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August 9, 2013

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 9, 2013 PAGE 5A By Gary Rosenblatt New York Jewish Week Anti-Semitism in Europe, often inche guise now of anti- Israel rhetoric and actions, has become too big a problem to ignore or rationalize away. And it is taking place on two levels: as official policy, and within societies where, ac- cording to recent polls, Israel is considered the most danger- ous nation in the world, more of a threat to world peace even than Iran or North Korea. But getting the word out about this deeply disturbing trend has not been easy. The latest European Union attempt, in advance of Mid- east peace talks, to, in effect, determine Israel's borders as those of pre~June 1967. under- scores the views of national leaders in the sophisticated capitals of the 28 countries making up the EU. Their new guidelines banning support for projects beyond the Green Line indicate that the EU does not recognize the West Bank. Golan Heights or east Jerusa- lem including the Western Wall as being part of Israel. Defenders of the move say it is a reflection of Europe's frus- trationwith Israel for the lack of progress in dealing with the Palestinians, and specifically with the conti nued growth of Jewish settlements. Critics of the EU action say it only adds to Israel's reluctance to trust the international community in peace efforts, and fails to distinguish between areas that clearly will remain part of Israel inany future deal and those that will not. Is the EU, for example, insisting Israel "give back" the Golan Heights to Bashar Assad in the midst of a civil war that is turning . Syria into a failed state? (The EU itself has called for Assad's removal; to whom, then, should Israel cede the Golan?) Further, how can the EU maintain its seemingly ob- jective role in advancing the Mideast peace process as part of The Quartet (along with the United Nations. United States and-Russia) if it has "alreadydetermined that Israel should revert to what legend- ary Israeli diplomat Abba Eban famously called "the Auschwitz borders" of 1949? To be clear, the EU repre- sents I rael's major trading partner, and its member states call for a two-state solution and insist on their support for Israel. But many of those states are guilty of what Manfred Gerstenfeld, an Austrian-born Israeli- economist and author, calls the double standard of "hu- manitarian racism," which he describes as "attributing intrinsically reduced respon- sibility to people of certain ethnic or national groups regarding their criminal acts and intentions." In this case. he asserts, "Israelis are blamed for what- ever measures they take to defend themselves" while "Palestinian responsibility for suicide bombers, murderous missile attacks, glorification of murderers of civilians, and promoting genocide, is reduced, at best." Gerstenfeld, former chair of the Jerusalem Center for Pub- lic Affairs, points out that"to- tally irrational" views about Israel go unquestioned, like accusing Jerusalem of seeking to eradicate Palestinians when in fact Israeli medical facilities treatArab and Jewish patients with equal care. He has a new book out en- titled"Demonizing Israel and the Jews," made up of a series of 57 interviews with academ- ics, politicians, journalists and others in Europe, America and Israel who offer testimony of a variety of factors con- tributing to negative views among Europeans about Iews and Israel. Those influ- ences range from traditional European anti-Semitism and guilt over Europe's role in the Holocaust, to sympathy for the Palestinians and the influ- ence of Muslim immigrants in European countries. "There is no one single frontal attack" against Jews or Israel, he says, but rather "a thousand little.cuts." like statements from European political leaders that single o ut Israel among other na- tions for alleged wrongdoing, or praising the U.S. for killing Osama bin Ladefl while criti- cizing Israel for eliminating terrorist leaders of llamas and Hezbollah. Gerstenfeld cites sev- eral polls that find about 40 percent of Europeans over the age of 16 harbor anti- Israel, if not anti-Semitic, feelings, agreeing that Is- rael is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians. That comes out to about 150 million European citizens who feel Israel has genocidal inten- tions, he says. According to Gerstenfeld, whereas"absolute evil" in me- Rosenblatt on page 19A By Andrew Silow-Carroll New Jersey Jewish News In the museum attached to Anne l rank House in Amster- dam. there is an exhibit called "Free2Choose."" Videos pose various scenarios: Should YouTube ban Holocaust de- nial? Should public schools allow Muslim girls to wear head scarves? The visitors are asked to vote, and the tallies are projected on a screen. "There are many lessons to be learned from the past." the museum guidebookexplains. "The fate of Anne Frank. as well as the millions of other victims of the Nazis. shows that violating human rights can have far-reaching effects." But there is something hugely unsatisfying about the exercise. Each of the scenarios presents what we call First Amendment dilem- mas-freedom of speech, religious expression, censor- ship. But Nazism wasn't just creeping infringementon civi! liberties--it was a wholesale assault on the existence of its victims, Nazism isn't a "dilemma," but an obscenity. While the exhibit is a good civics lesson, it is an unfair use of Anne's story. But that is the fate of The Diary of a Young Girl. whose message and lessons have been debated ever since it came to wide public atten- tion in the 1950s. I visited Anne Frank House for the first time last month, and in preparation I read Francine Prose's indispensable book. Anne Frz nk: The Book, The Life. The Afterlife. Prose lays out the controversies sur- rounding the book, its uses and misuses. At one end of the spectrum is the Broadway play and movie, and the optimistic Anne who believes. "in spite of everything; that people are truly good at heart." At the other end is Cynthia Ozick. who rails against those who have "falsified. kitschified and in fact, blatantly denied" tl e truth of the diary: that its young author was sent to a fate that "blotted out the possibility of courage." The Anne Frank Foundation has been criticized for its uni- versalist agenda, although, counters Prose. "It has yet to be explained to me how the existence of a human rights foundation denies and negates the suffering of Anne Frank and so many others." I tried to lay these debates aside as I followed the long line of visitors through the carefully preserved rooms at 263 Prinsengracht, the four- story headquarters of Otto Frank's jam-making company on one of Amsterdam's pretti- est canals. The exhibit is de- signed to move people quickly through the rooms and up the "leg-breaking" (Anne's term) staircases that lead to the hiding place. The climb is a reverse metaphor--you ascend into hell., The hinged bookcase that hid the annex is a shocking sight. Early in the diary, Anne writes about having to duck to keep from "banging our heads against the low doorway." You have no choice but to reenact this a physical gesture as electric as kissing the Kotel. At Otto's request the rooms are empty of furniture. But the carefully curated objects on display are all the more power- ful as a result: the movie stills and postcards Anne pasted on the walls of her room. the pencil marks showing Anne and Margot's growth during their time in hiding. The attic is off limits, but you can peek up to where a mirror reflects what Anne and the others would have seen from the small windows. minus the chestnut tree that succumbed to disease a few years ago. A glass tunnel connects the hiding place to the museum complex next door x here, un- like the diary itself, the story continues. A video features Hanneli Goslar's chilling ac- Carroll on page 19A By Sherwin Pomerantz Sunday's vote by Israel's Cabinet to approve the release of 104 Palestinian terrorists with blood on their hands may have been the right move in the context of the re-started peace talks, but definitely at the wrong time. As a business person I enter into negotiations with prospective clients all the time in an effort to craft an agree- ment that addresses the needs of both of us: the client's need to have work done to his/her satisfaction and our need to be properly compensated for the workwe do. Butwe never enter into a negotiation by saying to the other party, "Don't worry, whatever we agree upon at the end of the day we will give you an additional 10 percent off the final price." That would just be a stupid and irresponsible tactic that simply setsothe wrong tone for the negotiation from the "get go." And yet, this is exactly what Israel is asked to do time and time again and. sadly, towhich we also agree time and time again. The demand by the Pal- estinians that we release long-held prisoners is part of a long list of demands that are made every time we speak about returning to the negotiating table. These also include negotiations based on the 1967 borders, a cessation of building in communities over the Green Line. as well as a relaxation of checkpoints which we operate in the inter- est of our own security but which they see as blocking Letters To The HERITAGE welcomes and encourages let- ters to the editor, but they must be typed or primed and include 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-mailto Why publish anti-Israel news? Dear editor: I was quite disappointedto read the article "Countering anti-Semitism in the month of Ramadan" written by Rashad Hussain. Although Mr. Hussain has impressive credentials as an individual, the organization to which he is the United States' envoy certainly does not. A little research into the background of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation would reveal their free movement. Butwhy do we need to continue ac- ceding to these demands as a pre-condition to negotiation? It just does not make sense. _ What we could have done. and which would have been more palatable to. the great bulk of us who want to believe in peace but are justifiably wary of the longterm inten- tions of the other side, is to agree to the release in prin- ciple dependent on the con- clusion of an agreement. We understand the d.emand and clearly are willing to release these 104 people in the frame.- workofsome peace agreement and a cessation of the conflict. but not as a goodwill gesture before the talks even begin. We have already made enough goodwill gestures that have gotten us nowhere. this. For starters, in their pub- lications, any and all actions taken by the State of Israel in retribution to attacks on the Israeli citizens are labeled as "terrorist actions." Secondly, in the area of human rights: this organization supports the elimination of all human rights as we know them in Western culture because they in direct conflict with Sharia law (Islamic Law) This organization is also the largest collection of international states second only t.o the United Nations. The OIC represents 57 Muslim countries. Why the U.S. is supportive of such an organization that Now some will say, well, we had no choice because the pressure from the U.S. was too intense and in the face of growing isolation from the EU we had to do this. Yet, those same elements that pressure us exert no pressure on the other side. Witness the statement made by Palestinian President Abbas in a briefing to Egyptian jourflalists in Cairo: "In a final solution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli civilian or soldier-- on our lands." So much for a quid-pro-quo in response to the vote of Israel's Cabinet to authorize the release of those 104 prisoners. We know. all too well. as does Abbas (whose doctoral dissertation was a treatise on Holocaust denial l what the words "final is so diametrically opposed to U.S. policies is beyond me. Why the Heritage Florida Jew- ish News continues to publish articles written by Muslims, articles that are anti-Israel, articles that support the Palestinian perspective is a legitimate question that deserves an answer. There is certainly no lack of articles, news agencies, and informa- tion that support Israel, that are truthful about the Pales- tinians and not anti-Israel. These are what needs to be published, not articles by Rashad Hussain and Linda Gradstein Laurence Morrell Maitland solution" conveys and we dare not be lulled into a false sense of security once again. Israel's Cabinet led by our prime m]mster made a tactical error in agreeing to the release in advance of the talks. The fact that our most important ally in the world was clearly the catalyst that made this happen should give us all cause for concern. Carol Frohlinger of Ne- gotiating Women Inc., often remarks: "Don't bargain your- self down before you get to the" table." Too bad our leadership has not learned that as well. Sherwin Pomerantz is a 30 year resident of Israel president of Atid EDI Ltd., an economic development consulting firm and a past national president of the Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel. EITHER THE GOV'T IF ... OR ELSE IT'S SO OUT OF TOUCH PART OF A SECRET THAT THEY 00N " AC EEME THAT REALIZE WHAT REALLY EI S THE THEY'VE- O01 E COI LICT// POLITICALCARTOONS.COM DRYBONES.COM I OOIT TO BEL VE THE I:IRST,