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July 27, 2012

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Editorials 4A Op-Ed 5A Calendar 6A Synagogue Directory 7A B'nai Mitzvah 8A Scene Around 9A Classified 2B Dano Monkotovic/FLASH90/JTA Israeli ZAKA emergency rescue team examining the remains of the bus at the scene of the terrorist attack July 19 in Burgas, Bulgaria. By Cnaan Liphshiz and Svetlana Guineva SOFIA, Bulgaria (JTA)--Until last week, leaders of Bulgaria's small, gen- erally placid Jewish community said they felt untouched by hate crimes or terrorism. But after the July 18 apparent suicide bombing ofabus carrying Israeli tourists ~l~ackSea cityofBorgas, Jews in the ountry are speaking of a basic change in their sense of security. "We used to convene without a shred of fear in the Jewish community's build- ings," said Kamen Petrov, vice president of Maccabi Bulgaria. "I guess we had been unprepared. Things will have to change from now on: We thought something like this could not happen in Bulgaria." The explosion outside SarafovoAirport in Burgas killed six Israeli tourists, a Bulgarian bus driver and the suspected suicide bomber. More than 30 Israelis were injured. The Israelis had just arrived on a charter flight from Israel. Maxim Benvenisti, president of the Organization of Jews in Bulgaria, said that three years ago the community had drafted emergency plans to respond to potential terror attacks. "We discussed such scenarios. But we see that it's one thing to discuss them, and it's another to see the scenario happening before your eyes," he told JTA. Bevenisti said security measures will now be tightened. "The situation needs to be improved," he said. Bulgarian President Rosen Pievneliev said July 18 that at a meeting a month ago, with representatives of the Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence service did not warn Bulgarian officials of the possibility of a terrorist attack. Bulgaria's Jewish community had increased its security arrangements in February, following warnings from the local Israeli Embassy, according to Martin Levi, vice chairman of the Jewish community in Sofia, Bulgaria's capital. Among other measures, security at the entrances to the community building in Sofia and other Jewish institutions were tightened. Bulgarian authorities had been made aware of the warnings, he said. That came in the wake of the discovery by Bulgarian authorities of a bomb on a charter bus for Israelis that was head- ing to a Bulgarian ski resort from the Turkish border. "We took the alerts seriously and upped security, but the Bulgarian authorities were dismissive," Levi said. "Some ar- gued Bulgaria was immune because it had such excellent relations and cultural attachment to Muslim populations. I am deeply disappointed in how the authori- ties handled this." He learned of the attack while in Hungary, where he is helping instructors run a summer camp for some 260 Jewish children from the Balkans. This week, a summer camp for Bulgarian Jewish children is planned to open in Bulgaria. Burgas on page 16A By Hillel Kuttler BALTIMORE (JTA)--Ja- son Lezak--no newcomer to Olympic glory--recognizes the difficulty in returning to the medal stand at the London Games. "I definitely would hope to get onto the podium there and win a medal for the USA," Lezak, a seven-time Olympic medalist, told JTA on July 17 from the U.S. swim team's training camp in France. "With Australia, France and Russia, there's going to be a lot of tight competition, and it's not going to be easy, that's for sure." The Jewish swimmer, the winner of four Olympic gold medals, will race for the United States in the 400-me- ter freestyle relay--the event in which he provided one of the most enduring mo- ments of the 2008 Games in Beijing. His frenetic sprint to the finish in the last leg, overcoming world record- holder Alain Bernard, earned victory for the U.S. and kept alive Michael Phelps' drive for a record-setting eight Creative Commons Jason Lezak, second from right, after winning the gold medal for the U.S. 400-meter medley relay team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. gold medals. This year, in his fourth Olympics, the 36-year-old Lezak is one of five cap- tains for the 530-member American squad. Fellow Jews joining Lezak on the U.S. contingent at the Lon- don Games, which has its opening ceremonies today, include swimmer Anthony Ervin, gymnasts Alexandra Raisman and Julie Zetlin, rower David Banks, fencer Tim Morehouse and fencing coach Yury Gelman. Illinois-born Jiilian Schwartz, a pole vaulter on Pride on page 17A U.S. Navy / Chad J. McNeeley via CC Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld addressing the media after meet- ing at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, April 27, 2006. By Uriel Heilman NEW YORK (JTA)--For the past four years, Jewish conservatives have been working hard to paint Presi- dent Obama as too willing to press Israel on Palestinian issues. But the latest Washington buzz could throw a wrench in that line of attack--if, as some Washington insid- ers are suggesting and the Drudge Report is report- ing, Mitt Romney chooses Condoleezza Rice as his running mate. That's because as sec- retary of state during the George W. Bush administra- tion, Rice was a strong backer of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whom she described as a true partner for peace. She pushed hard for Palestinian elections, which in 2006 resulted in a victory for Hamas (in a 2008 essay in Foreign Policy magazine she held firm to the notion that elections were the right way to go despite the outcome). She described the Israeli- Palestinian conflict as vital to solving the Iran problem, and she was the adminis- tration's point person for pursuing Israeli-Palestinian Rice on page 18A By Uriel Heilman (JTA)--For the second time in just two months, the Israeli political universe was upended when Shaul Mofaz's Kadima Party voted to quit Israel's governing coalition. Kadima's departure, the result of a breakdown in negotiations over reforming Israel's military draft law to include haredi Orthodox Jews, shatters the 94-seat super-majority that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu controlled in the 120-seat Knesset. It also raises questions for the future of Kadima, Israel's draft and the timing of new elections. While the loss of Kadima's 28 seats still leaves Netan- yahu's coalition with the majority it needs to govern, Netanyahu is now seen as more likely to move up Israel's next elections, which now are scheduled for the fall of 2013. Netanyahu had been set to dissolve the Knesset and call for new elections nine weeks ago when Mofaz stunned the Israeli political establishment by bringing Kadima, Israel's main opposition party, into the governing coalition. The move was seen as a gambit by Mofaz, who had won Kadima's leadership several weeks ear- lier, to stave off elections in which Kadima was set to lose significant ground. For Netanyahu, the coali- tion deal was a way both to hobble the opposition and give him more leeway in formulating a new military draft law. In February, Israel's Supreme Court struck down the current draft regulation, called the Tal Law, which ex- cuses haredi Orthodox from universal mandatory military service for Israeli Jews. The court ordered that a new law be enacted by Aug. I or else all Israeli Jews would be subject to the draft. Netanyahu's other coali- tion partners include haredi Orthodox parties that op- pose drafting large numbers of haredi men or subjecting them to national service. The debate over the new draft law has roiled Israel in recent weeks. Many Israelis long have resented what they see as the free ride given to haredi Israelis, who are not required to serve in the army but are still eligible for state welfare benefits. In the end it was Kadima Kadima on page 17A