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August 25, 2017

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 25, 2017 PAGE 3A The d Ron Kampeas Holding Nazi flags, white supremacists march at a park in Charlottesville, Va., protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, Aug. 12, 2017. By Ron Kampeas CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (JTA)---The white suprema- cists, for all their vaunted purpose, appeared to be disoriented. Some 500 had gathered at a park here Saturday to protest this southern Virginia city's plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the park. Pressured by the American Civil Liber- ties Union, Charlottesville had allowed the march at Emanci- pation Park--or Lee Park, the protesters' preferred name. That worked for an hour or so, and then the protesters and counter protesters started to pelt one another with plastic bottles--it was unclear who started it. Gas bombs, mildly consultations and did what marchers on a seasonably warm day do: They sat on the grass, sought shade and chatted. I had been following at a distance with a handful of journalists and folks who were there not so much to counter protest but to deliver an alternative message. Zelic Jones from Richmond bore a poster with a saying by Martin Luther King Jr., "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." I climbed the hillock to see if anyone would be willing to talk, On the way, the marchers hadstudiously ignored report- er~s, but I thought, at rest, they ight be more amenable. I[ was not to be. One man, wearing black slacks, a white irritating, seemed to come shirt, sunglasses and black in how personal it was. I've been hated directly for many things (try being a journalist, anywhere), but it had been a while--I'd have to cast back to early childhood--since I'd faced visceral hatred just for, well, looking Jewish. A year ago I had attended at a hotel in Washington, D.C., the unveiling of the "alt-right," convened by one of its lead theorists, Richard Spencer, who also was in at- tendance in Charlottesville. That news conference--an expression of white supremacy argued in plummy tones that disguised its hateful con- tent--was a remove from the hatred stalking the streets of Charlottesville on Saturday. Spencer was polite and help- ful after the fact. His ideas are toxic, but in the airless morefromthewhitesuprema-baseball cap, shadowed me. corridors of a Washington cists. Finally the sides rushed He moved to stand between hotel, they seeme~en~ed eachotherheadlongandthere me and anyone I had hoped ofmalice;thgy~~ were scuffles. ~b interview., imaginings ofa~ - So Virginia Gov. Terry ' I looked hi~m directly in toddler. ~ McAuliffe declared a state of the eye. Here in Charlottes~, emergency and, heeding the "How's it going, Shlomo?" the hatred was present ~n~d police, the white suprema- cists filed out of the park and started walking, north, but to where no one seemed sure. There was talk of meeting at a parking lot, butwhich parking lot, no one was sure. As they approached the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial, a bucolic hill overlooking an overpass, they sputtered to a stop for he asked. "My name is Ron," I said. I hadn't identified myself as Jewish. "You look like a Shlomo." "You want to talk?" I of- fered. "I don't talk to the press," he said. "They just lie." He scampered away. The exchange was jarring real and would before the day ended apparently kill someone, when a car driven by a 20-year-old Ohio man plowed through counter protesters. Among the 500 white supremacists were men and women bearing signs like "Goyim know!" (Know what?) and"Jews are satans children." At the NAACP's annual con- vention in 1981, former Presi- dent Ronald Reagan stated in response to racist violence: "A few isolated groups in the backwater of American life still hold perverted notions of what America is all about. Recently in some places in the nation there's been a disturb- ing reoccurrence of bigotry and violence." To those "who still adhere to senseless racism and religious prejudice," Reagan said this: "You are the ones who are out of step with our society. You are the ones who willfully violate the meaning of the dream that is America. And this country, because of what it stands for, will not stand for your conduct." He continued, "My ad- ministration will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who, by violence or intimidation, would attempt to deny Americans their con- stitutional rights." On Aug. 14, 2017, in re- sponse to the violence in Former President Ronald Reagan Charlottesville, Va., President Donald Trump stated, "...we condemn in strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence. It has no place in America. And as I have said many times before, no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws. We all salute the same great flag. Andwe are all President Donald Trump made by the same almighty God." And he added, "Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, includ- ing the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans." There were Nazi flags. There were men all in black, T-shirts and slacks and army boots and helmets, jogging along with plastic shields. There were the men who sang of "blood and soil" as they marched to the Emancipation Park event. And when the white supremacists got their act together and gathered in McIntire Park, they shouted"Jew" every time the name of Charlotteville's Jewish mayor, Michael Signer, was mentioned. Of course, the hostility was not confined to Jews: As targets, Jews were not even preeminent; blacks were. There were the "White lives matter" T-shirts. Marching along McIntire Road, the white supremacists shouted the N-word at drivers passing by. More prominent than the Nazi flags were the Confeder- ate flags and their variants. The focus on Jews was anomalous: This was sup- posed to be about the Confed- eracy and Southern heritage, and defenders of the Southern cause are notalways identified with hostility toward Jews. About an hour's drive away, Richmond's Hollywood Cem- etery, a Confederate monu- ment, has a carefully tended Jewish section. And yet here it was, the chants of "Jews will not re- place us" (as?). I had two more personal encounters. At the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial, a man wearing a floppy beige sunhat started following me and explaining the lie of the Holocaust, the evil of the Jews, the value of DNA in determin- ing purity. I retreated as he ran after me, screaming, "My mother says I'm a Jew! My MOTHER! Does that mean I'm entitled to something?" (I resisted replying, "Your mother's love.") And earlier, filing out of Emancipation Park, a group of youths surrounded and shouted at me, "Take that wall in Israel down! An open border for everyone!"--a reference to a popular theory on the far right that Jews are engineering open borders to bring the United States to ruination while keeping Israel pure. They moved on. Anomalies like these tend to bemuse, at least me. What the racists believe to be hurtful jibes come across more as non sequiturs, as mouthings of the deluded or the possessed. Why Shlomo of all names? What was that about DNA? A wall in Israel? And then the car rammed the crowd, and there was a fatality, and some 35 injured, including five critically, and it was harder to pick out the absurd and use that as a way of keeping an emotional dis- tance from the hate speech. I counted the wounded, rushed by stretchers into the back of ambulances, the less seriously Ron Karnpeas Husam Zomlot, the PLO envoy to Washington, speaks to reporters in Washington, D.C., Aug. 17, 2017. By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)---The Palestinian Authority expects the Trump administration to commit to a peace deal end- game before the close of this month and prefers it would be the two-state solution. "We need them to tell us where the hell they are go- ing," Husam Zomlot, the Palestine Liberation Organi- zation envoy to Washington, said Thursday at a meeting in his office with reporters. "It's about time we hear it." Zomlot said a high-level U.S. delegation comprising Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and his top adviser charged with Middle East peace; Ja- son Greenblatt, Trump's top international negotiator; and Dina Powell, a deputy national security adviser, would meet Aug. 24 in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority Presi- dent MahmoudAbbas and the Palestinian negotiating team. The meeting will come to- ward the end of a tour in which the U.S. officials alsowill meet with Israeli and other regional leaders, including from Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Zomlot said that for the Palestinian Authority, the preferred outcome remained a recommitment to the two-state solution. Trump retreated soon after assum- ing the presidency in January from a two-state outcome, which has been U.S. policy since 2002. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netan- yahu, who had committed to a two-state solution in 2009, also has been silent since then about his commitment. A majority of Netanyahu's Cabinet opposes having two states. "A two-state solution has international equilibrium, it has regional backing and it has a global consensus," Zomlot said. "We are saying to them, we have a starting point, and letting go of this injured patched up with torn cloths, leaning on friends' shoulders and wincing. I retreated to a cafe thatwas open only to clergy and the- media dispensing free water and beer. I filed a story, and on the large wall TV, CNN said President Donald Trump was ready to speak. The cafe fell silent. There was, it seems, even among this crowd of liberal clergy, a thirst for a message of unity from a president who has pledged, and more often than not failed, to lead us all. Trump engaged in some throat clearing about the Veterans Administration, and then began, "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred bigotry and violence, on many sides." At "on many sides" the room erupted into shouts of anger. On cue, Trump repeated, "On many sides." There was only one side visibly and overwhelmingly gripped by hate on Saturday in Charlottesville. As the day wore on, the White House refused to re- treat from Trump's many sides comment, and the president's tweets didn't add clarity. "Condolences to the family of the young woman killed today, and best regards to all of those injured, in Charlot- tesville, Virginia. So sad!" was his last tweet of the day. starting point is the worst thing they can do" Zomlot said the Palestinian Authority wanted two states based on the 1967 borders, and wanted to hear from the Trump administration how best to deal with factors that would endanger a peaceful outcome, including Jewish settlements, the humanitar- ian crisis in the Gaza Strip and religious tensions at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, which both Jews and Muslims claim as holy. "The how is crucial," he said. He said that in the wake of serious negotiations, "the Palestinian consensus gov- ernment will be tasked with two things: the ending of the situation in Gaza--the unprecedented situation in Gaza--and as soon as possible the convening of Palestinian national elections." A major obstruction to advancing peace talks has been the absence of P.A. control in the Gaza Strip, where the Hamas terrorist group is the authority. Ab- bas and the Palestinian Au- thority, along with Israel, have been squeezing Gaza by reducing basic supplies to its Hamas rulers, includ- ing electricity. Zomlot would not say what the Palestinian Authority would do if the U.S. delegation did not lay out an endgame, but said uncertainty could lead the P.A. to return to seek- ing international recognition for statehood--a posture that Israel and the United States adamantly oppose--or to further Palestinian resistance PA on page 15A