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June 19, 2009

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PAGE 8A German pol calls for Israel in EU BERLIN (JTA)--A German politician called for Israel to be a full member of the European Union. Parliament member Gert Weisskirchen, foreign policy speaker for the Social Demo- cratic Party, said June 8 that he "would be very pleased if Israel were a full member," but only if Israel would sup- port the establishment of a Palestinian state. Weisskirchen's remarks to the Hamburg Abendblatt newspaper come one week after another German politi- cian, EU Parliament President Hans-Gert Pottering of the rival Christian Democratic Party, said he supports a "privileged partnership~' for Israel with the European Union, but not EU member- ship.That goes for Turkey and Ukraine, too, he said. Like Weisskirchen. Potter- ing would make EU partner- ship with Israel contingent on Israel's acceptance of a Palestinian state. The argument reflects ten- sions between Germany's two power-sharing parties, which have opposing positions on EU extension. However, it is not Israel but Turkey that is thekey point ~)f contention. Accession talks with Turkey have been on hold since 2006. Weisskirchen, a staunch pro-Israel liberal, wants Tur- key to be in the EU. Pottering, just as committed to Israel, opposes Turkey's accession. In Austria, too, Turkey and Israel were linked recently in the EU membership debate, but not by friends of Israel. Rather itwas the anti-foreign- er, right-wing Austrian Free- dom Party that" took up the issue, arguing in a campaign ad against EU membership for both countries. HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 19, 2009 Weekly roundup of world briefs from JTA Iran rejects IAEA surveil- lance cameras JERUSALEM (JTA)--Iran will not allow the United Na- tions' nuclear watchdog to install surveillance cameras at a nuclear site. Iran rejected a request from the International Atomic Energy Agency to install the cameras at the Natanz site. the Associated Press reported June 11, citing unnamed diplomats. An IAEA report released the previous week found that Iran has stepped up its production of nuclear fuel and now has 7,200 installed centrifuges, which reportedly could fuel two nuclear weap- ons ayear, at its underground bunker in Natanz. Iran also recently denied nuclear inspectors access to the site when they arrived for a surprisevisit, theAP reported. Family allegedly kills teen for collaborating JERUSALEM (JTA) A 15-year-old Palestinian boy allegedly was killed by his family after being accused of collaborating with Israel. The victim was tortured before being hanged, accord- ing to the Jerusalem Post and other reports. Palestinian Authority po- lice arrested several mem- bers of the teen's family in connection with the murder, including his father, uncleand a cousin. The suspects report- edly confessed to killing the teen for being a collaborator. ~Israelis arrested in Lebanon freed JERUSALEM (JTA) -Two sisters arrested in Lebanon for having Israeli passports we~'e released and sent to Israel. The women, who reportedly were in Lebanon to visit rela- tives, were released June 11. One of the two women, who flew to Beirut International airport a few days ago, voted in the June 7 Lebanese elections, reported the Hezbollah-run A1- Manar television network. Both women, ages 67 and 69, hold Lebanese passports and one also holds an American passport. The women were in the custody of Lebanese security authorities. Their detention came as Lebanon arrested 10 more people accused of spying for Israel. bringing the number of alleged spies charged to 68. Liberian dictator Taylor discovers Judaism JERUSALEM (JTA)--For- mer Liberian dictator Charles Taylor has decided to convert to Judaism, one of his wives told the BBC. Taylor, who is set to go on trial forwar crimes in the Spe- cial Court for Sierra Leone, apparently discovered Juda- ism in prison in the Hague. "He's nowaJew. He's practic- ing Judaism," Victoria Taylor told BBC Radio June 2 after a three-week visit with her husband. "When he got to the Hague, he got to know that he really, really wanted to be a Jew. wanted to convert to Judaism." Victoria Taylor said her hus- band "does believe in Christ," and that "he hasn't rejected Christianity. He has always been a Christian. He just de- cided to become a Jew. He wants to follow the two religions." Brazil soccer clubs plan 'peace match' RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) Brazil's two major soccer teams will hold a"peace match" in the Palestinian Authority. Officials from the Flameflgo and Corinthians clubs declared on June 8 that the match will be carried out "in Palestine" this year on a date and place to be announced soon. The first edition of the "peace match" was held in Haiti, in 2004, when Brazil's squad beat the host country, 6-0. The Brazilians were escorted by the United Na- tions military to the stadium because of turmoil in Haiti. Brazilian star Ronaldo wore a T-shirt with the word peace written in four languages. At the end of the match, the Brazilian squad held a banner that read "Social justice is the true name of peace" in Creole. N.Y. lawmaker says Holo- caust memorial only for Jews NEW YORK (JTA)--A New York state assemblyman said a Brooklyn Holocaust memo- rial should only be for Jews. Dov Hikind, a Brooklyn Democrat, said the memo- rial should not recognize the othervictims of the Nazis. the New York Post reported. The memorial in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood was erected by the City of New York. "These people are not in the same category as Jewish people with regards to the Holocaust." said Hikind, an Orthodox Jew whose district includes the heavily Chasidic section Borough Park. !'It is so vastly different. You cannot" compare political prisoners with Jewish victims." Along with 6 million Jew- ish victims, millions of gays, disabled people and Roma also were persecuted by the Nazis a fact that several city officials played up in their defense of a plan to recognize those groups at the memorial. "It wasn't only the Jews thatwere massacred." said the city's Jewish tnayor. Michael Bloomberg. Schakowsky nixes Senate bid WASHINGTON (JTA)--II- linois Rep. Jan Schakowsky has decided not to run for the U.S. Senate. Schakowsky, serving her sixth~term in the House of Representatives, will seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives next year instead of seek- ing the Senate seat now held by Roland Burris, like Schakowsky a Democrat. Schakowsky, who is Jewish, said she believed she couldwin but did not want to spend the next year fund raising instead of being part of a "once-in-a- lifetime opportunity to make progressive change." "'I decided that I simply couldn't do it if I mounted a campaign for Senate." she said in a statement released June 8. A number of Illinois politi- cians have expressed interest in pursuing the Illinois Senate. seat next year, which Barack Obama vacated when he be- came president. Burris was appointed to the position by Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich after Blago- jevich was arrested for an alleged "pay-to-play" scheme. proposing to possible appoin- tees that they raise money for his re-election campaign in eXchange for the position. Burris, a former judge, has said he did not raise money for Blagojevich, but tapes of phone conversations released by prosecutors last month xevealed that Burris did speak to Blagojevich's brother about raising money for the governor. Irish Jewish students 'quar- antined' for Shabbat exam DUBLIN (JTA)--A group of Jewish Irish Students who were "quarantined" over Shabbat are taking a state English exam a day late. While students across the rest of the country took the test, the handful of Jewish high-schoolers spent their Saturday (June 6) without access to electronic media under supervision in obser- vant households in Dublin to ensure they did not have access to the questions on the national exam The decision to quaran- tine came following discus- sions between Ireland's only Jewish secondary school and the Irish state examination commission. The test. which forms part of the Leaving Certificate college entrance exams. had to be re-scheduled from June 4 after teachers at a school in County Louth inadvertently distributed the paper a day early to students who were sitting for a different test. Within hours the contents of the exam had been widely disseminated via text mes- sages and the Internet, forc- ing the Irish Department of Education to postpone the test until June 6. Arkansas shooter re- searched Jewish sites WASHINGTON (JTA)The man charged with killing a solider in an attack on an Arkansas military recruiting center on had been research- ing Jewish sites. Abdulhakim Mujahaid Mu- hammad, an American con- vert to Islam who opened fire June I on the recruiting office in Little Rock. had conducted research on other targets. including military sites, gov- ernment facilities and Jewish institutions, according to law enforcement officials. Muhammad had looked at Jewish entities in Little Rock, Philadelphia, Atlanta, New York. Louisville and Memphis, the officials said. They believe he acted alone. was angry about the wars in Iraq andAfghanistan, and said he was targeting U.S. soldiers "because of what they had done in the past." Muhammad pleaded not guilty June 2 to one count of capital murder and 16 counts of committing a terrorist act. A moment with a theater Renaissance man NEW YORK Dan Wolf received a New Jewish The- atre Projects grant fromthe Foundation for Jewish Culture for his stage adaptation of the novel "Angry BlackWhite Boy." He is a multi-disciplinary per- formerwho combines conven- tional theater styles with the themes, language, music and aesthetics of hip-hop. Wolf is ' a founding member of the hip- hop collective Felonious and a resident artistwith the Hybrid Project at San Francisco's In- tersection for the Arts. During the day he is the pro- gram manager of The Hub at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. which pres- ents cutting-edge programs that promote the evolution of Jewish arts. culture and ritual. Here are four questions proposed by-the Foundation for Jewish Culture for Wolf. Question: What are you working on now and how did you get there? Answer: Right now I am working on "Stateless." a hip-hop vaudeville experi- ment. Inspired by a true story, "Stateless" is a hip-hop exploration of racism in the Jewish- andAfrican-American experience. "Stateless" is a multimedia collage'of history, new music, German folk songs, comedy, magic, vaudeville and ghost stories, and features the "gypsy-klezmer music' of One Ring Zero as we reinvent and reimagine the music and vaudeville performance styles made popular bymy ancestors. In 1999 I met an artist/ filmmaker from Hamburg, Germany, who wanted to make a film about my. family. I had no idea, but my great- grandfather and his brothers were famous vaudevillians (singers, actors, comedians) in the 1920s known as Die Gerbrueder Wolf (The Wolf Brothers). They wrote over 600 song~ and their most famous, 'An de eck steiht Jung mit'n Tuedelband,' is still very popular. The Tuedelband song as it is known is sung in schoolyards, during the halftime of soccer games, and every famous singer has recorded it. but most people don't know who wrote it be- cause in 1938 the Nazis said that it was too German for Jews to sing and that it no longer belonged to its authors. The play will be produced by Traveling Jewish Theatre in October 2009. Q: Which work are you. most proud of or feel best defines you? A: I am defined by all the disparate work I do. from cre- ating theater to recording and playing with my live hip-hop band Felonious, to the artistic curatorial work I do as manager of The Hubat the JCCSF. I am particularly proud of my last the- ater piece, "Angry Black White Boy," because itwas suchalarge project to embark on. I had never adaptedanovel intoaplay, and taking a brilliant 300-plus page novel and turning it into a compelling hour-and-a-half of theater was quite a challenge, personally and professionally. In the arts there are different levels of success commer- cial, critical, personal--and for me this one hit on all three. The fact that we ran for 12 sold-out weeks and got great press and great audience response was above and beyond anything I could're imagined. Now we're working on getting "Angry Dan Wolf Dan Wolf Black White Boy" out of the Bay Area and into theaters and universities everywhere. . Q: How does your Jewish identity inform your work? A: I think everything I do has a deep connection to my Jewish identity and my attempt to define what that means for me. I think Jews are experi- encing an artistic/cultural renaissance in this country, especially on the East and West coasts, and that allows me to question what I see as the confines of contemporary Jewish life. As an artist there is nothing more potent than being able to work with the palate of sadness, anger, fear. assimilation, confusion, rejec- tion, pride, rebirth, lineage and history, which are all things I am struggling with when 1 talk about my Jewish identity. Q: What is your dream project? A: My dream project is sim- ple to have a long, sustainable career as an artist. (OK. it's not that simple.) I ~ove the idea of creating new work and premier- ing it in San Francisco, taking it to New York, touring it inter- nationally and then turning it into a film. I also love working with students to articulate the process of creating art since that call and response only deepens my understanding of what I don't know. I also have this crazy idea of bringing a beatboxer, D J/pro- ducer, vocalists and rappers to concentration camps such as Auschwitz, Neuengamme and Ravensbrook, writing/creating music and recording it onsite. We'll see what happens. For more information on Dan Wolf, "Angry Black White Boy" and "Stateless," visit For more information on the Ge- brueder Wolf, visit Four Ques- tions is a recurring feature looking at writers and artists supported by the Foundation for Jewish Culture.