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July 14, 2017
 

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PAGE 8A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 14, 2017 By Terri Susan Fine, Ph.D., On Monday morning, June 12, I entered the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida in Maitland looking forward to spending five busy days writing middle school civics lessons focusing on the Holo- caust with Mitchell Bloomer, the Holocaust Center's re- source teacher; Jennifer Adkison, a high school U.S. government and economics teacher at East River High School; and Stephen Poynor, a high school Holocaust Studies and sociology teacher at West Orange High School. My work as professor of politi- cal science at the University of Central Florida is comple- mented by my service as con- tent specialist for the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship. In all ways I had joined the "dream team," working with professionals bringing their disparate talents and expe- riences together to develop middle school civics lessons focusing on the Holocaust. It was an honor to work with them. I learned so much. We came together as the Maitland curriculum writ- ing team for the middle school subcommittee of the Florida Department of Education Commissioner's Task Force on Holocaust Education. The Task Force decided back in 2014 to form a middle school subcommit- tee responsible to focus on civics. The civics course is a natural fit for the middle school subcommittee for both substantive and strate- gic reasons. The Sandra Day O'Connor Civics Education Act (2010) requires that mid- dle school civics be taught as a full-length course. State law also requires that every public school student take a civics end-of-course civics examination, which counts 30 percent toward the stu- dent's course grade. Civics is high stakes in Florida as it is the only statewide examina- tion administered in middle school. All other subjects tested in middle school are tested at the district level. The Task Force's decision to form a curriculum-writing group to develop civics les- sons made good sense. The lessons would reflect both tested civics content and required Holocaust content. In 1994, Florida Statute 1003.42(f) was enacted re- quiring teaching the "history of the Holocaust (1933-1945), the systematic planned an- nihilation of European Jews and other groups by Nazi Germany, a watershed event in the history of humanity, to be taught in a manner that leads to an investigation of human behavior, an under- standing of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping, and an exami- nation of what it means to be a responsible and respectful person, for the purposes of encouraging tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic so- ciety and for nurturing and protecting democraticvalues and institutions." Florida is not unique in requiring Ho- locaust education as 12 other states mandate Holocaust education while seven states have written into their stat- utes or educational mandates that Holocaust education is voluntary. Other states, such as Oregon, are currently pursuing Holocaust educa- tion requirements. Florida is unique in mandating a statewide middle school civics test. Learning about the Holocaust as part of the required civics course that El CIUICS Teachers (l-r) Terri Susan Fine, Jennifer Adkison, Stephen Poynor, and Holocaust Re- source Educator Mitchell Bloomer. includes a statewide exam further elevates and broadens Holocaust education. The results of our workwill be class-tested next year and be posted on the Holocaust Task Force website (http:// www.flholocausteducation- taskforce.org/). Modern approaches to Ho- locaust education are often understood as part of the Jewish notion of"zachor" or "remember," which is both an injunction and a respon- sibility. It means that the Holocaust must be taught to others as a key element of re- membering it. Persons advo- cating Holocaust education suggest that remembrance of the past must be connected to the present. Taking the com- mand element of "zachor," the directive to remember, together with the responsi- bility to teach the lessons of the Holocaust in the present tense, supports preventing atrocities like the Holocaust in the future through a fo- cus on citizenship and civic education, and a focus on tolerance and diversity of peoples and points of view. Civics is a natural fit for remembering the Holocaust as both an injunction and a responsibility. Terri Susan Fine, Ph.D., is Professor of Political Sci- ence and Content Special- ist, Florida Joint Center for Citizenship, University of Central Florida. a course U.N. Photo/Mark Garten Saudi Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman (center) shakes hands with Ban Ki-moon, then secretary-general of the United Nations, in June 2016. Bin Salman was recently ap- pointed as Saudi Arabia's crown prince, making him next in line to be king. His rise may have implications for Israeli-Saudi ties. By Scan Savage JNS.org Building off the last few years of rumors and reports regarding clandestine rela- tions between Israel and Saudi Arabia, mainly motivated by their shared concerns over Iran's nuclear program and destabilizing regional activi- ties, two recent developments highlight a potential route for Israel to firm up support within the Arab world. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah E1-Sisi ratified a trea- ty to hand over two strategic islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, SaudiAra- bia's King Salman promoted his 31-year-old son, Moham- med bin Saiman, to crown prince, making him next in line to be king. The deal to hand over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir was reached in 2016 after a visit to Egypt by King Salman. The uninhabited islands that sit on the southern entry to the Gulf of Aqaba were origi- nally given to Egypt in 1950 by Saudi Arabia, in order to protect them from Israel. Later, the islands played an important role in setting off the 1967 Six-Day War when Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships, prevent- ing Israeli access to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. United Nations peacekeep- ers maintain a presence on Tiran Island as part of the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty. Under the treaty's terms, Is- rael gave its approval for the Egyptian-Saudi agreement as long as the Saudis maintained the treaty's clauses pertaining to Israeli shipping through the Straits of Tiran. According to Joshua Teitel- baum, a senior research associ- ate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and a pro- fessor of Middle Eastern Studies at Israel's Bar-Ilan University, it is not of utmost importance to Israel who controls the Tiran and Sanafir islands as long as the Jewish state has unimpeded shipping access. Instead, Teitelbaum argued, the constructive cooperation between Egypt and SaudiAra- bia is more crucial for Israel as it relates to the Arab alliance to counter radical Islam and the Iranian threat. "Israel wishes to keep that camp strong," Teitelbaum told JNS.org. "If Egypt and Saudi Arabia can get to- gether, whether on confront- ing Iran or Qatar, or even the exchanges of these two islands, then that is beneficial for Israel. This firms up the Saudi-Egyptian relationship." New direction for Sandi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman's rise to crown prince signals a new direction in SaudiArabia, and may have implications for Israeli-Saudi ties and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. SaudiArabia is dealingwith low oil prices, its rivalry with Iran, a dispute with Qatar, and civil wars in Yemen and Syria. In his former role as defense minister, Prince Salman sought to boost ties with the U.S. as well as to overhaul and diversify the Saudi economy, which is heavily dependent on oil. In a rare public comment on Saudi Arabia by an Israeli official, Communications Minister Ayoub Kara said the appointment of the new crown prince "means more economic cooperation in the Middle East, and not just regarding oil." "The strengthening of relations with the Trump administration is the begin- ning of a new and optimistic time between Saudi Arabia and regional states, includ- ing Israel and the Jewish people," Kara said, adding, "This crown prince is re- ally one of the architects of this post-Arab Spring Saudi policy that has pushed for... an anti-Iran and anti-radical Islam policy, which includes targeting Hamas....Israelwill be pleased to cooperate with the new crown prince." Prince Salman has already been tied to rumors that he has met with Israeli officials as part of efforts to establish closer economic and security relations. "In terms of the general trend of things, the Saudi prince is the guy who has been running Saudi foreign policy for the past two years," Teitelbaum said. "During that period, there's been an increasingly closer relation between Israel and Saudi Arabia. That's going to likely continue." Israel and Saudi Arabia are discussing allowing Israeli businesses to operate in the Arab Gulf as well as letting Israel's E1 AI airline to fly over Saudi airspace, the London Times recently reported, citing Arab and American sources. Prince Salman has been in talks with Jared Kush- ner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, about improving Saudi ties with Israel as a step towards Israeli-Palestinian peace, the report added. 'A limit on the relation- ship' Despite the Saudi-Egyptian cooperation and reports of Prince Salman's interest in ties with Israel, Teitelbaum cautioned against expecta- tions for official diplomatic ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia. "There is a limit on the relationship, with most of the relations being clandestine," he said. "The Saudis don't re- ally have a motivation to make these relations overt because they get what they need from Israel--intelligence, security, technology--without open diplomatic relations." In May, The Wall Street Journal reported that Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia would take steps to normalize relations with Israel if Prime Minister Benjamin Netan- yahu makes gestures for the Palestinians, such as freezing settlement construction or easing trade restrictions in Gaza. "In order to bring Israeli- Saudi relations out into the open, the Saudis would really need to see major progress on the Israeli-Palestinian track. And that is really tough," Teitelbaum said, adding that "we are a long way from full diplomatic relations." Shout out to a special Kinneret resident Program Director Walter Goldstein of The Jewish Pa- vilion would like to recognize George at Kinneret Apart- ments, who, after 90 years, is still helping people. He served in the military in WWII; he will get up to volunteer for a play; he is active in the 39ers Club at the JCC; and he helps those where he lives when they are not feeling well. George has strong feel- ing toward how to help his country and will even call the Orlando Senior Help Desk to help a friend when it is beyond his abilities to help. He does all that and still has time to praise others who help the community. Mordecai