Newspaper Archive of
Heritage Florida Jewish News
Fern Park , Florida
June 8, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
PAGE 17     (17 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 17     (17 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
June 8, 2012

Newspaper Archive of Heritage Florida Jewish News produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2019. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 8, 2012 Greener ties for Israel and Jordan By Karin Kloosterman Israel21c In wealthy Western coun- tries, rgnewable energy developments are a source of progress; pride and smart business. For. Israel and Jordan, two Middle Eastern countries severely lacking in water and energyresources, renewable energy is a matter of survival. That!s why there&apos;s been a new green twist to the Trilateral Industrial Development Founda- tion (TRIDE), founded in 1996 as a pilot project under the wing of the BIRD Foundation--the Israel- US Binational Industrial Research and Develop- ment Foundation--to cre- ate joint ventures among Israeli, Jordanian and American companies. " The latest iteration of the cooperative project will support water, agritech and renewable energy companies in the two neighboring na- tions, which hive a peace treaty but only limited dealings. • BIRD executive director Eitan Yudilevich explains that Jordan is supported heavily by USAID because U.S. State Department considers it important to contribute to a stable and prospering Jordan for the sake of peace and economic development. TRIDE, run out of BIRD's Israel office, gives matching grants of up to half a million dollars to three partners with mutual goals. TRIDE has already funded a handful of partnerships, most recently a research project started in 2009 to produce a second-generation synthetic diesel biofuel from organic raw materials. The Israeli company MME IL, the National Energy Research Center in Jordan and the Florida-based Nibor Enterprises set out to "map the existence of raw materi- als in Jordan and in Israel and to build a model to see if the process can be finan- cially viable," Yudilevich tells Israel21c. "I think in this type of project it is irflportant to mention that there were a great many visits from both the Jordanians into Israel and the Israelis into Jordan," he stresses. "There were thousands of emaiis between them, and Skype calls every week." The next stage is to use the results to set up a plant close to the raw material sources, whether in Jordan, Israel or on the southern border between the two. The biofuel can be pro- duced from forest residues olive-processing waste, digester sludge, chicken manure and all types of organic raw materials, says By Edwin Black Special to the Heritage First of 2 parts For 15 years, Egyptian- Jewish businessman Refael Bigio has been battling a goliath corporate adversary, The Coca-Cola Co. Bigio charges that Coke has been profiting from his family's stolen property just outside Cairo. The Bigio family's property was expropri- ated by Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser in the mid-1960s during one of Egypt's anti-Jewish purges. Over the course of a decade and a half, the Coca-Cola Co. has steadfastly refused to bargain in good faith or to negotiate any fair com- pensation for the expropri- ated property; according to Bigio's lawyers. In the company's defense, Coke's attorneys have defended Egypt's anti-Jewish seizures and even those of Hitler's Germany as contiscations that "did not violate inter- national law." Coca-Cola's stony refusal to even place a fair offer on the table, Bigio's attorneys charge, stands in bitter con- trast to hundreds of millions of dollars in profits derived since 1965 from the opera- tions of Coca-Cola Egypt. Coke has always known that its multimillion dollar wind- fall in Egypt has been and is now being generated by property unlawfully stolen from its Jewish owners by Nasser's regime in a Nazi- style property seizure. In other words, the company is in possession of stolen property--and knows it. Coke's only defense is that the theft Bigio suffered, for no reason other that he was Jewish, actually did not violate international law and was perfectly legal. By Coke's long-standing legal rationale, the property of every Jew in the world could be seized without violating international law. After 15 years, Bigio be- lieves he is now locked in a mortal struggle--rt with a beverage company, not with Jewish Egyptian vs. Coca-Cola chairman its powerful million-dollar attorneys from the law firm of King and Spalding--but with the only man Who has the authority to resolve the conflict: Muhtar Kent, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Co. "The Coca-Cola Co. had clearly mistreated our fam- ily in a shameless way," says Bigio from his current home in Montreal. With exas- peration, he adds, "Enough with the multiple excuses invented by the Coca-Cola legal team. "Today the ul- timate responsibility lies on its chairman, Muhtar Kent. Kent needs to look at the acquisition of the El Nasr Bottling Co. [ENBC], an entity which gobbled up and was merged with the industrial complex of theBi- gio family property in Cairo, two bottling factories--all seized by Nasser for no other reason than we were Jews." He adds, "Chairman Kent needs to examine every aspect of the transaction his company undertook years before he ever became chairman. He needs to ask himself: Is itacceptable that in defense against our fam- ily's claim, one of the argu- ments of the Coca-Cola legal team presented in 1997 is: 'Seizure of Jewish citizens' property in Nazi Germany did not violate international law'? Mr. Kent in his current tenure and in the future will be remembered on how he resolves our case by direct- ing his legal team to pay all due compensation long overdue to our family." Bigio's attorneys, award- winning constitutional attor- ney Alyza Lewin and her fa- ther, Nathan Lewin, add their own measure of disgust. "It is absolutely appalling," says Alyza Lewin, "that a company making so much money off Jewish patrons, should state that what Nasser did to the Jews--and what the Nazis did to Jews--was perfectly legal under international law. It is shocking and appalling." Ironically, as Bigio squares off against Kent over Nazi and Egyptian anti-Jewish persecution, the greatest insult may not be to average sensibilities but to the legacy of Kent's own father, Necdet Kent. Coca Cola's chairman Muhtar Kent is a Turkish Muslim. His father earned legendary distinction as the Turkish Muslim diplomat who cou- rageously plac.ed his own life on the line to save Jews during World War II. The elder Kent, Necdet, was Tur- key's vice consul-general in Nazi-dominated Marseilles, France, betweeff1941 and 1944. He distributed Turk- ish citizenship papers to dozens of Turkish Jews liv- ing in France to save them from round-ups and depor- tation that would deliver them to Nazi gas chambers. One singular act of valor by the elder Kent occurred in Marseilles one night in 1943. Nazis and French police were herding local Turkish Jews into cattle cars. Their final destination would be the gas chambers. When Kent learned of •this latest round-up, he raced down to the railroad station at St. Charles. As the Jews were being loaded into the cars, Kent saw an indelible scene that seared his conscience. "The one single memory of that evening which will never be erased from my mind," the elder Kent re- lated in a book on Holocaust heroism. "What I saw was in- credible: cattle trucks full of people, hundreds of women and children, sobbing and screaming!" His eyes were drawn to an "inscription which I saw on one of the wagons: 'This wagon may be loaded with 20 large beasts and 500 kilograms of hay.' And in each of these wagons, I saw almost 80 Jews pushed in one on top of another." Even after the Gestapo commander at the tracks de- manded that Kent leaye the area, • he refued, insisting the Jews in those cattle cars were Turkish citizens, and therefore protected. When the Gestapo commander de- fiantly refused to exempt the PAGE 17A A cooperative triangle involving Jordan, Israel and the US turns its attention to produc- ing alternative fuels for the two Mideast neighbors. Yudilevich. Right now the companies involved are look- ing for financing to build the pilot plant. "We are now in touch with both an Israeli and Jorda- nian company on energy efficiency. They already have a relationship and we are waiting for their proposal• It's a very promising project in agricultural technologies Jews, Kent and his assistant astonished the Germans by jumping aboard the boxcars. Now there were two Turkish diplomats on a train destined for a death camp. The Gestapo officer plead- ed with Kent to jump off. He would not, even as the locomotive began chugging out of the station. As the death train rumbled down the track, Kent had no idea what his fate would be. When the train stopped at the next station, a group of German officers stepped aboard, approached and apologized• Kent was directed to a Mercedes parked near the tracks, ready to escort him back to Marseilles. Kent still refused: "I explained [to the German], that more than 80 Turkish citizens had been loaded on to these animal wagons because they were Jews and that I was a representative of a government that rejected such treatment." Finally, the flustered Germans unloaded the Jews, thus ending the standoff• The saved Jews wept uncon- trollably and lavished Kent with endless hundred-year hugs. Kent remembered, "Those embraces around our necks and hands ... the expressions of gratitude in the eyes of the people we rescued ... the inner peace I felt when I reached my bed towards morning." After Necdet Kent retired from a career of valiant dip- lomatic service, he received Turkey's Supreme Service Medal. Israel also bestowed a special medal upon Kent, with the inscription: "Sav- ing one life is like saving all the world." Kent told the assembled audience, "What I have done is what I should have done. I knew I had to act." Next week: Enter Necdet Kent's son. Edwin Black is an award- winning and New York Times bestselling author of "IBM and the Holocaust, "as well as "The Farhud: Roots of the Arab-Nazi Alliance in the Holocaust." to improve the quality of seed plants." The so-called Arab Spring hasn't made any difference in how Israeli and Jordanian partners do business, says Yudilevich, who frequently makes the trip over the border. He also notes that look- ing at the trends, trade has actually improved between Israel and Jordan over the last year. He believes that investing in, and participat- ing in, projects like TRIDE can further advance the . peace process in ways that government negotiations cannot achieve. "There are two aspects to this," says Yudilevich, a Chilean-born Israeli Jew. "The clear aspect is that we have neighbors and if we have trade with our neighbors it is good for our economy. Now, it won't be a huge amount of trade in economic value because other markets are larger, like China. [However,] clearly economic value is no less important than creat- ing this relationship which • makes the peace treaty [be- tween Israel and Jordan], still relatively cold, into a peace treaty among the people•" Sudoku solution from page 7 73168524 9 4 528347691 1 734581962 861492375 295736148 659814237 m 1476-23859 382975416 16259783 •-\\;Ve are your source for: Invitations, Brochures Letterheods • Envelopes • Business Cords Progroms • FILlers Post Cards • Forms Dgit(]l Photogr(]phy - L(]bels Direct Moil I 00M]002:Z002 .... . legantp " "g. 205 North Street ° Longwood, FL :2750 ! •: !:! . ¸ 00Greenspace Coni,lal  Malntenance Inc. Commercial, Office, Residential Professional/Reasonable/Free Estimate ROOF .LEAKING? Fast Service ,, Reasonable Prices ,FREE Estimates Handyman Services Specializing in Roof Repair and of all types of Home Repair Beljay Roofing, Inc. [i i/i.L,  Call Robert at 407.970.4448 [i-::: .,:,; ' :i :,./ , Guaranteed Roof & Home Repairs S,ir,00le, Flat, Tile, 00etal nepair00 Reroof00  :< ..... -- Licensed and Insured COO1328227