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April 7, 2017

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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 7, 2017 are m a surprtse By Stephen M. Flalow at the dinner table, too. But when the young Beinarts arrive in Judea and Samaria, they will discover that dear old dad wasn't telling Israel critic Peter Beinart has announced them the whole story. In fact, he wasn't even that when his children "near adulthood, I'll telling them a small piece of the story. encourage them to visit the West Bank." Despiteallthestufftheyheardathomeabout Why? "So they can see for themselves what Israel's "military occupation," they'll discover it means to hold millions of people.., without that, in fact, the Israeli military governor free movement or due process," he wrote in of the territories left long ago. The Israeli his column for The Forward. military administration in the territories has The Beinart children are in for quite a long since been dismantled. The Israeli army surprise, was withdrawn, by Prime Minister Yitzhak In his various articles and media appear- Rabin, 22 years ago. Papa Beinart is a little ances, Papa Beinart regularly accuses Israel behind the times! of occupying and oppressing the Palestinians. If the younger Beinarts dare to venture into I imagine that's what the Beinart kids hear Ramallah, Bethlehem or Shechem (Nablus), to do? By Rachael Bregman Author and psychologist David Arnow writes in "Creating Lively Passover Seders," (RabbisWithoutBordersviaJTA)--AtPass- "Paradoxically, as we celebrate our liberation over, Jews over the world gather to celebrate during Passover, we sharpen our awareness "zmancheirutenu,"theseasonofourfreedom. of the enslavement that reigns within and We will read all about freedom from slavery, around us. At the moment we taste freedom, We drink four cups of wine to rejoice in the we remember the hungry... From the heights four freedoms given to our ancestors by God. of deliverance, we survey a shattered world We eat charoset, a mixture of fruits, nuts, crying out for healing." juice or wine that represents~the mortar used He adds later: "What is the source of the with the bricks we no longer have to place as staggeringly audacious conviction that the slaves. Freedom from bondage, from Egypt, present, the status quo, cannot be the end from Pharaoh. of the road? That's where God comes in. God The idea of being freed from slavery by God speaks in a small voice within each of us say- is a central tenet of Judaism.We say, remember ing, 'Never forget that yours is not a 'normal' God freed you from slavery and took you out but a broken world, one that we can surely of Egypt every Friday night in the blessing of help fix.' At the seder, that voice calls a little thewineandthroughouttheTorahevenwhen bit more audibly because with Passover we speaking about seemingly unrelated things, confront the reality of our freedom and we But what, I wonder, upon finding freedom have used it, for good or ill." from slavery are we now free to do? God did not bring us out of Egypt to serve Primarily, we are free to serve God and not God (Dayenu, it would have been enough). Pharaoh. Spiritually speaking, the seder gives Rather, through our service to God we are us the opportunity to check in with ourselves meanttoeternallybringfreedomtoothers. Our to see ifwe have become enslaved to Pharaohs service to God is our service to humanity. Our of modernity like power, money and ego. God service to humanity is God's work in action. didn't work so hard to bring us out of one Egypt So when you sit down to your seder, I hope just to replace it with another. The seder asks you ponder not just your freedom from slavery us, nowthatyouhaveyourfreedom, whathave but relish also your freedom to free others. you done with it? Happy Passover. If the Exodus is a story of a three-part Rabbi Rachael Bregman is at Temple Beth journey--Egypt, the wilderness-desert and Tefilloh in Brunswick, Georgia, as the first Israel--serving God is the wilderness-desert, female and the first resident rabbi in over 50 a stop on the way, the means to an end, but years. Shelives two miles from the beach with not the final place on the journey, her daughter, Lilith, and dog Zooey. Dry Bones www.drybones,com THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. [ CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 45 Press Awards WISH 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 email: Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene Starn Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza Society Editor Office Manager Gloria Yottsha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Kim Fischer Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley, Ira Sharkansk'y David Bornstein Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore they won't see any Israeli soldiers. Instead, they'll see Palestinian policemen and security forces. They'll see that in the areas where more than 98 percent of the Palestinian Arabs reside, it is the Palestinian Authority (PA), not Israel, which is the ruling power. The mayors are Palestinians. The judges in the courts are Palestinians. So are the folks who guard the jails, staff the hospitals and teach in the schools. There are no Israelis to be found anywhere. The Beinart children may find themselves feeling like they've just stepped into Bizarro World. Everything their father taught them is the exact opposite of reality. Will they believe their eyes, or their prevaricating father? Beinart was right when he said that his kids will see "what it means to hold millions of people.., without free movement or due process." But it's the PA, not Israel, that is depriving the Palestinians of things such as free movement and due process. Last year, a group of civic-minded Pales- tinians tried to join a rally staged by striking Palestinian teachers. (They were striking because the corrupt PA regime hadn't paid them in many months, although it has plenty of money to arm one of the largest per-capita )r By Ben Cohen As reports of the savage terrorist attack in central London March 22 emerged, it was clear pretty quickly that British authorities were dealing with an incident straight from the Islamist terror manual. The weapons of choice in London were ordinary consumer goods that are easily refashioned for the purposes of murder. The car in which the kids are driven to school is also a makeshift tank that can be used for ramming pedestrians. The knife that chops a salad can also be a machete of sorts, used to hack down police officers and others who get in the way. This is what we saw in London this week, resembling what we saw in the French city of Nice in July 2016--where the weapon was a massive cargo truck, and the death toll was 86--and in Israel on many occasions, such as this past January, when a truck killed four and wounded 15 IDF soldiers in Jerusalem's East Talpiot neighborhood. Obviously, one cannot restrict the circula- tion of these dual purpose goods. But when these goods are used for terror purposes, they offer alarming proof that you don't need guns or bombs to paralyze an entire city or even a country. One car and one knife caused hundreds of British parliamentarians to take shelter in Westminster Abbey--one of the most potent symbols of British sovereignty, where all of the kingdom's monarchs have been crowned for a millennium--until the police could finally declare the neighborhood safe. Those are the images that people remember. Rolling media coverage often draws out the similarities between how terror attacks in different places are executed. More important, though, is the cause and rationale of such attacks. Away from all the immediacy and ur- gency that each attack brings, it becomes criti- cal to remember the provenance, politically and ideologically, of these atrocities. Islamist terror was a factor long before the barbarians of al-Qaeda and more recently Islamic State burst upon the scene, and fanatical Islamist organizations likeAl-Muhajiroun, A1 Ghurabaa and Hizb ut-Tahrir have been established in the U.K. and Europe for decades. In the Middle East, birthplace of Islamism, two of the most prominent Islamist organiza- tions--Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza--have been in the terror business since the 1980s. Hezbollah has struck in Lebanon, Argentina and Bul- garia as well as deep inside Israel; Hamas has launched three wars upon Israel since the IDF withdrew from Gaza in 2005, as well as numerous bombing attacks, shooting attacks and stabbing sprees. But somehow, these two bloodstained organizations are never regarded in quite the same way as the die-hard Sunni Islamists who have brought humanitarian disaster to the Middle East and a climate of fear to the heartlands of Europe. Repeatedly, we are told that Hezbollah, a direct proxy of the Iranian regime that is re- sponsible for monstrous war crimes in Syria, is more accurately understood as a Lebanese security forces in the world.) The PA police set up roadblocks outside the rally, and arrested those who tried to reach the demonstration. "Free movement," huh? "Due process" from the PA? Don't make me laugh. Even groups that are strongly sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have reported how the PA routinely jails its critics, holds detainees without trial and brutally tortures prisoners. Just months ago, a female member of the Palestinian parliament, Najat Abu Baker, hid in the parliament building for 17 days after the PA police sought to arrest her for criticizing PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Her crime? Ac- cording to The New York Times, she said that Abbas should resign "and suggested that there would be money to pay educators if ministers were not so corrupt." The Beinart children may wonder why their father seldom writes about subj ects like the PA's totalitarianism, and why he accuses Israel of the crimes that the PA commits. I wonder, too! Stephen M. Flatow, a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney in New Jersey. He is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. political party with a"military wing," and that political engagement is required for Hezbol- lah to abandon its terrorist activities--a view implying that terror is an optional tactic for Hezbollah, rather than central to its ethos. As for the Palestinians of Hamas--spawned by the same Muslim Brotherhood whose path also leads to Islamic State--they are currently preparing a bid to convince the world of their newfound political moderation. An initiative like this one is poorly timed, as the Obama administration, which might well have been seduced, is out of office. Even so, it's a con- sequence of important developments within Hamas that are worth taking note of. Back in February, as ordinary Gazans seethed with frustration at their corrupt rulers, Hamas held its secretive internal election for a new political chief. The man selected was Yahya Sinwar, an Islamist true believer and Hamas military leader who spent more than 20 years in Israeli prisons before being released in a 2011 prisoner exchange. Sinwar's victory is another sign that it is the military dimension of Hamas that calls the shots--not the "political wing." The military's primacy similarly prevails in Iran, and for Hezbollah. With that in mind, what are we to make of the news that Hamas is developing a new political program that just might, eventually, somewhere down the line, lead to an agreement of some sort with Israel? Hamas's reason for projecting this self-image is political; it wants to be removed from the terrorism lists of Western governments, an outcome that would conveniently allow Sinwar and his cronies to distinguish themselves from the "pure" ter- rorists of Islamic State. But the vague details of this revised Hamas political program are hardly encouraging. It doesn't override the organization's 1988 found- ing charter, whose battle cry is "confronting the usurpation of Palestine by the Jews through jihad." Akram Atallah, a Gaza-based political analyst, summarized the inner Hamas discus- sion in an interview with the Associated Press. "The document carries a kind of superficial change, but in fact it upholds most of Hamas' principles," he said. "The world recognized the PLO after it went into direct negotiations with Israel... Does Hamas agree to do the same? If yes, that's the way for the world to accept Hamas." The latter part of that statement is wishful thinking. The West has not reached a stage where it is willing to legitimize I-lamas in exchange for a feeble commitment to "direct negotiations." Terror attacks like that carried out in London make such a prospect even more remote. We Should expect this latest makeover attempt by Hamas to dissolve without a trace. As for the security threat it poses, that remains very much intact. Ben Cohen, senior editor of TheTower. org & The Tower Magazine, writes a weekly column for on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics. His writings have been published in Commentary, the New York Post, Haaretz, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications,