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February 28, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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February 28, 2003
 

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PAGE 4 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 28, : By David Bornstein Campus security--myth or fact? I was walking into the Hebrew Day School last week to meet with Dr. Sulkes, Head of School, and passed a mother in the hall. She asked me how I was doing and I said fine. "And you?" I replied. The answer was "OK." I knew something was wrong. Dr. Sulkes filled me in. The woman was upset that more stringent security measures hadn't been put into effect on campus. And of course she was mostly upset at the Jewish Federation for not pursuing cam- pus security more passionately. I also received a letter about security from the Day School. The letter talked about the need for.coordinated measures between agen- cies and for a more committed effort by Maitland police. I heard that people complained about the lack of security during the recent Israel Fair on campus. Then I got a letter from my synagogue asking for a small donation to offset the cost of additional security. All this while war talk percolates and the nation is on alert. The fact of the matter is that fear, not secu- rity, is what's on everybody's lips. Every time there's an attack anywhere besides the Middle East, parents get nervous, and the most ner- vous of the lot pull their kids out of the out- standing programs at the Jewish Community Center. It's tougher to remove children from By Carl Alpert school, so the Day School is largely unaffected. But people squawk. And that gets attention. I want to set a few things straight here. First, security is not a foregone conclusion at our Maitland campus. The Facilities Management Committee, chaired by Marc Smith, deals with security questions at virtually every meeting. Remember, it wasn't too long ago that there were no access controls on campus doors. The single most important physical control we can have in Maitland is a centralized lobby, one point through which people enter and leave. That lobby is going to be built as part of our community expansion, and if you want to see it happen better faster give to the Community Capital Campaign. Don't sit and squawk with your hands in your pants. Do something positive. Give. Next, we're not going to turn our campus into a fortress wi~ walls and barbed wire. It's just not going to happen. The impact on chil- dren of entering an "armed camp" daily is far worse psychologically than the miniscule chance of a terrorist attack. There is no good way to completely enclose the campus. Nor will a police presence deter the lone mad gunman with a semiautomatic, or security codes or glass doors. If someone wants to enter and do harm, they can and will. So what can we do? First, we can't give in. Shame on parents who pull their kids from the J out of some /nisguided fear. Are they going to convert and change their last name as well, because as Jews they might be targets? We have to face our fears and not let them rule our lives. Second, the agencies must do a better job communicating with membership and cam- pus users. Send out mailers informing people about security on campus. At the very people know something's being done, awareness does exist, they'll feel better. And third (and perhaps most im we are the best watch dogs the campus Campus staff and campus users, parents, dren must all be alert to anyone or suspicious. Nothing rankles me more seeing an empty car parked in front of the JCC or the Hebrew Day Those people should be ticketed and immediately, unless they're pickin one who is handicapped. If someone snooping around, the Maitland pus staff need to be notified immediate] may seem difficultwith construction but construction workers shouldn't dering around either. At a recent meeting at Community Campus between sentatives and the Enforcement Homeland Security were told that the campus isn't on any targets by terrorists. In fact, Jews, ings and institutions aren't on Major landmarks, tourist destinations do, then, is obvious. We can't give into fear,; we can't hide from or abandon our heritage and institutions. The onl~ is if we shoot ourselves in the foot. The opinions expressed in this column the writer's, and not those of the Heritageo any other Jewish organization. word until next week. mail your comments, critiques, to dpbornstein@earthlink.net. The clock is ticking in Israel HAIFA---On the surface, all is quiet and The other day, belatedly, we reported to our normal. Schools are in session, weddings and local gas mask distribution center here in Haifa b'nai mitzvot take place on schedule, traffic since our equipment needed up-dating. We moves on the highways, much of the talk is found more than a hundred fellow citizens about internal politics. But the undercurrent lined up ahead of us, and a similar long line is also obvious. Every home in Israel has re- formed behind us. Some Israelis shrug off the ceived a 52-page brochure containing detailed danger. instructions on what to do and how to behave For one thing, they say, the chance of in case the alarm siren sounds. All are aware of their being struck by a bomb are about the ticking clock, equal to their chances of winning the grand Notallpartsofthecountryareaffectedequally. prize in the national lottery - very, very low. There is a feeling that any missiles sent this way Furthermore, since Sadam Hussein has by Saddam Hussein will carefully avoid Jerusa- sworn that he has no biological or chemical iem lest they damage Muslim holy sites. Eilat is weapons of mass destruction, he would hesi- also thought to be a relatively safe haven be- tate to do anything which would reveal him cause there are few strategic targets there. The as a liar. most vulnerable area is greater Tel Aviv and all The defense establishment is taking no its adjacent cities and towns. It was here that chances. Anti-missile batteries have been set most of the 39 Iraqi Scuds landed during the up at various locations, and it is claimed that Gulf War. Some of the municipalities have an- from four to six minutes advance notice of nounced arrangements for mass evacuation of missiles en route is sufficient to enable inter- population to safer areas if bombs wreck many ception of the flying bombs and their destruc- homes. Space has been measured in ~chools, tion in mid-air. community centers and sports facilities should Israelis who can afford it have made their there be need for emergency shelter, own plans. The moment American planes or Little is said about it now, but some time ago troops attack Iraq, these Israelis will pick up the rabbinical authorities approved designa- their already packed suitcases and head for tion of large public parks in the center of the hotels or other lodgings in Eilat, in the Negev country to serve as emergency cemeteries in or even in Jerusalem where, thanks to the the event of massive casualties, absence of tourists, plenty of rooms are avail- Israelis who went through the Gulf War a able. dozenyearsagoknowwhatisexpectedofthem. The situation this year is further compli- If their buildings do not possess impervious cated by the fact that the Hizbollah, lined up built-in air-raid shelters, each family is ex- along the Lebanese border, are said to have pected to seal off one room, with the least thousandsofheavydutyrocketswhichtheyare windows. Plastic sheeting is put up over all prepared to rain on northern Israel, as far openings to prevent penetration of any gas or south as Haifa. fumes, and when the alarm sounds, the family It is hardly reassuring, but Bituach Leumi, will at once take shelter. Everyone has been Israel's national health insurance program, urged to check or renew his personai gas mask, has announced that any persons hurt in at- to be donned on signal and retained in place tacks by enemy forces will be suitably compen- until the all-clear is sounded. Special gas masks sated for all injuries sustained. areavailable forchildren, for the elderlyand for And so, the clock is ticking here, but to all men with beards, superficial appearances daily life continues Supplies for the sealed room must obviously normally, and attention is concentrated on include a battery-operated radio, drinking wa- political steps leading to composition of the terandwhateverelsemaybedeemednecessary new government and on problems affecting for a stay that may last for some time. the economy. [ THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE O ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 36 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor Gene Starn Kim Fischer HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721 ) is published weekly for $34.95 per year to Florida ad- dresses ($41.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Central Florida Jewish News, Inc 207 O'Brien Road, Suite 101, Fern Park, FL32730. 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 Heritagefl@aoi.com Society Editor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Elaine Schoopmg Circulation Rachel Hughes Account Executives Barbara do Carmo Marci Gaeser Sara Crusade Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Carl Alpert Tim Boxer David Bornstein Gall Simons Production []~rtmcnt . 1 David Lehman Teri Marks Racne Levy Jim Shipley A great use for duct tape By Jim Shipley Assuming you are back from Wal-Mart where you bought the last twenty rolls of duct tape and assuming you have not asphyxiated yourself by taping all the air out of your house, welcome to this world of ours, circa Q1, '03. By the way, as a Floridian, I already know that duct tape is great- on the windows during hurricane season, not in the cracks. I wonder if the administration of the United States has been spending too much time in rooms where the duct tape has been sealing off the oxygen for too long. Certainly it (or some- thing) has been sealing off the voices of knowl- edge, sane opinion and reason for a long time. And, at the same time, I wonder what has fogged the brains of so many Americans. A wiser man than me has said that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people. Explain this: George W. Bush has a 54 percent approval rating. Yes, way down from his high, but still not too bad in the third year of a first term. But, when asked for specifics, only 42 percent approve of his handling of foreign affairs, which includes Iraq. Only 38 percent approve of his handling of the economy, his voodoo economics, big dented tax cut and all. So, let me ask you something. Where does the 54 percent come from? He sucks on foreign policy, he sucks on domestic issues. What is he good at? Making stirring speeches? Right. The problem is that the United States is losing its position as the most admired, successful na- tion on the face of the earth. Not because we are any less smart than we used to be. Not because our way of life is any less wonderful. It is because we play like the rich kid on the block: "It's my ball and my bat and if you won't play by my rules, I'm going to go home and take them with me." So, explain this: Why after twelve quiet years, is Saddam Hussein suddenly a threat to us? Much as they stretch, the Administration cannot make a connection between terrorist organizations including AI Qaeda and Saddam. Do we need a war right now? For what? To help our flounder- ing economy? To, as Rummy says "Liberate the Iraqi people"? Why all of a sudden? So, why? Is it all that excess testosterone around the White House? Guys like Rummy and W and Cheney are as belligerent as they come. Colin seems to have been dragged along, finally, to make a case. Good soldier that he is, he has done it well, even though it hasn't sold anybody. A Democratic Congress man from Washington State has it right. He says if you want to see approval for the war with Iraq drop through the floor, just initiate the draft again and watch it happen overnight. Is Saddam a bad guy? Of course. Is he awhacko? Of course. But how about Assad in Syria, Kim Jong II or even Chav : Venezuela? And, Chavez has more oil Saddam, right? We wan count the number. The West is at war with Militant Islam. ahead, W, attack Iraq and watch the world ~ plode in our faces. This group in still hasn't realb 9/11/01. We went to war in Afghanistan a solid group of Afghani fighters do the work. But even that is not over. Nol by a shot. There are still shooting guerilla attacks and warlords in charge. And what for the sake of all the.oil in t middle east do we do after we whomp Iraq Saddam has gone the wa) is under fire. He has no allies among the 1 tants. He pays offthe families ofsui~ in Israel, but it is huge Wahabist population who pay organizations. W said we were going to get Osama Bin "dead or alive." But there he is, ei later, on AI Jezzera reality TV, nose at this great country what is our strate So, we know what the strategy with is to be. We are going in with or without from anyone but Britain and Liechtenstein. If Rummy and W guess and the body bags beg Blair will both be out of a job. If the quickly, then we are still stuck with long job of sorting out what is left of million starving (you don't believe for a going to leave it all there do you?), sick dying American soldi evil in the air and the battle for Iraq after battle for Iraq. For there's the rub. The Wahabists Kurds and the AI Qaedas and the rest ing for the breaking apart of Mullahs are in full charge, the start. So, win or lose, it looks like we stand to It is a time in the world to pick your carefully and be aware, wide terror and shadow governments are l tougher to fight than a sitting duck like Iraq. they are the real the Middle East may j a hot idea after all, if at the end of the daY, Clerics are in charge from Iran to Saudi Saddam can be contained. He can be nated. But not through We posed to be s How about taping ul0 Capitol? It will do more good than sealiOg~ selves uP until it all goes away.