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December 25, 2009     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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December 25, 2009

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PAGE 22A Live From page 1A Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle" and "Julie and Julia." On Tuesday, March 2, at 8 p.m., Ari Goldman will have "A Conversation with Rabbi Capers Funnye." Rabbi Fun- nye, Michelle Obama's first cousin, holds a pulpit on the South Side of Chicago and is the first African American rabbi to serve on the Chicago Board of Rabbis. Hear about his journey to Judaism and to the rabbinate, his work in Africa with groups exploring their ancient Jewish roots and about black Jewish com- munities in America, as well as a few inside stories about the first family. The series continues with "An Evening with Matisyahu" on Tuesday, March 16 at 7:45 p.m. Thane Rosenbaum will speak with cultural icon Matisyahu, whose blend of Hasidic, reggae and hip hop music has sold millions of records and garnered fans around the world. He will discuss his development as an artist, his latest record, "Light," and the fusion of his various musical styles. He will perform several songs. The Matisyahu program will be followed the very next night, Wednesday, March 17 at 7:45 p.m. with a discussion of "America and World Affairs" with Jon Meacham and Fareed Zakaria. Jon Meacham, edi- tor of Newsweek and Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, will have a lively conversation about America's role in the world. Jon Meacham is the author of Franklin and Winston and American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography. Fareed Za- karia's stories and columns on subjects from globalization and emerging markets to the Middle East andAmerica's role in the world reach more than 25 million readers weekly. He is also the host of the weekly international news program, "Fareed Zakaria GPS," which airs on CNN. His most recent book is the national bestseller, "The Post American World." The final program of this series features Elie Wiesel. His topic is "A World in Crisis: What Are Our Moral Obligations?" This program is scheduled for Thursday, April 15 at 7:45 p.m. Eiie Wiesel will explore the obligations of humans in general, and the Jewish community in particular, in responding to the crises around us--from the Israeli-Palestinian con- flict to the looming threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, from an unstable Pakistan to genocide in Africa. The entire community is invited to attend. Tickets go on sale Jan. 4, 2010. The cost for each program is $10 when purchased in advance, or the entire series of six programs can be purchased for $50 per person. Tickets purchased at the door will cost $15 per person. Tickets can be bought over the phone from Congregation Ohev Shalom with a credit card, or in person at COS or the JCC. Tickets purchased by phone will not be mailed and will be given to subscribers when they arrive for the program at a "will call table. Those who purchase the entire series will have their names entered into a drawing, and the winner will receive free tickets for the next series. "Thanks to satellite tech- nology, COS and the JCC are HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 25, 2009 able to bring some of the best minds and most amazing speakers to our community," say event planners. "While the programs are actu- ally taking place in NYC, we will be viewing them live, simultaneously right here in Orlando on a super-large screen at Congregation Ohev Shalom." "When the lights dim and the program begins, you feel you are right there in NYC," said Sara Stern, COS president, who attended the fall series. Local audience members will be able to sub- mit questions to the speakers during the program, which will be emailed to New York for possible inclusion during the question and answer part of each program. Seating for each event is open and on a first-come, first-served basis. "Some of these pro- grams might sell out," say organizers, "so buy your tickets early." Congregation Ohev Sha- lom is located at 5015 God- dard Avenue, Orlando. For more information call COS at 407-298-4650 or the Roth JCC at 407-645-5933. Humanitarian and writer Elie Wiesel Columnist Gall Collins Writer Nora Ephron Rabbi Capers Funnye Jewish Reggae star Mati- Newsweek editor Jon Newsweek International syahu Meacham editor Fareed Zakaria Solution to Sudoku on pg. 7 453268719 172395468 986471235 527983641 639514872 814627593 795836124 26814935"7 341752986 There's no place like Have you ever wondered how the Wizard of Oz seemed to know everything? Well, the secret's out and it's You can find everything from student loans to government auctions and government benefits to, well, almost anything. So go to the official source of federal and state government information, It can make you as all-knowing as the Wizard of Oz. I (800) FED-INFO A pl'ih; Service Ilsse fr0rl tho U,S GrrerII Servic.3$ Af[tlilist,aiJc Arms From page 2A Israel also have recently launched a new consultative mechanism for discussing and addressing issues relat- ing to Israel's qualitative military edge. This new pro- cess, involving key officials from the Pentagon and State Department on the American side and Israel's Foreign and Defense ministries, is currently being applied to several outstanding Israeli concerns. Israeli defense officials and pro-Israel ac- tivists characterize this as a significant development in strategic consultations between the two countries. America's commitment to maintaining Israel's qualita- tive military edge was codi- fied directly into U.S. law via 2008 legislation backed by AIPAC. The legislation re- quires the president to report to Congress periodically on actions taken by the admin- istration to ensure Israel's advantage. A spokeswoman for the House of Representa- Letter From page 5A and Jordan's King Hussein in 1994 and recognize that peaceful coexistence is far better for all of our people than enduring conflict and enmity. We recognize that the Arab Peace Initiative is an important document, and is welcomed in Israel as a crack in the denial of an Arab recognition of Israel. However, like the Palestin- Jan Authority's dictates to Israel on the peace process, it remains frozen in 1993. tives' Foreign Affairs Com- mittee told the Forward that the White House provided its first report to Congress over the summer. The report was classified, and no informa- tion regarding its content has been released. Long before the 2008 law, the Reagan administration promised thatAmericawould ensure Israel's military ad- vantage over its neighbors. Succeeding presidents have maintained the commit- ment, which defined Israel's strategic advantage as the difference between Israel's military capabilities com- pared with each of its Arab adversaries or with the combination of all the ad- versaries. "Originally it was Israel's way to overcome its numeric inferiority," said Guy Ben- Ari, deputy director of the defense-industrial initia- tives group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Ben-Ari explained that the notion has been upheld by both sides, despite the fact that Israel's main military challenges--confronting terrorism and Iran's nuclear threat--are not issues de- termined by the size of its military. The Israelis stressed that what happened during the close of Bush's tenure was an erosion of Israeli's military edge, not a breach of the Reagan-era commitment. Beyond correcting the perceived imbalance that developed under Bush, Israeli officials also have praised the Obama administration for increasing cooperation about missile defense. A November joint American-Israeli exer- cise, codenamed Juniper Co- bra, was the largest and most extensive missile defense dry run ever held, and involved 1,400 American servicemen simulating responses to a possible attack against Israel. "The size and the high profile [of the exercise] are a signal from the administra- tion about its commitment to Israel's security," an Israeli diplomat said. Another deal that is highly anticipated in Israel is the expected sale of the advanced F-35 fighter jets to Israel's Air Force. The Pentagon has of- fered Israel a unique version of the radar-evading future aircraft for supply in 2015. A deal is expected to be signed early next year. Still, Israeli officials and American lobbyists stress that not all outstanding is- sues have been resolved. Supporters of Israel are now pushing for the admin- istration and Congress to limit American arms sales to Lebanon because of the re-emergence of Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon on Israel's northern border, and the failure of the central gov- ernment in Beirut to disarm the group. Pro-Israel lobbyists cite their concern that American weapons might fall into the hands of Hezboilah, which is backed by Israel's avowed enemy, Iran. This story first appeared on Since the historic hand- shake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn, Israel has taken major strides both politically and strategically towards the Palestinian position. Both in 2000 at Camp David and in 2008 during the Annapolis process, Is- raeli prime ministers offered the Palestinians everything possible for peace and on both occasions the Palestin- ian leadership rejected these offers. The Palestinian Au- thority, like the Arab Peace Initiative, is still holding to its maximalist positions and has not moved an inch towards Israel since 1993. These positions are obvi- ously untenable for peace and reflect a worldview that ignores Israel's significant gestures and seeks to en- force a solution that will mean the end of the Jewish State. Recent Palestinian and Arab League declara- tions only enforce this view. It is surely time to look to the future and break with former intransigencies to create a better future for all the people of the region. Israel has gone very far and is prepared to do its part, but we must be met by a willing partner. Without this, the region is doomed to more conflict and will negate the unity of purpose in the Middle East that is neces- sary to face the mounting challenges from without and within. Danny Ayalon is Israel's Deputy Minister of For- eign Affairs. This op-ed is reprinted courtesy of that office.