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December 25, 2009

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PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 25, 2009 Weekly roundup of world briefs from JTA Seattle Jewish federation gunman found guilty NEW YORK (JTA)--The man who shot up the Jewish Federation of Greater Se- attle building in July 2006 was found guilty of murder in his second trial. A jury found Naveed Haq, 34, guilty on all eight counts against him. Haq, of Pasco, Wash., is scheduled to spend the rest of his life in prison. Following nearly two months of testimony, the jury agreed with the pros- ecution that Haq knew full well what he was doingwhen he wounded six women, kill- ing one, at the federation building 2 1/2 years ago. Haq suffers from a bipolar disorder and his defense claimed he could not un- derstand his actions. OImert reportedly pro- posed detailed land swap JERUSALEM (JTA)-- Ehud Olmert proposed ex- changing with the Palestin- ians West Bank settlement blocs for land bordering the Gaza Strip, an Israeli daily reported. Ha'aretz reported Dec. 17 that as prime minister, Olmert presented a map to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last September giving the Palestinians land from com- munities bordering Gaza, as well as land in the Belt Shean Valley, the Judean Hills and near Lachish, for a total of about 126 square miles. Abbas reportedly did not respond to the proposed map and negotiations end- ed, according to Ha'aretz. The proposal would have annexed to Israel Ma'aleh Adumim, the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements, Ariel, Belt Aryeh and settlements adjacent to Jerusalem, but would have involved the evacuation of dozens of settlements in the Jordan Valley, the eastern Samar- ian hills and the Hebron region, including Ofra, Belt El, Elon Moreh, Kiryat Arba and the Jewish community in Hebron, according to Ha'aretz. The newspaper said its information was based on sources who received de- tailed information about the proposal. Olmert, who has not pro- Joel Magalnick/JTNews Cheryl Stumbo (second from left) and Carol Goldman (center), both of whom were shot in the July 2006 Seattle Jewish Federation attack, listen Dec. 15 as the eight guilty verdicts against gunman Naveed Haq are read in court. vided Netanyahu with the detailed map, is suggesting that his map be the basis for restarting negotiations. In response to the Ha'aretz story, Olmert's office said: "On Sept. 16, 2008, [Olmert] presented Palestinian Authority Presi- dent Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] a map that had been prepared based upon dozens of conversations that the two held in the course of the intensive negotiations after the Annapolis sum- mit. The map that was presented was designed to solve the problem of the borders between Israel and the future Palestinian state. Giving Abu Mazen the map was conditioned upon sign- ing a comprehensive and final agreement with the Palestinians so it would not be used as an 'opening posi- tion' in future negotiations the Palestinians sought to conduct. Ultimately, when Abu Mazen did not give his consent to a final and complete agreement, the map was not given to him." Report: Hamas interested in Israeli swap offer JERUSALEM (JTA)-- Hamas leadership in Gaza is interested in accepting Israel's latest offer for a prisoner swap to release a captured Israeli soldier, an Arab newspaper reported. Israel is continuing to refuse to release senior Savannah Court and Cove is an elegant communi where hospitality is truly a way of life[ All within ne residence, we offer Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Care. What makes us unique is our ability to provide full assisted living and skilled nursing services all win one community, lfa resident may eSe!!':need short term rehabilitative services or we haveit all, so they do t6 leaVe.elf home or move! From a variety the dining room, comfortable one anorhefs company. Our activities .program is unparalleled including a full schedule oevents and outings. Call us today, stop Jbr a visit, join us for lunch, or all of the above. Your are always welcome! Various Jewish services are offered at Savannah Court thanks to our Friends at The Jewish Pavilion. Hamas leaders in a deal that would free Gilad Shalit, the London-based Arabic A-Sharq A1-Awset reported Dec. 17. Among them is Marwan Barghouti, who was involved in several ter- rorist attacks on Israel and is considered a successor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The newspaper reported that Hamas leadership abroad and the Hamas military wing in the Gaza area are against the deal. Shalit was abducted in a cross-border raid in June 2006 and has been held in Gaza. Britain eyeing ways to avoid warrants LONDON (JTA)--Britain is exploring ways to enable Israeli politicians to visit without the threat of an ar- rest warrant or legal action by pro-Palestinian groups. However, diplomatic sources rejected claims made in the Guardian newspaper Dec. 17 that the attorney general will be asked to approve such arrest warrants in the future. The action comes follow- ing the issue of an arrest warrant against Israeli op- position leader Tzipi Livni, who canceled a trip to Brit- ain two weekends ago. The Guardian reported that "the attorney general will be asked to approve war- rants before suspected war Where Hospitality is Truly a Way of Life! 1301 W. Maitland Blvd. Maitland, FL 32751 407-645-3990 ALF License No. 8447, SNF 1635096 criminals can be arrested in the future under a plan being negotiated by the Foreign Office in response to the row over attempts to arrest Israel's former foreign minister." A Foreign Office spokes- person told JTA that meet- ings are taking place to explore all the options being considered. During a Chanukah can- dle lighting ceremony Dec. 16 at the Prime Minister's official residence, senior Foreign Office officials said the issue was being dealt with at the highest level and expressed optimism that a solution would be found very soon. None of them referred to a specific solution. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in a phone call to Livni told her that he was opposed to the at- tempt to arrest her. Brown also told the Kadima Party leader that she is welcome to visit Britain at any time. Israel to Britain: Watch your legal system JERUSALEM (JTA)--Is- rael's Foreign Ministry called on the British gov- ernment to stop allowing its legal system to be hijacked for political means. The call Dec. 15 came a day after reports that a British court had issued an arrest warrant for opposi- tion leader Tzipi Livni for war crimes at the request ofpro-Palestinian activists. The warrant was canceled later when it became clear that Livni had not entered the United Kingdom. "Israel calls on the Brit- ish government to fulfill its promises, once and for all, to act in preventing the exploitation of the British legal system by anti-Israel elements against the State of Israel and its citizens," said a statement released by the Foreign Ministry. "The absence of immediate, de- termined action to correct this abuse harms relations between Britain and Israel. "If Israeli leaders can- not visit Britain in proper, dignified fashion, this will, quite naturally, seriously compromise Britain's abil- ity to play the active role in the Middle East peace process that it desires." The warrant sought Liv- ni's arrest on suspicion of war crimes committed dur- ing Operation Cast Lead, Israel's military offensive in Gaza last winter, according to diplomatic sources in London. Livni had been invited to an event Dec. 13 in north London organized by the Jewish National Fund, then was to hold meetings with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other government officials. According to the Israeli Embassy in London, Livni had canceled her visit two weeks before the event due to scheduling problems, and not just days before the event because of the threat of a warrant. Kassams hit Sflerot JERUSALEM (JTA)--Two Kassam rockets fired from Gaza landed in Sderot. The rockets, fired Dec. 16, landed in open areas of the southern Israeli city, caus- ing no injuries-or damage. The city's advance warning system did not sound, ac- cording to reports. It was the second time Kassams were fired at Israel that week. On Dec. 13, two rockets were launched at southern Israel. The attacks came despite an announce- ment by Hamas that it had secured agreement among radical groups to stop at- tacking Israel in order to avoid retaliatory Israeli attacks. PLO extends Abbasfterm JERUSALEM (JTA)--The PLO extended the term of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Meeting in Ramallah, the Palestine Liberation Orga- nization's Central Council agreed Dec. 16 to keep Abbas in office until new elections can be scheduled. His term expires Jan. 25. Palestinian elections scheduled for next month were canceled when Hamas refused to allow the vote to go forward in the Gaza Strip, which it controls. Abbas, 74, has said he will not run for re-election. Hamas does not rec- ognize the extension, Al Jazeera reported. The Central Council also agreed Dec. 16 that peace talks with Israel could not resume until Israel halts all building in settlements, in- cluding eastern Jerusalem. Demjanjuk witness may be guilty of war crimes BERLIN (JTA)--A wit- ness in the war crimes trial of John Demjanjuk trial may himself be guilty of crimes against humanity. Court investigators learned earlier this year that a man named Alex Nagorny murdered Jews in the Treblinka death camp, and a man by that name is due to testify in the Dem- janjuk trial. Demjanjuk is being tried on charges of accessory to the murder of 27,900 Jews in the Sobibor death camp in 1943. Meanwhile, according to the Bild Zeitung news- paper, prosecutors in the city of Ulm are looking into whether murder charges are possible against Demjanjuk for allegedly driving his truck over a man in 1947 near the city. Michael Bischofberger, a spokesman for the state prosecutor in UIm, told the German Press Agency that he could not confirm that the victim was Jewish, as the Bild reported. Bischof- berger said the results of the investigation would be presented to the state prosecutor handling Dem- janjuk's trial in Munich. Sao Paulo sets Shoah Remembrance Day RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA)-- The mayor of Brazil's largest city approved a Holocaust Remembrance Day begin- ning next year. Sao Paulo Mayor Gilberto Kassab signed a measure Dec. 14 that sets Jan. 27 as a municipal day to honor Shoah victims. Sao Paulo Municipal Holocaust Re- membrance Day will be held for the first time in 2010. "The Holocaust was a ter- rible period in the history of humanity," Kassab told Brazilian media. "This date is our opportunity for the city of Sao Paulo to have a special day of reflection." Jewish council member Floriano Pesaro had pro- posed the bill. Several Jewish officials attended the announce- ment, including the presi- dents of the Holocaust Survivors Brazilian Asso- ciation, the Latin Ameri- can Jewish Congress, the Brazilian Israelite Confed- eration and Sao Paulo State Jewish Federation. At the end of the ceremony, the fourth Chanukah candle was lit. Sao Paulo is the capital city of Sao Paulo state, which has a 60,000-member Jewish community, or half of Brazil's Jews. State Department blames Goldstone for stalled peace talks WASHINGTON (JTA)-- The Goldstone report drove the Israelis and Palestinians apart, a U.S. State Depart- ment official said. The aside by Assistant U.S. Secretary of State P.J. Crowley in a briefing for reporters Dec. 15 was the clearest signal of U.S. frustration with the United Nations Human Rights Council report into last winter's Gazawar, authored by South African Justice Richard Goldstone, that recommended war crimes charges against Israel and Hamas. "It's not a failure, because the process isn't over," Crowley said of Palestinian- Israel talks. "The process is ongoing. But clearly, in the aftermath of the Goldstone report, we've seen this fairly substantial gap emerge, and we're seeing what we can do to move both sides closer to a decision to enter into negotiations." After its publication in September, Israel insisted on quashing the report as a precondition for going forward with the peace process; the Palestinian Authority has insisted it be addressed. Crowley was describing the status of U.S. efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks in the wake of a meet- ing that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had Dec. 14 with her Saudi Arabian counterpart, Saud bin Faisal bin Abdul Aziz.