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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 Tal Manor/IDF Spokesman/Flash 90/JTA IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz (with binoculars) tours the Israeli border with Syria on May 21. Border clashes may make it hard for Israel to steer clear of Syria conflict By Ben Sales "Anyone who threatens to hit or hits forces for its security," Netanyahu told JERUSALEM (JTA)--For much of the past two years, Israel has taken a singular approach to the Syrian civil war: Stay as far away as possible. But with a recent string of Victories by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and the crumbling of the U.N. peacekeep- ing force that has kept the peace along the border for four decades, the tack is becoming considerably harder. Assad's statement that he had decided to engage in military action against Is- rael, published June 10 in an interview with a Lebanese paper, was followed by a terse warning from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel will be hit," Netanyahu said. The warning follows a tense confliCt June 6 on Israel's border in which Assad's forces recaptured the lone border cross- ing after ithad briefly fallen into rebel hands. Heavy fighting saw Syrian tanks enter the demilitarized zone between the two countries and prompted Austria to withdraw its 300-soldier contingent from the U.N. force, shrinking it by one-third. Israel threatened to strike the tanks, according to a leaked U.N. document, refraining only when Syria promised to fire solely on rebel troops. "The crumbling of the U.N. force on the Golan Heights underscores the fact that Israel cannot depend on international his weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on June 9. Israel has assiduously sought to stay out of the Syrian morass, engaging only when its interests were directly threat- ened. Thrice Israel has attacked Syrian weapons convoys bound for Hezbol- lah--once in January and twice in May. Before last week, however, Israel had not threatened to engage Syrian forces directly. Still, the battle June6 probably won't change Israel's basic approach to the two- year-old conflict next door. The Syrian border has been largely calm since the Border on page 17A Both sides of intel debate are known for independence By Ron Kampeas , IFrlebetweennationalsecurity WASHINGTON (JTA)-- Dianne Feinstein and Ron Wyden have much in com- mon. Both are Iongtime U.S. senators, Democrats, Jewish ---- A Wikipedia Wikipedia Diane Feinstein Ron Wyden and fiercely independent West Coasters. They've also both been members of the Senate In- telligence Committee since before the Sept. 11, 2001 at- tacks and privy to classified materials that describe how the government systematized radical changes in intelligence gathering in their wake. Now the two lawmakers are on opposite sides of the debate over the massive information- gathering machine developed by the intelligence commu- nity since 9/11. Government agencies have been collecting troves of data on the phone calls of Ameri- cans-so-called "metadata," including the length, origin and number of virtually every call in America, but not its content--as well as informa- tion from the country's lead- ing Internet companies. Aseries of disclosures about such efforts has reignited debate over where to draw the and individual privacy. "It's called protecting America," Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Intel- ligence Committee, said in a June 6 news conference, arguing that the collection of metadata is routine. But Wyden says the is- sue is protecting the rule of law, arguing that Americans don't know enough to assess whether the government is protecting their rights or violating them. "There is a significant gap between what the American people and most members of Congress believe is legal under laws like the Patriot Act and how government agencies are interpreting the law," says a lengthy page on Wyden's website outlining his long- standing efforts to make the government's information- gathering practices more transparent. The split between Feinstein and Wyden reflects the degree to which the intelligence- gathering debate is scram- Debate on page 18A More of same or bridge to West? By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)-- Former national security ad- viser, former nuclear negotia- tor, a decades-old friendship with the supreme leader-- Hassan Rohani is as Iranian establishment as it gets. Which is why, some Iran watchers say, he may be an invaluable asset in the quest to reduce tensions between the Islamic Republic and the United States. In his first remarks follow- ing his election to the Iranian presidency last week, Rohani sustained the moderate image that helped sweep him into of- rice with more than 50 percent of the vote, obviating the need for a runoff against one of the other five candidates. Rohani, 64, described Iran's parlous relationship with the United States as "an old woundwhich mustbe healed," according to The New York Times translation of his news conference on Monday, while also defending Iran's "inalienable rights" to en- rich uranium. He intimated, however, that he was willing to make the country's nuclear program more transparent. Skeptics were none too impressed. Israeli Prime Minister Ben- jamin Netanyahu said Rohani Creative Commons Hassan Rohani, Iran's president-elect, is a former national security adviser and ex-nuclear negotiator. did not present a change from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his predecessor who was notori- ous for anti-Semitic rant- ings, Holocaust denial and oft-repeated wish that Israel would one day disappear. Both men, Netanyahu said, emerged from a small pool of candidates selected by a council that answers to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini. "Among those whose can- didacies [Khameini] allowed was elected the candidate who Rohani on page 18A Shadows cast on alleged hero By Alessandra Farkas NEW YORK (Corriere della Sera Online)--His Wikipedia page remembers him, in at least 10 languages, as "the Italian police commissioner who saved thousands of Jews from being deported to Nazi extermination camps during the Second World War and for this was deported to the Dachau Concentration Camp, where he died." "For his actions," accord- ing to the free encyclopedia, "Giovanni Palatucci was decorated with the 'Medaglia d'oro' award for civil merit, and honored as one of the 'Righteous Among the Na- tions' byYad Vashem (Sept. 12, 1990) and 'Servant of God' by the Catholic Church." But a growing chorus of his- torians and scholars who for years have been studying the most celebrated of "righteous" Italians are saying Palatucci is nothing but a myth, a sen- sational fraud orchestrated by the alleged hero's friends and relatives who claim he saved more than 5,000 Jews in a region where there lived fewer than half that number of Jews. The hypothesis of a massive rescue mission by Palatucci already had been categorically denied by the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs in a memo- Wikipedia Giovanni Palatucci randum dated July 1952, and later by Yad Vashem's Institute of the Righteous commission in 1990. At a roundtable discussion organized by the Primo Levi Center at the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo in New York, the ex-director ofYad Vashem, Mordecai Paldiel, said that un- der his supervision, Palatucci Shadows on page 18A 6 Illl!!!!!ll! ! ! !!l Ill