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August 8, 2003
 

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FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 8, 2003 PAGE5 wrong message By Jonathan s. Tobin this need with ringing rheto- ric about a fight against terror iHow long ago was Sept. 11, and action that put an end to 001? According to the calen- the evil regimes of the Taliban ~r, the terror attacks on New in Afghanistan and Saddam York and Washington oc- Hussein in lraq. And, for the ~ uorred a little more than 23 first time, America supports nths ago. But if you listen the expansion of democracy in ~uch of what passes mr the Arab world rather than ulSCUssion of security issues ~nes~n days, you would think it merely backing authoritarian regimes. PPened 23 years ago. But if you're still looking lnthe immediate aftermath for moral clarity on this issue fth se atrocities, Americans from the Bushadministration, !~ngered for expert advice on you might be disappointed. e Islamic extremists who Whitewashing the Saudis ,ravaitted these crimes, in The most egregious ex- dqaition to the woridview that ample of this is the ~iraated them. These were administration'scensorshipof ~SUes that had long been ig- a congressional investigation ~.Ored by politicians, the me- of the 9/11 attacks. Some 29 ~aand most of academia. But pages of the report that deal ~ter9/11,we wanted our lead- with the involvement of Saudi .B to draw hard conclusions Arabia have been withheld. about the threats we faced. Why?Wecan'tknowforsure, President Bush answered but even the most sympathetic interpretation of this incident shows the Bush administration is simply incapable of dealing honestly with our Saudi "al- lies." Bush and his top echelon are thoroughly committed to the relationship with the Saudi monarchy. And they are pre- pared to ignore a great deal -- including suspected links be- tween prominent Saudis and the AI Qaeda terrorist network -- to preserve it. There is a concerted effort in Washington to downplay the truth about Saudi funding of extremist Islamic groups and schools all over the Middle Eastand elsewhere. Since such teachings are the building blocks of terrorism, this shows that the administration is still reluctant to engage our en- emies on an intellectual basis. That's where Daniel Pipes comes in. q C Pipes, the director of the [ Philadelphia-based Middle , East Forum and a scholar of the Islamic world, has become th mo o t administration's confused thinking about terror. He was a lonely voice of rea- son in the years before the 9/ 11 attacks as he urged Ameri- cans to take the threat of Islamism seriously. His nomi- nation in April by Bush for a seat on the board of the U.S. Institute for Peace seemed to solidify the administration's credentials. But since then, his membership on this otherwise obscure board has become a significant political battle- ground. Apologists for terror Islamic and Arab-American groups that have long served See "Tobin" on page 17 The 'R pers By Rebbetzin Esther U.S the fourth member of "Not your sting nor your Jungreis the quartet. Yes, the United honey." But all this does not States has traditionally beena absolve us from remaining There is something odious friend of Israel, but politics alert and assuming our re- the Road Map - it ismake strange bedfellows, and sponsibilities as Jews. Since from its source. Stop it is obvious that our presi- our Israeli government lead- Consider for a moment - dent is trying to curry favor ers lack faith, vision and To- its authors? Russia,with the Arabs who feel vio- rah, it is we who must storm iated by the Iraqi war. Fur- the heavens with our prayers supplied Israel's en- thermore, he has to pay his and tshuva, and it is we who with the most lethaldues to Tony Blair, who made must cry out in protest at the Russia, who has a support for the Road Map one blatant injustice and hypo - i history of pogroms and of the conditions for British risyofwhich the United States TheU.N participation in the invasion and the nations of the world from its very inception of Iraq. Based on these facts are guilty. its bias against Is-alone, the Road Map should be Consider the hypocrisy of ~nd sought every oppor- rejected out of hand by'Israel, the President of the United to condemn her? The PrimeMinisterSharonshould States in sending troops to ~Vho to thisvery moment remindPresidentBush (whose combat terrorism in remote denies Israel the right belief in the Bible is no secret), parts of the globe, but when 3ecurityCoun- that even the best of plans, Israel attempts to defend her- privilege granted to all when they emanate from a self from the cold-blooded nations? The membersmalevolent source, are unac- murdererswhoarewithin her ceptable. Such was the case borders, who have launched anti-Semitism made with Laban. G-d warned him: overl8,000attacksagainsther possible? It is "Stay away, do not speak with sincetheyear 2,000, theWhite that Israel, a Jacob good or bad" (Genesis House clamps down and ex- !n, independent state, 31:24) The teaching is clear- peers her to turn the other ~ressured to accept if a plan comes from an evil cheek. Consider thehypocrisy ;sur- source, then even when it ap- of our American Administra- pears to be good, it is bad. tion which has adamantly re- Lre, there is also the Hence the saying of our sages, fused to release the prisoners HERITAGE welcomes and encourages letters to the editor, but they must be typed or printed and indude name and phone number. We will withhold your name if you so request. Please limit letters to 250 words. Due to space limitations, we reserve the right to edit letters. Send letters to P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. Or e-mail to Priends at Selznick Middle School P litor:. Among those guests were t evening (July 30) my six other tail, handsome 16- year-olds all dear friends cite and I enjoyed the ex- L and oleasure of cel whoattended the pioneer class orati - " the 16th birthday of at the Selznick Middle School ,url, Zach, with a surprise and whom have remained in a .L-Yat urhome Surrounded closely-knitrelationshipsince . % ~r~ily and friends, we sa- graduation.Whiletheyarenot a~.; the loving atmosphere attendingthesame classesany "ql~l e " .njOyed. watching Zachlonger, the bonds they devel- gle with our guests, oped at the Selznick Middle A litay " . " tinued from page 4 address to Knesset beLay stated that the nthe U.S. and Israel r e~ts~ve er than thevarious inter- w ~are. It goes back to the "Y t~ture of men". While cynics (of which there Rabbinical Thoughts held at Guantanamo Bay, while at the same time demanding that Israel release terrorists who have cold-bloodedly mur- dered Israeli men, women and children. Are they to once From mourning to mitzvot again flood the streets of Is- rael, free to maim and kill? By Rabbi R. J. Adler SchildofTorontooncepreached Does Washington really be- a sermon entitled, "Does God iieve that these programmed: The Hebrew month of Av isKnow You?" There are people to-kill terrorists have become known as the sad month of the who have never come to God's boy scouts during their incar- Jewish calendar, especially attention. How dowe come to ceration? since we mourn for the loss of God's notice? Mitzvot make us Consider America's INS our Temples in Jerusalem as known to God, especially those policy which heavily screens we fast on Tisha b'Av. Onwe do inwardly, discreetly, pri- new arrivals to insure that no ShabbatwereadastheHaftorah vately and modestly, the good one of questionable back- fromtheBookofJeremiah, who rabbi told his congregation. ground be admitted, and con- rebukes our people for their People who give of themselves sider the hypocrisy which de- sins which caused our exile become known to God. Those mands that Israel allow ter- from the Holy Land. The who practice righteousness roris to roam freely in her Prophet had strong words and through deeds of loving kind- midst and refrain from even said in the name of the AI- ness and social responsibility. erecting a protective fence, mighty as follows; "I brought Prayer uttered sincerely with Butwhatismostoutrageous you into a good land and you humility, is one good way of are not the demands and the defileditwithabominationand coming to God's attention, hypocritical policies of the idol worship. But like all the There is a supplementary non-Jewish world (after all, prophetsoflsrael,Jeremiahtoo reading in our Conservative there nothingnewabout that), had words of comfort and told Siddur called, "We Wait Too but that which emanates from them about a bright future, Long" and I believe that it has Israel itself. One cannot help when Israel will return to God a message for us at this solemn and will be forgiven. season. See "Road Map" on page 17 It is interesting that the fol- We procrastinate as though lowing month, the month of wehadanendlesssupplyoftime. Elul, is the preparatory season We wait too long to work at the for the High Holidays and ac- self-renewal of which these holy School have been maintained atall!From my observation of cording to our Sages it is the daysremindus.Wewaittoolong and there is no doubt they will my son and his buddies, along month where we must be very to become more deeply involved remainciosethroughouttheir with their academic achieve- strictWiththefulfillmentofall in Jewish life-in Jewish obser- lifetimes, ments at the Selznick Middle mitzvot, big and small, It is the vance and in Jewish study. We I have heard comments School, they were develop- time to check our mezuzot, waittooiongtouttertheprayers fromconcernedparentsrefer- mentally prepared as well to tallitandTefillin, to recite care- which are waiting to cross our encing their fear that their make the transition into the fully Grace after Meals, to at- lips, to perform the duties wait- children will not find enough larger schools where they ul- tend the synagogue, to study ingtobedischarged, toshowthe peer-contacts at our middle timately matriculated. Torah, togive tzedakah, tovisit lovethatmaynolongerbeneeded schooI.AndthenIlookatZach The atmosphere in the the sick and to build up our tomorrow. who attended the first and mfddle school is exciting as a heavenlycreditandreward.No These last comments sug- smallest class and marvel at verycohesiveandtalentedstaff one wants to approachthe di- gestacertainurgencyandseri- the wonder of the friendships exhibitstheverybestexamples vine Judge on Rosh Hashanah ousness to our preparation he formed and has kept. ofteamwork.Thedaysarefilled andYomKippuremptyhanded during the month of Av and There is never a question with educational challenges, and without merit and if we Elul which our Sages also in- that the quality of our eduea- exploratory opportunities and find during Eiul that we are a elude in their messages for our tion is superior, butlet meput participation in competitive bit short-handed, our rabbis readiness for the solemn High torestanydoubtsparentsmay sports.Wearetrulyanexample remind us that it is not too late Holidays. Rosh Hashanah havethatasmallerclasspopu- of a successfully supportive to add maasim tovim -- good comes with a great gift, the lation will not afford a full tried of students, parents and deeds to our account. I have opportunitytobeginagain.Our social environment and that staff and I encourage parents never heard of anyone who Book of Life is now open to a their children may have diffi- with children of middle school boasted at this time that he or new page. On Rosh Hashanah cultywhen moving on to larger age to visit us. she has more than enough and andYom Kippur we receive the institutions of learning as they MICHAEL SHADER ready for Yom Toy. gift of beginning again. How progress. That is not the case Maitland Afriendofmine, RabbiErwin will we use the gift? view Israel. And besides, most "both sides" rhetoric they hear also widen the partisan divide. Israel community from the are no lack here in the nation's capital) might describe such statementsas pandering to Jew- ish voters, it would be wrong to dismiss the emotional and spiritual context inwhich these "true believers" in Congress Jewsdon'tvoteRepublican.But when it comes to the Arab- Should the President's choice it would be equally mistaken Israeli conflict. On a more mi- be derailed because of the op- for Democrats to underesti- cro-scale than peace in the position expressed mainly by mate how such a morally un- Middle East, thependingnomi- Democratic Senators, eggedon ambiguous approach appeals nation of noted scholar Daniel by vocal radical pro-Arab to Israel's friends who are in- PipestotheBoardoftheUnited groups, this could increase the creasingly disgusted with the States Institute of Peace could growing alienation of the pro- Democratic Party. And this in turn could translate into more votes for Republicans in No- vember'04. Indeed, times may be changing. Morris J. Amitay is a former Executive Director of AIPAC.