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July 20, 2012

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PAGE 4A By Steven Well NEW YORK (JTA)--The third&apos;round of ne- gotiations with Iran on its nuclear activities have failed, the latest and most severe round of sanctions against the economy of that country have gone into effect, and all eyes are turned to---Israel. Israel--such a small piece of land should logically be ignored and forgotten. Israel is content to be the Jewish homeland that wel- comes and absorbs people of all faiths. She does not Seek the world's attention; she seeks the world's persecuted and broken, and offers assistance and refuge, She does not ask for special treatment, but democratically asks for and grants rights, privileges and freedom to all of her citizens. Her one claim to fame is the disproportionate share she contributes to the world's intellectual, scientific and cultural advancements. But she doesn't want fanfare. All she wants is to live in peace with her neighbors. Yet,time and again, little Israel is viewed front and center stage as an aggressor, an oppressor, an antagonist and the source of all the evil in the Middle Eastandbeyond.Terrorattacks, boycotts, divestments, sanctions, hate conferences and HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 20, 2017 Iran is the problem, not Israel countless U.N. resolutions have been aimed at know of, could conduct nuclear terror activities Israel, punishment for her "crime" of survival. The international community seems to thrive on making her government, her occupation, her military maneuvers, her self-defense and her pre-emptive strikes the problem. But if Iran should achieve nuclear capability, Israel will be right in Tehran's sites. Israel cannot be expected to be a sitting duck, and so Prime Minister BenjaminNetanyahuand Defense Min- ister Ehud Barak have threatened a preemptive strike, much to the world's chagrin. The world should not be focused on whether Israel will attack Iran in a lifesaving effort to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear capabilities. Israel is not the problem. The world should be focused on preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear capabilities. Not for Israel's sake, but for the sake of the world. A nuclear Iran would create an untenable situation and have devastating and incalculable effects on the world's safety and economy. A nuclear Iran would ca'use the cost of oil to per- manently skyrocket due to its ability to intimidate and control fellow members of OPEC. Iran will share nuclear technology with its proxies all over the world. Groups such as Hamas and Hezbol' lah, which already have 50,000 rockets that we How big is the Jewish tent? By Jonathan S. Tobin To listen to some people, the greatest blight afflicting the Jewish community is a scourge of intolerance against dissent about Israel, The alleged repression of voices expressing views critical of the Jewish state and its policies is a constant theme on the left. Academic Israel- haters and left-wing splinter groups bewail their Sad fate as modern dissidents who can evdrget a fair hearing by the so-called Jewish establishment. This tale of woe is, of Course, pure bunk. The idea that there is any shortage of op- portunities for American Jews to vent their spleen at the State of Israel is laughable. Such attacks are so commonplace they are the moral equivalent of theold journalistic clichd about boring stories that speak of a dogbiting a man. Taking a swipe at the Jewish state remains a free ticket to prominence in the mainstream media for any Jew who chooses to go that route. Writers such as Peter Beinart rail against the way they have been victimized even as they tour the country being applauded by audi- ences and retaining prominent perches from which they can continue to take ill-informed pot shots at Jerusalem. Far from any active policy of repression of dissent, our communal organs tend to fall over themselves in the effort to roll out the welcome mat for any critic. Consultants are employed by federations in order to teach the community how to better listen to every voice no matter how pointless the attempt at dialogue and how counter-productive the investment of resources on outreach to those who have no real interest in getting under the Jewish tent might be. Instead of the incessant breast-beating about the alleged silencing of a Jewish left, the real danger comes from the other direction. The growing support for a new cult of inclu' sion in which any group ought to be treated as a legitimate expression of Jewish communal sentiment needs to be challenged. This dilemma was highlighted once again lastweekwhen a sinister left-wing organization called Jewish Voices for Peace showed up at the General Assembly of Presbyterian Church USA to lobby for a proposal calling for divestment from companies that do business with Israel's security forces. The problem is not just that they were undermining the work of the Jew- ish Council on Public Affairs, which has been fighting against BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) efforts. It was that this group lent a patina of Jewish legitimacy to the attempt to wage economic war on the Jewish state. Such behavior is nothing less than aiding and abetting those seeking to destroy Israel. While the Presbyterians rejected the motion, the narrow margin indicates that the Israel- haters may prcyail in the future. That makes it clear that the real problem is not the false narrative about the left being silenced, but how far anti-Zionist groups are willing to go. While somelin the organized Jewish world now treat inclusion and dialogue as almost a religious doctrine, the spectacle of Jewish Voices for Peace being given equal time in press accounts of the Presbyterian vote ought to be a wake-up call. There can be no place at the communal table for those Jews who act as a seal of approval for polices that cannot be distinguished from traditional anti-Jewish prejudice. It is also a reminder to those liberals who have tried to play on both sides by opposing BDS but endorsing not dissimilar boycotts that are directed only against portions of Israel, such as the settlements, that they are making a terrible mistake. Such blurring of lines between legitimate debate and economic warfare on the Jews makes it harder for the community to deal with the BDS threat while influencing no one in Israel, as they claim to wish to do. Instead of worrying about how to include the far left, Jews of every political stripe, liberal and conservative alike, need to be joining forces to combat such groups and to avoid stances that create Common ground with anti-Zionists. Rather than whining about dialogue, Jews must make it clear that they will not sit at the same table or make room in the tent for those who stand with Israel's enemies. JNScolumnist Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of COMMENTARY magazine and chief political blogger at He can be reached via email at: jtobin@commentarymagazine. com, Follow him off Twitter at https.'//twitter. com/#//Tobin Commentary. [THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. [   CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE   ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 40 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor Assistant Editor Gene Starn Mike Etzkin Kim Fischer HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721) is published weekly for $37.95 per year to Florida ad- Society Editor Bookkeeping dresses ($46.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Gloria Yousha Paulettd Alfonso Central Florida Jewish News, Inc., 207 O'Brien Road, Suite 101, Fern Park, FL 32730. Periodicals postage Account Executives paid at Fern Park and additional.mailing offices. Barbara do Carmo Marci Gaeser POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box 300742, Contributing Columnists Fern Park, FL 32730. ' Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky Tim Boxer David Bornstein Terri Fine Ed Ziegler MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Production Department Fern Park, FL 32730 . FAX (407) 831-0507 David Lehman David Caudio Teri Marks email: Elaine Schooping Gil Dombrosky Caroline Pope anywhere, including in the United States. Earlier this year, Jerome Hauer, commis- sioner of New York State's Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, met with representatives of more than 60 Jewish institu- tions at the Orthodox Union. He expressed his greatest security concern: a "dirty bomb" hid- den in a parked car that could instantly destroy thousands of lives. Countries allied with Iran--Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia--also could gain from Iran's nuclear capabilities and bring'a nuclear threat closer to American shores. If Iran devel- ops nuclear capabilities, it will set offa round of nuclear proliferation in the entire Middle East. To keep a balance of power, SaudiArabia, Turkey, Egypt and others will race to develop their own nuclear capabilities. A nuclear Middle East will inevitably lead to nuclear terrorism, and nuclear terrorism is a game changer for the entire world. In the 1930s, Winston Churchillwas perceived as a warmonger for warning that military action needed to be taken against Hitler. But after World War I, the world was tired of fighting and instead engaged in capitulation and appeasement. This emboldened Hitler and enabled him to follow through on what all along he told the world were his intentions. The Iranians have not been shy about their intentions, either. They have used "talks" and "negotiations" for more than 20 years to cheat and deceive the West. They continue to push the envelope; every day they are closer to acquir- ing nuclear capabilities. Even as the so-called "technical experts" meet to keep negotiations alive, the centrifuges keep spinning. Yes, we are tired after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, there will be dire consequences if we take military action against Iraq: oil prices will rise, sleeper cells will be roused. Pentagonwar games have predicted that some American ships in the Persian Gulf will go down. But the world needs to have no doubts: not stopping Iran will pose the most devastating consequences of all. Israel is at the most immediate risk due to its proximity to Ira'n. A nuclear Iran poses an existential threat to the Jewish state, which has limited capabilities to defend herself against such a nuclear attack. When Iran's leaders and people say "death to Israel," they are not engaged in mere bluster--they mean it. As an Iranian general told Reuters recently, if Israel attacks Iran's nuclear installations, "They will handus an excuse to wipe them off the face of the earth." Israel has too often been forced to defend herself alone against existential threats and she will do so now if necessary. This is Israel's issue and Israel's prerogative. No one desires war, and that is why the most crippling sanctions to shut down the Iranian economy are now operative. However, if sanc- tions and international pressure fail, the world does not have the option of tolerating a nuclear Iran. We need to convey the message that Iran is the problem and not Israel. We need to articulate that no one dare confuse the victim with the perpetrator. Unfortunately, many in the media and in other circles Jack an understanding of the facts and a sense of moral clarity. We cannot allow a repeat of what happened in the 1930s. Our responsibility is to be as proactive as we can in helping to clarify where the problem .lies, and to pray to the Almighty that the world does not have to endure a nuclear Iran. Rabbi Steven Weil is executive vice president of the the Orthodox Union. Deportation dilemmas By Elli Fischer Jewish Ideas Daily Migrants in search of freedom or economic opportunity are inevitably attracted to developed countries; no less inevitably, some citizens react negatively, even violently, as neighborhoods change and cheap labor threatens livelihoods. Historically, the U.S. has hardly been immune to such stirrings; presently, anti-immigrant larties in Europe are enjoying electoral success. And so a backlash in Israel against the country's many illegal migrants was predict- able, coming in late May in response to the alleged rape of an Israeli woman by an African migrant. As protests broke out, accompanied by scattered acts of violence, the government announced a decision to implement a pplicy of selective deportation. But despite typical appearances, several fac- tors also make the Israeli case unique. First, though long a magnet, for migrant foreign workers, Israel is a relative latecomer among the world's most developed nations, so only in the last two years has the sheer number of illegal immigrants produced anxiety. Second, the greater freedom and economic opportunity offered by Israel relative to its neighbors means that migrants are unlikely to leave voluntarily. Third, the migrants are largely able to evade any sort of border control. Most importantly, as a small state, uniquely with a Jewish majority, Israel already has justi-" fled concerns about its demographic balance; with millions of Palestinian Arabs claiming a right to repatriation, no wonder that Israel sees non-Jewish immigration as an existential threat. A competing impulse, though, is the Jewish state's predisposition to abnormal displays of compassion, fostered by the Jewish memory of estrangement stretching back to Egypt and reinforced by centuries of persecution. Scripture enjoins Jews to be welcoming--for we were migrants in the Land of Egypt. Can Israel uphold concern for the stranger without compromising its demographic bal- ance? Some on the far Left vehemently oppose construction of the border fence with Egypt and deportations. C0ntrastingly, some Knes- set members have denounced migrants as a "cancer" and a "plague"; one even demanded that anyone trying to cross illegally into the country be shot. Interior Minister Eli Yishai accused migrants of spreading AIDS by rap- ing Jewish women, and proclaimed--despite his own North African heritage--that Israel belongs to "us, the white man." Between these extremes, an emerging po- litical consensus favors a sensible middle way, and government policy appears to be moving fitfully towarda mixed and balanced resolution. This balance has been struck largely through inaction: on the one hand, the state acknowl- edges that deportation to a dangerous regime like Sudan or Eritrea (whichboth account for the vast majority of migrants) is a non-starter on the other hand, granting any de jure right of residence would encourage increased migra- tion. So illegal migrants remain in limbo, but for the most part are not deported. There is even an official agreement not to enforce laws prohibiting illegal migrants from working. In practice, then, migrants arrested along the Egyptian border are briefly detained asa token effort is made to determine their legal status, and are then delivered to'the central bus station in south Tel Aviv. They usually make their way to the nearby Levinsky Park, a de facto absorption center and the focal point of non-governmental relief efforts, and eventually move out of the park into overcrowded apartments, finding work as manual laborers. But this arrangement was developed before migration reached its present levels and is now proving ntenable. Coming under sustained pressure for its failure to foresee or contain the burgeoning numbers, the government is slowly forging a more comprehensive policy. First, the border fence with Egypt, scheduled for completion by the end of this year, is de- signed to slow migration to a fraction of current levels. Second, a large detention facility under construction in the Negev will house migrants for up to three years while their status is being resolved. Third, though Sudanese and Eritl'ean migrants will not be deported to their dangerous regimes, Israel has begun to turn back illegal migrants from the safer South Sudan and Ivory Coast, both of which maintain diplomatic ties with Jerusalem. Meanwhile, racist rhetoric and violent behavior have been condemned by government officials. By making it harder to enter the country and delaying access to civic life, Israel hopes to deter economic migrants. But bona fide asy- lum seekers will be processed and, if approved, granted some sort of permanent status. Those already in Israel will likely receive some form of recognition or amnesty. So although the situation on the street could deteriorate, there is reason to be optimistic that Israel will succeed in balancing the need to pre- serve its demographic characterwith the Jewish traditionofcare for thesojourner--justasthere is reason to hope that responsible government policy will trickle down to a restive citizenry. Elli Fischer is a writer and translator who lives in Modi'in, Israel He is involved in a grassroots initiative to educate Israel's religious community about African migration. This ar- ticle was first published by Jewish Ideas Daily <> and is reprinted with permission.