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March 23, 2018

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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MARCH 23, 2018 By Ben Cohen or her works of art--rather like the furious arguments lots of Jews used to have about (JNS)--Mention the name"Celine" to most the appropriateness of listening to the operas people in the United States--or Europe, for of Wagner. And every so often, these debates that matter--and they will think you're talk- enter the news cycle as ghosts of a past that ing about the long-serving Canadian pop has again become part of the present. That is diva. But among French intellectuals, there exactly what has happened with Cdline, at a is only one "Celine": Louis-Ferdinand Cdine, time when anti-Semitism has re-established one of a handful of writers who redefined the itself as a serious and enduring problem in mission and style of French literature in the France. 20th century. In brief, here is the backstory: Last De- This Cdline, whose heyday was in the cember,-the legendary French publishing 1930s, detested the Jews. No surprise there, company Gallimard announced that it would given the unhealthy number of writers and be reissuing three monstrously anti-Semitic artists outside Germany who sympathized pamphlets written by Cdline between 1937 with the Nazi program for the Jewish people, and 1941. When Cdline died in 1961--having There were quite a few, after all, in our own been condemned as a "national disgrace" for language. Take, for instance, the American his collaboration with the Vichy regime, with writer Ezra Pound, who regaled listeners to whom he fled to Germany during the Allied his radio show, broadcasted from fascist Italy, offensive of 1944--he left explicit instructions with stories"about Jew-ruined England.About that these pamphlets never be published again. the wreckage of France, wrecked under y d In fact, they have been, in French-speaking control. Lousy with k s." Qudbec, where the intellectual property rights With cases like these, there's an inevitable of these works have expired. But publishing debate about whether one can or should them in France under the imprint of one of separate the artist's vulgar hatreds from his the country's most prestigious publishers is a The Passover seder--A uniquely Jewish experience By Mel Pearlman times in which these events occurred, trying to define itself. There is a webpage, JewBelong and other G-d freed the slaves with His strong hand, web pages on the Internet, whose alleged but he required the Jewish people to wander purpose is to bring Judaism to new heights 40 years in the desert, to transform from a of "contemporary cool," and thereby attract dependent slave mentality to a mentality of young Jews back to Judaism. The result of independence and freedom. This wandering their methodology is to dilute Judaism. The was not only physical, but also spiritual. Even current effort is to incorporate and to politicize though G -d had made a covenant with Abra- thesederwith contemporary issues, to change ham that the Jewish people were to inherit the symbolism on the seder plate to include the Land of Israel, the Jewish people were symbols for gay rights and other causes, to compelled to do battle to earn their rights to read selections from Christian and Muslim the Promised Land. sources, and to promote a progressive politi- The Torah mandates Us to tell this story, our cal agenda that has nothing to do with the story, in every generation as if we ourselves original Passover story, were delivered from slavery unto freedom. Fortunately, this strategy is not going to Why are we obligated to continually remind work for amyriad of reasons. Firstand foremost ourselves that wewere slaves in Egypt? It is to is the false presumption that traditional Juda- give us a deeper appreciation of freedom and ism is not "with it" and therefore, is in need of equality. It is to strengthen our conviction change to make it "relevant" to the issues of to help others who have not reached a high the day. How many times have we heard that level of equality. It is to give us the strength in the last several decades! The truth is that and wisdom to free people from their own contemporary issues the progressives wish to prejudices and hatreds. It is to yearn for and deal with can already be found in the Passover work forpeace. It is to continue our journey story. It is not for the Jewish people to distort through history and assure our own survival this story, but to embrace and continue it. and our heritage, so we can continue to be a We should welcome non-Jews to participate catalyst for progress for all humanity. in the seder tradition, but we should not dilute In you wish to comment or respond to any it. There are many lessons to be learned from of the contents herein you can reach me at the telling of the Passover story for both us Please do so andournon-Jewishfriendsandneighborsthat in a rational, thoughtful, respectful and civil can guide us through the many issues facing manner. If you wish to respond by ranting and contemporary life. raving, please go into your bathroom, lock the The traditional Passover seder tells the door and shout your brains out. story of the singular momentous event in the Mel Pearlman has been practicing law in formation of the Jewish nation: Not only does it Central Florida for the past 45 years. He has tell the miraculous story of a people in slavery served as president of the Jewish Federation being rescued by G-d and their hurried exodus of GreaterOrlando;ontheDistrictVIIMental from Egypt, but also of their transformation Health Board, as Special Prosecutor for the from a tribal people to a nation. It tells a story City of Winter Park, Florida; andon theBoard of a messenger from G-d who leads his people of Directors of the Central Florida Research out of Egypt and then assumes the role of a andDevdopmentAuthority. Hewasa charter political leader who has to deal with everyday member of the Board of Directors andserved issues of a developing society. The Passover as the first Vice President of the Holocaust story is a story of an infant nation, having MemorialResource and Education Center of only recently become bound to a rule of law Central Florida, as well as its first pro-bono and ethics, so sophisticated for the primitive legal counsel. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 46 Press Awards EWISH 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 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 emaih Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene Starn Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza Society Editor Office Manager Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Kim Fisoer * Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Mel Pearlrnan David Bornstein Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore proposition dan entirely different magnitude. That was why French President Emmanuel Macron explicitly addressed what has become a bitter domestic controversy in his remarks this week at the annual dinner in Paris of the Conseil Reprdsentatifdes Institutions Juives de France, or Crif, France's Jewish representative organization. In a clever swipe at Poland's re- cent draconian Holocaust legislation, Macron pointed out that there are no "memorial police" in France; therefore, these matters are decided by conscience, not law. Macron personally left no doubt that he thought Gallimard should refrain from publishing the pamphlets. What is the content of these pamphlets that make them so fearful? In 2010, the New York Review of Books carried a feature that revisited the original editions of these works--Bagatelles pour un massacre, L' cole des cadavres and Les beaux draps--and quoted from them liberally. The venom, frankly, is chilling. "The sordid schemes, the betrayals, a nose that points to, lowers toward, and falls over their mouths," Cdline wrote in Bagatelles pour un massacre. Small wonder that the author of the New York Review piece, Wyatt Mason, deemed these texts to be typical of a writer "who, from 1937 to 1944, spent all his flagrant literary energy and aptitude calling--shouting--for the death of every Jew in France." By the end of the war, 75,000 members of a pre-war Jewish population of 340,000 had indeed gone forcibly to their deaths. Cdline was a direct participant in this genocide, every bit as culpable as the semi-literate French peasant alerting the SS to a Jewish family in hiding to make a few bucks. Reading his words, one hears By Michael Oren (Israel Hayom / Exclusive to JNS via JNS)-- While Israel is mired in domestic scandals and coalition crises, the greatest threat the country has known since the eve of the Yom Kippur War--perhaps since the War for In- dependence--is steadily taking shape. This menace, posed of course by Iran, essentially consists of a wide range of growing threats closing in on us. The Iranians, who invented the game of chess, are exceedingly adept at playing several boards simultaneously, with the winner's prize no less than control of the entire Middle East and beyond. The bottom chessboard is regional. The Ira- nians cunningly took a step back and allowed the superpowers to destroy their main enemies in the region. The Americans weakened the Taliban and eliminated Saddam Hussein, and, along with Russia, they annihilated the Islamic State group. The Iranians also helped Shiite militias exhaust and chase American forces from Iraq. The resulting vacuum in Iraq and Syria was filled by the Iranians and their proxies. Today, Iran is penetrating deeper across the Middle East and is guiding the Shiite majorities in eastern Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. It has also established a foothold among the Houthis rebels in Yemen. Just several days ago, Bahrain i forces thwarted a coup attempt orchestrated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. At the same time, the Iranians have forged unprecedentedly strong alliances with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Together with their complete control over Lebanon, the Iranians have laid siege to virtually the entire Middle East. The upper chessboard is the international sphere, where the Iranians have secured a nuclear deal. This achievement grants them all the advantages of military nuclear capa- bilities without the costs. While Iran doesn't have to fear a military strike on its nuclear facilities, sanctions relief and lucrative busi- ness deals have provided the immense funds it uses to realize its regional aspirations. In around 10 years, when the nuclear deal expires, no country will step in to stop Iran if it continues developing nuclear weapons, for fear of squandering its vast investments in the Islamic republic. In the meantime, the Iranians have displayed an incredible capacity to maneuver between Western powers. Thus, for example, during Tehran's rapprochement with Washington under the Obama administration, it also struck the sounds of violence: shattering glass, boots on human flesh, the discordant strains of the Nazi anthem, the "Horst Wessel" song. And that is exactly how these wordswere intended. One can only hope that Gallimard will heed the advice of France's president, and abandon its Cdline project out if its own volition. There isn't really a free-speech issue at stake since all these pamphlets are available on the Internet. Thus, the dilemma for Gallimard is whether apublisher of its stature should be distributing anti-Semitic ravings in the name of literary endeavor. No one could possibly believe that Cdline's words can be read dispassionately in France today, where anti-Semitic attacks of the most brutal kind occur with disturbing frequency. I have written on several occasions in this column about the torture and murder of a Jewish pensioner, Sarah Halimi, in April 2017. To study the account of her ordeal atthe hands of a young Islamist intruder is to step into a Cdline-like world of hatred, where every word uttered is echoed in physical violence. Until France rids itself of these paroxyms of Jew-hatred--there was also the torture and murder of Ilan Halimi in 2006; the 2012 massacre of a teacher and three small children at a Toulouse Jewish school; the 2015 hostage situation and slaughter at the Hyper Cacher market in Paris; and much more--it cannot pretend that republishing Cdline's pamphlets is somehow incidental and unrelated to what French Jews are facing now. Ben Cohen writes a weekly column for JNS on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics. His writings have been published in Commen- tary, the New York Post, Haaretz, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications. a tangible military alliance with Russia, which helped it restore its status as a player in the Middle East. This dexterity is particularly discernible on the main chessboard: Syria. Influence in Syria, which links Tehran to Beirut; and Damascus to Iraq and the Persian Gulf, is a preeminent Iranian interest. In Syria ofaU places, however, Iran's status is question- able due to the lack ofa Shiite population there. Therefore, it is working to cleanse Syria of its Sunni majority and bolster the Aiawites, who are essentially an offshoot of Shiite Islam, and their regime. To replace the banished or killed Sunnis, Iran is importing Shiites from across the Middle East from as far as Pakistan and Afghanistan. To this end, the Iranians en- listed Moscow's help and in return agreed to Russia's continued presence in the war-torn country. Through their extensive economic ties with Iran, meanwhile, the Europeans are funding the ethnic cleansing of Syria and inducing the tsunami of refugees reach- ing their shores. All Iran has to do now is establish a military foothold in Syria to overcome the last obstacle on its path to regional hegemony: Israel. Iran wants to force Israel into a state of perpetual check; in other words, paralysis before death. Surrounded by tens of thousands of missiles held by Hamas and Hezbollah, and in range of the Iranian army's long-range missiles, Israel will struggle to impede Iran from entrenching itself in Syria. When this undertaking culminates, the Iranians will be able to take the Israeli "king" and declare checkmate. This can be prevented. The Israeli govern- ment has thus far set clear red lines prohibit- ing the Iranians from building missile bases and ports in Syria, and from transferring sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah. These red lines must be stringently enforced, but international support must also be enlisted. Israel has to develop a diplomatic and legal "iron dome" capable of defending us if Israel Defense Forces's soldiers are forced to enter Hezbollah's strongholds in southern Lebanon. No less importantly, Israel must remove the Palestinian stumbling block on the path to a strategic alliance with the Sunni world and the creation of a united Middle Eastern front to counter Iran. The Iranians might be experts at chess, but rest assured, Israel has champions of its own. Michael Oren is a former lsraeli ambassador to the U.S. He currently serves as deputy public diplomacy minister.