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January 31, 2014

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PAGE 4A The Good 0000JTord By David Bornetein A mother's words I've written many times about my mother. My mother who lived alone. My mother who taught me to love literature, my community, and myself. My mother who taught me to give back far more than I received. My brilliant, independent mother. But I've never written about her voice. About how she spoke, how she wrote, the words she lived by. And they were magnificent words. I have waited, months after her death, to write about her. It's because of the difficulty that words have to truly encompass someone as large, as flamboyant, as full of life as my mother. And so I think it best to let her words speak for her, as she regularly spoke to me. She was amazing, giving--sometimes to a fault, or at the very least, to a level so abundant, so over the top, that you wondered if it was Shipley speaks Jim Shipley A war with no end I guess we could blame it on Mohammed's lawyer. Apparently he never got Mohammed to write a will. As a result there was no clear heir to the throne of Islam. None of his sons made it to adulthood. So, some of his follow- ers chose a relative, Ali, to be The Man while others went with a follower named Abu Bakr. Now, this is a very overly simplified explana- tion of why today there is the schism between Sunnis (Abu Bakr) and Shiites (Ali). Fights within the family are one thing. But the two wings of the Islamic religion have been fight- ing and killing each other over this dispute for centuries. The split was exploited by the British and the French in World War I. They had promised Arabia all the vast lands of the Arab multitudes to Clan leader Abdullah, if he would only help them whip the Turks and the Germans. Well, the Brits lied. The Allies won the war and promptly whacked up the Middle East between France and England. They created nations on paper that in practice have never worked because of the nature of the native population. Not that this ever seemed to bother colonial powers in Africa, Asia or the Middle East. It was only a matter of time that the glue holding these false nations together would split. The basicArab history and heritage is like this: Me against my brother, my brother and I against my cousin, the three of us against you. This was the reason for the Iraq (Sunni) and Iran (Shiite) war. It is the real reason a civil protest and political movement has now escalated to the death of over one hundred thousand Syrians. It is a conflict, it should be obvious after over a thousand years, that has no end. It is probably the reason that true democracy has had a very hard time in every Muslim country. And of course, the Jews have their country right in the middle of the most incendiary region for this'ongoing conflict. Israel actu- ally benefited from the strong leaders holding the Arab countries together. The thing about dictators is thatwhile a benevolent despot is an oxymoron, those guys kept the lid on outright rebellion by whichever faction felt disrespected for a long time in that region. No more. The dictators are gone and in their place there is a violent vacuum. The Arab spring was like the real spring in Orlando--about three weeks in duration. Then the regular fissures in Arab culture began to boil over. So, you have an election in Egypt overthrown by the military. Tunisia, where it all started, is still in turmoil. Syria is between a mess and a failed State. Libya the same. Beneath all the rhetoric, the posturing and the blind hopes of the peaceful, it is the same war over and over and over again. Whether any of the various factions in Syria are able to declare a short victory, the real war starts when Assad finally leaves. While the Palestinians have always had a reputation of secular distance from the Shiite/ Sunni thing--look what has happened in Gaza to the south of Israel. Hamas is in control. They are Sunni. To the north in Lebanon there is Hezbollah. They are Shiite. The major backer of Shiite terror is Iran. The major backer of Sunni terror is Saudi Arabia. This is a tough time for Israel to think about any kind of final agreement that would create a Palestinian state. Where would loyalties lie? No, they could not avoid the firestorm blazing around them. They would have to pick sides or be torn apart in yet another internecine conflict-- with whom would they side? With whom would they make alliances? Either way, the other side would not stand for it. So, as reported in the New York Times, it is "Castle Time" in Israel. Time to widen the moat, strengthen the military and hope the moat and the threat of Israel's military superiority keeps the barbarians away from the gate. This has been building since the Europeans created the problem in their thirst for oil in 1918. But this has gone far beyond a dubious future asset under certainly false borders. The age-old hatreds have surfaced. A people who left the civilized world during the Industrial Revolution are coping with a new world and old conflicts. Israel must be a bastion of strength during this storm of unknown length. If the U.S. is to be their strongest ally, the time is near when that alliance will be tested as never before. There is no reason to believe that Iran will give up its nuclear ambitions. Not when the fires of Afghanistan and Pakistan and the money from the Saudis are all in play. America and Israel may be the rallying call of"The great and lesser Satan"--but the real conflict is within and the hatred that boils over could consume us all. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT.   CENTRAL FLORIDA'S INDEPENDENT JEWISH VOICE   ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 43 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor Assistant Editor Gene Starn Kim Fischer Chris DeSouza HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721) is published weekly for $37.95 per year to Florida ad- Society Editor Bookkeeping dresses ($46.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Central Florida Jewish News, Inc., 207 O'Brien Road, Suite 101, Fern Park, FL 32730. Periodicals postage Account Executives paid at Fern Park and additional mailing offices. Barbara do Carmo * Marci Gaeser POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box 309742, Contributing Columnists Fern Park, FL 32730. Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky David Bornstein 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 Joyce Gore emaih Elaine Schooping Gil Dombrosky HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 31, 2014 real. But it was. It was who she was. When she wrote holiday cards to my children she told my oldest, "I love you, my darling, with my heart and soul. Please believe me when I say I want to be there for you whenever you need me." For my daughter she picked a card with horses on the front, and she told her that, "you light up a room with your beautiful smile and gorgeous eyes." And to my youngest she wrote, "I hope you will enjoy this Chanukah joyously. I love love love love you and even more where that came from." Could any gift be greater than a grand- mother's loving words? When I stood at the end of her hospital bed, hours before she passed away, she looked at me, as I had tears in my eyes, and smiled and told me that's how I've always been, ever since I was a child--that I always cried at goodbyes. And she assured me that everything was OK, Which of course made me cry even more as I told her that here she was, in a hospital, and she was taking care of me. It's always a tragedy when you lose a fam- ily member, a terrible one when a child dies before a parent, and my mother had to deal with that when my brother Ray died seven years ago. But when you lose your last par- ent your world suddenly changes. You're no longer a child in anyone's eyes. The safety net of uncontested, undeniable, constant love is gone. Even though there is no real safety net, for love is only modest protection from the hardships of life, all of a sudden some- thing you counted on, something you relied on without ever thinking of it consciously is gone forever. The person you could always go to is gone. The one person who, in your mind if not in reality was always there to save you is gone. There's no one left who will always say, David, have you lost weight? David, my handsome son. David, have I told you today how much I love you? I miss her presence on Shabbat and family dinners on Sunday. I missed her voice this past Thanksgivukah. But mostly I miss her words, the words I'll never hear again, that are only left to me and those who knew her in memory, in the recesses of our minds. Shortly after my father died, he was post- humously honored by Israel Bonds. When my mother spoke at the event, she said, "Memory is a singularly free agent--not bound by time or space, it has a will of its own, and I have often been vividly reminded of events, which occurred long ago, with a clarity and a sharp- ness that makes them seem more like recent experiences. It is no small gift--this gift of memory--and we hope we leave behind, to be remembered and to be followed, our footsteps." I hear her footsteps even now, and all the words I knew she'd say, filled with a mother's love. And that's the good word. Send your thoughts, comments, and critiques to the Heritage or email dsb328@ Letter from Israel Lansky and Pollard00good Americans, good Zionists? By Ira Sharkansky Meyer Lansky and Jonathan Pollard are both significant for what they say about US- Israel relations. Lansky was a gangster, a good American, and a good Zionist. He worked his underworld connections in behalf of U.S. efforts in World War II, the movement of refugees from Europe to Israel, and arms shipments to Israel at a crucial time. Israelis quarrel as to whether the country should have given in to U.S. demands to extradite him, despite claims of achieving sanctuary in Israel under the Law of Return, but we've pretty much stopped arguing about him since he died in 1983. Pollard is still an issue, with enough ele- ments in his story to keep us arguing for however many years he will be in an Ameri- can prison. None of the allegations rest on hard in- formation available to the public. As ever, unverified assertions and ambiguities do not lessen the enthusiasm of activists. What did he supply to Israel, and how im- portant was it for what Israel was able to do? Who violated the plea bargain, which was supposed to provide him with limited jail time? Was it first Pollard, who granted interviews in violation of the gag order he had agreed to, or was the principal actor Caspar Weinberger, said to be aiming for Pollard out of insecurity about his own Jewish background? How stable was Pollard? Should he have been identified as a ticking bomb with un- usual loyalties to Israel, and removed from his position with access to sensitive materials? Perhaps his superiors should be serving as much prison time as he. (The same argument could be made about those who continued the employment of Mordecai Vanunu, up to the time that the oddly behaving individual photographed the interior of the Dimona nuclear facility and sold the pictures to a British newspaper.) Did Israel abandon Pollard in his time of need, when he was refused entry to the Israeli Embassy, which would have provided him at least temporary refuge from arrest? How hard have Israeli officials pressed the Americans over the years to release him? Has he served enough time, given how others have been treated for similar or more severe infractions? Has he hurt American Jews via the issue of dual loyalties, and is it on account of this that there are American Jews who express a lack of interest in his fate, or oppose freeing him? Israelis are also divided about him. While many believe that he has been punished enough, some do not want him here as the darling of the nationalist and religious right, likely to lionize him for breaking the law of the United States for the sake of Israel and the Jewish people. The stories of both Lansky and Pollard speak to the differential weight of US and Israel, and to what extent Israel must remain the lackey of the U.S. on issues of mutual interest. Currently Israeli government ministers are talking about trading progress with Palestine for Pollard's freedom. Other Israelis doubt that their country has the weight to offer such conditions to our great power ally. Some do not think Pollard's freedom is worth the cost to our security of making concessions to the Palestinians. It is common to hear about the U.S. ap- plying undesirable policies toward Israel, in keeping Pollard locked up, supporting the Palestinians on issues of settlement, and caving in to a duplicitous Iran. Perhaps now is the time tell the US to shove it, go our own against the Iranian nuclear threat, and stop conversations with Palestinians that seem to be going nowhere. Publicity that the U.S. was tapping into the emails of Israeli leaders has provoked this uptick in noise about Pollard, on the theme that if they spy on us we should be able to spy on them. The U.S. rented a high priced fiat whose windows were directly opposite those of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's apartment. Ostensibly, the fiat was to house a Marine posted at the U.S. Embassy, but skeptics doubt that a Marine would get such pricey quarters. More likely it was meant to listen to what was being said in Barak's fiat, by means of laser devices that could get sound from the tiny vibrations of Barak's windows. "So what" may be the most appropriate bottom line. It's likely that each of us spy on the other. Pollard's problem was being bla- tant about his Israeli loyalties, spying from within the U.S. defense establishment, and getting caught. No longer are American Jews in the Foreign Service limited to non-Israel postings, with nothing closer than Turkey, Egypt, or Cyprus available to them. Several American Jews (and one Australian-American Jew) have served as US ambassadors to Israel, and have spoken in Hebrew to Israeli audiences. Other Jews are posted to the Embassy in Tel Aviv. Yet issues of Jewish identity and US policy toward Israel remain intertwined, and sensitive. Jerusalem is not Israeli according to the U.S. State Department. The Consulate is ori- ented to the West Bank, and is heavily staffed with local Palestinians. Jews who live in the Sharkansky on page 15A