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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 7, 2013 Israel under the radar By Marcy Oster JERUSALEM (JTA)-- Here are some stories out of Israel that you may have missed: Record-setting Slabbat table? The central Israeli city of Bnei Brak set what is believed to be the world's longest Shabbat table. At 197 feet long, thetable set with china plates, crystal goblets and silver candle- sticks, as well as traditional Shabbat foods, comfortably seats more than 300, Ynet reported. The •municipality, in conjunction with the Bnei Brak-based Coca-Cola Co. and the haredi Orthodox advertising agencyMeimad, set the table in an attempt to set a Guinness record. The table is also gunning for the world record for the best-setctable. Prom plea Tone down your proms. That was the request to Israeli high school seniors from the nation's education minister, Shai Piron, writ- ing on his Facebook page. "Think. about the way you celebrate graduation. Maybe I'm conservative, but I don't really like the word 'ball.' I don't like the great expense that puts students who are hard-up in an awk- ward position," Piron wrote. Piron suggested on Face- book that the seniors re- place the prom with a char- ity or social action project. The Knesset's Educa- tion, Culture and Sport Committee, the National Parents' Association and the Education Ministry met two weeks ago and called for an end to the excesses sometimes associated with the year-end proms. Prom is a reasonably re- cent phenomenon in Israel. The big dance found its way into the country along with American television dramas about young people in the mid-1990s, according to Allison Kaplan Sommers, writing in Haaretz. Israeli proms are or- Courtesy Absolut Absolut vodka's special Tel Aviv bottle edition, which is inspired by the famous Nordau, Rothschild and Chen boulevards, and their ficus trees. ganized by the students and not sponsored by the schools. Like their American counterparts, the Israelis purchase expensive cloth- ing and rent limousines-- and perhaps imbibe a little more than they should. Soldiers, not locusts A crop-dusting plane spreading pesticide on swarms of locusts acciden- tally sprayed a battalion of Israeli soldiers in southern Israel. The planes spread out during May to attack armies of juvenile locusts that had hatched from eggs laid by a swarm of locusts invad- ing Israel from Egypt right before Passover. One crop-duster veered off course, spraying a para- trooper brigade operating near the border with the Gaza Strip, the Times of Israel reported. The soldiers were treated at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva. Israeli moms' place in the world--25th Israel was ranked as the 25th be§t country--the top 20 percent--to be a mother. The Mothers' Index of the 2013 State of the World's Mothers prepared by the Save the Children charity ranked 176 countries. The United States was 30th on the list. The countries were as- sessed based on maternal health, children's well- being, women's educational status, women's-economic status and women's politi- cal status. The lifetime risk of ma- ternal death in Israel is one in 5,100 mothers, compared with one in 16 in bottom- ranked Somalia. Mothers in Israel have an average of 15.7 years of schooling and a gross income of $28,930. Scanning for kashrut Now all you need in Tel Aviv to determine the standard of kashrut at a restaurant is asmartphone. The Tel Aviv Rabbinate has started issuing kashrut certificates with quick re- sponse bar codes, enabling diners to scan the code to receive kashrut information about the establishment. One can find the level of kashrut, ranging from regular to mehadrin, as well as the phone number of the kashrut supervisor. A Kosher Checker app, or Bodek Kashrut, also is available for download. Meanwhile, coasumers without a smartphone Can call a 24-hour line, provide the bar code number of the kashrut certificate and ac- quire the same information. The bar codes are de- signed to prevent restau- rants from offering fake or expired kashrut certifi- cates. Keep the 'cafe hafuch' (that's a latte) coming Another smartphone app will have appeal for Tel Avivians with an insatiable desire for coffee. A new loyalty program called CUPSTelAviv al- lows consumers to pay an ali-you,can-drink fee per month or a smaller fee for one cup of coffee per day. An app locates the coffee shops and kiosks participating in the program; servers put a code into the app on the smartphone. A half hour after order- ing, coffee fiends can order a refill--or go to another shop sooner for a second cup. Most of the 40 participat- ing cafes are independent, neighborhood coffee shops.- The program started last September with nine loca- tions. The $45 fee may be worth it, considering a cup of the Israeli favorite cafe hafuch--the equivalent of a latte--is about $4 a cup. CUPSTelAviv CEO Alon Ezer told the Times of Israel that he is ready to expand beyond Tel Av.iv. Mr. Toad of the Golan Students from an elemen- tary school in the Golan Heights returned a rare toad to the wild after finding it in a stream near their school. The Eastern Spadefoot toad, an endangered spe- cies, was discovered near the Avital elementary school at Kibbutz Marom Golan. "Finding the'toad made the children happy. They took pictures of it and returned it to the stream, hoping it would help bring about the. next generation of its kind," Yael Sela, head of the education and public relations department at the Kinneret River Authority, told Haaretz. The toad is native to the Galilee, the Golan Heights and the Mediterranean coast. Tadpoles of the same endangered species were found last year near Kibbutz Gaash along central Israel's coastline. Flying menagerie to Turkey Israel and Turkey may be arguing over reparations payments for the Mavi Marmara, but they are in harmony on animals: Last month, 45 animals and their Israeli handlers from the Safari Zoological Center in Ramat Gan flew Turkish Airlines to Istanbul, passed through Customs and took a truck to the zmir PAGE 17A Metropolitan Municipality Natural Life Park as part of an exchange program, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily "reported. The animals--nyalas, koatis, marmosets, fruit bats and sacred ibis--are the first of their kinds at the Turkish park. The exchange had a price tag of more than $50O,000. israel sent an elephant named Winner to Izmir in 2008, and Winner sired the first elephant born in Turkey in 2011. Jerusalem cable cars on the way The Jerusalem Munici- pality has proposed a plan to build a cable car system to connect the Western Wall with other areas of Jerusalem. The two-line system would connect the Old City's Dung Gate with the Mount of Olives and with the Khan Theater. According to the plan, the system will be able to transport up to 6,000 pas-" sengers per hour for the four-minute trip. The system reportedly would work in conjunction with the light rail system. "Beyond being a trans- portation solution, a cable car will be an innovative and unique tourist attrac- tion and offer breathtaking views of the city," Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said in a statement. "It will also strengthen and increase the number of tourists arriving in Jerusalem. ' Absolut-ly Tel hviv Israel's city that doesn't sleep, Tel Aviv, will be en- shrined in a special edition Absolut vodka bottle. The bottle is being re- leased as part of the Absolut Blank series designed by Pilpeled, or the artist Nir Peled, Ynet reported. It is dedicated to the ficus-tree streets of Tel Aviv, and the design is inspired by the nightlife of Nordau, Roth- schild and Chen boulevards. A limited edition of 150,000 bottles will be released• History From page 1A embroiled the Obama ad- ministration in controversy over what looks to some like an attempt to criminalize journalism. "Rosen was note charged with any crime, but it is unprecedented for the gov. eminent, in an official court document, to accuse a re- porter of breaking the law for conducting the routine business of reporting on government secrets," wrote Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker's Washington correspondent. The controversial statute also was at the heart of a case several years ago targeting two former lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. The case eventually was dropped• The statute, known as 793(e), has been vexing re- porters and lawyers for de- cades and was updated by Congress in 1950 over a veto by President Harry Truman. The statute criminalizes the "willful" retention of "unau- thorized" national defense information and the failure to return such information to the government. In a definitiv.e 1973 analysis of the Espionage Act for the Columbia Law Review, U.S. Constitution experts Harold Edgar and Benno Schmidt said that language poses "the greatest threat to the acquisi- tion and publication of defense information by reporters and newspapers." "If these statutes mean what they seem to say and are constitutional," they wrote, "public speech in this country since World War II has been rife with criminality." Nevertheless, despite its vagueness and reputation among constitutional lawyers as unenforceable, successive administrations at times have considered 793(e) as a tool to prevent leaks. But public officials have been divided on the question of whether it • is an appropriate application of the law. John Ashcroft, the attor- ney general under President George W. Bush, cited the stat- ute as one he was prepared to use to stop leaks in testimony he was set to deliver before a congressional committee days before Sept. 11, 2001. The testimony was delayed and ultimately never happened. Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor who successfully convicted vice presilential aid Lewis "Scooter" Libby on perjury charges, said at the time Of Libby's indictment in 2005 that he contemplated using the Espionage Act but ultimately decided against it. He said the law's broad appli- cation might not be appropri- ate in an American context. Two cases in which the government successfully in- voked 793(e) involved actual documents and not just oral exchanges. In both cases, the accused were government employees charged under ad- ditional separate statutes tar- What does it mean to will- fully retain unauthorized information? Edgar and Schmidt noted that the provision would seem to be criminalizing memory• More than three decades later, the judge trying the AIPAC case, T.S. Ellis III, asked the same question. "What are they supposed to do?" he asked prosecutors, referring to Weissman and Rosen. "Have a lobotomy?" The AIPAC case stemmed from a conversation Weiss- man had in 2004 with a mid- level Pentagon analyst, Larry Franklin, in a suburban shop- ping mall. Franklin informed Weissman that Iran was set to • target Israeli and American targets in northern Iraq. The information was false; the FBI was using Franklin in a sting operation to net the AIPAC geting leaking and espionage., staffers. One of the major problems with the statute identified by Edgar and Schmidt would emerge in the government's 2005-09 case against Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, the former AIPAC lobbyists: Weissman relayed the infor- mation to Rosen, and together they relayed it to journalists, their colleagues at AIPAC and Israeli diplomats. They also attempted to convey it to the Bush White House. Throughout pretrial hear- ings in the case, prosecutors repeatedly assured the court that they did not anticipate its use against journalists;Weiss- man and Rosen, they argued, were in a separate category as lobbyists. Defense lawyers noted Vhat the First Amend- ment extended its protections to lobbyists as well. • Viet Dinh, an assistant deputy attorney general under George W. Bush, wrote in an amicus brief in the AIPAC case--filed in 2006, after he had left the Department of Justice--that 793(e) posed constitutional challenges. AUowing its use "would only serve to chill the use of truth- ful information on matters of extreme public concern to advance the public's interest in the foreign policy process," Dinh wrote. Mindful of such constitu- tional hazards, Ellis set the bar high for conviction: The government would have to persuade a jury that Rosen and Weissman not only"retained" unauthorized information, but that they knew that do- ing so would harm the United States• O n May 1, 2009, the prose- cution dismissed the charges, saying it was in "the public interest."  Development Corporation for Israel Israel Bonds 12600 South Belcher Road, Suite 101A JSP'ArLiZBONDS Largo, Florida 33773 • Reva Pearlstein " Monica DiGiovanni Asistanf Director Registered ReF'esenaive 727-539-6445 u 8OO-622-8017 tampa@israe[bonds.com www.israelbonds,com