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November 28, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 28, 2014 PAGE 13A Controversial Jewish nation-state bill passes Israeli Cabinet vote JERUSALEM (JTA)--Is- rael's Cabinet passed a bill that would identify Israel as the nation-state of the Jew- ish people. The measure, which has engendered controversy, ad- vanced in a 14-6 vote on Sunday. It must pass a prelimi- nary reading and two other readings in the Israeli parlia- ment, which will consider the so-called nation-state law on Wednesday. The ministers of the Likud (with the exception of Cul- ture Minister Limor Livnat), Yisrael Beiteinu and Jewish Home parties voted for the bill, which was proposed by Zeev Elkin of Likud. Five members of the Yesh Atid party and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of Hatnua opposed the nation-state bill. Livnat abstained from the vote. Under the bill, which "de- fines the State of Israers iden- tity as the nation-state of the Jewish people," HebreWwoutd become the official language, with Arabic having "special status." Also, the measure also calls Jewish law a basis for new legislation, among other matters. A softening Of the legis- lation proposed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly will be substituted for the current version when it returns to committee after the preliminary reading. The Cabinet's closed-door discussion on the bill report- edly degenerated into a shout- ing match !SThe State of Israel 'is the national state of the Jew- ish People," Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of the Cabinet meeting. "It has equal individual rights for every citizen and we insist on this. But only the Jewish People have national rights: a flag, anthem, the right of every Jew to immigrate to the country and other national symbols. These are granted only to our people, in its one and only state." Netanyahu: No Iran agreement is preferable to bad one JERUSALEM (JTA)--No agreement with Iran on its nuclear program is preferable to a bad one, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday night briefed Netanyahu on the world powers' nuclear talks with Iran, Netanyahu told his Cabinet Sunday at its regulai' weekly meeting. Netanyahu said that a "bad agreement" could "endanger Israel, the Middle East and all of humanity." The Israeli leader said his country was monitoring de- velopments in the talks. ' "We are holding discus- sions with the representatives of other major powers and are presenting them with a vigorous position to the effect that Iran must not be allowed to be determined as a nuclear threshold state," Netanyahu said. "There is no reason why it should be left with thousands of centrifuges that could enable it to enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb in a short time." The talks have a Monday deadline for a deal. On Sun- day, a trilateral meeting fea- tured Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union representative Catherine Ashton. If there is no resolution of the talks by the end of Sunday, Iran and the world powers reportedlywill agree to extend the deadline for the talks by several months. Palestinian man shot was approaching Gaza fence, IDF says JERUSAI~EM (JTA)--Is- raeli troops shot a Palestinian man in northern Gaza who the Israeli military said was approaching the security fence between Israel and Gaza. Palestinian officials said Fadil Muhammad Halawah, 32, was killed while hunting birds Sunday in the northern Gaza Strip when he was shot, according to the Palestinian Maan news agency. The Israeli military told Maan that Halawah and an- other man approached the security fence and did not stop when ordered by Israeli troops. The soldiers fired warning shots before firing at the men's lower extremities, hitting one, the IDF said. The IDF could not confirm the condition of the man. Halawah would be the first Gaza Palestinian killed by Israeli bullets since Israel's 50-day operation in Gaza last summer. Also Sunday, two Palestin- ians from Gazawho infiltrated into Israel were stopped near the Kerem Shalom border crossing, the IDF said. One of the men was carrying a grenade. Jewish settlers torched widow's West Bank home, Palestinian of. ficials say JERUSALEM (JTA)--A Palestinian home in the West Bank was set afire in what Palestinian officials said was an attack by Israeli Jewish settlers. A firebomb was thrown through the window of the home located in avillage near Ramallah early Sunday morn- ing, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported. "Death to Arabs" and "vengeance" also was spray-painted on the house. The widow who lives in the two-story house told the B'Tselem human rights groups that she heard people speaking in Hebrew outside the home at the time of the attack. Most of the damage was confined to the first story, according to Maan. The Israel Police are inves- tigating the arson attack. Jordan's parliament holds moment of silence for synagogue killers JERUSALEM (JTA)--Jor- dan's parliament held a mo- ment of silence for the two Palestinian terrorists who killed five people in a Jerusa- lem synagogue attack. The gesture, along with the reading of Koran verses, was held a day after the Nov. 18 attack, the Israeli media reported Friday. The Jordanian government condemned the attack. Also, Jordan's prime min- ister, Abdullah Ensour, sent a letter of condolence to the families of the terrorists, Palestinian cousins Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamal of eastern Jerusalem, Israel's Channel 10 reported. The gunmen were killed in a shootout with Israeli police. The expressions of sym- pathy come less than a week after King Abdullah II of Jordan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met in Amman. At the meeting, Abdullah and Netan- yahu agreed to work to dial back escalating tension and violence in eastern Jerusalem and elsewhere. Ashkelon mayor decides against ban on Arab workers JERUSALEM (JTA)--Ash- kelon Mayor Itamar Shimon has walked back his decision to lay off city Arab workers in the aftermath of the deadly syna- gogue attack in Jerusalem. On Sunday, Shimoni agreed to allow the workers to com- plete construction work on bomb shelters in the city's preschools and relocate the students to the local com- munity center, Ynet reported. The plan was to be presented to parents at a meeting that night. Shimoni on Friday had ordered a halt to the project, which is expected to take a week, to preventArab workers from entering the city. The decision followed a couple of days after five people were killed in the synagogue at- tack by two Palestinians from eastern Jerusalem. The mayor said he made the decision after parents said they were uncomfortable with the Arab workers around their children and asked for additonal armed security guaras when the woTkers Were present. "Unfortunately, my deci- sions were taken out of pro- portion," Shimoni told Ynet. "I was simply listening to the parerts of the mentioned kinde'gartens.At no point did I orde" the expulsion of Arabs from Ashkelon." Repot. Hamas plan to kill ~igdor Liberman foile( (YA) - Israeli security force: arrested four men suspeted of plotting to kill Forein Minister Avigdor Libenan by firing a rocket at his ar. Unamed sources from Israe~ General Security Servia, or Shin Bet, said the rrn were affiliated with Hama and had confessed durin~uestioning to having plann| to fire the RPG rocket at Lilyman's car near his homel Nokdim in the West Bank,krmy Radio reported Nov. 2. Themen were identified as brchers Ibrahim Salim Mahmud Zir and Ziad Sa- lim ihhmoud Zir, along with .~nan Mahmoud Sabih and Yssuf Ibrahim Yussuf Alsheih. Some of the alleged plottel have served time in Israelbrisons, according to the reprt. Hat, as spokesman Sami Abu 7Jhri said the organi- zationhad no information regarahg a plan to assassinate Liberran. Durng their interroga- tion, hin Bet uncovered "a separ e terrorist activity in which military Hamas ac- tivists planned to run over settler~ and army forces with a mote vehicle in the Gush Etziorarea," a Shin Bet state- ment ~ad. According to Shin Bet, the assassination plot is part of "an attempt by Hamas to restore its infrastructure in Judea and Samaria," or the West Bank, following a crack- down by Israel this summer in the wake of the attempted abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June. Two Jews lightly wound- ed in Jerusalem stabbing (JTA)--Two Jewish men sustained minor injuries after being stabbed outside a religious seminary in eastern Jerusalem. Magen David Adom para- medics rushed to the scene last Friday to treat the wound- ed men: a 24-year-old who sustained a back injury and a 21-year-old who was wounded in the head, the emergency service said. The attack occurred at the Beit Orot yeshiva near the Mount of Olives. According to the news site Ynet, the victims said their attackers were Arabs. The report did not say how many suspected perpetrators were involved. The victims were evacuated to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem as security forces began searching for the at- tackers near the scene of the incident. Two days earlier, five people were killed in an attack per- petrated by two Palestinian terrorists inside a synagogue in western Jerusalem. Yemen minister dedicates award to country's Jews (JTA)--Yemen's minister of culture is donating an international human rights prize to the country's tiny and persecuted }ewish mi- nority. Arwa Othman, awarded the Alison Des Forges Award by Human Rights Watch in Sep- tember, called for"tolerance" in her speech and announced she was giving her award to "brothers and friends from the Jewish community," accord- ing to The Associated Press. Othman made the an- nouncement at a Nov. 20 celebration in the capital city of Sanaa, where roughly half the country's Jewish popula- tion-numbering fewer than 90 in total--live in a guarded compound. Arwa, a writer and former head of Yemen's House of Folklore who was appointed this month to her Cabinet post, was praised by Human Rights Watch for her advocacy for civil rights in the country's constitutional negotiations and her efforts to end child marriage. According to the AP, her advocacy for civil rights and the Jewish population has spurred a backlash byYemen's hardline Salafi Muslims. Jonathan Pollard's first parole application rejected U.S. relations in the Middle East among the Arab coun- tries," the parole commission letter said. "Given all this information, paroling you at this time would depreciate the seriousness of the offense and promote disrespect for the law." Pollard, a former U.S. Navy analyst who was sentenced to life in 1987 after being ar- rested two years earlier, had not applied for parole until now, the Post said, in part be- cause he favored apresidential commutation, which would release him unconditionally. He has been eligible to apply for parole for 19 years. Parole likely would require a period of remaining in the United States. Pollard, 60, was made an Israeli citizen in the 1990s and wants to move to Israel. Part of what changed Pol- lard's mind was an Israeli television interview with President Obama in March 2013 in which the U.S. leader said that he would make sure that Pollard "is accorded the same kinds of review and same examination of the equities that any other individual would be provided." Pollard, the Post said, un- derstood that to mean that Obamawould ensure that any parole process would be fair. Last week, Obama received a letter from former senior U.S. government officials familiar with the classified letter written by then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger that reportedly is keeping Pollard in prison strongly criticizing the parole process a~ "deeply flawed." The officials, including former CIA director James Woolsey; former U.S. National Security Advisor Robert Mac- Farlane; former chairmen of the Senate Intelligence Committee; and Sens. Dennis DeConcini and David Duren- burger, said in the letter that by calling Pollard's crime "the greatest compromise of U.S. security to that date," the Parole Commission Decision document bases its decision to deny parole on "a patently false claim." This claim, wrote the of- ficiais, "is false and is not supported by any evidence in the public record or the clas- sified file." They also pointed out that the commission ignored documentary evidence that mitigated in favor of Pol- lard's release, as well as the recommendations by top level officials with firsthand knowledge of the case that called for Pollard's uncondi- tional release. The parole commission said it would review Pollard's case again next year. National Archives makes WASHINGTON (JTA)--, postwar Shanghai Jonathan Pollard was turned down in his first application for parole. "The breadth and scope of the classified information that you sold to the Israelis was the greatest compromise of U.S. security to that date," the parole commission said in an August letter to the Israeli spy, according to The Jerusalem Post, which obtained the letter and broke the news in a cover story in its Friday magazine. "You passed thousands of Top Secret documents to Israeli agents, threatening records available WASHINGTON (JTA)--The U.S. National Archives has opened to researchers post- World War II visa application records from the U.S. Consul- ate in Shanghai. The records provide a po- tential trove of information about Holocaust refugees in the Chinese city. Dozens already are available; more will be in the future. "From 1938 on, an esti- mated 20,000 Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria escaped to Shanghai, the only place in the world that did not require avisato enter," accord- ing to a statement Thursday from the archives. "Between 1939 and 1940, nearly 2,000 Polish Jews escaped to Shang- hai, avoiding certain death." The 1,300 case files for ap- plicants for U.S. visas covers the period 1946-51 and could provide a window into the postwar movements of the refugees. In addition to Jewish refu- gees, the city hosted diasporas from an array of war-battered countries. Obama renews Iran sanctions on eve of deal deadline WASHINGTON (JTA)--On the eve of a deadline for an Iran nuclear deal, President Obama exercised a routine renewal of sanctions against the country. The presidential determi- nation issued Friday, three days before the deadline, declared that there are suffi- cient alternative sources ofoil production to justify continu- ing sanctions targeting Iran's energy sector. Such determinations are required periodically by law. The deal between Iran and the major powers would reduce sanctions over time in exchange for guarantees that Iran is not advancing toward a nuclear weapons program. 14 recognized as righ- teous for saving Jews in the Netherlands THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA)--Fourteen non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust were honored as righteous gentiles. The title of Righteous Among the Nations--a dis- tinction awarded by the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem--was given posthumously on Friday to Frederika Maria Segboer and Christina Segboer, sisters who hid Jews and helped them reach safety in Spain. Earlier this month, Israeli diplomats conferred the title posthumously on another 12 recipients during a ceremony in The Hague. At the Friday ceremony, Frederika's daughter, Mari- jke van de Meent-Segboer, accepted the honor in Gorin- chem, near Rotterdam, for her mother and aunt, who directed Jews they hid to the Westerweel group--a ring of resistance fighters who helped smuggle at least 210 Jews out of the Netherlands, as well as hundreds of non-Jews who were wanted by the Nazi oc- cupation forces. Many of the Jews smuggled by the group to Spain would moveon to prestate Israel. Among those honored at The Hague ceremony were Cornelia Kloppenburg and her husband, Leenderd Mostard, who worked as ~a chauffeur near The Hague. During the Holocaust, the couple took in a 4-year-old Jewish child, Micha Konig. "They saved my life more than once and I will be grateful to them for as long as I live," said Konig, 75, an author, at the ceremony at the municipal building. Israel's ambassador to the Netherlands, Haim Divon, conferred the honor on the couple. JTA on page 14A