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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 11, 2019 By Nadav Shragai never a capital--in terms of either politics or conscience--for any Arab or Muslim ruling (JNS)---Thank God, it's over. When 2018 entity. Even the Jordanians, who together ended, Israel's withdrawal from the United with the Palestinians prompted UNESCO to Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural pass resolutions hostile to Israel, never used Organization took effect. Jerusalem as their capital in the years in which Don't feel bad. Under existing conditions, they occupied the city. there was no reason to keep our place at the TheydesecratedplacesthatareholytoJews, table with the gang of hypocritical liars that and in violation of agreements we signed with every few months rewrote another chapter of them even denied us access to those places. the history of the land of Israel and the Jewish Back then, the Jordanians and the Palestin- people, and co-opted it for the Palestinians. ians--before they invented themselves as Rather than thrilling at the glorious cultural, a "people'--cited the Temple Mount as the religious, historic and archaeological legacy location of Solomon's Temple on their maps of the Jewish people in the land of Israel, the and in their writings. organization chose time and again to adopt Today, they boldly deny ever doing so, and "fake history" and give its seal of approval to UNESCO is helping them by partly adopting more fabrications from the Palestinian pack their denial. of lies. But UNESCO has more than Jerusalem in UNESCO questioned Jewish ties to the its sights. Rachel's Tomb, which UNESCO de- TempleMountandtheWesternWall. Ittreated cided to call, as the Palestinians term it, Bilal us as if we were occupiers in our own capital, Ibn Rabah mosque, was never traditionally even though Jerusalem in all its holiness was called that. Ibn Rabah, of Ethiopian descent, was one of the first muezzins who served the they could regain full ownership of the Cave Prophet Muhammad. He was killed in Syria of the Patriarchs, and UNESCO helped them and buried in Aleppo or Damascus. Only when with that as well. the Palestinian Authority realized it had failed With each delusional resolution, UNESCO to capture the site from Israel during the made itself more ridiculous and less relevant. Second Intifada did they link Ibn Rabah to But every cloud has a silver lining. "Kubat Rachel," the Arabic name for the site Despite the total absurdity of the orga- "Don't feel bad. Under existing conditions, there was no reason to keep our place at the table with the gang of hypocritical liars " Letter from Israel By Ira Sharkansky charges against Bibi and Sara, as well as the wildness ofsonYair. And thevarious assertions Chaos in both of my countries: Israel's againstTrumpaspresidentandbusinessman. government collapses, and calls an election Will this be Bibi's last election, or will he for April 9th; U.S. government is wrapped pull out or be removed before the voting? And up in a dispute about the wall, pulls out willTrumpsurvivepersistentrumblingsabout from Syria, and several other claims about an impeachment? the president. I began this note almost a week ago, a day Israel's election came under dispute about after it became clear that there'd be an elec- a bill for drafting Haredim, as well as looming tion in Israel. There followed expressions from charges against the prime minister. Contend- many of the political claimants, including the ers are clamoring, with a major question fo- still silent Benny G,~ntz. cused on Benny Gantz. He's a tall, handsome, There'll be a number of updates until I and quiet former head of the IDFwho is polling send this out. in the range of 11-15 Knesset Members, but Chaos is considerable as different individuals hasn't said much. He recalls Dwight Eisen- indicate their intentions of creating parties hower, who in the run-up to the 1952 election or running as candidates in existing parties. was courted by both parties, while in the same Polls indicate that Bibi and Likud remain posture of quiet on matters political. Guesses in the lead, while a majority of Israelis oppose about Gantz range from running as the head Bibi as prime minister. Hints of dissatisfaction of his own party, or joining something else in in Likud, along with strong expressions there the center or left. of support for Bibi, with or without indictment. Gideon Sa'ar seems to be planning to run We're hearing of Gantz's new party, which in Likud's primary. His wife has resigned as a Ya'alon, andmaybeLivniandLapidwillaffiliate key reader for Channel One's news.with in one way or another. Likud led by Bibi leads in the polls, even The Arab conglomerate, United List, is while the legal adviser to the government also feeling the pressure, with Ahmed Tibi ponders announcing an indictment before or considering a break and running on his own. after the election, or not at all.And Bibi is off for aweek in Brazil, with more Ehud Barak is in the game, as vicious than a few Israelis hoping that he'll stay as a as anyone in criticizing Bibi. He seems to be refugee, along with Sara and Yair. maneuvering in the center and left of Israeli Ayelet Shaked and Naftaly Bennett have politics, hopingforsomeplacetorunandhope- declared the creation of a new party, the New fully to rule. Right, said to be truly conservative, with both Ari Deri's SHAS is struggling to get the secular and religious Jews, against the creation minimum necessary to enter the Knesset. of a Palestinian State, and separate from as- Moshe Kahlon Kulanu party will struggle sertively right wing former colleagues Bezalel to remain a minor player. Yair Lapid's Yesh Smotrich and Uri Arial. But they indicate that Atid (There is a Future) will strive to become they will coalesce with Jewish Home after the prime minister, election. In the U.S the stock market tumbles and Commentators wondered about their wis- Trump tweets. He's thinking of replacing the dom in praising Netanyahu, but seeking to chair of the Federal Reserve, defending himself carve out a place on the right, but perhaps not against charges of a surprising telephone call as extreme, but maybejustas extreme. Much of with Erdogan after which he announced a this won't make any more sense to American pull out of troops from Syria. Stock markets readers than it does to Israelis elsewhere are tumbling in response. U.S. We'll see what happens. This will go on Government is partly closed in response to a until parties stabilize, if they do, prior to the budget crisis, and the chief seems to be los- April voting day. ing support among Republicans in Congress. Commentswelcome, irashark@gmail.com. Trump is arguing with the departing chief Ira Sharkansky (Emeritus), Department of staff as to whether the wall is really a wall. of Political Science, Hebrew University of There's plenty in the media about criminal Jerusalem. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 46 Press Awards ITAGE HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721) is published weekly for $37.95 per year to Florida ad- dresses ($46.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Central Florida Jewish News, Inc 207 O'Brien Road, Suite 101, Fern Park, FL 32730. Periodicals postage paid at Fern Park and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 email: news@orlandoheritage.com Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene Starn Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza Society Editor Office Manager Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Kim Fischer Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley * Mel Pearlman David Bornstein Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore that had been used for generations. In the case of Rachel's Tomb, UNESCO supported an attempt to take over people's minds in place of a physical occupation of the site which failed. The Palestinians also biased UNESCO on everything having to do with the Cave of the Patriarchs. The cave, which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite, was long ago stolen from us by Muslims. The fact that the two religions co-own it today is a generous compro- mise we forced the Muslims to accept about 50 years ago. Israel, with help from the forces of history, rectified a few colossal absurdities that the Muslims thought would remain in place forever. The Palestinians appealed to UNESCO so that at least as far as people's thinking went, nization's decisions, they carried one main advantage for Israel--they held up a mirror. They forced us to go back to our roots, to study them, to delve into them and understand that we are not passersby in this land. We weren't just born here, and we didn't just move here. The UNESCO resolutions helped us reach the vital recognition that the land of Israel is not just a haven, it's also a destination; that its many holy sites are the cradle of our people's birth and still correspond to our present and our future here, which rests on more than "security needs." Now, without UNESCO, we'll need to remind ourselves of that from time to time. Nadav Shragai is a veteran Israelijourn alist. Shabbat on the high seas By Mel Pearlman Whenever my wife and I travel overseas we always listen for the sounds of Jewish! Our latest adventure began on the Friday before Christmas when we boarded a cruise ship destined for the Southeast Carribean Sea. Since the cruise began a few days before Christmas, and Chanukah had already passed, we were not sure if the passenger manifest would contain a significant number of Jewish people to create a meaningful Shabbat service on board our cruise ship. Compounding our uncertainty, the ship was scheduled to depart late Friday afternoon, only an hour after boarding was completed. The time for Shabbat candle-lighting quickly was approaching and most passengers were not quite settled in their cabins or recovered from their long journeys from their distant homes to our port of embarkation in Ft. Lau- derdale, Florida. As soon as my wife and I were processed and aboard ship we checked the ship's Daily Planner and were pleased to see that it already contained information for the time and loca- tion on the ship for Shabbat services. Our hope was that enough Jewish passengers would check the Daily Planner and be interested and organized enough to attend before the first seating for dinner. Happily and much to our surprise, when my wife and I arrived at the large meeting room designated for the services, we were met by a roomful of Jewish people from all over the U.S. and from many countries around the world including Jews from Mexico, Argentina, U.K South Africa and Israel. It turned out that there were more attendees than there were prayer books (which were provided by the ship, along with challahs and wine for Kiddush). Everyone shared their prayer books. What made the service even more meaningful was that no denominational identity was required or requested. It was purely and simply, a pluralistic service of Jews coming together to celebrate Shabbat on the high seas. The services were led by a very knowledge- able self-appointed female congregant accom- panied by a more traditional congregant who sang the prayers in Hebrew using traditional melodies, joined by most of the congregants despite their respective religious backgrounds. Later that evening we bumped into several of the more traditional members of the tribe, who indicated they were also trying to put together a Saturday morning minyon. This was a first for me, since it had been my experience on prior cruises that Jewish cruisers were more apt to attend Friday night services, and less interested in Shabbat morning services which competed with ship-board activities and with land excursions when in ports-of-call. Nonetheless, I was more than happy to lend my support and promised to attend the Shabbat morning service. Unfortunately, when I arrived in the morning, we were still two congregants short of the 10 necessary to conduct a full community service. The prayer books used the previous night were nowhere in sight. Apparently, no one had thought to ask guest services to make the prayer books available for a morning prayer service. I took it upon myself to see if I could recover the prayer books for the morning service. In my search for a member of the crew, I opened a door to another area of the ship. I never found a crew member or the prayer books, but I did find an individual Jew, decked in tallis and siddur sitting alone and praying. He had been unable to find the room where services were held the night before; and he was unaware of his co-religionists praying nearby. Telling him we had an "almost minyon" in the other room I invited him to join the oth- ers to which he happily agreed. I never found the prayer books, but as he followed me into the room where the others were praying, I exclaimed, "I didn't find the prayer books, but better yet, I found another Jew!" If you wish to comment or respond you can reach me at melpearlman322@gmail. com. Please do so in a rational, thoughtful, respectful and civil manner. Shabbat Shalom and Happy New Year! Mel Pearlman holds B.S. : M.S. degrees in physics as well as a J.D. degree and initially came to Florida in 1966 to work on the Gemini and Apollo space programs. He has practiced law in Central Florida since 1972. He has served as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando; was a charter board member, first Vice President and pro-bono legal coun- sel of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida, as well as holding many other community leadership positions.