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February 14, 2003

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FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 14, 2003 PAGE 13 threats and postponements, pro-lsrael scholar allowed to speak Gladstone (JTA)--The on college campuses far from over, at some are learn- r pro-Pal- Monti=eal's forced Prime Minister admin- at Toronto's York ft action to academic being shut from the Middle East- Association, a center had with- s invitation to Pipes at minute. A faculty withdrew its co- of Pipes' speech. Yorkadmin- pes to doned- court under )ite threats pro fish tank maintenance fresh or salt small & big tanks koi pond maintenance & pond builder fish for sale 7204 Silver Place Winter Park, FL 32792 Get $20.00 off with this ad. roads on campus vhatever else they the event. 100 uniformed, r and mounted po- ildingand Jre police from neighboring . re on standby. demonstra- *t first consisted of participants, but 180, was but always or- later took ce of York's presi- l, for about They left peace- ig assured that Maggio h News Ohio--For the explo- SPace shuttle Co- back painful s of the 1986 Chal- which took native Judith bavid Horowitz, red from Akron's officiated at 'ial service for ue in last Saturday television coy- :explosion and by the fact that memo- remember end- with the the God who in the high peace to this reached out places.' I express that Horowitz. Wise, executive Jewish Com- said raemories of that memories by the ex- Akron's child, 3rial service at in 1986 saddest mo- Marsden would hear their de- mands when she returned from out of town. Fearing a repeat of the Concordia riot, York officials had spent days working out a security plan with police and security experts from the Ca- nadian Jewish Congress, which bore part of the costs. In a report released several weeks ago,Col-!cgrdia officials admitted they had fieen caught off-guard by the September a free expression of their views," Cim Nunn, a univer- sity spokesperson, told JTA. University officials wanted thestrong police presence and "recognized that if they erred, it would be on the side of cau- tion," Nunn said. Some 250 people showed photo IDs and passed through airport-style metal detectors to hear Pipes speak on "Barri- ers to Peace in the Middle East ,' His main thesis was that "We learned our lesson well from Concordia, York would have been a prize for these people. If they had succeeded in shutting down Daniel "Pipes at York University, it would have been open season for shutting down all pro-Israeli speakers at campuses across the country." riot, and hadn't had adequate security precautions for Netanyahu's visit. In addition, more than 100 people signed a December ad in Toronto's Globe and Mail newspaper, claiming that Ca- nadian Jewish students are so traumatized by campus anti- Semitism that they are fright- ened to speak out on behalf of Israel or even Judaism. Others accused the ad's backers of hyperbole. But Ca- nadian university administra- tors now seem willing to err on the side of :aution to en- sure order on campus and pro- tect the free speech of visitors such as Pipes, director of Philadelphia's Middle East Forum think tank and creator of a controversial Web site called Campus Watch. "Our focus was on ensuring that this eve nt took place safely and that members of the York community would be allowed peace initiatives such as Oslo are useless, and indeed dam- aging to Israel, until the Arab world accepts Israel's right to exist. There were about 25 police officers in the room, includ- ing undercover agents in the audience. Attendees were advised that interruptions, questions, heckling or prolonged noise- making would not be toler- ated. As numerous media cam- eras focused on the speaker, two security cameras moni- tored the audience. A minor disruption oc- curred when one student shouted "Racist!" as he and several others began to walk out during the lecture. They were escorted the rest of the way by police. At the end of the half-hour lecture, questions were al- lowed in written form only. "We learned our lesson well ments I can remember. As we left the synagogue, four Air Force fighter jets flew overhead in the missing man's formation - the tradi- tional tribute to a fallen flier. The Columbia explosion, and the loss of Iian Ramon, re- ignites all those emotions," he said. "In 1986, we had personal feelings of loss because we knew Judy and her family. We don't have that same per- sonal connection with Ilan Ramon, but we feel heart- broken for the country of Is- rael. He was the culmination of a dream for Israel, the one bright spot to which people could point. Fourteen astro- nauts have died in U.S. space missions, and of that amount, two were Jewish, which is an amazing number," said Wise. Another Akron rabbi wasn't able to hide his strong personal feelings about the Columbia tragedy. He found out about the tragedy during Shabbat services Saturday morning and broke down in tears while announcing the sad news to his congrega- tion. Students at the community's school, Jerome Lippman Jewish Community Day School, felt the impact in a personal way as well. "The Columbia space shuttle disaster reaches close to home for us. Every year our students participate in a simulated space mission at the Challenger Learning Center in Wheeling, West Virginia, making many of our students intimately familiar with the space shuttle pro- gram," said Sarah Rzepka, director of Hebrew and Judaics. As a result, the school's morning prayer service, last Monday, was devoted to talk- ing about Ilan Ramon, his accomplishments and his Jewish identity. A bulletin board will soon be dedicated to all the Columbia astro- nauts who lost their lives. Ramon and Akron's Resnick will be featured prominently. "In the Jewish religion, each individual's life is im- portant. We want to recog- nize all of the crew's accom- plishments as well as high- lighting ltan Ramon," said Rzepka. Livia Kades, a kindergar- ten teacher at Akron's only Jewish day school, remem- bers Reznick from their days together in Hebrew school at Akron's Beth El Congrega- tion. "Judy was so brilliant. Her death was such a tre- mendous loss to the world. And Saturday's events just brought back all those memories," she said. Meanwhile, the U.S. and Israeli flags flew at half-staff outside the Jerry Shaw Jew- ish Community Center of Akron, home base for Akron's 3,500 Jewish community members. from Concordia," said Bernie Farber, executive director of the Canadian Jewish Congress's Ontario region. "York would have been a prize for these people. If they had succeeded in shutting down Daniel Pipes at York Univer- sity, it would have been open season for shutting down all pro-Israeli speakers at cam- puses across the country." Like their counterparts at other Ca- nadian universities, members of York's Jewish Student Fed- eration acknowledge that the campus climate has become decidedly anti-lsraeli since the Palestinian intifada erupted more than two years ago. "There have been a few tense moments," said Dan Held, the federation's Israel affairs co- ordinator. "But we still have good relations with the Mus- lim Student Association, and our hope and aim-is that we can continue our discourse in a peaceful environment." York's 40,000-member stu- dent body includes about 4,500 Jews, university officials say. While the Concordia riot has made some university officials determined to provide ad- equate protections for free speech and campus security, others seem less willing to host events associated with Israel. Pipes originally had been scheduled to speak in a stu- dent-run facility called The Underground, but the venue's manager canceled the book- fng under pressure from MESA. York's Center for Interna- tional and Security Studies had agreed to co-host Pipes's visit. But the center's director, po- litical science professor David Dewitt, also canceled after coming under pressure from MESA. "My feeling is that itwas not threats, but it was certainly intimidation" that MESA rep- resentatives applied, said Zac Kaye, executive director of Jewish Campus Services (Hillel) of Greater Toronto. "There was an attempt to intimidate Dr. Dewitt and the student center by references to what happened at Concordia, and by saying that the same thing would happen here," Kaye said. However, Dewitt said in a "' tement that the decision had been d hiFpartly to ideo- logical reasons. - "At the time the decision to co-sponsor the event was made, the center was unaware of Mr. Pipes' links to Campus Watch," the statement said. The four-month-old Web site monitors and critiques Middle East studies professors whom it considers anti-Ameri- can or anti-Israel. The university's faculty as- sociation also issued a state- ment decrying what it called Pipes's "racist agenda." Faced with the task of finding a se- cure venue for the talk in a hurry, members of the Jewish Student Federation contacted the Canadian Jewish Congress, whichopened discussions with the university administration. Congress officials credit Marsden, York's president, for recognizing the need to pro- tect a visiting speaker's free speech. Pipes said he had experi- enced only one previous at- tempt - also unsuccessful - to shut down his lecture, at an American campus about two weeks ago. "These are barbarians who would close down civil dis- course," he said. is this issue different all other issues ? It's Big It's Colorful It's The 11, Advertising Deadline: April 2, 2003 For Further Information Call 407-834-8787