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August 24, 2018

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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 24, 2018 By Marc Dollinger Klan. Jews, committed to the mandates of prophetic Judaism, reached across the divide SAN FRANCISCO (JTA)--In a dramatic and leveraged their religious ideals to demon- scene, word reaches local officials that the stratetheequalityofallAmericans, regardless leader of a militant black organization com- of racial status. ing to town is intent on stirring up trouble. In the civil rights movement that predated An undercover operation ensues when an the events of the film, Jews comprised a ma- African-American attends the event, taking jority of white volunteers and offered gener- copious notes and reporting his findings back ous funding to the Rev. Martin Luther King to his Jewish colleague. Jr. and his allies. Most contemporary news In this moment, it seems, the black-Jewish reports and even historical accounts offered relationship stood strong. Racists and bigots, this idealistic and filiopietistic analysis. The no matter what side of the racial or religion black-Jewish story line of"BlacKkKlansman" divide, will face blacks and Jews working to- offers a needed challenge to that simplistic gether in pursuit of justice, historical understanding. It sounds like an early scene from Spike Lee's Even as Lee and script writers David Rabi- "BlacKkKlansman," when African-American nowitz, Charlie Wachtel and Kevin Willmott detective Ron Stallworth (played by John treattheJewishdetectivesympathetically, they David Washington) surveils a speech by Black are careful not to fall into the trap, so prevalent Power founder Stokely Carmichael. Instead, it's in much of the historical literature, of moving the true story of a 1959 speech by Nation of white Jews into the center of what was a move- Islam leader Elijah Muhammad at a mosque ment created and led by African-Americans. in Newark, New Jersey. Instead, Stallworth enjoys agency. He is the Years before the events in the movie, in onewhofindsanadinthelocalpaperadvertis- which a black detective and his Jewish part- ing a meeting of the KKK. Despite the racism ner go undercover to infiltrate the Ku Klux within his police department and in the corn- Klan, the American Jewish Committee joined munity at large, he launches an investigation, with African-American civil rights leaders to determining its course throughout the film investigate the threat posed by Muhammad In a break from the classic interracial motif and his call for black militancy. Even as Jewish of more-powerful Jews helping less-powerful leaders concluded that Muhammad's speech blacks, "BlacKkKlansman" places Jewish de- proved more anti-white than anti-Semitic, tectiveZimmerman, aswellastheotherwhite the episode painted a picture of black-Jewish police officers in his unit, in supporting roles. cooperation that anticipated the partnership Stallworth, acknowlecging white privilege as between Stallworth, Colorado Springs' first he impersonates Zimmerman's voice in tele- blackpoliceofficer, andthedetectivewhointhe phone calls with the KKK, lobbies his Jewish film is called Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver). colleague to impersonate him in face-to-face On the surface, Lee presents a classic tale of meetings with Klansmen. black-Jewish cooperation. In this understand- By redefining the black-Jewish relationship ing of interracial relations, two historically in this more Afrocentric way, Lee corrects a oppressed groups joined forces to confront historical literature that all too often margin- the racism and anti-Semitism of the Ku Klux alized African-Americans in their own social By Jonathan S. Tobin tion and Security Agency at U.S. airports are as likely to single out an elderly grandmother (JNS)--When security breaches threaten or a motherwith ababy for special scrutiny as airports, there's not much doubt about who anyone else, the Israelis focus their attention is usually called in to deal with the situation, on the types of people who are more likely Israel's prowess in dealing with threats to its to be terrorists. borders, and especially its air-transportation Israelis ask pointed questions of all visitors system, is legendary, to the country to ensure that they are who What makes their methods so reliable? they say they are. Inevitably, that also means Leaving aside the reputation for tough- they single out people based on ethnicity and ness, smarts and facial-analysis techniques age--to take just two of the most prominent that the Jewish state's security services have indicators of possible trouble--for question- cultivated both inside airports and during ing or searches. In practice, that means that covert operations, it's actually something that younger maleswho are Palestinian Arabs and/ doesn't require much derring-do: a willing- or Muslims are a lot more likely to get the ness to be politically incorrect,third degree from Israeli security personnel In stark contrast to methods used in the than that proverbial harmless grandmother United States, the Israelis practicewhatAmer- or nursing mother. icans call racial profiling without apology. That strikes some as unfair. But Israel's Which is why the current dustup about results, especially when compared to that of the questioning that liberal American Jewish other security services that don't follow the writer Peter Beinart gotwhen entering Israel same procedures, are outstanding. recently made no sense. That said, however Palestinian terrorists continue to strike foolish the questioning of groups and indi- whenever they can at vulnerable Israeli viduals critical of the Jewish state may be, it targets. But Israel's transportation system, shouldn't, as Beinart clearly intends, cause which is normally the weak point in any Israel to re-examine its approach to security, nation's defenses, remains secure. That's In this context, racial profiling means because trained security people have learned security personnel are trained to look for the how to spot problems and are unashamed types of people and behavior that raise red flags. While personnel from the Transporta- Tobin on page 11A rilE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 46 Press Awards JEWISH 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 I01, 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 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 Mel Pearlman David Bornstein Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore justice movement. He takes an approach similar to "Selma" director Ava DuVernay, who was unfairly criticized by many Jewishviewers when she did not include an iconic image of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel in her movie. Lee and his team go a step further in rebal- ancing the black-Jewish relationship by show- ing the ways that Stallworth inspired his Jewish colleague to strengthen his own religious identity. When Zimmerman downplays his Star of David necklace, remarking that he did not identify strongly as a Jew, Stallworth pushes back. And when he asks, "Why you acting like you ain't got skin in the game?," Zimmerman realizes that his Jewishness matters. Later in the film, he faces virulent anti-Semitism from members of the KKK when he is told to take a "Jew lie detector test" and to lower his pants to see if he had been circumcised. Zimmerman's heritage mattered; it took his African-American colleague to wake him up from his Jewish slumber. My own research has shown how, taking their cues from the Black Power movement, young Jews were indeed inspired to seek a more serious engagement with their ethno-religious identity. The deepest evidence of this film's invest- ment in exploring black-Jewish relations comes from the surprising fact that the real detective Zimmerman was not Jewish. Lee and the creative forces who wrote and produced the film, including "Get Out" director Jordan Peele, took license to frame this story in black- By "/israel Medad (JNS)--There is two-stage subversion proj- ect at work against Israel and its Zionist-base ideology. The first stage seeks to cozy up, in a sense, and to equalize, falsely, two movements: Zionism and Palestinianism. If we are "equal," then we are the "same." Here is a first-stage formulation: you [Israel] will never be free until the Palestinians are That has an emotional as well as philo- sophical/moral message. "We" are just like "you." And for "you" to be really "you," "we must be "we." If that reads a bit confused, that is the point. Who among our younger generation of students and young adults will not be taken by that phraseology? The second stage, pushed after they have confounded and weakened the support for Israel and Zionism, is the type of "freedom/ liberation" they intend to achieve? Having unmoored their target audience from Jewish history, our religion and eth- nic community national identity and the chronicles of the Jewish connection with Eretz-Yisrael (the Land of Israel) they move in for the kill, literally. They are talking about eliminationism. This is the prologue from the National Committee for the Heads of the Arab Local Authorities in Israel's recent "The Future Vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel." We are the Palestinian Arabs in Israel, the indigenous peoples, the residents of the States [sic! we don't have two states yet] of Israel, and an integral part of the Palestinian People and the Arab and Muslim and human Nation. It continues: Israel is the outcome of a settlement process initiated by the Zionist-Jewish elite in Europe and the west and realized by Colonial countries contributing to it and by promoting Jewish immigration to Palestine, in light of the results of the Second World War and the Holocaust. Are they truly "indigenous"? Where else are there "Palestinian people"? Or are those the "refugees" from 1948? How many "nations" are there? Arab, Muslim and human? Isn't all that, though, an echo of the Pales- tine National Covenant? Article 1: Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Pal- estinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation. Article 2: Palestine, with the boundaries it had dur- ing the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit. To highlight how they first establish "equal- ity" between Zionist and Palestinian, ask Jewish terms. With this decision, they offer a 21st-century re-creation of the postwar civil rights alliance. "BlacKkKlansman" teaches us that in a nation so fraught with racism and anti- Semitism, blacks and Jews offered a model of cooperation built on equity and respect between communities. In a riveting conclusion--I won't detail it here for those who have yet to see the film--Le e connects the history of white supremacy and the KKK to the contemporary political cli- mate. With heart-wrenching cinematic detail, viewers are left to wonder how much progress has been achieved since the emancipation of African-Americans in the mid-19th century. Yet in his crafting of a renewed black-Jewish relationship that demonstrates the ways in which Jews learned, grew and benefited from their interactions with blacks, Lee offers a model of hope. With this reframe, we have a vision for blacks and Jews, as well as for other communities, to rally once again. Marc Dollinger holds the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility at San Francisco State University and is author, most recently, of "Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing The Alliance In The 1960s." The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JTA or its par- ent company, 70 Faces Media. yourselves if you could imagine the Knesset adding to that Jewish Nationality Bill this, from that Palestinian Covenant (original wording crossed out): Article 7: Jews Non-Jews Land of Israel origin are considered Patestinians Is- raelis if they are willing to live peacefully and loyally in Palestine Israel. What is prohibited to we Jews/Zionists--and labeled imperialist, colonialist, etc.--is quite permitted to the Arabs-called-Palestinians. That the Arabs in the seventh century were imperialists, colonialists, and yes, even oc- cupiers, is ignored. And therein lies the deadly trap. First, they attack ideologically. Then they present a false history and reality. And after that, they make their seemingly logical de- mands, which are but a repeat of the Mufti and Arafat's denial and destruction program. Another declaration of national essence of the Arabs of Israel, the "Haifa Document," refers to their "identity truncated into a misshapen 'Israeli Arab' one." Composed by so-called elite intellectuals, they cannot break free from a century-old misreading of Jewish national identity as well as a corruption of the historical record: Towards the end of the 19th century, the Zionist movement initiated its colonial-settler project in Palestine. Subsequently, in concert with world imperialism and with the collusion of the Arab reactionary powers, it succeeded in carrying out its project, which aimed at occupying our homeland and transforming it into a state for the Jews. They, too, engage in revolutionary progres- sive language, writing of an "historic reconciliation" that requires Israel to recognize the historical injustice that it committed against the Palestinian people through its establishment, to accept responsibility for the Nakba recognizing the Right of Return and recognizing the rights of Palestinian citizens in Israel, which derive from being a homeland minority. And by "homeland," they mean Israel is really "Palestine." And it will eventually, they intend, replace Israel. Our Jewish university student, our young adult and all too often our Jewish-establish- ment lay leadership are lured by such language and cannot grasp what is developing. And they are quite upset at Israel's Hchutzpah not to be, in any verbal formulation and in any practi- cal sense, to yield before such eliminationist programming. And if you fellow Jews feel uncomfortable or even "betrayed" by our behavior, we'll forgive you in the end. Yisrael Medad is an American-born Israeli journalist and author.