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June 30, 2017

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PAGE 4A SO HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 30, 2017 By Ben Cohen a respectable portion of the vote was heralded as if he'd actually won the thing. For Labour, the last decade has mirrored For me, the main takeaway from the British its experience in the 1980s. Back then--at a election June 8 was that Jeremy Corbyn, the time when there was no Twitter universe for far-left leader of the opposition Labour party, Ieft-wing activists to counter the invective didn't win it. directed at the party from right-wing tabloid Most of the ridicule in the wake of the elec- newspapers---Labour,with its myriad far-left tion has been aimed at Conservative party factions, became an electoral wreck. Prime Minister Theresa May, for her political Towards the end of the Margaret Thatcher errorworthyofanElizabethanfarce--calling era, a Labour leader named Neil Kinnock an election with the aim of increasing her brought the party guardedly back into the majority, only to end up needing the votes of a mainstream. But Labour didn't win an elec- right-vflng Unionist party in Northern Ireland tion for nearly 20 years until Tony Blair won in order to form a government, handsomely in 1997--and that fact, more The scorn heaped on May by most of the than any other, continues to nag at Corbyn British media has been matched with fulsome and his acolytes, who dream of a reinvented praise tossed in Corbyn's direction. Since La- party firmly on the socialist left. bour, under his leadership, had been tipped for Corbyn came out of the 2017 election more electoral annihilation, the fact that he received than 60 seats short ofaworking parliamentary By Stephen M. Flatow And the Beit Yannai beach was not the only victim of the sewage from the Nablus-area olive oil factories, according to Rinat: "The Nature The Israeliauthoritieslastweekconfiscated Authority says this sewage kills off a lot of two tractors, a hydraulic excavator and other animal life, and rehabilitation work done in equipment used by Palestinians to carry out the area goes down the drain. The authority illegal quarrying that has been damaging a haswarned about this problem multiple times rare nature reserve in the Judean Desert. in the past." If major American newspapers reported the American and European newspapers often story, the headlinewould probably read:"Israel quote Ha'aretz when it publishes articles that Confiscates Palestinians' Tractors." reflect badly on Israel. They praise Ha'aretz as I say "if," because there's really not much "The New York Times of Israel" and present chance The New York Times or Washington it as an authoritative source of information Post would ever cover a story that reflects about Israel and the Palestinians. But on the badly on the Palestinian cause. That would rare occasion when Ha'aretz prints something undermine their drive to promote the creation that reflectsbadly on the PalestinianAuthority, of a Palestinian state, the major U.S. dailies lose interest. "The Palestinians have been carrying out Recall the international news media last quarrying activities in the area for several year turned a blind eye when the Israeli years, and have significantly increased the authorities shut down a charcoal factory quarryingoverthepastfewmonths, especially in the Palestinian Authority-ruled city of in the upper part of Darga i'avine, a seasonal Ya'bad that was causing serious air pollution stream that runs from the Judean Desert to in the region. Israel repeatedly warned the the Dead Sea," Israel Hayom reported. "The PA about the problem, but the PA refused to extensive quarrying has been systematically act--even though local Palestinian villages destroying the ecosystem in the rare nature were suffering a disproportionately high rate reserve..." of respiratory problems because of the smoke According to Marco Ben-Shabbat, head of from the factory. the Israeli Civil Administration's inspection ~ - The implications of Palestinian pollution unit, the Palestinians"simply gofromone place are significant for the issue of whether or not to the next in search of places to dig up. It's to create a Palestinian state. Any attempt by unthinkable that aplace that has been uninter- Israel to act againstpollution emanating from rupted for 2,000 years was harmed in this way "Palestine" would constitute a violation of in a matter of a month." Ben-Shabbat said he another country's national sovereignty. The "had contacted the Palestinian Authority in Israelis would be condemned and perhaps an effort to have it prevent the damage to the even face internationalsanctions. Toxic smoke nature reserve without Israeli intervention, would fill Israel's air and deadly sewage would but to no avail." flow into its rivers, and Israel would be unable All this illegal quarrying also happens to be to stop it. a blatant violation of the Oslo accords, which That's why Palestinian advocates in the news forbidanysuchactivitywithoutIsraeliconsent, media and "peace" groups never talk about But since the news mediaand the international the charcoal factory in Ya'bad, or the olive oil community routinely ignore the many other factories in Nablus, or the quarrying in the Palestinian violations of the accords, why Judean Desert. They know that the dirty little would they speak up about this one? secret of Palestinian environmental destruc- Last October, Ha'aretzcorrespondent Zafrir tion would raise serious questions about the Rinat revealed that "sewage from West Bank cause of Palestinian statehood--questions areas administered by the PalestinianAuthor- they would prefer not to answer. ityhasbeenpoilutingstreamsinsideIsraelfor Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New years... Last week the problem led for the first Jersey, is the father ofAlisa Flatow, who was time to a beach being closed in the Netanya murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack area, near the mouth of the Alexander River." in 1995. ITHE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. [ # CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 45 Press Awards 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. MAILINGADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box300742 (407) 834-8787 Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX(407) 831-0507 Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene Stam Kirn Fischer Christine DeSouza Society Editor Office Manager Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Kim Fischer. Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley * Ira Sharkansky David Bornstein * Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore majority. To my mind, for him to win an elec- tion remains a tall order. If there's another one soon, he'll have to mobilize the youth vote all over again--much easier said than done--and he'll need to pray for another benevolent news cycle in which all the focus is on the errors and slips of his opponent. If there's another election much later, he will still need to deal with the ironclad doubts a majority of British voters retain about his suitability to lead their country. One of the most troubling spectacles of Corbyn's tenure has, of course, been the nu- merous anti-Semitism scandals plaguing the party, often involving key Labour figures--like former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who remains discreetly suspended, rather than expelled, for telling open lies about Adolf Hit- ler's alleged "support" for Zionism. There is, therefore, a whiff of schadenfreude in the air when you realize that had Corbyn taken the issue of anti-Semitism seriously, had he not embraced "friends" like Hamas and Hezbol- lah, he might have been in a position to make Theresa May's attempts to form a governing coalition nearly impossible. In four districts in northern London, all with significant Jewish populations, the overall swing to Labour in the city wasn't enough to overcome to overcome the Conservative candidates. At least two of the defeated Labour candidates said afterwards that the party's electoral fortunes in these London constituen- cies had been damaged by the anti-Semitism scandals. But had Labour won these four parliamentary seats--and it came agonizingly close to doing so--May would have been forced to turn to hostile opposition parties to form a government. Had that happened, she would likely have failed. Yet Labour remains a force in British politics, and I modestly hope British Jews won't give up on the party. One lesson the party can take from its 20!7 experience at the polls is that winning elections is possible--if certain aspects are appropriately tweaked. Whether those Labour figures who still have some influence within the party, and some distance from Corbyn, can persuade the members that a leadership change should be one of those aspects doesn't strike me as hugely viable. But British Jews can play a role in ensur- ing the party isn't entirely hijacked by the far left, which regards BDS as an article of faith and dismisses any charge of anti-Semitism as a Mossad-directed smear campaign. Jews certainly have Labour allies--both established ones, like John Mann, a parliamentarian who has diligently combated anti-Semitism for more than a decade, and new ones, like London Mayor Sadiq Khan. This week, Khan told a Jewish gathering in London what they had been waiting to hear from a Labour politician for many months. Cohen on page 14A Jim Shipley On the other hand... In the fabulous opening of "Fiddler on the Roof," Tevye engages in a uniquely Jewish argument: taking two dissenting opinions and agreeing that they are both right. This is pos- sible because of Talmudic study; an exercise in which only Jews can engage and whose twisted logic all Jews are born to innately understand. Jews are used to debate. Debating (okay-- arguing) is built into our DNA. We will argue over the best bagels, the age of the universe and the best shortstop the Yankees ever had. The best of friends can go toe to toe with rising decibels, quickly de-escalate andhave a cup of coffee to decry (together) the state of the world. But something has changed. It has come upon us rapidly and almost without warning. The ability for people to discourse politely and agree to disagree has become a contact sport. Civility has taken a vacation. It erupted vio- lently during the political campaign of 2016. Oh--it was there already, under the surface, but there. Reaction to the campaign tactics of Don- ald Trump did not in and of itself turn the conversation ugly and confrontational But it sure helped. "I'd punch him in the face." "Get him out of here." "Lock her up." Given permission like that, the emotions come out of hiding in full force. Not that our president was alone in this, certainly he did not start it, but when a candidate for the highest office in the land gives a nod/nod wink/wink to coarse speech and behavior it has a wave effect. In the 1960s on the left, the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) fomented riots on campuses across the country. They were radicals demanding changes on campus and in society. Many of their goals were lofty but their tactics were similar to early Nazism. Their most public and radical acts took place at the University of California, Berkley--a campus uniquely dedicated to dissent and disruption. They were part of a wave of dis- ruption and disgust at our entry and tactics in Viet Nam, and the fact that their age group was being sent to die in a war that presented no clear and present danger to the United States. Times change. The Alt-Right has taken full advantage of the new media available to become a rising presence in our society. In the past 18 months they have become more and more visible and their rhetoric more inciting and dangerous. The backlash from the Left however is no less inciting or less dangerous. Not to let a speaker appear because you do not agree with their line of reasoning or political preferences is no reason to threaten violence and death if they appear where they were invited. You don't like what Ann Coulter sa~s or the way she says it? Don't go to the event. And if you do go, act respectful and have your own questions ready. The protestorswho prevented the Secretary of Education from entering a public school in Washington, D.C., may have been right in their argument but dead wrong in their tactic. The graduates who walked out at Notre Dame on Vice President Pence were just as wrong. If we cannot dialogue, if we cannot peace- fully agree to disagree, the whole American experiment goes down the drain. If we cannot listen to people with whom we disagree or whose ideas we disrespect, we are no longer who we claim to be. There are exceptions. Israel has no reason to sit down with people whose entire goal in life is to see that the Jewish Homeland, along with all Jews, will no longer exist. The entire BDS movement or the organization calling itself "Jewish Voice for Peace" are not worthy of dialogue. Their money comes from States and organizations that want to see the end of the Jewish State and then the end of the Jewish World. In the United Nations seldom anything good transpires. Some years ago I had a client in the ad business whose product was an ideal promotional and fund raising item for the U.N. After some research I located the proper department and the proper person therein. The meeting with me, my client and three "officials" was a real eye opener. The entire discussion centered on "What's in it for us?" Stated almost that blatantly. I learfied a really good lesson that day. The U.N. is corrupt. Decisions are based on money--much of it under the table. Thank God for one of the things this administration did right. Its name is Nikki Haley. Despite her best efforts, they will never be friendly or even fair to Israel. That is not the place to look for a just solution to any Mideast problems. So, when it comes to the Alt-Right, a purely White Supremicist Group or to find- ing a partner to discuss any solution to the so-called Israel-Palestinian "problem," Tevye would wrestle with a solution and finally, in exasperation--lift his hands over his head and exclaim: "There is no other hand!"