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January 27, 2017     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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January 27, 2017

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 27, 2017 PAGE 5A By Christine DeSouza As of this writing, there have been three bomb threats called in to the Maitland Jew- ish campus since Jan. 4. This campus was not singled out. Jewish community centers in 17 states also received threats the same day on Jan. 9. It is pretty obvious that some one or some group of people is actively seeking to intimidate Jewish communities across the United States. Thank goodness all the Staying strong in solidarity threats were false. However, with each call, the police with their bomb-sniffing dogs came immediately. The streets were closed off. Twice the campus was evacu- ated, once put in lockdown and area businesses and residents were in lockdown. Definitely an inconvenience for everyone. In addition to the federal and local law enforcement, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, the JCC Association of North America, and the Secure Community Network are addressing the concerns and procedures. But yes, it is an incon- venience for parents, staff, students, and everyone within the radius of the campus. But is this a reason to stop using the facilities at the JCC? Is this a reason to decide towithdraw children from the school or Early Childhood Center? No. It isn't. The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 133:1, "Hine(y) ma tov u'ma-nayim/Shevet ach- im gam ya-chad"--"How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity." This is how the Orlando Jewish community must stand--in unity. Not allowing fear to control our actions. In the words of the African-American spiritual, "[We] shall not be moved. We will stand.., together." It is understandable towant to protect our children, to keep them from harm's way as best we can. But does that mean assimilating into the so-called safety of the surrounding non-Jewish community? Are we to run and hide the second an anti-Semite threatens us? Kiryat Shmona is the northern-most city in Is- rael on the Lebanese border, near the Golan Heights. The Jewish families that settled there in 1949 knew the risks. They lived with major "in- conveniences." The residents dodged the Katyusha rockets that hurtled toward them from the Heights. The citi- zens of the town had suffered almost daily attacks from the mid-1970s until 2000, when the IDF left Lebanon. In fact, the children slept in bomb shelters. Then, during the Lebanon War of 2006, a total of 1,012 Katyusha rockets hit Kiryat Shmona. Through all this, the residents of this battered city stayed. It is now a thriving city with an airport and population (as of 2007) of 23,100. The Roth Family JCC CEO, Keith Dvorchik, is fierce about protecting everyone who ac- cesses the campus. In a recent email, sent to JCC members, he reiterated his position: "The Jewish community is no stranger to being the subject of bigotry, hate and threats. Unlike other schools and institutions, we have always been forced to place supreme importance on the security of our classrooms and pubic gathering places. We've become experts at doing so." As a community, let's chose to stay banded together and not allow any anti-Semitic acts to keep us from being a part of a Jewish commu- nity campus that bonds us together. I am a Christian and not Jewish as many of you know, but I am standing with you, as are many other Christians. vP @ By Alan Kornman For those who did not see this Channel 9 Investigative report there was a Radical Syrian cleric--Sheikh Mo- hammed Rateb AI-Nabulsi, who openly calls for the death of Jews and gays--speak- ing in Central Florida ear- lier this month. AI-Nabulsi found a welcoming home at the Islamic Society of Cen- tral Florida (Imam Musri's Mosque), AlBir Mosque in Kissimmee, Islamic Society of Pinellas County Mosque, and an Embassy Suites Ban- quet Hall in Tampa for the American Muslim Leadership Council of Tampa. Al-Nabulsi wrote a paper called "Lesson 35: Ruling on Martyrdom Operations in Palestine." In it AI-Nabulsi says, "... the wicked Jews are a collection of defects and imperfections, and a hotbed of vices and evils. They are the worst en- emies of God, against Islam and its people, The Almighty says: Certainly you will find the most violent of people in enmity for those who believe (to be) the Jews and those who are polytheists. [Quran 5:82]" He goes on, "It is not permissible under Sharia to relinquish to the Jews any part of the lands of the Mus- lims nor to make peace with them, for they are the people of cunning and deception, and the breaking of pacts. All the Jewish people are combat- ant.., this is essentially an entirely aggressive entity from A to Z. This is the Sharia rul- ing. This is what many of the Ulema say, the Sharia ruling on Fedayeen activity is that it is permissible." AI-Nabulsi has never re- tracted his statements pub- licly. These statements of hatred forall the Jewish people "from A to Z," is part of his worldview. In the Muslim world, AI-Nabulsi is a world- renowned Islamic scholar and those who support him must also, by default, share his hate-filled worldview. Imam Mohammad Musri, on Jan. 7, invited this hate Sheikh into his mosque. Mursri was interviewed by Channel 9 reporter Field Sutton on why he would invite such a controversial figure to his Orlando mosque. Musri did not condemn AI-Nabulsi's hate speech against the Jews. In fact, Musri ignored those anti-Jewish comments, think- ing Sutton was referring only to A1-Nabulsi's anti-gay remarks. Musri's answers appeared to only reference AI-Nabulsi's video in which he stated that, "All homosexuals de- serve the death penalty"--not addressing any of the hate Sheikh's anti-Jewish com- ments. Musri said, "We would not welcome any person or organization that will bash any group," Musri said, "after the Pulse nightclub attack, he hopes the visiting scholar no longer feels the way he used to feel. "If he does, then it gives us the opportunity to discuss and maybe challenge those views and maybe change minds or hearts." I'm sorry to tell you this Kornman on page 15A his work By Toby Dershowitz and Gardner Lange WASHINGTON (JTA)--On Jan. 18, 2015, Argentine ter- rorism prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head in what was almost certainly murder, not suicide. Whoever murdered him didn'tjustwant to kill him but rather his body of work. They wanted to bury the revelations hewas about to make thevery next day in front of the country's Congress. Nisman was in charge of investigating the 1994 bomb- ing of the AMIA Jewish center that killed 85 people, making it Argentina's deadliest ter- rorist attack. He assembled compelling evidence against senior Iranian officials whom he accused of masterminding the bombing. In 2007, on the basis of evidence compiled by Nisman, Interpol issued red notices for five Iranian officials. These red notices, akin to international arrest warrants, remain ablack mark on their reputation. In the case he was due to present in person to Congress, Nisman revealed other dev- astating evidence, this time againstArgentina's then-pres- ident, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Nisman had legally secured thousands of wiretaps of Kirchner allies, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and Iranian agents operating in Argentina. Nisman said the wiretaps and other evidence proved Kirchner was plotting to find a way to lift the red notices and buy immunity for the Iranian officials he held responsible for the AMIA at- tack in exchange for expanded trade with Argentina. Nisman's exhaustive inves- tigations also found that Iran used its embassies, mosques and cultural centers to radi- calize and recruit from the local population. While Nisman's death pre- cluded him from presenting his accusations to the Con- gress, and Kirchner support- ers spent almost two years deliberately keeping the com- plaint from being investigated in the courts, this month an Argentine court agreed to open an investigation into the allegations he assembled. Some of the wiretaps dis- cussed fabricating "new evi- dence" that would have been presented to a joint Iran-Ar- gentina "truth commission" that Kirchner had negoti- ated with Iran purportedly to jointly investigate the AMIA bombing. Nisman believed the truth commission, part of a 2013 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries, was a mecha- nism to whitewash Iran's role in the AMIA attack. The memorandum was found to be unconstitutional before anything moved forward. According to one account, one of those heard on the wire- taps, a Kirchner supporter, discussed inventing a culprit for the AMIA bombing. "They want to construct a new enemy of the AMIA, someone new to be respon- sible," he said. The blame would be placed on a "group of local fascists." Mauricio Macri, who was elected president of Argentina in late 2015, has distanced himself from Iran's malign activities and taken con- structive steps to investigate Nisman's death. Macri is continuing the investigation into the AMIA bombing. While opening an investi- gation into Nisman's allega- tions is an important step forward that could prove determinative, it's unclear whether Argentina's judicial system will operate without a high degree of politicized partiality. Politics and the justice system remain closely aligned in Argentina, which the World Economic Forum ranked 121st out of 138 countries when it comes to judicial independence. Macri has an opportunity to reform the judicial system as he has begun to do for other parts of the government. The investigation will have regional repercussions, as Ar- gentina is not the lone target of Iranian penetration in the hemisphere. In Peru, a Hezbollah opera- tive, Mohammad Hamdar, is on trial. Authorities found bombmaking material and hundreds of photos of high- value Israeli and Jewish targets in his home. Hamdar and his new wife reportedly received money from Hez- bollah, Iran's proxy, to stage their wedding. Hamdar was designated by the U.S. Trea- sury Department as being a member of Hezbollah's Ex- ternal Security Organization. In Venezuela, President Nicholas Maduro recently named Tareck EIAissami to be his vice president. El Aissami is known for his ties to Hezbol- lah and Iran's revolutionar- ies, and reportedly used his previous positions to supply fake Venezuelan passports to Syrian terrorists and drug smugglers. These and other examples show how Iran views Latin America as a target-rich region for its revolution and should send red flags through- out the hemisphere. Argentina and the United States can benefit from les- sons learned from Nisman's work. First, Iran reportedly con- tinues to seek the removal of the AMIA-related red notices. While Argentina must take the lead, the U.S. should support the effort to ensure the red notices are renewed by Interpol when they are up for review in November. There should be no statute of limitations on murder. Second, the U.S. should support a transparent inves- tigation into Nisman's death. In addition to recent death threats to the prosecutor in- vestigating Nisman's apparent assassination, the crime scene has been compromised. More- over, there has been evidence tampering in both the murder case and the AMIA investiga- tion itself. Macri should have a zero-tolerance policy for this scheme and punish those who have engaged in it. Tehran's Argentine agents, such as those heard on the wiretaps, have not been tried or punished. Presumably their nefarious activities continue unfettered. Argentina should monitor their activities and hold them accountable. Finally, the U.S. govern- ment should update the report mandated by the Countering Iran in the Western Hemi- sphere Act of 2012. General John Kelly, the nominee to be- come the head of the Depart- ment of Homeland Security, understands the challenge and noted that"Iran is willing to leverage criminal groups to carry out its objectives in the U.S. homeland." Along with ensuring an impartial examination of his final investigation, heeding the lessons from Nisman's lifelong work will be a criti- cal element of our national security. Toby Dershowitz is vice president for government relations and strategy at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Gardner Lange is her research assistant. )ump