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March 10, 2017

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 10, 2017 PAGE 5A I By Stephen M. Flatow A Palestinian terrorist who murdered two Hebrew Univer- sity of Jerusalem students has found a new ally, the far-left Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) group. How mainstream Jew- ish liberal groups respond will be telling. The killer, Rasmea Odeh, is locked in a battle, initiated by the Obama administration, to deport her for lying about her terrorist past. It all began in February 1969, when the 20-year-old Odeh, together with a fellow member of the Popular Front for the Libera- tion of Palestine (PFLP), set off a bomb in a Jerusalem supermarket. Two Hebrew University students who were shopping in the store, Edward Jaffe and Leon Kanner, were killed. Odeh and her accomplice were soon arrested. It didn't take long for the authorities to build an airtight case. Bomb- making materials, including explosives, had been found in Odeh's home. She confessed to the bombing within a day of her arrest, provided details of the operation and even made a videotaped reconstruc- tion of how she planted the bombs. Her co-conspirators also confessed, and they all implicated each other. (Later, in a documentary film, one of her comrades named Odeh as the mastermind of the attack.) Not surprisingly, Odeh was convicted of the two murders. She was also con- victed of membership in a terrorist organization, the PFLP. Odeh was sentenced to life imprisonment, but in 1980 she was released in a prisoner exchange. In 1995, she moved to the U.S., and in 2004 received American citizenship. In 2013, federal immigra- tion officials became aware of Odeh's background and took a second look at the forms she filled out when applying for citizenship. The form asked if she had ever been convicted of a crime; she wrote, "No." The Obama administration indicted her on charges of immigration fraud. Odeh was convicted and ordered deported to Jordan. But an appeals court ruled last year that her lawyers were wrongly denied permission to argue that Odeh lied on the forms because she suf- fered "post-traumatic stress disorder" while imprisoned in Israel. A new trial is set to begin May 16. Since she has so little chance of prevailing in court on the merits, Odeh has been desperately trying to create political pressure that she hopes will influence the legal process. Odeh found allies in the Arab-American community in Chicago, where she lives. That's disheartening, because one would like to think that the Arab-American commu- nity is as horrified by Odeh's terrorism as everyone else. As it turned out, though, Odeh's Arab-American allies have proven rather ineffective. The Arab-American Action Network (AAAN), for which Odeh works, has formed its defense of her around two arguments. One is that Odeh "misunderstood" the question on the form; that's obviously absurd. The AAAN's second line of defense is that Odeh con- fessed to the bombings only after several weeks of "tor- ture" and "sexual abuse" by Israeli interrogators. That, of course, conflicts with the fact that Odeh confessed after just one day in jail. And the AAAN has no way to explain the bombs found in Odeh's apartment, the statements of her co-conspirators or her undisputed involvement with a terrorist group. So Odeh has been looking for other allies. And she's found one--on the edges of the Jewish community. The far-left JVP has announced that Odeh will be one of the featured speakers at its na- tional conference, in Chicago, at the end of March. JVP was founded by three undergraduates at the Univer- sity of California, Berkeley. It's ironic that an organization founded by college students should be embracing someone who murdered two college students. I suppose as long as she didn't murder any members of JVP, they don't consider her to be the enemy. JVP is pretty much as far to the left as you can get in the Flatow on page 15A By Caroline B. Glick Speaking to his ministers on Sunday about his visit to Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu her- alded a new era in U.S.-Israel relations. To a degree, he was correct. When U.S. President Don- ald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greeted Ne- tanyahu and his wife Sara as they alighted from their car at the southern entrance to the White House, Trump demonstrated that the eight years of hostile treatment Israel suffered at the hands of his predecessor Barack Obama were no more. But unfortunately, Obama wasn't the only thing that was wrong with U.S.-Israel relations. There is also a problem with anti-Semitism. Rather than confront the problem head on, and where it does Israel and American Jewry the most damage, Netanyahu shied away from contending with the issue. This was a mistake. Just hours after he left town, another American Jew was targeted by an anti- Semitic slander of the sort Netanyahu failed to address during his meeting with Trump. Thursday afternoon, the Senate Foreign Affairs Com- mittee held a confirmation hearing for Trump's ambas- sador designate to Israel, at- torney David Friedman. Friedman is a Jewish attor- ney. He is unapologetic about his support for Israel. The fact that unlike his liberal Jewish predecessors, Friedman does not make his support for Israel contingent on Israel's willing- ness to appease the territorial and other demands of the PLO, made him the subject of withering criticism at the hands of several Democratic lawmakers. While unpleasant, the scathing criticism Demo- cratic senators leveled against Friedman was within the bounds of legitimate debate. They support a different, less supportive policy toward Israel than the policy that the Trump administration is developing. What was not within the bounds of legitimate debate, however, was a question that Democratic Senator Robert Menendez posed to Fried- man. Noting that Friedman is "very passionate about Israel," Menendez asked Friedman to assure the senators that his loyalty and commitment lay with the U.S., rather than with Israel. Menendez's query was be- yond the pale because itwasn't about Friedman's positions. It was about his Judaism. Inher- ent to Menendez's question was a barely disguised insinu- ation: Jews who are passionate about Israel cannot be trusted by their fellow Americans. It doesn't matter how much you love America. It doesn't matter how much of your life you devote to advancing the interests of America. If you are a Jew, and you sup- port Israel, then your loyalty toAmericawill be questioned. This brings us back to Netanyahu and his failure to address the issue of anti- Semitism in his meetingwith Trump. There is one issue where Netanyahu is uniquely posi- tioned to fight the canard that pro-Israel Jews are disloyal to America. That issue is the plight of Jonathan Pollard. Pollard was sentenced to life in prison in 1985 for transfer- ring classified materials to Israel. Hewas paroled in 2015. Pollard's plight is impor- tant for two reasons that bear direct relevance to Menen- dez's anti-Semitic behavior at Friedman's confirmation hearing and to the general problem of anti-Semitism in America. First, Pollard is proof of American anti-Semitism. To be sure, Pollard failed the loyalty test. America trusted its secrets to Pollard 35 years ago when he served as an ana- lyst in US Naval Intelligence. And he betrayed that trust when he revealed American secrets to Israel. Pollardthoughis not unique. Korean Americans, Japanese Americans, ItalianAmericans, French Americans, Irish and German Americans have also transferred American secrets to foreign governments With which they felt a kinship. To the extent they transferred secrets to states that are al- lies of the US, they received prison sentences that ranged on average between two to five years and served their terms in minimum security prisons until they were released back into society and free to leave the U.S. Pollard, in contrast, was railroaded by the U.S. justice system. He was given a life sentence and served for 30 years in maximum-security prisons. He spent his first 10 years in prison in solitary confinement. Over the 30 years he sat in prison, U.S. national security officials and lawmakers on both sides of the partisan divide called for successive presidents to commute his sentence. Glick on page 15A By Jordana Horn (Kveller via JTA)--My mother swims at the JCC. These days, she packs a "go bag" with all of her stuff to bring to the pool in case she is evacuated in her bathing suit by a bomb threat. It doesn't seem unlikely. This is not what America should be. "Well, what can I do?" people ask me. They feel powerless. Let me tell you this: You are not powerless. Here are five things you can do to stand up against hate today. 1. Join your local Jewish community center. Today, I am joining my local JCC. I am not a member, but I think it is time I became one to show my solidarity. By the way, you can join regardless of whether or not you are Jew- ish--they have a great gym, pools and classes, just like a YMCA or YWCA, and welcome everyone. Join at the cheapest level as a gesture of support. Tell the membership people exactly why you are doing it. Post a picture of yourself at the JCC, or holding your new membership card, and explain why you're a new member. Kindness can go viral. 2. Support other commu- nities going through pain. There is a GoFundMe, for example, for the families of Alok Madasani and Srinivas Kuchibhotla, the two Indian men shot by a white racist in Kansas; there is also one for Ian Grillot, the young man who went after their shooter and was shot himself. A small amount is nothing to be ashamed of---think of it as your coffee money. The perpetrators and victims may vary, but the hate is all the same, whether directed at us as Jews or Hindus or Muslims or anyone else. You can also give a donation to the Anti-Defamation League or another anti-hate group in honor of someone special in your life. Be public about your dona- tion, posting about it on Face- book or Instagram or Twitter or whatever, to show that you are stepping up. Explain why, too, so that someone else can get the idea and do the same. 3. Call your representative in Congress at their local and Washington offices. A friend of mine offered this suggestion, and I think it is a great one: Ask [your representative] to issue a statement condemning the JCC bomb threats. Tell your representative to speak out on behalf of their Jew- ish constituents. Urge them to conduct an investigation against bomb threats in their state--18 states had bomb threats one day recently. Here's a short script: "My name is (NAME) and I'm your constituent from (AD- DRESS, ZIP CODE). I'm urging the Representative to make a statement against the rising tide of bomb threats against Jewish institutions across the country and in our state [if you live in a state that had a bomb threat] and to urge an investi- gation in [city where the threat occurred]. Please show your patriotism through solidarity with a community that is now living in fear of violence." 4. Talk about it socially. Don't act like nothing is happening. That silence is part of what sows the seeds of fear--when people who are not affected (non-Jews, non-Muslims, non-Indians, whomever) turn a blind eye and pretend nothing is hap- pening. IT'S HAPPENING. Talk about it everywhere online and in reality. Show that you are an ally to those who are suffering. 5. Write a note. Take five minutes out of your day and write an email. You could write to the staff of the JCCs who had to hold the hands of 3-year-olds being evacuated, all the while terrified that they would lose their own lives. You could write to the ADL and thank them for doing the good work of standing up against hate. You could write to a parent whose child was evacuated, just reaching out to make sure they are doing OK, to show them that they are not alone and have your support. You could write to a friend who is a minority, say- ing "I realize it might sound strange, but I wanted you to know that amid all this hate, I have your back. You are not alone. You are my fellow American, and I am with you." I went to the zoo the other day with my kids and saw a sign on a tree that said, "It takes 200 years for a tree to grow to this size; it takes 20 minutes to chop it down." So often, it can seem like acts of hate or violence or evil or treachery are more powerful than acts of love because they happen quicker and are more violent. But they are not be- cause acts of love and kindness are so meaningful, they are what make life worth living. Jordana Horn is a con- tributing editor to Kveller. She is a journalist, lawyer, writer, mother of six, travel aficionado and self-declared karaoke superstar. Kveller is a thriving com- munity of women and parents who convene online to share, celebrate and commiserate their experiences of rais- ing kids through a Jewish lens. Visit F YOU DoNor THE DIFFE2ENCE IEN, THEN YOU A DICTIOI A 02