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December 23, 2011

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' PAGE 18A Sanctions From page 1A tion concerns that the sanc- tions could backfire, driving up oil prices and.alienating nations that Obama sees as key to isolating Iran. State Department spokes- : man Victoria Nuland said the sanctions amendment's new language was undergo- ing close review by admin- istration officials. "We are at the stage of looking hard at how one might implement this in a way that ensures that the goals that the administra- tion and the Congress share, which are to maximize the  pressure on the government of Iran, are implemented in a manner that affects Iran but also protects the legiti- mate interests of America's friends and allies around theworld," she told report- ers at the daily briefing on Dec. 15. One concession to the administration was to tem- per an earlier version of the sanctions legislation's absolute prohibition on dealing with an entity that had dealings with Iran's fi- nancial sector by giving the administration the option to stagger the ban, according to an insider with knowl- edge of the House-Senate conference that produced Tebow the final legislation. Under the current legislation, the White House can slow the sanctions if the targeted en- tity shows that it is winding down its Iran operations. The aim of the sanctions, supporters say, is to spur a dynamic of pressure that would squeeze Iran, driv- ing down the price of the oil it sells while driving up the price for goods it purchases, with an exemp- tion on food, medicine and medical devices. Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank that has closely consulted with Congress on shaping such sanctions, said the law's effect would be to "increase the hassle factor" for companies seek- ing to purchase oil. That and increased transaction costs for Iran occasioned by the difficulties of bypassing traditional markets would force Iran to discount its oil, he Said. "The goal is to reduce the price companies are will- ing to pay for Iranian oil, thereby diminishing the oil revenue Iranian companies receive," he said. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), a co-author of the sanc- tions amendment, said its provisions allow Obama to moderate, or even bypass, the sanctions. The amendment, Kirk said in an interview, in- cludes two waivers: one if the president determines that waiving the sanctions will spur a country or an entity to more closely co- operate with U.S. policy; the other is a standard all-encompassing national security waiver. "That's a get out of jail free card," Kirk said of the latter. The senator doubted that Obama would use it, how- ever. "As you enter a presi- dential:contest," Kirk said,. "there's no upside to being soft on Iran." Heather Hurlburt, the executive director at the National Security Network, a group oriented to the real- ist school of foreign policy with ties to the Obama ad- ministration, siid that"un- certainty" still dogged the administration's perception of the amendment, despite the compromise. "It leaves the admin- istration some flexibility on the timeline" for sanc- tions, Huriburt said of the amendment, but it was not so clear what discretion the president had on whether or not to administer them in the first place. A complicating factor, she said, was that much of the leeway accorded to the presi- dent was conditioned on his reporting to Congress that implementing the sanctions would negatively ffect oil markets, which are notori- ously unpredictable. "No one knows how oil markets will react," she said, "and anyone who says we figured out how to do this has not." The volatility of the oil market was a key adminis- tration argument for greater executive prerogative. In early December, Trea- sury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned that the amendment as then framed could drive up oil prices. The amendment, he said Dec. 1, when the Senate was set to pass a tougher version of the bill, "threatens to under- mine the effective, carefully phased and sustainable ap- proach" that favored by the administration. A spike in oil prices would drive away nations they had hoped to co-opt, administration officials said then, and would create more funds for Iran to advance its suspected nuclear weapons program. "Iran would in fact have more money to fuel its nuclear ambitions, not less," Wendy Sherman, a State De- partment undersecretary, was quoted as telling CNN at the time. The administration had hoped, but failed, to head off HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 23, 2011 the sanctions legislation by issuing an executive order in November placing Iran's interlocutors on notice that they could face sanc- tions for dealing with the Central Bank, and getting some Western allies to take similar steps. The executive warning was not enough; Congress wanted sanctions enshrined in law. Kirk, who co-au- thored the amendment with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), said the president could now use the time it gave him before he activated the sanctiors to nurture other markets that would supplement the loss of oil to some of Iran's biggest buyers. "Oil suppliers like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and Libya and Iraq could enter those markets," Kirk said. "If run well by an active U.S. administration, we could be encouraging countries like Turkey and Sri Lanka to sign long-term deals with those countries." Trita Parsi, a founder of the National Iranian American Council, a group that favors sanctions on Iranian human rights abus- ers but has tended to oppose broader economic sanctions because of their effect on ordinary Iranians, said Iran still had options in reserve to counter the sanctions. Iran's leaders could shoot up risk premium on oil -- the value the market attaches to the potential for interruption of supplies -- simply by making bel- ligerent statements, or more substantively by taking actions, he said. "Oil prices spiked for a short period earlier this week based on rumors that Iran planned to close the Straits of Hormuz, a key passage for many of the world's oil carriers, for war games. "If they manage to drive up the price of oil, we will have repercussions," Parsi said. The Obama admin- istration, he said, would "lose Russia and China," two major trading part- ners of Iran that have, at Obama's urging, made some concessions in recent years toward isolating the Islamic Republic. Rep. Brad Sherman (D- Calif.), a senior member of the U.S. House of Repre- sentatives Foreign Affairs Committee who helped draft two separate bills passed by the House sanctioning Iran, discounted such fears. The sanctions "will not reduce the amount of oil Iran sells but the price at which it sells it," he said. "The world will be get- ting Iranian oil at some discount" as Iran seeks to circumvent the new bans. From page 1A "They knew that their Tebowing would iden- tify them as being from Denver," said Sara Caine Kornfeld, a teacher at the school. Tebowing, she said, is "clearly a source of pride." Indeed, the Colorado Jewish community has warmed to Tebow despite their difference in religious beliefs. Rabbi Marc Gitler of the East Denver Orthodox Synagogue described the 24-year-old quarterback as a source of pride for any9ne who could be mocked for their devotion. "Even from people who are very [religious Jews], they are happy to just have a guy who is religious and a good role model," he said'. "I think it's a great story, a person who was doubted and showed that he can win game in this miraculous fashioh. It's great for this country and great for this religious, moral human being." As a Heisman Trophy winner and first round draft choice, the Broncos and their fans had high hopes for Tim Tebow when he en- tered the National Football League last season. But his sloppy form and poor statistics cas(/ doubt on the University of Florida graduate. Tebow saw little action, and many assumed his quarterbacking career would be short-lived. But after the Broncos started the 2011 season with a 1-4 record; new coach John Fox benched Kyle Orton halfway through a game against the San Di- ego Chargers. Tebow, for better or for worse, now was the starting quarterback. Not surprisingly, Tebow has come up short sta- tistically. His completion rate of 48.5 percent this season is well below par for an NFL starter, and he has only 1,290 passing yards. In comparison, the Greefi Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best quarterback in the league, - has a nearly 70 percent completion rate with 4,125 yards. Yet Tebow in his second season has seen an astro- nomical rise to fame based on his late-game heroics.. Led by their lefthander, as well as a solid defense, the Broncos have won seven of their last eight games with Tebow as a starter-- some of the victories can only be described as miraculous -- to vault into first place in the American Football Conference's Western Di- vision. Add in Tebow's whole- some persona and some fans and commentators are left wondering what role faith has had in his unlikely success. "He isn't the football player who says 'I love Je- sus' and then is found with a stripper the next day," Gitler said. "He presum- ably isn't just paying lip serviee to his beliefs but actually does what he says he does, and that is front and center." Tebow's public displays of faith are not ecumeni- cal -- he is unabashed in stressing his faith in Jesus. But that hasn't turned off Jewish fans, said Rabbi Hillel Goldberg, executive editor of the Intermoun- tain Jewish News. "For those who are Chris- tian, [Tebow's fame] has been positive," Goldberg said. "For those who are Jewish, i.t hasn't been negative." Though admittedly am- bivalent about football, Goldberg says he rec- ognizes that Tebow has infused a different spirit into the city. "In Denver, the Bron- cos are a religion. And in recent years he religion has failed, the Broncos have played poorly--the city has been football- starved," he said. "Whoever and whatever revived the football fortunes--the religion--has been appre- ciated by all." Jeffrey Beall via CC Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow's signature kneeling move has become an Internet sensation even among Jews, who admire the football player's strong expression of faith. Hidary From page 1A who originally hoped to become an actress, fell in love with the concept of the one-woman show and began writing her own. "I thought everyone had this culturally-diverse life," Hidary said. "Once I left New York, I realized it was a unique experience. I found that people were fascinated by my life and related to my identity struggles. "When I started writing, I felt like I was on to some- thing. It's a great way to express a unique voice, Which I think I have. I was able to talk about all the issues that I feel strongly about." In 2002, Hidary wrote "Culture Bandit," and it became her first nationally toured solo show. She has also performed on HBO's Def Poetry Jam and was part of the rotating cast in the "Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad" variety show. Her first book, "The Last Kaiser Roll in the Bodega" was released last June. In one of her colorful monologues, Hidary pro- claims that she "eats matzo in Harlem" and was thrown out of Hebrew School because she spent Rosh Hashanah at the Puerto Rican Day parade. She may be white on the outside, but she calls herself "a festive fruit platter" on the inside. Hidary will be sharing the stage at: Choices 2012 with TV star Mayixn Bialik. The two met at last year's Tribe F- est in Las Vegas, where they were both guest speakers at the annual celebration for Jewish young adults. "I'm really excited about coming to Orlando," Hidar said. "I love doing Federa- tions, and I love speaking to a different (age) range of people. And it's really special to do an all-woman crowd." For more information about Choices, call the Jew- ish Federation at 407-654- 5933 or go to to register for this fantastic women's event.