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August 16, 2013

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 16, 2013 Israel OKs construction in West Bank and E. Jerusalem PAGE 13A JERUSALEM (JTA)--Israel gave the final approval to build 1,200 apartments in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank--a move Pal- estinian peace negotiators said could destroy chances for peace. Sunday's announcement comes three days before peace negotiations are set to restart in Jerusalem and on the same day that the special US. envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Martin Indyk, met with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority" President Mahmoud Abbas" in Ramallah. The final approval by Iso rael's housing and construc- tion minister is the last stage before allowing contractors to bid on the construction rights. Nearly 800 apartments are set to be built in eastern Jerusalem, including 400 in Gilo, 201 in Har Homa and 183 in Pisgat Zeeg. Hundreds of units will go up in the West Bank--in Ariel, Efrat, Maale Adumim and Beitar Illit. "No country in the world takes orders from other countries where it can build and where it can't," Housing and Construction Minister Uriel Ariel said in a statement announcing the approvals. "We will continue to market the homes, and to build in the entire country." He added, "This is the right thing at the Present time, for Zionism and for the economy." Palestinian negotiator Mo- hammad Shtayyeh report- edly said the announcement proves Israel is "oot serious in the negotiations" and the approvals are "a slap in the face of the Americans." Shtayyeh called on Wash- ington to take"a firm and clear position to rein in this Israeli attack on the West Bank and especially Jerusalem." On Aug. 8, the United States raised concerns with- Israel over its approval of 147 new West Bank settler homes and its plans for 949 more. "We are speaking to the government of Israel and making our concerns known," State Department spokes- woman Jen Psaki said at a news briefing in Washing- ton. "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity and opposes any efforts to le- gitimize settlement outposts." Secretary of State John Kerry had worked arduously to get the Israelis and Pales- tinians back to the negotiat- ing table. The Palestinians had called for a settlement freeze in order to return to the talks. Israel has agreed to release 104 Palestinian prisoners held since before the 1993 Oslo Accords in a phased release over the next eight months as negotiations progress. As Dutch markets deny boycott, i00'Upressure on settlements grows Creative Commons Hoogyliet was among four Dutch supermarket chains that distanced themselves from a boycott on Israeli settlements goods they were said to be enacting. By Cnaan Liphshiz THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA)--Three weeks ago, the Dutch public learned of what appeared to be an unprecedented victory for European advocates of boy- cotting Israeli products. Four Divestment and Sanctions major supermarket chains (BDS) movement called it, reportedlydeclaredaboycott was short lived. of products from the West Dayslater, theinternation- Bank, easternJerusalemand al supermarket chains Aldi the Golan Heights. and Hema, along with the But the "victory," as some . smaller Hoogvliet and Jumbo activists in the Boycott, chains, distanced themselves Eydie Gorme, two-time Grammy winner, dies at 84 (JTA)--Eydie Gorme, who won Grammy Awards singing solo and with her husband, Steve "Lawrence, has died. Gorme died at a Las Vegas hospital on Saturday follow- ing a brief illness, according to a statement by her spokes- man. She was 84. o The statement said she was "surrounded by her husband, son and other loved ones at the time of her death." Gorme, whose 1963 song "Blame It on the Bossa Nova" was her biggest hit and won her a Grammy nomination, performed in nightclubs, and as both a solo artist and with Lawrence since the mid- 1950s. Theyperformed in Las Vegas for many years. Gorme retired in 2009. The couple had their own television variety show, "The Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme Show," until Lawrence entered the Army for two years and Gorme went on the nightclub circuit. "Eydie has been my partner onstage and in life for more than 55 years," Lawrence said in a statement. "I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the firsttime I heard her sing. While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time." Gorme and Lawrence met Eydie Gormd with husband Steve Lawrence. in 1953 on a local program hosted by Steve Allen and later were regular cast members on NBC's"Tonight Show," hosted by Allen, when it began in 1954. They married in 1957. Her first album with Law- rence, "We Got Us," won a Grammy Award in 1960. She also won a 1967 Grammy for 'If He Walked Into My Life." In 1968, the couple starred in the Broadway musical "Golden Rainbow." Gorme was born Edith Garmezano to Sephardic Jewish parents in New York City. Her father was a tailor from Sicily and her mother was from Turkey. She worked as a Spanish- language interpreter and later recorded in Spanish. Her song "Amor" became a hit through- out Latin America. Gorme and Lawrence also had a son who died in his 20s of a heart condition. from the boycott they were said to be enacting. According to the companies, the reports owel to a corporate error or inaccurate reporting. Yet spokespeople for the four chains also acknowl- edged that their stocks cur- rently include no products from Israeli settlements. That allowed both Israel's supporters and its critics to claim victory in a fight that is quickly spreading across the continent, as .various European groups have sought to use their economic power as leverage to oppose Israeli settlements they consider illegal.. "The chains' hurried about-face proves the fail- ure of attempts by anti-Israel groups to single Israel out for criticism in the super- market," said Esther Voet, director of the Center for Information and Documen- tation on Israel, or C IDI, a pro-Israel lobby group based in The Hague. But Sander Becker, a re- porter for the Trouw daily, which broke news of the supposed boycott, said the affair may have exposed the existence of a "silent boy- cott" in which stores keep settlement products from the shelves but don't admit to what they are doing. Companies may "shun products from settlements while publicly claiming it's because of 'price, quality and availability'--the three harmless [parameters] stipu- lated in statements by all the supermarket chains," Becker said. Becker's report was based on a document published in April by a research agency called Profundo at the re- quest of several Dutch NGOs critical of Israel. Titled "Dutch 'economic links with the occupation," the repB't said Hoogvliet, Aldi and Jumbo admitted to instructing Israeli suppliers to refrain from fiending goods produced in the settlements. Dutch media later reported that Hema-made similar requests. A spokesperson for Pro- fundo told JTA the report is accurate and that statements were based on.answers to its questions. But a spokesper- son for the Dutch subsidiary ofAIdi, a German chain with stores in 18 countries, told JTA the statement on the boycott was "a false repre- sentation of reality" caused by "a mistake in the answers provided" to Profundo. Aldi "has no policy on products from the West Bank and the Golan," the spokes- person said. Hema, a large Dutch super- market chain with brafiches in five European countries, also denied a boycott policy. Jumbo and Hoogvliet issued statements saying politics play no role in decisions about what products to stock. "We have Israeli wines on sale, none of which are produced in the occupied territories," a Hema spokes- person said. Trade between Israel and the European Union totaled approximately $39 billion in 2011, with Israeli exports accounting for 41 percent of .the total. Settlement goods constituted only "a small fraction" of the amount, according to the Irish "gov- ernment. The limitedavailability of settlement products in Eu- rope means that boycotting them would lead to litt.le loss of revenue for Israeli compa- nies. But even if not damag- ing economically, Jerusalem views the moves against the settlements with alarm, fear- ing their spread could lead to further isolation. Yet Israel has been helpless to do much about iL Despite intense protests by senior Israeli officials, the labeling movement is spreading, even in countries that are tradi- tionally sympathetic to Israel. In March, the Dutch gov- ernment advised local super- market chains to label any product from the territories lest customers be "misled." Last month, the European Commission, a body of the European Union, issued new guidelines prohibiting its organs from awarding grants or other incentives to institu- tions and other parties from settlements. The EU also is pushing through new rules to ensure products from the settle- ments are labeled as such. Some goods already are la- beled in British, Danish and Swiss supermarkets. EU foreign policy chef Catherine Ashton said the new rules will be released sometime this year. Boycotts by major retail- ers, however, are very rare in Europe. One exception--a move last year by Britain's fifth-largest chain store, the Co-operative Group, to boycott goods produced in the settlements--caused an uproar. But Pieter van Oordt, an importer of Israeli products to Holland, says the super- market affair ultimately may benefit Israel. "I don't know what made the supermarkets declare a boycott, but I think their retractions are a reaction to a strong sentiment of popular discontent and a lot of angry emails," he said. "I expect they'll think twice next time around."