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PAGE 20A Netanyahu announces settle- ment construction freeze JERUSALEM (JTA)--Is- raeli Prime Minister Benja- min Netanyahu announced a 10-month freeze on settle- ment construction. "This is a very difficult step for me and my fellow min- isters." Netanyahu said in-a televised news conference on the evening of Nov. 25. "This is a far-reaching and painful subject." Israel's Security Cabinet had approved the freeze almost unanimously shortly" before the announcement. "The government of Israel has taken a very big step towards peace today," Netan- yahu said. Netanyahu also addressed the Palestinians directly. "This is the time to ad- vance peace together," he said. "Now the Israeli public expects that you will take a courageous step, too." National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau of the Yisrael Beiteinu party was HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 4, 2009 Weekly roundup of world briefs from JTA the lone dissenter among the Security Cabinet's 17 voting members. Netanyahu said the freeze will not include Israeli's "sov- ereign capital" of Jerusalem. including eastern Jerusalem. It also will not apply to construction that has been started or authorized in the West Bank. as well as build- ings' to allow the 300,000 residents of the West Bank to live "a normal life," includ- ing, he said. "synagogues. schoots, kindergartens and necessary public buildings." Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam F.ayyad and chiefPalestinian negotia- tor Saeb Erekat both told re- porters before the announce- ment thata settlement freeze was unacceptable without a halt to construction in east- ern Jerusalem. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said following the announce- ment that the construction freeze would help advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Are You Keeping Your Career Options Open? INDEPENDENT MARKE NG AssOCIATES NEEDED FOR PRE-PAID LEGAL Get the money you need when you need it! Now is the time to plan your strategy and consider the advantages of running your own business! Be Your Own Boss! PPD Full-Time Part-Time Unlimited Income Potential CALL GORDEV INC., EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AT 407.678.3310 FOR FULL DETAILS Abe Pollin, basketball owner and philanthropist, dies at 85 WASHINGTON (JTA) Abe Pollin, a longtime sup- porter .of Israel and Jewish causes, has died. Pollin, best known as the owner of the Washington Wizards basketball team and its arena, the Verizon Center. died at his home in Bethesda, Md., following a battle with a rare neurological disease. corticobasal degeneration. He was 85. Along with serving on the boards of AIPAC, Hillel and The Israel Project. he also was involved in numerous philanthropic activities out- side the Jewish community. Pollin was an activist for Soviet Jewish refuseniks in the 1970s and '80s, pressing tlae issue in meetings with government leaders and in other venues. More recently, Poilin was one of three Washington real-estate developers in 2004 who bought and restored the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, the former home of the Adas Israel synagogue, before it could be turned into a night- club. The facility is now a magnet for the city's younger Jews, sponsoring Jewish and cultural programming. The synagogue is in the same neighborhood Pollin revitalized when he built the Verizon Center. Pollin changed the name of his basketball team from Bul- lets to Wizards as a statement against gun violence after the assassination of his longtime friend Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. President Obama saluted Pollin in a statement Nov. 25. "Abe believed in Washing- ton, D.C., when many others didn't--putting his own fortune on the line to help revitalize the city he loved," he said. "He was committed to the teams he guided, gen- erous to those who needed it most, and as loyal to the people of D.C. as they were to him." Court: Schools can ban re- ligious music at assemblies WASHINGTON (JTA) A New Jersey school district's decision to ban religious holiday music at assemblies is constitutional and not hostile to religion, a federal appeals court ruled. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia quoted from an amicus brief filed by a coalition of Jewish organizations, led by the American Jewish Congress, in rejecting a parent's com- plaint that the South Orange- Maplewood School District's decision to not allow religious music at holiday concerts was unconstitutional and showed hostility to religion. The school district did allow religious music to be taught in regular music classes. The court quoted the amicus brief in noting the flawed logic of the plaintiff's legal theory. The decision stated that if a school district could not make its own decision that religious music isn't appropriate at as- semblies, it would mean that "almost every government action vis-h-vis religion would fall into one of two columfls pro- or anti-religion, promoting orhostileto andbesubjectto Establishment Clause attack in either event." Leonardo Goldfarb/Rua Judaica Hundreds of demonstrators protest along lpanema beach in Rio de Janeiro on the eve of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Brazil on Nov. 22. The American Jewish political talks will make it inassetsfromthefoundation. Committee, Anti-Defama- possible to get the important according to the report. tion League, NationalCoun- relations between Israel and The foundation donated cil of Jewish Women and its Turkish strategic partner $100.000 to Columbia after Jewish Council for Public back on track," Ben-Eliezer the school agreed to host Affairs also signed on to the said. according to Ha'aretz. Iranian President Mahmoud amicus briefl adding that "Turkey has Ahmadinejad, the Post re- Marc Stern. co-executive special ties with Israel, and ported, based on 2007 tax director of the AJCongress, asaregionalanddemocratic- filings. saidthedecisionwas"exactly Muslim power." The foundation would what we wanted to see." Ben-Eliezer's visit comes not comment on the Post's Abbas: Israel talking to a day after Israeli Foreign report. Hamas Minister Avigdor Lieberman Hungarian political party WASHINGTON (JTA) said Turkey cannot resume promises 'cleansing' of Palestinian Authority Presi- its place as mediator of in- country dent Mahmoud Abbas said direct peace talks between BUDAPEST (JTA)--A Israel is conducting secret Israel and Syria because of member of Hungary's Job- negotiations with Hamas. its "invective and nonsense." bik Party promised a new Ha'aretz reported that in Lieberman also called Ben- extermination of"vermin"in a BBC interview in Arabic, Eliezer's visit "important, a forthcoming"cleansing"of Abbas said Israel and Hamas but not coordinated with the the Hungarian nation. were discussing aPalestinian Foreign Ministry." He made the remark dur- statewithtemporaryborders. Students suspended for ing a mass demonstration A Hamas spokesman denied 'Kick a Jew' day Nov. 22 organized by the the existence of such talks, NEW YORK (JTA)--Ten ultranationalist party com- tellingaPalestinianWebsite, Florida middle school stu- memorating the rule of "We don't negotiate with the dents were suspended for Adm. Miklos Horthy, who enemy." participating in a "Kick a authorizedthedeportationof Abbas also said that the Jew" day. some half-millionHungarian Israeli government wasn't Administrators of the JewstoAuschwitzduringthe truly interested in peace, and North Naples Middle School Holocaust. that"Washingtonisn'tpush- told UPI following the Nov. A crowd estimated at ing Israel enough to advance 19 incident that they will 5,000, as well as 450 to 500 the peace process." work on cultural sensitivity uniformed members of the In the interview, Abbasalso training.Itwillincludeusing banned Hungarian Guard said that Palestinian elec- the 20-minute homeroom at organization deployed in tions scheduled for January the beginning of the day for military formation, sought would be postponed, and that focusing on character traits, to march through downtown he hadmadea finaldecision beginning with respect and Budapest. Only the non- not to run for a second term. kindness, districtspokesman uniformed participants were Turkey-Israel ties strong, Joe Landon told the Naples allowed to proceed, however, Israeli minister says Daily News. after the Guard agreed to JERUSALEM (JTA) Ties The students served a one- withdrawunderpoliceorders. between Israel and Turkey are day in-school suspension, Therewere 14 arrests. as strong as ever, an Israeli which is prescribed under Supporters, protesters government minister said the school's bullying and greet Ahmadinejadin Brazil in Istanbul. harassment policy. RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA)-- Industry, Trade and Labor Report: Charity funding Dozens supported and pro- Minister Benjamin Ben- anti-Israel, pro-Iranprofs tested Iranian President Eliezer made the statement NEW YORK (JTA) A Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Nov. 23 during an official Manhattan-based Islamic his arrival in Brazil. three-day visit to. Turkey charity is funding anti-Israel, Approximately 100people to discuss diplomatic and pro-IranprofessorsatColum- each for and against Ahma- economic issues, according biaandRutgersuniversities, dinejad gathered Nov. 23 in to reports, the New York Post reported, front of the Foreign Ministry Ben-Eliezer is the highest- The Alavi Foundation has building. ranking Israeli government aggressively givenaway hun- President Luis Inacio Lula official to visit Turkey since dreds of thousands of dollars da Silva posed for pictures it prevented Israel from join- to Columbia and Rutgers for shaking hands with the Ira- ingaNATO-alliancemilitary Middle Eastern and Persian nian leader. exercise in October that studiesprogramsthatemploy "It doesn't help isolating ultimately was canceled due professors sympathetic to Iran." Lulasaidin his morn- to Israel's exclusion, the Iranian dictatorship, the ing radio program. His delegation of 20 high- newspaper reported Nov. 23. Ahmadinejad arrived in ranking Israeli business lead- "We found evidence that thecapitalofBrasiliaseeking ers is scheduled to participate the government of Iran re- support for his controversial in a joinl~ Israeli:Turkish ally controlled everything nuclear program on the first business conference and in a about the foundation."Adam leg of a South American tour -businessseminarinIstanbul. Kaufmann. investigations that includes Venezuela and where they will meet their chief at the Manhattan Dis- Bolivia. He brought along Turkish counterparts, the trict Attorney's Office. told some 200 businessmen and Israeli business daily Globes the Post. closed deals in the agricul- reported. Federal agents also be- tural.mining, energy, science During his visit. Ben- lieve the foundation funnels and technology fields. Eliezerwillattempttoreturn money to Iran-supported Several politicians pro- economic, military, strategic Islamic schools in the United tested thevisit, including Sao and diplomatic ties between States and to a syndicate of Paulo governor Jose Serra. Israel and Turkey to normal. IranianspiesbasedinEurope, ~'It's uncomfortable to Ha'aretz reported, citing according to the newspaper, receive in Brazil the leader "Israeli sources." U.S. agents have begun seiz- "I hope my economic and ing as much as $650 million Roundup on page 23A