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September 26, 2013 - Image 74

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-09-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

obituaries

Obituaries from page 72

Holland Opposes Import
Ban On Israeli Products

Kabbalah Teacher
For A-List Celebs

JTA

Angeles Times. Berg founded the center in
1969.
abbi Philip Berg, who brought
The Internal Revenue Service opened
the teachings of Kabbalah to a
a tax evasion investigation into the cen-
celebrity following that includ-
ter last year, though it is unknown if the
ed singers Madonna and
probe is still being pursued,
Britney Spears, has died.
according to the newspaper.
Berg, the founder of the
The center, which is believed
Kabbalah Centre in Los
to have assets in the hundreds of
Angeles, died Sept. 16, 2013, at
millions, emphasized cash dona-
\
a hospital in that city. He had
tions from its members, accord-
been ill since suffering a stroke
ing to the Los Angeles Times.
in 2004. Berg was 86.
Born Shraga Feivel Gruberger
His followers also included
in New York, Berg was ordained
Rabbi Phi lip Berg
actors Demi Moore and
as a rabbi in 1951.
Ashton Kutcher. Berg had
"Today we believe the Rav
some 4 million students in Kabbalah
has begun to share with us from above,
centers all over the world, according to
and we will all happily remain connected
reports.
to and inspired by the Ray's soul and his
Berg spurred controversy by bringing
vision," the center said in a statement.
Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism that
On Monday, students reportedly gath-
is believed to be reserved for top Jewish
ered outside the center upon hearing the
scholars, to the masses.
news of Bergs death.
His widow, Karen, and two sons,
He was to be buried the next day in
Yehuda and Michael, have led the center
the Israeli city of Tzfat, a center of Jewish
since his stroke, according to the Los
mysticism, according to reports.

R



JTA

T

he Netherlands opposes any kind
of import ban on Israeli products,
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte
said, though it must enforce European
Union legislation on labeling settlement
goods.
"I would like to stress that the
Netherlands opposes any type of import
ban or the boycott of Israeli products," a
Dutch official wrote in Rutte's name last
month to the European Jewish Congress
(EJC).
The letter, obtained by JTA, was sent to
EJC President Moshe Kantor in response
to Kantor's letter to several E.U. heads of
states, including Rutte, in which Kantor
warned that labeling products from areas
the European Union considers as illegal set-
tlements was counterproductive to efforts
to reach a peace settlement between the
Israelis and Palestinians.
Rutte's letter followed reports in July that
several Dutch supermarkets were boycot-
ting settlement goods, though the super-
markets denied they had such a policy.

In March, the Dutch government advised
business owners to refrain from labeling
products from the Golan Heights, West
Bank and East Jerusalem as made in Israel.
A decision last year by the EU Foreign
Affairs Council to label settlement goods
"obliges the Dutch government to fully and
effectively enforce existing EU legislation,"
Rutte wrote.
The council has yet to release practical
guidelines on labeling.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague
struck a less conciliatory note in his reply to
Kantor's letter.
"I am afraid that I cannot agree with your
concerns about EU labeling of settlement
produce," he wrote. "The settlements are
illegal under international law, an obstacle
to peace"
On Sept. 16, Kantor published a full-page
ad in the Financial Times of London argu-
ing against new EU guidelines prohibiting
EU funding for Israeli projects in areas the
European Union considers settlements.
The ad said the guidelines singled out
Israel for criticism and "serve to minimize
the chances for lasting peace:'



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74 September 26 • 2013

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