Archive for May 24, 2010

San Diego County’s Historic Places: Julian

May 24, 2010 1 comment

Julian Hotel, formerly Hotel Robinson

By Donald H. Harrison

Donald H. Harrison

JULIAN, California – Whites who had been slaveholders and blacks who had been slaves contributed to the early history of Julian.  Today, in the colorful mountain town of gold mines, apples and antiques, both groups of people as well as other ethnic groups  are remembered and honored.

 One of the earliest African-Americans on the scene was cattleman A.E. “Fred” Coleman, who on his travels in 1869 spotted a glint of gold in a creek that today bears his name.   He started panning, and word of his discovery soon spread.  Soon, a Coleman Mining District was founded with Coleman as his elected recorder.

Figuring that the gold washing down the creek must have come from somewhere upstream, various prospectors went looking for mines.   Drue Bailey, an ex-Confederate soldier, who came here with two brothers and two cousins, on Feb. 20, 1870, discovered quartz gold at a mine he named “Warrior’s Rest.”  Two days later—Washington’s Birthday—three prospectors recorded another deed, for what became known as the “Washington Mine.”  News of the discoveries prompted a full-blown gold rush, resulting in Bailey’s homestead being converted nearly overnight into a mining camp.

Bailey laid out his townsite and named it after one of the cousins who had come with him to California from Georgia: Mike Julian.  Asked why he chose the name “Julian City,” instead of “Bailey City,” Bailey reportedly replied that the former was “a better sounding name” and that Mike “was the handsomest man in the camp and a favorite of the ladies,” according to the Julian Historical Society.

Numerous  mining claims were staked in the Julian area thereafter.  Their names reflected the heritage, local geography and fantasies of the miners:  These included the Golden Chariot Mine, Ready Relief Mine, Blue Hill Mine, Eagle, Redman, High Peak, Shamrock, Warlock, Chieftain, Gold King, Gold Queen, Neptune, Oriflamme, and Ruby, among others.

The most successful mine, however, was the Stonewall, named after the Confederate General Stonewall Jackson.  After it was purchased in 1886 by Robert Waterman, a transplanted Illinois politician, it was said to produce $500 a day in quartz-bearing gold, eventually producing $2 million.

The same year that Waterman purchased that mine, he also was elected lieutenant governor of California, advancing to governor the following year upon the death of Gov. Washington Bartlett.

Permanent structures were needed at the mining camp, and among the earliest were a school house and a jail.   Many of the 19th century buildings gracing today’s Main Street have plaques in front of them, telling of Julian’s multi-ethnic past. 

Julian Drug Store, formerly Levi-Marks STore

For example, at the northeast corner of Washington & Main Street, where the Julian Drug Store stands today, a plaque placed by the Julian Historical Society tells of some early Jewish settlers:

“Levi-Marks Store, 1886 – This brick building, first in the back country, was built using 100,000 bricks from Ike Levi’s Julian kiln for Adolph Levi, Austrian immigrant, and his partner Joseph Marks, native Mississippian.  Dissolution of the partnership made Marks the sole owner of the new building, except for a lease to Rudy Levi and Jake Noah.  Marks housed his Julian mercantile here until he retired in 1921.  This remaining example of several early Julian brick buildings has housed a valuable community service without interruption for more than 100 years.”

Where the Fajita Grill is located today, another plaque speaks of the area’s Italian heritage:

“De Luca House, 1893. – Frank Antonio DeLuca, an Italian immigrant, naturalized in 1872, of Memphis, Tennessee, and wife Florence, created this small house typical of Julian in 1897 from a studless, rough-plank cabin, built in 1893 by miner C. L. Barnett.  De Luca came here in 1889 at age 42 and became a leading merchant, grub-staker of gold miners, and an astute trader in land.  He, other businessmen and farmers, organized the first Apple Days celebration Oct. 9, 1909.  Childless Florence retired to San Diego when Frank died in 1925 at age 77. She died there in 1945, age 90.”

African-American heritage is recalled outside today’s Julian Hotel:

“Hotel Robinson, 1897 –Built for Albert Robinson, ex-Missouri slave, and wife Margaret on the site of their restaurant bakery. The sole surviving Julian mining era hotel became famous for its hospitality with miners, promoters, politicians, sightseers, salesmen …  other visitors, some famous, made the hotel their base.  Maggie’s excellent meals, Sunday chicken dinner, nice rooms at reasonable rates were unequalled. Albert died in 1915, Margaret carried on alone until 1921 when she sold the property for $1500, and it was renamed the Julian Hotel.”

Harry and Sherry Jacobson-Beyer of Louisville, Kentucky, enter Mustang Sally's clothing store in Julian, California

White Protestants made up the bulk of the population.  Among the plaques telling of these pioneers is one in front of the clothing store today known as Mustang Sally’s:

Hoskings Rental, 1903 –“A mining and ranching town, many people in Julian could not afford to buy on $3 per 10-hour day.   This home, typical of many here, provided 564 square feet, four rooms, kerosene lamp, wood stove, hand-dug well and privy from $6 to $12 per month.  It was built with salvaged lumber from Cuyamaca City, the abandoned town by the depleted Stonewall Gold Mine.  Landlord George Hoskings, orphaned child, of early Julian innkeepers parlayed an inheritance from bachelor Thomas Daly into vast land holdings including 56 town lots.”

The mines had a good 40-year run before they were played out, although the Eagle and High Peak Mines today have been combined into a historic tourist attraction.   One also can visit the Pioneer Museum and the Town Hall to get a sense of the area’s early history.

During the mining boom, a man with a presidential sounding name – James Madison– who loved horses and fruit, settled in Julian and promptly imported apples to the area, reportedly from Central California.

In his city history, Julian City and Cuyamaca Country, author Charles LeMenager reports that Madison was garnering attention in 1880 for his apple and wheat crops, and that a decade later the apple growers of Julian were winning prize after prize at the first San Diego County District Fair, held in 1890 in Escondido.

At that fair, the judge for the best-tasting apples was Wyatt Earp, the gunslinging, gambling entrepreneur who had moved from Tombstone, Arizona, after the famous shootout at the Okay Corral to San Diego, where he maintained businesses, not all of them respectable, in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. 

Three years later apples from Julian were winning ribbons at the Chicago World’s Fair, and went on to take honors at major world fairs in St. Louis and San Francisco.   Numerous varieties of apples were produced in Julian and environs including Baldwins, Bellflowers, Bush’s Seedlings, Duchess of Oldenburg and Greenins.  Later other varieties were added to the menu, among them Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Red Delicious, Rome Beauty and Winesap.

Julian residents recognized that their fortunes were transferring from the mines below ground to the trees above ground and so created Julian Apple Day on October 9, 1909.   Observed sporadically at first, the special day eventually stretched and stretched, so that today the entire month of October is known as Apple Days.

Two of the best known bakeries in Julian are the Julian Pie Company and Mom’s Pies, the latter of which boasts a mouth-watering cherry-apple crumb cake that this author and some recent visitors from Kentucky agreed were delicious – even though one of us ate it cold, others consumed it warm, some devoured it plain, and others savored it with ice cream.

In Julian, one can shop in buildings that are older than the many antiques that are for sale.  Whether one seeks old books, nostalgic dolls, crockery, household items, backyard items, toys or knickknacks, Julian seems to have a surplus of them.  Even people who are not collectors sometimes get caught up in the fun, buying presents for people who enjoy tangible reminders of America’s multi-cultural past.

Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World

Jewish Agency names Larry Weinberg as communications chief

May 24, 2010 Leave a comment


NEW YORK (Press Release)–The Jewish Agency has announced the appointment of Larry Weinberg to the newly-established position of Chief Communications Officer of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Currently working in the Agency’s Jerusalem headquarters, Mr. Weinberg will be based in New York reporting to Dr. Misha Galperin. 

On July 1, Galperin will  become the CEO of a newly created Global Public Affairs and Financial Resource Development group.   Weinberg will be responsible for the management of the Agency’s brand, its marketing and communications activities and lead its efforts to reach out to the world Jewish community utilizing cutting-edge communications technologies and platforms. The department will work closely with the Jewish Agency’s key partners:  in North America, the Jewish Federations of North America, JDC, and others; as well as with Keren Heyesod, other Jewish organizations and communities in Europe, and still others worldwide.

Larry Weinberg is a marketing and communications professional with 30 years experience. Most recently he served as executive vice president of ISRAEL21c, an innovative nonprofit pro-Israel communications and advocacy group that conceived, created and still sets the standard for the “Beyond the Conflict” branch of pro-Israel communications. Weinberg led the organization’s “New Paradigm for Israel Communications” effort in North America leading to extensive adoption of the positive messaging approach to Israel’s image. He also served as a founding member of the team advising Israel’s Foreign Ministry on the development of its nation-branding program. Prior to ISRAEL21c, Mr. Weinberg was a principal of Navicom Group, Inc. a public relations company he founded with a partner that had offices in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

“The Jewish Agency is about to make major decisions relating to its future. I am confident that Larry Weinberg will play a major role in transmitting this new message throughout the Jewish world,” said Natan Sharansky, chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel.

“We are delighted to have Larry Weinberg join our senior staff in New York,” said Dr. Galperin.  “His work at ISRAEL21c showed him to be a strategist, innovator and leader who successfully introduced new concepts and practices that were accepted and widely adopted throughout the Jewish world. We are looking for Larry to bring that passion, energy and experience to our efforts to communicate the Jewish Agency’s new vision and strategic direction.”

“I am thrilled to join this mission because I believe completely in the vision that Natan Sharansky has articulated for the Jewish Agency and the Jewish people,” said Larry Weinberg, “And I am particularly excited to be able to work side-by-side in this effort with Misha Galperin. This will clearly be a labor of love for me.”

Larry Weinberg was born and raised in New York, earned a bachelor’s degree from NYU and a masters from the Maxwell School of  Public Affairs at Syracuse University.  After working for three New York City mayors, he became the economic development director for Brooklyn, NY and was the founding president of the Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation. After working in New York in public relations, he relocated to Los Angeles in 1988 where soon after, he founded his first public relations firm.

In 1996 Charles Bronfman invited Larry to serve on the board of Israel Experience, Inc., a non-profit start-up that in 1998 became become Birthright Israel. Larry served as Birthright’s marketing vice chair, supervised the original branding of Birthright Israel and the marketing of the first trips. It was during the first-ever Birthright mega-event in Jerusalem that Larry envisioned the possibility of making Israel-related work his vocation, not just his avocation. He joined ISRAEL21c two years later.

 Weinberg currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with his wife Dana, their two sons and two dogs. He will relocate to New York in July 2010.

Preceding provided by the Jewish Agency for Israel

ZOA urges UC Irvine to revoke campus privileges for Muslim Student Union

May 24, 2010 1 comment

NEW YORK (Press Release)–The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) praises the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for calling on Chancellor Michael Drake of the University of California, Irvine to publicly condemn the Muslim Student Union’s speaker, Amir Abdel Malik Ali, for his frightening anti-Semitic speech on the campus last week, and also to publicly denounce the Muslim Student Union, the student group that annually sponsors his hateful speech.  The ZOA also praises the ADL for joining in calling for the University to revoke the Muslim Student Union’s charter as a student organization.

In a press release issued on May 14, 2010, the ADL criticized Malik Ali’s speech on the previous day, in which he called Jews “the new Nazis,” confirmed that he supports Hamas, Hezbollah and jihad, and called for an end to the “apartheid state of Israel.”  The ADL characterized his speech as “border[ing] on incitement.”  Hamas and Hezbollah are murderous Jew-hating terrorist groups that are on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.

In criticizing the UC Irvine leadership for its feeble response to the Muslim Student Union and its programs, Kevin O’Grady, the ADL’s Orange County Regional Director, said, “How long must we hear Malik Ali support terrorism, express hatred of Jews and call for the destruction of the State of Israel before the University is willing to denounce him and those who invite him and sponsor his speech at Irvine?”  The ADL told Chancellor Drake that his actions have not been enough; the Chancellor must issue “a strong public statement condemning this bigot and the Muslim Student Union that annually sponsors his vile speech. . . . The MSU has consistently violated the campus code of conduct.  Enough is enough!”

Morton A. Klein, the ZOA’s National President, and Susan B. Tuchman, Esq., the Director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice, commended the ADL for its strong condemnation of UC Irvine, the Muslim Student Union, and Amir Abdel Malik Ali:  “We are pleased to see that the ADL agrees that Chancellor Drake must do more than issue vague and general statements about disliking anti-Semitism, without ever relating his statements to the specific anti-Semitic speakers and speeches on the campus, or to the student groups sponsoring the bigotry.  Chancellor Drake must condemn, by name, speakers who demonize Jews and Israel by promoting hate-filled lies about them, and also denounce, by name, those student groups who regularly promote this vicious hatred.  The Chancellor must also finally revoke the Muslim Student Union’s registration, and deny the group all the rights and privileges that come with being a registered student group, as the result of the Muslim Student Union’s repeated violation of campus policies.

“We fear that calling Jews “Nazis” and Israel an apartheid Nazi state that shouldn’t even be spoken to could, G-d forbid, incite physical violence against Jews and Israel supporters on the campus.  After all, if Jews are Nazis and Israel is an apartheid Nazi state, then it would be a moral imperative to physically fight Jews and destroy Israel.  As noted historian Paul Johnson said in his best-selling book, A History of the Jews:  ‘One of the principal lessons of Jewish history has been that repeated verbal slanders are sooner or later followed by violent physical deeds.  Time and again over the centuries anti-Semitic writings created their own fearful momentum which climaxed in an effusion of Jewish blood.’

“University officials must do whatever they can to stop immediately the hatred against Jews and the Jewish State.  What on earth is Chancellor Drake waiting for?” 

Preceding provided by Zionist Organization of America

The Jews Down Under~Roundup of Australian Jewish News

May 24, 2010 Leave a comment


Garry Fabian

Compiled by Garry Fabian

Booksellers agree to pull books

MELBOURNE,  19 May –  Three of Australia’s biggest book retailers this week agreed to pull a number of virulently anti-Semitic titles from their websites, following an investigation by a community watchdog.

Among the poisonous works that could be purchased on the Borders and Angus & Robertson websites were The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which alleges that Jews are plotting to take over the world, and The International Jew by Henry Ford,
which states: “Whichever way you turn to trace the harmful streams of influence that flow through society, you come upon a group of Jews.”

Visitors to the stores’ websites could also purchase Martin Luther’s The Jews and their Lies, in which the medieval theologian describes Jews as “base, whoring people,  full of the devil’s feces, which they wallow in like swine.”

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, meanwhile, was also available online from Dymocks.

The investigation into the sale of hate literature on the net as part of the community alert to this type of display, and campaign against, cyber-racism.

After alerting the retailers to the pernicious nature of the books they were selling via their websites, on Tuesday all three agreed to withdraw them.

Dymocks buying manager Sophie Groom said: “We have taken the decision to remove the title from our website and this will be completed within the next two business days.”

Briony Lewis, general counsel for Redgroup Retail – the parent company of Borders and Angus & Robertson – also confirmed that the publications were being pulled.

The swift action taken by the retailers was welcomed by community leaders.

Expressing his disappointment that “such vehemently anti-Semitic and racist literature can be so easily obtained”, John Searle, president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV), said: “Nevertheless, I’m pleased the bookstores concerned have immediately agreed and acknowledged that it’s inappropriate for such
books to be available. It is precisely the dissemination of this kind of material that leads to ongoing problems of vilification and racism within our community, which the JCCV, together with other organisations, is working to eradicate.”

The sentiment was echoed by Vic Alhadeff, CEO of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies.

“Given the disturbing ease with which the internet is abused and pernicious and racist material disseminated, it places an onus on all disseminators of information to exercise care and diligence over what they put out there,” he said.

“We therefore applaud these bookstores for their responsible approach when the issue was  raised  with them..”

Cannes coup for small film maker

MELBOURNE, 19 May –  Ariel Kleiman’s status as one of Australia’s fastest-rising film talents was confirmed with the recent announcement that his short film, Deeper Than Yesterday, will be screened at Critic’s Week as part of the Cannes Film Festival.

Critic’s Week has showcased films by up-and-coming filmmakers for nearly 50 years, and has given artists such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Jacques Audiard and Ken Loach their start.

Kleiman, 25, leaves for the French Riviera on Sunday, on the second stop of his festival-hopping itinerary.

In February, he was in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival, where another short he wrote and directed, Young Love, won an honourable mention. He was also the director of photography on Muscles – a film by long-time friend Edward Housden – which has been nominated for the short film Palme d’Or.

“We make these films in a little bubble and we work pretty hard on them for quite a while,”Kleiman said. “So it’s definitely a nice feelingeven just to have it screened so other people can see it. It has been a crazy couple of months.”
And Kleiman will get his wish.

Cannes is comfortably the world’s most prestigious film festival and has long been considered a hotbed for talent-spotting and a launcher of careers.

Deeper Than Yesterday is one of seven shorts that will be screened as part of Critic’s Week, along with seven feature-length films. At nearly 20 minutes, Kleiman’s film is an awkward length and was too long to be considered in the short-film competition at Cannes.

“I was quite surprised [the film was selected for Critic’s Week] because I thought Deeper might have been too long. I didn’t know how it would be accepted at film festivals, because it’s quite a commitment to watch for a short. I had low expectations.”

Set on a submarine, Deeper Than Yesterday is a Russian-language film that explores the effects of prolonged isolation on a group of sailors. As the men become increasingly savage towards one another, they discover the body of a woman floating in the water.

The film was the Victorian College of the Arts student’s third-year project and was shot in eight days with a Russian-speaking cast, comprised of security guards and members of a local Russian drama school.

“I wrote it in English and then we workshopped it with the actors. I understand Russian, but I
don’t speak it. The actors really made the script their own in Russian, which was great.”

On a tight production schedule that allowed little room for error, Kleiman and his crew spent eight days bunkered down in a decommissioned submarine docked near Hastings, on Victoria’s Western Port Bay. But it wasn’t the first choice for the film’s location.

“Originally when I thought of it, it was going to be about a group of fisherman that find a woman in the ocean, but we couldn’t find a fishing trawler that would let us shoot on there. But it was probably a blessing because the sub was amazing.”

Kleiman and his housemates – girlfriend Sarah Cyngler, the film’s production designer, and Benjamin Gilovitz, a producer – built corporate websites to pay for the making of the film.

Kleiman said sharehouse living inspired Deeper Than Yesterday. “I guess the concept of living with people and
being with the same people day in and day out, I think that might be where it came from.”

The exposure of Kleiman’s films has earned him a contract with Warp Films (which produced the 2006 indie hit This is England) to pen a feature, which he is currently writing with Cyngler.

Change of guard at Victorian Zionist Council

MELBOURNE, 19 May – It’s the end of an era at the Zionist Council of Victoria (ZCV), with president Dr Danny Lamm announcing last week he will retire from the post at the next Annual Assembly.

The longest-serving president of the organisation, he has held the role for eight years, two longer than any of his predecessors.

“I have had a tremendous amount of job satisfaction doing the job on behalf of the community and Israel,” Dr Lamm said. “I look back on this period with only satisfaction.”

When asked why he is stepping down, he said simply “it’s time”.

Dr Lamm credited his board for “a really productive period”, that has included advances in advocacy, public speakers, improving the utilisation of Beth Weitzmann Community Centre
and the purchase of 304 Hawthorn Road, adjacent to the centre.

“I have had tremendous support from my board all the way through,” he said. “We have had a really good level of cooperation.”

Remaining chairman of Beth Weizmann Community Centre, Dr Lamm said his retirement from ZCV
would not be the end of his community work, revealing that he is in discussions with another organisation.

ZCV executive director Ginette Searle said that the organisation would announce a replacement
later this year to coincide with the Annual Assembly.

The ZCV is the main representative body for more than 59 Zionist organisations. It enables the expression of Zionism in Victoria.
Court weighs weighty edifice issue

MELBOURNE, 21 May – The Sassoon Yehuda Sephardi Synagogue found itself fighting a Supreme Court injunction over a large sign on the synagogue’s facade last Friday.

Victoria’s Supreme Court dismissed the injunction asking for the signage, which identifies the St Kilda East centre as the “Lyndi and Rodney Adler Sephardi Centre”, to be removed before Saturday, when a ceremony was to be held in honour of one of the congregation’s founders, Jacques Balloul.

The prominent sign is a modification of an earlier, less conspicuous, version.

Costs of $5000 were awarded against the applicant, solicitor Dan Horesh, a nephew of Albert Sassoon Yehuda, the shul’s founder, who is the executor of his late uncle’s estate.

The estate last year launched legal action, claiming the founder was entitled to naming rights to the centre in perpetuity, based on donations he, and later his estate, have made.

A loan for an undisclosed amount was forgiven by the estate due to the centre’s financial
difficulties, and the centre is currently carrying another loan from the estate.

After the injunction was refused, Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Warren, who heard the case,  recommended the matter be resolved via a civil trial.

Rodney Adler, who is not a party to the case, told The AJN this week that when the shul approached him around 18 months ago, it was “in great financial trouble”. Pressed to help by Sephardi friends, the Adlers donated $150,000 in exchange for naming rights.

“I live in Sydney . I’m Ashkenazi . We don’t go to the shul, we’re not Melbourne people,” said Adler, who pleaded guilty in 2005 to criminal charges relating to his dealings over insurer HIH, and served 30 months in prison.

He bristled at comments made in court by Horesh’s lawyer David Sharp that the Adlers made the donation by way of “re-establishing themselves in society, particularly Jewish society”.

“It’s got to be a lot more than one little synagogue whose name is going to change my global perception,” he said.

Sephardi Centre president Paul Berman said the Adler name pertained to the centre as a whole, and that the synagogue would continue to be known as Sassoon Yehuda.

“We wish to honour all the benefactors who contribute greatly to the operation and the survival of our community,” he said.

Jewish contender for parliamentary seat

SYDNEY, 21 May – When nominations closed for ALP preselection in the Sydney seat of Wentworth last
Friday, lawyer Steven Lewis discovered he was the only contender with his hat in the ring.

The business executive turned lawyer will be formally declared as Labor’s candidate next month, pitching him against Liberal incumbent Malcolm Turnbull, as Australians switch into election mode.

Lewis remained the sole candidate for preselection, after NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD) colleague Robin Margo withdrew from the race.

“I’m excited and honoured . We’ve always said it’s going to be a very tough campaign. While you’ve got to be realistic about it, the nature of the electorate is changing.

“There are a number of factors that voters will take into account. Are they looking to the future to have a local member represent their local interests, or to the past?”

Lewis said at this year’s election he would offer voters a grassroots alternative.

“Malcolm Turnbull has been preoccupied for a number of years now with much wider issues, [including] the leadership of his party. My goal is to be a good local member.”

Asked if, given Turnbull’s record with the Jewish community, this challenge will become a battle for the hearts and minds of eastern Sydney’s Jews, Lewis emphasised that the community “is oneof a number of groups that make up the electorate”.

“I’m not a Jewish candidate. I just happen to be a candidate who is Jewish. That’s a very important distinction,” the longtime JBD member said. “I’ve had a long association with the [Jewish] community and I hope that association
continues . It would be very nice if the [Wentworth Jewish] community have a representative in Federal Parliament, but that is not the only reason people vote. But I certainly would be a vocal and supportive representative of
the Jewish community’s needs and concerns.”

The Slater & Gordon lawyer said he also wanted to fight for improved mental health care, noting that his electorate includes The Gap, “which is unfortunately a place where a lot of people go to take their lives”. He is also keenly interested in improving the conditions for homeless people and helping with measures on the environment.

Lewis, 53, cut his political teeth protesting against the visiting Springbok rugby team from apartheid-era South Africa in 1971.

He joined the ALP in 1979 and is currently the Premier’s appointee on the NSW Election Funding Authority. Lewis was involved in the campaign to free Soviet Jews and visited the Soviet Union in 1988 as the personal assistant to communal icon Isi Leibler in negotiating the release of refuseniks. He was also involved in the contempt-of-court case against Fredrick Toben that saw alleged Holocaust denier jailed for three months last year.

Gutnick slams super tax

MELBOURNE, 24 May – Mining magnate Joseph Gutnick has fired a broadside at the Federal Government’s
proposed mining profits tax, claiming it will have  a “negative impact” on Australia. He is pessimistic about Australia’s booming mining sector’s chances of staying at full throttle once the proposed impost is introduced.

Gutnick owns US-listed Legend International, a phosphate mining company exploring Queensland’s
Georgina Basin, which through North Australian Diamonds has a controlling stake in Merlin.

The productive diamond mine in the Northern Territory is one of only three in Australia and produces a high proportion of gem-quality stones.

He also has interests in various countries, including gold exploration in Canada.

“When you talk to fund managers and investors, they look at Australia now as a sovereign risk. But it is not only affecting the mining industry – it’s a disaster for the mining industry – but it’s affecting Australia.”

He has heard from foreign investors who are now wary of Australian bonds and there is insecurity
about what Canberra will do next. “Australia is [geographically] far enough without this supertax.”

Gutnick said he is still hopeful the tax “will be substantially changed or given up”. But with
opposition from state premiers and treasurers, he ponders whether it will ever be implemented.

Turning to the political ramifications of the tax, Gutnick said the Government was starting to feel the heat. The tax was “not something people ever expected to happen”.

The former Melbourne Football Club president famously followed the advice of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who urged him 22 years ago to search for gold and diamonds in the outback.

Fabian is Australia bureau chief for San Diego Jewish World

University of Haifa honors leader of Druze community in Israel

May 24, 2010 1 comment

HAIFA (Press Release)–The University of Haifa will award the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, honoris causa, to Shaykh Mowafak Tarif, the spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel, during the University’s 38th Meeting of the Board of Governors, which will take place on June 1-3. The honorary doctorate will be conferred upon Shaykh Tarif in recognition of his contribution to strengthening equality and his commitment to the State of Israel.

The Senate of the University emphasized the personal example that Shaykh Tarif sets for the Druze community and for the entire Israeli society in upholding a world view that promotes understanding, love of peace and conflict resolution through mutual respect and dialogue; his activities and investment in creating a bridge between different ethnic groups; and the firm bond and neighborly relations that he has fostered between the University and the Druze community in Israel.

Shaykh Mowafak Tarif, born in Julis in 1963, is a descendent of the Tarif family that has been leading the Druze community in Israel since 1753. He inherited the position of spiritual leader from his later grandfather Shaykh Amin Tarif in October 1993 and as such took upon himself responsibility for the community’s holy sites.

Heading Israel’s Druze society in its efforts to achieve equal rights as well as recognition of the community’s duties – first and foremost to serve in the Israel Defense Forces, Shaykh Tarif believes that it is morally incumbent on all members of the Druze community to contribute to the safekeeping of Israel’s borders and citizens and therefore espouses compulsory service in the Israel Defense Forces for the Druze.

Preceding provided by the University of Haifa

Shaykh Mowafak Tarif graduated the Al-Baida post-secondary school for Druze studies in Lebanon and has a B.A. in Law.