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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 2S, 2017 By Stephen M. Flatow JNS.org The newly appointed Middle East director at the State Department has a long record of criticizing and pressuring Israel. Isn't anybody at the White House paying attention to who's being hired over at Foggy Bottom? David Satterfield, who is slated to become assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs next month, played a significant role in U.S. policy and diplomacy concern- ing Israel and the Palestinians in the late 1990s and early 2000s. A look at some of his comments from that period reveals he repeatedly suggested a moral equivalency between Palestinian terrorism and Israeli counterterrorism. Consider Satterfield's remarks at the Cen- ter for Policy Analysis on Palestine (CPAP) Nov. 2, 2001. The date is important. It was the height of the second intifada. There was Palestinian terrorism on a daily basis. In the weeks prior, suicide bombers had struck at the Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem (15 dead, 130 wounded) and the Nahariya train station (three dead, 94 wounded). In the midst of this bloodshed, Satterfield criticized Pales- tinian terrorism--and then proceeded to criticize Israel. Making the aggressor and the victim appear to be equivalent, Satterfield declared (accord- ing to The Associated Press): "The intifada, whatever its origin, has become an ongoing process of calculated terror and escalation, reciprocated by actions which all too often by Israel proved inflammatory and provocative. Steps must be taken to bring this to a halt." tOmZlng conserva By Jonathan S. Tobin ago that both Barack Obama and Hillary JNS.org Clinton shared his stance on gay marriage. But if you are going to anathematize someone Many Americans know that the sickness at like Prager and render him an untouchable the heart of our political culture stems from even in a non-political context, you're saying a spirit of intolerance that has become the anyone who voices an opposing view must keynote of discourse. Liberals blame it on not only be shunned, but also be driven from President Donald Trump and his support- decent society. ers. But few of us seem able to recognize The same spirit animated an op-ed in The this behavior when it comes from those who Forward by Steven Davidson. The piece was a share our views--which means that if you response to commentary from the right about think Dennis Prager must be boycotted or theleft'swillingnesstoexcusehatemongering believe Morton Klein is as much of a threat from Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American to American Jewry as Islamist terrorists, anti-Israel activist, because of shared an- then don't blame Trump for how bad things tipathy for Trump. According to Davidson, have gotten, there are 19 people who are more danger- Prager, a Los Angeles-based talk radio ous to the Jews than Sarsour. But while his host and author, is a surprising candidate list included some who do fit that bill, like for this kind of opprobrium. Though he's a Louis Farrakhan, David Duke and the heads conservative who, to the dismay of some of of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, he couldn't his admirers, believes Trump must be sup- resist including mere political opponents ported against his critics, Prager is far from along with terrorists. the prototype of right-wing incendiary. His It was bad enough that he lumped Trump approach is generally fair-minded and never as well as White House aides Steve Bannon lacks intellectual rigor. He has also spent and SebastianGorkatogetherwith Farrakhan much of his career promoting interfaith and Hezbollah, in an unconvincing effort to dialogue and is as interested in helping his label them as anti-Semites. But he also listed audience focus on personal happiness as he Klein, the president of the Zionist Organiza- is in politics. In other words, he's the polar tion of America. opposite of the bomb-throwing populists Most liberals don't agree with Klein about that many on the left think are threatening the peace process and consider him a stri- democracy, dent figure. But he is someone who works But that didn't spare Prager from being hard to build support for the Jewish state, treated as if he were the head of a hate group and his views are actually more in tune with when he agreed to help raise money for the mainstream Israeli opinion than thoseofThe Santa Monica Symphony by appearing as Forward's editorial board. Treating him as a a guest conductor at a concert. Prager is a threat to the Jews rather than just someone music enthusiast/amateur conductor and to be opposed is a signal that any deviation has often appeared in a similar capacity from liberal orthodoxy will be punished with with other ensembles. But when some of the isolation and demonization. musicians heard Pragerwas the attraction at In a world in which Google can fire an a high-profile event for their organization, internal critic in the name of"diversity," it's they said they would boycott the concert. A hardlysurprisingtoseeJewishliberalsplaying petition started by two UCLA professors who the same game. But thosewho refuse to listen are violinists in the orchestra said the signers to or to associate with political opponents are wouldnotappearwitha"right-wingradiohost at the core of our society's current political who promotes horribly bigoted positions." To illness, in which we have been divided into back up that claim, they cherry-picked a few two warring camps that have lost the ability comments Prager has made about Islam and to listen to each other. That's why if you think the implications of gay marriage in order to there's nothing wrong with the treatment falsely paint him as the moral equivalent of given to Prager and Klein, then don't bother the Ku Klux Klan. One boycotter even said the rest of us with hypocritical complaints he'd play with a North Korean conductor, about Trump. but not Prager. Jonathan S. Tobin is opinion editor of JNS. Prager's positions can be debated, yet to org and a contributing writer for National take them out of context is deeply unfair, Review. Follow him on Twitter at: @jona- especially when you consider it wasn't long thans_tobin. rilE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 45 Press Awards LORIDA |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 Stare Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza Society Editor Office Manager Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Kim Fischer Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Ira 8harkansky David Bornstein Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore And a brief word about Satterfield's trou- bling choice of venue. CPAP is an extreme anti-Israel group that should never be hon- ored with the presence of a U.S. government official. In 2003--just to cite a random ex- ample to illustrate the center's mindset--the CPAP winter conference was titled "Israel's Policy of Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing." Why would Satterfield choose to keep that kind of company? There was more moral equivalency from Satterfield the following year, at the Wein- berg Founders Conference of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in October 2002. Satterfield criticized Yasser Ararat, then blasted Israel for encircling Arafat's ter- ror headquarters, the "Muqata" compound in Ramailah. The Israeli action "was wholly unhelpful and froze the positive currents of reform and direct pressure placed upon [Arafat] by Palestinian elites," Satterfield declared. Once again, Satterfield was incapable of criticizing Palestinian terror leaders without simultaneously haranguing Israel's self- defense actions. On March 11, 2004, Satterfield gave the keynote address at the Israel Policy Forum's conference in Washington, D.C. Again, note the venue. The Israel Policy Forum was established by the Israeli Labor party. The prime minister of Israel in March 2004 was Ariel Sharon, then leader of the Likud party. Satterfield was choosing to address the American wing of the Israeli opposition. Interesting. Satterfield once again resorted to moral equivalency. "Hope is in very short supply right now," he asserted, evidently referring to the still-raging intifada. Just two weeks earlier, eight Israelis had been massacred-- and more than 60 wounded, including many schoolchildren--in the Liberty Bell Park bus bombing in downtown Jerusalem. You would think that would be the cause of "hope being in very short supply." But no--according to Satterfield, there were two reasons that hope was in short supply, not just one. Hope was "evaporating in the under- standable rage of Israelis suffering through horrible acts of terror"--but hope also "is being swallowed up in the deep frustrations, daily humiliations and wounded dignity of Palestinians living under occupation." Someone who perceives Israel's legitimate self-defense actions as "inflammatory," "provocative" and "unhelpful," and who thinks that Israel and Palestinian terrorists are equally to blame for the erosion of hope, has a dangerously shallow understanding of Middle East reality. David Satterfield's record demonstrates that he does not fully appreciate the difference between Palestin- ian aggressors and Israeli victims. He does not accept Israel's right to take all neces- sary defensive actions against the stabbers, snipers and suicide bombers who threaten its citizens daily. Satterfield's appointment should be rescinded immediately. Stephen M. Flatow, a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney in New Jersey and the father ofAlisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. Jim Shipley Almost the same I wrote a column about the extreme left and The Far Left is harder to pin down. Most of the extreme right. I did that before Chariot- them seem to want the land of Israel as the tesville, the chants of "Jews will not replace homeland of the Jews to be gone. Interesting, us" and the murder of a 32-year-old woman, those Jews who hold that view for the most Still there is some validity to the following: part do not live in Israel. BDS is disgusting, The late Eric Hoffer, the "Longshoreman ill-conceived and not possible. Don't buy any Philosopher," in his book "The True Believer" Israeli products? Go ahead--give up your wrote that if you push the philosophies of the smart phone and voice mail and do not take Far Left and the Far right to their extreme advantage of dozens of Israeli patents on life there is little difference between them. saving devices. Picture a circle. Start at the top and take one Both sides are in a nonkosher sense, "pig curve and go to the left pull it around that headed." As Hoffer pointed out, those to the circle to the bottom--that is Far Left. Now do far, far right and those to the far, far left are the same thing on the right. Pull that curve more alike in their attitudes than different. as far to the right as you can to the bottom It is difficult for many people to accept of the circle--that is the Alt. Right. They are change that affects their daily lives. And truly close to the same. it is no fault of theirs. Times change. Those No! Those of the Far Left will cry. I stand of us who are merely spectators in the battle for certain principles--I am nothing like those over what should Israel be or if it should be scumbags, at all do have a stake in the outcome. Should No! The Far Rightwill cry. I stand for certain we abandon our homeland after losing it for principles--Iamnothinglikethosescumbags, two millennia and then fighting for it and What do the Far Left and the Far Right have retrieving it? in common? They both want radical change. And how should that land look? On the first They want to form a mass movement that will point we all have a stake--we cannot abandon upset society as it stands and replace it with our birthright. On the second? How should their philosophy. Israel be? If we don't live there we have no There are clearly differences in their ap- right to tell those that do how to live. proach to this change for which they yearn. Right and left in America? Truly? I never Differences of opinion among Jews are built thought in my lifetime I would see a parade into our DNA. When these opinions surface as of hundreds of Americans march down a main bitter disputes tearing our people apart--the streetinAmericaholdingNaziflagsandgiving game changes. "Sig Hells" to each other. The hate mongers Okay, let's talk "Left" and "Right." That and the far right radicals have always been seems to be the label most political disputes there but now they feel they have permission today carry. The major dispute among Jews to come out of their sewers and show them- today in America deals with the election of selves proudly. Donald Trump. I don't want to get too deep in On the left? Yes, they demonstrate on this one, let us just say that outside of Sheldon campuses and try to stop the far right from Adelson, few prominent Jews have endorsed speaking. It is just as wrong as not allowing his approach to life in America--backed by Martin Luther King to speak at a rally in Ten- the "Alt-Right" advisers 12 feet from the Oval nessee but much more dangerous. The SDS Office. never burned a cross even in the sixties. It is a banner of the "Alt-Right" that Jews In America Jews have always been at the are not Americans or even European. Well, forefront of the fight for equal rights and the yeah--ifyouwanttolookatitthatway...Israel, ability for all people to have the right to life, Our DNAindicates thatwe all came from there liberty and the pursuit of happiness. and our population grew exponentially when Hoffer was right--there is little to differ- we were cast into dispersal, entiate between the far left and the Alt-right, In Israel today the Far left and the Far right except when the AIt-right is given permis- are clearly drawn. The Far Right Jews want sion to march with Nazi flags and kill other the entire "Ancient and Holy Land of Israel" American citizens. and are willing and do on occasion fight for To strip away all the doctrinal arguments? that. They want the Arabs, living in the land Your right to extend your fist ends where my for millennia to be gone. nose begins.