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August 11, 2017

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 11, 2017 PAGE 5A By Stephen M. Flatow When presidential adviser Jared Kushner said in a recent private discussion that "there may be no solution" to the conflict between the Palestin- ian Arabs and Israel, he was just stating the obvious. For nearly a century, self- appointedwise men have been claiming to have the solution, but every such proposal has proved to be a mirage. The British thought they had the solution in 1922, when they sectioned off the eastern part of Mandatory Palestine--78 percent of the original mandate territory-- and set up an Arab kingdom there, which came to be known as "Jordan." You'd think that giving the Pales- tinian Arabs 78 percent of the country would be enough to convince them to let the Jews have the remaining 22 percent. No such luck! England tried again 15 years later. The Peel Parti- tion Plan of 1937 proposed to divide up the remaining 22 percent of the country. The Arabs would get three- fourths of it. The British would keep Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The Jews' dwarf- state would consist of the Galilee and a thin strip of land running down the coast. Jewish leaders, desperate for a few grains of sand, were will- ing to negotiate on that basis. The Arabs, however, refused. In 1947, the United Nations came up with its own "solu- tion." Once again, the Arabs were offered the majority of the remaining territory. The Jews would be given a piece of the Galilee, part of the coast and a portion of the Negev. Such a Jewish state would have been militarily indefensible, not to mention incapable of absorbing large number of immigrants. But Jewish leaders, now desperate for anything in the wake of the Holocaust, accepted it. The Arabs, of course, rejected it. A bloody war followed. State Department officials Daniel Kurtzer and Dennis Ross came up with a new "solution" in 1989. They convinced outgoing president Ronald Reagan and incoming president George H.W. Bush that the solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict was for the U.S. to pretend that Yasser Arafat and the PLO wanted peace, and to negotiate with him. Bush had to withdraw U.S. recognition of Arafat 18 months later, when PLO ter- rorists were caught on their way to slaughter Israelis on the Tel Aviv beachfront and take hostages at the nearby American embassy. But Kurtzer and Ross revived their "solution" 12 years later--and managed to embarrass the next President Bush in the same way. They persuaded George W. Bush that Arafat, having signed the Oslo Accords, really wanted peace this time. But in Janu- ary 2002, Arafat was caught trying to smuggle in 50 tons of weapons on a ship called the Karine A. Now it was the other Bush's turn to declare that "the Palestinians must develop a new leadership, not tainted by support for terror." Like father, like son! The Palestinians didn't heed Bush's advice. Instead of developing a non-terrorist leadership, they made Arafat's number-two man, veteran terrorist Abu Mazen, whom we know as Mahmoud Abbas, their new leader. And--Was this so hard to predict?--he promptly continued Arafat's policies of glorifying ter- rorism, paying salaries to terrorists and encouraging terrorist attacks. So much for the Kurtzer-Ross "solution." Two desperate Israeli lead- Flatow on page 15A By Simone Rodan-Benzaquen PARIS--It took too long for the French people to recognize the Jewish victim of a brutal April 4 murder by name. After weeks of indif- ference by media outlets and politicians, French President Emmanuel Macron demanded publicly that the judiciary shed light on the nature of the crime. Significantly, Macron spoke of Sarah Halimi during the ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Vel d'Hiv, the roundup of more than 13,000 French Jews during the Holocaust in 1942. "Despite the denials of the murderer, our judiciary must bring total clarity around the death of Sarah Halimi," Macron said, adding that "we were silent, because we did not want to see." Halimi's face and bodywere fractured in multiple places. She had been afraid of her attacker and his sister's anti- Semitic insults for some time. Her assassin called her a"dirty whore" and"Sheitane" (Arabic for Satan), and recited verses from the Quran as he beat her severely, shouting"Allahu Akbar" (God is greater) before defenestrating her (throwing her out the window). All of France should have been shocked by this horror, and should have risen up ask- ing for truth and justice in support of this woman assas- sinated in her home simply be- cause she was Jewish. Instead, everyone buried their heads in the sand. The prosecutor still has not designated Halimi's murder as a premeditated anti-Semitic act. Once more, all those fighting for French society to stand up against anti-Semitic violence find themselves in the same position as the mythological hero Sisyphus, condemned for all eternity to perform the impossible task of pushing an immense boulder up a steep hill each day, only for it to roll back down as the sun sets. How many years have we implored French authorities and society to react to the rising number of anti-Semitic incidents? How many times have we heard attempts by the authorities to "relativize" the situation, to explain that there is no new anti-Semitism, that the rise in anti-Semitic acts is only hooliganism? In 2006, very few protested the kidnapping, 24-day tor- ture and assassination of Ilan Halimi. But notably, Nicolas Sarkozy, then France's interior minister, declared that the murder was an anti-Semitic crime. This affirmation set the stage for yet another battle over acknowledging the source of the new anti-Semitism. This meant accepting the fact that victims of racism could them- selves be racists. It also meant understand- ing that anti-Semitism does not only concern Jews, but rather all of French society-- that it is a virulent cancer. If left untreated, it can metas- tasize and destroy an entire society. Historically, in our liberal democracies, the safety of Jewish communities is an indicator of the level of health of the society as a whole. Other courageous voices joined. The Foundation for Political Innovation carried out a study together with the American Jewish Committee, pointing out that vehement anti-Semitism comes from three sectors of the popula- tion: a substantial portion of French Muslims, the extreme left and the extreme right. Former Prime Minister Man- uel Valls famously stated that "France without Jews would no longer be France," and emphasized this inconvenient truth: "Yes, anti-Zionism has become in many parts of French society a screen that hides a visceral anti-Semi- tism." DILCRAH--a minis- terial delegation opposing racism, anti-Semitism and anti-LGBT hate--proposed a plan to fight this scourge, and the plan was adopted by France's government. Then how is it possible that after the murder of Ilan Halimi in 2006, the murder of three Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi in Toulouse in 2012, and the terrorist attack on the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in 2015, France has relapsed into denial by refusing to acknowledge the reality of anti-Semitic vio- lence when it comes to the murder of Sarah Halimi? Maybe itwas our fault, as we Jews did not want to be seen as constantly complaining. Maybe the Jewish community was unwilling to believe that in 2017, it is still possible that an elderly lady would be beaten and defenestrated just because she is Jewish. By recalling her name at the ceremony commemorating the Holocaust-era roundup of French Jews, and by demand- ing justice for Sarah Halimi, President Macron has broken down the wall of indifference that surrounded this drama, and has stood up for all of us, for all of France. With these words he has, in his own way, advanced the boulder of Sisyphus. Let us keep the boulder from rolling back down, by re- fusing to accept the continued impunity of those who spew the poison of anti-Semitism in our country. Simone Rodan-Benzaquen is director of the American Jewish Committee's Paris- based Europe branch. By Jonathan S. Tobin The last two weeks was not a good time to be prime minister of Israel. A series of unfortunate events led Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make decisions that wound up be- ing blasted from both the left and the right. Those decisions were, at best, debatable. But the resulting tsunami of disparagement that accused him of simultaneously being intransigent and a weakling may tell us more about the nature of the conflict between Israel and its enemies than it does about his shortcom- ings. Though he deserves criticism, the most important conclusion to be drawn from the Temple Mount crisis is that, much as Netanyahu has told us for years, his nation's security dilemma may be managed--but it cannot be solved. In such a situation, the options available to any Israeli leader will always range from bad to worse. The latest proof of this dismal fact was a series of events set in motion by a July 14 terrorist attack near Jerusalem's Temple Mount that killed two Israeli police- men. When Israel installed metal detectors to try and prevent another such atrocity, Palestinians and Muslims re- sponded with outrage at what they considered an affront to their faith. Though it requires a staggering amount of cogni- tive dissonance to construe a security measure as an attack, that is exactly what they did. What followed was more vio- lence, including a Palestinian terrorist's slaughter of a Jew- ish family in Halamish, and then an attack on the Israeli embassy in Amman, Jordan. Up until the attack in Jor- dan, Netanyahu resisted calls to end the trouble by removing the new security measures. But when an Israeli embassy guard, who had been wounded before shooting his assailant and a bystander, was told he would not be able to leave Jordan without being first put on trial for killing the terror- ist, Netanyahu was put in an impossible position. Jordan's King Abdullah was willing to sacrifice the guard in order to appease his Palestinian Arab subjects. Netanyahu couldn't let that happen. But the price for the guard's freedom was the removal of the Temple Mount detectors. It's arguable that install- ing the detectors in the first place was a bad idea. Officials knew the Palestinians would seize on any pretext to claim the status quo on the Temple Mount--which gives the Is- lamic Waqf control of the site and forbids Jews from praying at the holiest place in Juda- ism-was being changed. But it's also arguable that doing nothing would have been equally irresponsible. Once the detectors were in place, removing them would not only reward the terror- ists--it would demonstrate that Palestinian mobs were in charge. That would be a blow to Israeli sovereignty and an undeserved triumph to Pal- estinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who like his predecessors, has done so much to cynically stoke the fires of religious warfare with lies about the Jews attacking the AI-Aqsa mosque. Anyone who has followed Netanyahu's career knewwhat the answer would be. Just as he has done in the past when Israelis were held hostage by their foes--such as the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit by Hamas--the prime minister paid the ransom. In this case, his surrender didn't lead to the freeing of terrorists with blood on their hands. But by agreeing to a deal in which the guard would be allowed to leave Jordan in return for taking down the detectors, Netanyahu ensured future outrages. The prime minister is a student of history and knows that far from ending the trouble, appeasementwill only make it more certain that further demands and violence aimed at chasing the Jews out of their holy places will follow. But had he let the Jordanians put the guard on trial, he would have been at- tacked--with equal justice-- for leaving an Israeli behind in the hands of hostile foes. The Israeli public thinks his decision is a defeat, with the prime minister's right- wing supporters calling him a weakling and his left-wing opponents damning him for provoking the controversy. Yet it's not clear that any of the alternatives Netanyahu could have chosen would have avoided more trouble or ended the problem without damag- ing Israel's interests. In other words, he had no good options available to him. Aconflict rooted in religious rhetoric cannot be solved by a territorial compromise or more goodwill. For the foresee- able future, as Netanyahu has asserted, it can be managed but not solved. That means Israel's leader--no matter what his or her name might be--is fated to make more such unpopular and unsatisfactory decisions. This means that Netanyahu may have been wrong this time. But it's not likely that anyone else would have done better. Jonathan S. Tobin is opin- ion editor of and a contributing writer for National Review. Follow him on Twitter at: @jona- thans_tobin. News Stem: Ma or Palestinian leader to have a lung transplant in an Israeli hospital. TO SAVE LIVe;