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August 6, 2004

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AUGUST 6, 2004 PAGE 15 to t ke lead in securing upcom- training safety and the protec- of a terror Seven-nation se- Austra- Germany the the SaUce the Sept. are how reports Israel will will be coordinating with their Greek counterparts, the U.S. Army and NATO throughout the 16-day event, which begins Aug. 13. Security operations are expected to cost an estimated $1.2 billion, nearly four times what Australia spent on the 2000 Summer Games in Syd- ney. Despite assurances from Greece that the security situa- tion is under control, questions loom as to whether or not Greek security services will be able to keep 10, 500 athletes, alongwith some 2 million spectators safe should a terror network such as Al-Qaida try to attack the world's largest sporting event. Construction for the event have been helping train their counterparts, say the Greeks are ready. "I think they are very prepared and will be able to handle the Olympics," Izhak Tzur, the head of the Israeli police's training division, told JTA. He and the head of Israel's border police will be in Athens during the Olympics in an advisory capacity. Cooperation between Israeli and Greek police has been in- tensive, Tzur said. Police chief Shlomo Aharonishky went to Greece in November to has been sluggish, and some security experts have ex~s ~- cess ~situation, on everything concern that yb.p.~ wiffbe in- connected to a major terror at- ~2M~g'zR-t~me to thoroughly tack," he said. meet with top Greek security officials, and Greek police of- assistan~ o.~,u~w~o gather in- ricers have traveled to Israelt.~-zagehce on potential threats for training. ~ and terror organizations. ,Wet,~t,~tnef-fil~owtoac- Israeli security companies test security systems--but "We have shared our knowl- Israeli police officials who edge." More than 70,000 police officers and soldiers will be helping provide security for the Games. NATO is lending a hand in the security push, with plans to dispatch air and sea patrols, a stand-by special forces unit and a unit that deals with nuclear, biological or chemi- cal threats. In an interview with the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, Greece's public order minister, Giorgos photo courtesy of IDF/BP Irnag~'~ Floridis, said Israel had helped An undated lDF photo showina Dabv~~keenp- his government develop feast- ing watch in Israeli w~.~o. ~~ts will be used for bilitystudiesonsecurityandde- securitu~ as part of a massive operation for the veiopplans forhandlingsuicide ~ ~ree~Dlympic Games in Athens. bombers as well as like the Haifa-based Elbit, which specializes in defense electronics, are reportedly among private firms pitching in to the security effort. Elbit officials, however, declined to comment on any involvement in Athens: The Israeli Olympic Com- mittee would not give details on security arrangements for the Israeli athletes, but said they would be cooperating fully with the local authorities. Israel's Shin Bet domestic security service will maintain a presence in Athens, protect- ing the Israeli delegation as it has at every Olympics since the 1972 Summer Games in Mu- nich when 11 Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinian terrorists. 2 that many of increased it doesn't the no rea- rael means is at engagement most U.S. greater Middle problem for been the pro-Israel Kerry tweekwhen he named Mel Levine, a for- mer California congressman, to head the campaign's Middle East policy formulation. The Kerry team already is using Levine, who until re- cently was a member of the board of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, to reach out to U.S. Jews, and he spoke at several Jewish events during the convention. After the convention, Kerry officials announced plans for an all-out blitz of Jewish communities across the United States, led by Cam- eron Kerry, the candidate's Jewish brother, and top Mas- sachusetts philanthropists Steve Grossman and Alan Solomont. Others to act as surrogates for the candidate include Jew- ish legislators from the state and Bob Epstein, a part owner of the NBA's Boston Celtics. Grossman, a former presi- dent of the American Israel PublicAffairs Committee, told JTAthat out-of-state support- ers would campaign for Kerry among Jews as well, among them 23 Jewish Democrats in Congress. The surrogates would "most likely campaign in metropolitan areas where there are substantial num- bers of Jewish voters." Kerry also has consulted with top Clinton-era Middle East offi- cials Martin Indyk and Dennis Ross, both Jews, with a pos- sible eye to appointments. Levine, Ross and Indyk all have superb relations with the Jewish community, but they still pose a problem of timing: The current Israeli govern- ment, led by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, rejects the approach to peace that their biographies suggest, such as initiating and promoting final-status solutions that Likud leaders feel should be left only to Israel. The Jewish Democrats attending the convention sympathize to a degree with the outlooks of Levine, Ross and Indyk. Still, they dread confronta- tions between Sharon's gov- ernment and a Kerry admin- istration that could arise over disagreements aboutwhether one side or the otheris fulfill- ing its commitments. They are especially con- cerned that such pressure could emerge because of the dividends Israeli-Palestinian peace would provide toward the international assistance Kerry would seek in Iraq. But Rubin said it was no coincidence that Sen. John Edwards, the vice presiden- tial nominee, mentioned a "safe and secure Israel" in his speech to the convention Wednesday. Rubin said Israel's security has been paramount in the campaign since its launch, and that it was an easy sell "especially in a time of terror. We in America understand what Israelis go through." Rubin dismissed claims that a Kerry administration would have a tense relationship with a Sharon government. "Obviously we're not in power the way the Bush ad- ministration is, but we have the closest possible relation- ship with the Israeli govern- ment you could have if you're not in power," he said. Democrats also answer the concern about relations with the Israeli government by do- ing a grim numbers crunch: Clinton's final year in office involved much dialogue, little progress and few Israeli dead. Bush's three and a half years in office have seen little dialogue, little progress and nearly 1,000 Israeli dead. Dialogue may be pain- fully slow, they say, but it stems violence. The intifada erupted on Clinton's watch, they acknowledge, but they also believe that the intense involvement he espoused would have been more effec- tive at stemming the violence than the approach of the Bush administration, which stepped back from the issue during its first 14 months in office. "Bush may be pro-Israel, but he has not been Successful in being pro-lsrael," said Ivy Cohen, a Democratic activist from New York attending the convention. "Kerry would ac- tively work toward a solution, not just pay lip service." Page 2 chal - Was docu- of over a applica- sexecutive Program Iring the the of the work-- some to Page 7 Olympic He says forward and ajor con- )NSKY, she was and fell ith the a and Years, the work helped bring to light, conference officials said. "What it's really about is the history," Taylor said. "The legacy of today's payment is documentation." Since the agreement to establish the slave labor fund was signed in 2000, researchers have been combing through more than 150 archives in 30 coun- tries looking for data to verify survivors' claims. That research resulted in a wealth of new historical docu- mentation. In some cases, it also yielded additional pay- ments to survivors. For example, just last month, newly unearthed documentation by the Claims Conference about 112 Nazi-era labor camps in Bulgaria convinced the German government to add Bulgaria to the list of countries for which former slave laborers could apply for compensation. Earlier this year, 1,778 victims of Nazi medical ex- periments identified by the Claims Conference received one-time compensation payments from Germany of about $5,400 each. Now, one of the researcherswhoworked on the project is writing a doctoral dissertation on the information the organization was able to uncover. "There is a treasure trove of information here," said Greg Schneider, the Claims Conference's chief operating officer. This week's payout also meant that the job is over for many of the 200 or so historians, data processors, technology experts and claims processors who worked at the Claims Conference in New York collecting data, process- ing claims and administering payments. Conference officials said and has won both junior and senior national titles. Chervonsky, who has spent time in Slovenia and Japan fine tuning her skills, attributes her success to her coaches. Without her love of training, she says, the Olym- pic goal would have been even more difficult to reach. TAL KARP--Women's soc- cer, Australia Tal Karp, 22, can still recall being kicked off the field when she tried to get in on a boys'soccer game at the Mac- cabi sports center in Perth when she was just 6 years old. She sat watching the game in tears. When soccer competition gets underway in Athens, Karp will no longer be watching, she'll be playing; for Australia's national team. Amidrielder, Karp is consid- ered one of Australia's fiflest players, and has represented the country 23 times in inter- national competition. But with the Olympics just around the corner, Karp has already set herself a new goal: making the team to represent Israel, where her father was born, in the 2005 Maccabiah. DAVID ZALCBERG--Ta- hie tennis, Australia David Zalcberg, 23, may be Aus- tralian, but he lives part of each year in Sweden so that he can participate in European table tennis tournaments. In August he'll be inAthens, competing in the table tennis doubles event. In t997, Zalcberg won Maccabiah gold during the games in Ramat Gan, Israel, and was one of the unfortunate Australian athletes who plummeted into the Yarkon River that year when a bridge en route to the Opening Ceremonies of the Games collapsed. Four athletes lost their lives in the accident. Still, Zalcberg, a medical student and fluent French speaker, is hoping to make the team again for the 2005 Maccabiah. But before that, all focus is on Athens. JTA correspondent Henry Benjamin in Sydney, Aus- tralia, contributed to this report. that even as the organization is letting many employees go, it is hiring legal and financial experts for the group's next big task: finding the rightful own- ers and heirs of Holocaust-era Swiss bank accounts. The Claims Conference is helping locate the original owners of the Holocaust- era accounts covered by the landmark $1.25 billion Swiss banks settlement, reached in 1998. According to the settle- ment's terms, once all the ownersofHolocaust- eraSwiss bank accounts are found and compensated, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Korman will decide how to distribute any remaining money. The debate over how that unclaimed money should be distributed has been intense, but a deal approved last week by the Swiss government may render the debate moot. The agreement between the Claims Conference, the Swiss banks and the U.S. court administering the settlement will result in the publication of an additional 5,000 names of Holocaust- era Swiss account owners, allow the Claims Conference limited access to search cer- tain bank records and check Jewish claimants against records of 4.1 million Swiss bank accounts. It likely will find additional account holders and very well could use up all the money in the settlement. Coincidentally, the project, which Claims Conference of- ficials estimate will take 12 to 18 months, was slated to begin the same day the conference announced its conclusion of the slave-labor program. "It's symbolic of the Claims Conference view that the work is never complete," Schneider said. "There is no way to re- solve what happened." Waskow Continued from page 5 Rome and before that of Babylon smashed our Holy House, the Home where we most cherished the Presence of the Holy One, the Temple in Jerusalem. We bewailed the story of our suffering by chanting in a haunting, broken melody the Book of Lamentations--in Hebrew, "Eicha." When I explained the boy in the red shirt to the group of visitors, I ended with the word ripped out of me: "Eichaaaaaaaaa!" Rabbi Arthur Was- kow is director of The Shalom Center with headquarters in Philadel- phia, and the author of many boaks of Jewish and spiritual renewal.