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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 10, 2017 By Ben Cohen of two World Wars and the Cold War. This JNS.org last point was particularly gratifying, as it emphasized the shared experience of fighting For those of us who spent much of 2016, totalitarianismthatremainsthefoundationof based upon then-candidate Donald Trump's our alliances from the Atlantic to the Pacific: own bombastic declarations, worrying about a time like now, when we face rogue regimes the thrust of the foreign policy of a future such as Iran and North Korea, is precisely a Trump administration, President Trump's time to recall that history. Revealingly, men- address to Congress Feb. 28 provided welcome tion of Russia--touted by candidate Trump as relief, an ally in the war against Islamic State even as As ever, precise details were scarce and he poured scorn on NATO--was absent from importantshifts ofdirectionwentunacknowl- the speech to Congress entirely. edged, but the underlying message was clear-- If democratic principles are going to inform and notably more centrist in orientation. U.S. foreign policy--if, in the words of John Trump correctly identified "radical Islamic Adams, American "benedictions and prayers" terror" as America's prime enemy, but he also will reside "wherever the standard of freedom spoke oftheimportanceofour"Muslimallies," and independence has been or shall be un- thereby offering the clearest clarification yet furled"--then it is right that we recognize the that we are not at war with Islam as a whole, value of our historic alliance with our fellow America'skeyalliancewithIsrael--shunted democracies. But affirming those principles aside by President Barack Obama, and veri- shouldn't blind us to to those international tably demonized by the far-right figures who institutions that have dominated the post- endorsed Trump during the election--was World War II global order, yet are in sore need underlined with enthusiasm. Trump also gave of dramatic reform. a thoughtful endorsement of NATO, pointing The United Nations wasn't featured as a topic out that the alliance was forged in the bonds in Trump's address, but his new U.N. ambassa- a sur dor, Nikki Haley, has been making bold efforts to revitalize America's support for Israel from the nadir of last December's abstention on a Security Council vote that harshly criticized the Jewish state. Haley has made clear her distaste for the U.N.'s systemic bias against Israel; in that vein, the Trump administration is reconsidering its participation in the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC), citing that body's obsession with condemning Israel as the main reason. Those who believe that a U.S. withdrawal from the UNHRC would be ill-advised and hasty should remember that the council has had more than a decade to get its act together. Created in 2006, the UNHRC succeeded the former Commission on Human Rights, a body that was similarly obsessed with Israel. At the time, there were vague hopes that the UNHRC would expend more energy on the gravest abusers, but the wildly disproportionate at- tention upon Israel has persisted. Nor has the UNHRC prevented grievous human rights abusers, from Venezuela to Saudi Arabia, from serving as members and participating in its decisions--because in the U.N.'s universe, having an appalling human rights record never disqualifies you from judging the human rights records of others. Especially if the record that you are "judg- ing" is Israel's. If confronting this blatant discrimination against a state that was first admitted to the U.N. in 1949 is to be a marker of the Trump administration's approach to the international body, then it's important to realize that the battle is much wider than simply the UNHRC. The deeper rot that needs to be addressed set in more than 40 years ago--Nov. 10, 1975, to be exact. On that date, the U.N. General Assembly passed the Soviet-inspired Resolution 3379, equating Zionism with racism--a resolution thatwas rescinded in 1991. Less well-known is another resolution passed on that day--3376, which created the grandly named Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, giving us the unwieldy acronym CEIRPP. The "inalienable rights" that this commit- tee represents include, as Resolution 3376 makes unambiguously clear, the "exercise by Palestinians of their inalienable right to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted." Note the terminology used here--not "Palestinian refugees of the 1948 war," but all Palestinians, including those born after 1948 in the Arab world, in Europe, in North America and in Latin America. It doesn't take tremendous insight to realize that it is a formula for the elimination of Jewish sovereignty in the land Cohen on page 15A By Lor| ]Lowenthal Marcus part by an offender's bias against a religion." JNS.org The past 18 years, however, have witnessed larger-scale crimes against Jewish institu- Dozens of bomb threats have been called tions such as the following: into Jewish institutions since early Janu- * In 1999, a whitesupremacistwalked into ary, and scores of headstones at two Jewish the lobby of the North Valley Jewish Corn- cemeteries--one near St. Louis, the other in munity Center in Granada Hills, Calif., and Philadelphia--were desecrated in February. fired 50 shots, wounding three children, a But is there actually a rising tide of anti- teenager and an adult. The shooter, Buford Semitism in America? O. Furrow, Jr., was gunning for Jews. Despite the threats and attacks, positive * In 2006, Naveed Haq forced his way into feelings between different American reli- the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle gious groups are on the rise, as measured facility, where he shot six people, murdering in mid-to-late January by the well-respected one of them. and non-partisan Pew Foundation. Addition- In April, 2014, Frazier Glenn Miller Jr. ally, far more damaging anti-Semitic inci- drove to the Overland Park JCC and the dents took place throughout the preceding Village Shalom retirement home in Kansas, decade and a half than the ones garnering and fatally shot three people. Miller hoped attention in recent weeks, to kill Jews by targeting Jewish institutions, During the past two months, there have but his victims happened to be Christians. been nearly 100 documented acts of anti- The recent bomb threats, none of which Semitism across North America, including were followed by actual attacks, are not a at least 90 bomb threats--mostly at Jewish new phenomenon in the U.S., although the community centers (JCCs)--and the two successive and coordinated hits on so many cemetery attacks. Jewish institutions in a relatively short pe- Running parallel to these anti-Jewish riod of time is in fact unprecedented. hate crimes has been a groundswell of Jewish cemeteries, meanwhile, havebeen anger directed at President Donald Trump occasionally vandalized for as long as they for allegedly failing to swiftly or sufficiently have existed. In December 2010, more than denounce anti-Semitism. Some critics have 200 headstones were knocked over, smashed labeled the president an anti-Semite and and graffitied at Washington Cemetery in claimed he is responsible for unleashing a Brooklyn, N.Y. Internet searches goingback wave of religious hatred, decades reveal dozens of Jewish cemetery In response, Trump and his spokespeople desecrations, but the overwhelming major- have been condemning the recent acts of ity of these attacks received minimal media anti-Semitism, using that specific phrase, attention and some were not reported at all. The president began his speech to Congress So why have the Philadelphia and St. Louis- Tuesday by calling attention to the "recent area attacks proved different? threatstargetingJewishcommunitycenters A security expert who deals exclusively and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries." with Jewish institutions, Jason Friedman of But is America witnessing a significant the Community Security Service (CSS),told uptick in anti-Semitism, or just a surge in JNS.orgthat given his historical perspective, the attention paid to, and the reporting of, he is not convinced that there has been "a anti-Semitic incidents? dramatic increase in anti-Semitic events To answer that question, the incidents rather than a big increase in the reporting must first be appraised accurately. They of and on such events." are religious hate crimes, according to the Friedman's organization recently issued FBI's definition: "a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in Marcus on page 14A ITHE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. [ , , CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE , , ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 45 Press Awards H NEWS 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 i01, 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 emaih news@orlandoheritage.com Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene Stare Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza Society Editor Office Manager Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Kirn Fischer 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 The most prominent problem currently facing Israel in international politics is one of our own making. Not the work of us all, but the work of some. It's the so-called settlement law, which aspires to solve the problem of some 4,000 homes built on land that individual Palestin- ians are likely to convince Israeli courts that they are the owners of the land, and did not agree to the construction. The enactment makes an effort to be fair. It offers compensation to the Palestinians having a valid claim. Its supporters assert that no property claims are absolute. Govern- ments the world over take land for what they see as appropriate purposes, and define the compensation due the owners. However, this law has two principal prob- lems. It would take land for private rather than public use, and it deals with areas of the West Bank said to be outside the purview of Israeli legislation. None of the claims or charges are all that sharp and clear. It's a fuzzy area where courts may decide, but losers won't be happy or quiet. In re: the private use of the land, i.e., for family homes, law advocates claim that the issue is essentially public, insofar as the Israeli government accepted the construction, shown by the supply of electricity, water, and security to the homeowners. In re: the area for which the Knesset has legislated, this would not be the first applica- tion of Israeli law to disputed areas. Early ones were the annexation of extensive areas to Jerusalem in 1967 and the imposition of Israeli law on occupied areas of the Golan in 1981. Neither of those earlier enactments is widely accepted outside of Israel. Many of those condemning the present law may not be familiarwith its content. The details are less important than its symbolic value, in being the latest action that can be said to be Jews taking over Arab land. In the background of the most recent en- actment are views expressed by Israelis and their supporters, but opposed by other Israelis and many others. It is that the West Bank is not "occupied" but "disputed" land, given the convoluted details of earlier British, Jordanian, and Israeli actions. Also confusing the issue is a lot of monkey business with respect to land sales in the West Bank. Involved here are several regime changes in the most recent century, from the Ottoman Empire to the British Mandate to Jordanian occupation and then Israel, with each regime having its own land laws. There are complex family histories and multiple claimants to inheritance, some of whom are inclined to sell at high prices and leave Palestine for more desirable homes elsewhere. Jews have been willing to take advantage of the situation, for example by working with Palestinians having doubtful authority to sell land that they claim is their own. Jews as well as Palestinians are accused of forging documents pertaining to ownership and sale. Israelis are obligated to accept court deci- sions, even thotugh they may quarrel about the justice of competing claims. Disagreements aboutwhat is feasible appear at the highest levels of Israeli government. The Legal Adviser to the Government has said that the Knesset's settlement enactment cannot pass muster with the Israeli Supreme Court, and that he will not defend it against suits already in the works. His deputy disagrees with him, but has been kept by the Legal Adviser from expressing his opinion in a public forum. The legislation has become a political foot- ball within Israel and elsewhere. The Knesset vote was 60 against 52, with most MKs voting according to their established party postures. The prime ministerwaveredwith respect to the bill. He worked at various points to postpone the vote, most recently saying that he wanted to discuss it with President Trump prior to the enactment. Jewish Home and right wing Likudniks were the prominent pushers for a vote, and it came when Netanyahu was on a flight from Britain to Israel. That might allow him some wiggle room with respect to what comes next. In a way to be self-deprecating with re- spect to Palestinian actions, an Arab friend translated into Hebrew an Arabic epigram. Further translated into English, it is "If you have no food, then the smell of food is better than nothing." Israeli commentators are heavily tilted toward a prediction that the Israeli Supreme Courtwill invalidate the law due to itsviolation of individual Palestinians' rights to control the use of land that they own. One is left with the conclusion that the enactment of the settlement law accomplished nothing more than serving the right wing of Israeli politics, especially that represented in Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home, that they have done something to protect Jews' rights to the Promised Land. The rest of us are left to wonder if it'll accomplish anything other than a wave of condemnation, already begun, from even the governments of Western Europe currently expressing support for Israel's needs. Shooting ourselves in the foot, with respect to worsening public relations, seems as more apt a description than anything that can claim to be a solution for the problems of Israel or Palestine, however anyone wishes to define those problems. Comments welcome. Irashark@gmail.com.