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July 23, 2004

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PAGE 4 ;ion year, By Shoshana S. Cardin /Editor's note: David Bornstein is on vaca- tion for the summer. His "The Good Word" will return in the fall. Meanwhile, this column will feature a variety of guest contributors over the summer.] This past week, the United Nations In- ternational Court of Justice did not seek to address the crimes of blowing up innocents, children in restaurants, malls, on buses and holiday celebrations. Instead it prosecuted the VICTIMS of terrorism - a country seeking to use a non-violent security fence to protect its citizens - Jews, Muslims and Christians alike - from brutal homicide attacks. Once again, the UN showcased just how lonely a world it is for Israel. Immediately after the ruling, Israel turned to America for help -- and every indication is that America will be there to protect Israel. But will it be there in the future? Over the last three years, Israel has suffered from an unprecedented amount of negative press that shows Israel, and by association Jews, as "oppressors" and "aggressors." Meanwhile, many in the Jewish community have com- forted themselves by thinking that speakers on campuses and discussions in synagogues alone can win the war of public opinion for Israel and the Jewish people. The fact is that while these interventions are vital, at a time when Americans are watching TV at an average of 4.3 hours a DAY, live presentations only impact a fraction of our country's highly-assimilated Jewish population -- and almost none of the non-Jewish population who are seeing Israel on TV daily. Public opinion research shows that in order to get the public to support Israel, we have to first go to the source of how they see Israel - the news media. But how can we make a dramatic change in how the media portrays Israel? Once every four years there is a media op- portunity where a relatively small investment can help shape America's agenda for years to come. That time is now. The Democratic and Republican National Conventions are incredible events where 30,000 attendees- including more than 3,000 journal- By Carl Alpert A Christian center in Haifa HAIFA--Israers hotels are welcoming the that Israel is God's chosen people and that the rising tide of tourism, after several years dur- restoration of the Jews to their own land is ful- ingwhich overseasvisitors fearedArab terror- fillment of the Word of GodYTheir insistence ism and stayed away from the country. The prevailed. They took over, and an enlarged ho- crazed hostility of the Muslims has made its tel was erected, with 30 rooms. We visited it appearance in many places in the world, and the other day. It is pleasant, comfortable, not experience has shown that Israel is as secure luxurious, and the rates, room with breakfast, as almost any other country, are attractive. We were pleasantly surprised to Not least of Israel's friends and support- note the absence of any Christian symbols in ers are Christians from many parts of the the lobby or elsewhere that we visited. world. Here on Mt. Carmel is a small hotel, The director of Beth Shalom in Israel, Fredi Beth Shalom, which was set up originally as Winkler, explained the philosophy of the place, a hostel for them, but its friendly hospitality based on its history. He should know. He mar- and inexpdnsive rates have attracted Jewish ried theMalgos'daughterand has beenat Beth tourists as well. Shalom since 1973. They have nine children, It is a member of the Israel Hotel Asso- whowenttotheiocalschools, andtheyounger ciation and is well located at the heart of ones are more fluent in Hebrew than in any Central Carmel, atop the mountain. What other language. is its story? The kitchen is not kosher, but such foods SomeS0yearsagotheevangelicalChristian as bacon and other pork products are not family of Gottfried Meyer, from Switzerland, served, lest some guests be offended. About decided to implement their religious belief in one fourth of their guests are members of their the Holy Land by settling there. They were movement. The remainder are general tour- joined by others, acquired land atop the ists, largely members of the Bahai sect, who Carmel, and a Bible School was set up which come to visit their own international shrine drew pupils from Germany, Switzerland and in Haifa, and Jews seeking inexpensive ac- Holland, among other countries. A hostel to commodations. house the pilgrims was created in 1968. The annual congress of the Beth Shalom The project was doing well, but the older movement has at times brought as many as generation, with an eye to further expansion, " 700 members. Though Haifa is not a holy city, neededyouthfuisuccessors.OnesuchwasWim in the religious sense of the word, it is their Malgo, of Holland, a pupil at the school. Dur- headquarters, fromwhichtheyvisitJerusalem, ing World War II he hadbeenaprisonerofthe the Dead Sea, the Galilee and other sites. Nazis. His wife had hidden Jews. They were Beth Shalom members in the United States both deeply devoted Christians, though not and in a dozen European countries are deeply affiliated with any of the large churches, devoted to Israel, and while they have no insti- They were offered leadership of what was to tutions of their own here, they are generous become an enlarged hotel, but refused when contributors to Israeli causes. Since the Yore they were told that one of its purposes was to Kippur War they have given about $25 million serve as a missionary center among the Jews. to help victims of terror, as well as orphans They did believe that the return of the Jews to and the wounded. Principal beneficiary has the Holy Land was a sign that the return of been the Assaf Harofeh Hospital, which has a theii" Messiah was not far off, and they sought Beth Shalom wing. to build bridges between Christians and Jews, A footnote: While missionary activity is but drew the line at seeking converts. They barred here, we note in their literature over- firmly subscribed to what has since become seas that conversion of the non-believers is a cornerstone of their movement: "We believe still a major principle of their faith. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. O O O CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWI HVOICE O O O ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 36 Press Aumrds HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721) is published weekly for $34.95 per year to Florida ad- dresses ($41.95 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, EO. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 emaii: Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emmttus Auistant Editor Gene Stare Lyn Payne So~ty F~litor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Elaine Schooping Account Executives Barbara do Carmo Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Carl Alpert Michael Gamson Tim Boxer David Bomstein Gail Sirnons P~. uction Department David Lehman Teri Marks Allison Berkowitz ists from all over the world - spend four days together in a confined area. At every corner the re is networking, idea sharing, and agenda setting. The tone, "buzz" and issues discussed on the convention floor, and often more importantly, in the back halls and at "unofficial" events, help shape the agenda for years to come. Each convention offers a significant oppor- tunity to reach the highest echelon of political leaders, activists, celebrities and media in an extremely cost effective way. Indeed, the opin- ions of leaders and journalists who attend the conventions reverberate across America and across the planet. The conventions present an incredible opportunity to help shape the opin- ions of more than 280 million Americans - as well as citizens from around the world. It is critical for those of us who care deeply about Israel to insure that the REAL Israel is showcased at the conventions. On the Sun- days immediately prior to the start of each convention - when the media are all in town but the convention gavel has not yet swung down to open the session - we can help shape the agenda. For years to come. We can and must show up, stand up, and make our voices heard. On July 25 at noon, at the Christopher Columbus Park in Boston (just blocks from the Fleet Center where the convention will be held) there will be a rally in honor of victims of terror. It is being organized by The Israel Project, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, Conference of Presidents and some 40 pro-lsrael groups. More than 1,000 volunteers from around the country are needed at each rally to hold signs with photos of individual victims of terror in Israel. A similar event will be held right before By Joseph Aaron Chicago Jewish News CHICAGO--I come before you this time to talk-about dead Jews. And to ask two ques- tions. The first is why are some dead Jews so much more important than other dead Jews, get so much more attention, are so much the cen- tral focus oftheAmerican Jewish community, while others are totally ignored? Second question. Since when did Orthodox rabbis get into the business of advocating the murder of the prime minister of Israel? We'll get to that second question in a moment. But before we talk about the well- known Jew that is the prime minister of Israel, and the powerful Orthodox rabbis who have already incited the next assassin to act, let's look at ordinary, everyday, not well-known or powerful Jews. As we all know, the last three years have not been easy ones for Israel. There have been a large number of terrorist incidents that have claimed-the lives of hundreds of innocent Jews. Young and old, eating pizza, taking a bus, buy- ing ice cream, shopping at the mall. Heartbreaking, horrible, tragic, horrific. But, as I've said from the very beginning of the intifada, and throughout it, it is also something that needs to be kept in perspective. Which the American Jewish community most assuredly has not done. Too many American Jews, egged on by cynical and self-serving organizations that know a good fund-raising opportunity when they see one, have made like this is a second Holocaust, a genocidal attack threatening the Jewish people, a war threatening the very sur- vival of Israel. It is not either. Not evefl close. Not within a zillion miles. Israel is a military powerhouse that should it choose to, should it need to, could wipe the Palestinians off the face of the earth in about two hours. If push ever truly came to shove, we got the fighter planes, we got the army, we got the tanks, hell, we got the nukes. No one can threaten Israel's security, let alone Palestinian suicide bombers. Yesl they can cause tears and sadness, but they cannot do more. And we need to remember that, not always be Kosher Chicken Littles, believing the end is near. It's very bad for us to be that way, for it makes us scared and so obsessed about threats that are not there, while not doing anything to make the most of the most blessed time in Jewish history. But it's bad also for Israel, for what it has done is make rock stars out of terrorist victims. the Republican convention at August 29 in New York. Why do we need people from country? Because we want across America to come and from their home how victims of terror. Indeed, supporterV around America ( coming encouraged to work with their reporters from are coming to the conventions cover these rallies. During the conventions, while journalists are all show how Israeli toler.ance and peace. They also rael is a diverse democrac, speech, press and the right to vote. I messages that American, sea need to see and hear from community as well. The time has come to stop about media coverage of Israel. do something about it by educating who cover Israel on the real lose the war of words and pictures. Shoshana S. Cardin is National Chair, Press Ambassadors rael. She is a past chair of the of Presidents of Major Organizations. For more rally, see 202-857-6644. Why, I wonder, are the Jews who killed during the intifada the Jews of all, more worthy of other dead Jews? Why do we feature posters, dedicate very much community That's not to say their deaths are tragic and that their sexy," more deserving forts and tears than others? I ask this because on in Israel so far in 2004. So far 65 Jews have been killed in Israel. While the death ofan~ lost, that number is good news, the past three years of the intifada. Now, compare it to another That's how man) accidents in Israel as of July And yet, those dead Jews get featuredonposters, wing them, memorials We aren't told their nameS, their stories. In the last week alone 15 JeWS in traffic accidents in 20-year-old Among girl. A five-year-old girl. Jews all. All dead. Young begun, ended. Why are their lives not as who die in terrorist attacks? mobilize, raise money, them, to do something is driving in Israel, to save victim to it? American Jews have never givenada'mn ~ hundreds and and every year. Each and worse. At this time it's up to 279. And counting. And yet, not a evidently some dead Jews are of our concern, less entitled less worthy of our action. And speaking of dead Jews, the leader of the Jews, Ariel who now has had a target pat who is likely to join Yitzhak of assassinated 1: All thanks to some nent, most powerful Orthodox I See "Aaron" on