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May 18, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 18, 2012 Building From page 1A These are the Intervention Unit and the Oz Force. The Intervention Unit contains 35 security person- nel who underwent rigorous training on their own and with instructors from the National Security Agency, explains Yosef Griff, 55, commander of the Knesset Guard. It was established, he says, in order "to respond to any incident within the Knesset building." Behind this dry wording is a massive effort in terms of resources and manpower dedicated to preventing any assaults on the many VIPs who visit the Knesset daily. Members of the Intervention Unit walk the Knesset halls in plain- clothes, carrying concealed weapons. They are tasked with maintaining public order and safety within the Knesset. At the same time, the Knesset employs a second special forces unit, the Oz Force. The Oz Force was established in 2004 and consists of 12 people. Its job is to provide security for Knesset members under threat. "The police decide when a particular MK needs a security detail," said Griff. Among the MKs who have been given such bodyguards are former defenseministers MKs Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) and Amir Peretz (Labor), as well as former National Security Agency chief MK Avi Dichter {Kadima). In addition, bodyguards are provided to MKs per police request on the basis of concrete threats. In the past, tight security was provided to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (mainly during his trips abroad), to MK Talab EI-Sana (Ra'am- Ta'al), and to MK Hanin Zoabi (National Democratic Assembly), who received many death threats follow- ing the Mavi Marmara Gaza flotilla incident, which she took part in on the non- Israeli side. Beyond all of this man- power, about 400 cameras are scattered throughout the Knesset building docu- menting every step taken inside the building and conveying all that informa- tion to the Knesset Guard operations center. On the Knesset perimeter, along its high fences, another 40 state-of-the-art cameras deliver real-time informa- tionto the operations center regarding every passer-by who approaches the fence. Just several weeks ago the operations center went on high alert when an armed soldier was seen walking with his girlfriend near the fence. An order was even given to delay the prime minister's exit from the building, and a patrol was sent to investigate the sol- dier. It turned out.he was an innocent pedestrian. PAE 17A .The operations cept-er is the Knesset Guard's Ieating heart. It operates 24 hours a day and uses ad+anced technology that castawide security net and mnitors everything happening in the Knesset and its vicinity. Additionally, the opera- tions center is staffed by specially trained oprators stationed, in front ]of six large plasma screen, each of which shows a differe nl area of the Knesset, l This article first appeared in Israel Hayom and is dis- tributed with the perrission ofthatnewspaper, i ] Candidates From page 1A "I would just say it's a small world," Frankel told The Palm Beach Post When it made the connection in February. "It's not going to be personal." Judy Hasner has said she is backing her son in the race. Neither, however, is yet their party's nominees both must win Aug. 14 pri- maries, although Hasner's opponent, a local county commissioner, is not seen as a serious contender. Frankel also is favored to win. Democratic insiders say, although they say her opponent. Kristin Jacobs, a popular Broward County commissioner, could pull off the upset. "There are 10 different levels of intrigue in this campaign," said Robert Wat- son. a professor of American studies at Lynn University in Boca Raton. where the final residential debate is set to take place in October. "It's like a made-for-TV movie." Indeed. it has already been a dramatic race with a shifting cast of characters. The district is currently represented by first-term Republican Rep. Allen West. a Tea Party favorite and a top target of national Demo- crats. But decennial redis- tricting shifted the 22nd in a more Democratic direction. and West shook things up by opting to run instead in a more Republican-friendly district nearby. A Democratic hopeful. Patrick Murphy, followed West to the new district. briefly leaving Frankel as the last high-profile Demo- crat'standing before Jacobs jumped in. Hasner had been running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate until a stronger contender entered the race and Hasner switched his efforts to trying to succeed the departing ' West. Democrats see the district as one they must reclaim if they are to demonstrate that the Tea Party conservative insurgency is a spent force. Without making a formal endorsement in the primary, the Democratic Congres- sional Campaign Committee has seemingly pinned its hopes on Frankei, naming her one of its "majority makers." "The party feels it's a nec- essary race to win back the House," said David Harris, the president of the National Jewish Democratic Council. Republicans view the district as a test of whether they can pitch another con- servative Hasner also has Tea Party ties--as palatable to independents and dis- gruntled Democrats. "She'll get hardcore Dem- ocratic supporters," said Sid Dinerstein,-chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party. "Adam will get the independents and the Republicans and the " Democratic Jews who are no longer Obama supporters." Harris scoffed at that no- tion, saying that "Hasner is the best they can do. but the best they can do will'lose." The stakes are high for Democrats. West captured the seat from Democrat incumbent Ron Klein during the Re- publican surge Of 2010. but Florida's Republican-led Legislature redrew the 22nd to make it more Demo- cratic-apparently in a bid to reinforce neighboring districts with likely Repub- lican voters. Watson said. In 2008. Barack Obama won 52 percent of the old district's vote: a national Democratic official says he would have received 57 percent in the reconfigured district based on how the precincts voted. The new map also was seen in some quarters as a rebuke of West. who has made national headlines with often inflammatory statements. He called Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. "vile": likened Democrats to Nazi propa- gandists and suggested that as many as 81 congressional Democrats are members of the Communist Party. Hasner. by contrast, is the affable local boy made good. rising to state House majority leader in his 30s. The new 22nd encompasses 70 percent of his old State Legislature district. Matthew Brooks. the exec- utive director of the Republi- can Jewish Coalition, noted another plus for Hasner, who through the years has assiduously networked with the national party leadership ' through the RJC. "It's likely the Congress is going to stay Republican, and to have a Republican congressman there is going to have an impact" for the district, Brooks said. "He's someone who can get things done, who has a relationship with the leadership." Hasner is not compromis- ing on his commitment to conservative fiscal, security and social policies, but he is eager to portray himself as able to win crossover votes. In an interview he noted the endorsement of Clay Shaw, the GOP moderate who represented the district for years. Hasner said he would stress fiscal policy in his 'ampaigning, pointing out his embrace of the budget proposed by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the chairman of the House budget commit- tee, which includes priva- tizing parts of entitlement programs like Medicare, the government-run medical care program for seniors. "This isn't about ideology, this is about math," Hasner said. "Doing nothing is the path to insolvency." Frankel also zeroes in on the Ryan budget. "The big issue especially for this district is protec- tion of Social Security and Medicare," she said. "He endorses the Ryan budget, which attempts to voucher- ize Medicare." With an emphasis on the economy and entitlements in a disproportionately elderly district, it remains to be seen what role other issues will play in the race. Both candidates have vis- ited Israel multiple times and emphasize it as a top foreign policy issue. Hasner suggested that Frankel's association with Obama might harm her. "I believe the foreign poli- cy of the last three years has made America weaker and less respected." Hasner said. Frankel touted her en- dorsement by pro-choice groups such as Planned Parenthood. Hasner. by con- trast, has said that he would have voted in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood. and he believes "life begins at conception" language rarely used by Jewish can- didates, although he says he would not oppose abortion in certain cases of rape and incest and to preserve the life of the mother. Dinerstein suggested that Frankel's personality could become an issue, saying she earned a reputation for name calling and confrontation when she was West Palm Beach mayor. "Why do you think she's facing a real primary chal- lenge?" he said. Her challenger, Jacobs, asked to distinguish herself from Frankel, said she would "bring a voice of unison" to Washington, pointing to her own work with Republicans and others in improving com- muter choices in the district. Frankel dismissed talk of personalities. "I don't think it's going to be about personalities in terms of policies," she said. "Adam Hasner is even more to the right than Allen West people will be vot- ing their pocketbook, their values." Watson said that Frankel had a reputation as being "tough, at times controver- sial," but this also helped lend her credibility she got things done. Her fundraising of $1.8 million is the best of any Democratic challenger in the country. Jacobs, whose husband is Jewish, has raised $200,000 in the five weeks since she announced her candidacy. Both Hasner and Frankel have courted fundraisers na- tionally and locally. Hasner said he had $700,000 in cash on hand. I Both parhes.have listed the dstrict as amontheir 25 must-wins. The -Iill, a newspaper tracking cgngres- sional races, calls it "toss- up," while The Rothnberg Political Report list it as leaning Democratic. Brooks said that Hasner was attracting suplort of Jewish donors not imply because a victory iwould help preserve the RepSblican majority, but also in the hopes of getting somme Jew- ish company for Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the najority leader and the only ewish Republican on Capitl Hill. "We're raising a lot of money for him in ou PAC," he said, referring to the RJC's separate political ac- tioncommittee."'Leaers are opening their checkbooks for him."