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July 17, 2009

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PAGE 2A By Jonathan Mark New YorkJewishWeek NEW YORK--It was a New York wedding like all others, and no other. The veil was about to cover the bride's face, evoking the time Jacob was snookered, expecting Rachel, getting Leah. "What do you think?" said one guest to another. About the bride? "No, Obama." His voice was low, conspiratorial. The joy and sport of last year's campaign (even heated cam- paigns can be fun) has given way to cold calculatiom The guest, who voted for Barack Obama, now feels like Jacob in the dead of night. In the Wall Street Journa!, Alan Dershowitz writes that because of his call for a total settlement freeze many "sup- porters of Israel who voted for Barack Obama now suspect they may have been victims of a bait and switch.., the Obama campaign went to great lengths to assure these voters that a President Obamawould be supportive of Israel. This HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 17, 2009 For Obama, the ,ioneymoon's over President Barack Obama despite his friendships with rabidly anti-Israel characters like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and historian Rashid Khalidi." Some critics thought Obama was taking a harder line with Israel than even Yasser Arafat did in the 1993 Oslo Accords. (According to Israel's Foreign Ministry, Oslo contained "no prohibitions on the building or expansion of settlements.") Washington Post columnist Jackson Diehl believes that "pressuring Is- rael made sense at first," but went off-trackwhen it became absolutist, including Jerusa- lem. "The absolutist position is a loser for three reasons," writes Diehl. It allows Arabs to remain intransigent while waiting for the freeze; no Is- raeli coalition could survive an unconditional freeze; and, as at Oslo, the Arabs never asked and even family growth, even in Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter. By June, one poll found that only 6 percent of Israelis said Obama was "pro-Israel," ac- cording to the Jerusalem Post. This president "may be the most hostile president ever," said the Zionist Organization of America in a recent press release. It was a West Bank wed- ding like all others, and no other. But Yehudit and Yosef's story really began almost nine years ago, when Palestinians ians. But, the family wonders, after these settlements are turned into Anatevka, could they ever visit Hillel's grave, or would it be mutilated and forbidden, like Joseph's? Elyorah Lieberman, Hillel's sister, a New Yorker, said in a telephone interview that Yehudit and Yosef had been looking for an apartment in Yitzhar but there were none. Construction had slowed to a crawl, There was one apart- ment in Yitzhar that wasn't quite available but wasn't for it.Arab negotiators, writes stormedJoseph'sTomb (Kever quite used. Yael, the bride's Diehl, hadalways"gonealong Yosef) and its adjacent Od mother, begged the landlord with previous U.S,,Israel] YosefChaiyeshiva; Yehudit!s thavea:/rtiYitzharwas deals by which construction fattier, Hil|eiEiebrman, then a place 0fburiall Said Yael; it was to be limited to inside the 36, hearing tat the holy should be a place of life. The peripheryofsettlements near place werein flames, left his owner agreed, not to a lease Israel since everyOrieknows ,: :shu| a'by;lon :eh;,-, but:fo*n-ow:  : those areas will be annexed to Israel in a final settlement." In November, Obama won 78 percent of the Jewish vote. By May, his administration began exerting heavy public pressure on Israel alone for an unprecedented West Bank freeze on all "natural growth"--all construction hoping to rescue the Torah scrolls. Hillel's body, still in his tallit, was pumped full of bullets and discarded. There are now swastikas on Joseph's Tomb, but it's quieted down. Elon Moreh and Yitzhar, where Hillel is buried, are two of the settlements that will surely be surrendered to the Palestin- That night, in defiance of the United States, Yehudit and Yosefwill sleep in Yitzhar. The settlement's "natural growth" has grown by two. "Elon Moreh," said Elyorah, "was in the [biblical] terri- tory of Joseph, who saved Obama on page 20A By Jean Cohen ATHENS (JTA)--A cam- paign in Greece to raise money to rebuild a Chrisian Palestinian hospital in Gaza allegedly destroyed by Israel appears to be a scare, JTA has learned. The hospital that was the focus of a campaign, which Greek telethon for (,aza hospital a scare included the participation of Greece's president and foreign minister, never actu- ally existed. For nearly a week in February, Greece's official state television network inundated viewers with news about a telethon that would take place Feb. 9 to raise money to ',rebuild the Christian hospital in Gaza that Israelis destroyed with their bombs" during the Is- raeli army's operation there in January. In its announcements, the network made clear that it was referring to a specific Christian hospital destroyed by Israel. The telethon included recorded video messages by Greek President Carolos Pa- poulias and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni, along with a parade of Greek politicians, singers, public personalities and trade unionists. Many used the telethon to cast broadsides at Israel. The campaign raised $1.67 million, according to tele- thon organizers, who said little Greek children had gone so far as to break their piggy banks to offer $14 to Palestinians in need. A JTA investigation re- vealed, however, that no Christian hospital was on the list assembled by the United Nations and the Red Crescent Society of structures in Gaza Back to School Issue Publication Date: August 7, 2009 Advertising Deadline: July 29, 2009 damaged and destroyed as a consequence of the Israel- Hamas war in January. JTA spoke to two Palestin- ians living in Gaza who are active in or former members of nongovernmental organi- zations there, both of whom looked into the issue inde- Hospital on page 20A U.S. Jews offer little resistance to Obamapolicy on settlements By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)--Top Jewish organizational lead- ers expressed support for President Barack Obama's Middle East peace strategies at a White House meeting but said the president must do a better job of showing he expects hard work from all sides, not just Israel. Obama's meeting July 13 with 16 Jewish leaders from 14 groups comes after weeks of tense exchanges between the Obama administration and Israel's government over freezing Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank, prompting expressions of "concern" from some U.S. Jewish organizational leaders. "The view was expressed among the organizations at a minimum there was con- cern about an imbalance in pressures placed on Israel as opposed to on the Palestin- ians and Arab states," Alan Solow, the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Or- ganizations, told JTA. "The JCC Association Presidents Conference chairman Alan Solow said President Barack Obama told Jewish leaders at the White House on July 13 that he "had to work harder to correct" a perception that the United States was exerting more pressure on Israel. president indicated he had a sensitivity to the perception of that imbalance and had to work harder to correct that perception." One participant quoted the president as saying that "there's not a lot of courage among the Arab states; not a lot of leadership among the Palestinians," The consensus was that on substance, Obama had the support of the room when it came to his peacemaking strategies--or, at least, he did not face opposition. The meeting comes as Obama faces sharp criticism from Jewish conservatives in the media who claim the president is bent on scaling back U.S. support for Israel. In particular, critics have cited the Obama administration's repeated calls for an Israeli settlement freeze in the West Bank. At least two of the leaders of centrist organizations who at- tended the White House meet- ing--Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League and Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Or- ganizations-have said they are increasingly hearing from people who are worried about Obama's intentions, including some who voted for him. Liberal groups are rejecting such claims, saying that the president and his approach to Policy on page 21A Illllll|llllllml|l]l![l|llBIlll'IIllllFl IIHI!|iI II;lltliLItllilltllilHlil Hgllli lll illlll|H!!:llil'ttll'll:|iit[ltIl[l[liiHl:l! It7]'1 iillil]l!:il| .... --=11 --, I