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May 11, 2012

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PAGE 4A By Andrew Silow-Carroll New Jersey Jewish News If you everwonderwhy university presidents get paid the big bucks, consider the week Richard McCormick is having• On one side, the Rutgers University president is being pressed by New Jersey Jewish leaders to treat a satirical newspaper&apos;s attack on a Jewish student as a bias ircident. On the other side you have a First Amend- ment watchdog group warning the university to save itself from the "embarrassing prospect" of a free speech case it cannot win. And somewhere in the middle are folks like me who think the satire was grotesque and undeserved, that free speech undoubtedly ap- plies, but that somehow a line has been crossed. To recap: Last month, TheMedium, a sa- tirical campus newspaper, published an April Fool's issue. It featured a column parodying Aaron Marcus, a vocal pro-Israel activist who writes a real column for the campus newspaper, The Daily Targum. In the parody column, the fake Marcus praises Hitler. The, Zionist Organization of America and the Anti-Defamation League responded with outrage. Marcus filed a bias conplaint. Mc- Cormick said the university would investigate Spoof and consequences the incident. "No individual student should be subject to such a vicious and provocative and hurtful piece, regardless of whether the First Amendment protections apply to such expression," McCormick said. Jewish leaders caled for swift action, First Amendment notwithstanding. The ZOA la- beled the piece "appalling, defamatory, and anti-Semitic." Max Kleinman, executive vice president of United Jewish Communities of MetroWest N J, wrote in these pages, "There are those who would excuse these actions as immature pranks or defend their right to publish this venom under the cloak of the First Amendment," adding, "There needs to be 'red lines' on acceptable behavior at Rutgers....." And yet, among those who would defend the students' right to publish is the Supreme Court' of the United States. In Hustler Magazine, Inc., v. Falwell (1988), the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protects even the "most blatantly ridiculing, outlandishly offensive parody." Peter Bonilla of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) pointed this out in a letter to McCormick, As a result of that ruling, added Bonilla, "Rutgers may not punish the newspaper, its editors, or any of its writers simply due to the offense it has caused Marcus and others." Time to chill out on Iran? Iranian bomb would be an existential threat to the Jewish state as Well as a profound danger for the United States and the West. Even those Israelis who are publicly critical of Netanyahu, such as former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, agree that the ayatollahs can- not be allowed to have such a weapon. The disagreement is over whether the current program of Western sanctions and diplomacy will be enough to convince the Iranians to back down. - But the danger Netanyahu sees in the current bout of diplomacy is not a product of his active imagination. With a virulent foe of Israel in charge of the P5+1 talks in the person of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton--and with Ashton showing signs that she is buying into Iranian propaganda about a desire for a deal--there is good reason to believe the outcome of the process will-not produce anything close to a Iranian nuclear surrender. The Iranians have led Western diplomats down the garden path before and there is every indication that it is using the "window" opened by President Obama to play for time while their centrifuges keep spinning and refining the uranium that will bring them closer to a weapon. Since converting the program to military use:s is the last and easiest part of the process, the fact that such a decision may not have yet been made is no reason for the world to relax. Under these circumstances, Netanyahu's alarm is more than justified. The problem is not just that an Iranian bomb is dangerous but that the West has set in place a diplomatic pro- cess that is almost guaranteed to undermine support for tough sanctions and stop short of closing down Iran's nuclear facilities. Far from it being the time to calm down about the issue, now is exactly the moment when concerned Americans.should be making it clear to the president that any EU-brokered deal that does not eliminate Iran's nuclear program is an invitation to disaster. JNS Columnist Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of COMMENTARY magazine and chief political blogger at www.commen- He can be reached via e-mail at: jtobin@commentarymagazine. com. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter. com/#f/Tobin Comrhentary. By Jonathan S. Tobin JointMedia News Service Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been the subject of a steady stream of criticism from the mainstream media as well as liberal Jewish commentators for taking an apocalyptic.tone when discussing Iran. Netanyahu has been accused of hyping the danger over Iran for political purposes and for returning to the theme of the nuclear threat during his remarks during Holocaust com- memorations last month. President Obama also chided him for daring to suggest that the current negotiations being conducted by the West with Iran were "freebies" that were doing nothing to address the problem. At a time when the president has commit- ted the United States to preventing Iran from going nuclear and even the European Union has a.nnounced its intention to embargo Iranian oil, the alarms still being sounded by Israel have been dismissed as an excessive if not a cynical attempt to highlight danger that is not seen as imminent or inevitable. Since Iran may not have even made the decision to transform its;civilian nuclear program into a military one, Netanyahu's tough talk strikes many in the West as either insincere or a blatant attempt to bully the West into an un- necessary confrontation• With a negotiating process in place between the West and Iran, the conventional wisdom of the day is telling Jews and Israelis to chill out. In fact, Netanyahu may have been outma- neuvered by Washington's enbrace of the issue. By combining tough rhetoric about Iran (intended to calm the doubts of American Jews about his attitude toward Israel) with support for the so-called P5+1 talks that bring the United States, the European Union, the United Nations as well as Russia and China into the negotiating process on the nuclear issue, the president has effectively boxed in Netanyahu. Since an Israeli attack on Iran is unthinkable while the U.S. and theEU are talkingwith the Islamist regime, all the prime minister can currently do is complain while he watches Iran's diplomats play their negotiating partners for suckers• There is not much argument within Israel or even among the leaders of the West that an THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. [-    CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE   ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 40 Press Awards IHERITAGEI FLORID.'JBWlSH NEWS ! HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721) js 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 email: news@orlandoheritage•com • Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor Assistant Editor Gene Starn Mike Etzkin Kim Fischer Society Editor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Barbara do Carmo Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky Tim Boxer David Bornstein TerriFine Ed Zieg!er Production Department David Lehman * David Gaudio o Teri Marks Elaine Schooping • Gil Dombrosky • Caroline Pope But although the law seems clear, the prin- ciple seems out of whack: At what pointdoes freedom of the press become a cover for jerks, and allow them to do in print something that would get them suspended or censured were they to do it face to face or on line? If a kid calls another kid a "Jewish Hitler lover" in the cafeteria or on Facebook, wouldn't that leadto disciplinary action? But because The Medium does it hnder the guise of satire and publishes it by the thousands, it's protected speech? I put this question to Wi!l Creeley, director of legal and public advocacy at FIRE. He directed me to the Supreme Court's definition of"peer-on- peer harassment": discriminatory behavior.that is "so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so undermines and detracts from the victims' educational experience, that the victim- students are effectively denied equal access to an institution's resources and opportunities." The university would have a hard time clas- sifying The Medium piece--clearly labeled as satire--as Warassment under this definition, said Creeley, even under the university's Code of Student Conduct. "Context counts here," said Creeley. "In- sofar as we are talking about a satirical April Fool's post, I don't think that [amounts to] the kind of fighting-words instance that you are describing." Creeley cited The Onion, a satirical newspa- per that often depicts Vice President Joe Biden as a hard-drinking, womanizing redneck. "The Joe Biden we see in thepages of The Onion does ridiculous things, but folks understand HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY-11, 2012 it is artificial and clearly not Joe Biden," said Creeley. "We give satirists a wide berth to do those kinds .of statements. Really, context counts here." Which means any calls for Rutgers to"pun- ish" The Medium's editors are bound to be futile and even to backfire, through no fault of the university. And already there are signs of a backlash against "censorship": Paul Mulshine, a col- umnist for The Star-Ledger, blasted the bias investigation, saying the "campus p.c. patrol is at it again." He was particularly hard on Mar- cus, calling him a "knucklehead" who didn't seem to understand "how satire works." Alex Lewis, a studenl columnist for The Targum (and a former FIRE intern) ridiculed outsiders who might complain that their tax dollars are funding The Medium. "[T]heir argument is flawed for the same reason that people with opposing political views are still allowed to drive on the same roads as them," Lewis wrote. But while Mulshine, Lewis, and the law may be on the side of The Medium, none seems to take into account the hurt and anger felt by Marcus and a Jewish community rubbed raw in recent years by the trivialization of the Holocaust and the delegitimization of Israel. If The Medium can't be punished, how else is it to get the message? McCormick's response, describing the satire as "vicious and provoca- tive and hurtful," is at least a good start. Andrew Silow-Carroll is editor-in-chief of the New Jersey Jewish News, Between columns you can read his writing at the JustASC blog. The Christian holocaust By Ed Ziegler Last month I wrote about the Jewish Ho- locaust of the1930s and '40s and how, today, Islamic fanatics want to complete the annihi- lation of all the Jewish people. I contend that the Christian people of today are now in the • midst of their own holocaust. What is interesting is that the same Islamic fanatics that are obsessed with eliminating the Jews are persecuting and killing Chris- tians in many Islamic countries. Why is this happening? Simply becfuse they are Christians, along with Jews and all other religions, that do not believe in the Islamic faith• The fanatic Islamists refer to many passages in the Quran and the Hadith that condone violence toward non-Muslims. One such verse 4:56 reads "Lo! Those who disbelieve Ourxevelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment. Lo! Allah is ever Mighty, Wise." All too many Christians do not realize or care to realize, the ongoing persecution of Christians in IsJamic countries. This article contains only a tiny sample of the many factual Islamic actions of hatred. If you still have any doubts as to the Validity that fanatic Muslims, and there are multi-millions, are persecuting non-Muslims and Christians view the link <. http://www.gatestoneinstitute. org/3033/muslim-persecution-of-christians- march-2012> and read about many more acts of persecution. I pray this article opens the eyes of people of all faiths to the fanatic Muslims' hatred of non-Muslims. According to "ASSIST News Service" on April 7, 2012 in Timbuktu, Mali a Christian leader was beheaded and others were being threatened with similar treatment by Islamic militants. Christians have fled the town of Timbuktu. There are reports that churches in Gao, 200 miles to the east, have been com- pletely destroyed. On April 8, 2012 AFP reported that in Kaduna, Nigeria, a car bomb blast outside a church on Easter Sunday killed 50 people and raised fears of further attacks according to of- ficials This was a reminder of the Christmas Day attacks that left dozens of people dead. "Compass Direct News" reported the Suda- nese government gave Christians from South Sudan until Easter Sunday (April 8, 2012) to become citizens or be deported. More than 500,000 citizens of Southern ethnic origin have been living in Sudan for decades. Christian leaders fear authorities are using the occasion to rid the country of Christianity• In February'2012 'World Net Daily' stated that reports coming out of Iran say persecu- tion of Christians is only growing more bold and brazen, as authorities once againraided a house church and arrested between six and 10 congregants On March 27, 2012, it was reported Islamic militants, with ties to the terror group al- Qaida, have launched the "ethnic cleansing of minority Christians" forcing tens of thousands of people to flee the Syrian city of Horns and other areas. Aid workers confirmed at least 90 percent of Christians living in Horns have fled after "fanatics" forced them to leave their homes. The Dutch aid group 'Kerk in Nood', states that the exodus of 50,000 people took place in the last six weeks. In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, state religious and education officials have changed the title of a seminar about "the threat of Christianity" following outrage from hon-MusJims in the multiethnic country. The title was changed to "Strengthening the faith, the dangers of liberalism and pluralism and the threat of Christianity towards Muslims." On Jan. 16, 2012, a Vatican spokesman, Father Federico, director of the Holy See Pregg Office, drew attention to the plight of persecuted Christians. "The annual report contains aworld index of persecution according to which the first 10 countries are in descend- ing order: North Korea, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Iran, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Iraq and Pakistan." In December 2010 the "Catholic News Agency" stated that an Egyptian priest, Fr. Rafic Greiche, told Vatican Radio that radical Muslims are trying to rid the Middle East en- tirely of Christians. He said this is happening every day. Greiche also stated that Egyptian Christians face significant public and private discrimination• In November 2010, a crowd demonstrating for their right to build a ctlurch in Giza clashed with police, who fired on the unarmed protest- ers. More than 150 people, including some children, remain in jail following that incident in an area notorious for police brutality and other human rights abuses. I hope everyone wakes up, very soon, to the fact that-the fanatic Islamic leaders espouse the goal of Islamic domination of the world. The Muslim Brotherhood master plan referred to as "The Project" clearly states "Adopting the total liberation of Palestine from Israel and the creation of an Islamic state as a keystone in the plan for global Islamic domination." Ed Ziegler is past president of the New Jewish Congregation's Brotherhood. He can be reached at