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October 19, 2012

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announcing early elections in Israel at a news lem, Oct. 9. Miriam Alster/FLASH90/JTA conference at his office in Jerusa- By Ben Sales Whatwas unusuaiwas that seemingly voting is held early next year; elections everyone on Israel's political spectrum-- had been scheduled for October 2013. TEL AVIV tJTA)--It wasn't Prime from left to right--appeared to agree "Netanyahu looks like an authorita- Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call for that there was no real contest about who tive and experienced statesman, with no early elections that was unusual. After would be the next prime minister. Bar- presentalternative,"AlufBenn, Haaretz's all, only a few governments have served ring any major surprises, Netanyahu is a full term in Israel's 64-year history, expectedtowinathirdtermhandilywhen Balance on page 17A By Stewart Ain New York Jewish Week Ehud Olmert, who resigned in disgrace as prime minister in 2008 to face corruption charges, is now being seen by some in Israel as the "great white hope" of the center-left to defeat Prime Minister BenjaminNetanyahuin next year's election. After recently being cleared of the most serious of several bribery charges that compelled his resignation, Olmert is being quoted by several sources as seri- ously considering reentering the political arena. "He is the only one who can put together a coalition with n m By Jill Cousins Special to the Heritage Orlando philanthropist Tess Wise was among several extraordinary Jewish women honored at the International Lion of Judah Conference 2012 in New York City, Sept. 10-12. Although she is hum- bled and appreciative of the honor, Wise was not able to make the trip and received the award "in absentia." A Holocaust survivor, Wise has lived in Orlando for almost 65 years and--along with Abe, her husband of 62 years--has been instrumental in estab- lishing or supporting nearly every Jewish organization or agency in Central Florida. She is the founder of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Cen- tral Florida, and she and her husband helped establish the Hebrew Day School (now the Jewish Academy of Orlando), Jewish Family Services, the Jewish Community Center and Temple Israel. She was a member of the Jewish Fed- eration of Greater Orlando's board of directors and was named 2007 Woman of Choice by the Women's Division. Wise is Central Florida's recipient of the Kipnis-Wilson/ Friedland Award, which was established in 2004. The award is named after the founders of the Lion of Judah--Norma Kipnis-Wilson and the late Toby Friedland--and recognizes there is speculation that Olmert to a friend's associates. He still might form a new party with faces trial in connection with Tzipi Livni, the former head of a Jerusalem real estate bribery the Kadima Party who served case. as his foreign minister. Sandler suggested that Ol- Gerald Steinberg, another mert might be flirting with a political science professor at political comeback to deter the Bar-Ilan University, said he be- prosecutorfromproceedingwith lieves Olmert will run, but that the pending case. his candidacy "is not going to "He may be [sending asignal] have a significant impact or get that he resigned because of Ta- muchbacking.Heisnotgoingto lansky and he came away clean get support from [Netanyahu's] from that case, so the courts Likud and the Kadima party is better not dare to punish him falling apart." in a case involving another prob- Haim Ramon, a former cabi- lematic witness," he explained. net minister and close friend of ButAvrahamDiskin'apr fes- Olmert, toldArmy Radio that he sor of political science at Hebrew has been speaking with Olmert University of Jerusalem, said about heading a new centrist Olmert would be making a big party he is seeking to form. mistake if he ran while criminal "He has obviously not made charges were pending. his decisions, and we need to "InorderforOlmerttopartici- wait patiently ," he said. pate in the election, there are two Steinberg said that should conditionsthatmustbemet,'he Olmert and Ramon form a new said."One isthat there is alarge, party, "it would be seen as a serious group behind him. Sec- party of convicts--people who ond is that he is confident there did not take their public duties isnochancehewillbeconvicted seriously." in any of the legal proceedings Ramon, a former justice that didn't end." minister, was convicted in 2009 Diskin noted that Olmert ofsexualmisconductforkissing received a "lenient sentence" ayoungIsraelisoldieragainsther on the lesser charge of which will.Ramon, whoatthetimewas he was convicted, but that an 56 and divorced, insisted that appeal is pending regarding the - ~,1 r l By Pamela Ruben Special to the Heritage Greg Dawson, an Orlando Ehud Olmert Sentinel columnist, has been the haredim [ultra-Orthodox]," in the spotlight this year. He observed Shmuel Sandler, a checked out as writer of The political science professor at LastResortinwhichheserved Bar-Ilan University. as a liaison between readers Sandier pointed out that un- and the business community. likeinthepast, themajorparties "After several years it was in Israel today receive no more time to write from a new than 25 or 30 votes and need perspective," he says. His new to form coalitions in order to beat is called working, where govern, he reports on trends in the "Netanyahu has averystrong workplace every Monday and coalition, that is why the left and Wednesday. center are looking for a way to Dawson has covered office break it and to Olmert to save meetings that take place "on them," he said. the move;" in which employ- He pointed out that Aryeh ees discuss work matters dur- Deri, theformerheadoftheultra- ing a series of neighborhood Orthodox Shas party, "is a good walks. These mobile meetings friend of Olmert's" who might keep both business affairs and be able to persuade the party to employee health on the right bolt Netanyahu's coalition and track. Dawson also held a join with an Olmert coalition, contest for Orlando's hardest Tess Wise "extraordinary women who have set a high standard for phi- lanthropy and volunteerism with lifetimes of commitment to the Jewish world." This year's convention cel- ebrated the 40th anniversary of the Lion of Judah, a world- wide organization developed in 1972 to bring together caring women of all ages and from all walks of life who contribute more than $5,000 a year to the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign. Mo,D 17,500 women worldwide are Lions of Judah. "We are honored and ex- tremely proud that Tess was our community's award- recipient. She fulfills the responsibilities this award embodies and her exemplary voluntarism has been guid- t~ Wise on page 17A "He did just that in 1990," the 21-year-old woman flirted major charges, working employee, and un- writing," Dawson says. "They Sandier said. with him and that the kiss was "So those cases are not over covered a local teacher who are personal stories about my Word that Olmert is con- consensual, yet," he said. "And there are a hadn't missed a day of work mother's family, and their sidering a political comeback Olmertwasclearedbyacourt pendingcriminalcases.ltwould in 37 years. surfaced Oct. 10, one day after inJulyofacceptingcashfroman be stupid for him to participate Recently, he has also put Dawson on page 18A coalition partners were unable Morris Talansky, and allegedly I don't think he will."he quips, "only feels like 37 to adopt a "responsible budget" double-billing for overseas trips. StewartAin isastaffwriterfor years." In addition to his usual with deep cuts. He was convicted on a lesser TheNewYorkJewish Week, from column, Dawson has authored Sandler, who said he would charge of breach of trust for which this articlewas reprinted two books since 2009. advise Olmert not to run, said steering government contracts by permission. "Both 'Hiding in the Spot- light' (released in 2009 by Pegasus Books), and 'Judg- ment Before Nuremburg' (released last March, also by Pegasus), are very different than my usual jocular style of The story of Greg Daw- son's mother continues in his 2nd book.