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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 20, 2014 Fatah-Hamas government reflects American weakness By Ben Cohen I've long argued that any proper understand- ing of the Palestinian conflict with Israel's legitimacy is compromised by not takingwider regional factors into account. The school of thought that describes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as "the Middle East conflict" is dan- gerously misguided, because it ignores other factors that are far more important, such as the historically violent schism between Sunni and Shi'a Islam, Iran's renewed assertiveness in Syria and Lebanon, the shared strategic interests binding Israel and the conservative regimes in the Arab Gulf in confronting Iran's nuclear ambitions, and the fragmentation of the various jihadi groups in Sinai, Syria, Iraq, and other territories. That's why I want to preface my comments about the new Palestinian unity government, which brings together Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah move- ment with the Islamists of Hamas, by pointing to a political rally several hundred miles to the east of Jerusalem, in Tehran. At that rally, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatol- lah Ali Khamenei stood in front of a banner that declared, "America cannot do a damned thing." A"military attack is not a priority forAmericans now," Khamenei boasted. "They have renounced the idea of any military actions," he said. In other words, in the Middle East as awhole, America is weak, or is at least perceived to be weak. And weakness has a natural partner in the form of na'fvetd--the exact word used by Israeli government minister Gilad Erdan to describe the Obama administration's accep- tance of the new Fatah-Hamas coalition, but which could equally apply to the American approach to conflicts from Libya in the west to Afghanistan in the east. After all, would Abbas have cut a deal with Hamas if he were dealing with an American administration with a tough and cogent Middle Eastern policy? Would Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, have been hoodwinked into believing that because the new Palestinian government's ministries are largely run by technocrats, the American pledge to shun Hamaswhile it remains aterrorist organization has not been violated? I think not. Still, Israel's supporters are compelled to deal with this situation as it is, and not as we would like it to be. Hence, we have a choice. We can lambast Secretary of State John Kerry for placing the lion's share of the blame for the recent collapse of peace talks on Israel, while ignoring Abbas's pursuit of unilateral recognition for a Palestinian state and his reconciliation with the genocidal anti-Semites of Hamas. We can laugh, bitterly, at Obama's statement to Bloomberg columnist Jeffrey Goldberg that Abbas is "sincere" about resolv- A terrorist's secret weapon By Ed Ziegler Fundraising sounds harmless and caring. The vast majority of fundraising is just that. Many years ago I attended a fundraiser for Afghanistan against Russia, held at Faneuil Hall, the birthplace of the Boston Tea party of December 16, 1773. Feeling moved I donated money not knowing the true nature of Islamic terrorists. Mainstream media rarely reports on radical Islamists who are attacking us frequently, vio- lently and subtly. Here I present an important tool they use: fundraising. Money is of major importance in any war. Radical Islam is well aware of its value. Covertly they are taking our money and sending it to terrorists who, in turn, are using it forweapons that are killing our soldiers. The Holy Land Foundation (HL.F) was the largest Islamic fundraiser in the United States. They were found guilty of funneling $12 million to Hamas. The U.S. government designated HLF a terrorist organization, seized its assets, and closed the charity. HLF and five of its organizers were convicted of supporting Hamas. One of the defendants, Mohammad E1- Mezain, who ran Holy Land's California office, also raised money for KindHearts. KindHearts, an Ohio-based charity, al- legedly supported the terrorist organization- Hamas, as well. It had its assets frozen in 2006. KindHearts made a deal with the U.S. Treasury Dept. in November 2011. It was dis- banded after agreeing to distribute its funds to various humanitarian causes. It has been well established that The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has ties with terrorist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. CAIR was classified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF trial. A federal jury in Boston found Libyan-born Emadeddin Muntasser, Muhamed Mubayyid, a Lebanon native and Samir Al-Monla, an immigrant from Kuwait, guilty of conspiring to defraud the government by using tax-free donations to support holy war and holy war- riors. They raised nearly $2 million. Muntasser, was turned clown for U.S. citizenship. Sami AI-Arian, a Florida professor, was called "a master manipulator'! by a federal judge. A1-Arian pleaded guilty to one count of "Conspiracy to make or receive contribu- tions of funds, goods or services to or for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad." Sami was convicted of fundraising for Palestinian terrorist organizations. Sabirhan Hasanoff was sentenced to 18 years for funneling around $67,000 to AI Qaeda affiliates. He and another man, Wisam E1-Hanafi, also sent bomb-making equipment to terrorist operatives overseas. He also car- ried out surveillance of the New York Stock Exchange presumably for a potential attack. Both men were believed to be influenced by another American Islamist, Anwar al-Awlaki, a former AQAP leader who regularly called on Muslims in the west to carry out "lone-wolf" style terrorist attacks, independent of any formal AI Qaeda network. The fundraising effort is not reserved for Islamic men only. There were two Islamic Rochester, Minnesota women that were con- victed of raising money and recruiting fighters for a terrorist organization (al-Shabab). In 2012, the Supreme Court declined hear- ing an appeal from Kifah Jayyousi, a Muslim, who helped fund dirty bomber Jose Padilla. Kifah claimed he raised money for charity as mandated by the Quran. I do not know how we can completely stop them completely from fundraising. Be astute. Do not donate without proof of charitable works. If you learn who is speaking at such an event notify them of your displeasure. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT.   CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE   ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 43 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor Assistant Editor Gene Stare Kim Fischer Chris DeSouza HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721) is published weekly for $37.95 per year to Florida ad- Society Editor Bookkeeping dresses ($46.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Central Florida Jewish News, Inc., 207 O'Brien Road, Suite 101, Fern Park, FL 32730. Periodicals postage Account Executives paid at Fern Park and additional mailing offices. Lori Apple Marci Gaeser POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other o correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box 300742, Contributing Columnists Fern Park, FL 32730. Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky David Bornstein s Ed Ziegler MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Production Department Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 David Lehman Gil Dombrosky emaih Joyce Gore ing "these issues in a diplomatic fashion that meets the concerns of the people of Israel"--a line worthy of a Monty Python scriptwriter. But as therapeutic as doing all that might be, it is not a replacement for a political strat- egy. With more than two years to go before President Obama departs the White House, the best strategy we can work for now is dam- age limitation. The first element of such a strategy is to point out that the Fatah-Hamas deal, which on the surface looks more secure when com- pared to previous agreements between these bitter rivals in the recent past, still contains some serious holes. Critically, as the Tel Aviv University security analyst Dr. Benedetta Berti argued in an interview with Fathom, a British magazine focused on the Middle East, "where the parties have not seen eye to eye so far is on their mutual desire to keep control of Gaza, in the case of Hamas, and the West Bank, in the case of Fatah." Berti further pointed out that the "core elements of Hamas's ideology have not shifted, but there is an internal conflict in the Organization about how to ac- commodate ideology with political interests and pragmatism." It is nigh on impossible to believe that Hamas will become so pragmatic as to sur- render its formidable arsenal of weapons and materiel to the PA. Far more likely, as the Israeli journalist Ehud Yaari has observed, is that Hamas will increasingly mimic the "bul- lets and ballots" model followed by Hezbollah in Lebanon. Under this arrangement, 20,000 fighters and security personnel will remain under the Hamas banner. At the same time, these terrorists will be able to continue with the production of missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The possibility that the unity government will enable a fresh terrorist assault on Israel that provokes a sustained response on the part of the IDF is, therefore, avery real one. How, then, are we to avoid a repeat of the clashes over the last decade that resulted in Israel's being smeared with false accusa- tions of war crimes, from Jenin in 2002 to Gaza in 2009? One avenue is to mobilize the U.S. Congress to frustrate the Obama administration's deter- mination to deal with the unity government. At present, American taxpayers are supporting Abbas and the PA to the tune of $400 million a year. Now that Hamas, a designated terror- ist organization, is part of the PA's governing machine, we should be demanding that our congressional representatives work for an immediate suspension of this aid. Also, just as the Palestinians have used "lawfare"--the invocation of international legal conventions against Israel--so can we. Abbas and his colleagues should be held ac- countable for breaching the 1998 Wye Memo- randum, which obliges the PA to control the arsenals of Hamas and smaller terror groups like Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The fundamental problem remains: There is no credible Palestinian political force com- mitted to an enduring peace deal with Israel. Therefore, expect more violence, both among the Paletinians and against Israel, and ex- pect, as a consequence, further international vilification of Israel for taking the necessary measures to protect its population. Like I said, from now on, it's all about dam- age limitation. Ben Cohen is the Shillman analyst for and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Haaretz, and other publications. His book, "Some Of My Best Friends: A Journey Through Twenty-First Century Antisemitism" (Edition Critic, 2014), is now available through Amazon. Letter from Israel Looking for a Messiah By Ira Sharkansky "Messiah" may be a stretch. The word implies something from another world, associated with the Almighty, and meant to create some kind of paradise for those who are favored. Writing from Jerusalem on the subject is especially dicey, given that we are withinwalk- ing distance of the places where the world's primary claimant to the title was born and died. Beginning it with a small "m" might convey a more modest intention, of a political figure who will make things better, provide a new alternative, shake up the tired folks currently running things, or at least bring a new face to the arena. Americans should recognize the phenom- enon in Barack Obama, not all that different from their previous choices of John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, or George W. Bush. Israelis' equivalents are a long list of can- didates and new parties claiming to provide a centrist alternative between Likud and Labor. The most recent is Yair Lapid and the party hecalled There is a Future. Itwon19Knesset seats in its first appearance for the election of 2013, making it the second largest party. Suc- cess gained Lapid the key position as finance minister and party colleagues positions as ministers of education, health, science and technology, and welfare. Lapid's big promises were to make things better for Israel's middle class, and to even the military burdens by solving the problem of the ultra-Orthodox. His lack of success to date may be measured by his drop in the latest poll to 11 seats. The various problems of even this tiny country are. too complex for the nice sounding solutions of a fresh new candidate. The economy is running reasonably well, as it was before Lapid took charge. However, it doesn't provide all that would be desirable. Likewise, the Haredim will not go quietly into the army, or to work. With Lapid fading, there is a new claimant in the headlines. The latest darling of Israelis looking for something new is Moshe Kahlon.. Kahlon was minister of communications in the previous Netanyahu government, and gained fame for reducing the cost of cell phones. That got a great press, perhaps too great, insofar as it led to a falling out with the competitor-wary Prime Minister. Kahlon was close to Netanyahu in policy and popular ap- peal, and the Prime Ministerwould not support his moving up in the ministerial ranks too far and too fast. Kahlon decided not to participate in the national election of 2013, and spoke about a time out from politics. More recently he has talked about running apart from Likud. He has yet to create or name a party or identify running mates, but he has gained enough support for the survey to indi- cate that he and unknown colleagues would win 14 Knesset seats, right behind Labor (15 seats) and not too far from Likud (23 seats). If people outside of Israel have not heard of Moshe Kahlon, that is no surprise. We don't know a great deal about him or his intentions. That suggests another trait of a messianic candidate--there isn't much to use by way of detailed criticism. However, political messiahs age fast. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama won second terms, but commentators have not been kind to Carter, George W. Bush or Obama. Clinton and Kennedy have support- ers, but Kennedy's have to insist that he would not have escalated in Vietnam. Reports are that only a minority of the cadets stood and applauded when Obama was introduced to speak recently at West Point. His style was typically attractive, but his claim that the world looks to the U.S. to deal with the major issues of the world, like Ukraine or Nigeria, does not stand up to his accomplish- ments. Not mentioning Israel and Palestine, was a transparenteffort to avoid an embarrass- ing failure begun with foolish aspirations. The president's emphasis onwhatthe United States would not do with its military encourages some of his supporters, but has generated criticism among those already firmly opposed. Israeli equivalents go down in the smoke of failing to deliver on their major promises. Tsipi Livni came to the election of 2013 with a new party having the less than modest name of "The Movement led by Tsipi Livni" and a promise of seeking peace with the Palestinians. The poll that elevated Kahlon above Lapid indicates the end of Livni. According to its findings, Livni's party would get no seats in the next Knesset. Sharkansky on page 15A