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June 15, 2012

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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 15, 2012 By Norman Berdichevsky of communal identity. As late as 1820. Charleston had the third The oft-repeated figure of 78 percent Jew- largestJewishpopulationintheUnitedStates. ish support for Obama in the 2008election In the 1920 elections to Congress. 10 Jews is undoubtedly exaggerated these figures were elected on the Republican ticket, one are based on entry or exit polls rather than from the Socialist Party, while the only,two anonymously by telephone and there are veteran JewishDemocraticCongressmenwere more than a few Jews who are reluctant to both defeated. Nevertheless. the Democratic identify themselves as conservatives and risk Party machines in the big cities, especially peer pressure. In many synagogues there are New York (Tammany Hall), Boston, Chicago both rabbis and ultra-liberal congregantswho and Philadelphia among others were success- have an automatic reaction to political issues ful in providing services, jobs and patronage denigrating conservatives and Republicans as to new immigrants establishing their upward reactionaries or anti-Semites. Even if the real social mobility. figure is "only" 70 percent, it is shortsighted " FormerWhite House SecretaryAriFleischer to have so many marbles in one bag. likes to tell the story that when his parents Jews, although a small minority in the became awareofhis involvement inRepublican South, were well respected and even elected activities in college, they commiserated with as mayors in towns such as Ocala and Tampa their neighbors and friendsby exclaiming that in the 1890s long before the post-World War "at least he is not a drug-addict." II mass migration to the state. The fact that MostAmerican liberal Jews, whose identity these mayors were all conservative business- has been stamped three generations ago by men does not fit the "image" of the natural their grandparents under FDR, continue to tendency of American Jews towards liberal/ picturethemselvesasenlightenedandthetrue Left and radical politics, inheritors of the mantle of Jewish concerns Prior to the mass immigration of Jews from for "social justice," followed Barak Obama as Eastern Europe and Russia following the if hewere the P.ied Piper of Chicagowherever Civil War. the American Jewish community he led. oblivious to all the evidence amassed was predominantly Sephardi (of Spanish-" and catalogued and shouted frbmthe rooftops Portuguese origin and who later emigrated in 2008. He sat in the Rev. Wright's church to Holland and then the New World), and for 20 years and couldn't hear what anybody German-Alsatian. The Jews of Savannah, New could determine from a few minutes listening Orleans, Charleston and nearby Georgetown to the same old anti-Semitic rhetoric. were wealthy, conservative, very educated In the 2008 campaign, the voices of Jewish and cultured and predominantly of Sephardi conservative intellectuals, writers and politi- origin. They gravitated toward Reform but cians.wereshouteddownbyachorusofreform were determined to rnaintain a strong sense rabbis. Hollywood "stars," academics By Andrew Silow-Carl"oll Wasserman Schultz was right to point out New Jersey Jewish News that pols speak at shuls all the time (which the IRS says is OK so long as the houses of worship I still have vivid memories of Scoop Jack- offer invites to other parties or if the speaker son's appearance at our Long Island temple gives a "nonpolitical" talk). Of course, asking during his campaign for president in 1976. a politician to give a nonpolitical talk is like The Washington state Democrat was a hero asking a baby to "just hold it in" until we get to the Jewish community for his role in the home. And in these highly partisan times, it Soviet Jewry movement and for his support will no longerdo for a synagogue to assume of Israel. I don't recall what he said to our its members are all of one mindwhen it comes packed sanctuary, but ! remember how my to parties or policies. Hebrew school buddies and I chanted"Scooop, Surely this Miami synagogue could have Scooop" as he waved from the bima. Mostly, found a way to invite Wasserman Schultz I thought it was cool that our synagogue was and signal to congregants and the outside part of national events, world that it is nonpartisan. The "rebuttal" I also don't remember if anyone was both- format is unwieldy politicians are loath to ered that our synagogue had been taken over share a l latform unless the ground rules are by a pa'rtisan political rally. There was cer- made painstakingly clear..and synagogues tainly nothing like the brouhaha last month often don't have the expertise or resources to in Miami, when a Reform synagogue made create debate formats. (I sometimes have the news by cancelling a scheduled talk by Rep. urge to rebut a sermon, but apparently that .DebbieWasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the chair is considered bad manners.) of the Democratic National Committee. She The smartest thing would have been to was scheduled to talk about Israel following couple the Wasserman Schultz event with Friday night services; a synagogue member, the announcement of an equally prominent Stanley Tate. who happens to be co-chair Republican speaker at another date. of Mitt Romney's campaign in Miami-Dade We don't want to keep politicians out of County, resigned from the synagogue when the shul altogether. That would only detach he learned "he would not get an opportunity synagogues from civic life, which feels like to offer a Republican rebuttal," according to a loss for the congregation and for general The Miami Herald. society. Politicians can inform and inspire This h~s led some to suggest that politicians kids and adults no less than Judaics pro- have no place in a synagogue in the first place, lessors, famous rabbis and similar experts and that such invites run afoul of IRS rules brought in as "scholars-in-residence." And forbidding houses of worship from conducting who knows--you might even learn some- partisan activities. If so. that might come as a thing from someone with whom you expect surprise to a number of local synagogues. The to disagree. EastBrunswickJewishCenterjusthostedatown The trick is to provide a forum for ideas, hall meeting with Chris Christie. and Congre- not a megaphone for One party or the other. gation Sons of Israel in Manalapan helda talk Andrew Silow-Carroll is e ditor-id:chiefof by former Sen. Norman Coleman on behalf of the New Jersey Jewish News, from which this the Republican Jewish Coalition. NewarkM iyor articte was reprinted by permission. Between CoryBookerwasscheduledtospeakatthePine columns you can read his vriting at the Brook Jewish Center on June 10. JustASC blog. . THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENT JEWISH VOICE ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 40 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Assistant Editor 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 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 1407) 831-0507 email: Associate Editor Gene Stare 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 Terri Fine Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman David Gaudio Teri Marks Elaine Schooping Gil Dombrosky Caroline Pope establishment organizations who equated -any criticism of Obama as a betrayal of what they call the great liberal tradition that has made them politically attached to the Democratic Party since FDR. Many American Jews are oblivious to the fact that the most outstanding, talented individuals in public life uniformly saw the obvious dangers of an Obama presidency and warned against it. They include Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer, former White House Press secretary Ari Fleischer. Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute Joshua Muravchik. columnist and editor of the Weekly Standard Bill Kristol. political analyst and former campaign advisor to President Bill Clinton Dick Morris, editor of Frontpage Magazine David Horowitz. National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg, author of "Liberal Fascism" Sen. Joe Lieberman, author and columnist Dennis Prager, writer Monah Charen. author of"Useful Idiots" Dianna West. author of"The Death of the Grown-Up" editor of Commentary Norman Podhoretz, journalist Letter from Israel By Ira Sharkansky There is an old rule of politics, which you can find in one or another textbook, that a ruling party or a coalition that is too big is bad. Small is better, insofar as its members are afraid of losing the whole game if they wander off the reservation. When a ruling party, or a Cluster of parties that rule as a coalition, is too much greater than a simple majority, its individuals feel free to express themselves. te 't the limits, and may begin acting in ways that develops into a rebellion and crumbles the collective castle. We may be seeing the beginning of that in Bibi Netanyahu's Promised Land of a coalition put together only a month ago with parties totaling 94 out of 120 Knesset members. Indestructible? Or a disaster waiting to happen? We'll see. The natives are restless. Several clusters are threatening to bolt in order to achieve their desires, or to protect them from others in the coalition. First up is the revision of ultra-Orthodox men's exemption from the military draft. Advocates aspire to use the opportunity to remake Israeli society. Ideas deal not only with ending the blanket exemption from the draft. but extending the idea of military service or a period of enforced social service to Arabs as well as the ultra-Orthodox, along with several proposed ways of getting the ultra-Orthodox out of lifetime study and turning them into workers and taxpayers. So far the ultra-Orthodox parties, commit- ted to the God-mandated priority of Torah study, have refused to attend the meetings of the government committee appointed to deal with this. Torah Judaism and SHAS represent16 out of 94 MKs in the coalition. Members of the secular parties are casual about letting them go, but their rebellion is only the start of things. Also up is a cluster of unknown size. from the right wing of Likud and other coalition partners inclined to legislation that will evade the Supreme Court's ruling about the removal of a neighborhood in the settlement of Beit El that is built on land owned by Palestinians. The Prime Minister has opposed legislation his colleagties are threatening to Introduce. due legal advice, his commitment to the "rule of law." (i.e.. following the dictates of the Supreme Court), and a concern for in- ternational repercussions (i.e., there may be only so much the Obama administration will tolerate concerning Israeli settlement policy). The prime minister has proposed something akin to the Supertanker he ordered at great expense and limited usefulness to fight a forest fire. He would move the obj ectionable houses to another area of J3eit El. Engineers are mocking the expense and the practicality of the idea. given the distance, the terrain and the size of the structures. It is not clear how many Knesset members are inclined toviolate the prime minister's lead- ership on this issue, but it is more than in the case of the 16 restive ultra-Orthodox. The pro- settlement rebels might numerous enough to move forward a proposal that will at the and writer Bernie Goldberg, author ("Divided .They Fell: The Demise of the Democratic Party, 1964-1996" New York: Free Press, 1996) Ronald Radosh. film producer David Zucker and comedian Jackie Mason among many others pleaded with the Jewish community not to ignore the most critical evidence that all of Obama's close associates were overtly ho, sti[e to Israel. Distinguished historian Lucy Dawidowicz. wrote, "...No doubt most Jews who voted Democratic (in the 1984 election) believed they were voting for the age-old liberal agenda, for the extension of civil rights to those still deprived of them. But the current agenda of those who call themselves liberals is less a matter of rights and more a matter of social and economic redistribution....Quotas threatenAmericawith the fate of the Hapsburg Empire....Whether the democratic United States could survive institutional quotas we do not know, but it is certain that, politically, Jews could not." ("What is the Use of Jewish History'," pp. 264: 267). Restive natives least embarrass the prime minister, and might actually raise the possibility of a. split in his grand coalition. Also in the air is a restive element--overlap- ping withthe two groupings concernedwith the ultra:Orthodoxand settlements--anxious to do something about illegal immigrants from Africa. Their concentration in a poor neighbor- hood of Tel Aviv is a social and political tinder that excites politicians looking for a mission. It reminds me of poor Southern whites and the DemoCrats who served them during my youth and early career. Among the ideas: shoot the illegal immigrants at the borcler, dump them back into Egypt and let the Egyptians shoot them. build more prisons and get them out of Tel Aviv. ask the United Nations to find a solution. distribute them to rich neighborhoods and see how the well-healed leftists would deal with them. speed up the construction of the barrier along the Egyptian border. if the Bedouin guides respond to the bar- rier by expanding the route they have already pioneered across the GulfofAqabato Jordan and then over the Israel-Jordanian border--ls- rael should shoot them at that border, expect the Jordanians to shoot them or think about another barrier along the long border with Jordan south of the Dead Sea. Eli Yishai. the minister of Interior, has claimed responsibility for the problem, and has opened discussions with the Ambassador from Eritrea about sending home the large group of Eritreans. This minister is the par- liamentary leader of SHAS. Not only does he have a considerable number of voters among the low-income Sephardis in South Aviv, but the issue might add to his points gained from battling what he and his colleagues view as the anti-SemitiC campaign to) force his ultra- Orthodox voters out of their academies and into the IDF, social service or the workforce. Whatever Yishai's motives, the Foreign Ministry is rebelling against the idea of the Interior Ministry meddling in its field of ex- pertise and responsibility. Foreign Ministry personnel are well aware that Eritxea and a number of other African countries do not want the return of people they have managed to push out of their surplus populations. Most potential African homelands have already turned down financial offers to help with the problem. Moreover. Israel has signed onto international agreements that tie its hands with respect to force repatriation. The 60,000 illegal Africans are more promi- nent and more problematic than what has been said to be something on the order of 200.000 other illegal immigrants from the Balkans and Asia. They are mostly workers who came to'Israel on permits to work in agricultural. construction, or the care of the elderly and other handicapped, and have overstayed their permits. They are less problematic than the Africans because they are more widely distrib- uted throughout the country, and have skills that are in demand. Natives on page 15A