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PAGE 14A Tunnels From page 1A outsiders, including the om- nipresent Israeli drones that scrutinize goings-on in the coastal strip. Their end points inside Israel are difficult to detect because the terminus often isn't dug out until Hamas fighters are ready to pop up and perpetrate an attack. When the moment arrives, Hamas assailants dig the last few feet and emerge from the hole--heavily armed, usually well camouflaged and sometimes disguised as Israeli soldiers, Why is this threat so sig- nificant? Israel has yet to figure out an effective way to systemati- cally address the multitude of threats the tunnels pres- ent. Hamas could use them to kidnap Israeli soldiers, as it did with Gilad Shalit in 2006, or even to kidnap civilians. Israeli troops have found Hamas infiltrators in recent days armed with tranquil- izers and handcuffs for just such operations, according to the IDF. For its part, Hamas has made clear that one of its main goals is to pull off a successful kidnapping. An abducted Israeli could be used to bargain for the release of Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli prisons. That would give Hamas a way to demon- strate to its constituents that it can deliver for Palestinians and "resist the occupation" in a way that President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority cannot. Infiltrators also could use the tunnels to sneak behind enemy lines and perpetrate attacks inside Israeli cities, towns or kibbutzim. The"terror tunnels," the IDF said in a statement, are meant "to carry out attacks such as abductions of Israeli civilians and soldiers alike; infiltrations into Israeli com- munities, mass murders and hostage-taking scenarios." With so many Israeli troops active in the area around Gaza; Hamas also is using the tunnels to ambush IDF soldiers. Four Israeli soldiers were killed Monday morning after an infiltra- tion; two died Saturday during an earlier infiltration. Israel has been killing most of the infiltrators, but not all. Some have managed to scurry back into the tun- nels leading toward Gaza. There have been at least five tunnel infiltration attacks. How can Israel combat the tunnel threat? For now, unlike with the rocket fire, there's no tech- nological fix to the tunnel problem. Instead, Israel's primary method for combat- ing the tunnels is decidedly low-tech. Israeli ground troops are looking for tunnel openings in the buildings they're searching inside Gaza. Troops in Israel near the border are mobilized and on the lookout for new infiltra- tion attempts. Residents of the Israeli communities near the border area have been warned on several occasions over the last few days to stay inside on lockdown. It seems that the extent to which the ground under- neath the Gaza-Israel border resembles Swiss cheese has caught the IDF and the Is- raeli public by surprise. What does the discovery of all these tunnels mean for the duration of this war? Before Israel launched its ground invasion on July 17, the Israeli government seemed reluctant to send troops into Gaza and pay the price in Israeli blood, Palestinian collateral dam- age and international cen- sure that a ground invasion probably would entail. Israel quickly agreed to a cease- fire offer a week into the conflict (Hamas ignored it) and gave Hamas at least two other lulls in which to change its mind. But now that Israel has awakened to the true extent of the tunnel threat and Israeli troops are already fighting and dying in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Ne- tanyahu seems determined to have the IDF destroy as many tunnels as it can. "The operation will be expanded until the goal is achieved: restoring quiet to the citizens of Israd for a long period," Netanyahu said Monday, keeping things vague enough so as not to be boxed into a corner. If the war ends before the tunnel threat can be ad- dressed adequately, the IDF's job in Gazawill have beenleft unfinished. Though Israelis are agonizing over the death toll on their side--which already has exceeded the toll from the last two Gaza conflicts combined--they don't want those soldiers to have died in vain. This is seen inside Israel as a war of necessity, not of choice. Will international pres- sure end the war soon? With the Palestinian death toll soaring since the launch of the ground inva- sion, international pressure for a cease-fire is grow- ing. On Sunday, President Obama called for an "im- mediate cease-fire," and the U.N. Security Council held an emergency session to demand an immediate end to the fighting. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Cairo on Monday to try to negotiate some kind of an end to the crisis. While Israel's eagerness for a cease-fire and well publicized efforts to avoid civilian casualties bought it some time early on, the escalating violence and rap- idly mounting Palestinian civilian deaths --including several well-documented HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 1, 2014 cases of Israeli strikes kill- ing children, wiping out multiple members of the same family and targeting a hospital--are shifting international opinion away from Israel's favor. It remains to be seen how long Netanyahu can with- stand the pressure, or how the fighting that lies ahead will affect the calculus. For its part, Hamas doesn't appear to want to stop fight- ing either. It view s every Is- raeli death as a triumph and every Palestinian civilian death as fodder with which to build international criti- cism of Israel. Hamas may already have captured the body of one Israeli soldier who is presumed to have died in a missile attack on an armored personnel carrier; it would love to use the oppor- tunity the fighting presents to accomplish its goal of capturing a live one. How are ordinary lsraelis reacting? One of the remarkable things about Israel is that even though it is buffeted by threats on nearly every side and often finds itself engaged in bloody battles, for the most part the fighting happens elsewhere. The mini-wars with Hamas in 2009 and 2012 were fought on Gaza's turf, not inside Israel. Violence in Judea and Samaria generally stays there. The 2006 Second Lebanon War took place in Lebanon, not Israel. Yes, both the Gaza conflicts and the Lebanon war involved deadly rocket fire into Israel, but there were no pitched battles on Israeli streets. The real battlefield was elsewhere. The last major exception to that rule was a decade ago during the second intifada, when Israeli buses, restau- rants and nightclubs became the front line. The erection of the Judea/Samaria security fence helped end those at- tacks by making it harder for terrorists to get into Israel. But now the existence of tunnels through which terrorists can infiltrate the country again threatens to bring the war into Israel, and that's a frightening thought for Israelis. The country still well remembers the Maalot mas- sacre of 1974, when Palestin- ian terrorists slipped across the border from Lebanon and took more than 100 children hostage at a school in the northern Israeli town of Maalot. More than 25 Israelis were killed during that incident, which ended when Israeli troops stormed the school building. With the Israeli death toll rising fast, this war already has turned into a nightmare for many Israelis, particularly those burying their loves ones. But there's a reason IDF troops are still pushing hard in Gaza: They're working to avert something worse. Rusonik From page 1A cess to build the right model for leadership for the Jewish Academy of Orlando going forward. This work began with a series of meetings where we reviewed vision, mission and strategy for the school. In ad- dition, we reviewed successful leadership structurzs within Jewish day schools to build a series of models thatwe believed would match our needs--all of which encouraged two execu- tive leaders at the helm." "From there, we were for- tunate enough to have two national executive search firms (each with Jewish lead- ership and ties - ReSearch Connection and Vantage Consulting) donate their time and resources to aid us in our search. With over 100 poten- tial candidates that stretched across the country, we nar- rowed the pool to a limited number of candidates which we felt matched the qualifica- tions necessary for the lead position in one of our models." "Each candidate traveled to Orlando to visit with our 2371 8916 5642 3184 4293 6,758 1537 9865 7429 seven-person search commit- tee and 15-person board along with community members and executive leaders from Fed- eration, JCC, Hillel and local synagogues. After these visits, each candidate participated in a series of standardized tests." "After hosting in-person visits and administering test- ing with each finalist, the JAO Board selected Alan Rusonik for a number of reasons in- cluding his strong Jewish educational background, his broad-based executive leader- ship experiences in Jewish educational institutions and how well his testing profiles matched our needs as an institution and organization." Libow and Finkelstein said, "in addition to the guidance and connectivity that we believe Alan will offer to the overall Jewish Community of Central Orlando, we expect that he will provide leader- ship for the Jewish Academy of Orlando in many areas including Jewish education, enrollment and fundraising services and executive leader- ship and strategy." 84596 75342 39187 96275 57618 12934 28469 43721 61853 "In concert with Alan's wishes, the JAO Board was elated to promote Shari Wla- dis, this year's interim HOS and previous associated head of school, to principal of the JAO to focus on learning out- comes, educational innova- tion and faculty development and support." The search committee and board agree that, "The Jew- ish Academy of Orlando for years has stood as one of the best educational choices for children in grades K--eight in Central Florida. The added element of integrated Jewish values to that education only makes the experience more rewarding and spiritually fulfilling for our children." "With Alan and Shari lead- ing our school, we expect enrollment to continue to expand and that we will make broader positive waves in the community." Unity From page 2A without hesitation. Doors everywhere fly rapidly open, and the true value of "hakh- nasat orhim"--welcoming the stranger--happens all over the country. On buses and in cars, the same principle holds true, for wherever one stops, one Suissa From page 5A Israel is not your enemy. Your enemies are your own leaders, who steal public money for their lav- ish lifestyles while keeping you in misery; who blame everything on the Jews and on Israel to divert attention from their own failures; who attack Israel to provoke counterattacks that hurt "As head of school here at the Jewish Academy," Rusonik explains, "my role is to de- velop the school in terms of enrollment and financially so that it has a strong footing to build the school into a secure future." Additionally, "I see my role as a community builder, working with federation and with the other organizations by being a representative and face of the school. His educational philosophy is rooted in Proverbs 22:6, "Train a lad in the way he ought to go; he will not swerve from it even in old age," He also believes that you have to look at the individual needs of each student to achieve that goal. The enrollment for the school year stands at 150 students, which is relatively the same as the past few years. The good news is that for the second year there is a strong presence in kindergarten and an even stronger first grade. "My goal," Rusonik states, "is to retain as many of these children as we can and build from that foundation." Rusonik says he is in the process of gathering infor- mation about the financial situation. In his discussions with the JAO leadership he has learned that they take the debt seriously and they have an absolute desire to fulfill the obligations. The school has been in transitional leader- ship and has not been able to adequately address the issue or has been appropriately fo- cused on financial managent. "Orlando is a great com- munity," said Rusonik, "I have met wonderful people who are committed to the school and committed to the communi- ty's growth. Every community has its challenges. What I have seen so far is a willingness of the leadership to take on these challenges head on, now that the economy is turned around. I think it isvery commendable. He says he has been in Houston, San Diego and now Orlando, which is "by far the mostwelcoming community." People reached out to family right away. His son is starting 6th grade atthe day school and he has already made friends. The Rusoniks also have three older daughters who remained in California (two in college and one just graduated). Rusonik added that he re- ally wants to head the school to help grow Jewish education in the community. "A com- munity is only as strong as its educational institutions. A strong day school will at- tract future leaders, rabbis, community professionals and families that want to know that there is a viable day school." is welcomed. Such shared vulnerability Unites the country, reminding every- one of their inescapable linkage to state and people, shared government and col- lective fate. This particular night, I hap- pened to be with a group of our North American students who had come to Jerusalem just days before to begin the first year of their studies to become rabbis, cantors and Jewish educators. It was sur- real for them, to be sure, these young visitors so recently transplanted into a new and foreign culture at a very chal- lenging time. Along with a palpable ner- vousness, what emerged with them as we left the shelter together and dispersed into the balmy Jerusalem nightwas a sense of being at one with their people.Apeople sheltered together, againstwhatever the world might tender. Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, Ph.D, is the president of He- brew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. your families, while they hide in bunkers. Israel would love nothing more than to see you prosper in peace and security. If you have leaders who will stop destroying and start creating, we can help you on this new journey. Sure, it may take a very long time for this message to register, but we need to plant the seeds now and expose Hamas for who they truly are-- cowards who have abandoned their own people. Believe me, with my own two daughters in Israel going in and out of bomb shelters last week, I blessed every missile of the Iron Dome. But while these missiles neutralized Hamas rockets, they didn't neutralize the Hamas message of hate and de- struction. As long as this Jew-hatred lives in Palestinian hearts, the weeds of terror will always grow back. It's time for a new Iron Dome that launches missiles of truth and reconciliation. We can call it the Irony Dome, the irony being that the real enemy of the Palestinians is not Israel but their own leaders.