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July 23, 2004

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PAGE 2 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH JTA Weekly Summary Following are Jewish Telegraphic Agency's news briefs for Tuesday, July 20, 2004. U.N. to address anti-Semitism The organizer of a June U.N. conference on anti- Semitism said there will be a follow-up. Shashi Tha- roor, U.N. undersecretary general for communications and public information, told the governing board of the World Jewish Congress this week that there would be further attention to anti-Semitism at the United Nations. Tharoor added that he is considering staging a photo exhibition in the U.N. lobby next year to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, said Elan Steinberg, the WJC's executive vice president. Tharoor also told the group that its petition for a U.N. General Assembly resolution condemning anti-Semitism would prove to be a useful negotiating tool. At its meetings this week, the WJC voted to create report cards ranking countries' "sensitivity to Jewish concerns," Steinberg said. Senate to take on ICJ ruling The U.S. Senate is expected to denounce the Interna- tional Court of Justice's ruling against Israel. A resolution was introduced Tuesday expressing anger at the world court's ruling earlier this month that Israel's West Bank security barrier is illegal. In a letter to colleagues, Sens. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the court ruling a"blatant attempt to manipulate the United Nations system for political purposes." The bill, similar to a resolution that passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week, is expected to be debated before the Senate goes into recess at the end of the week. U.S. to help Palestinian local elections The United States will help the Palestinians hold municipal elections this year. The elections would be phased, David Satterfield, the second-in-charge at the State Department's Near East desk, told the Senate on Tuesday. "We're ready to assist the Palestinian Author- ity in preparations necessary to hold these free and fair elections," Satterfield said. Until now, U.S. and Israeli officials have resisted new Palestinian elections, fearing they would validate the radical leadership behind the intifada. However, an Israeli official said the govern- ment approved the new proposal. The attraction would be in allowing grass-roots moderates to create a base in the municipalities without handing P.A. President Yasser Arafat the victory he would likely get if there were national elections, the official said. Additionally, municipal elections would not require Israel to lift travel restrictions for campaigners. evident in on security munity Do You Have Pre-Paid Funeral Arrangements With Another Funeral Home? We Can and Will Accept All Other Pre-Paid Plans r i I ! I ,ram, mm I I i i !Im mm mmm i i i i1 [ 10 % Discount on [ :services and merchandise[ i on any new i w Pre-need contracts. I I I 640 Lee Rd. Orlando, Florida W.E. "Manny" Adams, LFD Marilyn J. Glenn, LFD, James R. Cardinal, Executive Director Michael Meyer, Family Pre-need Counselor Tzvi Halikman, Ritual Director ByMatthew E. Berger support for the Jewish state, endorsing the controversial sponsored they encountered more op- fence, and Democratic lead- fiercely WASHINGTON (JTA)--As position. ' ers' efforts to tone down the has breached the U.S. House of Represen- The ICJ legislation, which language didn't win support withlsrael tatives continues to refine its passed 361-45 with 13 mere- from some party members. positions on theMiddle East, bers voting merely "present," "Ihavepersonallywitnessed Palestinian support for Israel remains condemns the U.N. court for the very severe hardships it strong--but divisions are its non-binding opinion last imposes on Palestinian life," stabilize the beginning to show. week, which called the fence Rep.LoisCapps(D-Calif.)said an Israeli On July 16, the House "illegal" and ordered Israel to of the fence. "A fence on the itthe passed its annual foreign aid dismantle it. Green Line is one thing. That Egypt. appropriations bill, giving Is- The House bill deploresmakes sense strategically and Republicans rael$2.2billioninmilitaryaid the misuse of the ICJ"to in- demographically. Butasepa- letter from and$360millionineconomic fringe upon Israel's right to ration barrier that winds its ColinPowell aid. House members shot self-defense." It also lays out way through the West Bank, the down a proposal to change an expansive rationale for the appropriating Palestinian ship depended some of Egypt's annual aid fence, whichatpointsjutspast landin itswake, is not accept- assistance to from military assistance to Israel's pre-1967 boundary able." Lawmakers rejected an "A transfer of economic aid and a measure into the West Bank. amendment tothe foreignaid the military to cut aid to the Palestinians The bill urges all countries billthatwouldhave converted count to the because of continuing terror- to join the United States in $570 million in military aid tance account istattacks, preventingexploitationofthe to Egypt to economic aid. the credibil At the same time, 45 ICJruling, aslapataPalestin- Sponsored byRep. TomLan- relations at a legislators voted against a ian-sponsoredresolutioncur- tos (D-Calif.), the legislation moment in the r bill denouncing the Interna- rently under consideration in faced opposition from several that has tional Court of Justice's July the United Nations. staunchpro-Israeladvocates, engagement in 9 ruling against Israel's West "It is appalling to see how including Reps. Nita Lowey of our regional Bank security barrier, the the United Nations forced this (D-N.Y.) and Howard Ber- Powellwrote. largest nay vote on a pro-Is- recentjudgmentbytheInter- man (D-Calif.). The raelcongressionalmeasurein nationalCourtofJustice,"said Lantos suggested that 131-287. recent years. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R- Egypt doesn't need the mill- A separate Inanelectionyearinwhich Fla.)."Not only did the issue tary aid because it doesn't suggesting pro-Israel sentiment has of the non-binding opinion face a military threat from become a major campaign last week state that Israel its neighbors, but does need until theme for Republicans, the should remove its security economic assistance, ity ends support votes gave House members fence, but the judges placed "The biggest threat to additional opportunities to into question Israel's right to Egyptian stability is its was sponsored voice their support for the defend herself." Republicans bloated military budget, "Butch" Otter Jewish state and one of its highlighted the fact that 20 which undermines economic The spendi more significant--but con- percent of Democrats did not and educational development not sl: troversial--efforts to stop vote for the ICJ bill. Sources anddemocratization,"Lantos an amount togo; terrorist attacks, said Democratic leaders were said. "In fact, if we enhance Bank and Unlike previous pro-Israel not happywith the bill's lan- oursupportforeconomicand president's resolutions in Congress, the guage, and didn't try as hard social projects in Egypt, our earmarked $75 votescamewithlittleadvance as usualtogetpartymembers credibility with the Egyptian the Palestinian warning and little lobbying on board, people will soar." But many administered from Jewish organizations. Several members of the lawmakers disagreed, argu- Agency for Because some of the pro- Democratic caucus believe ing that while Egypt's record visions went further than the bill went too far by almost is suspect--its government- See the standard expressions of By Matthew E. Berger WASHINGTON (JTA)--Ha- dassah members are trying to get their message on stem cell research to the White House--all at once. Members of the women's Zionist group swamped White House phone lines lastTuesday, petitioning President Bush to reverse his position on stem cell research. Hadassah says expanding the use of stem cells in medi- cal research could provide new treatments and cures for deadly diseases. Bush allowed research using existing stem cell lines from 2001, but few of those lines are still viable today. Stem cells are extracted from embryos and can be manipu- lated to create various human blood and tissue cells. The li nes are cell groups extracted from embryos, and are capable of reproducing themselves. No further lines are available for use under current adminis- tration policy. "What President Bush knew and what scientists knew in 2001 is a lot different from whatwe know now," said Maria Gilson, Hadassah's Washington representative. "It's time to al- low new lines to be formed and those lines to be formed with federal funding."To make their voices heard, about 1,500 Ha- dassah members all tried to call the White House at the same time during their conference in Phoenix. Hadassah President June Walker went first, calling the White House on a speaker- phone as members listened on. She began to make her cell photo courtesy of Hadassah Hadassah President JUNE WALKER calls the White House on a speaker-phone to petition President Bush to reverse his position on stem cell research, during the group's annual conven- tion in Phoenix, July 13. bring the issue The group to get research from ning a day in urging state Jewish port stem they have been like-minded urge its ethicistslargely that Jewish embryos to be research has benefit societY. White Scott Tuesday that [ cal research case to a White House opera- tor before being transferred to a comment line. Using cell phones, the membership then began to call en masse. Many of them received busy signals or could not complete their calls from the ballroom. Hadassah sees itself as the premier supporter of stem cell research, fostered by the work of Hadassah hospitals in Israel, which have champi- oned research in that area and which co-own several stern cell lines. Researchers at Hadassah hospitals recently found that the use of stem cells alleviated Parkinson's disease in rats. The group is roiling out a national education campaign for its members, explaining the also we should do doesn't cross line One said the White. tacted monthagotO tivetospeaka but Shelley director believed the 1 was a productive efforts," she, ganization, let many issue."