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February 10, 2017

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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 10, 2017 a mensc By Rabbi Dov Fischer nuance thatwould be uniquely sensitive to the group in question. It did not say "Jewish" in the It turns out, according to today's JTA, that otherwise-meaningfulstatementthatremem- the Holocaust Statement was written--all bered and mourned the loss and suffering of or mostly--by Boris Epshteyn, a strongly the Holocaustvictims.Remember--here, Iam identifying American Jew, of Russian Jewish in Trump's shoes: As a non-Jew who associates ethnicity, who is in the Trump inner circle and the Holocaust with the murder of Six Million who is a descendant of Holocaust survivors. Jews, I took it for granted that the statement I shall now place myself in Trump's place, mourned Jewish Holocaust victims. It never and I invite you to do so. I am a chief execu- occurredto me that it was flawed because it left tire, and I want to issue a statement on Cesar out the word "Jewish." Just as with my other Chavez Day, so I ask a trusted advisor who also two examples: The Cesar Chavez statement is Chicano to handle the statement. Or I ask did not say something that a Chicano would an African American close advisor to draft my expect, or the MLK statement omitted some Martin Luther King Day statement. He or she word that an African American would expect. gives it to me. I read it. It seems very sensitive. Like, I don't know--does the statement have to So I approve it. We issue it to the public, include the phrase "We Shall Overcome"? Or Then it turns out that I did not catch some is it sufficient if it condemns racism, bigotry, By Ben Cohen permitting sharia courts in Canada would have effectively involved legal surrender to a conservative clerical establishment. Homa He came to Canada as a 16-year-old refugee Arjomand, a Canadian-Iranian human rights from Somalia. He's highly regarded across the campaigner, eloquently summarized the Canadian political spectrum. He was just ap- problem as she pushed back against Boyd's pointed as immigration minister in the cabinet recommendations. "Our lawyers are study- of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. ing the decisions of several arbitration cases Now 40 years old, Ahmed Hussen has a and will bring them to court and expose how promising career in front of him. And in these women are victimized by male-dominated polarized, fragmented times, he is exactly the legal decisions based on 6th-century religion kind of public figure we need when it comes and traditions," she said at the time. to clarifying the wider debate about immigra- Eventually, a decision was reached that tionandIslamism, human rightsandnational neatly reflected the dilemma that all liberal security, democracies face when balancing the need to Trudeau, the leader of Canada's Liberal strengthen secularvaluesagainstthedemands Party, has often been lampooned as a kumbaya of a vocal religious minority. Sharia courts do-gooder, devoted to his liberal conscience were not permitted in Ontario, which meant and slow-witted when it comes to recogniz- that other religions were also prevented from ing that fanatics across the world with dia- resolving familydisputesinfaith-basedcourts. metrically opposed views to his are gaining As Fatah tells it, Ahmed Hussen played a strength and power. I will leave it to readers diligent, behind-the-scenes role in this epi- to judge whether any of that criticism is fair, sode. Newly minted as a Liberal Party staffer, but I will say that Trudeau's appointment of he introduced the secularists to prominent Hussen shows aboldness that contrasts mark- Ontario politicians, allowing them to present edly with the approach of former President their case directly. Barack Obama, despite their broadly similar Theimportanceofhavingsome0nelikeHus- worldview, sen countering Islamist encroachment among Obama, remember, regards the word "Is- Muslim communities in the West cannot be lamist" as an insult rather than a descriptor, overstated. As a child, he had seen firsthand But Hussen has a record of actually tackling the horrors of the conflict in Somalia, which Islamism in his own community, engaging in triggered an Islamist surge in that country the kind of political fight that Obama would nearly a decade before the 9/11 atrocities. In most likely have dismissed as a sop to the Canada, he became a community activist, radical, nationalist right, helping to secure $500 million in funds to WritingintheTorontoSun, columnistTarek revitalize the community in which he lived Fatah, a close friend of Hussen's--"though in Toronto. Moving into immigration law was we disagree on much," he noted--related the perhaps the natural next step for him to take. time the two first encountered each other. In Now that he's in Trudeau's cabinet, Hussen 2004, Muslim activists in Ontario launched iswell-positioned to drive home a key message a campaign for the introduction of Islamic that is increasingly being lost in the global sharia law in the province's family courts, agonizing over national security, particularly arguing formally that they simply wanted the in America. Simply put: Islamism and Islam same rights that were granted to the Catholic are distinctive concepts. and Jewish communities under legislation "Distinctive" does not mean, of course, that passed in 1991. they are entirely separate. The imperative of They were supported in this demand by waging jihad in order to impose the rule of Marion Boyd, a former attorney general who shari'a law did not suddenly appear out of authored a report arguing that it was impos- nowhere; rather, that struggle is grounded sible to sustain Catholic and Jewish law-based upon authentic Islamic texts, Islamic laws family courts while denying them to the Mus- and Islamic traditions. The argument over lim community. But Tarek Fatah and others whether Islamic radicalism is a distortion of weren't buying it. Muslim teachings (a default position held by "Opposing them was a much smaller group politicians as diverse as George W. Bush, Tony of secular and liberal Muslims--including BlairandBarackObama)orafaithfulreflection yours truly--for whom this was a do-or-die of them (as argued by nationalists in America moment,"Fatahwrote."WeknewhowtheU.K, and Europe) will continue to rage. had let this happen many years before, only to My own perspective, based on nearly two discover, too late, the Muslim community of decadesofobservingIslamistsandtheirfellow Britain being held hostage by Islamic clerics." For Fatah and his fellow secularists, Cohen on page 15A THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 45 Press Awards E EWISH NEWS 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. MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 emaih Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene Starn Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza Society Editor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Kim Fischer * Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley * Ira Sharkansky David Bomstein * Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman * Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore hate, and division? Well, the Chicano orAfrican made a mistake in a law position that caused Americanwho is so close to me, whose wisdom him a bit of embarrassment. He knew it was and counsel I value, wrote it, and it seemed my mistake, and--oh my!--I knew it even sensitive, so I approved it, and it was issued, more so. He never said a negative word to And now I am under a torrent of criticism me about it. He acted publicly, when others descending on me--from vipers who criticize tittered, as though it had been his error. When my everybreath every day, constantly suspect- I apologized about it later, he made a light ing the most evil of motives no matter what joke about it--"I guess you were spending too I do or say. much time last night studying the Talmud, One choice I have: I can dump on Boris Ep- Rabbi." That was it. Today, 23 years later, I shteyn. I can point fingers at him, blame him, feel such an incredible loyalty to him, as do maybe even force him to apologize publicly, all others who ever worked for him. We love Maybe even fire him. Even publicly, him. We would do anything for him. But that is not Trump's way. That is a leadership style. Not everyone Interestingly, despite Trump's unbelievably agrees with that style--In the large law firms boorish side--as in the debates, horribly so-- where I worked, many nasty partners lived by Trumpcuriouslyhasanotherside:hesomehow an alternative credo that, if you let a subordi- also is an incredible mensch, a really nice guy, nate get away with making any mistake, he or and he rewards loyaltywith loyalty. Remember she will be careless all the time forevermore. how he stood by the speechwriter who gave In the end, for those who are willing to view Melaniathatspeechplagiarized fromMichelle the recent Holocaust Statement Imbroglio Obama? How he stood by Corey Lewandowski without a bias, the disclosure by JTA that Bo- after that incident with the reporter in the ris Epshteyn wrote the Holocaust Statement crowd whom Lewandowski perhaps touched? actually is to Trump's praise. No one has made People expected that speechwriter to be fired; this observation yet. I think it worth noting. she even handed in her resignation. However, He has absorbed the blame and has taken the Trump stood by her. And he has stood by Le- pot shots--particularly from the usual critics wandowski, through and through. Just watch and Democrat Party hacks--for a statement LewandowskitalkaboutTrumponCNNorFox. that one of his Jewish advisors drafted. Trump stands by his people. He will not At least on this one, his critics owe Donald feed his people to the wolves, even when they trump an apology. mess up, even when their error embarrasses RabbiDovFischer, an attorney andadjunct himpersonally, justtoprotecthimself.Hefeels professor of law, is rabbi ofYoung lsrael of Or- he has strong shoulders, and he can carry the angeCountyandholdsandhasheldprominent load, no matter what hits. leadership roles in several national rabbinic Not all executives are like that, but many and other Jewish organizations including believe that you get the best results for the Rabbinical Council of America and Zionist long term when your team knows that the Organization of America. He formerly was boss has their backs as long as they demon- Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review strate loyalty, are well beyond competent, and thereafter clerked for the Hon. Danny J. and as long as they truly do their best. I Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals had that experience with a boss once. I once for the Sixth Circuit. Jewish ex-State Department gang undermines embassy move By Stephen M. Flatow about moving the embassy. The Trump administration must declare "both privately and publicly, that they're not moving [the Someday, perhaps, a team of sociologists embassy] to presuppose the legal status of and psychologists will examine the curious the Old City and east Jerusalem," Makovsky question of why Jewish ex-State Department declared. officials are obsessed with Israel. Until that By "presuppose," Makovsky means that the day comes, though, the rest of us will be stuck U.S. should declare that it is not recognizing having to listen to those officials' relentless "the Old City and east Jerusalem" as belong- harassment of Israel and promotion of the ing to Israel. Palestinian cause. Well, why not? Why shouldn't the U.S. rec- With the issue of moving the American ognize all of Jerusalem as belonging to Israel? embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on the Does Makovsky think that "the Old City and front burner, The New York Times trotted out east Jerusalem" belong to somebody else? two former State Department hands, both Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish Jewish, to pour cold water on the embassy people for more than 3,000 years. It has never relocation idea. been anyone else's capital. Both the Hebrew The officials, Aaron David Miller and David Bible and the Christian Bible define it as a Makovsky, now enjoy well-heeled positions at Jewish city, nobody else's. Judaism's holiest the WoodrowWilsonInternationalCenterand site is in the Old City of Jerusalem. Islam's the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, holiest site is in Saudi Arabia. The Balfour respectively. They are benefiting handsomely Declaration and the League of Nations Man- from the revolving door that shuttles State date for Palestine, which establish the basis Department alumni to nearby think tanks, in international law for the rise of the State where they can spend their days explaining ofIsrael, clearlyincludedJerusalem--eastern how they know what's best for Israel. and western, Old City and new city--as being In an endless stream of media interviews, part of the Jewish homeland. op-eds and insufferable policy papers, Miller, I'm willing to give Makovsky the benefit of Makovsky and the rest never stop reminding thedoubt.I'llassumethathisperspectivemay us that they know more about Middle East have been compromised by all the time he has peace than do Israel's democratically elected spent doing joint speaking appearances with leaders or battle-tested generals,iongtime Palestinian Authority (PA) official The irony is that pretty much any taxi driver Ghaith A1-Omari. Maybe if you spend a lot of in TelAviv understands the Israeli-Palestinian time with a PA spokesman, you start believing situation far better than the self-crowned ex- the PA's insane claims that Jerusalem has been perts at Foggy Bottom, present or past. The only a"Palestinian" city since the beginning of time, thing theStateDepartment'sMideastveterans that the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem never are really experts at, is getting things wrong, existed, and that the Western Wall is really a Just look at their track record: Muslim religious site called the"al-Buraqwall." They said VasserArafat could be trusted the But there's a simple cure for the PA's fake first time around, when the U.S. recognized history and conspiracy theories. All you need the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1988. to do is pick up any mainstream history book They were wrong, about the Middle East to learn the basic facts They saidArafat could be trusted the second about the history andlegal status of Jerusalem. time around, after the 1993 Oslo Accords. They What a shame that David Makovsky, Aaron were wrong. Miller, Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk and the rest They said if Israel stopped building settle- havetraveledsomanythousandsofmilesback ments, therewouldbepeace.Theywerewrong, and forth between the U.S. and the Middle They said if Israel froze construction in East, when all they ever needed to do was to existing settlements, there would be peace, pay a visit to their local library. They were wrong. Stephen M. Flatow, a vice president of the They said if Israel offered the Palestinians a Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney state, therewould be peace. Three Israeli prime inNewJersey.HeisthefatherofAlisaFlatow, ministers heeded that advice. Wrong again, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Now the Jewish Arabists come to warn Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.