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May 9, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 9, 2014 VIEWPOINT HERITAGE encourages readers to send in their opinions for the Viewpoint column. They must be signed; how- ever, names will be withheld upon request. Due to space limitations, we reserve the right to edit, if necessary. Opinions printed in Viewpoint do not necessarily reflect the ' " of the Beward the ides and tides of Jewish racism By Richard Ries Ed Ziegler's April 18th column, "Islamic enclaves in America," is, in my opinion, an attempt to create monsters out of us. The Judeophilic phi- losopher Frederic Nietzsche, who broke ties with Richard Wagner in large part over the opera composer's German xe- nophobia and anti-Semitism, penned many proverbs and aphorisms, one of his most famous being"He who chases By Glenn Mollette For the rest of his life Donald Sterling will be re- membered for racist remarks even though they were made in private. Paula Deen and Cliven Bundy will also be remembered for their racist remarks, as will Don Imus. Imus made on air comments in 2007 about the Rutger's women's basketball team. Regardless of all the good any individual may have done in monsters lives in danger of becoming one." By this, he means that if we compromise our own ethics and values in the fight against evil=--for example, if we use torture to extract information, or resort to terrorism to prove points, or develop deep-seated hatreds in our hearts the way ter- rorists harbor them-- then the values and ethics of the terrorists, evil people, and hate-mongers have, in a sense, "won." In the fights against injustice then we as the Jewish people, "the light unto the nations," must not succumb to such phenom- enon as Muslimphobia. There are 3,144 counties in the United States and here is how many have adopted Sharia as the law of the land: zero. There are 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several territories such as Puerto Rico and Guam and here is how many have adopted Sharia: zero. The U.S. SUpreme Court has been deciding thousands of impor- tant rulings (either by ruling or tossing cases back as not worthy of appeal) since Mar- bury vs. Madison (1803) and here is how many have used Sharia to base their decision: none. There are 535 members of Congress (the House and the Senate combined) and here is how many are Mus- lim: two. Keith Ellison is a Democrat from Minnesota; Andre Carson is a Democrat from Indiana. Compared to the number of famous Jews in politics today-- Barbara Boxer and Diane "Feinstein (both Jewish female senators from California, quite a feat); Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York; Florida's own Deborah Wasserman- Schultz, chair of the Demo- cratic National Committee; Eric Cantor, a Republican from Virginia; Senator Chuck Schumer from New York; three Supreme Court Justices and more-- and there is no comparison. There is no question that radical Islam exists in the United States. I do not dis- pute the facts of Ziegler's article. However, local law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the NSA monitors it as best as it can and as well as it should. There is no question that radical Islam-- any radicalism-- must be checked. But just glance at the Southern Poverty Law Center's website, and you will find plenty of white supremacist hate groups as well. There is no shortage of radical and even some fairly mainstream Christians who believe America should be a Christian nation. Ziegler writes "we can no longer turn a blind eye and sit idly by doing nothing." He is right. We should not do "nothing." Let me offer some solutions: We should be engaging in interfaith dia- logues with Muslims; taking Muslim children to Holocaust memorial museums as we do here in Orlando; co-teaching Muslims and Jews as the Jewish Academy does; build- ing more programs like Panim-el-Panim, an Israeli- Palestinian youth effort that brings young people together each summer; taking a deep and serious cue from Rabbi Engel, part of NPR's "Wise Guys: Friends Talking Faith,'; and sharing meals with Muslims as Southwest Or- lando Jewish Congregation America cannot win with racist attitudes life it only takes one racist remark to dismantle an entire kingdom. I thought Joan Rivers re- ally sounded stupid on April 22 when she appeared on the Today Show and compared staying in her daughter's guest room to those the Gleveland women kidnapped by Ariel Castro experienced when they were held captive and raped for 10 years. She was trying to be funny but bad stuff that happens to people is not funny. Sterling, Deen, and Imus have made massive amounts of money and did not do so out of ignorance. Although Deen suffered financial con- sequences, Sterling's wealth is in no danger as he stands to make even more profit selling the San Diego Clippers. We need to eliminate rac- ism all around. Black people should eliminate the"N'word and all other terminology that is offensive. There is no excuse for it in music, comedy or pro- fessional sports. Racism is not just about AfricanAmericans. Slurs made about our Hispan- ic, Latino and Asian citizens are just as painful. America is now hugely multicultural and is becoming more so almost every day. It's no longer the blacks and the whites. America cannot remain the number one country in the world until we see each other as fellow Americans regardless of race or gender. It will take all of us to solve our issues including energy, clean water, jobs, debt, defense and the endless list. If we continue to devour and hurt each other we will destroy ourselves from the inside. Only teams win games. One individual seldom carries a team to a championship. Regardless if it's football, bas- ketball or baseball everyone is necessary to bring about vic- tory. There cannot be inward fighting, jealousy, hatred and name calling. Such activity PAGE 5A and other synagogues have repeatedly done. More than anything else, we as Jews should be doing all we can to show our Muslim brothers and sisters that it is time for Islam itself to de- velop modern branches, just as Christianity and Judaism have done. It is well past time for Islam to usher in Reform movements of their own, with equality for women and gays. We certainly aren't go- ing tOship Muslims overseas and be like the nations that expelled Jews for centuries. And we shouldn't be lulled into mass distrust, paranoia, or be led to believe that the large percentage of Muslims in America are peace-loving, law-abiding citizens. To believe or act any other way than with respect, toler- ance, and unwavering com- mitments to the Jewish value oftikun olamwould be simply .monstrous. Richard A. Ries is writing his master's thesis at UCF. divides a team and guarantees defeat. We have to work harder in this country to move beyond color, gender and ethnic- ity. We must see the bigger picture. It can no longer be the attitude of us four and no more. We must make our circle bigger including all that love our country, abide by our Constitution and pledge allegiance to the same flag. Glenn Mollette is an Ameri- can columnist and author. By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA) -- J Streetwasn'twelcomed under the umbrella, but it hasn't been left out alone in the rain. J Street's failed effort to join the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations showed that many in the Jewish commu- nity still regard the dovish Israel policy group as beyond the pale. In Presidents Conference loss, did J Street win its fight for mainstream acceptance? In a secret ballot Wednes- day, 22 member groups of the Jewish community's foreign policy umbrella body voted against admitting J Street, with 17 in favor, three absten- tions and eight not present. At the same time, the mem- bership bid elicited an un- precedented show of support from leading Jewish groups, some of which had previously clashed with J Street or kept it at arm's length. The Presi- dents Conference's rejection of J Street elicited loud pro- tests from prominent Jewish groups and calls for reform of the conference. "J Street kind of won the popular vote," said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice chairman of the Conserva- tive movement's Rabbinical Assembly. "The folks who represent actually millions of Jews voted to say we believe the tent is big enough and the table wide enough to continue to grow and to have dialogue." Groups that had called for J Street's admission to the Presidents Conference included theAnti-Defamation League, arms of the Reform and Conservative movements, and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the communi- ty's domestic policy umbrella, among others. J Street has had a compli- cated relationship with the rest of the organized Jewish community, simultaneously seeking acceptance while also dishing out criticism of other groups. J Street, which describes it- self as"pro-Israel, pro-peace," has criticized Israeli govern- ment policies and called for U.S. pressure on Jerusalem, as well as the Palestinians. J Street has also backed the Obama administration's op- position to additional sanc- tions on Iran while negotia- tions are taking place. Some of the groups sup- porting J Street's member- ship bid Said that they did necessarily agree with its policy positions but felt that it represented a segment of the community and should therefore be included. Groups voting against J Kampeas on page 15A Letters To The Editor We are a diverse community and we welcome your letters and viewpoints. The views and opinions expressed in the opinion pieces and letters published in The Heritage are the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Heritage Florida Jewish News or its staff. The Heritage reserves the right to edit letters for clarity, content, and accuracy. And respectful of lashon hara, we will not print derogatory statements against any individual. Please limit letters to 250 words. Send letters to P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. Or e-mail to news@ A snowbird's choice of synagogues here Dear Editor: I read with interest the column by Richard Ries about visitingvarious temples (April 4 issue) andwish to comment from a snowbird's viewpoint. My husband and I are in Florida for only 2-3 months and our regular temple is up north. We cannot afford two memberships but do make small donations when we attend a temple function. We have needed to find a temple while in Florida and found that three have been great: Bet Chaim, which works well for us and is our first choice, for start time (8 p.m.), distance, and friendliness of the con- gregants; Congregation Beth Am, which has a great atmo- sphere, friendly congregants, and a wonderful rabbi but is over an hour away and now has a start time of 7:30 p.m., which causes us dinner time problems, and Congregation Ohev Shalom which we have attended for a few functions and even though we prefer Reform to Conservative, we have always found the con- gregation to be welcoming and friendly. My one surprisewas Temple Israel. I attended a function there, and except for one woman who noticed my dog T-shirt and spoke with me about dogs, no one spoke to me during the social time after the event. Bobbie (and Nick) Chase Winter Park and Worcester, Mass. Learning Hebrew is fun! Dear Editor: (Todah rabah--thank you) for running the piece about Hebrew language literacy ("American Jewry must re- claim Hebrew" - April 25, 2014). The author could also have written that learning Hebrew is fun! The article's author asks, "how do we go about pro- moting Hebrew?" There are several Hebrew language learning opportunities in our community. Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation (SOJC) teaches Hebrew every fall, winter and spring as part of the adult lifelong learning programs (for more informa- tion call (407) 239-5444), and I bet other Orlando-area synagogues have Hebrew lan- guage opportunities (as of course religious schools do for their students). UCF also offers undergraduate Hebrew classes, which Florida seniors can audit (at no charge). Perhaps The Heritage would consider running a Hebrew column every week? Morty Miller Kissimmee Dry Bones K00.RYSPEAK AN ff;2AEL THAT ALLOW5 ,TEW5 TO LIVE THE l BANK IS: / AN APA00HEIO STATE. 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