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September 21, 2018     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 21, 2018

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N Editorials 4A Op-Ed 5A Calendar 6A Scene Around 9A Synagogue Directory 11A JTA News Briefs 13A O Vince Musi/The White House From left: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, U.S. President Bill Clinton and Palestine Liberation Organization head Yasser Arafat at the signing of the Oslo Accords on Sept. 13, 1993. O or a By Josh Hasten (JNS)--It's hard to believe that it's been a quarter of a century: Sept. 13 marked the 25th anniversary of the 1993 signing of the U.S.-brokered Declaration of Prin- ciples between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Known also as the Oslo Accords, the deal signed between Israeli Prime Minis- ter Yitzchak Rabin and PLO head Yasser Arafat recognized the PLO as the official representative of the Palestinian people. With peace between the two sides the ultimate goal, Israel gradually handed over the governing and security functions of life for the Aral~s in Judea, Samaria and Gaza to the nex~ly formed Palestinian Authority, or P.A. Although the accords themselves didn't call for the creation of an official Palestinian state west of the Jordan River, subsequent Israeli proposals over the years did, in fact, allow for such an entity to come into being. All of those offers, however, were rejected by the P.A. leadership. The accords were meant to foster peace, but that didn't turn out to be the case at all. According to the Israel Government Press office, more Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists in the five years following the first Oslo agreement than in the preceding 15 years. In addition, according to statistics provided by the online Jewish Virtual Library, more than 1,600 Israel civilians and soldiers were killed from the accords' signing until now. Many wonder if the Oslo Accords are still alive, or have they been cast into the dustbin of history? JNS spoke to five leaders from all walks of life within Israel and the P.A. to get their take on where the situation stands between Israelis and Palestinians 25 years after those well- Osloon page 15A By Christine DeSouza Last year, Sami Kuperberg, a student at Oviedo High School, planned a program I .-j- Z 09 to address anti-Semitism with the support of JOIN Orlando and StandWithUs, titled "One Day Starts Today," that was held in the Oviedo High School auditorium. The event, which hosted two Holocaust survivors, was an overwhelming suc- cess with more than 600 students, faculty and parents in attendance. The purpose of the program was to educate students how to effectively respond to hate. StandWithUs, an inter- national, nonprofit Israel education organization founded in 2001, recently selected Kuperberg and Noa Lotringer of Lake Brantley for the StandWithUs High School Internship program 2018-2019. Ethan Legum was selected as SWU's Em- erson Fellow at UCF. Kuperberg, Lotringer and Legum attended the SWU training conferences in Los Angeles last August. The StandWithUs High School Internship Program is a high (L-r): Rayna Rose Exelbierd, Southeast high school coordi- nator, with SWU Interns Sami Kuperberg and Noa Latringer. school leadership program that prepares students for the challenges they may face regarding Israel in college and in their communities. Students participate in a year-long program that in- cludes two national confer- ences, ongoing educational online workshops, and they receive guidance and fund- ing to run programming in their high schools and youth groups. Students are encouraged to participate in positive campaigns that inspire their peers and edu- cate people about Israel. Upon completion of the pro- gram, participants will be prepared to comfortably take the reins of leadership the moment they start college and theywill be automatically part of the StandWithUs alumni network. SWU on page 16A By Jackson Richman (JNS)IAmid tensions between the Trump admin- istration and the Palestin- ian Authority, the former announced on Sept. 10 that the Washington offices of the Palestine Liberation Organization will close in the same week as the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn is being marked by politicians and the press. "We have permitted the PLO office to conduct opera- tions that support the objec- tive of achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between Israelis and the Palestinians since the expiration of a pre- vious waiver in November 2017," said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert. "However, the PLO has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel. To the contrary, PLO leadership has condemned a U.S. peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise." "The United States con- tinues to believe that direct negotiations between the two parties are the only way forward," she added. "This action should not be exploited by those who seek to act as spoilers to distract from the imperative of reaching a peace agreement. We are not retreat- ing from Our efforts to achieve a lasting and comprehensive peace." The PLO was created in 1964 during the Arab League Boycott against Israel with a mission to annihilate the State of Israel, serving as an umbrella organization for other U.S.-designated terror- ist groups such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestine Liberation Front. Congress labeled the PLO itself as a terrorist organization in a provision in 1987 legislation, which called for its D.C. office to be closed. However, that provision has been repeatedly waived by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, who in 2010 upgraded the PLO's office to diplomatic status. Trump on page 13A Hurricane Florence and the eye of the storm, shown as it approached the U.S. East CoasL By Faygie Levy Holt ( via JNS)--For the last 11 years, the Lieblich family of Wilm- ington, N.C have always held Rosh Hashanah services on both days of the holiday. This year, for the first time ever, they did not have a min- yan for the second day because of a looming catastrophic weather threat: Hurricane Florence, which made landfall along the South Carolina, bringing with it massive storm surges and between 30 and 40 inches of rain in some places. "There's a sense of urgency here that I haven't felt before," said Rabbi Moshe Lieblich, co- director of Chabad of Wilm- ington with his wife, Chana. "People are scared. Some have been crying. On the first day of Rosh Hashanah, people were adamant that they were going to stay in their homes, but by the second day, they had changed their minds." Wednesday morning found the rabbi driving around town trying to secure additional supplies, including gas and nonperishable food. "It seems the whole of Wilmington is shut down," he recounted. "Ninety-five percent of stores are closed. Only a handful of gas stations have gas. I need propane for Chabadon page 14A [,~