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PAGE 10A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 22, 2019 By Israel Kasnett (JNS)--After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanya- hu visited the Golan Heights this week together with U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk set offa firestorm when he tweeted, "Like it or not, the Golan Heights are Syr- ian territory. Israel cannot give them up now given its legitimate security concerns. But to recognize Israel's an- - nexation of territory that is not its own is to play with fire for partisan political purposes. No Arab state will accept it." There is general consen- sus in Israel that the Golan Heights in Israel's north is essential to Israel's security, and that the region played an important role in Jewish history as well. Where that consensus ends is in regard to whether Israel can and should keep it. Towards the end of the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel captured the Golan from the attacking Syrian army. In 1981, Israel's Knesset voted to apply Israeli law to the Golan Heights, but stopped short of formally an- nexing it. After 1967 and for the next 40 years, multiple attempts by a number of Is- raeli prime ministers to give the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for peace ended in failure over Syrian refusal to cut ties with terror organiza- tions and Iran. Efraim Inbar, president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, told JNS that "international law recognizes acquisition of territory via defensive wars. In 1967, Syria was the ag- gressor." Inbar noted that the Golan Heights has been in Israel's hands longer than it was ever in the hands of the Syrian state (from 1946). Given the threat that Iran now poses in the region, as well as the fractured status of the Syrian regime after eight years of civil war, most Israelis view the region as essential to its security. On Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces exposed a Hezbollah terror cell that was established in a border village in the Golan Heights. "This morning, Israel ex- posed a Hezbollah terror net- work on the Golan Heights. Hezbollah is a terror organi- zation. It's a proxy of Iran. It does Iran's bidding and this terror network is part of Iran's aggression against Israel," Netanyahu said in response. During his tour, Graham demonstrated strong support for Israel's presence on the Golan Heights and promised to push for U.S. recognition of Israel's right to govern the region. He told reporters: "There is no construct I can imagine now or any time in the future for the state of Israel to give the Golan up." The senator added that he would ask U.S. President Don- ald Trump about recognizing the area. "I will go back to the U.S. Senate, working with Sena- tor [Ted] Cruz; I will start an effort to recognize the Golan as part of the State of Israel, now and forever," said Graham. "Because to give this territory up would be a strategic nightmare for the State of Israel " Companion resolutions calling on the United States to follow through with this rec- ognition were introduced last month by Cruz, in addition to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R- Wisc.). Support for Israel's con- trol over the Golan Heights also has bipartisan support, with top Democrats, such as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) calling for the United States to recognize Israeli sovereignty. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) also sent a letter to Trump in January, also calling for recognition of the Golan. Additionally, the United States also changed its de- scription of the Golan Heights from "Israeli-occupied" to "Israeli-controlled" in it an- nual global human-rights report released on Wednesday. Gently mocking what he seemed to consider Indyk's apparent double standard, Inbar said, "I did not hear In- dyk speaking about returning American territory in the West to Mexico." Inbar was refer- ring to the disputed annexa- tion in 1845 of the Republic of Texas by the U.S. Congress. Mexico refused to formally recognize its sovereignty. Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (!) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on the Golan Heights, March 11, 2019. 'The status under interna- tional law' Others, however, were less critical of Indyk. Pnina Sharvit Baruch, a senior research fellow at the Israel Institute for National Security Studies, told JNS that she read Indyk's com- ments and said thought "he is right in his analysis." Sharvit Baruch agreed with Indyk that the Golan "never belonged to Israel nor was it part of the [1947 U.N.] parti- tion plan." One Twitter user wrote in response to Indyk, "I beg to differ. UNSCR 242 says Israel has the right to 'secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.' The Golan is necessary to ensure Israel's security, and therefore its annexation by Israel is compatible with UNSC 242." Israel's continued presence on the Golan Heights has long been recognized by America as essential for the Jewish state's security. In a speech last year to the U.S. House of Representatives, Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, noted that in 1975, President Gerald Ford wrote a letter to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin with respect to the Syrian front: "The U.S. has not developed final position on the borders. Should it do so, it will give great weight to Israel's position that any peace agreement be predicated on Israel's remaining on the Golan Heights." Gold emphasized that the commitment made in the Ford letter was renewed on a number of occasions, includ- ing by U.S. Secretaries of State James Baker and Warren Christopher. Yet Sharvit Baruch noted that while Israeli legislation applies there because of the 1981 Golan Heights Law, "this does not change the status under international law." Regardless of whether or not Graham will be success- ful in his efforts to attain U.S. recognition, Sharvit Baruch agreed that, due to the cur- rent security situation, "it is logical for Israel to keep the Golan under its control." The Happy Family Feast 2 (5 oz.) Filet Mignons 2 (5 oz.) Top Sirloins 2 (4 oz.) Boneless Pork Chops 4 (3 oz.) Kielbasa Sausages 4 (4 oz.) Omaha Steaks Burgers 4 (3.5 oz.) Chicken Fried Steaks All-Beef Meatballs (12 oz. pkg.) 4 (2.8 oz.) Potatoes au Gratin 4 (4 oz.) Caramel Apple TarUets Signature Seasoning Packet 48269VDB I~ Z= (']': i3 C! !,! L @ I "~,] 99 COMBO PRICE for over 100 years SAVE 77% i GET 28 ITEMS + 4 FREE BURGERS By Henry Abramson (JTA)--Every year before Purim, my inbox and social media fill up with dire exhorta- tions from rabbis and yeshivas warning against the dangers of celebratory excess--as if drunkenness on the holiday were something new. In reality, the after-Purim regrets have been part of the discourse ever since Rabbah drunkenly attacked and inadvertently killed his dear friend Rabbi Zeira in the Talmud (don't worry-- he was revived in the end). Rabbis and communal lead- ers across the religious spectrum have condemned drunken revelry on a holiday dedicated to excess and ca- rousing, noting it often leads to harming life and limb. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, leader of the Hasidic Chabad movement, outlawed more than four drinks at a time for anyone younger than 40. But even before all of that, it turns out that the ancient Ro- mans-who weren't exactly known for their sobriety--at- tempted to control wild Purim parties as early as the year 408. An unusual bit of the Theodosian Code (16.8.18) is apparently the first non- Jewish source to document the phenomenon of Purim parties that get out of hand. Specifically, the law pro- hibited Jews from burning Haman in effigy. For Jews, the practice of symbolically destroying the notorious vil- lain of the book of Esther, the paradigm of anti-Semitism, was considered an aspect of the Purim commandment to "erase the name of Ama- lek," Haman's Jew-hating ancestor. The Romans weren't es- pecially discomfited by the idea of vicariously punishing enemies, or even maintain- ing fire safety. They were, however, concerned that drunken Jewish celebrants might use the opportunity to mock Christians by portray- ing Haman as a sacrilegious stand-in for Jesus. This is especially true because the fa- vored method of representing Haman's death in the ancient world wasn't hanging by the neck--he was crucified on a wooden cross. The biblical passage that literally describes Haman's "hanging on a tree" (Esther 7:10) was rendered as "cruci- fied" in the ancient works of the Jewish historian Josephus, the early translations of the book of Esther into Greek (Septuagint) and Latin (Vul- gate), and all through the MiddleAges in literary classics like Dante's "Purgatory." Ar- tistic representations also depicted Haman on the cross, such as the 15th-century Azor Masters and even by Michelangelo, who painted a muscular Haman on a cross on the Sistine Chapel. It's not hard to imagine how public Purim execrations of Haman, conducted by an inebriated crowd of Jews, could easily be misperceived by Christian observers, espe- cially if the effigy of Haman is bound to a wooden cross. In fact, only a few years after the law in the Theodosian Code was promulgated, a Church historian named Socrates Scholasticus tendentiously described an event that sound- ed very much like a drunken Purim celebration gone hor- ribly wrong: In Inmestar, Syria, a group allegedly seized a Christian child, bound him to a cross and scourged him until he died. Socrates Scholasticus is not especially reliable as a source for Jewish history, but as the historian Elliot Horowitz has demonstrated in his masterful studies of Purim violence, it didn't take much to convince Christian audiences that Jews were in fact bent on committing acts of horrific violence. From Inmestar to Norwich to Nazi Germany and beyond, the noxious lie of the blood libel continues to plague innocent Jewish communities. It's too awful to think that it might in some way be connected to misunderstood, misappre- hended, "harmless" Purim festivities. The blood libels were just that. But because the Chris- tian majority was so quick to feel threatened by Jewish revelry, violent or just in- temperate, it was better for the Jews' own sake that they tone it down. Some might be tempted to argue that drunken revelry is essential to the celebra- tion and that non-Jewish Romans on page 15A