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March 6, 2015

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PAGE 4,6, HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 6, 2015 By Ben Cohen Love, as the song goes, is in the air. If the latest media reports are accurate, the United States and the Iranian regime are rapidly closing in on a deal over the mullahs' nuclear ambitions. Admittedly, the source of this nugget of hope was Joseph Cirincionema former Capitol Hill operative who now serves as the president of the Ploughshares Fund, a liberal foreign policy think tank, having gotten there via the Center for American Progress, another think tank that serves as a reliable echo chamber for the Obama administration's edicts, both foreign and domestic. Moreover, Cirincione was speaking to Laura Rozen of the Mideast- focused website Al-Monitor; Rozen's writings on the Iran negotiations have positively fizzed with enthusiasm for Obama's outreach to the Tehran regime. (A decent reporter would have pointed out that the concessions Obama is making fly in the face of successive U.N. Se- curity Council resolutions demanding a halt to Iran's uranium enrichment activities, and might have even dropped in a line or two about the regime's abysmal human rights record. But that's for another time.) The point is, there's some reason to take all this glowing optimism with a pinch of salt, given where it's coming from. Still, it's worth paying attention to what Cirincione had to say. "If we get a deal that is close to the terms the administration has set out, and I believe we will, it is going to be a very good deal," Cirincione told Rozen. "One that will surprise and please even many of the critics." That's going to be one hell of a deal! I'm a critic, and I'm looking forward to being surprised and pleased. Of course, the thing about a surprise is that you don't want to ruin it by telling the gift recipient what it is that they're about to unwrap. So here's my guess at the outcome that will make us believe that Christmas (or Chanukah) has come early. Number one: Iran will sign an interna- tional agreement confirming its intent not to develop nuclear weapons. Iran will submit to a permanent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring regime. Not a single centrifuge will spin without IAEA inspectors knowing about it. The IAEA can enter Iranian nuclear facilities at will, without having to make prior arrangements, and will imme- diately share intelligence and information with Iran's neighbors and with U.N. Security Council. Any Iranian nuclear official engaged in suspect activity will be fired on the spot. In essence, Iran's civilian nuclear program--if it must have one--will be under international trusteeship, and no enrichment activities that could result in weaponization will be permitted. Number two: From the beginningz,~n's nuclear program has involved ~]]l!l~led facilities, like the Fordow plant, whi,' we ve discovered despite the regime, not because of it. Henceforth, there will be no more concealed facilities. Iran will be compelled to reveal any clandestine activity. If it refuses, then we im- mediately hit the regime with biting sanctions. Number three: Iran will announce an end to its support for rogue regimes and terrorist organizations. That means no more backing for the vicious regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. It means no more money, weapons, or political support for Hamas. It means dis- banding Hezbollah, which has been able to expand its operations from Lebanon to Syria because it is owned by the Iranians. It means surrendering the suspects in the 1994 bomb- ing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were murdered, for trial. And if there is an Iranian connection to the recent death, in suspicious circumstances, of Argentine Special ProsecutorAlberto Nisman, who spent more than a decade investigating the AMIA atrocity, then that also needs to be judged in a court of law. Number four: Iran will recognize the right of Israel, the Jewish state, to exist in peace and security. It will pay reparations to the families of those Israelis who've lost loved ones as a result of Iranian-backed terror. It will apologize for having turned Holocaust denial i~tO~ state doctrine. And it will Consign that doctrin(~~ to the trashcan of history, where it belongs. Number five: Iran will announce--w~hin a year--free, internationally observed, multi- party elections. As part of its preparation for that election, it Will release all politicJ prisoners, many of whom are held in th~ ,, hell on earth that is Tehran's Evin Prison. ~t will permit freedom of speech in the medi~,"~ it will lift any bans in place on social medi~ platforms like Twitter and YouTube, and itwiIi : close down its repugnant English-language mouthpiece, Press TV. Finally, it will permit: freedom of worship, curbing its persecution of Christians and Jews and ending its apartheid policies toward the Bahai minority. - ~' Nothing in the above list is inconsistent with the principles of the U.N. Charter, which is based on the twin importance of individual freedom and responsible, prudent, diplomatic~ statebehavior. Hence, if the dealwe are suppos- edly about to get conforms to those principles, then hallelujah. Somehow, though, I've got a feeling that once we excitedly unwrap that gift box, we'll find that it's empty. Ben Cohen is the Shillman analyst for JNS. org. His writings on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics have been published in Com- mentary, the New York Post, Ha'aretz, Jewish Ideas Daily and many other publications. By Ed Zeig!er In Iran, immediatel following Friday prayers, tens of thousands took to the streets Freedom of speech. What is it worth? With- to condemn the French satirical magazine out it we can lose everything including our Charlie Hebdo shouting "Death to France, lives.Imaginewhatlifewouldbelikeifradical death to Israel, death to Britain, death to Islam eliminates free speech. You will not be Charlie Hebdo while carrying flags saying "To able to express your opinion. Hell with Free Speech." According to Wikipeda the Pakistan Penal ABC News quoted Iranian lawmaker, Ah- Code (295 and 298) prohibits blasphemy mad Tavakoli, who blamed the West for the againstanyrecognizedreligion.Thisincludes Charlie Hebdo attack. Addressing Western- defaming the Muslims' prophet Muhammad. ers, he shouted, "This is the fruit of your own The penalty ranges from a fine to death, action." A few days later, with government Danish Palestini~n poet, Vahya Hassan, encouragement, the protests were repeated said, "Muslims love to take advantage of free by tens of thousands in cities and countries speech. As soon as there is someone saying around the world. something critical against Islam, they want ~The following is a list of a few of the areas, to restrict it." around the world, where demonstrations oc- The Charlie Hebdo magazine published curred protesting the caricature of Muham- a series of satirical cartoons of the prophet mad and thereby objecting to free speech: Muhammad.Most, ifnotall, Muslims consider Afghanistan, Srinagar, Karachi, Pakistan, a picture or cartoon of Muhammad forbid- United Kingdom, Banako, Mali, Niger, Aus- den. An Islamic response to the cartoons was tralia, Algeria, Asia and Africa. a sentence (fatwa) issued on the lives of the The size of demonstrations ranged from cartoonists and the magazine. Years later, hundreds to thousands. The highest estimate Islamic gunmen executed the fatwa killing 12 reported was by the Russian interior minister. Hedbo cartoonists and its publisher. He estimated that 800,000 protesters attended Days after the massacre a magazine spokes- the Jan.19 demonstration against criticism of person said "We will not give in, otherwise all Muhammad. this won't have meant anything." This time, Takeamomentandimaginewhatlifewould in Pakistan, Islamic groups placed a bounty belikeifradicalIslamsucceedsandeliminates of $1,000,000 for the lives of Charlie Hebdo free speech. Without free speech they can magazine's cartoonists, enforce brutal laws like the Pakistan Penal Throughout the world, the actions of Code that allows a death verdict. You will not millions of Muslims, Openly and adamantly, b.e able to protest and express your opinion nor protest the showing of Muhammad cartoons practice the religion of your choice. and freedom of speech. In some of these Civilizedpeoplemuststoptryingtoappease demonstrations violence and deaths of non- people who live by 1500-year-old barbaric Muslims resulted, laws. They demand that we must also live The Seattle Globalist reported a group of by their Sharia laws. Appeasement has not SomaliMuslimAmericansgatheredtodemand worked in the past. There is no realistic way the resignation of a teacher who showed the to assume appeasement will work now. If we cartoons to her teenage students, continue making the same mistakes we will InaDearborncitycouncilmeetingaMuslim lose everything including our lives. man proposed implementing Sharia morals Ed Ziegler can be reached at Brooklyn13@ patrols and restriction of free speech. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 43 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene StarnKirn Fischer Christine DeSouza 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: Society Editor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Loft Apple Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky David Bornstein Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman Gil Dombrosky . Joyce Gore Letter from Israel By Ira Sharkansky Barack Obama is notaMuslim, but he shows signs of a Wannabe. He emphasizes his middle name and his father's origins when talking to Muslim audi- ences. That's nota sin, butan effortto establish identity. He'd be a lousy politician if he didn't play that game. However, he also contributes to the delu- sion of himself, and others with his frequent assertion that the war against terror is not about Islam. He says, "They are not religious leaders; they are terrorists." No doubt that they are terrorists, but they are also religious leaders, capable of recruiting people and sending them into battle or suicide, with heroic expressions Of Islamic history, doctrine, and eventual conquest of the world. Obama labels ISIS "violent extremists," and adopts the Muslim line that they have "perverted Islam." One has to be careful. We don't know how many of the billion nominal Muslims are inclined to violence against those labeled as infidels or heretics, inclined to tolerate those who are violent, or likely to be pushed toward extremism by a frontal attack on Islam. Notions of perverted or distorted doctrine might be applied to all-who practice one or another variety of Judaism, Christianity or Islam. All rely on centuries of created and interpreted spiritual doctrine, much of it fuzzy, with passages that lend themselves in support of peace, war, socialism, capitalism, tolerance or hatred. We don't know how many of ISIS fighters or supporters are knowledgeable about the doctrines of Islam, or are attracted by the thrill of joining a crusade. A counter crusade against Islam would not be wise, but neither is demanding that we put our heads in the sand. The terrorism many of us would like to defeat comes from, has its support, and is ,arguably inherent in Islamic doctrines. To be sure, there are other doctrines of Islam that oppose what the promoters of ISIS et al proclaim. Insofar as virtually all of the terrorists now active are Muslims, it would appear best to follow the line of Egyptian President al-Sisi and enlist Islamic leaders to work against their violent co-religionists, who are making life uncomfortable for moderate or nominal Muslims who may be the large majority, al- Sisi is also doing as much as anyone in acting forcefully against Islamic violence. It's not pretty, wouldn't pass muster for being politi- cally correct and showing appropriate concern for innocent civilians, but it may be more effective than Obama's effort to combat ISIS from a distance, without boots on the ground, and seeking solution by pleading for increased individual opportunities. The U.S. president is doing his utmost to minimize involvement. He authorizes air strikes, and uses U.S. troops to train the soldiers of Arab countries, perhaps on the soil of Turkey if that country agrees to join his coalition. Obama's rhetoric might pass muster in a school debate, but it doesn't ring out as world leadership. "We have to confront squarely and honestly the twisted ideologies that these terrorist groups use to incite people to violence ... We need to find new ways to amplify the voices of peace and tolerance and inclusion, and we especially need to do it online." I have received two e-mails from Abraham Foxman, addressed to Dear Ira, headlined "We've got a seat at the table," going on to say that "ADL was honored to present critical information to the Countering Violent Extrem- ism Summit at the White House, a meeting convened by the president to develop an action plan to address the phenomenon of violent extremism here and overseas." The note closed with ADL's conventional request for money to help the organization continue its good work in our behalf. Can I refer to him as Abe, and bring to his attention that even the New York Times is doubtful? "Despite the president's call to arms, many of the leaders and officials attending the conference expressed doubt about the abil- ity of the Obama administration to counter extremist messages, particularly from the Islamic State, which has a reach and agility in social media that far outstrips that of the American government." There is another head in the sand element in the current war against terror. It appears in ef- forts to avoid the nasty label of anti-Semitism. There are historians who make the point that Jews fared better under Muslim rule than under Christianity. Maybe. It's notan easy call. There were pogroms and campaigns to convert or die in the Middle East as well as in Europe. There should be no doubt, however, that Muslims are now the leading advocates of anti- Semitism. Whether that is all the fault of Israel for existing and succeeding amidst Muslims is another quarrel without a clear winner. As in failing to focus on Muslims and Is- lam as somehow responsible for the world's problems, the failure to describe part of what they do as anti-Semitism gets in the way of appropriate measures. White House and State Department ef- Sharkansky on page 15A