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April 21, 2017

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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 21, 2017 By Ben Cohen JNS .org I've written many times about the anti- Semitism that continues to plague the British Labour Partymonce a noble party of both opposition and government that has now, under its current far-left leader Jeremy Cor- byn, become a laughably ineffective opposi- tion with little hope of attaining government leadership. One key reason for that involves the scandals around open expressions of anti-Semitism from party activists and leaders alike, dis- crediting the party among voters in general and forcing Jewish members to leave what was once their natural political home in droves. The anti-Semitism row returned this week when the party announced it is merely renew- ing the suspension of Corbyn's close friend and ally, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, rather than expelling him outright for the vile falsehoods he promoted in an interview with the BBC, in which he claimed Hitler had supported Zionism before he "went mad" and launched the Holocaust. Across social media platforms, Jewish and non-Jewish supporters of the Labour Party expressed outrage. "You can keep Ken," said one tweet, "I'm done." Other statements im- plored the dissenters to stay and fight. "It's the anti-Semites who should leave, not us," declared another tweet. The party's refusal to properly address Livingstone's offense comes not because of some bureaucratic error or a genuine inabil- ity to understand the problem. It happened because Corbyn and his clique of fanatics agree with Livingstone that, as he put it in a recent fawning interview, "Basically, anybody who has criticized Israel, ends up being called anti-Semitic." But what counts as "criticism of Israel" is very generously defined. Talking about the influence of Jewish wealth in the U.K., stoking blood libels against elected Israeli leaders, repeatedly spitting in the face of the Jewish community by comparing Zionism with Nazism, currying favor with Islamist terrorists like Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi and anti-Semitic dictators like the late Hugo Chavez in Venezuela--all of these monstrosi- ties amount, in Livingstone's mind, to mere "criticism of Israel." In a 1946 essay, George Orwell wrote that while British anti-Semitism rarely takes vio- lent forms, "it is ill-natured enough, and in favorable circumstances it could have political results." That speaks volumes about today's Labour Party. In the same essay, he remarked, "People will go to remarkable lengths to dem- onstrate that they are not anti-Semitic." That, By Stephen M. Flatow Those cruel Israelis! Palestinian residents of Gazajustwant some soccer balls and perhaps a few Frisbees, to help break the monotony of life under siege. Yet the insensitive Israeli authorities, enforcing their ruthless blockade, recently intercepted a shipment of innocent, humanitarian sporting goods that would have brought a little light to the dark of lives of Gaza's children. That's what you can expect pro-Palestinian human rights groups and their media support- ers to report. The truth, however, is different. Very different. In an attempt to be kind to Gazans and appease international criticism, the Israeli government allows numerous trucks with supposedly "humanitarian" items to enter Hamas-ruled Gaza each day. It's abig risk, because Hamas repeatedly has exploited Israel's kindness by using the hu- manitarian shipments as means of smuggling in materials that can be used for terrorism. They did it again earlier this month. Examining a shipment of sporting goods bounds for Gaza, Israeli border inspectors at the Kerem Shalom crossing point discovered 30 professional diving suits earmarked for Hamas naval commandos, according to Israel's Defense Ministry. Two and a half years ago, five Hamas terror- ists in scuba diving suits swam ashore at Israel's Zikim Beach, north of Gaza. Fortunately, they were intercepted and killed by Israeli troops before they could reach their target. The Israeli authorities have not forgotten that incident and are on the outlook for attempts to smuggle scuba equipment to Gaza. Perhaps the most important revelation about how Hamas smugglers have taken advantage of Israeli--and American--kind- heartedness came from Dennis Ross, in an August 2014 op-ed in The Washington Post. Ross served as a senior aide to then-Sec- retary of State Hillary Clinton and as Middle East director on the National Security Coun- cil during 2009-2011. Those were the years when Hamas was starting to build tunnels to enable its terrorists to reach Israel from Gaza, and the Israelis began restricting the importation to Gaza of building materials that could be used for the tunnels. So theObama administration sent Ross to the region--to pressure Israel., In his op-ed, Ross admitted what he did: "I argued with Israeli leaders and security offi- cials, telling them they needed to allow more construction materials, including cement, into Gaza so that housing, schools and basic infra- structure could be built. They countered that Hamas would misuse it, and they were right." Assured by the Obama administration's in- sistence that the cement would not be misused, Israel allowed it to be imported. The result? Hamas built"a labyrinth of underground tun- nels, bunkers, command posts and shelters for its leaders, fighters and rockets," Ross acknowl- edged. They built them with "an estimated 600,000 tons of cement," some of which was !'diverted from construction materials allowed into Gaza," he wrote. Three years from now, I don't want to be reading an article by Ross's successor belatedly admitting that he shouldn't have pressured Israel into easing up on the blockade of Gaza. The Trump administration needs to learn from Ross's mistakes. Don't give Hamas the benefit of the doubt. Don't pressure Israel to permit extra "hu- manitarian" shipments to Gaza. Concrete 'for homes can also be concrete for tunnels, and innocent-looking sports equipment can be--and has been--used for terror. Stephen 3I. Flatow, a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney in New Jersey. He is the father ofAlisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. 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 FLORIDA SH NEWS HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (1SN 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 emaih Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene Stare Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza Society Editor Office Manager Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Kim Fischer Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley * Ira Sharkansky DavidBomstein EdZiegler Production Department David Lehman Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore too, speaks volumes about Labour. One only needs to recall the insipid internal inquiry into anti-Semitism in 2016, which conceded only that there is "an occasionally toxic atmo- sphere" towards Jews in the party, and which employed the well-worn tactic of recruiting a Jewish academic and virulent critic of Israel, Prof. David Feldman, to provide appropriate political cover. There is a broader point to be made here, and it is intimately connected to Labour's steady drift to the left. The party's disturbing behavior is reflected not just in its deny-and- excuse response to anti-Semitism at home, but in its adoption of a similar stance towards grave human rights abuses abroad. Nobody exemplifies this pattern more than Ken Livingstone. In 2013, when Presi- dent Barack Obama drew a red line over chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian regime only to erase it a few days later, the American climbdown was ably supported by a vote against military intervention in the British parliament. In spearheading a move that bolstered Syrian dictator President Bashar al-Assad, former Labour leader Ed Miliband and his "anti-war" lieutenants like Livingstone and Corbyn ended up smeared with the blood of hundreds of thousands of Syrians. Here is Livingstone--the great defender of "Palestine"--speaking about possible British involvement in Syria in November 2015: "We cannot put British troops on the ground be- cause they are too discredited after Iraq and Afghanistan. But we should look to countries like China. I think China would jump at the opportunity to be involved because it would bring them on to the global stage. They've got millions of troops." Livingstone made these ludicrous com- ments after being charged by Corbyn with the task--I am really not making this up--of reviewing Labour's defense policy. So let there be no misunderstanding about his conclusions: After insulting the armed forces of his own country, he recommended that the troops of a genocidal communist dictatorship be sent to Syria as... what? Neutral peacekeepers? Guar- antorrs of the survival of Assad's regime? If it's the l~atter, the dimwitted Livingstone-should have realized the Chinese were not necessary, as his Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah friends By Caroline Glick Eli Lake from Bloomberg set off a firestorm in the U.S. this week with his revelation that in the last six months of the Obama administration, Susan Rice, former president Barack Obama's national security adviser, requested that the U.S. intelligence community enable her to use foreign intelligence collection as a means of gathering information about Donald Trump's advisers. According to Lake's story, during the course of the U.S. presidential campaign, and with steadily rising intensity after President Donald Trump won the Novem- ber 2016 election, Rice used her access to intercepted communications of foreign intelligence targets to gather information on Trump's advisers. Some of those reports were then leaked, injuriously, to the media in violation of U.S. criminal statute. Whereas in the normal course of events, the identities of American citizens whose conversations with foreigners are intercept- ed by the U.S. intelligence community are shielded, in the final months of the Obama administration, Rice repeatedly asked that the identities of Americans who conversed with foreigners be exposed. The Americans in question were Trump's advisers. Lake's scoop both confirmed and ex- panded House Select Committee on Intel- ligence Chairman Devin Nunes's charges from two weeks ago against the Obama White House. Nunes said that he had seen evidence that the Obama administration collected information on incoming Trump administration officials that was not for national security purposes. This week's discovery that Rice played a central role in the intelligence~collection regarding Trump's advisers brings Nunes's allegations that the outgoing Obama ad- were already doing the dirty work of keeping Assad in power. And now, almost three years after Obama's secretary of state, John Kerry, told us the "worst" of Assad's chemical weapons arsenal had been peacefully removed, we are again looking at sickening images of the victims of a gas assault in the town of Khan Sheikhoun. As I write, 85 people are reported dead and hundreds more are said to be suffering from sickness, vomiting, foaming at the mouth and other ill effects associated with these illegal weapons. The attack, ultimately made possible by Russian and Iranian backing for Assad, led President Donald Trump to shift away from his position of accepting that Assad remain in power, warning, "These heinous actions by the Assad regime cannot be tolerated." Of course, it remains to be seen what Trump will actually do, but he has at least recognized the profound moral challenge contained here without the irritating qualifiers of the previous U.S. admin- istration. That is far more than can be said for a dictator's stooge like Livingstone--who has denounced Trump, in an article for a rigidly Stalinist newspaper called the "Morning Star," as a threat to the whole world. Livingstone is too insignificant to be a threat to the world. But throughout his career, he has faithfully supported the dictators and terrorist murderers who have inflicted untold suffering, and has resolutely opposed any effort to bring them down. He has, in short, been an enabler of evil. This shouldn't mean that others opposing action in Syria should be tarred with the same hideous motivations driving Living- stone. Equally, it shouldn't escape our notice that there is a transparent link between the promotion of anti-Semitism and the support for dictatorships disfiguring so much of the political left. Livingstone cannot recognize evil because, perhaps, he is evil himself. Nobody of any political persuasion should follow his example. 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. cal war ministration conducted surveillance of the Trump team to the highest reaches of the administration. Now that Rice has been exposed, it is impossible to claim that in the event such surveillance occurred, it did not reflect the Obama administration's concerted policy. Lake's story and subsequent stories have obvious implications for the public's as- sessment of Trump's March 4 allegation on Twitter that Obama spied on him. But the Rice story is equally, if not more, important for what it teaches us about Obama's mode of governing. The Rice story strengthens the assess- ment that for eight years, Obama and his associates weaponized the federal govern- ment to wage a political war against their domestic political opponents in a manner that is simply unprecedented. In the latest iteration of the Obama White House's abuse of intelligence data, administration fficials collected and leaked information about members of the incoming Trump administration to under- mine its ability to chart a new course in foreign affairs. The Obama administration's campaign against the incoming Trump administration was wildly successful. Due to their efforts, Trump's national security adviser Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Mike Flynn was forced to resign in a cloud of controversy just three weeks after Trump took office. Revelations by Lake and others exposed that Flynn was targeted in the Obama White House's abuse of intelligence. The adminis- tration used its intelligence intercepts and unmasking of Flynn to cultivate the sense that Flynn was a Russian plant. On Jan. 12, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius published that Flynn had spoken numerous times to Russia's U.S. Ambassador Sergei Kislyak after Obama Glick on page 5A.