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February 27, 2009     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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February 27, 2009
 

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PAGE 4A By Andrew ilow-Carroll New Jersey Jewish News "I would be remiss if I didn&apos;t say, and not simply on a level of self-interest, that 'Some- thing is happening, and you don't know what it is, do you. Mrs. Jones?'" That'sLmy old friend Winston Pickett-- that's Winston, not Wilson; don't let the 1960s lyric throw you off. Winston heads the brand-new European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism. I called him in London last week to make sense of what the ADL calls a"pandemic" of anti-Semitism across Europe and Latin America as a result of the war in Gaza. Winston also helped organize lastweek's London Conference on Combating Antisemitism. which brought parliamentarians from around the world to discuss strategies. Each day, it seems, brings a new headline out of England: British Jewry's Community Security Trust says 2009 is on course to be- come the worst year on record for anti-Semitic incidents in the United Kingdom. A man is HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 27, 2009 It's good to be in the fight attacked in the heavily Jewish Golders Green neighborhood. Famed playwright Caryll Churchill writes an appallingly one-sided playlet about the war in Gaza. Frankly, this New Jersey Jew doesn't know what this feels like. So I asked Winston. who is American but has lived in Brighton with his British wife and kids for almost 10 years. He tells me it's a mixed picture for Britain's 300,000 Jews. On the one hand, theirs is a prosperous community, and Jewish life is booming. After decades of typically British reserve, there are "more Jews who are coming out of their shell, who are more expressive. You see more kipot, more Jewish educational stuff, a robust nonprofit Jewish sector." And yet the rate of anti:Semitic incidents is the-highest in 25 years and the spike in incidents during and since the Gaza war has far surpassedthe usualparoxysms that follow a crisis in the Middle East. "There is a sense of.being a real minority even the Sikhs outnumber us two to one." said Winston. "And the media is not the same as in the United States. They always take the left-wing line and almost always see Israel as the aggressor. When you turn on the media and listen to the chattering class, it invokes a sense of siege." But, I ask, is the anti-Israel rhetoric the same as anti-Semitism? Winston answers by telling a story. Since the 2005 London bombings, he and his wife made a pact that he wouldn't wear his kippah on the train or the street. "People are always going to be blogging and wearing their heart on their sleeves and prone to play the anti-Semitism card--tO see anti-Semitism behind every critique," he said. "But that doesn't account for or excuse the dehumanization of Jews, or calling Israel a Nazi state. You have to differentiate between what you may call an argument and what is far too often a vilification whereby Jews themselves are under attack. People getting hit going to shul because they were identifi- able by wearing kipot, simply because what happens in Israel! Imagine blacks being at- tacked because of what Mugabe is doing, for crying out loud. You feel it on a daily basis." Still, heidoesn't describe the feeling as fear, but "dissonance." "There is a kind of a whiplash effect." said Winston. "Our antennae are always working overtime." The good news. he said. is that the govern- ment "'gets it." Authorities tally anti-Semitic incidents as hate crimes, and a 2005 report by the Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism served as a wake-up call to non-Jewish politicians. This week's confer- ence. said Winston, was an attempt to share the United Kingdom model with legislative bodies in Europe and beyond. Winston stresses that anti-Semitism in England is a growth industrybut so too is the effort by Jebs to fight back. "Pulling together a conference like this here is a big deal. We're putting the is- sue on the map. We're not taking it lying down. On the contrary it's good to be in the fight." Andrew Silow-Carroll is the editor-in-chief of the New Jersey Jewish News, from which this article was reprinted by permission. 'Holding up their hands': Our trip to the Gaza envelope The town of Sderot. First person by Rabbi Aaron D. Rubinger Senior Rabbi, Congregation Ohev Shalom Friday afternoon, Feb. 16. I returned from Israel, where I attended the annual Interna- tional Rabbinical Assembly Convention in Jerusalem. I would like to share with you one day's experience that Donna and I had in Israel. The day I am referring towas that Wednesday -when we. together with about 50 others, rabbis andwives, visited the cities near Gaza thatwere hit by rockets from Hamas: Ashdod, Ashkelon, Sderot and .Beersheva. These were very moving visits and I'll tell you why. First, because despite how many articles you read m newspapers be it in secular or Jewish newspapers despite what you see on the news on TV--it is avery, very, different feel to see the victims of these attacks panim al panim, face to face. and to hear their stories. Let me tell you that, thank God. the physical injuries on Israel's side during the war were very small. The word "miracle" was used over and over again by the residents and mayors of those commufiities. For example, a large GRAD rocket [not the smaller Qassam rockets, but a GRAD rocket, which are produced in North Korea and sent to Iran where they are as- sembled and then smuggted into Gaza, large rockets and very deadly) hit a kindergarten in Beersheva. It went through the ceiling, demolishing the entire building. That kinder- garten normally houses 250 small children. Miraculously, it fell when none of the children were in the building. We heard many stories like that. of people who just happened to be somewhere else. such as a neighbor's house across the street, when a rocket fell on their homes. Frankly, itwas hard not to believe that Hakodesh Baruch Hu. the Holy One, didn't have some hand in prevent- ing some terrible tragedies from occurring. While physical injuries on the Israeli side were remarkably few in number, the emotional injuries and the trauma experienced by the residents of those communities are still very, very raw. I think many of us tend to romanticize our brothers and sisters in Israel. We think they are so tough, so hardened by years, by the decades of struggling to defending themselves that emotionally they "must be hard as nails. But not so. They're flesh and blood just like you and me. They suffered from deep and severe anxiety for their own lives and even more so for those of their family members. Most affected of course are the children. Not only are older children regressing and wetting their beds. butwe were told that even today, to this very week, when young children hear the beginning of a piece of music on the radio, they sometimes think it is the sound of the warnin siren indicating an incoming missile and they begin to scream and run for a shelter until a parent or. a teacher grabs hold of them, puts their arms around them and assures, again and again, that it was not a siren that they heard. And imagine, imagine, how the non-stop rocket attacks affected the elderly. The many widows who live alone and continue to worry about new rockets attacks. You know we had lunch in Sderot that daynnothing fancy at all, in fact just eating sandwiches on the main street. While eating I saw an elderly woman who looked a bit disoriented walking a bit aimlessly in the middle of the road. I went over to her and asked if she needed any help. She told me she could use some money to buy food so I gave her some cash from my wallet. Yet. she kept speaking, going on and on. for along while about wanting to give me a blessing for my health and safety. I thanked THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. ] CENTRAL FLORIDA'S INDEPENDENT JEWISH VOICE   Winner of 40 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor Assistant Editor Gene Starn Lyn Payne Mike Etzkin Society Editor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Paulette Harmon -Kim Fischer Account Executives Barbara do Carmo Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky Steve Levine Tim Boxer David Bornstein Gail Simons Production Department David Lehman Teri Marks Louis Ballantyne Elaine Schooping Gil Dombrosky her. but it was clear to me that she was not emotionally well at all. But realize that since 2001 more than 10.000 rockets--10.000! had fallen in Sderot alone. How sound of mind do you think you would be if you live in a little town not much bigger than about a couple of square miles m size that had been bombarded by 10.000 rockets? Did you know that despite the so-called cease fire. or better said. the "time out" since the end of the Gaza war when Israeli forces withdrew, that rockets have continued to be fired almost every single day? .In the days be- fore our visit--almost every day and often several times a day rockets continue to be fired from Gaza? I suspect that reality doesn't get much, if any, news play--at least in the non-Jewish media. In fact. rockets fell again the day we returned, on the 16th. Depending on which community you are in. you have between 15 and 30 secoiads from the time the siren sounds to get to a shelter. But what do you doifyou are on a bus full of people, some of whom were much older than Donna and me? They told us if the siren went off to try to get out of the bus and get to a shelter. Yet. they also said, given the numbers on the bus. most likely we would not get out in time. so that. instead, we should lie down in the middle aisle of the bus. Now, howwe would all fit lying down and stretch out in theaisle of the bus no one quite explained--and knowing how impos- sible that would be. none of us even bothered Rubinger on page 15A ISSN 0199-0721 HE ITAGE HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721J is published weekly for $37.95 per year Io 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 (4071 834-8787 Fern Park. FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 emaih news@orlandoheritage.com I Promoting terror on the web By Ed Ziegler A fantastic tool--the Internet. There are good reasons why so many people of all ages use it. The Internet provides easy access to in- depth information on virtually any topic you can think of. It is also an excellent method of communication for personal and business use. Like many things in life there are pluses and minuses. A major downside to the Internet is that terrorists have learned to effectively use it as a tool of war. This article addresses the use of the Internet by terrorists. The Anti-Defamation League reported < http://www.adl.org/poisoning_web/poison- ing_toc.asp> on a number of such groups in the United States that are using the Internet to communicate, propagate hate and recruit. There is the well-known KKK. Then there are less well-known groups such as, "Stormfront" and the Institute For Historical Review (IHR). The names of many neo-Nazi type groups are apparent, however. IHR hides under the ap- pearance of intellect and impartiality. Many of IHR's leaders participate in pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish activities. A U.S. Senafe report noted what Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri wrote. "We are in a battle and more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media. And we are in a media battle in the race for the hearts and minds of our people." It appears that al-Zawahiri understands the power of all forms of communication includ- ing the Internet. On Sept. 9. 2008 the Associated Press re- ported that the video-sharing web site YouTube recognized the misuse of its site by terrorists. It has moved to purge terrorist training films and other videos that extremists use to attract new members. YouTube will rely on the public to report misuse. On Sept. 25. 2008, the Dewsbury Reporter reported that the youngest terrorist in Eng- land. Hammaad Munshi a 16-year-old Muslim. was sentenced to two years in jail. He was part of a celt using the Internet to brainwash individuals to kill nonbelievers. On Oct. 15. 2007 the New York Times re- ported on a22-year-oidAmerican named Samir Kahn. who runs a pro terrorist blog from his .parents' home in North Carolina. Samir wrote an-article arguing for a violent jihad. He listed numerous links from which someone can ob- tain assorted videos from Iraq including some blood drenched terrorist videos. Terrorist groups have become adept at using the Internet. As you would imagine they use the Internet just like everyone else for information gathering and commumca- tions. They also utilize the Internet for fund raising, disseminating propaganda, sending instructions and providing directions. They distribute bomb making andtraining manu- als on the Internet as well. It is reasonable to assume that they send coded messages to hide their intent. You say there is nothing an average citizen can do to counteract terrorism on the Internet. Well that is absolutely untrue. You can follow the actions of Shannen Rossmiller. a mother of three and a judge living in Conrad, Mont. Rossmiller is a member of 7-Seas Global Intel- ligence, an organization that tracks terrorist activity and forwards leads to authorities. Because of her Internet searching Spc. Ryan G. Anderson. a Fort Lewis. Wash.. based National Guardsman and Muslim convert, is on trial for trying to provide terrorists with information on troop strength and tactics. Do not allow the terrorists to take away our freedom and determine how we shall live or die. This refers to groups such as U.S. based neo-Nazis as well as Islamic fanatics throughout the world. The success Shannen Rossmiller had in identifying a real threat proves that average AmeriCans, like you and me, can help our government stop terrorists. There are more groups like the 7-Seas Global Intelligence. If you an't find one start one. Remember: "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to donothing." Ed Ziegler is board member of the New Jewish Congregation and president of its brotherhood. He can be reached at edziegler@ thevillages.net.