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October 23, 2009     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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October 23, 2009

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iI,!.,i,,L. I~-d|torials 4A ,, ,, ................................ ]'~ ~-,:~i~ ~--~ '~':" ~LT~O~,-,~ ......... ~:";~'~.;'i --. , ry ............... 7A ................... 8A Scene Arounu ......................... 9A Classified, ................. . ............. 2B Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) stays away from criticizing seen here together in Israel in July. Israeli press agency the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, JJ Keki, a leader of the Aba- yudaya Jewish community in rural east central Ugandawill be visiting central Florida as part of a North American speaking tour sponsored by the U.S.-based Kulanu, Inc., a grassroots, not-for-profit Jewish organization helping dispersed and emerging Jew- ish communities worldwide. Co-sponsored by the So- cial Action Committee of Congregation Ohev Shalom and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando, Keki will appear at the Roth JCC campus in Maitland at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3. Keki will be sharing the story of the 1,000-member Abayudaya community estab- lished in 1919 and its struggle to maintain its Jewish iden- tity in Uganda in the face of persecution and intolerance, particularly during the re- gime of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. In addition, he will describe the extraordinary JJ Keki progress the community has made and the leadership role it has forged among its neighbors. "The story of the Abayu- daya is one of unrelenting faith, remarkable courage and inspiring determina- tion," says Rabbi David Kay, Uganda on page 22A By Ron Kampeas Figures in the pro-Israel community Abraham, the Slim-Fast diet food mag- expressed similar sentiments, nate whom Wexler named in his book as WASHINGTON (JTA)--The "fire- What makes the move even more a"closefriend"andthefunderofWexler's breathing liberal" has sucked the air out perplexing is that Wexler, who dubbed-~,Middle East travel in the past of the room. himselfthe"fire-breathingliberal"in his The group has existed since 1993 and A soft-spoken retirement an- manifesto published lastyear, isendinga wasprominentduringtheheydayofthe nouncement by the usually outspo- very public political career that has had Oslo peace process launched that year, ken U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) a virtually unimpeded upward swing to butithasbeenmoribundsincethedeath has left Democrats, Republicans, becomeathink-tankdiplomat--thekind in 2002 of its co-founder, former Utah Jews and non-Jews expressing reac- of figure who does his best work behind congressman Wayne Owens. tions that ranged from baffled to... the scenes without taking credit. "TakingoveraspresidentoftheCenter baffled. Wexler, 48, will lead the Center for forMiddleEastPeaceoffersmeanunpar- "We were stunned," said one source Middle East Peace and Economic Coop- close to the congressional leadership, eration, a group co-founded by S. Daniel Wexler on page 22A By Dinah Spritzer PRAGUE (JTA)--When President Obama announced at the G-20 summit in Pitts- burgh late last month that Iran had built a secret nuclear plant in Qom, southwest of Tehran, he was followed by a visibly angry French Presi- dent Nicolas Sarkozy and an unusually harsh British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Sarkozy was particularly pugnacious when he spoke, warning the Islamic Republic that it had until December to come clean on its nuclear weapons program or face pun- ishment. The usually reserved Brown accused Iran of"serial deception." Again earlier this month, U.S. and European officials stood shoulder to shoulder in Geneva in talks with Iran about its nuclear program. The united European- American front on Iran is not new, but three relatively recent developments have strengthened the alliance since Iran's nuclear ambitions became an international pre- occupation. First, Obama's policy of pursuing talks with Iran while simultaneously warn- ing of harsher measures has brought the United States more in line with Europe's attitude toward the Islamic Republic. The Europeans believe the threat of sanctions without direct engagement by the United States is a non- starter. The multilateral meeting with Iran in Geneva repre- sented the first international talks in 30 years where Ameri- can and Iranian delegates spoke to one another directly. The Bush administration began the move toward this direction in 2006, when U.S. officials agreed to participate in talks involving Iranian of- ficials. Now all members of the so-called P5-plus-1 nego- tiating team--Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany--agree on a dual-track approach with incentives and threats. Second, the election of White House Photo President Obama speaks Sept. 25 with French President Nicolas Sarkozy (r) and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh. more conservative govern- And when German Chan- mentsinFranceandGerroany cellor Angela Merkel was has helped bring those coun- re-elected last month, she got tries' leaders more in tune a new conservative coalition with the U.S. policies on the partner, strengthening her Middle East both on Iran and pro-Israel, pro-U.S, positions. on the emphasis on Israel's Third, public anger in Eu- security needs. The fiery Sar- rope over the disputed Iranian kozy took over in 2007 from elections in June and the the socialist Jaques Chirac, handling of the protests that who often irked Washington followed have helped throw and Jerusalem with his sym- public support behind Euro- pathetic gestures towardArab and Islamic leaders. Europe on page 22A By Stewart Ain New York Jewish Week NEWYORK--One of Israel's best regional friends, Turkey, is apparently having second thoughts about their relation- ship. Just days. before the two countries were to participate in a NATO military exercise last week, Turkish officials informed Israel that it would not be allowed to participate. The U.S., the Netherlands and Italy then withdrew in protest and the exercise was canceled. Turkey, one of the few Mus- lim nations to have diplomatic relations with Israel, has had a testy relationship with the Jew- ish state since January. That was when Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at the World Eco- nomic Forum in Switzerland, publicly criticized Israeli Presi- dent Shimon Peres over Israel's military offensive in Gaza last winter and then stormed out of the meeting. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu implied that his country barred Israel from the NATO military exercise in Turkey lastweekbecause of the Gaza operation. "We hope that the situation in Gaza will be improved, that the situation will be back to the diplomatic track," he said. "And that will create a new atmosphere in Turkish-Israeli relations as well. But in the existing situation, of course, we are criticizing this approach, [the] Israeli approach." But Anat Lapidot-Firilla, a specialist in Turkish politics and society who teaches in the Department of International United Nations Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Syria as part of a new for- eign policy that seeks to strengthen ties with coun- tries previously kept at an arm's length. Affairs atthe Hebrew University of Jerusalem and runs a Turk- ish forum as a senior research fellow at the Van Leer Jerusa- lem Institute, said the Gaza offensive was only "used as an excuse" by Turkey. "You can see a consistent trend in Turkish foreign policy that has to do with many issues but notwith Gaza~Gazaisjust anexcuse,"shesaid."Ifyouhave to pick one event from which problems started, it was No- vember 2002" when Edrogan and his AK Party were elected. Lapidot-Firilla pointed out that Erdogan quickly began using Davutoglu as a foreign policy adviser. "He ran the show" even before being made foreign minister, she said, add- Gaaa on page 23A &