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Legal Matters in the Jewish community

Supplement to Jewish News June 24, 2013


Dear Readers,

Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

Ready for a Jewish lawyer joke? You’ll have to read one somewhere else (Google the phrase and you’ll have your pick), because in this special Legal edition of the Jewish News we’re taking a more discerning look at legal professionals and the field of law. Judaism is a religion bound by laws (beginning with 10—commandments, that is), with ethics and moral behavior intricately woven into the interpretation of those laws. Rabbi Michael Panitz guides us through some of those intricacies in his article comparing American and Jewish law. We are fortunate to have dozens of learned, ethical and generous attorneys in our Tidewater Jewish community, and within this edition, a few are profiled. Some of the current legal issues with which Israelis and the Israeli judicial system are grappling, as well as some here in America, are also highlighted. Locally, our legal community is vibrant, involved and engaged, as you will discover in the description of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Business & Legal Society, and attorney Susan Blackman’s excellent coverage of a recent Law Day event, co-sponsored by the Society.

The staff of Jewish News

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“We, the People” or “Children of the Covenant”

American and Jewish Law Compared by Rabbi Michael Panitz

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o the extent that our religion is meaningful to us, American Jews live in two worlds: The United States, and k’lal yisrael, the Universal People of Israel. We are blessed to live in the first religiously neutral state in history, the first country where being Jewish is in no way a bar to citizenship. The sixth article of the U.S. Constitution expressly prohibits our lawmakers from requiring any religious tests for political office, thus paving the way for religious minorities, including ourselves, to aspire to leadership in this land of freedom. Mere democracy, without this American commitment to religious neutrality, would not have leveled the playing field for Jews—just ask the frightened Jews of Turkey. America’s religious neutrality also opens the door to individuals either to practice or to abstain from living out their inherited religion. Some of us are stronger in our Jewish lives because our country gives that freedom. Some of us have become Jewish, because unlike the lands once governed by medieval church law or by sharia even today, conversion from the majority faith to Judaism is a matter of no concern to the state authorities. But many, many Jews have walked through this door in the other direction, a few converting to other faiths, and more assimilating into the secular mainstream of American life. Both for better and for worse, voluntarism is the hallmark of Jewish life in our land of liberty. American law is an expression of this western worldview. Our constitution framers were disciples of the Enlightenment era of philosophy, and conceived of the state as a voluntary association of individuals, empowered by the people to protect the people’s rights, but little more. There is nobility in this vision of a state that, as expressed in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, would “establish Justice,

insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” But the role of law in this vision of society was largely limited to regulating the inter-personal relations of free and autonomous individuals. I say what I want, short of injuring you by libel. I can be a scoundrel or a scrooge, and remain within the law. This vision of the function of law limits the good that law is intended to accomplish. Not every good thing is a subject of law. If you are sick or lonely, then it is not the law, but other values cherished within our society that prompt me to offer you companionship and help. America encourages such good behavior, but only rarely does it view that behavior as falling within the scope of the law. In 2002, Rhode Island and Vermont mandated bystanders to help people exposed to grave physical harm, if they can do so without peril to themselves. Earlier, in 2000, Minnesota passed a similar statute, expressly including contacting competent law enforcement and/or medical personnel. A few states have followed that example, mandating reporting of crimes. But in most states, the Common Law tradition has endured, and thus, American law, in general, does not impose upon bystanders a duty to rescue. Judaism agrees with the American view in granting high respect to each individual. “To save a single life, is to save a world” our Talmud insists (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5). But both individual and the community mean something different, as seen from the Jewish perspective: The individual is of supreme worth because he or she is created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Holiness is an emulation of God, insofar as humans may do so. Inter-personal obligations are a consequence of our fundamental mandate to lead lives of holiness. My neighbor is in God’s image no less than I, and that is why I need to treat others respectfully and even

lovingly (Leviticus 19:18). Therefore, the range of commanded actions with respect to my neighbor is much more comprehensive in Judaism than it is in the American system. Not only am I obliged not to harm my neighbor—on this, Jewish and American law agree—but I am also required to perform deeds of loving-kindness. Charity is a commandment, not a choice. “If your brother be brought low, and extends a hand to you, you shall strengthen him.” (Leviticus 25:35) On the eve of Yom Kippur, I am commanded to seek out the neighbor I have wronged, even in matters that do not rise to an actionable level, and to conciliate him. (Mishnah Yoma 8:9) Conversely, when my neighbor comes to me, I am required to do my best to forgive. These requirements reveal that Judaism differs from the American perspective in understanding the community, no less than the individual. The point of the Exodus and Mt. Sinai narrative, the core story of the Bible, is that the Jewish community, as an organic unity, is God’s partner in covenant. “Saw you at Sinai” is not just a cute line for Jewish singles seeking to connect; it is an echo of the rabbinic assertion that, in some mystical sense, all Jews, of all generations, were present at Sinai. The covenant, Moses insists, is not just with one generation, but with all Jews, tomorrow’s as well as today’s (Deuteronomy 29:13-14). As children of the covenant, b’nai b’rith, we are all and always responsible for each other. The enlarged scope of law, in the Jewish understanding, also encompasses a dimension that is necessarily absent in secular law. The rabbis divide the commandments into those “between persons” and those “between people and God.” Jewish law includes personal behavior, not only inter-personal relations. Resting on the Sabbath and holidays, observing restrictions in diet, dress and agricultural practice, devoting moments to regular worship—all these mitzvot, and many more,

Rabbi Michael Panitz

have the same status as the requirements to respect and aid each other. In classic Jewish understanding, refraining from bacon and refraining from battery are equally aspects of what God requires of us. Sabbath rest is one of the Ten Commandments, no less than the prohibitions against murder and theft. This leads to a final point of difference: Jewish law aims at the refinement of character. The last of the Ten Commandments is “do not covet.” This is an outlier from the actions covered in the previous nine Divine Utterances. Covetousness is an internal state. What if I covet your Rolex watch, but control myself? No human court ought to be concerned, but God has still implanted within me a conscience. Jewish law aspires to mold us, mind and body, so as to make us the members of a more just and merciful society (Maimonides, Guide of the Perplexed, part III, chapter 27). “The commandments are given to purify Israel.” (Mishnah Makkot 3:16) Recommended for further reading on this topic: Elliot N. Dorff, For the Love of God and People: A Philosophy of Jewish Law. Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society, 2007.

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Law Day event Lessons learned from Hitler about the importance of protecting the Rule of Law by Susan R. Blackman, Esq.

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o honor Law Day 2013, the Virginia Beach Bar Foundation hosted an event on May 2 at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts regarding the existence, destruction, and rehabilitation of the Rule of Law in Germany preceding, during, and after the Third Reich. The event was also sponsored by the U.S. Federal Bar Association (FBA) with support from local sponsors and community partners including United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, the Holocaust Commission, and ODU’s Center for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding. Robert DeSousa,

national president of the FBA, traveled from Pennsylvania to participate. The program opened with a reception and exhibit from the German Federal Bar. Susan Blackman, a partner at Willcox & Savage and vice president of the local chapter of the FBA, served as the event organizer and moderator. Featured panelists were U.S. District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. and Sandra Schulberg, of Schulberg Productions. Carolyn Amacher of UJFT, Elena Baum of the Holocaust Commission, and Farideh Goldin of IJIU, actively supported the event. Other members of the Holocaust Commission attended, including Gary Baum, Warren and Helen Aleck, Marilyn and Mike Ashe, Ellie and Lenny


The Business & Legal Society of UJFT serves to connect emerging and seasoned Jewish professionals in the fields of law and business to UJFT and its affiliate agencies and congregations.

Lisa Bertini Firm:Bertini & Hammer, P.C. Specialty:Employment law Education:Georgetown, 1983; William and Mary Law School, 1987 Family:Dr. Jack Siegel; two daughters: Zoe (off to NYU this fall! ) and Lucy, a Junior at Norfolk Academy Jewish Organizations:United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Holocaust Commission board member; Ohef Sholom Temple member Favorite Jewish Holiday:Sukkot (love the dining al fresco) Most Memorable Personal Jewish Milestone/Life Cycle Event: Deciding to raise my girls Jewish as a lifelong Catholic, (who hasn’t converted). It has been both enlightening and liberating to give them this lovely gift of faith and tradition. Most admired Jewish lawmaker: I am a real fan of Madeline Albright, both brilliant and compassionate. Most memorable case:My most memorable and challenging case is usually the last one worked on…in this instance we just won a really tough retaliation lawsuit on behalf of a fantastically strong 25-year-old lifeguard who had only one witness bold enough to stand by her.

Brooke, Michelle Waterman, David and Elyse Cardon, and Burke Margulies of Pender & Coward, and wife Vivian Margulies, who is a former chair of the Holocaust Commission. Other special attendees included Robert Nusbaum, a Norfolk lawyer and WWII veteran, and Dana Cohen, who survived WWII in Poland and a Siberian labor camp and then found her way to Norfolk after spending much of her life in Africa. Panelist Schulberg recently restored the film about the trial of Nazi war criminals that was made by her father, producer

Jack Siegel, Zoe Siegel, Lisa Bertini and Lucy Siegel.

The jury vindicated her totally...I love girl power and love when the good girl wins! How has your understanding and/ or commitment to Jewish values entered into your decisions or actions as an attorney?What I have learned as a wife of a Jewish man and mom of determined Jewish daughters is that your faith and ethics define you only as long as you are willing to be lonely, despised and exhausted to do what it takes to accomplish what you believe in and what you become. I continue to ask God for the passion and energy to make the world a bit better with each small act. I feel that is a glorious calling to allow this “positive discomfort“ which nudges you to do more. I inherited this value, if you will, from both my religion and the Jewish faith. It’s that pesky voice inside… mine is loud and has an Italian accent.

Stuart Schulberg, at the request of the War Department and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson following WWII. Jackson was appointed by President Truman to coordinate the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, and to be Chief U.S. Prosecutor in the trial against top Nazi leaders. Justice Jackson decided to use the Nazi’s own film footage as evidence in the case, and to film the trial itself. Schulberg recovered and digitally remastered this long-suppressed film, and has recently shown it in Berlin, Hanoi, Moscow, Beijing,

Through ongoing networking, education and training the UJFT seeks to develop and promote the next generation of Jewish leadership and to re-engage veteran Jewish leaders with the UJFT’s programs and services. For more information about the Business & Legal Society or to get involved, visit JewishVA.org/BusinessAndLegalSociety

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and other cities around the world. More than 350 people attended the Virginia Beach event to hear the description of the history that led to the Nuremberg Trials, and to see brief excerpts of Schulberg’s documentary film, Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today. Many in the audience stayed after the 90-minute panel discussion to watch the entire 80-minute Schulberg/ Waletzky restoration film depicting the Nuremberg trial. Blackman began the program with an overview of the German legal system before and during Hitler’s regime, demonstrating how quickly a nation can slip from freedom to dictatorship. Before Hitler became Chancellor in January 1933, Germany’s Weimar Republic was a democratic republic with a constitution that guaranteed equality before the law for all citizens. It guarded freedom of religion, speech and other individual rights – including protection of private property. Jewish citizens had been able to advance

 

                                                   

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Justice Robert Jackson at the Nuremberg trial, courtesy of Schulberg Productions.

in business and professional fields. By 1920, Jewish lawyers formed a significant percentage of the bar, and some were appointed as Judges. More than 1,700 Jewish attorneys practiced in Berlin in the early 1930’s. The exhibit from the German Federal Bar, entitled Lawyers without Rights: Jewish Lawyers under the Third Reich, presented personal histories showing what happened to some of them after Hitler’s rise to power. The exhibit was enhanced by student art from winners of the Holocaust Commission’s Elie Weisel Visual Art Competition relating to themes of the Holocaust and human rights. As soon as Hitler became Chancellor, he solidified Nazi power through political manipulations, staged arson of the Reichstag parliament building, the death of German President Paul Von Hindenburg, and the ruthless elimination of political opponents. Within the first two months, thousands of political opponents were incarcerated without due process, and the Nazis opened a concentration camp for them in Dachau with space for 5,000. One Jewish lawyer in Berlin had previously tried to challenge the Hitler-led violent assaults against political opponents. In 1931, Hans Litten subpoenaed Hitler, as Nazi party leader, to testify in a case against four Nazis accused of killing Communists in a dance hall. Litten grilled Hitler for three hours, showing how the Nazis plotted revolution and violence. Hitler testified that the Nazis were a peaceful democratic movement. Hitler could have been found guilty of perjury, but the Nazi-leaning judge was sympathetic. Later, in February1933,


the Nazis arrested Hans Litten after the Reichstag fire and sent him to a concentration camp, where he died after five years of torture and interrogation. Hitler saw Jewish lawyers as a threat to his grandiose plans. Several weeks after becoming Chancellor, Hitler issued a decree barring Jewish lawyers and judges from German courts. The Nazis publicly warned people not to use Jewish lawyers. Most lawyers didn’t dare challenge Nazi control over the German legal system. Instead of having his actions challenged as unconstitutional, Hitler continued to amass greater powers. After Hitler removed Jewish lawyers and judges (and anyone who resisted Nazi methods) from the legal system, Hitler forced all remaining judges to swear an oath of loyalty to the Fuehrer -- not to the Constitution or the laws of the nation. As a result, the courts became pawns for the political and propaganda purposes of the Reich. Hitler had usurped the legal system entirely. This enabled him to indulge his delusion of “cleansing” Germany and

Judy Rosenblatt Firm:Judith L. Rosenblatt, PLLC Specialty: Family law and estate litigation. Education:Boston University, B.A. University of North Carolina, masters in regional planning University of Richmond, J.D. Jewish Organizations:United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, past member of various committees; Jewish Family Service, former board member. Temple Israel member, Lifetime member of Hadasah.

and do all of the cooking including the gefilte fish, and our family is together to enjoy the happy feeling of a new year. Most Memorable Personal Jewish milestone:Serving as N’siah (president) of Virginia Council BBYO Most admired Jewish Lawmaker: Golda Meir What do you consider your personal legal milestone?:Being the first female president of Virginia Beach Bar Association.

Favorite Jewish Holiday:Rosh Hashanah because my sister-in-law, Nancy Rosenblatt, and I still get together

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MICHAEL E. BARNEY Firm:Kaufman & Canoles

Favorite Jewish Holiday:Passover

Specialty:Commercial Real Estate; Estate Planning and Administration; Real Estate Lending and Workout; Business Law.

Most Memorable Personal Jewish Milestone:Bar Mitzvah of my youngest son in Jerusalem.

Education:University of Virginia, B.A.; University of Richmond Law School, J.D.

What do you consider your personal legal milestone?:FORTY-ONE YEARS AT THE SAME FIRM—Persistence, patience and loyalty.

Family:Roslyn (wife); Jason and Scott (sons); Maxine S. Barney (mom); Deborah Kaufman and Jamie Kaufman (sister and niece); Holly (golden retriever) Jewish Organizations:Tidewater Jewish Foundation board member; TJF Investment Committee member, and Gift Acceptance committee chair; JCCT Foundation Trustee.

How has your understanding and/or commitment to Jewish values entered into your decisions or actions as an attorney?:TZEDAKAH—Righteousness in dealing with clients and others. Michael E. Barney

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surrounding lands of “non-Aryans.” Once he had full control over the judicial branch, the more extreme atrocities against humanity began. They did not end until the Allies achieved victory in the war. Starting in 1945, Justice Jackson and the Nuremberg prosecution teams spent months gathering evidence of the defendants’ war crimes and crimes against humanity. As a result of Justice Jackson’s influence and his persuasion of our allies, the defendants were given fair trials, with the chance to defend themselves—a chance, Justice Jackson noted in his opening statements, that the defendants seldom gave their victims. Justice Jackson commissioned the film because he felt it was important for the people of Germany (and the world) to see that these defendants received a fair trial. Those who were convicted were convicted based on evidence they themselves created. It was hoped that this would restart the Rule of Law in Germany. Considering the status of Germany today, as a strong democratic ally of the United States, Justice Jackson’s philosophy and bold actions seem to have borne fruit. Justice Jackson’s approach fits the purpose of Law Day, which was declared by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to recognize the vital role that the Rule of Law plays in protecting freedom, justice, and equality. Judge Morgan gave examples of lessons from American history demonstrating the importance of these ideals, including low points and highlights. He also demonstrated what the U.S. learned from the ending of WWI and applied in order to end WWII more constructively, which achieved the desired effect of building alliances in that portion of Europe and preventing another return to bellicosity in the region. Susan R. Blackman, Esq. is a partner in the Labor & Employment Group at Willcox & Savage, P.C. and is listed in Best Lawyers in America for both Employment Law and Business Immigration Law. She is vice-president of the Federal Bar Association Tidewater Chapter, treasurer of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, and Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Denmark.


Group at UJFT makes legal and business connections

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ince its inception less than two years ago, the Business & Legal Society of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater has connected emerging and established Jewish professionals in the fields of law and business to each other, and to the broader Jewish community. Interesting programs and get-togethers provide ongoing networking, education, training and social activities that nurture the current and next generations of Jewish leadership. In addition, membership in the Society supports Jewish welfare, continuity and survival locally, in Israel and around the world, enabling its members to serve as role models for their colleagues, family and friends.

The Society’s 2012–2013 events garnered significant buzz among the hundreds of Jewish professionals in attendance, and the result is a burgeoning community within the greater Jewish community. Highlights of the year include partnership with the Community Relations Council of the UJFT in the political debates held at the Simon Family JCC before the hotly contested November elections, a behind-the-scenes tour of the NorVa music venue, a special audience with former CIA director Jim Woolsey, and discovering— and tasting—an innovative product being developed at a new Israeli-Virginia business located in the state. In April and May, the legal leadership of the Society played a large partnership

role in ensuring the success of the Old Dominion University hosted-exhibit and forum, Lawyers Without Rights, and the screening of rare footage of the Nuremburg Trials along with the exhibit when it moved to the Sandler Center for Performing Arts in honor of Law Day. The Business & Legal Society also held

several events in conjunction with the Maimonides Society, whose membership is made up of area medical professionals. All Tidewater Jewish professionals in the fields of law and business are invited to join the Business & Legal Society. For more information about the Society, visit www.jewishva.org/ BusinessAndLegalSociety, or contact hgraber@ujft.

jewishnewsva.org | Legal | June 24, 2013 | Jewish News | 33


Law cited in Fox News furor has AIPAC history by Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA)—With its talk of signal books, sketches and photographic negatives, the Espionage Act suggests a period long ago consigned to Cold War-era thrillers. In fact, the law is even older, first drafted in 1917, at a time when secret orders were conveyed by telegraph and semaphore codes were bound in pocket-sized books weighted with lead so they could be thrown overboard at the approach of the enemy. The era also was the beginning of the Red Scare, the belief that the socialist revolution in Europe soon would infect the United States. Communications since then have evolved quite a bit. Yet the law’s most controversial statute—targeting those who receive defense information, including reporters and lobbyists—persists.

Recently it formed the basis for a warrant used by the FBI to monitor the email and phone records of James Rosen, a Fox News reporter at the center of an investigation into government leaks. The disclosure of the investigation has embroiled the Obama administration in controversy over what looks to some like an attempt to criminalize journalism. “Rosen was not charged with any crime, but it is unprecedented for the government, in an official court document, to accuse a reporter of breaking the law for conducting the routine business of reporting on government secrets,” wrote Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker’s Washington correspondent. The controversial statute also was at the heart of a case several years ago targeting two former lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. The case eventually was dropped. The statute, known as 793(e), has been

vexing reporters and lawyers for decades and was updated by Congress in 1950 over a veto by President Harry Truman. The statute criminalizes the “willful” retention of “unauthorized” national defense information and the failure to return such information to the government. In a definitive 1973 analysis of the Espionage Act for the Columbia Law Review, U.S. Constitution experts Harold Edgar and Benno Schmidt said that language poses “the greatest threat to the acquisition and publication of defense information by reporters and newspapers.” “If these statutes mean what they seem to say and are constitutional,” they wrote, “public speech in this country since World War II has been rife with criminality.” Nevertheless, despite its vagueness and reputation among constitutional lawyers as unenforceable, successive administrations at times have considered 793(e) as a tool to

prevent leaks. But public officials have been divided on the question of whether it is an appropriate application of the law. John Ashcroft, the attorney general under President George W. Bush, cited the statute as one he was prepared to use to stop leaks in testimony he was set to deliver before a congressional committee days before Sept. 11, 2001. The testimony was delayed and ultimately never happened. Patrick Fitzgerald, the prosecutor who successfully convicted vice presidential aid Lewis “Scooter” Libby on perjury charges, said at the time of Libby’s indictment in 2005 that he contemplated using the Espionage Act but ultimately decided against it. He said the law’s broad application might not be appropriate in an American context. Two cases in which the government successfully invoked 793(e) involved actual continued on page 35

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Florida inmate makes second request for prison brit (JTA)—An inmate in a Florida prison made a second request to be ritually circumcised. Pablo Manuel Diaz, 37, in a letter to the Florida Department of Corrections asked for permission to have a brit in the infirmary of the Blackwater Correctional Facility in Milton performed by a mohel, or ritual circumciser, the Florida Sun Sentinel reported. Diaz, who is serving a life sentence, has a Jewish mother and has been active in the Jewish prison ministry, according to the newspaper. The prison’s warden turned down Diaz’s first circumcision request. Diaz is being represented in his request

by students from the Stanford Law School’s Religious Liberty Clinic in California. The Brit Yosef Yitzchak organization has offered to perform the circumcision at no charge and said it will file a federal lawsuit if Diaz’s request is denied. A response to the request has been requested by the middle of the month. Florida’s Department of Corrections was sued recently by the U.S. Department of Justice for its failure to provide kosher meals to Jewish prisoners who request them due to cost-cutting measures. The department said recently it would make the kosher meals available.

Women added to rabbinical judge selection committee JERUSALEM (JTA)—Four spots on the committee that appoints religious judges in Israel will be reserved for women under a new Knesset law. The bill giving women guaranteed representation on the Selection Committee for Rabbinical Judges passed its second and third reading in the Israeli parliament on Tuesday, June 11 over strong opposition from haredi Orthodox parties. The four female committee members will come from the government, the Knesset and the Israeli Bar Association, and one will be an expert on religious law appointed by the justice minister. No females are sitting on the current selection committee, which is in place to select the next group of judges. They include Israel’s two chief rabbis, two Rabbinical Supreme Court judges, a government-appointed minister, two members of Knesset and two members of the bar association.

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documents and not just oral exchanges. In both cases, the accused were government employees charged under additional separate statutes targeting leaking and espionage. One of the major problems with the statute identified by Edgar and Schmidt would emerge in the government’s 2005-09 case against Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, the former AIPAC lobbyists: What does it mean to willfully retain unauthorized information? Edgar and Schmidt noted that the provision would seem to be criminalizing memory. More than three decades later, the judge trying the AIPAC case, T.S. Ellis III, asked the same question. “What are they supposed to do?” he asked prosecutors, referring to Weissman and Rosen. “Have a lobotomy?”

The AIPAC case stemmed from a conversation Weissman had in 2004 with a midlevel Pentagon analyst, Larry Franklin, in a suburban shopping mall. Franklin informed Weissman that Iran was set to target Israeli and American targets in northern Iraq. The information was false; the FBI was using Franklin in a sting operation to net the AIPAC staffers. Weissman relayed the information to Rosen, and together they relayed it to journalists, their colleagues at AIPAC and Israeli diplomats. They also attempted to convey it to the Bush White House. Throughout pretrial hearings in the case, prosecutors repeatedly assured the court that they did not anticipate its use against journalists; Weissman and Rosen, they argued, were in a separate category as lobbyists. Defense lawyers noted that the

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First Amendment extended its protections to lobbyists as well. Viet Dinh, an assistant attorney general under George W. Bush, wrote in an amicus brief in the AIPAC case—filed in 2006, after he had left the Department of Justice— that 793(e) posed constitutional challenges. Allowing its use “would only serve to chill the use of truthful information on matters of extreme public concern to advance the public’s interest in the foreign policy process,” Dinh wrote.

Mindful of such constitutional hazards, Ellis set the bar high for conviction: The government would have to persuade a jury that Rosen and Weissman not only “retained” unauthorized information, but that they knew that doing so would harm the United States. On May 1, 2009, the prosecution dismissed the charges, saying it was in “the public interest.”

jewishnewsva.org | Legal | June 24, 2013 | Jewish News | 35


Feinstein and Wyden, on opposite ends of intel debate, are known for independence by Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA)—Dianne Feinstein and Ron Wyden have much in common. Both are longtime U.S. senators, Democrats, Jewish and fiercely independent West Coasters. They’ve also both been members of the Senate Intelligence Committee since before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and privy to classified materials that describe how the government systematized radical changes in intelligence gathering in their wake. Now the two lawmakers are on opposite sides of the debate over the massive information-gathering machine developed by the intelligence community since 9/11. Government agencies have been collecting troves of data on the phone calls of Americans—so-called “metadata,” including the length, origin and number of ASK ABO UT O UR CUR R E N T S P E C IALS ! virtually every call in America, but not its Ask about Current Specials! content—as well as information from the country’s leading Internet companies. A series of disclosures about such efforts has reignited debate over where to draw the line between national security and individual privacy. “It’s called protecting America,” Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Sandals and Beaches Certified Specialist Intelligence Committee, said in a June 6 news conference, arguing that the collection Sandals and Beaches Certified Specialist of metadata is routine. AMResorts Master Agent (Zoetry, But Wyden says the issue is protecting Secrets, Dreams, Now Resorts) AMResorts Master Agent (Zoetry, the rule of law, arguing that Americans Secrets, Dreams, Nowdon’t Resorts) know enough to assess whether the Interested in a River Cruise? government is protecting their rights or Interested in a River Cruise? violating them. • www.vikingrivercruises.com/myagent/jgawne • www.vikingrivercruises.com/myagent/jgawne “There is a significant gap between what • www.uniworld.com/cb/jgawne Sandals & Beaches Certified Specialist the American people and most members • www.uniworld.com/cb/jgawne • cruises.avalonwaterways.com AMResorts Master Agent of Congress believe is legal under laws • cruises.avalonwaterways.com (Zoetry, Secrets, Dreams, Now Resorts) like the Patriot Act and how government Email: jgawne@cruisesinc.com Email: jgawne@cruisesinc.com agencies are interpreting the law,” says a Interested in a River Cruise? lengthy page on Wyden’s website outlining Contact John Gawne • 757.962.5813 his longstanding efforts to make the government’s information-gathering practices 757.962.5813 (open 7 days & evenings) www.cruisesinc.com/jgawne more transparent. Open 7 Days & Evenings jgawne@cruisesinc.com • www.cruisesinc.com/jgawne The split between Feinstein and Wyden

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reflects the degree to which the intelligence-gathering debate is scrambling the predictable partisan positions taken on most big issues in today’s Washington—in this case, prompting liberals and conservatives to line up on all sides of the issue. Friends of both senators—Feinstein of California and Wyden of Oregon—say their strikingly opposed positions result both from their independent spirit, but also from strong beliefs forged by pre-congressional experiences. In 1978, Feinstein was president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors when a gunman entered City Hall and shot to death Harvey Milk, a fellow supervisor and gay activist, along with the city’s mayor, George Moscone. Feinstein announced the killings at a news conference and then succeeded Moscone as mayor. Colleagues say the murders were formative for Feinstein, who was outraged that the killer, Dan White, claimed he was depressed and was convicted only of manslaughter. The incident continued to inform her positions after her election to the Senate in 1992, most prominently in the lead she has taken on gun control advocacy since the massacre of 26 people at a school in Connecticut last year. “Dianne has always been pretty much a centrist on these issues, law enforcement, security,” says Mel Levine, a former Democratic congressman from southern California. Wyden, the child of German Holocaust survivors, entered public service through his activism as a young professor of gerontology concerned about insurance scams targeting seniors. “The victims of these scams—seniors who had lived through two world wars— would look at me with shame in their eyes and tell me that they should have known better,” he wrote on the Huffington Post last year. “Stopping those insurance rip-offs was one of the reasons I ran for Congress.” Wyden founded the Oregon chapter of


the Gray Panthers, a social justice group focused on the rights of older Americans, in the 1970s. In 1980 he was elected to the House, and then to the Senate in 1996. “He’s always been very much an independent thinker,” says Bob Horenstein, the director of the Portland, Ore. Jewish Community Relations Council. “He’ll find allies where he needs to find allies, and if he has to oppose a colleague, he’ll do that.” Wyden and Feinstein both have reputations for walking away from their parties—and their natural constituencies— on principle. Feinstein is an outspoken advocate for the death penalty and has close ties to the centrist pro-Israel community and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee— neither position a particularly popular one in Feinstein’s northern California base. But she has also endorsed the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which calls for comprehensive peace in exchange for a return to the 1967 borders, and cited Israel’s use of cluster bombs in Lebanon to explain her repeated

bids to ban the export of those arms. In 2011, Wyden unnerved his Democratic colleagues when he joined with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the chairman of the House Budget Committee, in advocating for private options for seniors eligible for Medicare. Notably, the Gray Panthers, the organization that launched his public career, adamantly opposed the WydenRyan proposal. Wyden suggests in a lengthy response on the Huffington Post that he was not about to stop working with Republicans or anyone else if it would advance the rights of Americans. “Because we worked together, Paul Ryan now knows more about the Medicare Guarantee and protecting seniors from unscrupulous insurance practices than he did before,” Wyden says. “If that is reflected in his budget this year, as someone who has been fighting for seniors since he was 27 years old, I think that’s a step in the right direction.”

Judge loses Netanyahu support for Likud post after rape comment JERUSALEM (JTA)—A judge in the running for the presidency of the Likud Party’s court has lost the support of the prime minister after saying at a court hearing that “some girls like to be raped.” Judge Emeritus Nissim Yeshaya made the statement on June 3 during a hearing in Tel Aviv District Court. The comment was first reported by Army Radio. Later on June 3, Yeshaya asked to be relieved from serving on legal panels, The Associated Press reported, citing a joint statement from Israel’s justice minister and the president of the Supreme Court. He had retired from the Tel Aviv District Court in 2009 at the age of 65, but continued to serve on the panels. Lawmakers and rights organizations had called for Yeshaya to be suspended from serving on panels. Yeshaya was presiding over a closeddoor Social Security appeals committee hearing in which a woman who was raped six years ago by four Palestinian youths from the Shuafat refugee camp was

appealing a Defense Ministry decision not to classify the rape as a terrorist attack. She was 13 at the time of the rape. The judge said through a court spokesman that his words were taken out of context, and that they were said in the context of providing an example of a reason that it could not be classified as a terrorist attack. “During the hearing, a question was raised regarding the proof of a causal relationship and in the heat of the hearing things were said in this spirit,” the spokesman said. “There was no intention for these words to hurt or disrespect, heaven forbid, rape victims. The judge apologizes for these words.” Yeshaya is a candidate for the president of the Likud court, which handles internal party matters. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on June 3 withdrew his support for Yeshaya in light of the statement. The Courts Administration said it would summon Yeshaya to clarify his statement.

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Chicken Soup for Your Estate Plan

In Israel, no such thing as a civil marriage Hundreds of thousands of Israelis ineligible to wed by Linda Gradstein/The Media Line

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month ago, Rita Margulis and her fiancé Amit (as a career army officer he asked not to use his last name) got married at the Safari in Tel Aviv. There was a Reform rabbi and 450 guests. But according to the state of Israel, the wedding never happened. That is because Margulis, who immigrated to Israel from Ukraine at age four, is not Jewish according to Jewish law, because her mother is not Jewish. Jewish law states that only someone born of a Jewish mother or who had an Orthodox Jewish conversion is Jewish. And since there is no civil marriage in Israel, anyone who is not Jewish cannot marry another Jew in Israel. Until her wedding, Margulis says it didn’t bother her much. She grew up in Israel and became a combat soldier. After her mandatory army service, she went to university and became an economist. She never seriously considered converting to Judaism, she says, and believes she should not have to. “Getting married is a basic right that every citizen should have,” she told The Media Line. “I’ve become active in trying to get Israel to institute civil marriage.” Israel is both a Jewish and democratic state. The ultra-Orthodox rabbinate controls all issues of personal status, including marriage and divorce. To get married in Israel to another Jew, you must prove you are Jewish. If that is impossible, as in Margulis’s case, you cannot get married. Thousands of couples have taken advantage of a loophole in the law, in which they fly abroad, often to Cyprus, and have a wedding there. That civil wedding is then recognized by the State of Israel and the couple is listed as “married” in Israel. Hiddush, an Israeli-American partnership for religious equality in Israel, has launched a campaign for civil marriage in Israel. “The right to marry is one of those universally cherished civil liberties,” Uri

Regev, CEO of Hiddush says. “It is the one area in which Israel excluded itself from the international covenant of civil and political rights. The law adversely impacts the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens who cannot marry at all because of religious coercion and of millions who cannot have a marriage ceremony which fits their lifestyle and beliefs.” Only Orthodox rabbis may perform wedding ceremonies in Israel. More than 70 percent of American Jews define themselves as Reform or Conservative, although these movements have failed to make major inroads in Israel. Conversions done by Reform or Conservative rabbis are also not recognized in Israel. The issue gained traction with the immigration of more than one million people from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s. Israel’s Law of Return states that anyone with one Jewish grandparent is entitled to automatic citizenship in Israel, with all of the financial benefits that immigration entails. That classification is the same one the Nazis used during the Holocaust to determine who was Jewish. Of the one million immigrants from the former Soviet Union, an estimated one-third, like Margulis, are not Jewish according to Jewish law. While many of them want to convert, only a few thousands have succeeded. Regev says Hiddush is launching a campaign with American Jewish organizations to push for civil marriage in Israel. The timing is good. For the first time in decades, the ultra-Orthodox parties are not in Israel’s governing coalition. Finance Minister Yair Lapid, whose Yesh Atid party was the big winner in the election, has repeatedly said he supports civil marriage in Israel. “I am going to do everything in my power to make sure there will be civil marriages in Israel. The complete dominance of the Orthodox rabbis in Israel over divorces and marriages is an insult,” Lapid told


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American Jewish leaders earlier this year. A spokesman for the Rabbinate in Israel declined to comment. Yet in the past Orthodox leaders have said they will never allow civil marriage in Israel, and that it would split the Jewish people in two. Proponents argue that civil marriage would solve another problem in Israel— that of husbands who blackmail or refuse to give their wives a “get,” a religious divorce. Without the “get” women are unable to remarry. Hundreds of women are trapped in this situation and countless others have

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clients. From that point on, the learning process has actively continued, so I prefer to think of my legal milestone as a target for the future, namely to continue to enjoy helping clients make good (and where appropriate, profitable) decisions. How has your understanding and/ or commitment to Jewish values entered into your decisions or actions as an attorney?Jewish values are a constant in my practice, especially Leviticus Chapter 19. Some of my favorite quotes from that portion of Leviticus, which I regularly use and follow, are not to gather the gleaning of the harvest (i.e. in a good deal there is room for both parties) and to act with honesty (“Thou shall not lie or act deceitfully; just balances; just weights”).

paid heavily for the “get.” A civil marriage would only necessitate a civil divorce. Yet Regev says it will still be an uphill battle. As part of its conditions for joining the government, the Bayit Yehudi party headed by Naftali Bennett demanded and received a clause that any legislative change on religious issues requires the agreement of all coalition parties. “That means they have veto power and they have already said they would not support civil marriage.”

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