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May 4, 2018

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 4, 2018 PAGE 15A From page IA referring to land in Israel as 'occupied territories,'" said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, president of Chris- tians in Defense of Israel, and founder and president of Covenant Journey. "I applaud the Trump admin- istration for this welcome change. The media often uses terms like 'occupied ter- ritories' and 'refugee camps' to delegitimize Israel. Most people hearing the words 'refugee camp' visualize a makeshift tent city, when in reality these places are established neighborhoods with businesses and schools. I am pleased the State De- partment has eliminated the derogatory and false term 'occupied territories' language," said Staver. The term "occupied" is considered by many to be a loaded phrase intended to demonize Israel with regard to its activities in disputed areas. According to policy expert Dan Diker of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), "Friedman is advancing Trump adminis- tration policy to correct past mistakes and misconcep- tions of American diplomats. Since the Oslo Accords in 1995, the most densely Palestinian populated areas in the territories are desig- nated as 'Area A' and 'Area B,' which are under Palestinian autonomy, and are certainly not legally occupied." Mark Zell, who heads Republicans in Israel, com- mented to World Israel News in December that "Am- bassador Friedman is fight- ing back against bureau- cratic inertia and State Department Arabists." In response to the State Department's subsequent change in terminology, Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman tweeted over the weekend, "The lie of the occupied Palestin- Jan territories begins to be revealed. They say that a lie repeated often enough becomes true, but the truth is forever stronger. The State Department report is proof of that." From page 4A LibbY Lenkinski, the vice president for public engage- ment for the New Israel Fund, said her group, which funds liberal Israeli advo- cacy groups, hoped Portman's statement would bring atten- tion to its agenda, noting that Portman in her statement said she was exploring Israeli charities to support. "The right celebrity can open up more space on an is- sue and give more permission to more people to reflect their position," Lenkinski said. "It can be a catalyst." Anumber of liberal Zionists who praised Portman were aggravated by the patronizing responses the actor received from the right and the left, particularly the insistence on both sides that she was indeed embracing BDS, despite her denials. "While the far left and right are bent on mischaracterizing Portman's stance as BDS, we take her at her word," Debra Shushan, the director of policy forAmericans for Peace Now, said in an email."Natalie Portman is more dangerous [to Netanyahu] than the BDS movement because she can't be dismissed as an anti-Zionist Israel hater." So, like Reagan Republi- cans, is "Portman Zionism" going to become a thing? Not so fast, said Lev Grin- gauz, a student at the Uni- versity of Minnesota and a reporting fellow for New Voices, a Jewish campus magazine. The viciousness of the response from Netanyahu's defenders, which included calls for Portman to have her citizenship revoked, might discourage like-minded people, he said in a Twitter interview. "When you get attacked quickly on all sides for so much as trying to be nuanced, even if imperfectly so, that means the space for conversation is too narrow for any of us to operate in anymore," Gringauz said. For the pro-Israel right, Portman was the latest in a long line of liberal pos- turers, especially when she decried "the mistreatment of those suffering from today's atrocities." Many interpreted those words as referring to Israeli troops who have killed more than 30 Palestinians protesting along the Gaza border in recent weeks. (An Israeli television station reported Monday night that Portman originally told the Genesis Prize that she was cancel- ing her participation in the award ceremony over Gaza.) "She didn't express love for Israel," Ari Teman, an entrepreneur and stand-up comic, said on Facebook. "At most, she expressed love for hummus and dancing. She stabbed Israel in the back for defending itself from Hamas, a terror organization sworn to kill Jews everywhere, and she knew exactly what message she was sending and how it would be used by Israel- haters." Josh Block, CEO of the Israel Project, said in an inter- view that there was a lesson for both Portman and her critics: Portman should be heeded as an intimate of Israel, but should also be cautious in how she expressed her criticism. "People ought not be work- ing overtime to turn an ally into an adversary, and those with special platforms and such deep ties to Israel need to take care that when expressing their legitimate disagreements, they don't take actions that as Daniel Patrick Moynihan would say, could be seen as 'joining the jackals," he said, recalling the late New York senator. "The better approach for her would be to go to Israel and give a speech and highlight the values important to her in the presence of people she wants to persuade. "The better response is not to disengage and cede the discussion to others, but to engage more deeply, on the ground, in Israel, with the only--and necessarily imperfect--nation state of the Jewish people." From page 4A At the same time, it is time that Jewish and pro-Israel organizations stand up for what is right. It is time to call out and put pressure on those in our community whose efforts are counterproduc- tive and immoral. We are thankful to the few Jewish and pro-Israel organizations that have engaged with us on this issue and promised to work with us. However, we are disap- pointed that in many of our conversations with other organizations, we have been told that the organization is tied, unable to say or do anything because of their donors. This lack of moral compass cannot go on. It is time that we strengthen our backbone and stand true to our Jewish values by wholeheartedly condemning Canary Mission and pursu- ing justice for all. If you find this issue con- cerning and/or are interested in speaking more about it or getting involved in our efforts, please reach out to and Signed, Hillel Governing~Execu- tive Boards: University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Ohio State Uni- versity Campus Pro-Israel Or- ganizations: University of Michigan: Hillel Israel Co- hort; Ohio State Univer- sity: Buckeyes for Israel; University of Minnesota: Gopherlsrael; University of Wisconsin: Badgers for Israel, Madison Student Al- liance for Israel; University of Maryland: Terps for lsrael; and George Washington Uni- versity: George Washington for Israel This letter was also signed by 107 students at seven universities. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of JTA or its parent company, 70 Faces Media. From page 5A international law and, specifi- cally, its support of Hezbollah. Zarif is aware of the threat Hezbollah presents to Is- rael, as he assured Hezollah's leader Hassan NasraUah in August 2015 that the nuclear deal would present the terror group with "a historic op- portunity" to threaten Israel. Iran's financing of Hezboilah has allowed it to build a mas- sive rocket arsenal with which to threaten Israel. Zarif is quite adept at feign- ing indignation, but most of his responses in this interview were deflections of the ques- tions about Iran's record, not answers. He has no real answers for Iran's aggressive and destabilizing behavior. But Zarif does possess the quality identified by Wotton: the ability to lie. David Gerstman is senior policy analyst at The Israel Project. From page 7A Hoffman, who called it a"tip- ping point." Corbyn recently has had to apologize for his 2013 de- fense of a London mural widely seen as anti-Semitic. It shows stereotypical Jewish men playing Monopoly on the backs of black men. After the media dredged up his Facebook post on the mural, Corbyn deleted it. He was also found this year to have been a long- time member, until 2015, of a private Facebook group rife with anti-Semitic hate speech. "In the past, Corbyn was able to hind behind criti- cism of Israel to dismiss al- legations of anti-Semitism," Hoffman said. "But the mural had nothing to do with Israel, and Corbyn was personally a member of the anti-Semitic Facebook group." In an apparent bid to mol- lify his Jewish critics, Corbyn on Passover attended a seder dinner--organized, howev- er, by a fringe, far-left group called Jewdas. But even this gesture backfired when the Jewish media highlighted how Jewdas' Haggadah, the text used during the seder dinner, was an alternative version featuring a prayer for Israel's destruction. Whereas Corbyn has shown himself capable of transcending his Jewish detractors in elections, the issue is nonetheless exposing him to scathing criticism within his own party. And it has cost his party several ma- jor donors, including Jewish ones, while widening the gulf between Labour centrists who resent Corbyn and those further to the left. During the parliamen- tary debate last week on anti-Semitism, Smeeth, the Jewish Labour lawmaker, denounced inaction on anti- Semitism within her own party. She read out in Parlia- ment one of the thousands of anti-Semitic emaiis she says she has received since 2015. "Hang yourself, you vile treacherous Zionist filth, you're a cancer of humanity," one email said. She and Berger both re- ceived standing ovations in the House of Commons, the Parliament's lower house, after sharing the abuse they had received. But even Smeeth con- ceded that opposition to the alleged proliferation of anti- Semitic rhetoric within Labour is causing some Cor- byn supporters--known in Britain as "Corbynistas'--to rally around him. "For every comment like those you just heard," she said of the anti-Semitic emails she had read aloud, "you can find 10 people ready to dismiss it, to cry 'smear, to say that we are weaponizing anti-Semitism." As the debate grinds on, the Corbyn effect is making itself felt in very tangible ways in some Jewish house- holds in London. Mark Ruben, a 57-year-old hotelier, recently sold his $7 million property in London, which he called his "dream home," partly out of con- cern over Corbyn winning an election and imposing a mansion tax, as his party has vowed to do. Another consideration in favor of selling, Ruben said, had been the proliferation of anti-Semitic rhetoric and incidents. In 2017, they reached a new record for the second straight year, at 1,382 cases. "The prospect of Corbyn becoming prime minister is deeply worrisome to me also because of anti-Semitism," he said. "It's suppressed now, and he's denying being anti-Semitic, but it could all be reversed the day he's in power." But the concern of Jews-- a population of 250,000 in a country of 65 million--is of little interest to the average voter in Britain, Ruben said. "We're just a small minor- ity," he said. "Even with all the headlines about anti- Semitism, Corbyn will get the Muslim votes, he'll get the votes of students whose loans he's promising to repay because he's offering some- thing that doesn't exist and they're too young and naive to realize it." From page IIA said it decided to sign the petition because it supports "the liberation of all people." "This includes the people of Palestine," the group told JTA in a statement. "That is why we have given our support to BDS. We are happy to stand alongside them and support their efforts to obtain justice for the people of Palestine." Jenny Labovitz, a Realize Israel board member, said the point of the Yore Haatzmaut celebration and similar events was to show pro-Israel stu- dents that there are others who share their opinions. "[I]t's more important, not necessarily to counter JVP, but to provide a space for pro- Israel students to say it's OK to celebrate Yore Hazikaron [Israel's Memorial Day], it's OK to celebrate Yore Haatzmaut with us," said Labovitz, 21. Even so, fellow group mem- ber Esther Bildirici, 20, said she did not generally feel comfortable speaking about Israel in class. "Somehow it became the cool thing to do, to be anti-Zionist on the college campus," Bildirici said. "In school or in class, I have a very hard time ever admitting that I've been to Israel and I've studied in Israel." From page 12A 12 or 13. I never went to the school dance." On this day, Bregman departed for a practice field and chatted in Spanish with fellow infielders Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, natives of Venezuela and Puerto Rico, respectively, at second base during a running drill. Breg- man is fluent in the language. Jerick Paquinto, a 19-year- old from Houston wearing a Bregman jersey, was among hundreds of fans watching. "I like that he's not the biggest guy and he has a lot of heart," Paquinto said of the 6-foot Bregman, words simi- larly applicable to the 5 -foot-6 Altuve, last year's American League MVP. "I liked him since he was at LSU [where Bregman was a first-team All American at shortstop[. I saw him hit a homer, and I fell in love with him as a player." The trio jogged toward a batting cage, Bregman stopped to sign autographs after he fin- ished hitting. He'll be signing plenty more when the Astros come home next week for their opener at Minute Maid Park. His parents will be there. Sam Bregman joked about guarding the championship ring his son will receive. "I know that the Jew- ish community around the country is so proud of him," Jackie Bregman said. Refer- ring to the card collection of Jewish players, she added, "I hope that one day he's in that collection."