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PAGE 14 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH AUGUST 8, Israel's new settlement policy: By Gil Sedan tory of the World Zionist Orga- nization, the group's settlement JERUSALEM (JTA)--Israeldepartment is planning settle- is launching a drive to settle ments inside the Green Line, Jews in a region awash with theboundarythatdivideslsrael Arabs -- but its plans are not properfromtheWestBank.The fortheWestBankorGazaStrip, goal is to build 30 new settle- For the first time in the his- ments in the Negev and Galilee. 239@fastsigns.com TTR IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT Repairs Timers Pumps Rain Sensors Broken Pipes System Revamps Pool Revamps Plumbing Repairs Handyman Services Flat Rate/No Hourly Fees/10% Off With Ad Major Credit Cards Accepted. Tony Riley-Owner 24 Hr. #407-592-5532 Camp Shalom has been serving the Florida Jewish Community as a summer camp from June-August for over 30 years and continues to do so. Since we are located in the warmth of Central Florida, we now also offer year-round availability. ()ur facilities are perfect for (;ROUP RICI'REATS, REUNIONS or ) T I,EAI)I,;RSIliI' !)1'7~'1~1,()1 MENT PROGRAMS. We invite you to visit our web site at www.OrangeSpringsRetreat.com or call us at 1 (800) 279-0401. Camp Shalom~Orange Springs Retreat is a magnifi- cent lO0.acre, air-conditioned camp in the hills near Ocala National Forest with a beautiful, sandy beach with spring lake & swimming pooL Ropes course available. Both regions have large numbers of Arabs. The agency aims to bolster the Jewish popu- lation in the Galilee and Negev by 10 percent within the next five years, part of the ongoing struggle to fortify Israel's Jew- ish majority. "For the first time, the WZO returns to the Green Line. This is a significant political state- ment," Shai Hermesh, trea- surer for the Jewish Agency for Israel, told JTA. "If we do not change the entire settlement scene within five to 10 years, we will lose the battle." As the WZO's partner organization, the Jewish Agency is the driv- ing force behind the plan, which is designed to relieve a sense of isolation among Jewish resi- dents in parts of the Galilee. Adopted last October by the Jewish Agency's board of trust- ees, the program is called "The New Challenge: A Zionist Ma- jority in the Negev and Gali- lee."Aspecial task force, headed by the incoming chairman of the board of the United Jewish Communities, Robert Goldberg, is charged with working out details of the new settlement drive. With the exclusion of Haifa and other cities along Israel's northern coast, Arabs comprise 75 percent of northern Israel's population. Hermesh said the settlement drive is the only way to ensure that Israel remains a Jewish state. In the past, the WZO has served as a kind of subcontractor for the government, building settle- ments over the Green Line -- but with money from the gov- ernment, not theJewishAgency. The new operation will be the largest settlement effort since the establishment of a chain of Jewish outposts throughout the Galilee 25 years ago. At the time, the Galilee was almost exclusively Arab. This time, the settlement drive also will include the Negev, with special emphasis on single-family farms thatwill encompass large plots of lan~ The aim is to offset the rapid growth of the Bedouin popula- tion in the area. to Arab areas of photo An Israeli walks near a mobile home in the Negev settlement of Merhav Am, Fridag, 25, 2003. Israel wants to build 30 new settlements in the Negev and Galilee. Three new Negev settle- In the Negev, settlement ef- 'TVhatever open space ments -- Gvaot-Bar, near the forts will focus on the "arc," in Israel, they try to Gaza Strip; Merhav-Am, in the whichbeginsinthe northwest- settlements in," said central Negev; and Tzukim, in ern Negev, the seam line with Darom theArava-- already hhve been the Gaza Strip, and runs to the northern branch office. established. Hebron region. Some Arab leaders, like The Jewish Agency is ex- KnessetmemberAzmiBishara, pected to spend $40 million in are denouncing the new settle- each of the project's first two existing ment plan as an indirectway to years, and officials hope Prime ing from social promote the "transfer" of Ar- MinisterArielSharonwillmake difficulties. absoutofIsraeI,JewishAgency good on his promise to provide Hermesh disagreed, officials said. $5foreveryJewishAgencydol- ever. The agency has not con- lar. The project is part of Part- "The 'Greens' must cealed its aim of tipping the nership 2000, a Jewish Agency whether they prefer a demographic scale in favor of program that links Diaspora majority with Zionists-- not only Jews, but Jewish communities with Is- single-famil~ alsoDruzeandCircassiancom- raeli communities, farms with an Arab munities in northern Israel. The program will focus on he said. Butagencyofficialssaytheir building the necessary infra- mandate is to serve the Jewish structure for new settlements Arab regions, the people, and paving new roads in the Agency plans to invest "The government of Israel is western Negev. in local educational the government of all its citi- Environmentafists also op- Already, about $1 zens," Hermeshsaid."TheJew- pose the new program, argu- been allocated to ish Agency is the government ing that massive construction teachers, enable longer of the Jewish people." For 15 projectsintheregionwillcause days, build student years, Hermesh served as irreparable damage to the en- ries and upgrade regional mayor of a regional council in vironment. They also fear that leges. the Negev before taking the a new settlement drive will "Education and hi JewishAgencypostaboutayear weaken existing towns and cation play a special ago. He now is trying to reverse settlements, spurincreaseduse influencin the agency's decision-- taken of private cars and will require lation sixyearsago--togetoutofthe large investments in infrastruc- sons whose career ]s settlement business, ture, waste water and energy, affected b~ The new settlement drive in According to the Ministry of tion or as the Galilee will focus on Environment, acrowdedcoun- strengtheningthe"heartofthe try like Israel simply cannot children," Galilee" region -- the district afford dispersed settlements Funding of Carmel, Upper Nazareth, like those called for in the Jew- infrastructure Ma'alot, Migdal Ha'emek and ish Agency's plans, bolsterin Mula -- where Arabs consti- The Society for the Protec- and providing incentiVeS tute 78 percent of the popula- tion of Nature in Israel also small businesses. tion. announced its objection to the "Small new settlements, furtherbusiness We service all your air conditioner needs no matter what system you're having trouble with. Call us today and our trained technicians will diagnose, adjust or repair your problem or design a system that is right for you. Residential And Commercial Fast And Reliable Service Sales Factory Trained Technicians Family Owned And Operated f ~k~ oMdenfiol & Commerdol Air Condigonlng All Major CreditCardsAccepted Licensed Bonded Insured #CAC048138 & Services By Celia Shatzman "Every girl has said, I'm proud of about my SANTA FE, N.M. (JTA)-- isthatwe're Eleven girls, ages 15 to 17, sat by having that in together on a hot summer af- breaks down ternoon recently, knittingand Kauffman said. talking, person's story you You'dneverguessthatthese heard." This is the girls--IsraeliJewsandArabs, the Deva Foundatio~ a Palestinian and an Israeli hosted this camp, but Druze -- are supposed to be peace camps have been "enemies." The girls were at- nized nationally and tending a two-week "Creativ- tionally. Camp activities~ ity For Peace Camp" in based on art, including Glorieta, N.M sponsored by tography, visual the Deva Foundation. formance. The camp aims to create a peaceful environment where to extricate the girls can sharetheir expe- wounds," said riences and opinions and de- Sugerman, the velopstrongfriendships, help- rector ing to promote Arab-Israeli rector. reconciliation, children at this age "By establishing friend- ships, we hope they will bet- ter understand each other's munities"who; point of view, since they can offear."The face the 'enemy,' "camp co- director Rachel Kauffman nocharge for thegirls said."In formingfriendships, ticipate. The girls are it will dissolve stereotypes and racism. See "Camp" on