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PAGE IOA HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 17, 2009 Weekly roundup of world briefs from JTA Racing chief apologizes for Hitler comments BERLIN (JTA)--The chief of Formula 1 racing apolo- gized for remarks he made praising Adolf Hitler. "Those who don't know me think I support Hitler's atrocities; those who do know me have told me how unwise I was to articulate my points so badly that it should have been so widely misunderstood,', Bernie Ecclestone told the Times of London and the Jewish Chronicle on July 71 "I'm just sorry I was an idiot. I sincerely, genuine- ly apologize," he told the Chronicle. The World Jewish Congress over last weekend called for Ecclestone's resignation after he praised Hitler for having "gotten things done." Ecclestone also said Sad- dam Hussein, the executed former dictator of Iraq, "was the only one who could con- trol that country." He made the remarks in an interview published July 4 in the British newspaper the Times. In response, WJC Presi- dent Ronald Lauder said in a statement issued July 5 that Ecclestone was "question [ing] thebasicprinciples of modern democracy." Lauder urged racing teams and host coun- tries to "suspend their coop- eration with Mr. Ecclestone and call for his resignation." The British-born Eccle- stone, 78, insists hewas misun- derstood. He told the German daily Bild Zeitung July 6 that he had merely said Hitler "had effectively tackled unemploy- ment and the economic crisis before committing his hor- rendous crimes." Ecclestone added that he had many Jewish friends who would know that he would never deliberately hurt a member of a minority group. In the Times interview, Ecclestone said that "Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not... [but at least] he could command a lot of people able to get things done." He also said that Hitler "wasn't a dictator," and reserved a few choice words for democracy, which he felt "hasn't done a lot of good for many coun- Paul Williams/Flickr.com Bernie gcclestone tries--including [England]. I like people who make up their minds." In the wake of the con- troversy, the governor of the German state of Baden-Wfirt- temberg, Gfinther Oettinger, announced July 6 that he had canceled a planned business meeting with Ecclestone. Pat Greany, Ph.D. entomologist, boating enthusiast, former proton therapy patient Proton therapy can destroy hard-to-reach tumors in the prostate while producing fewer side effects. The University of Florida's powerful new weapon against cancer attacks tumors with optimum doses of radiation that spare healthy tissue.This reduces the probability of complications and side effects while improving a patient's chances for a successful outcome. To learn more about the only proton therapy center in the Southeast and our effectiveness treating prostate, head and neck lung, brain and pediatric cancers, please visit www.floridaproton.org/prostate, or call us at (877) 686-6009. 20 t 5 N. Jefferson St., Jacksonville, Florida Dieter Graumann, a deputy head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told the daily newspaper Handelsblatt that no team should workwith Ecclestone. Jordan-West Bank crossing to be open 24 hours JERUSALEM (JTA)--Israel will expand the hours that the crossing between the West Bank and Jordan is open. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a July 8 meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Improving the Economic Situation of the Palestinian Residents of Judea and Samaria, "instructed the relevant officials to im- mediately and significantly expand the Allenby Border Terminal's hours of operation for the import and export of goods in order to increase the volume of commercial activity and improve the Palestinian population's quality of life," according to a statement from the Prime Minister's Office. The crossing is now open 12 hours a day during the week and seven hours a day on weekends. Ynet reported that under the new rules, the crossing would be open 24 hours a day. During the meeting, com- mittee members also were briefed on the significant mea- sures that have been taken to ease movement in th West Bank, including the removal of roadblocks, in order to assist the Palestinians, daily lives. "Wherever we can ease restrictions on the Palestinian population without endanger- ing the security of the citizens of Israel,wewill make every ef- fort to do so," Netanyahu said. IDF salutes Palestinian security forces WASHINGTON (JTA)--Is- rael's army praised the job Palestinian security forces have been doing in the West Bank. In a conference call spon- sored by The Israel Project, Israel Defense Forces' spokes- woman Lt. Col. Avital Leibov- ich said that Israel is seeing"a new phenomenon--Palestin- ian security forces are taking responsibility forwhat is going on in their own cities." "We do see results," said Leibovich, head of the inter- national media and comu- nications branch of the IDF spokespersons unit, speaking of the security forces trained by U.S. Lt.-Col. Keith Dayton. "There's a very impressive number of arrests made by the Palestinians themselves. We do see the crime rate down overall." Leibovich went on to say that the increased "stabil- ity," which has also been helped by the building of the security fence, has led to a corresponding improvement in the economic situation in the Palestinian territories. Last month, the IDF said it had agreed that Palestinian forces would now be permitted to operate 24 hours a day in four large Palestinian cities-- Kalkilya, Ramallah, Jericho and Bethlehem. Leibovich also noted that the IDF had removed more than 140 roadblocks and check- points in the West Bank in the last year, including reducing the number of ',manned inter- nal crossings" in the area from 35 to 14 in the past two years. She stressed that the re- moval of checkpoints "im- proves the quality of life for Palestinians" and "will not hurt Israel's security." U.S. denies settlement compromise report WASHINGTON (JTA)--The United States denied a report that it would allow the com- pletion of 2,500 housing units in the West Bank as part of a compromise on settlements. "No, that report, and that Israeli media outlet, is inac- curate," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said July 8, referring to the story that day in Ma'ariv. "Our position has not changed." President Barack Obama has come out for a complete freeze on settlement building. Kelly added, "This activity has to stop. This is laid out in the 'road map.' So the reports aren't accurate." Israeli government spokes- man Mark Regev said the same day the two countries were trying to find common ground on the settlement issue, but he would not comment directly on the Ma'ariv story, accord- ing to media reports, Israel says the building of the 2,500 units is already under way and cannot be lawfully stopped. Kelly also said at the State Department's daily news briefing that George Mitchell, the U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, had "plans to go to Israel soon," but he could not provide a date. European group: Taxpayers hit by Israeli policy JERUSALEM (JTA)--Eu- ropean taxpayers pay the price of Israel's settlement policy, the European Com- mission said. A statement from the com- mission's Jerusalem office July 6 said that Israel's settlement policy inhibits the growth of the Palestinian economy and makes the Palestinian Authority more dependent on foreign aid, the Associated Press reported. "It is the European taxpay- ers who pay most of the price of this dependence," the state- ment said. The Jerusalem office is only mandated to deal with aid issues, not politics, the Jerusalem Post reported. Israel's Foreign Ministry called in the European Union ambassador to Israel following the statement's release. The commission claims it has given more than $280 million to help cover the Pal- estinian budget deficit. Groups set major Iran push for September WASHINGTON (JTA)-- U.S. Jewish groups are plan- ning a mass push in Septem- ber to press for Iran sanctions. The groups are planning a Washington Day on Sept. 10 that would bring together 300 to 500 leaders from across the United States to press for sanctions legislation, as well as a mass protest outside the United Nations in New York City on Sept. 24--about the time Iranian President Mah- moud Ahmadinejad is set to address the General Assembly. The Conference of Presi- dents of Major American Jew- ish Organizations established a working group last month to examine how the post-June 12 elections crisis in Iran would affect efforts to isolate the hard-line regime as long as it sustained its suspected nuclear weapons program. The elections, widely regarded as rigged, have sparked a ma- jor protest movement. The Washington day will include meetings at the White House and with congressional leaders. Alan Solow, the chairman of the Presidents Conference, was quoted as telling those on the call that a huge turnout at the Sept. 24 rally was critical. Hoenlein said groups should reach out to non-Jewish groups as a means of empha- sizing the broader threat the Iranian regime poses; he said he would seek Muslim and Christian participation. Biden: Israel can decide for itself on Iran JERUSALEM (JTA)--Is- rael is "entitled" to decide for itself how to respond to Iran's nuclear program, Joe Biden said. "Israel can determine for it- self--it's asovereign nation-- what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else," the U.S. vice president told host George Stephanopoulos July 5 on ABC's ',This Week." Biden said Israel could de- cide to attack Iranwhether the United States agrees or not. New York federation cam- paign falls 11 percent NEW YORK (JTA)--The country's largest Jewish fed- eration announced that its 2008-09 fund-raising cam- paign dropped 11.5 percent from the previous year. UJA-Federation of NewYork said itbrought in $136 million, down from $153.7 million. Its announcement comes after the umbrella organiza- tion for the federation system, the United Jewish Communi- ties, announced last week that the combined campaigns for the federations for 2008-2009 were up 1.3 percent over the previous year, but that total fund raising for the current year was off by 13 percent. Empire launches organic poultry line NEWYORK (JTA)--Empire Kosher poultry is launching lines of organic and antibiotic- free poultry. The Pennsylvania company announced recently that it is ready to roll out both lines nationally. "As we've seen demand for ABF and organic products grow in the non-kosherworld, we decided to enter these mar- kets with kosher products," CEO Greg Rosenbaum said in a statement. ABF designates poultry that is not injected with any Roundup on page 21A