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May 17, 2013

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 17, 2013 PAGE 5A By Gary Rosenblatt case of the American Jewish its activities in the summer on church-state issues, few dent, tells me it is no longer New York Jewish Week Congress. of 2010, having lost virtually realize that the Congress, as amembershiporganization.It The storied organization, all of its money and staff in it was known, never really once had more than a dozen What's your definition of a dating back to 1918 and led in the Madoff scandal, disappeared, regional chapters; the two "major national Jewish orga- its early years by such iilustri- But while many mourned In fact, it still has a seat at remaining ones, in Maryland nization"? ous figures as Rabbi Stephen thelossofaonceproud, grass- the Conference of Presidents- and St. Louis, operate inde- Could it be made up of less S. Wise, Felix Frankfurter roots defense agency that of Major American Jewish pendently, nolongeraffiliated than 20 people? and Supreme Court Justice championed equal rights and Organizations, though Jack with a national body that now Don't laugh. Consider the Louis Brandeis, suspended was known for its expertise Rosen, the Congress presi- consistsofaboardofdirectors By Andrew Silow-Carroll them as bigots or alarmists, themselves, the anti-jihadis, for similarly onstrates that"on the topics of New Jersey Jewish News like the former CIA official who David Plotz, the editor of obvious reasons: For some of immigration, Islam, Muslims, recently told a Jewish audience Slate, recently noted how both them, supporting Israel and Islamism, and Shari'a," Europe How much Islamophobia is in New Jersey that"80 percent" of those responses are unsatis- fighting jihad are two fronts in "is ahead of NorthAmericaand just enough? of American mosques teach factory. "At what point do we as the same battle, Australia'by about 20 years." That'sprobablytheleastsen- radicalismordistributeIslamist anationactuallysaysomething So it's in our interest to Nevermindthatgroupslikethe sitivewaytoposeaquestionthat literature. That 80 percent fig- out loud collectively about the have this conversation, and to WorldJewishCongressandthe has been bothering me lately, ure has been bouncing around people associated with radical reconcileourinstincttoprotect Community Security Trust (a The Boston Marathon bomb- the Web since1999, and no one Islam[who]areathreatinaway civillibertieswithourjustifiable sortofBritishAnti-Defamation ings gave a new boost to the hasevercomeforwardwiththe thatnootherreligionappearsto fearsaboutreligiousradicalism. League)considertheplatforms cottage industry of"anti-jihad" study or evidence to back it up. be?" he asked on Slate's "Politi- Too often, anti-jihadis show of these parties a toxic stew of activists, likePamelaGellerand But what if it is not 80 per- cal Gabfest" podcast. "What is exactly the wrong way to have nationalist chauvinism, con- Daniel Pipes, who have thrived cent, but 60? Or 40? Or just 5 the conversation that we can thisconversation.Forexamp!e, spiracy mongering and anti- since 9/11. The anti-jihadis ex- percent? It's no use denying haveaboutitthatdoesn'tmake Pipes suggests in an op-ed that minority and anti-immigrant ploitanincontrovertiblefact-- the links between Islam, in its conservatives sound like they themarathonattackhadasilver agitation. thataradicalizedformofIslam radicalform, andterror.Dozens want to intern every Muslim in lining: "It will prompt some On the flip side are civil has spawned repeated terrorist and dozens of terrorist plots by the country and doesn't make Westerners to conclude that libertarians and some Muslim- attacks around the world--to radicalized Muslims--some the liberals pretend that there-- Islamismisathreattotheirway American activists who resist concoct an indictment of Is- "successful," the vast major- is nothing going on?" of life."Inotherwords, nothing any and all scrutiny of the lam and all of its practitioners, ity foiled--have been planned Slate is a liberal news site, like a good bombing to wake Muslim community when it Every good question they ask since 2001. and Plotz knew he was asking people up. comes to investigating or pre- about, say, the priorities of our How many bad apples taint very illiberal questions. They And when Pipes writes that ventingattacks.Icanappreciate national security apparatus is the barrel? The anti-jihadis are also questions with strong "Westerners are indeed wak- the frustration of a Muslim undermined by alarmist posts would argue that it doesn't resonance for Jews. When it ing up" to the threat of radical neighbor who faces suspicion about supposedconspiraciesto matter: Public safety overrides, comes to the conversation Islam, he speaks admiringly in the wake of a terrorist at- impose Shariah law on unsus- niceties about civil liberties about radical Islam, Jews are of far-right groups that have tack, but it is simply bad policy pectingAmericans, orpanicked andreligiousfreedom.Liberals, highly visible on both sides, arisen in Europe -- includ- to pretend that radicals aren't warnings about sex-segregated meanwhile, might argue that Jews tend to be among the ing the U.K. Independence seeking recruits from among swim sessions at community scrutinizing Muslims, like all strongestdefendersofcivilliber- Party, the National Front in the ranks of believers. Police centers, forms of racial profiling, is a ties and religious freedoms, for France and the People's- Party aren't harassing imams when A lot of these writers and greater assault on America and obvious reasons. But Jews are in Switzerland. The growth of they ask questions about fol- bloggersmakeiteasytodismiss itsvaluesthanaretheterrorists also overrepresente.d among these parties, he writes, dem- lowers suspected in attacks or of"18 or 19" people, according to Rosen. Two are his adult sons, and others are said to be relatives, friends or businessassociates of Rosen, a powerful and somewhat mysterious figure Rosen on page 19A plots; they are trying to keep people safe. If we can admit the ways we demonize Islam and Muslims, andacknowledgethe necessity of focusing attention where atten- tion is due, perhaps we can craft policies that are neither bigoted nor naive. Overreach, and you end up with bad intelligence, dragging perhaps millions into an investigation meant to find a radical few. Underreach, and you ignore obvious signs of homegrown radicalism. The key, according to those who work in the community relations field, is to establish relationships--among police and houses of worship, among clergy members Of all faiths, among neighbors. If we emu- late Europe, we'll end up like Europe: wary of strangers, and no safer. If we act honestly and prudently, we'll end up--well, like Americans. Andrew Silow-Carroll is editor-in-chief of the New Jersey Jewish News. Between columns you can read his writing at the JustASC biog. on By Ben Cohen a lifespan of 30 years or so, and Christiansmustnotsacrificethe spent their time on this earth universalist, inclusive dimen- living in fear of Jewish devils, sion of Christianity and revert In a recent, exhaustive study Clearly, the Church of Scot- to the particular exclusivism of of anti-Semitism, the German land didn't expect its report to the Jewish faith because we feel scholar Clemens Heni explains begreetedbyachorusofdismay, guilty about the Holocaust. He the significance for Christian led by the Israeli Ambassador is equally clear that the Jewish theology ofthestoryofAhasver, to the United Kingdom, Daniel -people have to repent of the a Jewish shoemaker in Jerusa- Taub. Only a few days after its ethniccleansingofthePalestin- lemwho, legend has it, refused publication, the report was ians between 1947 and 1949. Jesus aresting place as he made removed from the church's Theymustbechallenged, too, to his way to Golgotha bearing the website, amidreassurancesthat, stop thinking of themselves as cross on his back. Ahasver's in the words of the anti-Israel victims and special, and recog- punishment, says Heni, was to newspaper The Guardian, "the nise that the present immoral, wander the world for eternity, churchhasneverchallengedthe unjusttreatmentofPalestinian an image that formed the basis right of Israel to exist." people is unsustainable." for what the Nazis famously Anyone who has read the "a, slongasZioniststhinkthat called "der ewige Jude .... the report knows that's nonsense: Jewish people are serving God's eternal Jew." the Church of Scotland didn't specialpurposeandthatabUses "The attribute 'eternal' cries challenge just Israel's right by the state of Israel, however out for redemption," writes to exist, but the legitimacy of wrong and regrettable, don't Heni. "For Christianity, it Judaism as well! invalidate the Zionist project, embodies the refusal on the Much more than a perfunc- they will believe themselves part of the Jewish people to tory apology for causing offense more entitled to the land than accept the coming of Jesus as isneeded.Ifthechurchwantsto the Palestinian people." the Son of God." Of course, declare that its war on Judaism "Jesus offered a radical cri- as Heni points out, this was is over, it must ditch the report tique of Jewish specialness and a particularly strong theme in its entirety and cut ties with exclusivism, but the people of throughout the Middle Ages. " Sabeel, a Palestinian Christian Nazareth were not ready for it... What's notable, though, is that institute whose mission is to at- Jesus' cleansing of the Temple this same noxious depiction of tackbothZionismandJudaism, means not just that the Temple the Jews is enjoying a new lease and whose poisonous ideology needs to be reformed, but that of life in certain sections of the was cited by the church's report, the Temple is finished." Church today. The purpose of the reportwas At the beginning of May, the to dismiss the claim that the Let'stranslatetheabovelines Church of Scotland published a "Hebrew Bible"--heaven forbid minus the academic, ostensibly document entitled"TheInheri- that these people should use reasonable tone in which they tance of Abraham? A Report on terms like Torah or Tanakh!-- are couched: "Jews! Stop whin- the 'Promised Land.'" Now, do- providesgroundsforaprivileged ing about the Holocaust. Stop ingwhatIdo, Ispendagreatdeal connectionbetweentheJewish making us feel guilty about of time reviewing anti-Zionist peopleandthe"PromisedLand," the Holocaust. Repent, every and anti-Semitic literature, which we Jews sinfully refer to single one of you, for the evil and I like to think that I am as "Eretz Israel." What follows you have committed against passed being shocked. Reading is a frontal assault on Jewish the Palestinians. And, oh yeah, the Church of Scotland report, "exclusivism" that deploys the enough of the 'Chosen People' was, therefore, something of a tiredoldtrickofcitingaJew--in thing--you people are so ar- rudeawakening;soimmersedis this case, Mark Braverman, an rogant, nowondernobodylikes the text in anti-Semitic cliches arch opponent of Zionism--in you. Even Jesus himself ran out and malicious distortions of order to protect the text from of patience with you..." JewishtheologythatIwondered accusations of anti-Semitism. The moral crime committed whetherIhadbeentransported Butanti-Semiticitmostdefi- by the Church of Scotland-- backtoatimewhenpeopledidn't nitely is. Some choice excerpts: and I use that phrase deliber- wash or brush their teeth, had "Braverman is adamant that ately--is rooted not just in the trashing of centuries of Jewish learning and scholarship, nor the wholesale fabrication of a Jewish '"crime', inthe form of the "ethnic cleansing" of the Palestinians. More than all of that, this report is a declaration of war against Judaism itself. If the "Temple is finished," then the only form of Judaism that is acceptable is the one sub- scribed to by collaborators like Mark Braverman, who want us to adopt an eternal posture of repentance and shame. Sabeel, the Palestinian Chris- tian institute whose ideology is reflected by the report, makes no distinction between Zionism and Judaism; just as the ideo- logues of the now dead Soviet Union insisted there was no difference between the two, so do these radical Christians. And to addgrievous insulttoheinous injury, Sabeei, as the Israeli organization NGO Monitor has repeatedly pointed out, receives funding from the governments, and thus the taxpayers, of countries like Sweden, The Netherlands and Canada to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The consequences of all this are clear, at least to my mind. To posit that Jews might engage in constructive dialogue with the Sabeels of this world is utterly ludicrous. They want to destroy us, and their war is a zero-sum game. Our response should be equally harsh: we must seek to destroy them. That means confronting and exposing them every time they raise their heads, whether in the comments section of a blog or at a student meeting on a college campus: It means highlighting their ideological support for the terrorism that targets Jews solely because they are Jewswwhen it comes to Sabeel's worldview, an outrage like last year's massacre at a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse should logically be regarded as the natural result of Jewish crimes that go back to the time of Jesus. Above all, it means target- ing their funding sources. And rather than just arguing for funding to be cut, let's approach that aim more imaginatively. Approximately 100 million Christians today, most of them in Muslim countries, live with persecution of the most gro- tesque kind: pastors are locked up in Iran, churches are bombed in Nigeria, Copts are ethnically cleansed--yes! in Egypt. The money thatwould be otherwise squandered on the irredeem- able anti-Semites of Sabeel, along with their global echo chamber, should be transferred into a global fund to help the persecuted Church. In both the Jewish and Christian traditions, such an act would be regarded as both charitable and just. Ben Cohen is the Shillman Analyst Hiswritings on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics have been published in Commentary, the New York Post, Ha'aretz, Jewish Ideas Daily and many other publications. l Or.LOWING THE OEC$10N TO END THE EXEMPTION TOURISTS F:ROM LOCAL VAT " ISRAEL $ P2EPA21N6 A NEN TOLR&'T AO CAMPAIGN I!I ..I ,,, IT'S COUNTRY.YOU HAVE (I CALLEO To tEA/.I.Y IVANT. I li[ To VACAtiON iN: