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July 18, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 18, 2014 PAGE 15A Camp From page 1A missing yeshiva students had lost their lives. "I didn't say 'murdered' or 'killed,'" he related. "I didn't say how or why." Across the country, Camp Moshava, a Modern Orthodox overnight camp in Hones- dale, Pa., took a different approach. Campers arriving on June 24 were greeted at the front gate with placards hung by Israeli counselors featuring the faces of the kidnapped boys and a message in Hebrew praying for their safe return. The news of their deaths broke nearly a week later at lunchtime, when each shift of children finishing the meal headed to another building for the daily afternoon prayers, youngest group to oldest. At the Mincha service, the fact of the boys' death was conveyed at an age-appropriate level. Moshava's website the next morning showed images of three Israeli flags arrayed horizontally across the screen above thewords"Baruch Day- an Ha'Emet," the traditional utterance upon learning of a Jewish person's death. The left column presented news of the deaths of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach. "We're a religious Zionist camp. This is what we're all about," the camp's director, Alan Silverman, said when asked about his guiding principles for handling the situation. Upon hearing the news, he said, "we and the camp psychologists made a plan for each group" that included telling Israeli staffers and campers first. Others were dispatched to share the news with two groups of adolescent campers off site on organized hikes. Moshava campers of all ages are learning sections of Mish- nah in memory of the slain teens. Three eighth-grade girls initiated a project to col- lect campers' letters, poems and drawings for albums to be sent to the grieving parents. "They should feel we are connected, even though we are thousands of miles away," said Davida Krauss, one of the girls, who is from the Bronx, N.Y. "We wanted to do something for them." Krauss said she and two friends came up with the idea because "we saw everyone so sad that they can't do some- thing--but we really can do something." The campers were offered the opportunity during their mid-afternoon free period to gather on the grass outside the dining hall to speak with mental health professionals or with each other, which some did. Otherwise, swimming, ballgames and the rest of the recreational schedule carried on normally, Silverman said. After hearing of the deaths of the Jewish teens, several former staff members drove to Moshava in solidarity. "In a sense, [the camp] is the best place you could possibly be," said Silverman, who lives most of the year just a few miles from where the Israeli boys were kidnapped in Judea-Samaria's Gush Etzion settlement bloc and has run the camp for 29 years. "Here you're with a large community that is grieving together." The same impulse hit Is- raeli staffers at the Schechter camp. Bar Bamani, a counselor who had flown in recently from his Tel Aviv-area home- town of Tel Mond to work at the camp, said his mother texted him the news just as some of the other Israeli staffers were hearing what had happened. One of the Israelis began crying,"sowe sattogetherand talked a bit about it, to make sure everything was OK," said Bamani, 21. "Campers were coming, so there wasn't much time to sit and breathe and digest the situation." During crises, "we feel united and close to Israel," he said. "That's the safe place, the family. You can feel the mourning of everyone." Josh Niehaus A memorial display paying tribute to the three murdered Israeli teens at Camp Solomon Schechter in Olympia, Wash. Bamani expected campers to raise the subject of the trag- edy, but said he won't initiate such conversations. The camp's rabbi, Yohanna Kinberg, is helping to launch conversation on the topic. She laminated a photograph of the Israeli victims for display in the synagogue alongside battery-operated memorial candles. Someone moved the photo to a central walkway outside, where it has prompted discus- sions among campers and staff, she said. "This is real, and it's impor- tant to talk about if it's framed in a thoughtful way," she said, "not a terrifying way." Days after the discovery of the Israeli teens' bodies came news of the murder of a Pales- tinian teenager from eastern Jerusalem, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, and later of Israel's arrest of six Jewish suspects in connectionwith his slaying. The killing of Khdeir came up at Moshava in discussions among the high school-age campers, Silverman said. At the Schechter camp, staff members spoke about it informally over Shabbat, Perlin said. Referring to the aftermath of the killings, along with the rocket attacks launched on Israel from the Gaza Strip, Kinberg said the situation is "spiraling and it's scary, and it's very upsetting." "I think we'll have a lot of discussions with the teens on what's happening in Is- rael," the rabbi said. "Since we have so many Israelis here, it'll be a much richer conversation." Ries From page 5A Israel actually takes steps to prevent deaths of innocent Arab civilians by both airdrop- ping leaflets that it is going to attack, and when it has knowledge, actually phoning households that might be near air raids. Furthermore, Israel will first drop plastic bombs on neighborhoods as a signal to take shelter--that real ones are coming. Funny, I don't re- call a single instance of Arabs forewarning that a suicide at- tack in an open Israeli market, on an Egged bus, or in a cafg is about to take place, do you? The whole idea does not pass what Alan Dershowitz repeat- edly calls "the giggle test." If you are getting news reports of attacks on Gaza--and they are occurring--make sure those reports include the reality that Israel has a moral compass, and does what it can to forewarn innocents. Terrorist leaders hide with the innocents because they do not care about their own people and they lack the moral fiber Israel possesses. If news of Gaza attacks does not also contain references to the leaflets, then it is biased reporting. Hyperbole. Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations, repeatedly calls Israel's strikes on Gaza to be "war crimes." That's right, "war crimes." What to Ban Ki-moon are Hamas' rocket attacks on Israel? Paper airplanes for fun? War crimes, in general, are ac- tions thatviolate internation- al agreements (established by the Hague) and involve gross misconduct in times of war such as systematic rape, enslavement of women and girls, the use of chemical warfare and gases, and cruel and unusual punishments such as public beheadings. Hamas is attacking Israel with rockets; Israel is striking back in kind. That is war. To find war crimes on the globe, I suggest Ban Ki-moon look at the jails and concentra- tion camps of North Korea, the brutal bullets and mass videotaped Sunni burials by ISIS in Iraq, and spend an afternoon in a tough Iranian prison of "dissenters." Always look for distortion and hy- perbole in Israel reporting. Anti-Israel biases can be so entrenched in the media that we barely notice them. Rhetorical devices are so widespread that we grow to accept the new normal as acceptable. It isn't. Phrases such as "anti-Zionism," "anti- Israel" or "pro-Palestinian" are in fact borrowing from a 19th century German playbook, in which the term "anti-Semitism" was coined to appear scientific and con- sonant with social Darwin- ism. All of it is linked to a deeper, more ancient phrase: "Jew hatred." Long before Facebook or Twitter, the Huffington Post or NPR, there has been jaun- dice against the Jews. It is a blight on the globe, a disease of mankind that is harder to eradicate than small pox. Richard Ries has recently completed his graduate stud- ies at UCF and is an oc- casional contributor to the Heritage. Shapiro From page 5A Israel insisted on holding on to the territories, it would become increasingly difficult and eventually impossible to maintain its status as both a democracy and a Jewish state. Sooner or later, Israelis would have to choose one or the other or let the Palestinians have a state of their own." Most of the action in this section of Clinton's book takes place in the final months of 2010, detailing efforts by Clinton and the administration to get Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mah- moud Abbas to sit down together for a conversation, which failed to produce any Mothers results. Clinton concedes that relations between Ne- tanyahu and the Obama administration were tense during this period. At least in part, she blames her former boss for this, thereby absolv- ing herself. "For the Israelis, we re- quested that they freeze all settlement construction in the Palestinian territories without exception. In ret- rospect, our early hard line on settlements didn't work," Clinton writes. "Israel ini- tially refused our request, and our disagreement played out in public, becoming a highly personal standoff between President Obama and Ne- tanyahu, with the credibility of both leaders on the line." Clinton writes that this de- mand hardened Abbas's posi- tion at the negotiating table, as the Palestinian leader could now credibly argue that halting settlements was not simply a Palestinian demand but a precondition laid down by the United States and the White House's official posi- tion. This move by the U.S. snatched a major bargaining chip out of the hands of Israeli negotiators. Curiously, it wasn't Clin- ton's State Department, for- mer U.S. senator and Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell, or former Ambassador Dennis Ross insisting on this hardline stance on settlements, ac- cording to the book. Rather, it was Rahm Emanuel, the Jewish former White House chief of staff and onetime civilian volunteer with the Israel Defense Forces. "[Emanuel]... had a deep personal commitment to Israel's security. Drawing on his experiences in the Clinton Administration, he thought that the best way to deal with Netanyahu's new coalition government was to take a strong position right out of the gate; otherwise he'd walk all over us," Clinton writes. "Mitchell and I worried we could be locking ourselves into a confrontation we didn't need, that the Israelis would feel they were being asked to do more than the other par- ties, and that once we raised it publicly Abbas couldn't start serious negotiations without it." It seems that those conse- quences alone should have been enough for America's top diplomat to vocally oppose the decision, but Clinton falls in line. "... But I agreed with Rahm and the President that if we were going to revive a moribund peace process, we had to take some risks," she continues. "So that spring I delivered the President's message as forcefully as I could, then tried to contain the con- sequences when both sides reacted badly." Sales of "Hard Choices" have been underwhelming so far, even when compared to Clinton's first pre-presiden- tial campaign book, "Living History," perhaps owing to the genre itself (foreign policy memoirs aren't ex- actly beach reads) or Clinton's failure here to stake out a new position of her own on the Israeli-Palestinian con- flict. Readers will leave with the same impression with which they entered: Despite Clinton's much-reported distancing of herself from the Obama administration, her attitude and policy remain nearly indistinguishable from those of Obama and the Democratic Party platform. In that regard, those hoping for a change in U.S. foreign policy toward Israel may be disappointed to discover that "Hard Choices" offers the same choices. This article is exclusive to From page 5A Nidal says: "I gave my son to Jihad for Allah. It's our reli- gious obligation... The great- est honor [my son] showed me was his Martyrdom." On Sept. 24, 2002, PA Television showed a woman it called "the mother of a Martyr" announcing: "The honor is mine, I have a son who is a Shahid (Martyr)... I'm willing to offer all my seven children to redeem Je- rusalem, to redeem Jerusa- lem, to redeem Jerusalem." Of course, that is not to say that no Palestinian mothers have any regrets about their children car- rying out suicide bombing. For example, on June 6, 2004, PA Television broad- cast these remarks by the mother of a 15-year-old who died during a suicide attack: "It was sad and joyous what happened to him, meaning, he always liked the Shahada (Martyrdom). All children at his age do. He always cared for me. I would have preferred that one of his other brothers would have attained Shahada instead of him, because he was the joy of my life." (All translations courtesy of Palestinian Media Watch.) Undoubtedly there are exceptions, but the large number of Palestinian mothers who feel this way says something deeply trou- bling about Palestinian society. One does not need to be a sociologist or a psychologist to recognize that the normative values of Israeli society and those of Palestinian society are profoundly different. Israeli mothers do not long for the day that their children will murder other children. They do not hope their children grow up to be suicide bombers. They want their children to live, not to die, to defend their country, but not to be mass murder- ers or suicide bombers. The proud mothers of Palestinian terrorists, not the mothers of Israel, are the ones who deserve to be compared to the mother of Sisera. The authors are members of the board of the Religious Zionists of America.