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October 5, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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October 5, 2012
 

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HERn'AGE FLORiOA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 5, 2012. PAGE 13A Romney, Obama speak with Netanyahu by phone (J'TA)--President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanya- hu about recent developments in the Middle East. The conversation with Romney last Friday came about 10 minutes after Ne- tanyahu spoke for 20 minutes with Obama. "'The Prime Minister and the Governor agreed that an Iran with nuclear weapons capability is unacceptable." Romney traveling press sec- retary Rick Gorka told CNN. "They also discussed recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa gener- ally. Gov. Romney reiterated his belief that the United States has no greater friend and ally in the region than Israel." The press secretary also said that Romney and Netan- yahu agreed that-"the largest security threat to Israet and the entire world is a nuclear- capable Iran.'" Romney met with Netan- yahu when he visited Israel in the summer. Following last Friday's conversation between Obama and Netanyahu, the White House released a statement saying that, "The two leaders discussed a range of security issues, and the President reaf- firmed his and our country's unshakeable commitment to Israel's security. The two leaders underscored that they are in full agreement on the shared goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." Obama and Netanyahu had addressed the United Nations General Assembly earlier in the week. Cuban Jewish leaders visit Alan Gross (JTA)--Two Cuban Jewish leaders visited jailed Ameri- can contractor Alan Gross and said they found him in "good spirits." Adela Dworin, head of Cuba's Jewish community, and David Prinstein, president of the Patronato Synagogue and Jewish community vice president, spent two hours with Gross on Sept. 27 in the military hospital where he . is Imprisoned, according to reports. The visit was to mark the High Holidays. Gross report- edly told his visitors that he fasted on Yore Kippur, and that he lifts weights and walks daily on the hospital grounds. Dworin told Reuters that while Gross had been very depressed when she met with him four months ago, he seemed to have a more posi- tive outlook about his future. Dworin and Prinstein have had regular meetings with Gross in advance of Jewish holidays. During the meeting; the Jewish leaders reportedly George Soros as a contractor for the U.S. Agency on International Development. In September. a Cuban For- eign Ministry official rej ected claims by Gross' wife. Judy, that Gross was in ill health and said Cuba was willing to negotiate his release with U.S. officials, reportedly in exchange for five Cuban spies. four of whom remain in jail in the U.S. Gross reportedly has lost more than 100 pounds since his arrest and his family says he is suffering from degenera- tive arthritis. His mother is dying and one of his daughters has cancer. Soros pledges $1 million to Obama Super PAC (JTA)--Billionaire George Soros pledged $1 million to a Super PAC supporting Presi- dent Obama. The donation reported last weekend by The New York Times will go to Priorities USAAction. It reportedly was announced Sept. 27 at a lun- cheon held by the Democracy Alliance. a group of liberal donors, by Michael Vachon. a longtime Soros political ad- viser, according to the Times. Soros also is set to donate $500.000 to two Super PACs backing Congressional Demo- crats, the newspaper reported. With the donations. Soros now has given $4.3 million during this election cycle to PACs supporting Democrats, according to Politico the largest donor on the left. it said. Soros donated $24 mil- lion to outsidegroups ahead of the 2004 election, however. By contrast, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has pledged to spend up to $100 million to defeat Obama and con- gressional Democrats in the upcoming elections. Obama enacts visa program for religious workers WASHINGTON (JTA}-- President Obama enacted a three-year extension to a visa program for religious workers. Obama on Sept. 28 signed the law, passed by Congress with overwhelming mar- gins earlier in September, extending the Special Immi- grantNon-Minister Religious Worker Program until Sept. 30, 2015. The legislation, first passed in 1990. has a built-in sunset spoke about topics ranging provision and has been reau- from Gross' health to the U.S. elections, and of his love for Cuba. Dworin told Reuters. Gross, 63, of Potomac, Md., was sentenced last year to 15 years in prison for "crimes against the state." He was arrested in 2009 for alleg- edly bringing satellite phones and computer equipment to members of Cuba's Jewish community while working thorized seven times. The law. which is particu- larly important to small Jew- ish communities in remote areas, makes available up to 5,000 permanent immigrant visas each year for religious workers of various denomi- nations. The small Jewish commu- nities often find it difficult to fill positions and rely on the Visas to bring in rabbis, cantors, kosher butchers, Hebrew school teachers and other religious workers. Colombia's Santos makes parallel to Isr~eli-Palestin- ian 2-state bid WASHINGTON (JTA) Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos likened his bid to end decades of violence through talks with Marxist rebels to the elusive Israeli- Palestinian quest for a two- state solution. "In search for peace I toot~a risky decision," Santos told an American Jewish Committee luncheon in New York City on Sept. 28. where he received the group's Diplomatic States- man Award. "After 50 years of war. conditions are present to give peace a chance, to try to negotiate. Making war is much easier than making peace. Colombian government talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. or FARC are set to begin this month in Norway. New Israeli envoy to Vati- can takes post ROME (JTA) Zion Ev- rony has taken up his post as Israel's ambassador to the Holy See. Evrony. who was appointed to the post in July, presented his Letters of Credence to Pope Benedict XVI at- an au- dience with the pontiff last Friday, He was born in Iran in 1949 but made aliyah as a baby. The career diplomat has held positions at the Israeli Foreign Ministry and been based at posts in the United States and Ireland. where he served as ambassador from 2006 to 2010. Key figure behind anti- Muslim movie arrested for probation violations (JTA)--An Egyptian Chris- tian man who police say is one of the key figures behindthe anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims" was arrested. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. 55. was arrested Sept. 27 in Los Angeles for violat- ing his probation in a 2010 check-kiting case. He was charged with eight probation violations, including lying to police when he was detained for questioning, according to The New York Times. He was ordered held without bail dur- ing a hearing in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles after being called a flight risk. A probation-revocation hearing reportedly will be scheduled. Nakoula. who is believed to have uploaded the 14-minute movie trailer, translated into Arabic, to YouTube. is not allowed to use the Internet without permission from his probation officer. He had been detained for questioning over the video earlier in the month. The trailer for the crudely produced film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muham- mad caused an outbreak of violence at U.S. diplomatic posts in the Middle East and throughout the world. Four American diplomats died in the violence. Sulzberger, ex-New York Times publisher, dies (JTA) Arthur Ochs Sulz- berger, who was publisher of The New York Times for more than three decades, has died. Sulzberger died Saturday at his home in New York follow- ing a long illness. He was 86. Juan Manuel Santos He was publisher for 34 years beginning in 1963. His son Arthur Sulzberger Jr. took over from him as publisher in 1992 and as chairman in 1997. The Sutzberger famil.y had bought the newspaper in 1896. The elder Sulzberger made the decision in 1971 to publish the classified Pentagon Pa- l~ers, which offered a Defense Department history of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The documents were pub- lished after a U~S. Supreme Court challenge by the Nixon administration. The Times won 31 Pulitzer Prizes during Sulzberger's tenure. Sulzberger also helped boost subscriptions and an- nual revenue. Sulzberger.whowas known by the nickname "Punch." served in the U.S. Marines and was a graduate of Columbia College. Rep. Granger blocks $450 million in U.S. aid to Egypt WASHINGTON (JTA)--The chairwoman of the congres- sional subcommittee admin- istering foreign aid blocked the Obama administration's plans to infuse Egypt with $450 million in emergency aid. "This proposal comes to Congress at a point when the U.S.-Egypt relationship has never been under more scrutiny, and rightly so," Rep. Kay" Granger (R-Texas), the chairwoman of the foreign operations subcommittee of the U.S. House of Represen- tatives Appropriations Com- mittee, said in a statement last Friday, just after the U.S. Agency for International Development notified Con- gress of its plans to make the transfer. "I am not convinced of the urgent need for this as- sistance and I cannot support it at this time." Earlier in the week. the Obama administration reaf- firmed its commitment to current levels of funding for Egypt's military while an- nouncing new civil assistance programs. U.S. lawmakers call on EU to designate Hezbollah as terrorist WASHINGTON (JTA) Saying "Hezbollah's finger- prints are-on teri, or attacks across the globe." more than 250 members of Congress are urging the European Union to designate Hezbollah a terror- ist organization. Spurred by the deadly attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria in July, the Congress members signed letters to the president and 27 ministers of the European Union asking for their partnership in "the vital effort to fight terror- ism." Israel and the United States have said Hezbollah is responsible for the suicide attack, which killed five Israe- lis. The attack is still under investigation. "The time is long past for the European Union to recognize that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization with a long history claiming in- nocent lives," said Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), who along With Reps. Gus Bilrakis (R- Fla.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) andAlbio Sires (D-N.J.) led the effort. The United States for years has designated Hezbollah as terrorist. Paris mayor slammed for nod to Yom Kippur (JTA)--Paris Mayor Ber- trand Delanoe was criticized for adjourning city council talks early on Yom Kippur. Following the early sus- pension of deliberations at the Council of Paris on Sept. 25. council member Gilles Alayrac said. "The mayor devotes too much attention to religious sensitivities." The newspaper Le Parisien also quoted Alayrac, a represen- tative of the Radical Party of the Left. as saying that "only the Republican calendar matters." Alexis Corbiere. also a representative of the Radi- cal Party of the Left, said "that. "The real problem is public spending on religious venues." They and other members of their party have expressed opposition in the past to subsi- dies given to approximately 20 Jewish kindergartens in Paris. "My friend Gilles panics when he is required to be at- tentive to others." Delanoe. who is not Jewish, told Le Parisien."Ifwehad scheduled a meeting for Dec. 24, he, would protest." Swedish police arrest two after explosion rocks Jew- ish building (JTA)--Swedish police ar- rested two men in connection with an explosion that rocked a Jewish community building in Malmo. The explosion took place "early last Friday morning, according to Fred Kahn. board chairman of the Malmo Jewish community. "There was an explosion and someone also threw a rock at the windows at the entrance to the commu.nity house," he said. The suspects, both 18, have no prior criminal record, ac- cording to the daily Skanska Dagbladet. Both denied any involvement in the explosion, according to Anders Lindell, a Malmo police officer and spokesman. "Witness reports led us to. arrest the two suspects near. but not immediately at the scene."'Lindell told JTA, adding that, "The foi~ensics report from the scene of the crime is finished but needs to be reviewed." Jordan appoints new am- bassador to Israel (JTA) Jordan reportedly has appointed a new ambas- sador to Israel. The appointment late last week of career diplomat Walid Obeidat was reported by the French news service AFP and Ammon News. The position has been vacant since mid-2010, when Ali al-Ayed left to become the country's minister of media affairs. Jordan did not fill the posi- tion immediately, citing the lack of progress in peace talks between Israel and the Pales- tinians, and Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. Obeidat is expected to arrive in Israel this month, and will become the fifth Jor- danian ambassador to Israel since a peace treaty between the two countries was signed in 1994. Palestinians protest Span- ish soccer team's medal to Shalit (JTA)--Palestinian groups are calling on Arab sports and soccer unions to protest a Spanish soccer club's invita- tion to former Israeli captive Gilad Shalit. The Catalan soccer team has invited Shalit to be its guest of honor at the Oct. 7 Super Clasico match against Real Madrid, according to Ynet. The Israeli is to be pre- sented with a medal during the event. In resPonse, the Palestin- ian media called on Arab sports and soccer groups to protest while Hamas an- nounced a media boycott of Barcelona soccer teams, wtiich are popular with the Palestinians. No TV station in Gaza will broadcast Barcelona matches and no newspapers in Gaza -will write about the clubs, Hamas official Attallah Abu Al Subah said on Sept. 27, according toYnet. Palestinian TV broadcasts of Spanish soc- cer games .generally receive high ratings. According to Ynet, an un- named Palestiriian prisoners organization in Gaza released a statement that said, "Gilad Shalit's invite is a new cover- up of Zionist crimes under the pretense of sports. How can a dignified sports club, which calls for culture and humanity, invite a murderer and criminal like Shalit to honor and thank him?" Brother of Rabin's killer: We would do it again, only earlier (JTA) Hagai Amir, a co- conspirator in the 1995 mur- der ofYitzhak Rabin, has said that in hindsight he would have helped assassinate the Israeli prime minister at an earlier'date. Amir, the brother of Rabin assassin Yigal Amir, wrote on his Facebook page that he and his brother would have killed Rabin ~'two years earlier" if they could do it over and that he was "most definitely proud" of his actions. Hagai Amir was released from prison in May. His brother is still imprisoned for gunning down Rabin on Nov. 4, 1995 in Tel Aviv. The Amirs . opposed Rabin's territorial concessions, a condition of the Oslo Accords, which Rabin signed with then-Palestine Liberation Organization lead- er Yasser Arafat. A Facebook user named Itzik Karsik asked Amir whether he would support assassinating Zehava Galon, a lawmaker for the left-wing party Meretz, which favors a Palestinian state. "Of course not this is not about hating any one person," HagaiAmir replied. "We don't fight people's views, even if they are extreme, but only actions that endanger the existence of the Jewish people in the land."