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June 16, 2017

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 16, 2017 PAGE 5A i By Rafael Medoff The decision by the Jew- ish weekly newspaper The Forward to publish a paid advertisement supporting imprisoned Palestinian ter- rorist Marwan Barghouti is being questioned by some editors of other American Jewish newspapers. The full-page ad appeared in The Forward's June 2 edition. It was sponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a controversial organization that supports the BDS move- ment and is described by the Anti-Defamation League as the largest "Jewish anti- Zionist group" in the U.S. The ad featured a statement by Barghouti calling for more privileges for jailed terrorists, and charging that Israel's ar- rest and prosecution of Pales- tinian terrorists is "unlawful" because it constitutes "forc- ibly transferring Palestinian civilians into captivity." The ad also included an illustration of Barghouti flashing a V-for-victory sign beneath the slogan, '!Palestine Will Be Free." In a "Note to Our Readers" on The Forward's editorial page, Publisher Rachel Fish- man Fedderson wrote that when the ad was submitted, "it gave us pause" because JVP's text identified Barghouti only as the leader of a recent 40 -day hunger strike by Palestinian terrorist prisoners, without noting he was convicted of murdering five Israelis. The Forward's official ad- vertising policy states it will not accept an ad if the text is "intentionally misleading or contains known false state- ments." JVP Media Coordi- nator Naomi Dann told JNS. org that The Forward "had no issues" with the content of the ad. While JVP was not asked to change the text, The Forward did require it to include a disclaimer, which stated, "The views printed here are not intended to represent those of The Forward." Fedderson explained in her note to The Forward's readers that "despite our reserva- tions," she and her colleagues decided to publish the ad be- cause "mass media itself is on the firing line, and freedom of expression is under pressure from our own government." Yet some other editors disagree with the argument that free speech is the issue. "Freedom of expression is indeed a vital American value, one that this publica- tion cherishes," Sue Fishkoff, editor of J. The Jewish News of Northern California, told "But it has nothing to do with whether or not a publication chooses to run a particular ad. While I respect The Forward's decision to accept this ad, we at J. would not have." In view of Barghouti's murder convictions, "an ad supporting his hunger-strike" would be "antithetical to our mission," Fishkoff said. "Like The Forward, the Detroit Jewish News believes that freedom of expression is of paramount importance in times like these. But our first concern is for our readers, who would be greatly offended by this particular ad," said Jackie Headapohl, the newspaper's managing editor. "If it were submitted to us, we'd suggest that Jewish Voice for Peace place this ad somewhere else." Several editors said they reject certain types Of ad- vertisements. Alan Smason, editor of the online Crescent City Jewish News, told JNS. Medoffon page 15A By Jonathan S. Tobin The most important inci- dent during President Donald Trump's visit to the Middle East took place out of view of the international press. At the time, it went unreported and unremarked upon. The president not only didn't men- tion it publicly, he also failed to tweet about it. But Trump's outburst of anger at Palestin- ian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting in Bethlehem may have set a tone that will either create real progress toward peace or, more likely, instill a degree of realism about Israel's antagonists that has been lacking in the new administration. According to reports first broadcast on Israeli television and subsequently confirmed by Abbas in a meeting with PLO leaders, Trump blew up at Abbas during their meet- ing. Abbas had assured the president during their earlier meeting in the White House that the PA didn't conduct incitement against Israelis and Jews. Trump had believed Abbas's assurances, but sub- sequently learned Palestinian official media and schools routinely conduct incitement that helps buttress a culture of hatred that is incompatible with peace. Trump also now knows the PA pays salaries to Palestinian terrorists and their families, a total that amounts to more than $1.1 billion in just the last four years. Instead of another love-fest with his new friend Mahmoud, the meeting in Bethlehem turned into a tense session including Trump playing Ab- bas a video of examples of the PA leader's vicious attacks, as well as one statement inwhich Abbas confessed to incite- ment. According to various accounts, Trump pounded the table and yelled at Abbas while accusing him oflyingwhen he spoke of Palestinians raising their children in a "culture of peace," when the two stood alongside each other at their White House press conference in early May. The fact that Trump, a man with no filter or compunction about venting his spleen in public, chose not to share his anger at Abbas with the world was significant. Indeed, in his speech at the Israel Museum, which came after the stormy exchange with the Palestinian leader, Trump assured the world again that Abbas was dedicated to peace. Moreover, in the following days, Trump's Jewish sup- porters were eating crow over his decision to sign a waiver ensuring the U,S. Embassy in Israel wouldn't be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Though the decision was no surprise, it still had to sting for those on the right who were convinced Trump's disregard for every other rule of presidential behavior would impel him to be the first not to break a promise on Jerusalem. These incidents paint a portrait of a president who seriously believes a peace deal is possible and wishes to do nothing that might interfere with a new round of talks. Given the reality of Palestinian intransigence-- they've already either turned down or ignored a number of Israeli peace offers, included statehood, independence, and control over almost all of the West Bank and a share of Jerusalem--and the incite- ment that belatedly came to Trump's attention, the odds of success are slim to none. If Trump really believes the missing ingredient for peace has been a master real estate dealmaker, he's wrong. But his willingness to pound the table at Abbas is nevertheless significant. The common thread throughout the history of peace negotiations that be- gan with the Oslo process has been a refusal on the part of the West to hold the Palestinians accountable. Yasser Arafat made little secret of the fact that he saw the power he gained at Oslo as a stepping stone to future conflict rather than a way to end it. Though his successor Abbas wears a suit rather than military fatigues, he has played the same double game in which he sometimes talks peace while also buttressing a culture of hatred and war that ensures the continUation of the conflict. Neither Trump nor the Saudis can bribe Abbas to act differently when the dynamic of Palestinian'politics and worries about his Hamas foes tell him he must stall peace in order to survive. But a U.S. president who is willing to hold him accountable for his conduct is an innovation that can only advance the cause of peace. For too long, Abbas has gotten away with brazen lies and condoning violence while being applauded by U.S. presidents. If peace is ever to come, itwitl only happenwhen the Palestinians realize they must change. Such a moment can't come soon enough. Jonathan S. Tobin is opin- ion editor of and a contributing writer for National Review. Follow him on Twitter at: @jona- thans_tobin. By Charles Jacobs Where is the Anti-Defama- tion League? As a "new anti-Semitism" casts the Jewish state as the cruelest of nations, and her Jewish Supporters as "racists," the ADL has been largely silent. The lies are spread in newspa- pers,churchesandcollegeclass- rooms. On campuses, Jewish students are harassed and intimidated. Even the curricu- la in many public high schools and middle schools is biased against Israel. Yet the ADL, once the Jewish people's de- fense agency, seems unable or unwilling to effectively fight back. Case in point: Linda Sar- sour, a virulently anti-Israel Islamist who is a support- er of terrorists, and a defend- er of Sharia law, was a featured speaker at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Public Health's graduation on June 1. Yet it was only after weeks of silence, and only when up- braided for that despicable si- lence, that the ADL finally is- sued a statement criticiz- ing Sarsour. (Ms. Sarsour is an antisemite who fights to bar Jewish women from the "feminist" movement unless they renounce Israel, and has tweeted that, "Nothing is creepier than Zionism." And even the ADL's belat- ed criticism of Sarsour, penned by its CEO, Jonathan Green- blatt,wasweak. TheADLstate- ment rejected Sarsour's sup- port of BDS, but it supported CUNY's decision to invite her, citing her "right to free speech." But, as former CUNY trustee Jeffrey Weisenfeld has pointed out, allowing someone to speak and giving them one of the most honored platforms that a university can provide are two different things. Even Abe Foxman himself, the legendary ADL leader who reportedly se- lected Greenblatt as his heir, unblinkingly told reporters that CUNY should not have invited Sarsour. The ADL's problem is that it has never figured out what to do about "the new anti- Semitism"--which is exactly what Sarsour represents. When the enemies of the Jewish people were only Na- zis, neo-Nazis, Christian anti-Semites and skinheads, the ADL did just fine. They exposed, they warned, they scolded and they sued. In every city with a sizable Jewish population, the ADL functioned as the Jewish "Civil Defense Department." But sometime during the late 1960s, the virus of anti- Semitism began to morph. Age-old accusations against the Jews and their religion were re-directed toward the Jewish state, and its Jewish supporters. Anti-Semitic smears were used to paint Is- rael as "the Jew among na- tions"--an art that the United Nations has perfected. And much of this hate comes from liberals and leftists, along with the traditional ar ti- Semites (white supremacists, neo-Nazis, etc.) But the ADL and its do- nors-stuck in the past, like old generals fighting the last war--cannot orwill notadjust. The ADL. was born on the progressive side of politics, fighting right-wing Jew- hatred, and supporting social justice. The group has chosen to stay there, even when-- in my view--the threats from the "left" now eclipse those of theright in their intensity and reach. And so the ADL kept sending those (fundraising) post- cards with swastikas found in bathroom stalls in Iowa, and campaigned against Pat Robertson, whom it painted as thesame sort of right-wing threatthatwe all once knew-- even though many people now believe that Robertson and Christian evangelicals are Israel's, and the Jews', best allies. And as it ignores anti- Semitism from the left, the ADL has similarly shrunk from confronting Islamic Jew-hatred--the biggest threat to Jewish life on the planet--for fear of being la- belled "Islamophobic" by its left-wing allies. Some scholars now describe the new anti- Semitism as being propelled bya"Red-GreenAlliance"--of radical leftists and radical Islamists. The ADL hesitates to defend the Jews against either threat. Morton Klein, of the Zionist Organization of America, and others like himwho pressured the ADL to condemn Sarsour were right, and they deserve credit for shining a light on the Sarsour/ADL scandal. ADL's weakness on this con- troversy is emblematic of its failure to adopt to the new anti-Semitism. And it is a THE L L I I'S ITAiNA timely reminder to American Jewry of the need for a new, and bold, leadership that is up to the challenge of confront- ing these dangerous times. Charles Jacobs is the found- er of Americans for Peace & Tolerance. This article was originally printed in The Algemeiner.