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April 30, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 30, 2004

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PAGE 24 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Cen- ter sponsors an annual student creative arts contest to accom- pany the yearly Yore HaShoah observance. Elementary, middle and high school stu- dents in the Central Florida area are invited to submit po- etry, artwork and essays deal- ing with themes central to the Holocaust. On Sunday, April 18, at the 2004 Yore HaShoah observance, the following stu- dents received first place awards in the poetry competition for their respective grade levels: Elementary School: Mia a/Irl//d Dawson, Hebrew Day School; Middle School: Scott Chiribaga, Sanford Middle School; High 1st Place High School Poetry Justin Kemp Dr. Phillips High School School: Justin Kemp, Dr. Phillips High School. Their work is reprinted here. Forever , f 1st Place Elementary School Poeiry Mia Dawson Hebrew Day School G-d Picked Us G-d picked us to be his people, That is why we must stand strong. We can remember better times, When Jews all sang a freedom song. So as we get persecuted, Because of what we believe. We can't just go along with what they want, There are so many dreams we must achieve. We are a great tree that will forever stand tall. They may have the power to chip at our bark, But they can never, ever make us fall. They can take my house, my clothes, my watch, my bed, and my things. But my faith they cannot take, they cannot touch, they cannot break. Freedom will always be on my mind, My thoughts they cannot overtake. Every day is full of hardship, Every day is full of fright, Every day brings something different. But still I will say the Shema at night. Within me is the power, To stand tall for the Jews, Because G-d picked us, Our people He did choose. Who are the real heroes? I ask again and again. Finally the answer comes to me, Us, G-d's chosen. 1st Place Middle School Poetry Scott Chiribaga Sanford Middle School In the ghetto forced to live in the ghetto Nazi brutality unimaginable, unthinkable horrors inexpressible by words it feels like we're secluded from the world everything's a nightmare it's like we're back in the Dark Ages provisions are scarce everyone is starving more of us rounded up daily overpopulating this nauseating place death prowls the streets looking for its next victim oppressed for standing up for what we believe in no questions asked yet, we still resist fighting more and more every day for our freedom and our pride for what is good and right molotov cocktails flying soldiers dying secret meetings plotting Nazi downfall hopeless as it may seem, we fight never giving up even in the face of death we keep our spirits up always strong hoping, praying, willing somehow we will make it somehow we have to make it always trying to find a way but no matter how hard we try family and friends being taken away men, women, and children tortured and painfully killed by soldiers every day, more dead more lost hope is all we have left in this tragic Holocaust For what I believe in, is all that I know And I have left. Everything has been raped and taken away From me. But I still stand. Standing for what I believe in forever. No matter how many things try to break me. I will still be fighting for my beliefs. Until I take my final breath. Forever. Dershowitz Continued from page 1 terrified to send thei r children to Jewish day schools. The children are removing their kippot when leaving shul or school lest they be set upon and beaten. He noted that the plans to successfully blow up the train station in Madrid also included Jewish institutions. Should anyone doubt the at- tacks are against Jews because they are Jews, Dershowitz said, keep in mind an incident in a Jerusalem suburb several weeks ago where a young man out jogging was murdered in cold blood. Hamas and the AI-Aqsa Brigade both claimed credit but then learned that he was not Jewish, but an Arab from East Jerusalem. Although they pro- fusely apologized for making a mistake, Dershowitz said that it was no mistake, that they had set out to kill a Jew. Even in the U.S. times have changed, Dershowitz said. At his daughters day school, the doors are locked, one needs a pass to move around, security cameras are ever-present and there are armed guards at the entrances. "At an elementary school/" he said almost incredulously. '3k'e knowthat Holocaust me- morials are uniquely targeted for attack," he continued, "as if, somehow, to attack the Holo- caust is to attack Israel. It's not enough for 6 million to have died; now even their memories have to be attacked." Dershowitz drew a compari- son between the past and the present, saying the past is not necessarilyaguide to the present or future. For instance, Chris- tianity is on our side today; Christians support Jewish val- ues. The main enemies of Jews and Israel, he said, come from a post-Christian Europe, a Eu- rope that has abandoned reli- gion and Christianity. Stressing the importance of the State of Israel, he said that, had Israel existed during the time of the Shoah, thingswould be vastly different. He noted that Hitler's original plan was not to kill the Jews--although he was certainly happy to do it--but to rid Europe of all Jews. All the doors--even in the United States, Canada and Great Brit- ain-- had slammed shut. Even Palestine, under British man- date, refused to take Jews. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was a German collaborator who spent the war years in Berlin with Hitler, trying to prevent the sav- ing of Jews. He went so far as to turn back a convoy of 6,000 Hungarian refugees who were trying to get into Palestine but who, instead, wound up in the camps. Had Israel existed, hun- dreds of thousands of lives might have been saved. On the other hand, Israel's doors are open to all, not just Jews. In fact, he said, Israel takes in Palestinian gays who are pros- ecuted for being gay. "Israel is also a reminder to the world," Dershowitz said, "that you can't pick on Jews anymore. You can't bully them, you can't push them around, you can't discriminate against them on the basis of their reli- gion. "To its credit, Israel has built a formidable armed forces. It will defendJewswhen others do not defend Jews. Obviously, it relies on the nation-states them- selves in which Jews live to de- fend Jews but, woe unto any nation that has a Jewish popula- tion and will not let it out and will not protect it. Israel is there to protect Jewish communities around the world and will do so and will live up to its obligations to be the protector of last resort for Jews anywhere in the world." He reminded his audience that, unlike the Jewish commu- nities of the '30s and '40s that were powerless and unheeded, today's Jews are a powerful force with which to be reckoned. The greatest threat Israel faces today, he continued, is not from terrorism but from Iran, dangerously close to develop- ing nuclear weapons. He cited an Iranian imam who said that killing 3 million Jews with a nuclear bomb would be worth the 20 million Muslims who would probably be killed in re- taliation. When you put nuclear weapons in the hands of radi- cals who prefer death over life, Israel is at risk, he said. He reminded his guests of Iraq's nuclear development pro- gram which was quickly ended in the early '80s by the Israeli Air Force. Unfortunately, Dershowitz said, that cannot be repeated as I ran will have a much more secure and inaccessible facility, less prone to attack. Wou cannot deter terrorists who want to die," he stressed. '5'ou have to pre-empt them." He went on to say that it was justifiable for Israel to have killed Dr. Rantissi, the most recent head of Hamas, noting that, on the day he succeeded Sheikh Yassin, he ordered the military arm of Hamas to attack Jewish civilians. That made him a com- batanL Dershowitz said, and an appropriate military target. There are efforts in the world to de-legitimize Israel, to make it a pariah. On many college campuses, Israel is singled out for divestiture, which would mean economic death. On the other hand, those behind such movements fail to consider Israel's number one economic export: medical technology. Is- rael saves more lives per capita today with its technology than o HEATHER WILLIAMS (1), a lOth Arts Contest poetry division, PROFESSOR ALAN DERSHOWITZ, keynote April 18 Yom HaShoah observance. any other country in the world, them for killing our "That's what divestiture would but we can never cut off," Dershowitz said. for making us kill Divestiture's true goal, dren." though, is to miseducate a gen- erationofAmericanstudentsso way that today's 20- and 21-year- son, nottokil oids will become tomorrow's and yet 35-year-old Congresspeople, munity condemns political leaders, governors, demns. presidents, CEOs and profes- sors, all of whom will have be- rael is, unfortunately, come indoctrinated against Is- some success on rael and the Jews. '~l'his is a struggle for the Universit~ minds, the hearts and souls of University of the future of American leader- Berkley, to which I'm ship," he thundered, "The goal about 10 days, is to turn America into a coun- real, real successes try like France, into places in Europe where there is a knee- versities jerk, automaticreactionagainst in some German anything Israeli andwe have an Referring to me 9/11 absolute obligation to struggle against that attempt to propa- gandizeourchildren, ourgrand- killing Osama bin Laden children, our nieces, our neph- ews and the friends of our chil- and, ontheotherhand, dren and the children of our Israelwhen friends." The effort to demonize Israel ern times that has is shown in the comparison be- more to protect civil tweenIsraelandHitler, between ever operated more the lsraeli armed forces and the rule of law when Gestapo. What's happening to tions of the kind the Palestinians is portrayed as today. a Holocaust. '~'he United Dershowitz talked about one come, tragically, college professor, Norman Finkelstein, whowas fired from sippi in 1930. A court in BrooklynCollege, fromNYUand sippi could do justice i~ is now a 52 year-old assistant involving a white and a professor at DePaui University The same is in Chicago. Finkelstein is con- U.N.; it can do stantly making analogies be- disputes between tween Israel and the Gestapo, Sweden. But ifyou have even though his parents were Mississippi in 1930 Holocaust survivors,blackandawhit Dershowitz quoted Finkelstein it's going to come as saying, "I don't understand why any supporter of Israel should be upset about compari- sons between the Israeli army Arab states, you know and the Gestapo." going to come out." Finkelstein even compared "The great moral Dershowitz toAdolfEichmann of the 21't centul after the release of his latest duded,"is going tol~ book, The Case for Israel. or not Israel's Finkelstein, according to tempts to Dershowitz, characterized the tect its Holocaust as a "demographic will once experiment.'"Thisisamanwho cuse for gets standing applause from and neo-NazisinGermanywhenhe Semitism. That is attacks the Holocaust This is a man who says Elie Wiesers moral people on our] whole life is a lie This is a man have to persuade who claims Holocaust survivors and our are bogus and goes around the to persuade the world making these speeches sors. That is and comparing Israel's actions the day. To use to the Holocaust," Dershowitz said. Because Finkeistein is a Semitism is immoral, t professor, he added, many people who do it are! peoplewillthinkheknowswhat wrong side of historY, he's talking about and will be- on the wrong side lieve him. they're on the wrong~ Referring to the spate ofchil- legality. We dren used as homicide bomb- our defense of ers, Dershowitz quoted the late tinue to stand Prime Minister GoldaMeir, who said, "Perhaps we can forgive ring true."