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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JUNE 30, 2017 By Shalom Lipner WASHINGTON (JTA)-- America. Bipartisanship. Compulsory. The literal ABCs of Israel's national security doctrine remain Jerusalem's airtight bond with the United States. The tangible friendship ex- pressed for Israel by elected officials atall levels of the U.S. government, the robust coop- eration between their busi- ness, scientific, defense and intelligence communities, and grassrootsAmerican sup- port for the Jewish state endure as the sine qua non of Israel's success. None of this would have been possible unless Demo- crats and Republicans--rec- ognizing the partnership's inherent value to America-- had united in common cause to embrace Israel. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has long known this. Reeling from the fallout of its 2016 policy con- ference, when then-candidate -Donald Trump took to the podium to castigate President Barack Obama as "the worst thing that ever happened to Israeli" AIPAC management was determined to prevent this year's event in March from turning into a partisan battlefield. But noble aspirations are the first victims in the era of the perpetual political campaign. Addressing the assembly on the first evening, Vice Presi- dent Mike Pence stoked the coals of divisiveness, proclaim- ing that "for the first time in a long time, America has a president who will stand with our allies and stand up to our enemies." Hewas only echoing the sentiments expressed at that same morning's opening plenary by Israel's ambassa- dor to the U.S., Ron Dermer, who said, "For the first time in many years, perhaps even many decades, there is no daylight between our two governments." To be sure, Obama clashed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeat- edly, famously blindsiding his government by withholding a U.N Security Council veto C$ that led to the condemna- tion of Israel in the twilight of his presidency. But he was still the same president who ultimately signed off on a multi-year, $38 billion Memo- randum of Understanding on security assistance -- the one that compelled Netanyahu to "thank President Obama and his administration for this historic agreement." Here's the rub: Memories of there never" being any "day- light" between even the tight- est of allies are myth. Nor has the advent of the Trump era eliminated all points of con- tention. But Israel has been fortunate to enjoy sustained, exceptionally high levels of co- ordination and collaboration under U.S. administrations of both political stripes. And what is it that enables that consistency, which allows Israel to both thrive today and plan for its future? You guessed it. Bipartisanship. Skeptics in Israel andwith- in the Republican Party are not wrong: Israel does have a conspicuous problem within the present-day Democratic an age Party. Its sources range from the raging currents of glo- balization to differences over Israeli policY vis-h-vis the Palestinians. The incontro- vertible fact today is that Republican sympathies for Israel far outstrip Democratic ones, thus posing a challenge from which friends of this bilateral relationship dare not shirk; capitulation is an unaffordable luxury for them. Because the White House switches hands, congressio- nal majorities are not eternal and even governments in Jerusalem have been rumored to change, neither side of the aisle can be written off. If the Israeli leadership ever had to deal with a hostile and alien- ated counterpart in the United States, the consequences could be catastrophic. Ironically, for bipartisan- ship to be restored to full health, a particular aspect of Israel's awkward synthesis of identity politics is both relevant and instructive here. Governance in America is anchored in a two-party system, but Israel's pro- portional representation has birthed dozens of par- ties since its inception; the current Knesset boasts 11 caucuses. Among them are boutique factions champion- ing narrow constituencies, namely religious Jews and Israel's Arab citizens, but counterintuitively, an inde- pendent voice has not always Served their needs. One byproduct has been that these factions are depu- tized as chief lobbyists for ba- sic services such as religious education and functional neighborhood policing for their communities. In more familiar terms: The funda- mental deliverables of liberal democracy have been turned into horse-traded special in- terests. And if these smaller parties then fail at their polls, whole sectors of society risk being marginalized. Mean- while, with people voting their parochial concerns, the state becomes almost ungovernable. A more effective way to guarantee themselves a hear- ing would have been for these PAGE 5.A groups to set up shop within Israel's two major political blocs. That way, their core requisites would become integrated into the platforms of all governments, no matter which way the winds were blowing, In fact, signs of great- er consolidation are now un- derway in Israel with talk of mergers and some newer contenders fieldingslateswith greater in-house diversity. Such thinking is a piece of cake for Americans. The Republican and Democratic universes are seeded with multiple affinity groups that toil to ensure their pet causes are well represented in both parties. Among those pro- moting a strong U.S.-Israel bond, in this context, are the National Jewish Democratic Council and Republican Jew- ish Coalition, institutions that liaise with their respective party apparatuses and-work to foster closer ties between the two nations. But bipartisan fellowship is becoming ever more tenuous, Lipner on page 15A a By Caroline Glick www.carolinegllck.com How can we explain the international community's indifference to Palestinian suffering? Every day, angry bands of protesters burn the flag of Is- rael, call for the destruction of the Jewish state and insist that Israel and its Jewish citizens be shunned from polite society and thrown out of the global economy all in the name of opposing "the Occupation." Although the breathless protesters insist that all their efforts are directed toward the Palestinians, as it works out, none of their assaults on Israel have improved the Palestin- ians' lot. To the contrary, their protests have given a free pass to those that do the most to harm Palestinians. The angry, hateful protests against Israel tell us nothing about either the history of the Palestinians' relations with the Jewish state or their present circumstances. And what are those cir- cumstances? Consider the stories of two different groups of Palestinian prisoners. The first story relates to the Pal- estinian terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails after being tried and convicted of engaging in terrorist attacks against Israel. Led by terrorist mas- termind Marwan Barghouti, who is serving multiple life sentences for killing multiple Israelis, in April more than a thousand jailed terrorists opened a hunger strike de- manding an improvement in their prison conditions. The New York Times pub- lished an op-ed by Barghouti and massively covered the strike. Numerous other mar- quee media organizations similarly provided sympa- thetic coverage of the event. Hidden beneath moun- tains of column incheswas the basic fact that the terrorists' demands made clear that their strike was ridiculous. They weren't demanding food. They weren't demand- ing fair trials or the right to speak to their attorneys. They were demanding that Israel add 20 new channels to their standard, free cable television access. They demanded that Israel let them have tele- phones in their rooms. They demanded that Israel buy them air conditioning units. In other words, they were demanding that Israel treat them better than it treats its own soldiers. The second prisoner story is the story of the 12,000 Palestinians that have been jailed in Syrian regime prisons since the start of the Syrian civil war. These men, women and children are denied suffi- cient food and water. They are subjected to torture. Several cases have been reported of Palestinian female prisoners being subjected to gang rapes. More than 500 Palestinians have died in jail. More than 500 Palestinian children are behind bars. And the plight of the Palestinians on the outside is no better. Nearly 4,000 Palestinians have been killed by regime forces since the start of the war. Yarmouk refugee camp has been all but depopulated. Whereas before the war began in 2011, more than 120,000 Palestinians resided in the camp just 8 km. from central Damascus, today a mere 20,000 remain. Those who remain have been besieged by regime forces for nearly three years. They have been starved and parched. Letters To The Editor We are a diverse community and we welcome your letters and viewpoints. The views and opinions expressed in the opinion pieces and letters published in The Heri- tage are the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Heritage Florida Jewish News or its staff.. The Heritage reserves the right to edit letters for clarity, content, and accuracy. And respectful of lashon hara, we will not print derogatory statements against any individual. Please limit letters to 250 words. Send letters to P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. Or e-mail to news@ orlandoheritage.com. We are shedding light at the UN Dear Editor: Because God has opened the door for me to serve as a Special Envoy to the UN, I'm greatly moved by any "light" I can see being shed for Israel within these corridors. I was especially encouraged with the news that all seats of the democratic nations of the world were empty yesterday for the annual "Item 7" Israel bashing debate held by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The executive director of the UN Watch NGO reported: "The democracies are absent to protest prejudice because this is the only agenda item that singles out one specific state-the Jewish state-for dif- ferential treatment. Not Syria, or Sudan, or North Korea are treated this way." Part of my work at the UN is to confront the normalization of anti-Semitism by meeting with the representatives of the member countries to form a bond of friendship and forge understanding in the struggle for human rights. Through your support of PJTN-we are able to be a light for Israel on a global stage that has the potential to create great change and empty seats like those we saw yesterday. I cannot do it without you. Laurie Cardoza-Moore President, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations Running water was cut off years ago. And yet, the only journalist who has consis- tently covered the story is Pal- estinian affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh, writing for the niche website of the Gatestone Institute. As Abu Toameh noted in a report on the Palestinians in Syria last August, the leaders of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority like their sometimes-rivals- some- times-partners in Hamas have refused to intervene on their behalf. To the contrary, the PLO happily reopened its embassy in Damascus last year, despite the fact that it is accredited to a regime that is slaughter- ing the people that the PLO claims to represent. Abu Toameh wrote bitterly, "The Palestinians of Syria would have been more fortunate had they been living in the West Bank or Gaza Strip. Then the international community and media would certainly have noticed them. Yet when Western journalists lavish time on Palestinians delayed at Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank, and ignore barrels of explosives dropped by the Syrian military on residen- tial areas in refugee camps in Syria, one might start to wonder what they are really about." This week we got re- minder of what this is really about from an odd source. During his interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly, Russian President Vladimir Putin grew exasperated with Kelly's repetitious line of questioning about whether or not Russia colluded to get President Donald Trump elected lastNo- vember. After repeatedly deny- ing Kelly's allegations, Putin insisted that the Russian-US elections narrative is simply a conspiracy theory invented by Democrats and their allies to avoid the blame for Hillary Clinton's defeat. In Putin's words,"It's easy to say, 'It's not ourjault. It's the Russians They intervened. They interfered.'" Putin then compared the anti-Russian conspiracy theory to anti- Semitism. "It's like anti-Semitism," Putin explained. Anti-Jewish conspiracy spinners use the Jews as a means to deflect blame for their failures. In his words, "'The Jews are to blame.' You're [not] an idiot. Because 'the Jews are to blame.'" Putin's statement is important for two reasons. First, the former KGB chief knows a thing or two aboutanti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Russia has played an outsized role in inventing them for precisely the rea- son that Putin gave--blame deflection. It was a precursor of the KGB, the czar's secret police, that wrote the infamous Pro- tocols of the Elders of Zion which purported to expose Glick on page 15A ZT LOOKS LIKE IT MIGHT 5TA2T SYRIA. I www.drybones.com