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April 5, 2013

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS,APRIL 5, 2013 PAGE 5~ -e." By Eric R. Mandel say things that represent the AminAI-Husseini." The Mufti millions in funds targeted for at Israeli civilians during the antithesis to peace. InAugust of Jerusalem is the same Pales- the Palestinian people, just Second Lebanon War, Opera- 2011hesaid,"Don'torderusto tinianleaderwhotriedtowork like Arafat did. He would lose tion Cast Lead, and Operation There is a narrative that recognize a Jewish state.., we closely with Hitler because he an election today, and if Israel Pillar of Defense just this past has been gaining adherents won'tacceptit."AndonDream wantedtobringtheHolOcaust withdrew from AreaA; many November. in America, that it is within 2TV(Egypt),Oct.23,2011,he to the Middle East. are concerned that HamasWhen Secretary of State Israel's control to make peace said, "I've said it before and I Withattitudesandspeeches would likely take over, just as John Kerry next speaks to the with the Palestinians. If only will say it again': I will never from Palestinian leaders like they did in Gaza in January Palestinians, he should ideally it were so. The story says that recognize the Jewishness of this, it is no wonder that I~- of 2006. be honest with them about the issue is territorial, a~dthe the state or a Jewish state." rael remains skeptical about What is needed now is antheir role arid responsibility "occupation" and/or settle- Or in reference to theterror- peace. In a 2012 poll jointly . honest talk with the Pales- fortheconflictandforafuture ments are the root cause of ist organization Hamas, he conducted by the Palestinian tinians, of peace, if there is to be any. the conflict. Unfortunately it said in March 2013, "I don't Center for Public Opinion and The premise that the con- If peace is the goal, then is the Palestinians who need see much difference between American Pollster Stanley flict can be resolved if only keeping facts in context is to be confronted with a real- their (Hamas) policyandours. Greenberg,61percentofArab- Israel pushes harder for peace essential. Israeli settlements ity check. In this case, there is no need Palestiniansdonotaccepttwo and offers more land neglects comprise less than 1.7percent The same people, who feel to label them as a terrorist states for two peoples and 72 to assign responsibility to the of West Bank land. With the that Israel can magically cre- organization." percent of Arab-Palestinians Palestinians. This line of rea- security fence, approximately ate peace by itself, also feel In January 2013, Abbas reject any Jewish connection soningcompletelyignoresthe 7 percent of the land is built that Palestinian Authority mentioned a full rogues gal- to Israel and to Jerusalem. historical recordofArabrejec- on by Israel. We also must President MahmoudAbbas is lery of terrorists and anti- Now in his 9th year of a tionismofatwo-statesolution remember that the West a man Israel can trust and is Semites when he said, "We four-year term, it is also of in 1949,1967, 2000and2007.Lt Bank, or Judea and Samaria, a partner for peace, pledgetocontinueonthepath great concern that Abbas ignores Israel's two unilateral is ancient Israel. Yet Israelhas Yet of great concern to of the martyr brother Abu is mistrusted and despised withdrawalsfromArabland, in shownacomptetewillingness, Israeli and American leaders Ammar(YasserArafat)... [and] by many of his own people 2000 from Lebanon and 2005 time and again, to givealmost who are paying attention is remember the pioneers--the because of the endemic cor- from Gaza, leading to tens of all of the West Bank away to that Abbas has been heard to GrandMuftiofJerusalem, Hajj ruption and siphoning off of thousands of missiles aimed the Palestinians for a true, secure peace. The U.S., as the world's l ading power, should go to Ramallah and say, "Commit to peace by recognizing Israel as a Jewish State, acknowledge that there will be no right of return, and stop launchi rockets into Israel." That is the way to set the stage for real progress and a realistic peace. Some tough love is in order, as platitudes and moral equivalence only beget false illusions and more violence. I wish this were only up to Israel to change the relation- ship and the future with the Palestinians, and its Arab neighbors. It is how time to speak honestly with the Palestinians if peace has any chance of taking root. Eric R. Mandel, MD, is the co-chair of the StandWithUs/ New York office. By Sybil Sanchez and polity, it is a di~orted picture of income for Iran, and reduc- The JTA report suggested highlight the importance David Seidenberg of the Jewish community's ingtheworld'sneedforoilwill that there is no communal of caring for the world and concerns, improve Israel's security, consensus on energy policy, repairing the world, or tikun NEW YORK (JTA)--Three Reducing the use of all fos- Focusing on domestic fossil But there is a growing Jewish olam. More directly, ~ve are weeks ago, JTA reported on sil fuels, not just foreign ones, fuels will only make us more communal consensus thatcommanded to "chooSe life, a new alliance between Jew- must be our goal. This not dependent on a system that our desire to achieve energy that you and your seed will ish leaders and domestic gas only will help improve energy is putting the entire natural independence must be linked live." The effects of climate and oil companies. Called the security in the United States, world at risk. Furthermore, to an urgent response to chan'ge will heavily burden Council for a Secure America, it will reduce greenhouse gas in a dirty energy future in climate change. The Oreen the world's most vulnerable the alliance is based on a emissions and lessen the tre- which climate change goes Hevra, a network of 16 Jewish populations and threaten the "common interest" between mendousthreatstolsrael'sse- unchecked, the disruption of environmental organizations existence of many of the American Jews and domestic curityposedbyclimatechange, weatherpatternsintheMiddle co-founded by the Coalition Earth's species. Theyalso are energy companies to "increase Every nation already has East could'turn most of Israel on the Environment and Jew- predicted to escalate conflicts domestic oil and gas produc- its own supply of renewable into a desert. As reported by ish Life, is leading the call in around the globe, including tion and to decrease U.S. reli- energy. If we learn to harvest Ben-Gurion UniverSity in the the Jewish community for the Middle East. ance On imported oil from the this naturalinheritance, fossil "Israel National Report" on sustainability. Choosing a dirty energy Middle East," the report said. fuel tyranny and energy scar- climate change, the Negev For many individuals and future means violating the But the alliance represents city would disappear. Desert could expand as much organizations across the Jew- most fundamental precepts neithertheJewishcommunity Israel is at the forefront of as 200-300 miles northward, ishcommunity, Jewishvalues, of Torah and of derech eretz, nor its interests, solarenergyresearchandcom- which would include most alongside self-interest and ofcommonsense.Whengiven To say that reducing our mercialization, andashift to a of Israel. That would be an policy concerns, are a critical alternatives, this is not the fu- dependence on foreign oil is clean energy economy would overwhelmingthreattoIsrael's factor that motivates their turemostJewschoos~,Wecan our No. l priority is not onlyan benefit Israel jn many ways. survival, as great as any the position, ensure greater~security for the ineffective approach to energy Oil is also the primary source nation has ever faced. Jewish texts and traditions United States and Israel, create a cleaner and safer world, and transmit our values to future generations by choosing clean energy. Sybil Sanchez is the direc- tor of the Coalffion on the Environment and Jewish Life. David Seidenberg is ther founder of This - Op-Ed has been endorsed by the following members of the Green Hevra: Baltimore Jew, ish Environmental Network, COEJL, GreenZionistAlliance, Hazon, Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Jew- ish Farm School, Neohasid. org, Pearlstone Center, Re- constructionist Rabbinical College, Shalom Calater, Eden Village and Teva Learning Alliance. For information on the Green Hevra, visit www. By Andrew Silow-Carroll much outside the family. I New Jersey Jewish News can't imagine the mainstream appreciating the insidery Every now and then I like to Jewish things that make me take a break from dissecting laugh. the Jewish world's problems. And yet I keep stumbling and solving the Middle East on mainstream humorists crisis by writing a humor having fun with, well, my piece. I can't remember the family. In December, "Satur- serious columns I write from day Night Live" aired a skit, one week to the next, but I'll "Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy," never forget having compared a spot-on parody of every bar theMuslimBrotherhoodwith mitzvah speech you ever suf- the Temple Brotherhood, or fered through. Dressed in a having composed the award- suit, curly wig and yarmulke, winningpoem"I'maJewWho Vanessa Bayer nailed the sing- Went to State School and I song delivery, the mandatory Don't Care What You Think." baseball reference, and the Iwritealotofhumorformy loving jokes about brothers blog, JustASC;thisweekIhad alad sisters ("Don't tell my fun with President Obama's parents I said that"). visit to Israel and wrote a This month, The Onion-- response to the Forward's the parodywebsite and news- recent list of"America's Most paper--published a faux Inspiring Rabbis." My list of "listicle" called"The 10 Worst "America's Least Inspiring Bar Mitzvahs." Basically a Rabbis" included an absentee collection of vintage pics of rabbiwhomayormaynotbea real-life b'nei mitzvah (no Mossadagent, andarabbiwho doubt culled from Onion visits the kosher aisles during staffers), it included captions Passover in hopes of scoring like this: "Jan. 23, 1993, a second free box of matzah. Binghamton, N.Y.: During I post these inspirations to the Hagbah ceremony, Uncle Facebook, and my "friends"-- Howard strained a muscle in skewed heavily to the Jewish his back attempting to hoist journalism and communalthe 40-pound Torah and had worker class--seem to enjoy to be helped to his seat by Aunt them. But when it comes to Sharon. Guests agreed it was humor, I sometimes feel like all downhill from there." the guy who does fantastic (Afewyearsback, Iproposed impressions of his aunts and a "Hagbah training camp," uncles: No matter how good with sessions on "weight they are, they don't mean that training, technique and the all-important walking-back- ward-and-sitting-down-with- out-landing-on-the-floor" move .) "- The Onion's coverage of the Obama visit, meanwhile, seems to have been written during late-night bull sessions at the college Hillel. "Obama, Rachel Goldstein Really Hit- ting It Off On Group Trip To Israel" was the headline of a fake news story that cunningly compared the president's itin- erary to a teen tour of Israel (echoing Jeffrey Goldberg's quip that the Obama visit was "the most expensive Birthright trip ever staged"). The Onion story quotes "Shira Weiss" on the budding romance between Barack and her best friend: "It was obvious from the icebreak- ers we did at the kibbutz that first Shabbat that something was going on with them." Again, I'm not sure the world--or the part of it that reads The Onion--knows or can appreciate what goes on during a teen'our of Israel. A joke like this is substantially different from a more typical Jewish or Middle East joke, like The Onion articlewith the headline, "'This Is A Pointless "Trip,' Obama SaysWhile Shak- ing Hands With Netanyahu." The distinction here is between "Jewish humor" and "humor for Jews." Last week I saw "Old Jews Telling Jokes," the Off-Broadway revue based on Highland Park (N.J.) native Sam Hoffman's viral website. It celebrates Jewish humor-- the kind that long ago became universal. You don't have to be Jewish, as it were, to get the jokes about mothers-in-law, doctors, sex, thrifty business- men and food. But what does it mean when mainstream humorists are writing jokes best understood by less than 2 percent of the population? My friend Larry Yudelson, who suggested ! write about this topic, explains why the audience is far more than the 2 percent. "The audience of. The Onion is urban/suburban college-educated Americans, probably 25-40," he wrote me. "That group is probably already 4 percent Jewish, or in a relationship with a Jew, or has a Jewish parent. Then add having a Jewish friend in eighth grade and getting a bar mitzvah invite. Add the friends in college who went on Birthright. I think you're hitting a very large popula- tion whb know that Jews go to Israel and hook up, or that the Torah scroll is lifted at a bar mitzvah." And then there is the per- centage of Jews who write for outfits like "SNL" and The Onion. or as Jon Stewart famously said, "When I first said that I wanted us to put together a late-night come@ writing team that would only be 80 percent Ivy League- educated Jews,people thought I was crazy. They said you need 90, 95 percent. But weproved 'em wrong." So maybe I'm ready for prime time after all. Lorne,. Jon--if you are looking for material aboutUSY shenani- REINS gans, rabbinic search com- mittees, or the real meaning' of Musaf, I have just theguy. An4rew Silow-Carroll is editor-in-chief of the New Jer- sey Jewish News., from which this article was reprinted by. permission. Betureen columns you can read his writing at the JustASC blog. THE BI6 ONE