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April 11, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 11, 2003

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FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 11, 2003 By Jonathan S. Tobinput forward bythe Diplomatic live. Diplomatic strong-arm Quartet of the United States, tactics to make the Israelis see signs of an impending the United Nations, the Euro- that resistance is futile will are all too obvious,pean Union and Russia will follow. At the same time, in coming out of then be presented to both the the same way that the Oslo the fears Palestinian Authority and to accords were enforced before that the nightmare Israel. they went up in a cloud of envtsioned by many Grading on a curve Palestinian explosions, the in this coun- Thisschememakestangiblemonitoring of Palestinian to become reality, demands for Israel to make "progress" will be a lot more It goes something like this: concessions on its security, lenient. After American forces fin- such as loosening the Israel Grading thePalestinianson Hussein's re- Defense Force's grip on the acurvethatwouldbetheenvy in their attempt territories and granting the of any failing high school stu- Iraq into the first terror-infested P.A. more dent, the same intelligence y, the power and control. Israel will assets that will hold the Israe- will swing freeze all building of any kind lis up to scorn for every car- e"peace in Jewish communities there, port constructed in Efrat, between Israel and setting the stage for further wholesale Palestinian viola- withdrawals, tions of the peace will be ig- American need to The Palestinians will then nored. the wounded pride ofbe asked to increase their Despite YasserArafat'scon- eArabworidandrepairdam- ratherintangibleeffortstohalt tinuing control of the terror e to our relations with Eu- terrorism and to make and crime syndicate that we and the United Nations progress toward "reform" of laughingly call the represen- revived focus on theirkleptocracy.Thiswililead tative body of the Palestinian e biiddle East "peace pro- to the setting of a date for the people, the ascendancy of a phrase that can bedeclaration of a Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas - aka "Abu translated as the sys- state with full sovereignty. Mazen the Holocaust denier"- by which the Jews are In the nightmare, the to the position of P.A. prime United Stateswill lean heavily ministerwiilenabletheUnited them in exchange on Israel to pull back its forces States to pretend that democ- Arab threats to andpreparetocompletelysur- racy, peace and goodness existence, render strategic lands where reigns in Ramallah. so-called "road map"hundreds of thousands of Jews The next stepwill be to force I~ Leslie Susser The war in Iraq, he told the firsthand experience ofisraers Lebanese newspaperAs-Safir, military might from the.1967 was an Israeli-American con- and 1973 wars, while his son's Bashar Assad has spiracy "designed to redraw formative experiences - such much of his late the political map ofthe Middle as Israel's response to the first parochial paranoia, East." In Assad's view, the intifadain the early 1990s and argue - but UnitedStateswouldtakeIraq's its flight from southern Leba- his astute politicaloil, and Israel would become non in 2000 - have been of an the dominant regional power. Israelunwillingtoriskitspros- "After Iraq, it will be the perity in military confronta- lined up turn of other Arab countries, tions and willing to retreat in side of the American- and I don't rule out the possi- the face even of light casual- bility of an American attempt ties. the second, Bashar to attack Syria, inspired by Is- AssadclearlyseestheAmeri- Seems to be doing all he raei," he declared, can war against Iraq and the the American su- When Assad took power in Arab-Israeli conflict as part of the summer of 2000, analysts the same apocalyptic struggle: [him pointed to his Western educa- It is, in his view, a zero-sum tion- he studied opthamoiogy game that will benefit either from his public in England - as a sign that he Syria or Israel. Assad seems con- would be more modern and As long as Israel exists, he Bushadminis- liberal than his authoritarian said in the As-Safir interview, will not stop at lraq, father. He would open up Syriaisunderthreat.Hewould Syria's economic and political never be able to trust Israel, he i~ Baghdad he could be system, they predicted, and added,"because itwas treach- the regime-change would recognizethebenefitof erous by nature." But there's peace with Israel. more: Since "Israel controlled when Assad viii- But such optimists havethe United States through its and openly aids been sorely disappointed. An Jewish lobby,"Assad presum- war effort, he be- initial political opening has ably can't trust the United is fighting for his life. been stifled, and the younger States either. buoyed by what Assadseems evenless inclined Given this worldview, it's as initial Iraqi success to contemplate peacewith the not surprising that Assad has I the American-led Jewish state than was his fa- decided to gamble on Saddam Assad explained the ther, who at least entertained Hussein. In helping the Iraqi in afierce negotiations, war effort, he apparently is Analysts speculate thathopingthattheAmericanswill that'sbecause HafezAssadhad be stopped in their tracks and HERITAGE welcomes and encourages letters to the editor, but they must be typed or printed alnd include name and phone number. We will withhold your name if you so request. Please limit letters to 250 words. Due to space limitations, we reserve the right to edit letters. Send letters to P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. Or e-mail to Long before there was a Jewish Community Center or a Hebrew Day School our community had some form of a Jewish Federation in Central Florida. The Federa- tion helped to create many of our community agencies in response to the needs of both the Jewish and non- relations to David opinion column "Good news on the JCC ewish Federation out of respect e in the community of fear of the "muscle." Jewish community. And, the Federation has done a very good job of managing the expansion process, which has helped to build trust of the Federation among its constituent agencies. Since the Federation does not of- fer basic services it was only natural for them to play the role of mediator. As the Federation, Hebrew Day School, Jewish Family Service and the JCC have taken on debt to pay for ex- pansion, we have all come to understand we must change the way we operate and in- teract with each other. In fact, many of our shared do- nors have started demand- ing it. I sincerely hope this bump in the road will help all our agencies refocus on Israel to accept a virtual rerun of the same failed Reace pro- posal that Ehud Barak offered to Arafat in July of 2000: half of Jerusalem, and all of Judea and Samaria in exchange for peace. If the Israeli govern- ment refuses, then the United States will employ all of its post-Iraq war victory prestige to force it to its knees. With the willing assistance of left- wing American Jews, Ariel Sharon, who won the last two Israeli elections in landslides, will be forced out in favor of someone who will do Washington's bidding. After that, a truncated Is- rael will be forced to cope with further Palestinian incursions and terror, not to mention a possible i ntifada from Arabs in the Galilee. In response to Is- raeli complaints that the road map has led to disaster, America willTell the Israelis to stop whining and make more concessions Are you frightened yet? The good news is that none of this has happened yet. The bad news is that given the pres- See "Tobin" on page 23 will never reach Baghdad, let alone Damascus. So Assad has kept Syria's border with Iraq open, mak- ing Syria the only country to allow volunteers and war ma- teriel through to help Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. By late March, thousands of Arab, mainly Syrian, volun- teers were streaming across the open border to the Mosul and Kirkuk regions of north- ern Iraq. Syria also sent some military equipment - night vi- sion goggles, according to the Pentagon - to the Iraqi forces. Before that, in the run-up to war, Syria reportedly purchased tank engines and aircraft for Iraq in Eastern Europe. Moreover, Assad is thought to be hiding illegal Iraqi weap- ons that were spirited across the border to Syria before the fighting erupted. In testimony to the Knesset's Foreign Af- fairs and Defense Committee in late March, the intelligence research chief of the Israel Defense Force, Yossi Kupferwasser claimed that Saddam may have transferred Scud missiles and biological and chemical weapons to Syria before the outbreak of war. See "Susser" on page 23 the importance of creating lasting partnerships among the agencies and our syna- gogues. At a recent gathering of agency presidents it was ob- vious we are looking for the Federation to take a stron- ger lead in helping to create some of these partnerships especially in creating a com- munity-wide marketing ef- fort, leadership develop- ment, and streamlining some of our administrative redundancies. The Federa- tion can play a key role in creating trust among its constituent agencies, a trust which unfortunately has been missing for way too long. STUART PEISNER JCC President PAGE 5 Rabbinical oughts Passover in rabbinic literature By Rabbi R. J; Adler with all its special problems and how to solve them. That For over ten years a min- leads theMishnah to discuss yah of Torah students have severalother customs of the met with me once a week to day, such as whether to work study and discuss subjects ornot, whether to roast meat of Jewish interest based on for Seder or not, so as not to halachah. The only require- imitate the celebration at mentwas a working knowl- Temple times. This is fol- edgeofHebrew;althoughev- lowed by other customs of erything is translated into our people ofwhich the rab- English, we do read the text bis approved or disapproved. and commentaries in the This can serve as an inter- original. Ifyou want to learn esting discussion of Jewish and discuss all about the history. forthcoming festival of Finally, there is a detailed Pesach come and visit our description of how the Pas- class on Wednesday evening, cal lamb was offered in the At this time we are studying Temple of Jerusalem by their the Mishnah, tractate individual households and Pesachim and by the time how the many pilgrimswere the festivalwill have arrived, assisted by the Temple offic- we should have covered most ers in an orderly fashion. No of the laws and customs of wonder that in Pirke Aver that pilgrimage holiday. (5,7) our rabbis considered The Mishnah beginswith it a minor miracle by re- the law of searching for cording it as follows; "Ten chametz on the evening be- miracles were wrought for fore erevPesachwithcandle- our ancestors in the Temple light. Rooms never in con- of Jerusalem: No woman tact with chametz do not re- miscarried from the scent of quire searching; also we do the sacrifices; the flesh of not have to worry about pets the offerings never became breaking bread from room putrid;noflywasseeninthe to room after you cleaned Temple slaughter house; the carefully. Because we have a High Priest never became rule that enough is enough, impure on the Day of Atone- there would be no end to ment; rain never quenched bedikat chametz and there the fire of the woodpile on are other Jewish obligations the altar; nor did the wind we should take care of. subdue the column of smoke We must stop eating that rose from it; the chametz erev Pesach by 10 closely standing congrega- a.m. and begin burning left- tion found room to prostate overs. Then the Mishnah themselves; never did aser- gives us a list of grains for pent or scorpion injure any- baking matzah, as well as a one in Jerusalem; and no list of items we can serve for pilgrim ever complained mater. We are also warned that the place was too not to use cures, cleansing crowded for him to lodge in materials, or perfumes con- Jerusalem." taining chametz. Similarly, It is also puzzling why a it is not permitted to add full discussion of the Seder flour tocharoset since it may for Pesach is dealt with only become chametz. After that, in the last chapter of our the Mishnah dwells on erev Mishnah. Iwili report in that Pesach falling on Shabbat at some other time.