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

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PAGE 8A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 27, 2017 By Stephen M. Flatow Hearing complaints about stopped," Horowitz reported. Israeli checkpoints that sup- Next he decided to see posedlyrestrictthemovement what it's like for Palestinians Remember John Howard of ArabsinJudeaandSamaria, crossing at the checkpoints Griffin's 1961 book "Black filmmaker Ami Horowitz of that separate Israel from Pal- Like Me," about a white Fox News decided to see for estinianAuthority-controlled journalist who posed as an himself. He hired a Palestin- areas. African-American in order to ian driver and, traveling in a One was the Kalandia experience what life was like car with Palestinian license checkpoint. It's the last de- for blacks in the South? An plates, they drove "through- fense line for Jerusalem--the American journalist recently outtheWestBank."Howoften final point at which Israeli undertook a Palestinian ver- did Israeli troops interrupt soldiers can check to make sion of that experiment, theirjourney?"Wewerenever sure that Palestinians are A Chanukah Challah On Dec. 23, 2016, Congregation Ohr Chayim had their Chanukah dinner with songs and prayers at Providence Independence, and a beautiful Challah was made by Rabbi Arthur Grae in the shape of a Chanukah menorah. Elaine Grae is shown here with the Challah. There were 25 attendees and everyone had a great time. The next event will be Congregation Ohr Chayim's Tu B'Shevat Seder on Friday, Feb. 10. Services this year will be held on the first and fourth Fridays of the month. not smuggling bombs, guns or knives into Israel's capital. One would expect there to be long lines and complicated searches that would make the lives of Palestinian travelers difficult. But that wasn't the case at all. Horowitz asked three dif- ferent Palestinians at the Kalandia checkpoint how long it takes them to get through on a typical day. All three said, "10 minutes." One, in fact, told Horowitz that the time "the soldier checks my ID or my work permit is just one minute." The allegation that Pales- tinians are unfairly restricted by the checkpoints is circu- lated regularly by the United Nations, much of the interna- tional news media and J Street types. It is an accusation that has been embraced even by the U.S. State Department. For- mer Secretary of State John Kerry, in his infamous Dec. 28 speech, declared that the Palestinians in the disputed territories "are restricted in their daily movements by a web of checkpoints and unable to travel into or out of the West Bank without a permit from the Israelis." Yet you could say the exact same thing about Americans. We are restricted by security checkpoints in every airport, every courthouse and count- less office buildings through- out the country. We have to empty our pockets, take off our coats, turn our laptops on and off, sometimes remove our shoes, throw out our bottles of water, and submit Palestinians cross the Kalandia checkpoint on their way into Jerusalem June 10, 2016. to body scans and searches, checkpoints." They "are gen- among other things. And we erally open for Palestinians to can't travel across America's crosswithoutbeingchecked." border without a permit-- Israelisecurityforcesarepres- known as a passport--from entonly"sometimes." I would the U.S. government, say they hardly even qualify as How many of those awful "checkpoints." security checkpoints does Every year, there are hun- the Israeli military actually dreds ofattemptsby Palestin- maintain? Lookat the website ians to smuggle weapons into of the extreme left-wing group Israel. The last year for which B'Tselem, aleadingcriticofIs- I could find that statistic was rael. It statesthatthe military 2012, when there were 475 "currently operates 27perma- such smuggling attempts. nent, staffed checkpoints in So: A 10-minute delay for the West Bank." Palestinians versus 475 ter- Twenty-seven--inaregion rorist attacks against Israel. of more than 2,000 square Is that a justified trade-off? miles. And 26 of the 27 are You decide. situatedattheborderbetween Stephen M. Flatow, a vice Israelandthedisputedterrito- president of the Religious ries. What sovereign country Zionists of America, is an does not have checkpoints at attorney in New Jersey. He its border? is the father of Alisa Flatow, According to B'Tselem, the who was murdered in an Israeli military also operates Iranian-sponsored Palestin- 16 "temporarily manned ian terrorist attack in 1995.