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May 25, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS Editorials ................................ 4A Op-Ed ..................................... 5A Calendar ..................... .... ... .... 6A Synagogue Directory ............... 7A B'nai Mitzvah .......................... 8A Scene Around ......................... 9A Classified ................................ 2B Obama vs. Romney: The Jewish debate Ben Sales Some 40,000 haredi Orthodox men filled Citi Field in New York May 20 to rally against the dangers of the lnternet. Haredim fill New York baseball stadium to decry error of Internet's ways By Ben Sales Ephraim Wachsman, a haredi Orthodox Purity of the Camp, barred women from NEWYORK (JTA)--The sellout crowd that filled Citi Field last Sunday night wore black and white, not the New York Mets' blue and orange. And instead of jeering the Philadelphia Phillies or Atlanta Braves, they faced a foe that was, to hear them talk about it, far more formidable: the World Wide Web. "The Internet even with a filter is a minefield of immorality," said Rabbi lecturer. "This issue is the test of the gen- eration. Your strength at this gathering will determine what Judaism will look like a few years from now." The rally to caution haredi Orthodox Jews about the dangers of the Internet drew a crowd of more than 40,000 men to the stadium, most of them wearing black hats. The group organizing the rally, Ichud HaKehillos LeTohar HaM- achane, or Union of Communities for attending-=consummatewith the haredi practice of separating the sexes. In Yiddish and English speeches, rabbis from haredi communities in the United States, Canada and Israel decried the access that the Internet gives haredim to the world outside their community. Speakers called the Internet "impure," a threat to modesty and compared it to Haredlm on page 18A South Sudan develops unlikely friendship with Israel By Armin Rosen JUBA, South Sudan (JTA)-- This city in the world's newest country is not your typical Arabic-speaking capital. For one thing, most of the city's inhabitants are Chris- tian. For another, the Israeli flag is ubiquitous here. .q t .,q i i , Miniature Israeli flags hang from car windshields and flut- ter at roadside stalls, and at the Juba souk in the city's down- town, you can buy lapel pins With the Israeli flag alongside its black, red and green South Sudanese counterpart. "I love Israel," said Joseph Lago, who sells pens, chewing gum and phone cards at a small wooden stall decorated with Israeli and South Suda- nese flags. "They are people of God." Many South Sudanese are not just pro-Israel but proudly and openly so. There's a Juba neighborhood called Jerusa- lem. A hotel near the airport is called the Shalom. Perhaps most notable, South Sudan's fondness for Israel extends to the diplo- matic arena, where the two countries have been building strategic ties in a relationship that long preceded the found- ing of South Sudan last July. "They see in us kind of a role model in how a small nation surrounded by enemies can survive and prosper, and they would like to imitate that," Sudan on page 19A Armin Rosen A crowded street in Juba, South Sudan. Armin Rosen James Lago, a street merchant in Juba, South Sudan, with the Israeli flag. Where Barack Obama and Mitt Rommy stend on the most important issues to the Jewish community. By Alina Dain Sharon JointMedia News Service On May 5, President Barack Obama kicked off his re- election campaign in front of a crowd of 14,000 people at Ohio State University. Obama presented his new campaign slogan, "Forward," and strongly criticized his pre- sumed Republican opponent Mitt Romney. Sixty-one percent of respon- dents in a recent American Jewish Committee survey said they would vote for Obama, who garnered 78 percent of the Jewish vote in the 2008 presidential election. Now that a Romney-Obama matchup in November is all but inevitable, JointMedia News Service com- pares Obama's record from his firsttermwith Romney'sviews and campaign statements on the most important issues to the Jewish community. ISRAEL AND THE CON- FLICT Obama: "There should not be a shred of doubt right now: When the chips are down, I have Israel's back," the president said at the 2012 AIPAC conference in response to ongoing criticism that his policies regarding the Jewish state and the conflict with the Palestinians are shaky. On the one hand, Obama had publically opposed last September's unilateral Pales- tinian bid for statehood rec- ognition at the United Nations and approved nearly $1 billion for Israel's Iron Dome missile defense program. However, he also endorsed a solution to the conflict with the Palestinians based on "the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps," which Israeli Prime Minister Ben- jamin Netanyahu has said is dangerous to Israel's security. Obama has also criticized Jew- ish building in the West Bank. Under Obama's administra- tion, the U.S. State Depart- ment has refused to publically recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "Our policy with regard to Jerusalem is that it has to be solved through negotiations," State Depart- ment spokeswoman Victoria Nuland recently said. Romney: In thewake of 0bama's 1967 Debate on page 18A Consideration of Cuban demands By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA) Ad- vocates for Alan Gross say talk of a trade with the "Cuban Five" is a non-starter, but acknowl- edge hopes that the Obama administration will consider lower-level concessions for the five Cuban spies in exchange for Cuban considerations for the jailed American. Insiders say that Gross' advo- cateswantthe U.S. government to consider, among other mea- sures, more family visits for the Cuban Five, agents who were arrested in 1998 and convicted in 2001 on espionage-related charges, and the permanent return home for the one among them who is now out of jail and serving probation. The Cuban government recently came closer than ever to making explicit that the fate of the Cuban Five factors into its considerations of whether to release Gross, the State Depart- ment contractor who is in jail ona conviction stemming from his efforts to connect Cuba's small Jewish community to the Internet. Gross, who is Jewish, was arrested in 2009 and sentenced last year to 15 years in prison. "We have made clear to the U.S. government that we are ready to have a negotiation in order to try and find a solution, a humanitarian solution to Mr. Gross' case on a reciprocal basis," Josefina Vidal, the top official in the Cuban Foreign Ministry handling NorthAmer- ica, said in a May 10 interview on CNN. Cuban on page 18A cq