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April 10, 2009

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m m . _ - mmmmml uEuilMILUJIJE LIIIIJlWEIIIEEEIIE _ _ PAGE 4A The Good 00ord , David Bornstein Coke or Pepsi I attended the  bar mitzvah of the son of some close friends of ours this past week. It was, by all accounts and impressions, a won- derfully warm weekend for family and friends. Charming, teary, endearing--it had all the characteristics one hopes for in our seminal Jewish coming-of-age event. The focus of the party Saturday night was on teens--the bar mitzvah boy and his friends, who were, as is the case for 13 year olds, awkward, precocious, beautiful in all the ways that make parents both proud and scared to death. Maybe it was my mood that night, for I felt a bit distracted, unfocused. Maybe it was because we're all going through such hard times right now that I brought some of that heaviness into the party with me. I found myself fixated on, not the sweet candle lighting ceremony or the tight bonds the bar mitzvah family has with their closest friends, but on Coke or Pepsi. That's right. The game played by kids at every bar or bat mitzvah party I have attended in the past 10 years. I don't know who invented it, though I imagine whichever party planner you ask would take credit for it. Ohmygod, I remember thinking, here we go again while I, an adult at a kid party, eat my dinner and watch Coke or Pepsi. Kids in two lines on opposite ends of the dance floor racing across to sit in laps, bow down to the bar mitzvah boy, lock arms, hop on one leg, all at the crazy verbal cues of the MC. Coke! he yells. Pepsi[ And every kid participates. And every one, wanting to appear mature but be- ing in fact only 13, having a great time. And Holooausts don't just happen By Ed Ziegler The Holocaust was the extermination of 6 million Jews and approximately that many non-Jews led by Gelgmany's controlling Nazi party during the 1930s and 1940s. It started out as a small percentage of the German people, the Nazis, using intimidation to force the majority of Germans. non-Nazis, to embrace Nazi ideologies. In addition to wanting to take over the world. the Nazis wanted to exterminate every Jew worldwide. With the approaching Holocaust Remembrance Day (April 21) we could elabo- rate on the ways the Germans murdered men, women and children. We could elaborate on the methods used such as starvation, forced slave labor, shootings, gas chambers and the use of people as human guinea pigs in sicken- ing experiments. Rather than simply talking about the hor- rors of the Holocaust let us use the Holocaust to motivate us to learn and prevent future genocides. To prevent such actions we need to first recognize the signs that led up to such despicable catastrophes, A New York Times article of Feb. 23 dis- cusses Germany's use of propaganda to focus hate against the Jewish people. They used methods such as radio, posters and rallies to continuously portray Jews as evil and not deserving human consideration. They used lies and slander to enrage the German citizenry. They made claims such as the Jews wanted to exterminate all gentiles. Presently Islamic jihadists use the same lies and go one step further by combining religion with hate propaganda. They put signs on buses saying "Kill a Jew and Go to heaven." The Germans passed laws to make life more difficult for the Jews, and to make the actions against Jews legally justifiable to the German citizens. On Sept. 15, 1935, the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor was passed. This law prohibited mar- riages between Jews and citizens of German blood. Another law instituted was the Reich Citizenship Law that stripped Jews of their German citizenship. The Islamic term dhimmi is equivalent to the laws the Germans passed against the Jews. However, the term dhimmi refers to all people who are not Islamic, particularly Jews and Christians. In Islamic and Arab countries the considered a second-class non- citizen and can be subjugated to a slave status and be deprived of any legal and human rights since he or she is a non-Muslim. The goal and mantra of the multitude of jihadists around the world is similar to Hitler's Nazi party's dream of taking over the world. Many of the Islamic leaders and clerics preach similar messages as Sheikh Abdullah Azzam. According to, he said "In reality Islam is a revolutionary ideol- ogy and a program which seeks to alter the social order of the whole world and rebuild it in conformity with its own tenets and ide- als." He also stated "Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the Islamic ideology." Hopefully, I have helped you recognize events that preceded the Holocaust. My intent is to clearly convey two messages. First, that there absolutely is a world war that has been forced upon us by fanatic Islamists. The second message is. in order to not lose this war and our freedom, we must learn from the Holocaust and take action. We must not allow ourselves to be victims, as did the German Jews in the 1930s and 1940s. What can you, one person, do? You can start by reading media that specifically monitors jihadist actions. For such a list write I will also send a list of actions to look for that can impact your freedom. Remember. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing. Ed Ziegler is a board member of the New Jewish Congregation, president of its broth- erhood and congregation publicist. You can reach him at THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT.   CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE   ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 40 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor Assistant Editor Gene Stare Lyn Payne Mike Etzkin HERITAGE Florida Jewish News ( 1SN 0199-0721 ) is published weekly for $37.95 per year to Florida ad- Society Editor Bookkeeping dresses ($46.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Gloria Yousha Paulette Harmon Kim Fischer Central Florida Jewish News, Inc., 207 O'Brien Road, Suite 101, Fern Park, FL 32730. Periodicals postage Account Executives paid at Fern Park and additional mailing offices. Barbara do Carmo Marci Gaeser POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box 300742, Contributing Columnists Fern Park, FL 32730. Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky Steve Levine Tim Boxer David Bomstein Gail Simons MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER EO. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Production Deent Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 David Lehman Teri Marks Louis Ballantyne email: * Elaine Schooping * Gil Domhrosky HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 10, 2009 watching in the shadows, I asked myself how 13 year olds always stay the same, while I've grown old(er), cranky, more set in my ways. And then I-was hit again, this time byan epiphany that shook me out of my doldrums. It's not about things staying the same, or me getting older, or the games kids love to play. It's about choice. The teens at these parties make a conscious choice to participate, as difficult as it may be for the shyest among them. as clumsy and tongue-tied as the boys may be, as flirtatious and frightened as the girls may be. The bar mitzvah boy, somewhere along the way, made a decision, a conscious choice (with prodding and assistance, no doubt, from his parents), to do the necessary work and spend the lost afternoons studying his haftorah so that he could become a man (albeit a very young one) in the eyes of the Jewish community. And we, as Jews, have been taught since we were little, that it is the choices we make in our lives that matter. Not hope for an afterlife, Not a fisual forgiveness of sins committed, hurts caused, but our actions borne out of the decisions we make every day thatmake a difference. These days, those decisions come with a price tag attached, and often a painful one at that. I know I'm not alone in making choices that affect me. my farnily, my community. The economic downturn has forced us all to ask difficult, heart wrenching questions. And we may not want to hear the answers. Have we sacrificed,enough, cut back enough? Do we have to sell our house, move to another city, in order to meet a shrinkirig household budget, in order to find a new job? How much can we give to charity this year, for it surely won't be what it has been in the past? How can we be happy and make do on so much less? The answers that Judaism teaches us are simple and hope.filled. We have. We do. We are. We can. We will. All of us, in these hard times, have hard choices to make. choices that change lives. And all I can say is thank God we all have a com- munity that stands behind us to bolster us, agencies to assist us, friends to support us, faith to heal us and remind us that we are strong, that once we made the walls of Jericho tumble, that we can persevere by acting rightly, appro- priately, with humility and dignity today. And if we can remember the miracles that saved us, the strength that resides in each of us, the acts that define us, thenwe can survive, whether it's through an economic collapse or an uncertain future. That's why traditions matter, why some things should always be. Coke or Pepsi. It's not about winning the game, but about choosing to play. We need to be reminded that it's the choices we make that make a difference, that make us who we are. And that's the good word until next week. The opinions in this column are those of the writer and not the Heritage or any other in- dividual agency or organization. Send your thoughts, comments, and critiques to the Heritage or email By Ira Sharkansky Cartoonists and columnists are having a field day with the new Benjamin Netanyahu government. It's not a government, it is shakshookah (a composite of eggs, tomato and spices scrambled and fried). There is a Minister of Nothing, a Minister of Absolutely Nothing and a Minister to Count the Ministers. We are seeing a self-satisfied Netanyahu ridiculing Ehud Olmert from the podium of the Knesset in 2006 for wasting the taxpay- ers' money with a government inflated with useless ministerial appointments. Now when he is faced with having appointed a govern- ment some 30 percent larger than Olmert's, Netanyahu is saying that it is the price the public must pay for having voted the way it did in the recent election. Not necessarily. IfNetanyahu had brought Kadima and Labor into his government with Likud. he would not have had to invent appointments to satisfy claimants in his own party, after passing out so many goodies to all the other parties he needed for a Knesset majority. Explanations for the failure of negotiations between Netanyahu and Tzipi Livni mention Livni's demand that the position of prime minister rotate between her and Netanyahu, and her demand that Netanyahu accept the formula of a "two state solution" as the goal of negotiations with the Palestinians. It is hard to believe that a few words produced the failure of those talks. Netanyahu and Ehud Barak agreed on a formula for resolving what were likely to be even wider differences about the peace process between the right-of-center Likud and the left-of-center Labor Party.We are left with the explanation of ego for the failure of the Netanyahu-Livni negotiations. It is not clear if it was Netanyahu's ego that prevented him from accommodating Livni's demands, or Livni's ego that prevented her from accepting what Netanyahu was willing to offer. Among politicians who reach that level, there is usually enough ego to explain anything. Harold Lasswell made the point in his "Psychopathology and Politics," published in the mid-1930s. Netanyahu has appointed politicians to the following positions, alongside the conventional posts of established ministries: Minister for Intelligence Services. Minister for Strategic Issues, Ministerwithout Portfolio with Responsibility for Minorities. Minister without Portfolio with Responsibility for Im- proving Ptibtic Service, Minister for Informa- tion and the Diaspora, Minister for Regional Development and Development of the Negev and Galilee, Ministers without Portfolio and without specified responsibilities and Deputy Minister for the Status of Youth and Women. Most likely none of these will have sufficient staff or budgets to accomplish anything of .importance. There is also to be a Minister of Culture and Sport, which has so little to do that in the past it was part of the Ministry of Education.Culture and Sport. Prominent among Netanyahu's tasks was finding something for the distinguished indi- viduals he recruited to Likud shortly before the election. They may have enhanced the appeal of his ticket and brought in some of the votes that boosted Likud from the 14 seats won in 2006 to 27 seats this time. He gave Moshe Yaalon. former commander of the IDF general staff the title Minister for Strategic Issues. Chances are slim that Yaalon will succeed in gettingresponsibility for any- thing that is within the purview of the defense ministry. It is headed by Ehud Barak, another former commander of the IDF general staff. He gave Dan Meridor. a distinguished for- mer minister of finance and justice, the title Minister for Intelligence Services. Mericlor will have trouble acquiring anything like control over the formidable Mossad and Shin Bet, especially when the Prime Minister. Minister of Defense and Minister of Domestic Security als0 want their hands in those pies. He gave the title of Minister for Regional Development and Development of the Negev and Galilee to his Likud rival, Sivan Shalom. Shalom might have trouble deciding about regional development while the Prime Min- ister, the Foreign Minister and the Defense Minister consider that to be in their bailiwicks. The same goes with the development of the Negev and Galilee that is already handled by numerous established ministries. Netanyahu's ridicule of Olmert for wasting money with so many appointments in 2006 has some credence, but not too much. As noted above, few appointments of doubtful value will come with significant staff assistance. The differences between the salary of a Knesset member and minister, or deputy minister, and the addition of car and driver have been estimated as between two and three million shekels per year, depending on whether the appointee can squeeze any money for aides or activities out of the finance ministry. Alto- gether, we may be talking 50 million shekels a year. Demagogues vho did not get any of the goodies may trumpet how many school teach- ers or free lunches for the poor this money might buy, but the aggregate is something like one hundredth of one percent of the national budget (i.e., .0001). If politicians realtywant to spend more on teachers or free lunches, they can find that amount without great difficulty. What about the argument that some of the appointees are not experts in the subject matter of their jobs? This is true not only for ministers of nothing, but also ministers Sharkasnky on page 19A