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July 26, 2013

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JULY 26, 2013 By Viva Sarah Press Hospital in Nahariya added journeyfromaremoteEthio- a bone graft operation to the pianvillage called Enemur to When Israeli doctors per- list of planned life-saving Israel's northern coastal city formed a CT scan on Abdul- surgeries already set up. is one of bad luck, good luck razak, an 8-year-old Muslim "We're trying to perform and a lot of goodwill. boy from Ethiopia who was all the surgeries we can. In January of this year, almost mauled to death We'resavinghislifeandwe're a wild hyena raided Abdul- by a wild hyena, they were taking him out of danger," razak's village, killing six surprised to find the rabid Dr. Masad Barhoum, direc- people and injuring 18. The animal--that caused severe tor-general of the Nahariya 8-year-old was among those head, scalp and eye injuries hospital, tells ISRAEL21c. attacked--and though his to the young victim--had "What the hyena did wasfather, Alawi, risked his life also taken a piece of his jaw catastrophic." to pull his son from the wild bone. Abdulrazak is in Israelanimal's jaws, Abdulrazak So, doctors at the govern- on a lifesaving cross-border ment-run Western Galilee humanitarian mission. His Doctors on page 15A career 117 By Uriel Heilman RAANANA, Israel (JTA)-- When U.S. Rep. Peter Deutsch lost his campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2004, forcing him out of Congress for the first time in 12 years, he didn't quite know what to do with himself. So he did something not entirely uncommon among American Jews who haven't quite figured out their next step: He went to Israel. More than eight years later, Deutsch is still here, living with his family in Raanana, a Tel Aviv suburb. His 22-year- old son recently completed a stint as a combat soldier in the Israeli army, and his 21-year- old daughter is studying at an Orthodox women's seminary. Deutsch's move is more than just atypical; it's unprec- edented. He is the only member of Congress ever to have moved to Israel, and he may be the only living ex-congressman who is an expatriate. He's also unusual in one other respect: Deutsch is an Orthodox Jew, which helps explain his unorthodox choices. "I'm heavily invested in being in Israel in a real way," Deutsch told JTA during a re- cent interview at his home in a luxury high-rise with sweeping views of the Mediterranean coastline and the Judean hills. Uriel Heilman/JTA Eight years after leaving office, former U.S. congress- man Peter Deutsch spends most of his time at his home in Raanana, Israel. "My son was in a combat unit in the Israeli army. I have skin in the game in terms of Israeli society." Puttering around his apart- ment in jeans, gray T-shirt and black suede yarmulke, Deutsch, 56, hasn't quite left America behind. He has declined to take Israeli citizenship and doesn't speak Hebrew. He frequently travels back to Florida, where he spent 22 years in public service first as a state legis- lator, then as a Democrat in Congress. Though no longer a politi- cian, Deutsch still Praftice/s a form of public service as legal counsel to Ben Gamla, an 1,800-student Hebrew- language charter school network in South Florida that he founded. The work, for which he is not paid and which takes up nearly all his professional time, has him working American hours in Israel, His income comes from investments, Deutsch says. He also sits on the board of the Illinois-based Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp., a publicly traded firm. "I still clearly live in two worlds," Deutsch says. "I feel very much at home in both places." Deutsch's move to Israel be- gan as a sabbatical after having spent five successive Augusts in Israel while in Congress. The first year stretched into a second, and then another. Soon Deutsch's kids were starting high school in Israel. Before Dr. Masad Barhoum of Western Galilee Hospital: 'It is Israel's nature to help whoever can be helped.' Rony Albert Abdulrazak and his father at the Western Galilee Hospital in Israel. long he had bought two apart- later, and by the time he was Gamlas cannot teach religion, ments in Raanana. elected to Congress at age 35, but the schools have a Jewish WhatpmpelledhimtoIsrael, hewasfullyOrthodox.Though flavor. The Hebrew curricu- Deutsch says, was the opportu- hebelongedtoasynagogueand lum includes Israel education nity to be part of the historic sent his children to Jewish day and Jewish history, and most return of the Jewish people to school, Deutschkepthisobser- of the schools are on Jewish the Holy Land. Deutsch notes vance quiet, instarkcontrastto community campuses. Some that Israel recently surpassed theotherOrthodoxmemberof 85 percent of the students are the United States as the larg- Congress at the time, Sen. Joe Jewish. Supplementary after- est Jewish community in the Lieberman. schoolreligiousprogramstake world, the first time Israel has Deutsch believes that most place onsite or nearby. held that distinction in two AmericanJewstodayviewtheir Deutsch is unabashed about millennia. Jewish background much as he using public money to support "when something happens did when he was younger, and what he describes as Jewish for the first time in .2,000 with the same dispassion as identity building. Out of Ben years, I think you ought to at Americans of Greek or Polish Gamla's collective budget of least thinkabout it a little bit," orItalianextractionmightview $10 million a year, Deutsch Deutsch said. their ancestral origins: as little says 80 percent serves Jewish Deutschsees abright future more than a footnote to their communal purposes. for Judaism in Israel but a identity. "To me, itis literally the best dark one for American Jewry, "Do they feel bad aboutleverage that I'm aware of in something he bases in part on marrying a gentile? It's irrel- Jewish communal stuff in the his own experience growing up evant," Deutsch said. "They're history of the Jewish people," as a secular Jew in the Bronx. not in their minds going away Deutsch says. "Jews need to be Schooled at the elite Horace from Judaism, rejecting their supportive of this endeavor." Mann School in the New York parents, struggling to become Though he has been in Israel borough, Swarthmore College part of the mainstream so- for nearly a decade, Deutsch and Yale Law School, Deutsch ciety--they're not thinking says he has no interest in be- moved to South Florida in about that. It's a non-event. In coming involved in the coun- 1982 because he wanted to get a sense, that is the American try's politics. Nor does he miss involvedinpoliticsandbelieved Jewish story today." U.S.politicsorregretforegoing he could do best in a place with The Ben Gamla charter easy reelection to the House of a rapidly growing population, schools are Deutsch's effort to Representativessohecouldrun It didn't hurt that his parents change that. He wants to give for Senate. (Rep. Debbie Was- owned a condo in Broward Jewish kids who otherwise sermanSchultznowrepresents County, where Deutsch could would attend public school an Deutsch's district.) live rent free. Almost immedi- opportunity to be in a Jewish "Yoursuccessoryourfailure ately, Deutschwaselectedtothe environment and develop a is not your success or your Florida House of Representa- Jewish identity--at taxpayer failure because God rules the tires. He was just 25. expense, world," Deutsch said. "All you His Jewish awakening came As public schools, the Ben can do is make the effort." By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)--Days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dis- missed the incoming Iranian president's plea for engage- ment with the United States and called for ratcheting up military pressure, a bipartisan letter circulating in the U.S. - House of Representatives is urging President Obama to test Hassan Rohani's offer. The letter, spearheaded by Reps. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) and David Price (D-N.C.), had garnered 118 signatures by the afternoon of July 18, more than a quarter of the House. The bulk of the signatories are Democrats, but 15 Republicans have signed on as well. While the letter does not mention Netanyahu, it sharply diverges from the Israeli lead- er's recent calls to increase pres- sure on Iran and his dismissal of the Iranian president-elect as untrustworthy. "It would be a mistake not to test whether Dr. Rohani's election represents a real op- portunity for progress toward a verifiable, enforceable agree- ment on Iran's nuclear program that ensures the country does not acquire a nuclear weapon," says the letter, which was due to be sent to the president last U.S. House of Representatives Reps. David Price, left, and Charlie Dent initiated the congressional letter urging President Obama to test the incoming Iranian president's plea for engagement with the United States. Friday. signatures it has attracted and "We must also be careful the seniority of some of the not to preempt this potential signatories suggest that such opportunity by engaging in resistance is not foolproof. actions that delegitimize the "I think the way to classify newly elected president and the letter is that there is a di- weaken his standing relative versity of opinion on the path to hardlinerswithin the regime forward in the House,"Andrew whoopposehisprofessed'policy High, a spokesman for Price, of reconciliation and peace,' told JTA. "it says. The letter comes just days In the wake of Rohani's vic- after Netanyahu said on "Face tory last month, Obama told the Nation" that the Obama PBS that the election appears administration should backup to create an opening for more its policy of opposing a nuclear "serious, substantive" engage- Iranwith"increasinglyforceful ment with Iran. Congress has sanctions and military action." frequently been a bastion of "I think it's very important resistance to such engagement, to make clear to them that you but the letter, the number of won't allow them to have this urges weapon and to demonstrate that by action," Netanyahu said July 14 on the CBS news program. "That is, you can also make clear that the nuclear option, which is the military option, is truly on the table. The Iranians take note of that." Netanyahu said Rohani did not represent a substantial change from the hardline policiesofhispredecessor, Mah- moud Ahmadinejad, though he has expressed willingness to make the country's nuclear program more transparent while continuing to enrich uranium. Netanyahu said the Iranians at their current enrichment levels are "edging up" to a red line that could pre- cipitate Israeli military action. "They have now about 190 kilos out of the 250 kilos of 20 percent enriched uranium" needed to make a bomb, Ne- tanyahu said. "They're also building faster centrifuges that will enable them to jump the line, so to speak, at a much faster rate--that is, within a few weeks, once they get to that critical mass of 250 kilos." The Dent-Price letter also expresses wariness of Rohani's offer, even as it presses the case for engagement. "We are mindful of the limi- tations of the Iranian presiden- cywithin the country's political en system, of the fact that previous controversial Middle East wars Iranian presidents elected on over the last decade or so. platforms of moderation have "It resonates with them be- failed to deliver on promised causeeventhosememberswho reforms, and of the mixed sig- believe in their heart Iran will nalsthatDr.Rohanihimselfhas need something more kinetic sent regarding Iran's nuclear thandipiomacy, theystillprefer ambitions," it says. diplomacy because it's been a Thelettercomesasanumber rough 10 to 12 years for them of lawmakers in Congress have asmembersofCongressduring joined Netanyahu in callingon U.S. military engagement in theObamaadministrationand the Middle East," said the lob- the international community byist, who spoke on condition to ratchet up pressure. Some of anonymity. members in signing the letter The lobbyist said he and appear to have placed them- his colleagues were careful to selves at odds with positions pitch the letter as not obviating they signed on to just weeks sanctions and military action ago. down the line. Several of the signatories "All these members agree on the Dent-Price letter are that despite what their plan members oftheHouseForeign B's are, the opportunity to Affairs Committee, which negotiate and resolve this dip- collectively signed a letter to lomatically has to be explored," Obama on July 1 saying the he said. election had "done nothing A number of the signatories to suggest a reversal of Iran's have senior positions in the pursuit of a nuclear weapons House. Dent and Price are capacity." The committee senior members of the Appro- dismissed any contention that priations Committee, and Rep. Rohani was a "moderate" and James Clyburn (D-S.C.) is the called on Obamato expandand third-ranked Democrat. intensify sanctions. The letter also has the back- A lobbyist who campaigned ing of J Street, Americans for for the Dent-Price letter said Peace Now and the National it was his impression that Iranian Advisory Council. The lawmakers signed on in part American Israel Public Mfairs because they wanted to inves- Committee did not adopt a tigate all options in the wake positionontheletter, anofficial of U.S. involvement in two told JTA.