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July 23, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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July 23, 2004

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Editorials 4 Op-Ed 5 Calendar 6 Synagogue Directory 7 B'nai Mitzvah 8 Scene Around 9 Classified 17 members journey to Israel 20, fifty members of Congregation Ohev Shalom, including Cantor Allan and Robin Robuck traveled to Israel as part of the COS 2004 Mission to Israel. Read about their experi- rrticle on page 14. (JTA)--It is the crisis for the Pales- since its birth 10 it's another life as the P.A. direct threat to his rule.of the arehighe of .the Palestinian facing complete Vas set off over the Several dozen armed own Fa- tclearly the motor- Jabali, and to fire him for as well as a series ,which s are due to was kid- French vol- freed Rashid abu Protesting "the in the dismissal an agreement ed out to Arafat fired AI-Majaideh md Gaza YASSER ARAFAT Strip because Majaideh had called for political reform. Ararat replaced him with Mousa Arafat, a nephew who commands the much-reviled Palestinian military intelligence service and is widely accused of corruption. The appointment fueled reform- ists' anger. Riots ensued, with masked vigilantes from Arafat's own Fatah faction clashing with Mousa Arafat loyalists in Gaza. Some 3,000 demonstrators took to the streets Saturday night to de- mand the reversal of Mousa Arafat's appointment. Early Sunday, members of the A1- Aksa Brigades, the terrorist wing of Fatah--and who used to be close to the P.A. leader--released prisoners held inside MousaArafat's headquar- ters in the city of Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, and set the command post on fire. On Monday, Arafat was forced to rehire Majaideh and put him above his nephew. In the meantime, EA. Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei handed in his resignation, but Arafat refused to accept it. At press time, the P.A. cabinet had set a meeting for Monday to try to stabilize the situation. Qurei reportedly said he would renege on his resignation only if Ararat gave him some real power. The demonstrations, violence and political chaos reflected deep frustra- tion among Palestinians and some P.A. officials ove widegpread cor- ruption in the Palestinian Author- ity, mass unemployment, a state of lawlessness in Palestinian cities and little hope that anything would change in the near future. For Arafat, it's a moment of truth. Not unlike his decision to leave Bei- rut in 1982 following the Israeli siege, Arafat now must choose between bowing to reformists' pressure in Gaza---which could mean giving up his authoritarian rule---and holding his ground, which could lead to all-out confrontation with his opponents in the Gaza Strip. Compounding the internal crisis, Arafat also needs to take into account his worsening reputation abroad. Just iastweek, Terje Roed-Larsen, the U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East peace process and a long- time Arafat backer, assailed him for doing nothing to stop Palestinian terrorism. "The EA despite consistent promises by its leadership, has made no progress on its core ob- ligation to take immediate action on the ground to end violence and combat terror and to reform and re- organize the Palestinian Authority," Roed-Larsen said in a speech at the United Nations. "All those who yearn for peace have already and repeat- edly argued that President Ararat, in public and in private, take immedi- ate action to restore this diminished credibility." Though other parts of Roed-Larsen's speech were harshly critical of Israel's failure to uproot illegal settlement outposts, he was declared "persona non grata" in the Palestinian territories. "Terje Roed-Larsen's statement is not objective. As of today he is an unwelcome person in Palestinian territories," Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a senior Ararat adviser, told Reuters. Arafat's support is sinking fast, and nowhere faster than at home. "President Ararat is responsible See "Ga " on page 14 Congregation Ohev Shalom has announced the hiring of Rabbi David Kay as its new assistant rabbi. Rabbi Kay, currently the rabbi at Ma'ayan Conservative Synagogue of Naples, will start in the newly-created posi- tion on August 1. "We are extremely pleased to have Rabbi Kay joining our staff and congregation," said Dr. Jeffrey Bornstein, president of Congregation Ohev Shalom. "We are very excited to be able to move forward with our plans to offer a wider variety of Jew- ish programs and services for our members and to reach out to the Jewish community." Rabbi Kay was ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in May 2002. While a stu- dent, he served as a student rabbi for Ma'ayan Conservative Synagogue, Temple Israel of Putnam Valley in Lake Peekskill, N.Y Beth El Con- gregation in Vineland, N.J. and the Shalom Independent Congregation of Johannesburg, South Africa, the only Conservative/Masorti congre- gation in South Africa. "Rabbi Kay's community-build- ing experiences at his previous congregations are real positives for Rabbi DA YID KAY our synagogue," said Steve New- man, COS executive vice-president and chair of the search committee. "The combination of Rabbi Rubin- ger and Rabbi Kay will allow us to further expand our services to young families and singles as well as adult See "Kay" on page 15 Senator JOHN K RR (D-Mass.), the presumptive Democratic nominee for president in 2004. By Ron Kampeas policy makers, emphasize Israel's role in the party's policy. WASHINGTON (JTA)--Thisyear's U.S. Jews traditionally have been Democratic Party convention will second only to blacks among ethnic play to the down-home strengths groups in their overwhelming sup- of the presumptive nominees, but port for Democrats, but party Jews attending the proceedings will is concerned that President Bush's be emphasizing foreign policy, perceived strong support for Israel Jewish events planned for the could cut into Jewish support for week, from a mass reading of the Democrats. names of Israeli victims of terrorism to intimate chats with top foreign- See "Busy" on page 15