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June 14, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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June 14, 2013
 

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EW N I Health & Fitness Moshe Milner/GPO/Getty Susan Rice in 2009, as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She is now national security adviser. By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)-- Susan Rice has said that a "huge" portion of her work at the United Nations was defending Israel's legitimacy. Her new job will likely be no less Israel-centric. President Obama named Rice June 5 his national secu- rity adviser and replaced her at the U.N. with Samantha Power, one of his top White House advisers. Rice succeeds Tom Donilon, who has been in the post since 2010. Rice has scored mostly high marks from Jewish groups for her defense of Israel at the United Nations, although right-wing groups were furi- ous with her in 2011 when she condemned Israel'sWest Bank settlement policies. She did so even as she cast a Security Council veto that nullified a resolution condemning the settlements. In her new job, Rice isn't likely to get an Israel break-- particularly with Secretary of State John Kerry making a renewed push to bring Is- raelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table. The national security adviser con- suits with top Israeli officials about the peace process, as well as about the turmoil in the region and the potential of an Iranian nuclear threat, Rice has forged close ties with Israeli U.N, diplomats, whom she constantly praises for doing work that exceeds the size of the delegation, and she is likely to also be an enthusiastic advocate for cooperation on the Iran front. In 2008, she signed on to a 2008 Washington Institute for Near East Policy task force paper that described Busy on page 14A By Mike Etzkin Associate Editor Every morning Max, a kindergartner at the Jewish Academy of Orlando, would make sure his mother was awake by 6 because he didn't want to be late for school and his morning ritual: greeting Lynne Shefsky, who had been head of school at the JAO for eight years. At 7:30 a.m. Max would be one of the first students in line to enter the school .... "He would stand r t! y my side, says Shef~a~'~/ l.nnno .~hDf~l,, If I were with sorn of: ' he would wait pafient u,# l It's not 'just the students he had a chance o sa[~G~)~d '~ and parents she'll miss. morning, Mrs. Shefsky.'When he said good morning, he' would be able to,tart his ay." Then there iS tI 'e - old girl who would start each school day with a compliment on Shefsky's "lovely outfit." Shefsky retired this month and says that personal contact has meant so much: "Being outside every morning greet- ing each student and parent-- having a personal connection to each family, that's what I'll miss most." Shefksy will also miss the last-minute run for the door by the students and the parents before she closes it at 8 a.m. Or the times she had to run into the parking lot to catch a parent who forgot to give their children their lunches. "The atmosphere at JAO is one of community and fam- ily," she says. "The staff are not just colleagues, they are friends." Shefsky, who was born in Philadelphia, came to Or-- lando when her husband was transferred from New Jersey to Tampa 21 years ago. "And 16 years-ago he was transferred to Orlando and, of course, I came along," she said. When she arrived in Or- lando, there was an opening for a kindergarten teacher, and she found it a"perfect fit." "The day school created a warm, nurturing environ- ment for the Jewish children of Orlando," Shefsky says. "Zena Sulkes (the 2012 Heritage Shefsky on page 15A By Ron Kampeas By Jacob Kamaras JNS.org Samantha Power, President Barack Obama's replacement -- ~q _ for Susan Rice as U.S. Ambas- sador to the United Nations, has a history of controversial comments about Israel, re- igniting concerns regarding the Obama administration's support for the Jewish state that were raised after the nomination of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Or- ganization of America (ZOA), told JNS.org last Wednes- day that a look at the list of Obama's nominees and appointments to positions that impact Israel--includ- ing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John O. Brennan, and now Power--"makes very clear that President Obama is no friend of Israel, and that he is insensitive to the interests of American Jews and the pro- Israel community, because all of those important posts have been filled with people who have been very hostile Eric Bridiers Samantha Power, the new U. S. Ambassador to the U.N. to Israel." Power from January 2009 to March 2013 held positions including special assistant to the president, senior direc- tor for multilateral affairs and human rights on the National Security Council, and member of the Atrocities Prevention Board. During a 2002 interview at the University of California, Berkeley Institute of Inter- national Studies, when asked what she would advise a U.S. president to do if either party in the Israeli-Palestinian conflictwas "moving towards genocide," Power referenced the pro-Israel lobby by say- ing the situation might mean America"alienating a domes- tic constituency of tremen- dous political and financial import," before seemingly vouching for an American in- vasion of Israel to protect the Palestinians from genocide. "It may mean more cru- cially sacrificing--or in- vesting, I think, more than sacrificing--literally billions of dollars not in servicing Israelis', you know, military, but actually in investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing billions of dollars it would probably take also to support, I think, what will Power on page 14A WASHINGTON (JTA)-- Israel's settlement building is increasingly isolating the country in Europe, leading to European Union policies that could reinforce Israel's delegitimization, according to the top EU representative to the peace process. Andreas Reinicke, the EU's special envoy for the Middle East peace process, said increasing frustration with the settlement movement is leading Europe to adopt poli- cies that single out Israel for punitive measures. In an interview June 5 at the EU's Washington mission, Reinicke, in town for meet- ings with counterparts in the Obama administration, cited two policies in particular: increased levies on goods manufactured in West Bank settlements, which already are in place, and labeling to distinguish products manu- factured in Israel from those in the West Bank, which is under consideration. "What the Europeans feel compelled to do is to make clear that our political posi- tion, our understanding of the territory of the State of IIEA Dr. Andreas Reinicke, the European Union special envoy for the Middle East peace process, speaking at an Institute of International and European Affairs event in January in Dublin. Israel, which is the borders of 1967 including West Jerusa- lem, has to be reflected in our Isolation on page 15A