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January 13, 2017

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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 13, 2017 By David Suissa nal courtswith the lethalweapon of Resolution 2334 firmly in their hands? You can make a strong case that President That resolution is the weapon Obama has Barack Obama' s decision to allow United provided to Israel's enemies. It would be silly Nations Security Council resolution 2334 to to expect they won't use it. So, yes, allowing pass was very harmful to Israel. By endorsing this resolution to pass is harmful to Israel and the anti-Israel narrative that every square is a shameful final act for a president who has inch of territory captured by Israel in the always claimed to have Israel's back. 1967 war--including the Jewish Quarter in But it is shameful, and tragic, for another East Jerusalem and the Western Wall--is reason as well--because it has virtually killed "Occupied Palestinian Territory," and that the peace process. Jewish presence in those areas is a "flagrant By endorsing a resolution that makes Is- violation of international law," Obama didn't rael's presence in post-1967 areas an illegal just throw renegade West Bank settlers to the act--withoutdistinguishingbetween far-flung wolves--he threw all of Israel. outposts in the West Bank and the Western IfaTelAvivdairycompany, for instance, sells Wall--Obama has eliminated all incentive its cottage cheese to Jews in East Jerusalem, for the Palestinians to negotiate, let alone does it make that company complicit in a compromise. In other words, if Israel's #1 ally crime? And if a Jew lives in the Old City, can has already decided that 550,000 Israeli Jews that Jew be arrested ancl tried in international are illegally occupying"Palestinian territory," legal courts? what is there for the Palestinians to talk about? I know, it sounds preposterous. But when What is often overlooked is that previous you see the anti-Israel venom spewed by such U.N. resolutions andinternationalandbilateral movements as Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions agreements did not put Israel in such a box (BDS), would it really surprise you to see them and allowed plenty of room for the parties to come after Israeli Jews in international crimi- negotiate. By Stephen M. Flatow terrorists. The only reason their buildings are in rubble is because their elected ruler, Hamas, deliberately provokes Israeli strikes by raining Like many others, I sat at my computer with thousands of rockets down on Israeli cities. baitedbreathWednesdaywaiting for Secretary Kerry didn't stop; there's more. of State John Kerry to explain the background He repeatedly claimed "both sides" were to to the U.S. abstention on the United Nations blame. "Many people" on both sides, Kerry Security Council vote. And explain he did. But asserted, "don't see the other side as people." there were so many things wrong with what Nonsense. Israeli schools teach coexistence, I will call Kerry's farewell anti-Israel speech: diversity and pluralism. It is the PA's schools Spending 45 minutes on settlements, and that portray Jews as less than human--as 45 seconds on terrorism, insects and wolves and demons. Claiming the Palestinians "live under Kerry then alleged that "both sides push Israelimilitaryoccupation'when98percentof a narrative to play on fears and stereotypes." themliveunderthePalestinianAuthority(PA). Nonsense. It is the PA that peddles con- e Condemning Israeli construction even spiracytheoriesaboutJewsplottingtodestroy within Jerusalem. the mosques on the Temple Mount--theories But if I had to choose the one aspect that that are deliberately intended to whip up fears bothered me the most, the part that made me and anti-Jewish stereotypes among Palestin- want to shout at the computer screen, itwould ians. And the incitement works. It manifests be the false moral equivalence, itself every single day, in the stabbings and Kerry, like all blame-Israel-firsters, cannot stonings perpetrated by Arabs who claim they accept the simple fact that, in this conflict, the are "defending the AI-Aqsa mosque." Israelis are the good guys and the Palestinians The lowest point of Kerry's moral-equiva- are the bad guys. That's not to say that Israel is lence tiradewaswhen he listedwhat he saidare perfect; of course not.Americawas not perfect the two major obstacles to peace: "settlement in the 1940s, either. But any reasonable person expansion" and.terrorism. That rubbery term could understand that the U.S. and its allies "settlement expansion" is a nefarious-sound- were the good guys, and Nazi Germany and ing description of such less-than-nefarious its partners were the bad guys. actions as a family building an extra room Kerry and the rest of the Obama adminis- in its house for a nursery, or the construc- tration see the world differently. They will not tion of a kindergarten in the Jewish Quarter acknowledge that Israel is the victim, and the of Jerusalem's Old City. To portray Israeli Palestinians are the aggressors. They will not kindergarten construction as the equivalent recognize the difference between democratic, of Palestinians blowing up buses, stabbing freedom-loving Israel and the totalitarian, women and children, or lynching Israelis who terror-promoting PA regime, accidentally drive into their neighborhood is So in his speech, Kerry recalled visiting nothing less than outrageous. Kiryat Shemonah, near Israel's northern bor- If you don't understand the basic moral der, and he acknowledged that children there difference between Israel and the Palestin- "have 15 seconds to reach bomb shelters." But ians--the basic difference between right and he couldn't just leave it at that. He had to try wrong--then you understand nothing about to show that Palestinian children have similar the Israeli-Arab conflict. It's clear that Kerry, experiences. Sohe quickly talkedaboutvisiting and the president on whose behalf he speaks, Gaza and seeing Arab children "in the rubble understand nothing about the Israeli-Arab of bombed-out buildings." conflict. That kind of superficial equivalence is Stephen 31. Flatow, a vice president of the outrageous because it is so fundamentally Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney wrong. The Israeli children are the innocent in New Jersey. He is the father of Alisa Flatow, victimsofArabterrorists--andthePalestinian who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored children are also the innocent victims of Arab Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. rile VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. ISSN 0199-0721 LORIDA CENTRAL FLORIDA'S INDEPENDENT JEWISH VOICE # Winner of 45 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene StarnKim Fischer Christine DeSouza 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. Society Editor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives KimFischer MarciGaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky David Bomstein Ed Ziegler MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Production Department Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 David Lehman Gil Dombrosky emaih Joyce Gore You can startwith the 1922 League of Na- betweenillegaloutpostsandtheWesternWall, tions Mandate for Palestine, which, as Evelyn pretty much obliterates that wiggle room. Gordon has documented in Commentary, President Obama, at the beginning of his explicitly allocated all of what is today Israel, term, also left no wiggle room and was equally the West Bank and Gaza as a"Jewish national blunt when he demanded that Israel freeze home," a right that was legally preserved every brick of construction in every inch of by Article 80 of the founding U.N. Charter. post-1967 territory, including the settlement But even if you reject those 1922 Jewish blocs and the Jewish Quarter. Since no Israeli rights, there is the venerable U.N. Security governmentcouldevermeetsuchadraconian Council Resolution 242 which followed the demand, Obama's move essentially froze the 1967 war. That resolution, which both parties peace process by undermining Israel's negoti- have been quoting for decades as a basis for ating position and giving the Palestinians the negotiations, was explicitly worded to allow perfect excuse to stay away from peace talks. "It is the height of chutzpah when Secretary of State John Kerry now lectures IsraeL.." Israel to keep parts of the disputed territory With his failure to veto resolution 2334, it captured during the war, by referring to Obama has come full circle. His draconian "defensible borders" and requiring an Israeli demandfromeightyearsagoisnowenshrined withdrawal only from "territories" captured intheinnersanctumoftheUnitedNations.He in 1967, not "the territories" or "all the ter- may have convinced himselfhewas only show- ritories." ing "tough love," but the reality is that Obama Even the 1993 Oslo Accord lists "Jeru- has empowered Israel's enemies, stripped Israel salem" and "settlements" as "issues that of its negotiating leverage and rewarded the will be negotiated in the permanent status Palestinians for their intransigence. negotiations." The point is, whether they It is the height of chutzpah when Secretary thought settlements were illegal or not, of State John Kerry now lectures Israel on the peace processors were always savvy enough importance of negotiating a two-state solu- to allow Israel some leverage and wiggle tion. It's like saying: "We've taken away all room to negotiate, your negotiating chips--now go make a deal!" Resolution 2334, by bluntly characterizing David Suissa is a columnist for the Jewish Israel as aland thief and making no distinction Journal. Letter from Israel important [ By Ira Sharkansky Among the lessons that I carried from these experiences into my university teach- I'll indicate in advance that this is a per- ing and professional writing were themes sonal and rambling note, promoted by several that I heard from senior officers in both the responses to what I wrote about the recent U.S. and Israel. decision of the UN Security Council. And it is FromanAmericancolonelwhowasaprofes- by no means the first time I've been provoked soratWestPointIacquiredtheacronymKISS: by what I've received from my Internet friends. Keep it simple, stupid. The point is that soldiers Several responses have detailed a century's must be given clear and simple orders in order worth of agreements, resolutions, et al, with to carry out what their superiors intend. different correspondents producing greatly IheardtheHebrewequivalentfromtheChief different conclusions as to what it all means of Staff of the IDF, when he had to comment for international law and the obligations or about an operation that went bad. From now opportunities of Israel. on, he said, the orders must be simple. And This interchange has led me to ponder, yet if they can't be made simple, the operation again, the walk that I do several times a week simply won't happen. forabout20minutesfromourhomeinFrench Simplicity is hard to find in the blather HilltotheHebrewUniversityonMountScopus. that relies on all that has happened, been Along the way I pass by the British military proclaimed, and argued about since the estab- cemetery, and think about the significance of lishment of the British military cemetery on those British Christians, a number of Jews, as Mt. Scopus. While John Kerry, et al, insist that well as Hindu and Muslim soldiers who came Israel is occupying Palestinian land, a sharply here to fight the Turks in World War I. different view apparent in Israeli government That cemetery marks the beginning of actions is that the land is "disputed" due to modern Middle Eastern history. Since those a muddied history. Israel resists starting any soldiers died, there's been countless interna- negotiations from where history was in 1949. tional agreements, decisions, proclamations Presumably, Palestinianscangetsomeofwhat and actions, including what Israel has done they demand, but only after they are willing up until this morning, to concede Israel's existence and what has My own pondering has been helped by what happened in the most recent seven decades. I learned during two decades' associationwith The simplest way of moving forward, and two nations' militaries. During a period that most likely the only one that can succeed, is to spanned the 1960s and 70s I traveled the world start fromwhere things are, rather thanwhere as a civilian for the U.S. military, lecturing some say they were at one or another point in mostly to officers. For logistical purposes I the past. There are library shelves filled with had the rank of Lt. Colonel. In all of those what has been done and said about this place contacts, I listened to and learned from the over the course of a century. people I also taught. Simplicity requires abandoning such as- Then, after three years as an Israeli civilian, sessments of what was as producing nothing I was drafted by the IDF at the age of 40, sent more than continued argument. Palestinians through basic training, and made a private and their friends demand to undo history, and in the lecture corps. For the next decade, I go back to 1967, 1949, or earlier. did up to 50 days reserve duty in some years, Israelis have made it clear that ain't gonna speaking to a much wider range of personnel happen. than I saw in the U.S. military, and usually Americans and others who threaten a one- outside formal classrooms. At the bottom of state solution where the Palestinians will the IDF I had two tours lecturing to inmates acquire a majority might better spend their in military prisons. I did most of this in Israel energies working to unite Mexico and the U.S. in my own clothes, but on several occasions From Jan. 20th onward, John Kerry and I was put in uniform, given a weapon, and BarackObamawillbefreetoworkonproblems sent into Lebanon. There I talked to soldiers that are closer to their homes, and where they on duty, once within 50 meters of a fire fight are likely to be more familiar with the details with casualties, that complicate things. After retirement from the military, I gave a And then we may discover what Donald semester-long seminar at the National Defense Trump has meant by his one-liners and tweets. College. Comments welcome.