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February 28, 2003

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FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 28, 2003 PAGE 5 it Jonathan S. Tobin the lhct that Saddam Hussein anti-war sentiment to see how France and Germany are sub- hates Israel and has attacked it much hostility tolsrael playsa tier than the demonstrators the voluminous in the past. The removal of his factor here. France, Germany, spewing anger at America and nti-war dem- regime will certainly removea the United Nations and other Israel, there is a powerful link held around the threat totheJewishstate. That forces that oppose war have between European policy and youtosome thepeopleoflsraelsupportthe not been shyabout saying that anti-Semitism in the streets. observations. Bush administration's plans in they believe America's priori- The saga of Michael Lerner, overwhelming numbers also ties are backward, the far-left Jewish figure who to oust the Saddam feeds the suspicions of the war They want pressure on Is- Was excluded from a San Fran- in Iraq are a critics. Against it is the plain rael to make concessions to the cisco anti-war demonstration )jectionsare fact that neither this proposed terrorist PalestinianAuthority because he was deemed "pro- :They warnorthepreviouscampaign to be the internationalIsrael"alsoillustratestheideo- America, and fear the against Iraq was primarily too- community's Middle East fo- logicaltrapthatwarcriticshave Israel. tivated by concerns for Israel. cus, not Iraq. The only"regime created for themselves. Ironi- sentiment is a Though it can be asserted change" they are interested in cally, Lerner's"pro-Israel'cre- that Israel benefited from the is deposing the democratically dentials rest solely on the fact in the Cold War, paring down of Iraqi military elected government of Israel that he doesn't want to see the dark and illogical power as a result of Saddam's with one that will do their bid- Jewishstatedestroyed.lntruth, theories about defeat, it paid a heavy price ding. the Tikkun Magazine editor both during and after that war The so-called "human supportseverymeasureagainst for little return. Israel was rights" movement sees Israel's Israel short of its immediate partisans, forced to absorb scud missile limited attempts to defend it- destruction and often makes speak volumes attacks from Iraq without re- self against Palestinian terror commoncausewiththosewho sponding at the behest of the as worthy of vitriolic protest, do plot the eradication of POwer. United States, which wanted not Saddam's efforts to hide Israel's Jews. nothing Israel to take no part in the his illegal weapons or the threat Lerner is a charlatan whose century vet- fighting, he poses to regional security, snub by fellow America-hating an odd concoction. It As a result, Israel's military The fact that the Bush ad- radicals ought to earn him no deterrent was seriously dam- ministration has reversed U.S. sympathy. But he does show us at this country aged,adevelopmentthatwould policy and no longer seeks to that there is no easy way to during the encourage both Lebanese and undermine Israel's security or extract the anti-Israel and anti- War. Without the Palestinian terrorists in the the democratically expressed Semitic ingredients from the )f the anti-anti- decade to come. And to protect will of its people is a source of anti-war recipe without the .allthe the delicate sensibilities of tremendous resentment whole rottensouffl6collapsing. ricanshave America's Arab "allies," Israel among those on the hard-left In Europe, the lethal combi- back on is spite, nostal- was forced into a series of ne- here, as well as abroad, nation of traditional anti- gotiations after the war that Lurking here is also the not Semitism and appeasement of War and farcical ex-led to its current disastrous so thinly veiled spirit of anti- tyrants is one that ought to be Lh in the United situationwiththe Palestinians. Semitism.The EuropethatU.S. familiar to us.An international Many within the adminis- Secretary of Defense Donald community that is more eager claimtobecon- trationassertthattheultimate Rumsfeldrightlydenigratedas to subdue Israel than it is to goal of war on Iraq will be to "old" and "sick" is still suffer- attack Iraq is not one that even CaSualties of war, theirs is replace the tyrannical Saddam ing from the disease of Jew- the purest of Jewish idealists CaUse of a status quo that Hussein regime with one that hatred. Anti-Semitism has can afford to follow. Nor can tyrant, andallow ismorelikelytobedemocratic, risen as the campaign to those Jewswhosepartisan in- and slaughters to If planting the first seeds of delegitimize Israel has esca- stincts incline them to hostil- ed. democracywithin theMuslirrd iated during the current 29- ity toward a Republicafl presi- and anti-war Arab world is good for Israel, it month-old Palestinian terror dent allow themselves to be co- us to deal with is surely even better for the war. opted into an anti-war move- SOsubtle undercurrent Muslims and Arabs. While most Americans have ment that is dangerously corn- sentiment that Yet the war critics oppose come, in the aftermath of Sept. promised by animus for Israel. many of Bush's op- this plan. Their argument that 11, to see the terror war waged American Jews, especially ere and abroad, it is none of our business who against Israel as no different those with misty memories of these demonstra- runs Iraq used to have some fromthatlaunchedagainstthe pastanti-warmovements, can- rout, thebanners exco- merit. But that point lost its UnitedStates, Europeansseem not ignore this issue. It is pos- promotinga power on Sept. I1. If powerful to think a Jewish state that sibletoopposethewarwithout fly. forces with the Arab/Islamic they see as wholly or at least hostility to Israel. But doing so the critics world are at war with America partly illegitimate deserves to inevitably puts you on the side there is rhetoric de- and all it represents, then they suffer from Arab terror. And of many with darker motives. Zionism and dark can't hide behind sovereignty they oppose anything that will Jonathan S. Tobin is execu- true purpose of anymore, divert the world's attention tive editor of the Jewish Expo- The role of anti-Semitism from efforts to undermine Is- nent in Philadelphia. He can You also don't have to dig rael. be reached via e-mail at Support of this thesis is too deeply into the reservoir of While the governments of y says $'Joshua Brandt American Jewish Committee, lowed the Palestinian Author- ously." Earlier last year, ntv i4sh Bulletin of students at U.C. Berkeley and ity to divert EU funds (roughly Darshan-Leitner also won a rthernCalifornia members of Congregation$10millionpermonth)tospon- judgment of $183 million Beth Am in Los Altos Hills. sor terrorist attacks instead of against Iran for its role in train- Alternating between fiery for infrastructure and munici- inga suicide bomber who blew Mid- rhetoric and terse legalese, pal operations, up a Jerusalem bus in 1996. placeinacourtroom? Darshan-Leitner reserved "Sofar, the European Union AlthoughsheconcededthatIran attorney Nitsana some of her harshest vitriol has not respondedtothesuit," was unlikely to respect the rul- posed that" for the European Union.said Darshan-Leitner. "They ingofan Israeli court, nonethe- in several Bay Area "Sixty years after the Holo- are claiming diplomatic ira- less theverdictwould have tan- : month, caust, Europe once again has munity - which is always the gible ramifications, she noted. ing Jan. 27 at Jewish blood on its hands," response of a guilty party. If "Iran is slowly making its Darshan-Leitner told repre- youhavenothingtohide, then way to [rapprochement] with that one of sentativesfromAJCommittee, come to court." When asked the United States, andthelaw- miti- "When European visitorsabout the seeming incongru- suits we've been filing against and Islamic come to Israel, one of their ity of filing lawsuits against them - at least a dozen up to is through a hal-first destinations is Yad countries with historicalani- thispoint-havedefinitelycap- tradition - Vashem (the Jerusalem Hoio- mus against Western courts tured the attention of the Ira- caust memorial). But the Eu- (and Israeli courts, in particu- nian government. them, in fact. ropean tourists should be re- iar), Darshan-Leitner said the "In fact, the U.S. State De- attorney, quired to visit the gravesites lawsuits weren't that much of partment has adamantly op- iDin- of terror victims in Hadera, alogicalleap.ShecitedLibya's posed collecting on these law- has already Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.recent settlement on behalf of suits because they fear it will won a $13 mil- "Jewish lives are being lost relatives from Pan Am flight damage U.S.-Iranian relations. against Palestinian all over again, and European 103 that blew up over That only goes to show how President Yasser money has played a big role in Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. much pressure the Iranian response to that." Last year, Darshan- "Syriaisdesperatetogetnor- government has been putting Israeli De- Leltnerfileda$100millionlaw- realized relations with the ontheStateDepartment."The Orce soldier in suit against the European United States, and to remove its attorney's visit was sponsored also Union on behalf of a client name from the list of terrorist- by Bridges to Israel-Berkeley, against the govern- whosefamilywasvictimizedin watch countries. In fact, they the Israel Relations Commit- Iran and Syria, as a drive-by shooting. She said have hired Ramsey Clark, (the tee at Beth El, the Israel Task European Union. that she intends to prove that former U.S. attorney general) Force of the Jewish Commu- followed the European Union, through to represent them, soyou know nity Federation of the Greater :ltalkwithaddresses acombinationofsloppinessand that the Syrian government East Bay and the Beth Am Is- members of the deliberate ignorance, has al- takes these lawsuits very seri- rael Action Committee. Rabbinical Thoughts Israel, God's firstborn By Rabbi R. J. Adler number, among them the following; Scared, conse- Whenever the world out- crated, dedicated, devoted side is hostile or unfriendly, (service of God), saintly, we Jews look inside to our godly, pious, devout, reli- own sources of strength or gious, connected to God or encouragement. Looking at Divinity, blessed, hallowed, our biblical name Israel and venerated, spiritual, and or- the renewal of that name by dained. That is quite a list to our modern State of Israel, be digested, but that's not we are soon reminded that all. After further research, I thisnamemeansstrugglebut was able to add these other also demands from us to at- synonyms; pious, respectful tain a higher level of exist- of divine, reverent, moral, ence. We are to serve as a ethical, righteous, upright, distinctive spiritual center of virtuous, just, truthful, dig- humanity according to our nified, honorable, loyal, pure, commitment to God on worthy, idealistic, believing, Mount Sinai, that was our havinga conscience, knowl- original task and covenant, edgeable, a life of meaning, Moreover, we are also re- mysterious, numinous, awe, ferred to as a Kingdom of therness' distinct' different' Priest, just as priests serve elevated, pure, selected, sepa- on behalf of others, Israel rate, and living divine at- must serve on behalf of hu- tributes. inanity. Related to our subject are Rabbi Akiba in Pirke Avot the expressions Kiddush (3, 14) seems to have summa- Hashem to sanctify God's rized these ideas a bit differ- name and the opposite, ently vhen he proclaimed; Chilul Hashem to desecrate "Beloved is a man for he was the name of the Almighty. created in the image of God; The word kiddush and beloved are the people of Is- kaddish, recited during rael for they are called chil- Shabbat and holidays or in dren of God." Elsewhere in the house of mourning or the Torah (Ex.4,22), Israel is the synagogue are familiar called God's firstborn in rec- to all of us and remind us of ognition of the special cov- our special relationship to enant which exists between our Creator in the realm of Him and Israel because of the holiness. Alsoweli-known in Torah and the 613 Mitzvot- a connection with martyrdom gift of the Almighty to the is another form of Kiddush Jewish people to help them Hashem - namely offering andhumanitytowardsTikkun our life for the sake of sanc- Olam, to perfect the world, tifying God's name or the Our Rabbis point our that honor of Israel. Rabbi first God created the world Fackenheim of Jerusalem and referred to it as good, adds the idea that after the later on He introduced the Holocaust, the real mitzvah idea of holiness, raising it to is not Kiddush Hashem-mar- a higher level. The Talmud tyrdom but Kiddush tells us that the study of To- Hachayim, the sanctification rah is a means of obtaining of life. Jewish life ranks K e d u s h - H o ! i n e s s, higher than Jewish death Maimonides believes that the even if it is for the sake of the fulfillment of mitzvot and divine name. Both secular prayer are also acts of holi- and religious Jews know in hess as we are inviting God their heart that Israel, the into our life. The word holi- renewed people, the reborn ness has many meanings and language, the replantedland, we ought to be acquainted the rebuilt city, the State it- with some of them. By using self - is a new and unique the dictionary we find quite a celebration of life.