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August 8, 2014

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,Y PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 8,2014 campuses as surges By Tammi Rossman-Benjamin airstrikes on Gaza. In Australia, a Jew was punched by men screaming "Jewish dog" in Arabic as he walked in a Jewish neighborhood. Amid the current unrest in Israel and Gaza, In Canada, at an anti-Israel rally organized Jews around the world have been targeted for by the president of the University of Calgary attack. Virulently anti-Israel demonstrations pro-Palestinian club, two Jewish women were and activities in cities across Europe and kicked and punched by a large group of angry around the world have resulted in frightening men, and portions of the crowd chanted "Kill anti-Jewish violence. Jews" and "Hitler was right." In Los Angeles, Meanwhile, in the U.S. right now, school is Jews at a pro-Israel rally were assaulted with out and students are safe. But there is little sticks wielded by four men waving pro-Pales- doubt that when the academic year corn- tinian flags. In Boston, Jewish students had mences, Jewish students on American college to be extracted by police from a pro-Hamas and university campuses will be targeted for rally, at which demonstrators chanted "Jews harassment, intimidation, bullying, andworse, back to Birkenau." solely because of their actual or perceived Now back to American campuses. As we identification with the Jewish state, all know, the college campus is a hotbed for First, let's take stockofthe globalpicture for anti-Israel sentiment. Is there any reason to Israel. In Paris. a synagogue was firebombed believethattheglobalanti-Zionistsurgewon't whilehundreds ofworshipperswere inside.And permeate U.S. campuses once the school year m a Paris suburb, anti-Israel rioters torched starts? This new floodofanti-Jewishsentiment a synagogue, Jewish school, businesses, and will come to campuses already racked by the cars. InBerlin, demonstrators chargedaJewish virulently anti-Israelactions of student groups couple and shouted "Jew. we'll get you" after such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), seeing that the man was wearing a yarmulke, whose members are often aided and abetted In the Netherlands. the chief rabbi's home by anti-Israel faculty. Last semester alone. was attacked with stones twice in one week. In numerous Jewish students across the country Turkey, the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul and reported feeling unsafe on their campuses. the embassy in Ankara were attacked, and an Here are their firsthand accounts: Islamist close to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip At DePaul UniversJty:"This entire campaign Erdogan urged Muslims to target the country's and entire sit-in going on in the SAC (Schmitt 15,000 Jews and warned that Jewish tourists Academic Center) is totally unsafe for Jewish to Turkey would be attacked. In Morocco, a studentsandlhavehadalotofJewishstudents rabbi was badly beaten in retaliation for Israel's text me and call me today and tell me they are N By Sara Debbie. Gutfreund Israel deserves an apology from the Jews who Aish Hatorah Resources have turned their backs on their own people when they are needed most. Israel deserves an I am s!ck of apologizing for Israel when it is apology from the terrorists themselves, for the Israel that really deserves an apology, constant panic and fear, for the horrific loss I am sick of apologizing for Israel's right of life, for destroying our homes, for diverting to defend itself. I am sick of the word "cease- our planes, for turning our lives upside down. fire" when all that really means is "time for and for putting innocent Arab lives in mortal Hamas to build more rockets" while we stand danger. Israel deserves an apology. by helplessly. I am sick of the UN calling this And I also want to apologize to Israel and an Israeli-Palestinian War when all along it's her courageous people. I am sorry for not clearly been a prolonged terrorist ~,ttack that defending you loudly enough. For not doing the IDF is courageously trying to stop. I'm moretospeakupagainstthestagednewspaper sick of people criticizing Israel for killing photographs and the false criticisms. I am innocent people when they have done more sorry for the hours in which I forget about than any country to warn Gazans and have the pain and the suffering that you are going even brought the gunmen into their own through. I am sorry, dear parents of all the hospitals. I'm sick of apologizing for being a fallen soldiers. I am sorry for your aching grief Jew. For being part of a nation whose kind- and loss. sorry that you had to sacrifice your ness and compassion shine through even on sons in this war for Jewish survival. Because the battlefield, they were not just fighting for Israel, they were Somehow the world is turning everything fighting for all of us. around. Turning the terrorists into victims. I apologize to all of you, who live in the only Turning the attacked into the aggressor. This place intheworldwhere every Jew iswelcomed is the anti-Semitism of today. A hatred and home. that you are not recognized on a daily disgust with Israel no matter what we do. basis for holding up the fort for all of us. for Now 1 ask you. Who should be apologiz- teaching your children to remain calm under ing? The millions of Jews running for cover fire.forsendingyoursonstoguardourborders, as rockets attempting to smash into their for holding onto your faith when everyone schoolyards and tear apart their homes come around you is intent on taking it away. raining down? The parents of all the soldiers And I also want to say thankyou. Thankyou who have tragically died in this frustrating, totheIsraeligovernmentfornotbackingdown dangerous ground war in Gaza, where every in this battle for our survival. Thank you to move is calculated and re-calculated to prevent the soldiers for giving up everything you have, the loss of life? Should the soldiers apologize including life itself, to keep us safe. Thank you for risking their lives to fight terrorism while to the people who live in Israel for continuing the rest of us shake our heads over the news? to build families and homes in our Land with Israel deserves an apology from the media rockets falling all around you. for falsely portraying them as aggressors. Thank you, Israel, for being a shining light Israel deserves an apology from the anti- among the nations of the world. For being Israel demonstrators who would have never brave enough to stand up and fight against protested the fight against terrorists when terrorism, evenwhentheworldpreferstoclose it was their own country being attacked on its eyes and shake its head. No more apologies. 9/11. Israel deserves an apology from the UN We stand by you, Israel. We pray for you.We for blaming Israel for a war they didn't begin, are proud of you. You are not alone. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. ~ ~ CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE ~ ~ ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 43 Press Awards EWISH NE HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (1SN 0199-0721) is published weekly for $37.95 per year to Florida ad- dresses ($46.95 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 chang,.es and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. 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 email: Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus .~ssociate Editor Assistant Editor Gene Starn Kim FischerChristine DeSouza Society E~tor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Loft Apple Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky David Bornstein * Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore not comfortable walking through that part of our campus, which is really disheartening... About two months ago when SJP started the 'DePaul Divest' campaign, I no longer felt safe on this campus and I no longer felt I could be a proud Jewish student." At New York University: "Being very straightforward, [the slipping of anti-Israel eviction notices under dorm-room doors by SJP members] made me feel targeted and unsafe in my own dorm room, and I know others feel exactly the same as myself." At the University of California, Los Ange-. les: "For myself and other Jewish and pro-Israel students, the atmosphere is poisonous. We feel attacked, Ostracized, and threatened. Our identities are being rejected and our right to express our beliefs endangered. Our academic performance is being harmed unjustly; and our supporters are now targets of hate campaigns, baseless accusations, and unfair political and social retaliation." At the University of Michigan: "It was not just individual students who were the vic- tims of violent threats and intimidation by pro-Palestinian forces. Student government representatives were similarly targeted and. most telling, called 'kike' and a'dirty Jew.' Both CSG (Central Student Government) represen- tatives and ordinary students were afraid to attend their classes because they felt unsafe." At Vassar College: "This year, SJP has made Vassar an unsafe environment for me and for other Jewish students. From their harassment of students participating in the spring break trip, to the Nazi incident and anti-Zionist rhetoric about ethnic cleansing that verges on blood libel, SJP has done everything in its power to make Vassar an unsafe space for Jews." Despite the clear and present danger for Jewish students on U.S. campuses, in most cases university administrators have been unwilling to address the problem, preferring instead to defend the freedom of speech or academic freedom of the student and faculty perpetrators. Moreover. Jewish students are well aware that hateful behavior which would Letter from Israel By Ira Sharkansky Lots of questions Why Hamas attacked in the first place? Why it continues to attack, especially from within the time frame of the cease fire that it requested? Why has the US sided with the most radical of the Muslim governments? Why has the Israeli government dithered about escalating beyond goals not likely to achieve lasting quiet? There are no clear answers to any of these questions. The fog of war surrounds us, and we should not expect any of the players to be candid about their aims or capacities. Hamas' motives are the most intriguing, and the most important insofar as it is the major initiator and has been stubborn despite suffering great damage and losses of life. Its leaders most likely knew from the outset that Israel would cause great destruction and casualties. Differentials in the fire power of the two sides are profound, but Hamas still has the capacity to hurt Israel, three weeks into its bombardment of Gaza. Moreover, "Hamas' vulnerability is as much a strength as a weakness. Its surplus of population with a high incidence of unemployment is an asset in international politics. The deaths of women and children aid its cause. Hamas' pressure on civilians not to leave areas likely to be attacked, and even to assemble around Hamas' military assets work to achieve international support on the blood of its excess population. The strategy recalls Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal. The Irish should deal with hunger by eating their surplus of children. Swift was writing a parody, but Hamas is not kidding. They are using their kids as ammunition. The best answer to What does Hamaswant? is what it has been demanding all along: the opening of borders and the development of air and sea ports that will provide Hamasnot only with international recognition but with the economic potential to strengthen its hord on the population of Gaza. never be tolerated by university administrators if directed at other minority groups is perfectly acceptable when directed against Jews, and they experience this blatant double standard as yet another form of anti-Jewish bigotry. The vulnerability of Jewish students on U.S. campuses is further compounded by the unwillingness of the federal government to protect them from the hostile environment they are experiencing. Seth Galanter, the assistant secretary for civil rights who was responsible for disrfiissing several federal anti-discrimination complaints filed on behalf of Jewish students who were being severely harassed, intimidated, and bullied by their fellow students and faculty, has stated that the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights will not even consider complaints in which "offensive conduct [is] based on an individual's support for.., the policies of a particular nation." In other words, if Jewish students are being harassed because of their real or perceived identification with the Jewish state, no matter how severe the harassment-- even to the point of physical assault--they cannot count on protection under federal anti-discrimination law. In light of the alarming rise in global anti- Semitism and the unwillingness of university or government officials to protect Jewish stu- dents from campus-based anti-Semitic activ- ity, it is fair to say that when Jewish students return to school in the fall. they will be the single-most vulnerable students on campus. The Jewish community must act now. As university stakeholders--students, parents, alumni, donors, and taxpayers members of the Jewish community and their supporters have every right to use their influence as con- sumers and funders to demand that Jewish stu- dents are protected from the growing scourge of Jew-hatred on U.S. college campuses. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin is a lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and co-founder of the AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization that combats anti- Semitism on college campuses. Questions So far Hamas retains the military capacity to keep fighting, and waiting for international pressure to build on Israel to make those concessions, largely on the strength of dead children and screaming women. Involved here is a profound cultural barrier between Israel and Gazao suggested by Hamas exposing and even killing its own civilians, per- haps by intention;perhaps by poorly constructed missiles that do not fly out of Gaza. Israel, in contrast, distributes avideo show- ing children singing in the yard of their kinder- garten, then running to shelter in response to a siren, lying down and covering their heads. until the boom, most likely of Iron Dome destroying the incoming missile. Most perplexing to westerners, but under- standable in terms of Hamas' aims, is their violation of the cease fire they requested for the holiday of Eid al-Fitr. This provided all that was desired by Israeli political and military figures who had been salivating at the prospect of expanding the operation until the destruction of Hamas. From Hamas' perspective, the violation of the cease fire was likely to bring the IDF further'into Gaza, where Israeli troops would kill and destroy more, but also be exposed to prepared fortifications and the deadly tactics of Hamas fighters. Hamas' standing among Muslims adds to the puzzle and helps to understand its actions. Onthe one hand, it has been targeted by Egypt, on the outs with Saudi Arabia, is not all that close to Iran and Hezbollah, and forced to rely on Qatar and Turkey, both of which are invol~ed in serious animosity with the major Muslim players. Hamas status and tactics built on sacrificing civilians put it in the league with the barbarism of ISIS, taints them with the colors of Islamic extremists, and is too much for Egyptian and Saudi elites. In recent days Hamas has killed Gazans who dared express opposition to the continuation of the fighting. Sharkansky on page 15A