Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a fiery anti-Israel speech at the Durban
Conference on April 20.
- Photo by Michael J. Jordan
to Israel proper (about 2,000 a year
for 10 years), Arab neighborhoods in
Jerusalem would go to Palestine and
Jewish neighborhoods would stay in
Israel, and a special regime would run
Jerusalem's Old City until details of a
solution were worked out.
Olmert even gave Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas a
map reflecting the territorial proposal
on the understanding that Abbas would
respond within a few days. Abbas never
world of America's evenhandedness,
the White House put heavy pressure
on Israel to freeze all construction in
Jewish settlements, rankling many in
Israel. The administration also urged
moderate Arab states to take initial
small steps toward normalizing rela-
tions with Israel.
But as the Jewish year drew to a
close, there was still no sign of reaching
the freeze-for-normalization deal the
Americans were seeking as a prelude to
Among several problems, Israel
wanted some exceptions to the freeze
to allow for limited natural growth in
the settlements, the Saudis rejected U.S.
requests for steps toward normalization
and the Palestinians remained para-
lyzed by Hamas' continued rule over
Indeed, earlier Israeli-Palestinian
peacemaking efforts broke down when
weeks of tension over the renewal of an
informal cease-fire between Israel and
Hamas escalated into a full-blown war
in late December.
After months of escalated Hamas
rocket fire into Israeli towns and cities,
the Israel Air Force launched devastat-
ing bombing raids in Gaza beginning
Dec. 27. The operation, called Cast
Lead, would last more than three weeks
and involve Israeli ground troops, end-
ing on the eve of Obama's inauguration.
By war's end, Palestinian sources said
1,417 Palestinians had been killed, 962
of them noncombatants. Israel put the
Palestinian death toll at 1,166 and iden-
tified 709 as militiamen and another
162 as combat-aged males. Israel suf-
fered 13 dead, including three civilians
killed by rocket fire.
5769 In Israel on page 48
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The major change in the peacemaking
equation this year was the inauguration
of a new American president intent on
renewing U.S. focus on bringing about
Middle East peace. President Obama
saw in a comprehensive U.S.-brokered
Israeli-Arab peace agreement the key to
regional stability, enhanced U.S. prestige
and a reduction of Iranian influence in
the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Special U.S. Middle East envoy George
Mitchell made frequent trips to the
region in an intense effort to set up pro-
ductive peacemaking channels on both
the Palestinian and Syrian tracks, and
between Israel and the rest of the Arab
To create a positive atmosphere for
peacemaking and to convince the Arab
In 1991, Richard Broder was
approached by a friend who was
recruiting new faces to join the Board
of a small and quiet agency. "I got
hooked on Hebrew Free Loan early,
and fell in love with its mission."
The CEO of Broder & Sachse Real
Estate Services had served in numerous
volunteer leadership positions, but
said "none have been more satisfying
than the work I do with HFL. Meeting
borrowers face to face gives a true
sense of how much we can help and
how truly blessed we are to be in a
position to give that help."
Broder's passion for the agency led
him to serve as HFL's President, and
he subsequently became a visible
leader in the International Association
of Hebrew Free Loans.
HFL Detroit is proud to announce
Richard Broder will be installed as the
new IAHFL President when HFL
Detroit hosts the Association's inter-
national conference, October 18-20.
Pope Benedict visited Israel and the Palestinian territories in May.
— Photo by Flash 90/JTA
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WERE BAR! OF THE TEAM
September I 2009