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February 14, 2003

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JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 14, 2003 - . ~. PAGE ,~ Jewish News I don't like I do like him. As a him as however. job being a the wake of Sept. 11. right things at the rightway. no small thing and I am very And very envious hat I wish Ariel Sharon have managed, some- the last two years, to one inspiring thing, that would make us hard times going through, feel feel led. 11 saved Bush's presi- that otherwise his in the polls at this has done nothing to People in these tough times, done noth- more and more cuts to those who need least. He's turned has squan- the surplus left him by president, Bill eft office, we ,target to totally erase debt in 2012, and to have a sur- trillion dollars. of all the good that e with that money in terms of care and job training up our cities and lg life better for all on Bush's agenda after five tax basically blew the sur- yes, I know that changed everything, lots of expenses we Is precisely why not urplus. If you got a five trillion dollar rainy day had heard of just a year before also must admit that the idea fundandSept. 11comesalong, and who had a rather check- of transforming the Middle you can devote a chunk of it to ered personal history. East is one I find very appeal- things you didn't knowyou'd President Bush's son, ing.BecauseIthinknoneofus have to spend money on with- George, had until this time will rest easy, especially those out being forced to gut essen- pretty much been a party guy. of us who love Israel, unless tial programs. He drank too much, failed at there is a big change in the ButbecauseBushgaveaway every business he had ever entire neighborhood. so much in tax cuts before tried, got to run a baseball Iverymuchbelievethatway Sept. 11, we were caught with team because his father was too many of us, especially too our pants down economically, president. He had never held many of my fellow leftists, too too and are suffering for it and any elected office of any kind. much coddle the Muslim will suffer more and more for If I had said to you the day world. The fact is that the Arab it. And yet what's his newpre- after Election Day 1992 that world is a stinking cesspool, scription for the economy? Yet George thesonwould be presi- full of hate and discrimination more tax cuts for the already dent of the United States in andsickness.Itisaplacewhere well to do. but eight years, no one would there is no freedom of speech We'd all be very down on have believed it. orthepressorthought, aplace him for all he has done and Including him. Which iswhere there is no acceptance hasn't done, ifnotforSept. 11, whythefactthathewaselected of modernity, where women which has obscured the mess and the unprecedented, bi- are repressed, where anti- he's made. zarre way in which he was Semitismiswidespread, where And yet, having said all that, elected, all told George, in his terrorism is encouraged and feeling as I do, I must admit heart and soul, that a higher nurtured. I'm with W. all the way on his force was at work here. Add It is a region much in need going to war with Iraq. Even Sept. 11, and I believe he sees of change, for its own people, though I like only one of the himself as anointed to do a wh0suffer terribly, and forall two reasons that I believe are great thing, theworld'speople, becausethe at his core, are his main moti- I believe for Bush this is all Arab world doesn't deal with vating factors for going after much less about Iraq and itssufferingconstructivelybut Saddam. much more about transform- by lashing out, hurting oth- The first thing in W.'s ing the Middle East, ending ers. kishkes is the daddy factor. I the old ways, bringingdemoc- And yet, the United States believe that, subconsciously, racy to a region that has never of America, the world's bea- a lot of this is about redeem- known it, transforming it and con of democracy and free- ing his father's legacy. W as so changing the world, dom and human rights, has do all of us, know Bush One Bush One presided over the shamefully been abetting blew it by not finishing off end of the Cold war, ending those who are running the Saddam when he could have Communism, liberating Eu- whole stinking show. The easily done so in 1991. That's rope. Bush Two sees it as his Saudi royal family is one of the a blemish Bush Two wants job to do for the Middle East most repulsive governments desperatelytoerase.Especially what Bush One did for Eu- on earth and yet we are its because he knows that if, in a rope. With the stakes being friends, invite its head to the few years, Saddam does have even higher, the significance xanch in Crawford for barbe- nuclear weapons, the Bush even greater, in that the Middle cue. Onemistakewillbeevenmore East is the birthplace of the Egypt's'Mubarak has done horrendous. And so Bush Two world's three great religions, nothing constructive for the sees it as his duty to save Bush includes Jerusalem and peace process, abuses'hisown One's place in history by do- Bethlehem and Mecca, is the people, breeds terrorists, fo- ing the job his dad foolishly hometown of Mosesand Jesus ments anti-Semitism, and yet didn't, and Mohammed. we always run to him for ad- The second motivating fac- Iraq is the first piece be- vice, give him more foreign tot for Bush is, I believe, that causeitistheplacethataiiows aideachyearthananyoneelse. he sees it as his destiny to Bush to both fix his father's The Arab Middle East must remake the world. Yes, you booboo and begin his own his- change and the sooner the read right, remake the world, toric mission, because it pre- better.Clearlythatchangewill Consider this if you will. sents the opportunity to de- not come from within. They The year is 1992. George H.W. feat a man of evil. can't or they won't.And so it is Bush has just been defeated I believe ali that is in Bush's up to this country to make it for re-election by the gover- head and I must admit it all nor of Arkansas who no one sort of creeps me out. But I See "Aaron" on page 19 ation of yet another terrorist team was all "process", and ister, and hopefully, after tak- state is a far more laudable little peace. What we have ing care of business in Iraq Post is goal than eliminating a ruth- now, despite the same old our president will heed fan of George W.less tyrant posing a threat to State Department policy of Sharon's advice despite the nor for that matter of world peace, appeasing"friendly"Arab gov- wishes of his wonderful Euro- s. So when Here in Washington, the ernments, is a White House pean, Russian, andUN friends headline last Post has for a long time been (including a vice president who have been so supportive running an ad - "if you don't and a national security advi- of his efforts to go after on Policy," it get it," that is, the Washing- sor) that not only has seen Saddam. not meant to be in ton Post - "you don't get it." through Saddam's bluff and If one thinks about it, the Our 43rd President. Well, it is abundantly clear by bluster- but that recognizes genesis of the article could [e the thought must nowthatthePost'seditorsand the same ignoble "qualities" have been the president's the hearts of writers still don't will never in YasserArafat. single reference in his State Israel's supporters, "get it" when it comes to un- Surely the White House of the Union address where derstanding the Middle East must be aware of the rallies in he spoke of his goal of"a se- - it should onlyand Israel. Ramallah and Gaza this past cure Israel and a democratic can always be room To disparage an American weekendinsupportofSaddam Palestine." Again, we should presidentforhavingcloseties Hussein. So why is it so news- say"halevai" here - not only message here is with the only true democracy worthy that two nations who because a secure Israel is a ctualstate in a hostile region is to stand share common values, inter- goal shared by both Israeland el- logiconitshead.ButthePost, ests - and also enemies, would America, but because com- withitslong- too clever by half - specifi- work closely together? Why mon sense dictates that in view that cally cites Bushand Sharon, shouldthisbesuchananomaly the foreseeable future "a ddle East's as individuals, not as the US to thePost? The real answer is democratic Palestine" is not Is the Arab,Israeli and Israel. The Post would thatthiskindofstoryfitsweli going to happen. And in the obviously prefer that Bush with the Post's long history of long run if it happens, we former Clinton foilowinthestepsofhisillus- Israel-bashingeditorially, and should all live so long. So Security Advisor, trious predecessor at 1600 pro-Arab slant in its news sto- untilthen, havingaU.S. Presi- with his criti- Pennsylvania Avenue who re- ries. dent speaking about Israel's for seeing ceivedYasserArafat, the god- The Post's article on the security is most welcome. :centraichallenge" father of modern terrorism, Bush-Sharon love fest con- This is especially significant "the Arab- at the White House more of- . cludes with what the writer because this president seems ten than any other foreign undoubtedly intended as a willing to act on the basis of is meant when personage. (The description damning indictment of his stated beliefs. In other the "leader" or "dignitary" here Sharon, by quoting his corn- words he means what he says. in the would be totally inappropri- ment on the "roadmap" -And again we shoud say, ineffect ate.) What we got from "don't take it seriously." halevai! ying that pressing Clinton and his well meaning Actually this is sound ad- Morrie Amitay is a former 'x.ade to,the cre, :but hopelessly aive ,peace,vice,from Israel's prime rain: Ass E o-r ffrc ATt Ol',J Guy ulflO "T E % A I> HAS Noua E:EAC E-D Rabbinical Thoughts Jewish intellectuals evaluate the meaning of Jerusalem By Rabbi RJ. Adler Some time ago a number of writers and leaders were asked to write essays on the topic of Jerusalem and the Jewish people. It was interesting read- ing and I do want to share some highlights with you. As you will see, some stressed history oth- ers religion or nationalism but all looked at the future. No two people see Jerusalem quite the same way. The Jews preserved Jerusa- lem as a memory, the nurtur- ing of that memory kept our people alive. There is an earthly and a heavenly Jerusalem. Ac- cording to tradition, one is filled with memories of lamentation and mourning, that other is in- tangible, promising peace and harmony. The two meet in those who place their faith and fervor in memory. Elie Wiesel wrote about Jerusalem in 1967, when it was liberated by the Israeli army and reunited, "The entire nation danced, Jewish history danced." Long before that, Maimonides said abut Jerusa- lem, that it is the central home of the Divine, the Divine pres- ence can never be banished or destroyed. Jerusalem remains for every Israeli and Jew part of God's promise and a link to the mystery of Jewish existence. Teddy Kollek, mayor of Jerusalem for 28 years, calls Jerusalem a mixed city. There are Jews from 104differentback- grounds, 40 Christian denomi- nations in addition toArabs and Kurds.When they meet in parks, playgrounds, and zoos all get along. In 1930, there were 93,000 people living in Jerusa- lem with Jews making up 54,000. In 1995, there were 633,000 inhabitants with two thirds Jewish. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the American Re- form Congregations wrote, "It is Jerusalem that reminds us that humanity through c rrupt' is redeemable, and that our des- tination is the messianic age. It is Jerusalem thatassures us that a fragment of the Shechir ah, the Divine Presence, dwells in absence of Jerusalem there is no Jewish faith and no Jewish future. There will be no peace between Israelis and Palestin- ianswithout understandingthe power of this bond." The Moslem Professor, Dr. Palozzi, quotes the Quran (Sura 5, 22) to stress the importance of Jerusalemand the Holy Lands to the Jews. It says there, "O my people, will enter the Holy Land which God has assigned to you, turn not back ignominiously for then will you be overthrown to your own ruin." Dwell secure in the PrQmised Land. (Sura 17, 104) Jerusalem has the same role for Jews as Mecca for the Muslims, Professor Paiozzi maintains. Shimon Peres holds that Ju- daism is both a religious faith and a national identity, and Jerusalem clearly symbolizes this connection. It is a political capital and a spiritual center and this is an organic and per- manent synthesis, not a passing mixture. There is no other city that has known so much light and so many shadows. Jerusa- lem is a book of prayers not a catalogue of hatred. Jerusalem is the Capitol of peace the Capi- tol of the World. This story is told about Napo- leon passing by a synagogue on Tisha B'Av, watching Jews mourning the destruction of Jerusalem when he remarked; "I vow that this people is des- tined for a successful future in its own land, for where can we find a single other people which kept alive similar mourningand hope for thousands of years?" Finally, there is Dennis Prager, a distinguished American Jew- ish scholar who replies to our question about the importance of Jerusalem as follows, '%Ve have given Jerusalem to the world, Jews and our Bible de- clared Jerusalem holy and much of humanity has decided that this is true. Jerusalem is holiest city in the holiest land. Jerusa- lem is spiritual; its effect on the Jewish soul is deep, constant, eternal and transforming. Jerusalem is the center of our spiritual collective conscious-