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July 23, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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July 23, 2004
 

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PAGE 8 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, By Matthew E. Berger WASHINGTON (JTA)-- Jewish communal officials are trying to ensure that Ralph Nader does not play the same role in the 2004 presidential election as he did four years earlier. Nader, the 2000 Green Party candidate who some say took key votes away from Democratic candidate A1 Gore in a razor-tight election, again is seeking the White House, this time as an independent. An outspoken opponent of aid to Israel and a constant critic of U.S. policy in the Middle East, Nader for years has been a thorn in the side of many liberal and conserva- tive Jews. While his domestic policy views, which tradition- ally have focused on consumer rights, align closelywith those of most Jewish voters, Jews largely have avoided Nader because of other differences with him and his style. As the Democratic and Republican candidates vie to prove their pro-Israel credentials--long a staple of American presidential races--Nader has chosen to voice views harshly critical of Israel. If he establishes himself as a credible candidate, those views could spark more pub- lic discussion of positions associated with diehard critics of the Jewish state, such as those that say Israeli interests dictate U.S. foreign policy, andwith the Israeli peace movement, such as opposition tothe mute of IsraersWest Bank security barrier. Some recent controversial comments are giving Jewish communal officials an excuse to criticize Nader. But while there is genuine fury at what Nader is saying, some liberal Jews may also want to discredit Nader to minimize the Jewish vote for him in key states, aiding the presumptive Democratic candidate for president, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, against President Bush. In an interview last month, Nader told Ameri- can Conservative magazine that he believed Congress and successive U.S. admin- istrations, beginning with Ronald Reagan's, have been "puppets to Israeli military police." In the interview with Pat Buchanan, a critic of Israel, Nader said the United States was ignoring the Israeli and Palestinian peace movements and that Democrats and Republicans defer to the pro-Israel lobby in Washington because of po- litical co.nsiderations. Nader often has used the issue of Israel to demon- strate his belief that both major political parties are too similar. Nader has some Jewish backers. Some of his most loyal activists are Jewish, including Alan Morrison, director of the Public Citizen Litigation Group, the legal arm of Nader's consumer advocacy group. Calls to Nader's campaign seeking comment, and infor- mation about Jewish support for his candidacy, were not returned. Nader for President 2004 RALPH NADER But Nader's recent com- ments on Israel prompted rebukes from several Jewish figures. "Nader's diatribes send the wrong message, because there are too many in the Arab world who use any sign of weakness in the U.S.-Israel relationship as a justification for hardening their opposition to the Jewish state," Rep, Steve Israel (D- N.Y.) said. The Anti-Defamation League wrote Nader a let- ter calling his comments "offensive hyperbole." "One may disagree with America's Middle East approach, but to assert that U.S. policy in such a complex and volatile region is the product of wholesale manipulation by a foreign government fails to take into account important U.S. interests that are involved," the letter read. "Moreover, the image of the Jewish state as a 'puppeteer,' controlling the powerful U.S. Congress, feeds into many age-old stereotypes which have no place in legiti- mate public discourse." As a non-profit organization, the ADL does not endorse politi- cal candidates, and officials say the group's rationale for coming out against Nader is not political. Rep. Israel, who is back- ing Kerry, also said he was not motivated by partisan politics in criticizing Nader's remarks. "For me, this isn't about pro-Kerry or anti-Kerry," he told JTA. "It's anti-Nader because of Nader's castigation of U.S.-Israeli relations. I'll let the chips fall where they may." But Nader's comments al- lowed one group, the National Jewish Democratic Council, to merge politics with support for Israel. The group, which is backing Kerry, is working to highlight Nader's Middle East rhetoric in a bid to keep Democrats from defecting to Nader's camp. "The NJ DC will be commit- ted to making sure that the American Jewish community knows where he stands on Is- rael and other issues," David Harris, the group's deputy executive director, said of Nader. Certainly, Jews are not the only liberal constituency wor- ried about Nader's impact on the upcoming election. Con- cerned that Nader would take votes away from Kerry in key states, the Green Party chose a different candidate for presi- dent this year. The party's nominee, David Cobb, has said he will not campaign in swing states. nnollnccment Cheryl Lynn Chudnow Benjamin Dubbrin Ann and Herman Chudnow of West Bloomfield,1 gan are pleased to announce the engagement daughter, Cheryl Lynn Chudnow, to Bet son of Norma and Allen Dubbrin, former Longwood, Fla. who now live in Boynton Beach. The bride-elect earned her bachelor's de ern Michigan University and her master's degree childhood development from Oakland Univers teaches third grade in the Oak Park school The groom-elect completed his under at the University of Florida. He received his degree in business from Nova Southeastern in Ft. Lauderdale. He is the project Martin Gottlieb & Associates in Jacksonville. , An August wedding is planned at the Glen I Country Club in Farmington Hills, Mich. The will then make their home in Jacksonville. By Aaron LeibeI Washington Jewish Week WASHINGTON---There was a requirement that we not wave goodbye out of the window when departing be- cause Jews were not allowed to give the Hitler salute and waving might be mistaken for one." So said Robert Braun, one of the more than 1,000 Jewish children rescued from soon-to-be- Hitler-controlled Europe in the late 1930s and early '40s, some of whose stories are told in Don't Wave Good-. bye. One of the book's editors is Iris Posner, who heads One Thousand Children, a Silver Spring nonprofit dedicating to spreading the word about those kids. The book consists of some 40 remembrances written by the people who 65 years ago were sent by their families in Germany, Austria, Czecho- slovakia and elsewhere in Europe to America to escape the clutches of the Nazis. Some of the children's stories have happy endings, like that of Trudy Kirch- hausen Turkel of Ellicott City, Md. She remembers being eager to start her life in her soon-to-be new country, but at age 14 was a little apprehensive about leaving her family. She adopted the perfect--or only sensible--- attitude for those children to take. "I prepared myself for the separation from my family by developing a philosophy that has stood me in good stead from then until now," she wrote in 2001. 'I decided that no matter what happened to me I could learn something from it, ei- ther how to be or not to be." She was placed with a family in St. Louis. and eventually received a four-year scholar- ship for college from Sigma Delta Tau, a Jewish sorority. Things worked out well for her. She got to America on the Kindertransport in 1938. That same year, her sister went to Palestine and her brother came to England with the British Kindertransport. Her parents made their way to the U.S. from Spain in 1941, and the whole fam- ily was reunited here after the war. Richard Schifter of Bethesda was not so for- tunate. His parents were arrested in October 1938 in Vienna and, as expatriate Polish Jews, were told they would have to emigrate quickly. "The irony of this occurrence was not lost on us," Schifter wrote in 1992. "For more than seven months, all our thoughts had been singularly devoted to the objective of emigration. It was not that we lacked the will; we lacked the required entry permits." Schifter, an Austrian citizen, finally received his U.S. immigrant visa; his parents, officially Polish, did not. They accompanied him to the train station, where Schifter's father spoke to him in English to help pre- pare him for his new country. His mother cried. "Finally, the calls an- nouncing the train's im- minent departure were heard and the train started to move," Schifter wrote. "I was standing at the window now, exchanging last-min- ute words with my parents. As the train rolled on, I waved back at them. They waved with handkerchiefs as the platform gradually receded. Then the train came to a bend and they were out of my sight. I was never to see them again." Michel Margo- sis of Springfield was the son of a Zionist and outspokenly anti-fascist and anti-com- munist journalist who was in Brussels, Belgium, when the British and French declared war on Germany for invading Poland. His father had to flee for his life to Portugal;"his life was in mortal danger," Margosis wrote in 1995, and the rest of the family made its way through France toward Spain and Portugal. His sister and brother went to Palestine from Ca- diz, Spain, after Margosis had been spirited away to Portugal and to his father by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Commit- tee. (His mother was able to join his father only in 1944.) Margosis spent one week with his father before heading for the U.S. Thea Kahn Lindauer of Annapolis tells her story from letters she received from her father, Samuel Kahn, in response to let- ters that she had written him from America in 1934 and 1935. After he decided to send his daughter toAmerica, her father was ridiculed, Kahn Lindauer recalled in 2002, for sending his daughter so far away. Her grandfather wanted her to be sent to relatives in Sweden, France or Luxembourg, but her father insisted he wanted "an ocean between us." His prescience is reflected in his letters. For example, he wrote in November 1934 that her mother was sending her "traditional goodies--even chocolate, which is now forbidden to Jews For the first time in many years, Mama is not having her traditional 'Goose stuffing'--feeding the geese until they are good and fat for Christmas eating. The government has forbidden any Germans to do manual labor for the Jews." In February 1935, he noted in a letter that "a notac a friend of long st his first name." month, he wr "the usual the store. Having manager certainl! vantages." In an Schifter Rights sistant secretary Human Ri tarian Affairs, of the so many Jews- the parents of r children in this of America in the the early '40s. Of course, hi Nonetheless, manyAmericanS to ore and raised funds rescuing thes~ also- reminds their homes. two groups of lives. Their efforts membering. wait:' The American Jewish Con- gress has called on the inter- national community to act with deliberate speed to end the murders and dislocation of hundreds of thousands in the Darfur region of the Sudan. AJCongress President Paul S. Miller said, "We compliment Secretary Powelland UN Secre- tary General Arian for drawing attention to this calamity, and applaud those members of the United States Congress who have introduced a resolution condemning this slaughter." "Whether or not this slaughter meets one legal definition or another is not, in my opinion, and should not, be a prerequisite for interna- tional action to save the people of Darfur," Miller said. "The dying and displaced cannot and should not wait for a resolution of legal defini- tions. In the face of a govern- ment that is at best indifferent and at worst complicit in the intolerable mistreatment of the people of Darfur, the world must act forcefully, un- equivocally and with haste to end the suffering, the mass killing and the displacement of so many human beings from their homes." "There will be time enough to assign criminal liability for the horrendous and brutal treatment of the people of Dar- fur," Miller said. "That should be a secondary concern; the first and immediate priority must be saving lives." The Cong included such as former $1 Justices Louis Felix leading force f for the rights and