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PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 20, 2018 Prom page 2A Netanyahu. The goal of the visit was to learn about is- sues critical to the United States-Israeli relationship and international security. Rep. Soto said that the trip was both exhausting and enchanting. He climbed up to Masada and floated in the Dead Sea. He met with tradi- tional, secular, and Hasidic Jews; African Christian Arabs, and Muslim Arabs. While visiting the Golan Heights, he spoke to a veteran of the 1967 Six Day War while mortar fire sounded in the background. He met with a young Israeli soldier whose young children lived only three miles from the Lebanon border. "We can't afford to make mistakes," she told Soto. He also had an "eye-opening meeting" with the commerce secretary of the PLO. Israelis garnered Soto's respect in other ways. The people are "hard working, very liberal minding regard- ing equal rights and democ- racy," he said. Soto was also impressed with "fierceness of political debate" among Israelis that is balanced with respect for each side. Rep. Soto was surprised by the overwhelming number of olive trees the Israelis have planted. "The trees literally stopped at the Israeli border," said Soto. "To me it is symbolic of the cultivation--the sweat and toil--the Jewish people have put into the former desert." Rep. Soto compared the Jews who came to Israel to the Cuban people, many who live in his district. "It is a sheer miracle that both groups not only survived but also were able to do so many wonderful things," he said. "We know how fragile Israel is, and the country--one of our strongest allies-- requires American commitment." Rep. Soto reflected on Israel's upcoming 70th anni- versary, commenting that the milestone shows the fortitude of the Jewish people. "A strong American-Israeli relationship has fostered that security," said the congressman. "We need to make sure to continue those investments going forward." From page 3A is an evangelical pastor based in San Antonio, Texas. Hav- ing served in the ministry for more than five decades, Hagee leads a church with 20,000-plus active members. He is a Christian Zionist, who believes that the Bible com- mands all believing Christians to support the State of Israel and the return of the Jew- ish people to their ancestral homeland. As such, Hagee has had a long and generous relation- ship with the Jewish state. He has visited Israel numer- ous times and has met with every Israeli prime minister since Menachem Begin. His organization, John Hagee Ministries, has donated tens of millions of dollars to- wards humanitarian causes in Israel. For example, the ministry group donated mil- lions of dollars earmarked for enabling Jews from the former Soviet Union to im- migrate to Israel. Hagee's spirited advocacy for the Jewish state has been a constant of his career. In 1981, his church hosted its inaugural "Night to Honor Israel"--an annual event held in San Antonio every year since--that celebrates the Jewish state and stresses the importance of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. As a mark of its great success, the 2017 dinner raised more than $2 million for Israeli and Zionist charities and organizations. Since its inception, the "Night to Honor Israel" has raised more than $100 million for Jewish charities and the Jewish state. In 2006, Hagee founded Christians United for Is- rael (CUFI) to give political expression to the voices of millions of devout Christians across America who support Israel. A testament to Hagee's commitment and vision, this grassroots organization has rapidly grown and now boasts some 4 million members. CUFI has become the largest pro-Israel Christian group in the United States, and one of Israel's most significant and vital sources of support in America. In addition to help- ing fund initiatives geared towards supporting Israel, this group also has dedicated significant resources for combating anti-Semitism around the world. As part of his activities for CUFI, Hagee has addressed members of the United States Congress, exhorting them to support Israel in any way they can by using their positions of power within the government. John Hagee has been a true and devoted friend of Israel. His public and vocal support has been no small factor in solidifying the strong rela- tionship between American evangelical Christians and Israel. In turn, this special relationship has been an im- portant and lasting element in Israel's connection with America, its most crucial ally and friend. From page 3A disrupted these activities on a regular basis. Lebanon is already a well- established Iranian rock- et base, filled to the brim with 120,000 rockets embed- ded in 200 Shi'a Lebanese vil- lages. All of these projectiles are pointed at Israel. Under Iran's plans, Syria, too, would become a major threat. The military base report- edly struck in the latest attack, known as "T4," has a history. In early February, Israeli fighter jets destroyed an Iranian drone control cabin that was stationed there, after Iranian operators sitting in it flew a drone into Israeli NATHALIE TOLEDANO REALTOR Owned And Operated By NRT LLC (407) 488-2763 CELL (407) 64%1211 EXT 3685 BUSINESS (407) 628-1210 FAX nathalie.toledano @ RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE 400 Park Avenue South, Suite 210 Winter Park, FL 32789 mmm 1 2 3 S C R 14 O P E 17 D U A Ill 23 24 25 O P P 28 R E L 3O A C A 36 T A C 41 E N E i 46 S 49 50 A M O 53 L O F 55 L O W 62 E R O 65 N E R m 7 C H I N G 32 E T S 51 D U Im 12 : 13 Ei Y NI O OI D CI E HI A a4E. Xl O AI M LI E 61 N II p C E DI E OI N 783512694 642398157 91 5764283 359147826 airspace. It's likely that the Iranian operators were killed in that attack. According to reports that emerged on Monday, Iranian military personnel were killed in Monday's strike as well. That would seem to indicate that whatever was going on at the T4 airbase--hundreds of kilometers from the Israeli border--constituted a serious security threat to Israel, and that Iran has again tested the waters, seeing how far it can go in building up its military presence before provoking an Israeli response. This dangerous pattern looks set to continue. Each incident represents a po- tential escalation point that can spiral into a wider conflict between Israel and the radical Shi'a axis that is taking over much of the Middle East. The Russian complication What makes this situation more tense is the fact that Russia acts as the air force of the Shi'a axis in Syria. Russian From page 7A ferent. Everyone experiences Judaism as a completely dif- ferent thing." She maintained that the activity made her delve into her own Jewish identity. "It's easy to be Israeli and Jewish," she told JNS. "All my friends are Jewish, and I expe- rience Israel every day. I don't get to think about [identity] that much. I just realized how hard it is to be Jewish in a non- Jewish country. I now think about it not as something you take for granted." Similarly, Charter main- tained that"it is a great irony of history that the current and next generation of Israelis take for granted the most amazing and even miraculous project of the Jewish people: the State of Israel." airpower helped turn the tide of the war in Assad's favor, a fact that has probably given the Syrian dictator the confi- dence to unleash the horrors of chemical warfare on Sunni areas and make a mockery of the international community in the process. Russia has, through its waves of airstrikes in Syria, gained a warm-water port at Syria's Tartus naval base, and it has an airbase at Hmeimim on the Syrian coastline. It has moved advanced air- defense batteries to Syria. Moscow has used its inter- ven t:~n to position itself as a?~erpower actor in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the United States has decreased its influence in Syria to a bare minimum. Israel seeks no conflict with Russia but is unwilling to ignore the activities of Moscow's allies--something Israel has communicated to Russia repeatedly. The Russians have so far been able to help de-escalate the situation by convincing their radical and dubious allies to tone down their responses to Israel's self- defense actions. The Iranian axis may not have needed much convincing; it remains fundamentally deterred by Israel's vast firepower and intelligence capabilities. Iran is intent on consolidating its control of Syria at this stage, rather than opening a new active front against Israel right now, which would risk its entire Syrian project. But if it succeeds in its goal of converting Syria~ into a new base of hostility.towards Israel, there can b~'no doubt that, sooner or later, it will activate this front. These events put Russia's project in Syria at risk, and this poses a complication. Any full-scale conflict that erupts would place the Assad regime in existential danger, and Rus- sia could see its investment go down the drain. Statements released by Moscow on Monday indicate Russian displeasure at Israel's alleged actions. Yet Israel has responded that it will not blink when it comes to defending its security. It's also hard to ignore the fact that the alleged Israeli strike came hours after a hor- rendous chemical massacre was carried out, once again, by the Assad regime against a rebel-held area. Scenes of men, women and children murdered through the use of chemical-weapons agents have once again flooded the world, with an ally of Iran and Russia--the Assad regime-- again committing a ghastly crime against humanity. As a result, it cannot be ruled out that the latest at- tack also served as an Israeli signal of intolerance to the usage of chemical weapons ~in the region. Whatever triggered the strike, one thing seems cer- tain: Iran will continue to test Israel's lines, and Israel will continue to enforce them. Ayelet also discovered that while she loves being secular, the trip and its experiences helped her understand "how important it is that if I go abroad, I will keep Jewish tra- ditions." She found it sad that many American Jews were only "Jew-ish," and before the trip didn't even grasp the enormity of the Holocaust, which she believes "is impor- tant because it's who I am." In addition, both young Is- raelis (like the NewYorkerwho has never been to the Statue of Liberty) were able to visit important sites that--even living in Israel their entire life--they had not been to, such as Israel's Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. "It made me want to explore more of Israel, both new places and the places I already know," said Racheli. Touring the country and seeing Israel from others' eyes actually opened the eyes of the two Israeli women as well. "The Americans said that what they really liked the most about Israel are the people. I knew that Israeli society was warm and accepting, but to hear it again makes me proud to live" here, Racheli told JNS. "I am more proud to be Israeli now." Likewise, Ayelet said that after visiting the Taglit- Birthright Israel Innovation Center--a display of Israeli technology, entrepreneur- ship, and advances in research and development--"I knewwe were awesome! I really love Israel and it's a good place to live, but I realized at the in- novation center how special we really are. When Israelis want to make a difference, we do it." She added that she hopes the participants come away with a similar message and image, noting concern over the way the international press often covers Israel in a one-sided manner regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict and status of the Palestinians. Ayalet wants them to repre- sent the "true Israel"--the positive, progressive people that they are--and to keep the negativity at bay. Likewise, Racheli wants them "to get something from this journey for the rest of their lives, something thatwill change the way they see--and to feel and know they belong here." * Name has been changed to protect privacy. 427685319 861239475 234971568 196853742 578426931 From page 8A scripts/Koch,%20Alan%20 Transcript%20MASTER%20 10819%20Ready%20for%20 Web%20R1262016.pdf In April 2011, the league and union tried to remedy the problem by giving men like Hertz, Taussig, and Koch $625 for each 43 game days of service they accrued on an active MLB roster, up to $10,000. But when the man passes, the payment passes with him. So now Linda Koch, who uses an oxygen tank every day, gets squat. In my opinion, Linda Koch, as well as Hertz and Tauss- ig, are being shortchanged by a sport that can afford to do more for them. Just increase the bone that is being thrown these men to $10,000 a year. Are MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and Clark suggesting they can'tafford to pay spousal benefits to widows? That they can't continue these pay- ments so Hertz ad Taussig can enjoy their years on golden pond? Given the economics of the sport, $6.44 million is chump change. It's about time these two chumps realize that. Douglas J. Gladstone is the author of"A Bitter Cup of Coffee: How MLB & the Play- ers' Association Threw 874 Retirees a Curve." His website is