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April 7, 2017

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 7, 2017 PAGE 5A ? By Sarah N. Stern Edward Walker, James Cun- confided in me, "This is not finallyprovetotheworldhow often necessitate some dif- and rationalize its failure. ningham, William Harropwhat I signed up for." far Israel is willing to go for ficult introspection. Each time, there is another and Daniel Kurtzer--wrote Ilistenedtotheradiowhenpeace, even in the absence of Sometimes it even in- excuse. "Israel hasn't given David Friedman was con- a letter to the Foreignone mothersaid, "Mr. Prime a negotiating partner."volves the painful admission enough land," or"Gazawas firmed March 23 by the Relations Committee cast- Minister, will you pack up Sincethen, Gaza has been that one has been wrong-- without a negotiating part- U.S. Senate as America's ing doubts upon President my son's room? I have not used as a launching pad for even if one has been wrong ner." ambassador to Israel. But DonaldTrump'snomineeforbeen able to go into it since thousands ofHamas rockets for an extremely long time. All of the State Depart- that was only after a highly those exact same reasons, he was killed in Lebanon. into Israel, necessitating It is human nature that the mentapparatchikswhostub- contentious debate, and What made Friedman's Will you uproot the tree in several wars and much loss longer the time, the deeper bornly clungto this mantra unfortunately, only because nomination so contentious? my yard that was planted in oflife on both the Palestinian the resistance to change, were completely in favor there is aRepublican major- Among the reasons outlined my sons' memory?" andIsraelisides.Insouthern Our foreign policy "ex-of each of these withdraw- ity in the Senate. by Sen. Feinstein is that he Jewish philanthropists Israel, whenanalarmsirenis perts" have clung to certain als. Then, when those land The same was true of has supported recognizing funded the greenhouses so sounded, Israelishave15sec- misguided theories for gen- withdrawalsdidnotbringus Friedman'spriorapprovalby Jerusalem as the capital of that there would be an eco- onds to find shelter. By now, erations now, such as "land closer to the designated ob- the Senate Foreign Relations IsraelandmovingtheAmeri- nomicinfrastructureforthe therocketshaveatrajectory for peace." What we have jective, the diplomats came Committee. The commit- can embassy from Tel Aviv to young, nascent Palestinian that can reach anywhere in seen through decades ofup with convenient, after- tee's minority leader, Sen. Jerusalem. He has directly enterprise, and many rabbis the state of Israel. empirical, and often heart- the-fact rationalizations. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), voted supported settlement activ- argued that we should keep Israel's morality during breaking experience is that Any scientist with an against him, as did every ity, becausehewaspresident the synagogues, to turnthe two Gazawars hasbeen this formula simply hasn't ounceofintellectualintegri- singleDemocratonthecom- of the American Friends of them into mosques, because, questioned in the court of worked. If the objective is tywouldsaywehavereached mittee. Sen. Dianne Fein- Bet E! Yeshiva, and he has "After all, we all pray to the international public opinion, "peace," one must honestly the null hypothesis, andthat stein(D-Calif.),wroteMarch questioned the wisdom of same God." largely because of Hamas's ask oneself if any of the po- it is time to re-examine the 6 that Friedman "lacks the the Oslo Accords. As soonasthe last vestige sinister use of children and litically gut-wrenching and premises of the equation necessary temperament to In the summer of 2005, I of a Jewish presence was women as human shields,internally divisive land in the Israeli-Palestinian serve in such a crucial posi- was in Israel, in the days of removed from Gaza, and which inflates their civilian withdrawals from the Sinai, conflict. David Friedman, a tion," and that his "divisive the unilateral withdrawal the blue-and-white Israeli death count. Gaza, southern Lebanon and fresh voice, is a step in the rhetoric and dangerous from Gaza. I watched and flag was lowered, thegreen- In shaping America for-parts of Judea and Samaria right direction. positions are contrary to listened as the nation was housesandsynagogueswereeignpolicy, mostAmericans have actually brought us SarahN. Stern is founder long-held policy and would engagedinagut-wrenchingall destroyed in a frenzied would like to believe that cer- any closer to that objective andpresidentoftheEndow- undermine our national se- and internally divisive de- atmosphere of hate-infested tain ethical qualities are in of peace, ment forMiddle East Truth, curity by inflaming tensions bate. I saw how Israeli sol- anarchy, the mix, such as intellectual Rather than challenge the which describes itself as an in the region." diers had been trained notto Yet the government of Is- honesty and moral integrity, premises of this formulation, unabashedly pro-American In mid-February, five feel, as they forcibly removed raelandmostoftheWesternThesequalities,whetherpart those in the State Depart- and pro-Israel think tank former U.S. ambassadors to Israeli settlers from their policy world were convinced of an individual's nature or ment'sechochambersimplyandpolicyinstituteinWash- Israel--Thomas Pickering, homes. One ofthose soldiers at the time that "this will those of national policy, dug their feet in further ington, D.C. By Jonathan S. Tobin give pause both to Israel's enemies and Jewish critics. The strong pushback from At first glance, it was one the U.S. and, even more more example of why the remarkably, the disavowal of United Nations is a cesspool the report by U.N. Secretary- ofanti-Semitismandhatred GeneralAntonioGuterres-- for Israel. The publication of who not only demanded it be a report commissioned by taken down from the U.N. the U.N.'s Economic and So- website, but then forced ci/tlCom'missionforweste:rr : th'e resignation of the bu- Asiabrokenewgroundbynot reaucrat behind it--sent a merely unfairly criticizing surprisingly strong message Israel, but taking the posi- to the Palestinians. tion that its existence as a Thoughmuchofwhatgoes Jewish state is illegitimate on at the U.N.with regard to and, in and of itself, a jus- Israel remains an outrage, tification for being branded the notionthat the Palestin- as guilty of the "crime of ians and allied Israel-haters apartheid." have carte blanche from the Though this was more international community evidence of the rise of a new may no longer be true. If so, anti-Semitism that mas- the prediction of doom for querades as anti-Zionism, Israel unless it bows to the what happened next should demands of its foes is wrong. The report is a compen- dium of half-truths and outright lies about Israel and the terrorist war that is still being waged against it. Written by well-known anti- Israel extremist Richard Falk of Princeton University and Virginia Tilley of the Uni- versity of Southern Illinois, t/le screed will be a gift to supporters of the BDS move- ment, which seeks to wage economic warfare on Israel. Yet with it being expunged from the U.N.'s official web- site, the report becomes just another piece of recycled anti-Israel propaganda. Falk and the Palestinians saw the U.N. seal of approval on the apartheid libel as an important step in mobiliz- ing the international com- munity behind their efforts to treat Israel as a pariah nation. Instead, it is the Palestinians who have been dealt a setback that reveals to the world that support for their lies isn't as strong as they hoped. Part of the credit for this development must be given to the Trump administra- tion. Guterres and the U.N. bureaucracy know that in President Barack Obama, they lost a genuine admirer of the world body and all its work, and that his replace- ment is not exactly a fan of their institution. Obama's tilt against Israel at the U.N. in his final weeks in office only served to encourage the Jewish state's enemies to redouble their efforts. Trump is deeply unpopular around the world, but the U.N. is stuck with him for the next four years. That means they need to avoid giving him excuses to go to war with the U.N., since he has made it clear he has no intention of allowing Israel to be pressured in the way Obama preferred. But Trump is only part of the explanation. Guterres's reaction is similar to the way even Western European nations that are gener- ally critical of Israel have pushed back against some of the Palestinians' more egregious efforts. Just like when they sought to have UNESCO brand Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem--includ- ing the Temple Mount and Western Wall--as exclu- sively Muslim, the apartheid smear was a bridge too far for many Europeans. While they may be prepared to criticize Israel over settle- ments and other issues, they have begun to catch on to the fact that the Palestinian goal isn't really to attain a state alongside Israel, but to replace and destroy the Jewish state. Although critics of Prime Minister Benjamin Netan- yahu government insist that Israel must surrender terri- tory even without a guaran- tee of peace, the country's diplomatic position isn't so weak as they think. Israel will never have the love of the international commu- nity, but the Palestinians are wrong if they think the U.N. is going to give them what they want--unless they give up their extreme demands and show a willingness to recognize Israel's legitimacy. What we've just learned is that with the world get- ting sick of the Palestinians' intransigence--a sentiment that is shared by many Arab nations--and the U.S. de- termined to stick by its sole democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel can afford to wait for real peace rather than surrendering its rights for a deal that will give them neither peace nor security. Jonathan S. Tobin is opinion editor of and a contributing writer for National Review. Follow him on Twitter at: @jona- thans_tobin. By Joshua Rather couldhavebeenadaytorecall only our ancestors, but God passively our independence even redeemed us with them, (My Jewish Learning via from an oppressive regime as as it says, 'God brought us out JTA)---What is the essence of a historical remembrance; to of there in order to bring us Passover? commemorate the past and to and gave us the land that On the one hand, it seems salute our Founding Fathers God swore to our ancestors.'" obvious: Passover is about (or Maccabees). The seder specifically, and gatheringtogetherwithloved Instead, Moses (as Found- Passover more broadly, is ones to recall, throughsump- ingFather of the Israelites) is about remembering God's tuous home rituals, the exo- largely shut out of the Hag- deliverance of the Israelites dus from Egypt. We gather gadah--he appears but once. not as a one-time, historical round our seder tables and While remembrance of the event but as something that quickly become engulfed in exodus--from the enslave- is perpetually happening in the warmth of family and ment of the Israelites to the thepresent.Redemptionfrom friends, the culinary delights 10 plagues to the crossing of slavery to freedom is intended of a delicious meal, and the the Red Sea--forms a major to be an experience that we, comforting, vaguely familiar portion of the content of the too, can and should have dur- wordsandsongswereciteyear Maggid (retelling) section of ing our seders. But why? after year. the Haggadah, that remem- Rabbi Joshua Ratner is the Passover is, indeed, a beau- brance is but a means to a director of the Jewish Com- tifulopportunityfor rejoicing larger end. munity Relations Council andcelebrating.Butitalsocan TheendoftheMaggidsec- of New Haven, Connecti- be much, much more. tion reveals why. It says: "In cut. Ordained by the Jewish Looking closely at the each and every generation TheologicalSeminaryinMay Passover Haggadah, we can people must regard them- 2012, Ratner was a Joseph see thatthe rabbiswhocrafted selves as though they person- Neubauer Fellow and also the seder did not choose to ally left Egypt, as it says, 'Tell earned a master's degree in make Passover a holiday your child onthat very day: Midrash and a certificate in solely focused on celebrating "This is what God did for me pastoral care. He worked as thepast, Like the Fourth of when I left Egypt.", The Holy anattorneyforfiveyearsprior July (or Hanukkah), Passover OneofBlessingdidnotredeem to entering rabbinical schoot. All in the Family THE HEAD OF THE ANTI-ISRAEL "JEWISH VOICE POR PEACE" CALLS POR BOYCOTTING ISRAEL, SAYS SHE IS ,I'EWtSH, AND CLAIMS TO HAVE LIVED IN L RAEL FOR THREE YEARS.