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May 9, 2014

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PAGE 4A The Good 000000irord By David Bornstein The Sterling effect When the taped conversation between Donald Sterling; billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and his friend/girlfriend/ mistress V. Stiviano was leaked recently, a righteous uproar rose from National Bas- ketball Association players, coaches, owners, media, down to people on the street, who rightly denounced his racist epithets against African Americans. Even though the released conversation was supposedly only a snippet ol  more than an hour of talk between the two, it contained statements like, "Don't put him on an Instagram... And don't bring him to my games," referring to a picture of Stiviano and Magic Johnson. There is no defense for a man with a his- tory of racism who was finally brought down by a stupid statement made public by a close associate. Indeed, he has fought off (and paid off) lawsuits from the Department of Justice accusing him of forcing blacks and Latinos out of his rental properties, and refusing to Students to administrators: time to stop hiding By Tammi Rossman-Benjamin As soon as an African American student at San Jose State University who was racially harassed and bullied by his dormitory room- mates came forward, university, county, and state officials began an investigation. Within days, prosecutors labeled it a hate crime, bat- tery charges were filed against three of the roommates, and the university had suspended them. Withinweeks, California State Assembly Speaker John Perez announced the creation of a Select Committee on Campus Climate, and its first task was to look into this incident and find a way to prevent others like it. When a white male threw a beer at Trinity College sophomore Juan Hernandez and yelled, "Get off our campus," Trinity launched an in- vestigation and charges were brought against the perpetrator. When anti-gay remarks were written on message boards that hang on dorm- room doors, Elizabethtown College began an investigation, engaged the FBI, and disciplin- ary action was taken. Compare that to the situation for Jewish students. Over the last several years, Jewish students on campuses across the country have been physically, emotionally, and intellectually harassed, intimidated, threatened, and bullied, not only by their fellow students but also by some of their professors. Anti-Israel student activists at the Uni- versity of Michigan last month hurled death threats at Jewish student council members and called them "dirty Jew" and "kike." At University of California, Berkeley, a Jewish girl holding an "Israel Wants Peace" sign was ram rodded with a shopping cart by the head of Students for Justice in Palestine. At Harvard University, the Palestine Security Committee frightened Jewish students by placing mock eviction notices on their dormitory rooms. At Northeastern University in Boston, Students for Justice in Palestine vandalized a menorah and disrupted Jewish events. At San Francisco State University this past fall, the General Union of Palestine Students hosted an all-day event where participants could make posters and t-shirts that said, "My Heroes Have Always Killed Colonizers," meaning Jews. And just last week, at New York University, pro-Palestinian students slipped "eviction notices" under the doors of 2,000 undergrads, scaring Jewish students and parents. The first major source for anti-Jewish sentiment on campus is members of the Muslim and pro-Palestinian student organiza- tions. For more than a decade, these groups have sponsored speakers, films, exhibits, and guerrilla theater that engage in discourse or use imagery and language considered anti- Semitic by the U.S. State Department, These student groups have also been responsible for aggressively confronting students at pro-Israel events and threatening, physically harassing, and assaulting Jewish students. Over the past couple of years, the groins have also promoted campaigns to boycott Israel or companies that do business with Israel These campaigns are accompanied by talks, tallies, and exhibits containing anti-Semitic imagery, rhetoric, and actions. Jewish students have reported fearing for their safety in the days leading up to and after the campaigns, say- ing they were "continuously intimidated" and "repeatedly threatened." The second source of anti-Israel sentiment on campus is faculty. In classrooms and at departmentally sponsored events, faculty members have advanced lies and distortions about Zionism, Israel, and Jews, and advocated the elimination of the Jewish State. Although their rhetoric is unscholarly, politically moti- vated, and even at times anti-Semitic, these professors have wrapped themselves in the mantle of academic freedom, making it very difficult to challenge. For four years, David Klein, a-mathemat- ics professor at California State University, Northridge, has been using his university's server to promote his Web pages calling for the economic, academic, and cultural boycott of Israel. His Web pages contain a litany of false and inflammatory statements and photographs intended to incite hatred and promote political activism against the Jewish State. David Lloyd is a professor of English at University of California, Riverside. In January, he organized an event on his campus that fea- tured Omar Barghouti, the founder and most vocal advocate for the campaign to boycott Israel. Barghouti accused Israeli soldiers of "hunting children," saying that soldiers "en- tice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport." He also accused "Israel and its well-oiled lobby groups" of "buying and paying for the allegiance of Congress" and Benjamin on page 14A THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT.   CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE   ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 43 Press Awards HE ITAGE I F LO RI DA'JEWI S H NEWS I HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 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 Parki 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 Assistant Editor Gene Starn Kim Fischer Chris DeSouza Society Editor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Lori Apple * Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky David Bornstein * Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman * Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 9, 2014 rent to African Americans in Beverly Hills. In comparison, his statements regarding Magic Johnson were minor. Still offensive, mind you. Still hostile and racist, but minor nonetheless. That's not to say that I'm defending Sterling. I'm not. His bigoted behavior finally caught up to him. As soon as the tape became public he effectively lost control of his team. There's no place for a racist owner in a business that is 80 percent black, and there's no way he could have maintained any level of authority or respect. Advertisers abandoned him. Team members were prepared to boycott games. He was, in essence, done prior to the fine and lifetime ban imposed by the NBA. But here's the kicker. There's more to this situation than Sterling's immoral behavior and the knee-jerk responses from virtually everyone who heard about it. Two questions came to my mind almost immediately. First, what was the context in which he made the statements? And second, do we have the right to say whatever we want in the privacy of our homes? No one has yet pinpointed the motive behind Stiviano's leak of the recording. Her attorney has taken the fifth amendment to avoid in- criminating himself, so perhaps he spilled the beans. But how did he get his hands on it in the first place? Did Stiviano goad Sterling on? Did she set him up? Of course, even if she did he still made the statements, and if he hadn't he'd still be running the Clippers. She's said, in a bit of outrageous, ridiculous self-aggrandizement, that she wants to be president of the United States someday. Good luck, V. So was this just a bit of awful publicity for her? And if she either had it in for him or was simply looking for a way to bolster herself, shouldn't she be held at least partly accountable? Then there's the question of conversations at home. California law states that both parties must be aware that a conversation is being recorded for it to be legal, and I bet this comes up in a court of law. And on a larger scale, who amongyou has not made a stupid joke at home? Have you ever said something that, if it saw the light of day, would be denounced? Have you ever put on a bad accent, imitated someone in bad taste, told a joke that uses racial stereotypes, is anti-women, anti-something? Do you ever call white tank tops "wife beaters"? Do your children ever call behavior "so gay"? I wish it weren't so. I wish people everywhere only had good taste, only said nice things, only had rainbow thoughts. But that's not the case. I know I could be castigated for any number of ridiculous comments or ways I've poked fun at people ... in private. If one of my kids happened to record me in one of those moments, and then posted it online, people might not like it, but should I have my public life effectively end because of it? Should I be sued, penalized, punished for my behavior behind the walls I own? I'm not so sure. It's sad enough that Donald Sterling was born Donald Tokowitz to Jewish immigrants who fled Europe. What frightens me even more is that I might now have to watch every word that comes out of my mouth for fear that someone may be, not just listening, but record- ing on their smart phone for release to TMZ. And that's the good word. Send your thoughts, comments, and critiques to the Heritage or email dsb328@ By Ira Sharkansky Palestinians of Hamas Gaza and FatahWest Bank have announced the end of their dispute. They claim it gives them added strength to deal with Israel. Bibi is claiming that it provides the exit from the peace process. At least temporarily, the U.S. is siding with Israel in accepting a suspension of meetings between negotiators. The critical questions are: How pragmatic is Hamas? And can Israel or the U.S. negotiate with certified terrorists? Israel has negotiated with Hamas, as well as with Hezbollah, but only on limited issues with respect to prisoner exchange or cease fires. There are question about the seriousness of this Fatah-Hamas agreement. Commen- tators are reciting the numbers of previous agreements, which did not survive beyond the initial applause. Descriptions from inside have been of the most general pledges of loy- alty, without dealing with the detailed issues that have foiled several previous short-lived declarations of unity. Best guesses are that the agreement came about on account of both sides' weaknesses. Egypt linked Hamas with the Muslim Broth- erhood as terrorist outlaws, responsible for the Egyptians' problems in the Sinai and elsewhere. Fatah's leadership has been under pressure from Israel and the U.S., and has limited support in the West Bank. Well known among Palestinians is the corruption of Abbas and his team, and their lack of concerns for social or infrastructural issues in the area they control. They have rejected aid from Israel, the U.S., and Europe to build water and sew- age treatment facilities, as well as to generate their own electricity. They would rather run up electric bills with Israel worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and then complain when Israel threatens to withhold the transfer of import tax collections to cover the deficit. Many Palestinian homes get electricity and running water only part of each day, and their streets stink from open drains. The weakness of both Hamas and Fatah will challenge any who are hoping that this unity will survive. Among the questions is the capacity or willingness of Hamas to control even more radical groups well established in Gaza, that often fire rockets or mortars to hurt or provoke Israel. And to what extent is Hamas itself free from an extreme form of Islam, which like its cousins the Muslim Brotherhood impel it to impose Islamic law where it can, and accept only temporary accommodations with Israel and others? Since the accord, we've heard Hamas rejec- tions ofwhatAbbas accepts, i.e., the legitimate existence of Israel, and Abbas himself has reasserted his inability to recognize the Jewish character of Israel. Related to the effort at Palestinian unity is the question, Whose fault is the failure of Kerry's negotiations and their suspension? Palestinians are pointing at Israel. The Israeli government and right of center com- mentators are pretty well united in blaming the Palestinians. Some Israelis blame the Israeli government for not trying hard enough, or not recognizing the political gains that might be made by trying to negotiate with a united Palestinian entity. American officials are blaming both sides, which disappoints the Israeli right. One can see a bit more moderation from Obama than from Kerry. The president has spoken about a pause in negotiation to give the parties a chance to consider the consequences of their actions. The secretary of state acceptS a pause, but commits himself to keep trying. Now theAmericans are focusing on Ukraine. Kiev and its hinterland doesn't have the pizzazz of Jerusalem, but the potential for a renewed Cold War and containment of Russia is noth- ing to sneeze at. Obama has reminded us of his marginal savvy of international politics by and describ- ing Malaysia as a southeast Asian nation with an important role in his efforts to forge deeper ties with the region. Let's hope that his visit to that country is not marred by the loss of Air Force One. Abbas has declared that unity with Hamas will not keep the PNAfrom honoring the stand- ing demand by the Quartet (i.e., U.S., E.U., U.N., and Russia) for no terror, recognition of Israel, and adherence to previous agreements. No doubt that Abbas has his eyes and those of his family on the money the PNA has been getting each year from the U.S., and the E.U., and from other donors that may be sensitive to its behavior. Among what we are hearing from the up- per echelon of Fatah is that the PNA cannot obligate all its entities to act the same. That would seem to allow terror under the tent. There is, after all, freedom and democracy in Palestine. And if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. Sharkansky on page 15A