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June 29, 2012

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PAGE 18A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 29, 2012 / Fallout of the West Bank in 1993, was SbMaak(Israerssecurityservice) tion is a direct outcome of the restrict morethan 100 of them, thefamiliesoftheterrorvictims, also released under the terms for two and a half weeks. When "Everything fows including Nizar al-Tamimi, to wh!le eroding Israeli deterrence From page 1A of the Shalit deal. While Ahlam I finally got a reply, I was told fromthat,"Regevsaid."Arnoid's the area controlled by the PA?" againsttheperpetratorsofmass and Nizar's victims will never thattherewasadecisiontoallow position is a legitimate one Roth wrote. "That's a decision terror." Tamimi's release as part of any recover from the grief inflicted Nizar to leave, provided that he that we respect. Ultimately, the theytookinOctober2011.Since It is against this charged exchange. Netanyahu, they by,heir grotesque crimes, the doesn't come back within five government chose the path they made that decision then, background that the Roths are say, did not respond then. Nor Arabic press is reporting that years." Roth hired a lawyer to of getting Gilad Shalit out of whydidtheychangeitnow?And demandinganswers.TheIsraeli did he respond when the Roths thecoupleiscurrentlyplanning challenge the decision, but it captivity." without any announcement? government can, of course, say challenged Netanyahu's claim their wedding, was too late--Nizar al Tamimi Though he was unwilling to And without consulting any of that it is providing answers; but that the families impacted by This month, the Rothswrote aPrived in Jordan on June 7. "I discuss the specific details of the victims?" the problemwiththoseanswers the Shalit deal had been sent an open letter to Netanyahu felt like I'd been hit over the Nizar al Tamimi's case, Regev Lackofconsultationwiththe isthattheyraiseevenmorepain- a letter explaining the govern- pointing out that Nizar al Ta- head with a cricket bat,!' Roth, +did explain the strategic prin- victims is a recurring theme ful questions. Clarity is needed, ment's position; they couid find mimi'srelease'~vasconditioned anAustralianwhomadealiyah, ciple behind the government's amongcriticsoftheIsraeligov- and that's why Prime Minister no evidence, they insisted, that on the requirement that he recalled in his conversation thinking. "Israel does not have ernment's actionsin this sensi- Netanyahu should finally sit such a letter had been sent. remain at all times within the with me. a problem with terrorists lear- tire area. "Israeli government downinpersonwithArnoldand Now the Roths are accusing areas controlled by the Pales- I contacted Israeli govern- ing," he said. "It's easier for us decision-making related to the Frimet Roth. Netanyahuofignoringthemfor tinian Authority." His reunion ment officials to find out their when hardcore terrorists actu- release of terrorists and related True, such an encounter a third time. with their daughter's murderer reasoning. After encountering ally leave. Their ability to hurt issues continues to b'e highly may well turn out to be a frac- The occasion was the news came, therefore, as a massive some initial reluctance, I re- us in the future is much more secretive, ofteninexplicable, and tious one. That is better than a ttiat another convicted ter- blow to the Roths, who were- ceived a call from Mark Regev, limited." entirely insensitive to the fami- continuing silence that comes rorist, Nizar al Tamimi, had already aware that Tarnimi had Prime Minister Neta+nyahu's ArnoldRothisnotpersuaded lies of the victims," professor across as cold indifference. erossedtheAllenbyBridgefrom previously tried to enter Jordan spokesman. "I understand bythisargument.Inanemailto Gerald Steinberg, the president Ben Cohen is the Shillman the West Bank into Jordan to and been turned back. Arnold's pain and the pain of mesubsequenttoourconversa- ofNGOMonitor, aleadingIsrael Ana! join his cousin and ertswhile "I called someone who has a those whose family members tion, hepointedoutthatanother advocacy organization, told me on Jewish affairs and Middle fianc6e--none other than very~niorpositionintheMinis- have been killed by terrorists, terrorist released through the in an email. "The mass release Eastern politics hav~ been the murderer-turned-TV star try ofJustice,"Arnold Roth told when they see those guilty of Shalit deal, Ibrahim Abu Hi- inthe Shalitexchange, andnow published in Commentary, the Ahlam Tamimi. Nizar, who me. "He said, 'it's never going these horrendous crimes being jleh, had been rearrested. "If facilitating al Tamimi's 'family New York Post, Ha'aretz, Jewish was serving a life sentence for to happen; but advised me to releasedf Regev said. However, +they want terrorists out of the reunification,' has continued Ideas Daily and many other the murder of a Jewish resident check nonetheless, I chasedthe he stressed, the current situa- country, why did they explicitly thecruelpatternofshuttingout publications. Funds From page 1A culty," Robert Ejnes, president of the Jewish community of Boulogne in France, told the gathering. France's Jewish commu- nity-with some 500,000 members, Europe's largest outside of Russia--is strug- gling to meet its m[mbers' needs and was "limited" in how it could help communities abroad, he said. Some French Jewish parents, Ejnes added, can no longer afford to give their children lunch money for the school cafeteria, and the elderly are struggling to pay their utility bills. Further, the March 19 shooting in Toulouse under- lined the need to invest more in protecting the 30,000 students in French Jewish schools, E.jnes said. Three children a~d a rabbi at the Otzar Hatorah school were killed that day by Mohammed Merah, 23, a French-Algerian sympathizer of the Palestin- ians. Meanwhile, European Jew- ish communities have spent decades helping Israel establish its economy and build a strong army, Ejnes said. "Now the child is getting very strong and the parents are older," he said. "Europe's Jewish communities do not have the strength they had." The presidents of the Jew- ish communities of Lisbon, Portugal, and Sofia, Bulgaria, supported his call. Ruth Ellen Gruber,: coor- dinator for Jewish Heritage Europe--a website supported by the Rothchild Foundation Europe--noted the mutual consent as "an important point that has not been so openly said until now." The acute economic crisis in Greece was not surprisingly a matter of concern. The presi- dent of the Jewish community of Athens credited Israel and American Jews for their sup- port, and noted that European communities "gave less." Benjamin Albalas of Athens said the JDC alone has donated hundreds of thousands of dol- "lars to the Greek Jewish com- munity since the crisis made it one of the hardest hit Jewish communities in Europe. He declined to tell JTA how much money Israel is giving. "Israel has its channels to help. It is represented by the Jewish Agency," Albalas said. Back home, he added, some in his Athens community can- not afford funeral expenses for their relatives. Others, he said, face eviction and can no Trying to raise funds in longeraffordtopaycommunity Europe for Greek Jews was membershipfees,whicharenot a disappointment, Izcovich uncommon in Europe. said. "Some communities we So far, only one European approached saiditwentagainst Jewish community has helped their by-laws. Others'said they Greek Jewry, he added. The alreadyhadaseparateorganiza- tiny Jewish community of tion for such matters." Luxernbourg gave 1,000 euros, Compared to the U.S. corn- or about $1,260. Its president, munity, EuropeanJewishcom- Francois Moyse, said he was munities"donothaveacuiture "surprised and ashamed" to of giving," he noted. Izcovich hear that the Luxembourg urged community leaders to community was the only one set aside- money for helping to give. other Jewish communities Mario Izcovich, director incrises and assume more of pan-European programs responsibility. at the JDC, urged European Several organizations and Jewish communities to help Jewish communities signed a one another and to reconsider document last Friday--titled "a culture or tendency," which the Barcelona Declarb, tion places responsibility for action by the ECJC--in which the with the state. He called the signatories pledge their com- donationbyLuxembourg'sJew- niitment to transparency and ish community "an example" to promoting solidarity among for other communities. Jewish commtinities in Europe and beyond. The motivation for such joint initiatives and declarations lies in how European Jewish communities are "needlessly divided," according to Izcovich, who has lived in Spain for the past 25 years. For example, only 120 miles separate Barcelona's Jewish community of 6,000 from the slightly smaller Jewish popula- tion of Perpignan in southern France. Both communities are predominantly North African in ancestry. "Yetthese communities have absolutely no connections be- cause Perpignan [comes under the purview of] the CRIF in Paris," Izcovich said. Referring+to the 1985 treaty that led to a borderless Eu- ropean Union, he said, "We need to create our own mental Schengen [agreement].'' Medal From page 2A government "double crossed" Pollard. "In inaking a plea bargain," said Engel, "you do so with the expectation that it will be implemented." Why is Engel appealing for PollaM's release specifically at this time? "Pollard is in ill health," Engel said. "It's time to commute his sentence to time served. It's a mistake for it not to have happened earlier--now we should re double our efforts and keep trying." The collaboration of Engel, a Democrat, and the Repub- lican legislator Smith is an example of bipartisan support for. Pollard "It's important for us [Democrats] to have a good relationshipwith people on the other side [of the political spec- trum]--we can come together with them on Israel and things like the Pollard issue," Engel said. "Chris Smith does not play it safe. He will stick his neck out for What he believes is right." Engel called the Pollard 'situation "a thorn in the side of relations between the U.S. and Israel, one successfully used by Israel bashers to drive awedge." "Having Pollard in jail is like a festering sore," he said. "It's time to heal that sore." Engel said every recent president--Clinton, Bush, and now Obama--has been thwarted from considering the release of Pollard because of .strong opposition from the intelligence and military com- munities. Obama may find it "easier to do nothing" based on the history of his predecessors' inaction, Engel said. "Whatever [Obama] doeswill be controversial and.bound to result in sharp disagreement," Engel said. "To do anything in an election year is a difficult and tricky, unpredictable situ- ation." Opinions about the appro- priateness of releasing Pollard have changed significantly. The former head of the CIA, R. James Woolsey, and former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, now support clemency. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who is believed to have seen the CasparWeinberger memo, says nothing in Pollard's file justifies denying him clemency "No one is able to tell us any reason why it should not be granted," Rabbi Pesach Lerner, executive director of the National Council of Young Israel, told Lerner, who has been a consistent voice lobbying for Pollard's release for more than 15 years, said he "is encSur- aged" by Carney's use of the word "today" in his statement about Pollard. "No one expected the keys on the spot,"Lerner said. "It's part of a process:" Lerner emphasized that Pollard is seriously ill and not receiving adequate medical care. "A man's life is at stake The bottom line is, someone tell us why he is still in jail? What relevant information could he have? What could be top -secret 27 later?" he'said. The rabbi last visited Pol- lard in May, and told that Pollard is "not well" and suffering from numerous seri- ous illnesses, including kidney problems and diabetes. "These are medical issues that won!t be solved in prisonf Lerner said. Although no letter addressed to the president regarding Pol- lard's case has ever been directly answered, Lerner stressed that "the Jewish community must join together and write" on Pollard's behalf. "We accept that he commit- ted a serious crime, that he should spend several years in prison, but not be there for life," Lerner said. "We are calling on the president and every person who cares about justice to end this injustice. PresidentObama just gave the Medal of Freedom to a man he respects. That man has expressed a wish for Pollard's freedom. You would think that when the President of an allied country asks for a favor, one would think thatwish would be granted.'~ Tome From page 2A Amid Hitler's inaccurate accounts of personal andworld history are hints ofwhatwould come, he said. "Such things as the Holocaust, the attack on the SovietUnion, relationswith France and Italy, attempts to form a union with Great Brit- ain-these are in the book. It is a kind of master plan for his later deeds." Documentary evidence of those deeds can be seen at the House of the Wannsee Confer- ence in Potsdam, just outside Berlin. On a glass-topped display table in a ground-floor room are facsimiles of the minutes of the Jan. 20, 1942 meeting where the "Final So- lution" was mapped out. Adolf Eichmann wrote the protocol. Students from the St. Ursula High SchoolofGeisenheim, their faces reflected in the glass table, viewed the pages intently, taking cellphone shots of them: "In the course of the practical imple- mentation of the final solution, Europe will be combed through from West to East Any first- degree Misehling [with one Jewish parent] to be exempted from evacuationwillbe sterilized in order to prevent any progeny State Secretary Dr. Buhler had only one favorto ask: that the Jewish question in this territory be resolved as fast as possible." People "could have known" what was coming if they read "Mein Kampf,"saidteacherAn- nette Zschatzsch, looking at the display with her students. "But people did not read it." "We talked about it in class," said Nora, 16. "My grandfather told me he got a Copy from his bank, signed by Adolf Hitler. He put it away; he found it too extreme. And then he lent it to a friend who never gave it back. He told me he wished he could have shown it to me." As for whether it would be useful for students to read the book, "to put it bluntly, no one /,eally needed itup to now," said her classmate, Eva, 17."Itcould be interesting but I think it is not needed for youth" David, 17, said he thought it would be good for students aged 16 and older to have access to explanations and a "watered- down version." Zschatzsch, who graduated high school in 1984, noted that she and her classmates also were able to read parts of "Mein Kampff excerpted in textbooks, "but the degree to which itwas used depended on the individual teacher." Classroorffs are not the only venue for learning about "Mein Kampf" German cabaretartist Serdar Somuncu boasts that he's "the only one allowed to read from the text on Stage." The Turkish-born performer recently told ARD TV talk show hostAnne Will that he had read excerpts to 250,000 ,people, including 1,428 German high school students. 'qt's better to understand [the book] than to suppress it," he said. It helps one understand"Mein Kampf" "leads directly to this ideol- ogy-this fatal, inflammatory ideology." In.a typical routine, shown on theARD segment, Somuncu recites on racist theory from Hitler's text. "Every animal mates only with his kind." The audience laughs nervously. "The titmouse seeks out the titmouse." "But you will never find a fox" - "those damned foxes," Somuncu adds - %vhose inner character would allow some- what humane impulses towards geeseY More laughter. '`we are not laughing about the victims,' he explained. "We are laughing about the formu- lation by the perpetrators." Later he said, "Laughter is important as a way to open people, to gain entry, verbal access, especially for young people," said Somuncu, whose intention is to prompt reflection. There is no laughter at the House of the Wannsee Conference. Students+ wander in silence through the rooms where high-ranking Nazis discussed the logistics of geno- cide. On one wall hangs a 1927 ad in facsimile: "Get to know Hitler by reading his book," it suggests. It won't be long before Ger- mans of all ages have the chance to do so--butthis timewith the knowledge gained in hindsight.