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February 24, 2017

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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 24, 2017 By Abraham H. Miller anti-Semitism with them as part of their cultural and religious socialization. When immigrant mothers are angry at their children, Imagine you are an impoverished religious they unabashedly call them "Jews" as if it were Jew living in Paris. You can no longer wear an invective, not caring who hears. religious garb out of fear of being set upon In2014,asurveyof1,580Frenchrespondents by assailants from North Africa who will beat found that Muslims, who comprised one- you to within an inch of your life, if not take third of the interviewees, were two to three it. Your children are bullied in school, as their times more likely to be anti-Jewish than French teachers ignore their complaints, and might people generally. even take perverse satisfaction in their plight. You would like to leave France, but you don't Even though French political figures make want to go to Israel, where the standard of speeches condemning anti-Semitism and living is more down to earth than luxurious, police are routinely sent to protect Jewish where there is terrorism and a state of siege, institutions, the anti-Semitism grows on the and where the language is difficult to learn. body politic with the onslaught of migrants Who will help you? In your grandmother's from Muslim-majority countries who carry day, there was the Hebrew Immigrant Aid By Stephen M. Flatow Second: The outposts have not displaced any Palestinians. They were set up on empty hilltops. Nobody has been harmed by the To hear the news media tell it, Israel's creation of the outposts. Knesset has approved extreme right-wing Third: The land in question is not "private legislation that will steal Palestinian land Palestinian land," as Israel's critics constantly by legalizing illegal outposts and thereby claim. Prof. Eugene Kontorovich of the demolish the lasthopes for Middle East peace. Northwestern University School of Law points The truth, of course, is very different, out, "In the overwhelming majority of cases, The Israeli government has not authorized no individual Palestinians have come forward the establishment of a new Jewish community to claim the lands. Indeed, in most cases, no inJudeaandSamariasince1992.Thatwasthe property claimants asserted their interests policydecreedbythen-PrimeMinisterYitzhak for decades after houses were built." In some Rabin, andfollowedbyhissuccessors, including cases, including the controversial Amona Prime Minister Benjamin, "the lands claimed by the But the 1993 Oslo Accords did not resolve Palestinian petitioners only slightly overlap the status of empty land in those territories, with those on which the Israeli homes stand," And there is a lot of empty land out there--as Kontorovich explains. anybodywhohasevertraveledintheterritories Fourth: The Jewish claim to the land in knows, question is much stronger than the Arab In1998,then-ForeignMinisterArielSharon claim. The Jews' right is firmly anchored in became concerned that a combination of the Bible, history (a Jewish presence dating Palestinian encroachment and international back 3,000 years), and international law (the pressure would result in the Palestinian Balfour DeclarationandtheLeagueofNations Authority (PA) taking de-facto control of mandate). those disputed regions. He was particularly The Palestinians who have made claims, worried about hilltops in the vicinity of however, are basing their ownership on existing communities, because if they fell into "broad give-aways of state land by the King Palestinian hands, they would pose a grave of Jordan during the Hashemite occupation strategic threat to the nearby Jewish residents. (1949-1967)." Speaking on Israel Radio in November 1998, That, of course, raises a fascinating question: Sharon declared,"Everybody has to move, run Did the King of Jordan have a right to nullify andgrabasmanyhilltopsastheycantoenlarge the Jewish claim to the land of Israel? the [Jewish] settlements because everything For those who forget King Hussein's record, we take now will stay ours... Everything we I should mention that he was the king who don't grab will go to them." decreed that all 57 synagogues in the Old City Over the course of the past 19 years, about of Jerusalem should be destroyed; that Jewish 100 such hilltop outposts have been established, gravestones from the Mount of Olives cemetery Manyofthemhavejustahandfulofresidents.A should be used for latrines in Jordanian army few of the outposts have been torn down by the barracks; that all Jews should be barred from government;afewwereretroactively recognized visiting the Western Wall during the years his as neighborhoods of existing communities, regime occupied it. In 2012, the government established So the dictator who desecrated Jewish a commission, headed by former Israeli holy sites, demolished synagogues, and Supreme Court justice Edmund Levy, to banned Jews from their holy places decided examine the status of the outposts. The to "give away state land" in Judea and commission recommended that the outposts Samaria to local Palestinian Arabs. Who be legalized. The new legislation follows from gave him the right to do that? And why that recommendation, should his illegal dissection of the Jewish Obviously, the legislation is a political hot homeland be considered valid? potato. The Israeli left is vehemently against Israel's leaders will have to decide how it. Various governments have denounced it. to address the political and diplomatic The world news media are portraying it in the complications stemming from the new gravest terms. But when one cuts through legislation. But let's be clear about the bottom all the name-calling and media distortions, line: King Hussein had no right to give away certain basic facts emerge, the Jewish homeland, and Jews have no First: The right ofJewstobuildthroughout obligation to consider his actions valid or the land of Israel has always been a basic binding in any way. principle of the Zionist movement. The state Stephen M. Flatow, a vice president of the of Israel would not exist if decisions had been Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney made on the basis of "Will it make the world in New Jersey. He is the father ofAlisa Flatow, angry?" or "Are there Arabs living in the who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored general vicinity?" Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA'S ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 45 Press Awards 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 email: INDEPENDENT JEWISHVOICE # Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene Stare Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza Society Editor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Kim Fischer Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky David Bornstein Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore Society--the one and only agency that, with the help of private contributions, came to the aid of European Jews. But the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society of your grandmother's day no longer exists. It has dropped the "Hebrew" and has become simply "HIAS," avoiding the word "Hebrew" because its clients are no longer Jewish, although the last fundraising letter I received flaunted painful scenes of Jews trying to escape Europe on the eve of World War II. The Jewish roots of HIAS go back to rescuing Jews from the Russian pogroms of the 19th century. Its role as a lifeline for Jews who had nobody else to help them is prominently displayed in its fundraising pitched to Jews, but the word "Hebrew" might "offend" the Muslim refugees from the Middle East that HIAS is now busy resettling in America. No longer headquartered in New York, HIAS has moved to the Washington Beltway to be near its new source of funding--the federal government. Refugee resettlement is big business, so much so that it is difficult to parse whether the emphasis is on doing well or doing good. HIAS is the only "Jewish" organization approved by the federal government to resettle refugees, but it is a small player compared to the other religious and secular organizations in the business of refugee resettlement. Still, HIAS CEO Mark Hetfield, in 2014, commanded a salary of more than $318,000, plus $22,000 in benefits. In the eight years of the Obama administration, HIAS received funds exceeding $157 million, most of which came from the federal government. A small percentage of this funding is used to lobby the public at the grassroots level and to lobby legislators. Consequently, members of the American public pay for HIAS to convince them, and their elected representatives, to continue to sustain HIAS refugee programs with tax dollars. There are 65 million displaced people in the world, so this is not a business that is going away. And after 120 days, when organizations like HIAS that bring in refugees can no longer support them and they have not found employment, the resettlement organizations take them to the local welfare office. The majority of Middle Eastern refugees are on some form of assistance, with 90 percent getting food stamps, 73 percent getting medical assistance and some 63 percent receiving outrightcashwelfare. Middle Eastern refugees cost the American taxpayer more than $64,000 per person. Now HIAS, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, is suing the Trump administration over its travel ban. From his lofty perch, Hetfield is lecturing the American public on how refugee resettlement is the fulfillment of American values. This hectoring earned Hetfield a place on Tucker Carlson's TV show, where he was asked to explain what values are being celebrated by bringing in refugees. He could not remotely articulate what those values are. In my value system, there are Jews throughout Europe who are living lives all too reminiscent of the pogroms that gave HIAS on page 15A Jim Shipley A matter of perspective In 1950, my family moved to Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. It was a lovely, leafy area with stately homes and a storied history. Once my parents bought their home we were shocked to find that just shortly before we moved, a law was struck down that prevented Jews from owning homes in that lovely, leafy suburb. They actually had a LAW that prevented Jews and African Americans from buying a home in their town. We've come a long way, baby. Restrictive covenants have practically disappeared in the United States. You have the wherewithal? You can buy a home, build one to standard, live in an apartment--do anything that anyone else does, regardless of the color of your skin, the religion you follow, where you or your parents were born. We also have laws covering Public Domain. Basically, if the city, the state or even the federal government decides that they need a particular piece of land, they may buy it from the owner at a price based on an appraisal from a non- partisan group familiar with property values. Usually this land is needed for a road expansion, a new municipal building or any project that does not have a commercial interest. If the home or business owner is not happy with the price they can appeal through the courts. There have been exceptions of course. Politicians are politicians, after all. In most of these "exceptional" cases, old storied businesses are torn down to allow newer, larger, tax-paying businesses to take their place. This smells to high heaven. Let the new businesses buy the old ones, pay for tearing them down and building their own. Which brings us to the new "Settlement Law" just passed by the government of Israel. I have not read the law. I only know what I read in the New York Times, a small snippit in our local paper and a lengthy article in the Jerusalem Post. From what I can gather, it allows the government of Israel, to confiscate privately owned Palestinian property for the building of housing for Israeli citizens--Jewish Israeli citizens. Now, the ancient and holy land of Israel is the historical home of the Jewish People and the one place where Jews from all over the world are welcomed without quotas or restrictions. To repeat: The first Jewish Commonwealth was established when King David built the city of Jerusalem and King Solomon built the First Temple. The Babylonians destroyed the Temple. We came back and founded the second Jewish Commonwealth. As we know~ the Romans put an end to that. The Muslim Caliphate put an end to the Romans. The wars that followed never identified a nation in the area where Israel was and is located. It was, from the seventh century on, Arabia. In the area that became known as Palestine--a linguistic take off on the ancient name for the tribal inhabitants of the area known as Philistines; the Turkish sultans ruled until the British aided by, yes, Lawrence of Arabia and a unified Arab army threw them out and created a British Mandate in the area. When the Turks ruled the area, they sold portions of land to Turkish citizens, basically wealthy members ~ the landed gentry. In the late nineteenth century the Jewish National Fund began to buy land from the Turkish landowners. So, the Fund and therefore the Jews had property rights inwhatwas to become the Third Jewish Commonwealth--Israel. The trouble started when Jews showed up on the land they had legally purchased and told the residents, basically tenant farmers, that they, the Jews, now owned the land on which the farmers were living. And they were now going to farm and/or develop it themselves. Well, the law is the law and the Jews moved in--the Arabs decided to kill them and take the land back. They did not succeed. A percentage of the land of Israel is still owned by the Jewish National Fund. A portion of the so-called West Bank is privately owned by Arabs. Most of these folks are farmers, usually of olive trees. Very few of them are politically active. Even fewer are inclined to violent acts of terror. In some cases, specifically in the areas of the Negev adjacent to Jordan, Israeli and Arab farmers cooperate on soil and crop improvement. On the so-called West Bank, the attitude is different. The "settlers" there are much more militant and nationalistic. They are overwhelmingly Orthodox and take their mandate not from the courts or the Israeli Governmentlbut directly from God. Benjamin Netanyahu's government just passed a law stating that Israelis may confiscate privately owned Arab land. The land would then probably become "State Land." The big questions then become: Will the Arabs be adequately compensated for their land? Will private citizens own their own homes? From whom will they buy the home? Who profits? There are many questions to be answered as the law moves to the Supreme Court of Israel.