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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 11, 2017 By Ben Cohen weapons--not a strategy, to be sure, nor even JNS,org that meaningful in a military sense, but at least a signal of a moral opprobrium that was As much as President Donald Trump enjoys conspicuously absent from the former Obama taking a metaphorical sledgehammer to even administration. the merest of slights against him, there is no Then, this week, there was the placing of reason to repeat the commander-in-chief's sanctions on Venezuela's criminal dictator behavior in judging his administration. Nicolas Maduro, who has lost all legitimacy That there is so much darkness around by usurping the democratically elected Na- Trump, his character and his intentions tional Assembly and replacing it with a crony should not obscure the occasional rays of "constituent assembly." Again, the sanctions light emanating from his administration. In on Maduro could have been tougher, but their foreign policy, one can list a few achievements very existence is a far cry from Obama's belief on this score. There was the appointment of that Maduro should be negotiated with--"We Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United don't want to do more sanctions," he told a Nations. In a few short months, she has done contact of mine in the Venezuelan opposition sterling work in confronting U.N. bias against in 2013--rather than isolated and removed Israel; exposing the various threats posed by from power. Iran, North Korea and Russia; and shining a But none of this really tells us a great deal light on the forgotten civilian victims of con- about how Trump thinks the world should be flicts from Africa to the Middle East. organized--assuming he thinks about that There was the U.S. airstrike on the Syrian subject at all. Does he agree, for example, that regime in response to its use of chemical the State Department should remove"democ- g the disrupts a safe for n fl g By Eliana Rudee The camp administration admitted that JNS,org the flag "was met with uncertainty by some campers and staff, especially the Israelis," As a child, I spent my summers at Camp and said the flag was taken down for Shabbat Solomon Schechter, a Conservative Jewish "since there is no peace and also to relieve camp in Tumwater, Wash., set on the shores of the sadness and anger that some feel by the Lake Joshua Stampfer. My experiences at Camp site of the flag." Schechter were central to the development of "We have not altered any part of camp; we my Jewish identity and eventual decision to remain unabashedly pro-Israel, and we are immigrate to Israel. celebrating Israel alongside our new friends," Each day began at "the flagpole." Kicking maintained the administration, which later off every morning, hundreds of sleepy-eyed sent out an apology for its "lapse in judgment." campers and counselors from all around the From my vantage point as a Schechter Pacific Northwest strolled to the flagpoles, alumna-turned-Israeli, I can tell you that wherewewouldcircleuparoundtheAmerican, raising a Palestinian flag is a politically and Canadian and Israeli flags. Just as everyone emotionally charged act, especially forvisiting circled up, the Israeli "scouts" (young Israeli Israeli counselors who have vivid memories of counselors) would lead us in a morning song. war and Palestinian terrorism. In the latest "Bo-bo-bo-boker tov!" they sang, meaning majorattack, aPalestinianterroristbrokeinto "Good morning!" in Hebrew. a home in Halamish and killed three members Additional Hebrew songs, theAmerican and of a Jewish family thatwas celebrating Shabbat. Canadian national anthems, and of course, For Israelis, the Palestinian flag evokes a the Israeli national anthem"Hatikvah" would denial of the call in "Hatikvah" for the Jew- follow, ish people to be a free in the land of Israel, as Camp Schechter was founded on Zionist the Palestinian Authority government that principles and served as a safe haven to build represents the flag incites and pays terrorists Jewish community for many campers who who take that denial into their own hands. might be the only Jews in their schools and The camp's move must also be viewed hometowns, within the broader context of the way in Buttomydismay, thissafehavenwasshaken which American Jewry is headed--namely, last weekwhen the Palestinian flag was raised indifference and even a growing hostility to- over the campgrounds. I can only imagine the ward Israel. Many Jews, especially in younger outrage among my thousands of fellow Camp generations, distance themselves from Israel Schechter alumni, because they fear being associated with nega- First reported by The Mike Report, a blog tive narratives about Israel, Zionism and too that focuses on Jewish news in the Pacific often, the Jewish people. By rejecting Israel or Northwest, CampSchechterwelcomedagroup Judaism, they conform to gain acceptance in of Palestinian Muslims and Christians from liberal circles--thisphenomenon is especially a group called Kids4Peace to join the Jewish prevalent in liberal communities in the Pacific campers for the beginning of a new session. Northwest. Therefore, we have an evengreater Like the overwhelming majority of Schech- responsibility to strengthen Jewish identity ter alumni, I welcome the idea of dialogue and and unapologetic pride in our own backyard. friendship, especiallywith Palestinian children I can only hope that the benefit of interfaith andyoung adults. But for Israelis, this flag em- dialoguewas not lost because of the Palestinian bodies hatred and violence toward Israelis and flag incident. As an alumna, I pray that Camp Jews, and without warning or authorization Solomon Schechter remains the same camp from campers, staffers and parents, raising it that shaped my Jewish identity and made me was beyond insensitive, the unabashed Jew that I am today, living in After an avalanche of complaints, the the state of Israel. Schechter administration sent outan email ex- Eliana Rudee is a fellow with the news and plainingthattheflagwasraisedina"teachable public policy group Haym Salomon Center. moment" as a sign of friendship, empathy and Her bylines have been featured in USA Today, acceptancetowardtheKids4Peacedelegation. New York Daily News, Forbes and The Hill. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. I CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 45 Press Awards EWISH NEWS HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 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 changes 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 emaih news@orlandoheritage.com Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene Starn Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza Society Editor Office Manager Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Kim Fischer Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky David Bornstein Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore racy promotion" from its mission statement, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is rumored to want to do? Just going by his various state- ments on Syria's Assad regime--running the spectrum from potential ally against Islamic State to the embodiment of the evil humans are capable of--one realizes that Trump could go either way. But one should also realize that as long as Trump remains ambiguous on the serial violations of tyrants, those same tyrants will interpret his lack of clarity as acquiescence, and push the envelope even more. This, in fact, is what men like Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia's President Vladimir Putin are already doing--and with gusto. On two critical fronts, North Korea and Iran--both fine examples of the dictum that war chooses you, and not the other way around--Trump is severely, even dangerously, wanting. North Korea now presents a credible nuclear threat to the continental U.S.--the culminating moment of the regime's"Songun" ideology that puts North Korea's military prowess before anything else, including the empty stomachs of thousands of ordinary North Koreans. If Trump is seriously consider- ing using the military option against North Korea, as some congressional Republicans are suggesting, then we can only guess whether he will make the case for conflict to a worried American public, or whether he will announce any attack on Twitter, in order to retain the element of surprise. This lack of systematic thinking, against the backdrop of the bitter factional divides Trump cultivates among his staff, is even more pronounced when it comes to dealing with Iran. As the result of a July 7 agreement between the U.S. and Russia creating four "de-escalation zones" in Syria, Iran and its Letter from Israel By Ira Sharkansky It's not yet clear that the commotions sur- rounding the Temple Mount and the incident in Amman are behind us. An optimist's view is that two weeks of demonstrations, nastiness from the pinnacle of the Jordanian government as well as the Palestine National Authority, a few deaths and perhaps a couple of hundred injuries were nothing more than blips on a troubled history, now seemingly back towhat's been the normal range of manageable tensions. Those few days also invite some comparisons with minorities elsewhere, and especially African Americans. The histories of African Americans and Arabs living under the dominance of Israel differ in important details. Israeli Arabs and Palestinians have resisted comparison with Af- ricanAmericans, occasionallywith comments that have a taste of racism. The comparison is also confused by the role of Islam in the Middle East. With all the reservations that are appro- priate, it appears that Israeli relations with its minority and nearby Palestinians aren't all that different from what prevails in the country that labels itself the leading example of a pluralistic democracy. Both clusters of minorities are diverse. The most recent 60 years of African Ameri- can history have witnessed significant prog- ress under the headings of integration and affirmative action. Not only has one African American family reached the White House, but there are numerous African Americans in the upper levels of the economy and society. Yet there remains a substantial black underclass, with hopeless lives in ghettos, violence, drugs, families without fathers, and incarceration. Thomas Hobbes' comment about life being nasty, brutish, and short may have come from his knowledge about the lesser places in 17th century Britain, but it is also appropriate for inner city neighborhoods of the United States. Israeli Arabs and Palestinians are divided by differences in support, tolerance, or fierce opposition to anything identified with Israel and Jews, as well as being divided ethnically/ culturally/religiously into the clusters of Druze, Muslims, Christian, and Bedouin. Each of those groups are largely or almost completely separate in their choice of mar- riage partners, as well as tending to reside in their own villages or neighborhoods. There proxies are becoming even more entrenched on Syrian territory with the full consent of the Russians, who have several-thousand troops on the ground there as well. Israel is furious with Trump for reaching an agreement that now presents a danger even more immediate than the Iranian nuclear program. One Israeli official put it starkly in an interview with A1- Monitor: "This is not just some disagreement. This is a real clash, pitting Israel against Rus- sia and the United States. It reflects Israel's conspicuous disappointment with the way that the Americans let Putin outmaneuver them, leading to the sellout of Israeli interests in the Golan Heights and Lebanon versus the Shi'ite axis." On this point, Trump needs to make clear to the Israelis that they will enjoy the full~ unqualified support of the U.S. in the event of any confrontations with Russia as they carry out their mission to interdict Iranian weapons shipments. Trump should also tell Putin that the U.S. wants the Iranians and their proxies out of Syria, not least because groups like Hezbollah represent a threat as barbaric and potentially more deadly than Islamic State. It is true that in these long, humid summer days, dominated as they are by the internal antics of the White House, such global dangers seem remote, with nobody wanting to believe that the worst-case scenarios are possible. But this is one reason why we trust our elected leaders to protect the national interest--and why, when they fail to deliver, we tend to find out only once it's too late to matter. Ben Cohen writes a weekly column for JNS. org on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern poli- tics. His writings have been published in Com- mentary, the New York Post, Haaretz, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications. are further distinctions between Palestinians of the West Bank and those of Gaza, between those two and Israeli Arabs, with the Arabs of East Jerusalem having their own history and distinctive traits. Both African Americans and Israeli Arabs/ Palestinians are significantly more violent than majority White or Jewish communities. Most, but not all of the violence is internal, i.e., black on Black or Arab on Arab. The threat of violence from minority to dominant populations is similar. The annual incidence of Blacks killing Whites in the US is about the same as the annual incidence of Israeli deaths attributed to Arab/Palestinian terror. Calculations come from FBI reports on murder in the US and Israeli statistics on deaths from terror, both calculated as percentages of total populations. African Americans and Israeli Arabs claim to suffer from discrimination and relative deprivation. Generalized measures of their social condi- tions are family incomes and longevity (life expectancy) relative to majority populations. While the statistics available differ from one country to another, they indicate that African American and Israeli Arab family incomes are about 60 percent of White and Jewish family incomes. On life expectancy, minori- ties do not live as long, and arguably are less healthy than majority populations. However, Israeli Arabs do relatively better than African Americans relative to majority populations, with Arab females living even longer than White American females. Among the distinctive traits in Israeli Arab and Palestinian families are killings for the sake of honor. The victims include young girls caught looking at the wrong young man, as well as girls and women suspected of more overt sexual misdeeds. Along with being out- side western norms, the practice frees Arabs from one of the problems of African American society, i.e., many children without fathers who begin life with dire chances. Israeli sta- tistics show a number of never married Jewish women with children, but no such women in the Arab sector. Both societies have been marked by occa- sional minority uprisings. Black destruction of property in their ghettos is not all that different from what the Israeli military has Sharkansky on page 15A