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May 30, 2013

This week in power: French president, Jewish fund, Egypt support, Bronner op-ed

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/this_week_in_power_french_president_jewish_fund_egypt_support_bronner_op_ed/

A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:

Re-meeting Cukierman
Roger Cukierman was elected last week to head the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France, the representative body of French Jewry. He served previously in the position from 2001 to 2007. He said he would work “under the sign of a relentless, constant and determined fight against anti-Semitism and the respect of memory,” reported JTA, as told to The Parisian. "I want a CRIF stronger, strictly independent and open to the civil society as a whole,” he added.

Financial recoupment
The German government agreed to pay back some of the losses to Jews who lost their savings during the Holocaust in Berlin. The government agreed to pay around $1 billion in homecare for victims. There are reportedly 56,000 survivors in 46 different countries who will receive financial support under the agreement to last the next four years. The fund also supplied welfare services such as food, medicine or transportation to victims. It's a significant development in the ongoing struggle to assist these people as they grow older.

Other side of Germany
A meeting of the elected leadership of the Berlin Jewish community led to physical attacks last week over the 2013 budget, according to reports. Some witnesses said that “some members were choked” during a break in the meeting. Although this is the first recent report of Jew vs. Jew violence, some recent stories indicate that there's still some level of anti-Semitism and hatred inside German society. Still, some like The Jewish Daily Forward's Lilit Marcus are enjoying the area as tourists. "And here I am, alive and Jewish and wearing a pair of hamza earrings, walking alone down the streets of what used to be East Berlin. That is beautiful too, I think," Marcus wrote earlier this month.

Egypt funds
Outrage from the Jewish community in Egypt poured out this week after reports that the Egypt council had opted to revoked annual grants allocated to them by former president Hosni Mubarak. It's yet to be resolved, with a member of the committee saying he's not opposed to providing the financial aid if it's deemed appropriate. Not everyone is so optimistic. "When looking at the situation of Egypt today, one concludes that when the Muslim Brotherhood took control in Egypt, it made the worst possible deal anyone can make: it tried to buy a car which was basically a 'total loss,' and then drive it and its passengers as if it could actually get somewhere besides the garbage heap, the garbage heap of history," said Mordechai Kedar in the Jewish Press.

What Israelis want
New York Times' write Ethan Bronner ruffled some feathers this past weekend with an op-ed that argues Israelis have given up on the peace process. "The peace process was working when Israelis were dying. And the bar was being moved further down. It stopped working when Israelis stopped dying," wrote Daniel Greenfield in the Jewish Press. "Should a sea change in Palestinian political culture ever occur that produces a leadership ready to permanently end the conflict and live in peace alongside Israel, they will discover the Israelis willing to do whatever is necessary to secure the agreement. But until then, most Israelis are not going to waste their time or endanger their lives on a futile quest," said Commentary's Jonathan S. Tobin.

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