a 2005 Defense Ministry decision that ended the policy of home demolitions in order to punish Palestinian terrorists. The decision said demolitions were not preventing future attacks. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the military's chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, agreed to the recom- mendation pending the deci- sion by the legal advisers. The Shin Bet argued in its recommendation that the demolition would serve as a deterrent to other Palestinians considering similar attacks. It also said that several members of the murderers' families helped the two men following the attack by hiding them and destroying evidence. Hagai Amir, Yigal's brother, released from prison (JTA)--Hagai Amir, who helped his brother Yigal Amir plot the assassination of Yit- zhak Rabin, was released from prison. Authorities at the Ayalon prison in Ramie, in central Israel, released Amir, 43, last Friday morning. He had been in prison 16 years and has never expressed remorse for his role in the Nov. 4 1995 murder of the Israeli prime minister by his brother, a right-wing extremisL Gross vows to return if Cuba allows isit with mother WASHINGTON (JTA)--Alan Gross pledged to return to Cuba should the government release him to visit his ailing mother. "I would return to Cuba," Gross told CNN in a home in- terview last Friday. "You know, you--you can quote me on that. I'm saying it live. I would return to Cuba if they let me visit my mother before she dies. And we've gotten no response, no response whatsoever." His mother, 90, is suffering from inoperable cancer; his daughter also has undergone cancer treatment since his arrest. Gross was arrested in 2009 and sentenced last year to 15 years on charges related to his distribution of communica- tions equipment to the island's small Jewish community, working as a contractor for the U.S. Agency on International Development. He has appealed for humani- tarian leave of two weeks, and his family has noted that a U.S. judge allowed Raul Gonzalez, on parole after serving time for espionage, to return to Cuba for a short period to visit his dying brother. Gross said the items he was bringing to the Cuban Jewish community, in a bid to enhance their connections with others in the Jewish world, were un- remarkable. "My understanding was if there was any problem with--with the things that I was bringing here which, by the way, anyone could buy in any Best Buy or Radio Shack or on Amazon.corn--that if there was any problem at the airport that I would just leave the equipment at the airport and take it back with me when I left," he said. Actress Kunis opens up about jewish htaory JERUSALEM (JTA)--Ac- tress Mila Kunis said she had to hide her Jewishness as a youngster in Ukraine and was miserable during her early years in the United States. In an interview published in Britain's The Sun on Saturday, Kunis said that most ofherfarn- ily was killed in the Holocaust and that she had to hide that she was Jewish in Ukraine out of fear of persecution. "My parents raised me to know I was Jewish. You know who you are inside," said Kunis, who starred in the film "Black Swan" and the TVsitcom"That '70s Show." Kunis, 28, said she saw anti- Semitic graffiti in herschool in Chernivtsi, a city in southwest Ukraine. Arriving in the United States at age 7, she said she was miser- able in part because she did not know English. "I cried every day. I didn't understand the culture. I didn't understand the people," Kunis said. Kunis began acting classes at 9 and two years later had a role on the soap opera "Days of Our Lives." She won the role on "That '70s Show" at the age of 14, though applicants were told they had to be 18. She also has appeared in the movies "Friends With Benefits," "Date Night" and "The Book of Eli," among others. Kunis told the Sun that she is happier in the U.S., where she is free to express herself. "I'm pretty Jewish, I've got to say. I go 'Oy' and people are like, 'Oh, you're very Jewish,' the actress said. "When I'm in New York, I become super-Jew. When I'm in L.A. I'm like a California surfer girl." One convicted in Baltimore Shomrim case WASHINGTON (JTA)--Eli- yahu Werdesheim, one of two Baltimore brothers charged with beating an African-Amer- ican teenager, was found guilty by a circuit court. Werdesheim, a former member of Israeli special forces, was found guilty on charges of false imprisonment and second-degree assault, while his brother Avi was cleared of all charges in the beating of Corey Ausby in November 2010. "He relied on his military training to take Ausby down," Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Pamela White said in handing down her verdict on May 3, according to the Balti- more Jewish Times. At the time of the incident, Eliyahu, now 24, was a member of the Jewish neighborhood watch group Shomrim. Avi is now 21. Eliyahu was found not guilty on the charge of carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure but still could face up to a maximum of 10 years in prison for the other two charges. Sentencing is set for June 27. Beastie Boy Adam Yauch dies at47 (JTA) Adam Yauch of the seminal hip-hop group the Beastie Boys has died at the age of 47 after battling cancer. Yauch, one of three Jewish members of the Beastie Boys, had been diagnosed in 2009 with cancer in his parotid gland and a lymph node. The news of Yauch's death was first reported last Friday by the website Glo- balGrind.com. Yauch performed in the Beastie Boys under the stage name MCA, along with Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) and Mi- chael Diamond (Mike D). Ever since their raucous 1986 debut album "Licensed to Ill," which fused rap and rock, the Beastie Boys have been enduringly popular. Lhrni resigns from Knesset JERUSALEM (JTA)--For- mer opposition leader Tzipi Livni resigned from Israel's Knesset. Livni delivered a prepared statement on May 1 announc- ing her departure from the legislature prior to a meeting with Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin at which she submitted her letter of resignation. Livni reportedly will remain in the KadimaParty butwill not run in the next elections as a candidate. It has been rumored that Livni could join the new party of former journalist Yair Lapid, who registeredYeshAtid (There is a Future) on April 29. Israeli reporter suspended after false story on Disney abduction JERUSALEM (JTA)--An Israeli reporter was suspended after reporting on an un- founded story that an Israeli girl was briefly abducted at Disney World in Orlando. Sivan Cohen of Israel's Chan- nel 10 had reported during an April 29 news broadcast that a 9-year-old Israeli girl was taken from her parents and later found using security camera tapes in a bathroom stall drugged and with her head shaved. Cohen said the incident, which occurred over Passover, "sounds like an urban legend." On April 30 the station con- firmed on the evening news that the story was false and that Cohen had been "misled" by a source--one of the alleg- edly abducted girl's parents. Disney officials did not confirm the story. The hoax reportedly is well known in the United States. "Cohen has been suspended until the examination into the circumstances that led to the story airing is concluded," Channel 10 said in a state- ment.