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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 31, 2014 PAGE 15 Japanese From page 2A according to Ronald Leopold, director of Amsterdam's Anne Frank House. In his book, Lewkowicz juxtaposes Japan's Anne Frank fascination with what he and many others consider Japan's failure to fully acknowledge the ac- tions of Japanese troops in areas they occupied in China and Korea. "The Anne Frank-Japan connection is based on a kin- ship of victims," Lewkowicz said. "The Japanese perceive themselves as such because of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They don't think of the count- less Anne Franks their troops created in Korea and China during the same years," In Korea, Japanese troops organized the rape of thou- sands of enslaved Korean women who were known as "comfort women." They also perpetrated mass killings of Chinese civilians. Japan apologized in 1993 to Korea and again in 1995 for having "caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations." But many consider the apology insufficient and insincere, citing the absence of reference to war crimes and repeated visits by Japanese leaders to shrines honoring some of the worst perpetra- tors. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit last month to one such shrine sparked strongly worded condemna- tions from the Chinese gov- ernment. Otsuka says his museum is limited to the Holocaust and that other war crimes are not part of its scope. But he notes that the institution's mission statement extended to "deep- ening the understandings of the period and helping to enhance awareness for world peace among young people." Despite this, Lewkowicz says that Otsuka is quietly working to raise awareness of the divisive issue of Japan's wartime record. "Don't expect Otsuka to advocate adding the issue of Japanese war crimes to the national curriculum," Lewko wicz said. "Japan is not ready It may seem from the outside like an ultra-liberal society. but this is a false impression.' Still, he said, "Slowly, bit by bit, Otsuka and other like- minded people are raising questions and telling people, also through the Anne Frank story, that some of what Japan did in those years is pretty much comparable." AIPAC From page 2A histories of closeness to the pro-Israel community. Non-Jewish lawmakers tend to take their cues on Israel-related issues from their Jewish colleagues--a common template with law- makers from other communi- ties-and this is no different, the source said. AIPAC's determined push on sanctions is drawing some anger from Democrats. A number of party insiders say that staffers on Capitol Hill are referring openly to AIPAC as an antagonist on the Iran issue in private conversations. "Now it just looks like AIPAC is backing a partisan bill rather than pushing a bipartisan policy to stop Iran," said a former Democratic Hill staffer who deals in Middle Eastern issues and, like many others, asked not to be iden- tified because of the issue's sensitivity. AIPAC's efforts have spurred surprisingly blunt criticism from sources that are more known for cau- Sharkansky From page 4A area of Jerusalem must use the Consulate for whatever business they have with the US Government. Some bridle at staff members who speak Arabic to Arabs, but only English to Jews, and claim to suffer from poor service. Most likely there are higher proportions of American Jews working in medicine, law, other sciences, and business than in sensitive govern- ment positions. However, we hear that Jews in the State Department, CIA, and other sensitive organizations feel threatened, or at least under watch, especially when the issue of Pollard surfaces. Jews wanting the serve the United States worry about suspicions that at least some of their Cohen From page 5A entitled to clemency, given that he didn't kill or harm anyone, and that the Cold War is long over (compare that with Israel's decision to release nuclearwhistleblower Mordechai Vanunu after he served an 18 year sentence). It's therefore difficult to disagree with Tablet maga- zine's courageous assertion Poverty From page 8A their community by ensur- ing Jewish school scholar- ships as well as subsidized Jewish community activities and holiday celebrations. That's important because there is a limit to what gov- tion on such matters. The new director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, Rabbi Jack Moline, earlier this month in an interview with JTAaccused AIPAC activists of using "strong-arm" tactics on uncommitted senators. Douglas Bloomfield, who served as AIPAC's legislative director in the 1980s and is now frequently critical of the group, warned that with most Democrats inclined to back Obama on this issue, the confrontational posture taken by AIPAC could wound its reputation down the road. "There could be repercus- sions across the board with a lot of members of Congress the next time they say they want them to go to the bar- ricades," he said. AIPAC already is taking some high-profile hits on TV, with liberal commentators accusing the lobby of trying to scuttle a diplomatic settle- ment with Iran. "The senators from the great state oflsrael are against it," comedian Jon Stewart said last week on "The Daily Show,"accompanied by a graphic of a map of Israel emblazoned with the AIPAC logo. MSNBC host Chris Hayes said the 16 Democratic sena- tors backing the sanctions bill are "afraid" of AIPAC. Rosen said that such ex- posure, while irritating to AIPAC, would not be a factor in getting the lobby to shift course. More serious would be calls from donors to the group who have ties to Democrats. AIPAC's reputation as having bipartisan support--a critical element of its influence-- could be put at risk. "AIPAC puts a premium on bipartisan consensus and maintaining communication with the White House," said Rosen, who was fired by AIPAC in 2005 after being investi- gated in a government leak probe, though the resulting charges were dismissed and he later sued AIPAC unsuc- cessfully for damages. Rosen noted AIPAC's forth- coming policy conference in March; such conferences routinely feature a top ad- ministration official --the president or vice president, the secretary of state or de- fense. At least one of these failing to appear "would be devastating to AIPAC's image of bipartisanship," he said. A way out for the group would be to quietly negotiate a compromise behind the scenes with the White House, Rosen said. "They don't want to be seen as backing down," he said of his former employer, "but the White House is good at help- ing people backing downwith- out seeming to back down." AIPAC hardly stands alone in advocating the sanctions, said an official from another Jewish group, noting that support for the bill spanned the breadth of the community from the right-wing Zionist Organization of America to the consensus-oriented Jew- ish Council for Public Affairs. None of these groups, includ- ing AIPAC, wanted a confron- tation, the official said. "It's awkward, and the pro- Israel organizations have been looking for a way to climb down from this question," said loyalties are elsewhere. My own career in such matters is limited in the extreme, but years ago, when still more an American than an Israeli, and when travel- ing for what was then called the US Information Agency, I encountered officers who pushed me to talk about Israel in places that had no Israeli contacts, then officers who criticized me for talking about Israel. On another oc- casion, I was asked to pres- ent a bit of my research for a gathering of academics sponsored by the CIA, but which would not be known as such. The meeting took place in Washington, and included other American- Israeli and American Jewish academics, and a number of Jews associated with the State Department, CIA, and perhaps other bodies. The papers and discussions were academic, without any politi- cal or security implications that were apparent to me. Perhaps they were meant only to supplement the officials' knowledge of what makes Israel tick. The publication that re- sulted may have gotten some academic credit for the American professors who organized the meeting, but showed no indication of its sponsorship. Among the things we now quarrel about is the innocence, naivete, or good intentions of Barack Obama, John Kerry, and other leading Americans, along with the Jews who applaud them. Are their pressures on Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate wise or foolish? Are they doing the best the can in the context of lingering disputes, where the dynam- ics of Palestinian and Israeli culture and politics keep the parties themselves from reaching accommodations? Or have the parties already reached by themselves the only accommodation likely, manifest in the status quo? By this view, outside pressure to do more provokes Palestinian extremists, whose violence leads Israelis to dig in their heels and say, "Screw them," meaning Americans as well as Palestinians. Ira Sharkansky is a pro- fessor (Emeritus) of the Department of Political Sci- ence, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. that "in order to cover their own incredibly damaging mistakes and failures, the national security establish- ment is keeping Pollard in prison on the apparent grounds that Jews are espe- cially prone to disloyalty." As the magazine goes on to point out, what's involved here is "a real injustice whose perpetuation is clearly intended to suggest that all American Jews are, inher- ently, potential traitors to their country." Separately, all these three examples are alarm- ing enough. Taken togeth- er, they demonstrate that American public discourse about the Middle East is much more receptive to ideas that we thought had been discredited by history. That's why, when the next instance of Iranian nuclear duplicity surfaces, get ready for the chorus proclaiming that it's all the fault of Israel and its supporters. Ben Cohen is the Shill- man Analyst for JNS.org. His writings on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics have been published in Com- mentary, the New York Post, Ha'aretz, Jewish Ideas Daily and many other publications. ernments can usefully do. Government aid necessarily flows from the top downwards. So we invert that process, by putting resources into communities and developing local leaders to manage them. That's the advantage of a localized approach: you pro- vide assistance to a group that's large enough to have meaningful impact, yet small enough for every member to they have a stake in the future. We know this work will not fend off the Eurozone's economic troubles, but it's a model that ensures that Jewish communities--es- pecially vulnerable in times of economic decline--are a source of support and comfort to their people in a critical time of need. Alan H. Gill is the CEO of the American Jewish Joint Distri- bution Committee (JDC). the official, who asked not to be identified. However, the official said, the Obama administration has taken a confrontational approach. The official cited a pointed remark by National Security Council spokeswom- an Bernadette Meehan who suggested earlier this month that congressional backers of the sanctions legislation actu- ally favor war with Iran and "should be up front with the American public and say so." "There seems to be a con- certed effort by the White House to say we're not going to blink," said the Jewish organizational official. Notably, a top White House official in an off-the-record conference calllast week with Jewish leaders dialed back such accusations, sayingthatbackers and opponents of the bill both wanted a peaceful resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue. Others, however, argue that the conflict with the White House was not necessarily bad for AIPAC. "When they are being at- tacked, they come out on top from a fundraising point of view," said a former AIPAC official speaking on condition of anonymity. An aide to a Republican senator who backs the sanc- tions said that in the long run, AIPAC's better bet was to align itself with Congress rather than the White House. "Congress holds the foreign policy purse," the aide said. "The White House will always have a new occupant. It is less important what the White House thinks of any organiza- tion and far more important what Congress thinks of any organization." Morris Amitay, a former AIPAC executive director, said the lobby's natural approach toward the executive branch was to influence its adversary, Congress. "AIPAC's relationship with the White House has never been kissy-kissy," saidAmitay, who now leads a pro-Israel po- litical action committee. "And if you look at where Congress is today on Israel issues, the peace process, Iran, AIPAC is doing a terrific job." Camp J From page 1A 2011, 2012 or 2013, where they can receive up to $400 off. New campers can re- ceive $100 off. Registration opens at the kickoff event on Sunday, Feb. 2. 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