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June 14, 2019

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 14, 2019 PAGE 3.A. By Jonathan Feldstein Most people at least rec- ognize the name of Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. But few outside Israel know the name of Is- rael's president, or that Israel even has one. In Israel, the prime minister is the head of the government and the president is the head of State. Israel's current and 10th president is Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin. He was elected to a seven-year term five years ago this week. He has a long and remarkable family life and political career in Jeru- salem. This week his wife, Nechama, of nearly 50 years, died. As per Jewish tradition, she was buried and eulogized the next day. Based on an outpouring of love and condolences, Run for Zion is enabling Christians and others who love and support Israel to send their condolences and prayers to President Rivlin and his family. Please write to to share yours. Israel's First Lady, Ne- chama Rivlin, died the day before her 74th birthday on which she was laid to rest in a state funeral at Jerusa- lem's Mount Herzl national cemetery. She was eulogized by her husband, President Reuven Rivlin, who began his remarks by acknowledging her birthday. "My Nechama, our mother. I got up this morning--you know that I didn't manage to sleep--I looked at the date that is so familiar--June 5. Happy birthday, my dear. Sad birthday. To you, Nechama, my wife, to you Nechama, my love, I'm having a hard time accepting that these are my parting words Thank you for being with me thank you for allowing me to be the husband of the First Lady of Israel." Born and raised in central Israel he lauded her adopting Jerusalem as her home, "You became more of a Jerusalem- ite than Jerusalem natives." "You never wanted to be in the limelight, but you understood that as the presi- dent's wife you had a role to fill. You chose to support children with special needs, to stand alongside women without being a demonstra- tive feminist." President Rivlin also ac- knowledged his children and grandchildren, who he said did not leave his wife's bedside "for one moment" over the past months of her illness, testimony to the kind of mother and grandmother that she was, and to the kind of family that they built over five decades. Since her death it was revealed that no matter how long a day he had, or when his day ended, President Rivlin would visit Nechama in the hospital, every day. According to Jewish cus- tom, the funeral and seven- day mourning period (shiva) was open to the public. It's considered something righ- teous, even an obligation, to participate in a funeral and to comfort the mourners. In addition to being eulogized by Israeli political and religious leaders, Nechama Rivlin was also eulogized by many foreign diplomats. One of the president's formal roles is greeting and accepting the credentials of foreign ambas- sadors. The diplomats paying their respects is both a sign of affection for Mrs. Rivlin and the president. Other than being First Lady, Mrs. Rivlin was an accomplished professional. She graduated from and worked for years as a re- searcher at the Hebrew Uni- versity. After she retired in 2007 she learned that she had a severe lung disease and was the recipient of a transplant from a young Israeli man who died. Because of Presi- dent Rivlin's political career including cabinet minister, and speaker of the Knesset, Nechama Rivlin was in the public eye for decades. She was highly regarded and stood out for her modesty and lack of pretense, and was known for her messages of reconciliation and peace. Recently, she would be seen in public appearances with a portable oxygen tank. To the extent that Israel has a royal family, and other than his current role as head of State, the Rivlins are one of them. President Rivlin was born in Jerusalem during the British Mandate era as part of a family that has lived in Jerusalem since 1809. When his family arrived in Jerusa- lem, the population was in the tens of thousands. Over the centuries they became one of Israel's leading families and now represent hundreds of descendants who have left ~ii~!ii Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images The United States First Lady Melania Trump walks with Israel's First Lady Nechama Rivlin at Beit HaNasi (the president's residence) on May 22, 2019. their mark on Israeli society in many ways. He frequently tells the story of how his ancestors perceived that the coming of Messiah was imminent and wanted to be in Jerusalem. Among other notable things in his family, Rivlin's father is credited for creating the first Hebrew edi- tion of the Koran. So central Jerusalem is to his family, he is often heard on the radio beginning interviews with "greetings from Jerusalem, the capital of Israel." If you're not able to come and express your condolences in person this week, you can still join in comforting Presi- dent Rivlin an extend your condolences by sending your personal prayers to prayers@ By Sean Savage (JNS)--A number of Mas- sachusetts Jewish and pro- Israel groups are condemning several Democratic state lawmakers for participating in an Eid al-Fitr event at the Massachusetts State House that was co-hosted by the Massachusetts branch of the Council onAmerican-Islamic Relations, which has a long history of anti-Israel and anti- Semitic sentiment. In response to an inquiry from JNS regarding the event, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston executive director Jeremy Burton responded: "We welcome the efforts and intentions of our political leadership to honor and sup- port our Muslim neighbors through events such as an Eid celebration. On the spe- cific partner you have asked about, JCRC has discussed this over the years internally, with our local and national member organizations, and with our interfaith partners. Based on our understanding of unresolved questions about (JNS)--The United States has sent 900 new troops to Saudi Arabia and Qatar amid the threat from Iran, an- nounced U.S. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Wednesday, May 29. "I don't see a change in any behavior," he told reporters on his way to Indonesia. "The situation still remains tense. It is a high-threat environment." Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States will send 1,500 troops this organization, we consider CAIR to be an inappropriate partner for ourselves and for the mainstream community," he told JNS. "We believe that our com- monwealth is stronger when faith communities and elect- ed leaders come together and stand with each other in public civic space. It is unfortunate that, in these times of urgent and necessary solidarity across communi- ties, inappropriate actors are being unnecessarily mainstreamed." According to a flier for the event, it was co-hosted by Democratic State Reps. Kay Khan, David Paul Lin- sky, Tackey Chan, Marjorie Decker, Aaron Vega, Sarah K. Peake, Jonathan Hecht and Denise Provost, alongwith the Council onAmerican-Islamic Relations-MA. The event took place at the State House on June 5. The flier says it is an "Eid al-Fitr social" and encour- ages participants to "join us for traditional Eid sweets to celebrate the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan." to the Middle East to serve in a "mostly protective role" in response to the Iranian threat. An estimated 600 were already there, reported Bloomberg, adding to the announced total. The United States has en- acted new sanctions and de- ployed two warships with fighter jets, in addition to a Patriot missile battery, to the Gulf in response to Pentagon reports that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Democratic State Rep. David Paul Linsky, who represents the 5th District in Middlesex County and was a co-host for the event, defended his deci- sion to participate. "I see this event as the same type of event when I host a Purim celebration when we eat hamantaschen in my of- rice or light Chanukah candles in the State House. This is not a political event or a foreign- policy event. It is a celebration of a happy time in the Muslim religion," he told JNS. Linsky reiterated: "One should not read any political stand or policy stand into this. It is purely a happy event. I take pride in celebrating in all cultures and religions." 'A long record of ant- Israel activity' The Massachusetts Repub- lican Jewish Committee called on the state's Democratic leadership to reprimand its members for participating. "While we recognize and respect that the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr should be celebrated at the Massachu- setts State House, it is monu- mentally inappropriate for any was planning an attack on U.S. forces or interests in the region--moves that have caused European foreign ministers to call for de- escalation. On Thursday, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said, "I don't think this threat is over, but I do think you can make at least a conditional claim that the quick response and the deployment and other steps that we took did serve as a deterrent." elected official to co-sponsor this or any event with CAIR," the group said. "We call upon the Massachusetts State House Democrat Leadership to reprimand its Democrat Members for doing so." While Robert Trestan, Anti- Defamation League's New England regional director, was not familiar with this event, he pointed JNS to the ADL's longstanding position on CAIR. According to the Anti- Defamation League, CAIR has "a long record of anti-Israel activity. Its leadership has accused Israel of being a rac- ist state engaged in genocide and Israel supporters in the U.S. of promoting 'a culture of hostility towards Islam.' Its chapters partnerwithvarious anti-Israel groups that seek to isolate and demonize the Jewish state." In 2007, federal prosecutors named CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal conspiracy to financially support the terrorist group Hamas as part of the Holy Land Foundation case. In 2009, the FBI severed rela- tions with CAIR due to con- cerns of its continued ties with terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. At least seven CAIR board members or staff have been banned from the United States, arrested, indicted, convicted or have pleaded guilty to terrorist charges. The United Arab Emirates also designated CAIR as a terrorist entity in 2014. More recently, in Novem- ber 2018, CAIR Los Angeles director HussamAyloushwas widely condemned for calling for Israel's "termination." Charles Jacobs, president of Americans for Peace and Tolerance, also condemned the CAIR event, noting its anti-Israel history. "According to the ADL and the FBI,'CAIR and its founders were part of a group set up by the Muslim Brotherhood to support Hamas,' an organiza- tion whose charter calls for the murder of every Jew on the planet," he told JNS. "It is tragic that Jewish politicians are now hosting Hamas lobby- ists in the State House." ,De stat tnsu0 nce / Call for dental coverage today to help save money on big dental bills. This is real dental insurance from Physicians Mutual Insurance Company that helps pay for over 350 procedures- cleanings, fillings, crowns, even dentures. No annual maximum, no deductible See any dentist you want - including your own Over 50? Coverage as low as $1 per day ,Lpe ~tc~ma~ta~t a~ ; Call now to get this -- FREE Information Kit 1-855-841-8696 *Individual Plan. Coverage not available in all stat~. Acceptance guaranteed for one insurance policy/cer~cate of this tlq)e. 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