"Mr. Arafat Never Again!"
By Gad Nahshon
"Never Again!" cried out Dalia Itzik, Israel's minister of Environmental Protection and a senior Labor leader who was the guest speaker of a 'A Tribute to Israel's Sephardic Leaders' which was organized by the American Sephardi Federation recently at the Center For Jewish History. This successful enriching event was a unique celebration honoring the following Israeli leaders who are also Sepharadim: Moshe Katzav (President of Israel), Shlomo Ben-Ami (Foreign Minister), David Levy (Former Foreign Minister), Benjamin Ben-Eliezer (Minister of Communication), Raanan Cohen (Minister of Labor), Itzhak Levy (National Religious Party), Eli Yiskai (Shas Party), Eli Suissa (Member of Knesset), Dr. Yehuda Lancry (UN) and Shmuel Sisso (Consul General).
Dalia Itzik told the many distinguished guests that she was born to a poor Iraqi family in Jerusalem. She became a teacher and later a senior Israeli politician: "I am proud to be a Minister in Barak's Government." She pointed out that for Sepharadim, the under-privileged in Israeli society, it was very hard for them to integrate themselves into mainstream Israeli society. Discussing the issue of Arafat's war of attrition against Israel, Dali Itzik said that he betrayed the 'peace process' and the 'Oslo Accord': Israel will never share Jerusalem! She, also, said that the new policy will be based on a new assessment since Arafat is a liar who uses children as human shields! In reference to the Holocaust, Itzik said: "Never Again!"
The evening, was, also, a personal celebration for the President and Founding Father of the "Federation", Leon Levy, whose origins are Turkish. Thanks to him the "Federation" became a member of the new "Center For Jewish History" (located 15 W. 10th Street). Ms.Vivian Rumani who is from Lybia is the "Federation's" executive director and Murray Farash is the Chairman of the Board. Among its leaders are Marlene Brill, Morrie Yohai, Mekdi Nassimi, Aghajan Nassimi and Rabbi Eli Abadi. Among the speakers was the Chairman of the Center, Bruce Slovin, who said that he was happy to invite Leon Levy and the "Federation" to join this conglomerate of Jewish organizations and praised the contribution of Sepharadim to the Jewish civilization. "Somehow your women, your music is more beautiful than the Ashkenazi ones. Perhaps it is because of your food" joked Slovin. Rabbi Marc Angel of "Shearit Israel" from Turkey and the island of Rhodes spoke about the need to enforce the Torah as the only way to preserve Jewish identity in America. Rabbi Angel is a pioneer in the field of developing Sephardi heritage in this country and the Founder of the Sephardi House in New York City. He, also, asked the guests to pay respect to the late Lea Rabin and to the memory of her husband Itzhak Rabin who was assassinated on November 4, 1995.
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