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September 5, 2003

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FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 5, 2003 PAGE 1 a state.In2002,therewere fewer economic recession, anti-Is- ish tourists, but afterward the than 900,000. rael boycotts in Europe and Christians "are much harder from page 2 This summer, Levran said, fear of travel after Sept. 11. to get back," Marom noted. "there was a 100 percent in- Travel from East Asia and Typicaily, Jews make up less Chris- crease in Israel-experience Latin America is way down than 50 percent of tourists to programs." That's both good from 2000, partly because of Israel. In 2002, however, Jews but have nolf done so news and bad news. The good changed airline routing, ac- well exceeded the 50 percent L," said news is the increase. The bad cording to Marom. mark. director of Northnews is that the drop in tour- "From South America, you Those who came to Israel ism from 2000 to 2002 was so have to change flights in Eu- this summer included tour- Ministry. severe that even a 100 percent rope or the USA, and that in ists on organized tours, people the Aug. 19 Jerusa- increase this year hasn't itself is a main reason for not visiting family in Israel and the situa- brought tourism back to its coming," Marom said. those coming to explore on become relativelypre-intifada levels. Numerous European air- their own. Jews made up the about the Atitsnadirsincethestartof lines either reduced or elimi- majority of the latter two had he said. thePalestinianintifadainSep- nated flights to Israel, making groups. bombing tember 2000, the number of it more difficult for potential Some tour groups, like to impact Israel youthsvisitingIsraelwasdown tourists to get here. those that work in conjunc- predicted. 92 percent, meaningthatonly European Christian groups tion with the Jewish Agency countries 800 youngsters came instead that came during the past for Israel, are veritable secu- d have sent a of 10,000. three years often made their rity experts, Levran and Free- number of tourists to Thatfigureof800"hasbeenpresence known publicly as a man said. than last. more than doubled this year," way ofshowingsolidaritywith At 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. each percentage Levran said, "but still it's only the Jewish state, day, leaders of Jewish Agency- 2,000 in comparison to Infact, when violence heats affiliated programs are in to keep it in propor- 10,000." A number of addi- up Christian tourists from the touchwith a"situation room" 2000, 3.2 milliontional factors have kept tour- United States oftenare slower thatisconnectedtopoliceand visited the Jewish istsaway, including the global tocanceltheirplansthanJew- army surveillance units. Groups are advised onwhere it's safe and unsafe to travel on any given day. All groups are accompanied by a guard on outings. With the use of global-po- sitioning devices, parents can know where their children are at any given moment -- some- thing that's not possible "when kids are in their own city in the USA," Levran pointed out. Youths on the Magen David Adorn volunteer program said they were not afraid, even as they prepared to accompany paramedics on calls that could take them into scenes of blood- shed. "I feel that as a Jew, it's neces- sary to contribute to the coun- try," said Adam Benjamin -- who, with his friend Rafael Broch, arranged for 18 others youngsters from England to participate in the MDAprogram. "If that means facing things that Israelis have to face on a daily basis, why should I not?" Non- Jewish friends back home, how- ever, often have trouble under- standing the reasons for visit- ing Israel these days. "My non-Jewish friends in England think I'm mad com- ing here," Lisa Shama said. Just days ago, she watched her instructors on television as they attended to victims of a suicide bombing. Later that night she heard a firsthand account of what had happened. "I thinkwhat English people don't understand is that de- spite the bombs, normal life still carries on," Tal Heymann said. Broch agreed. "You can either get on with your life just as Israelis do, or sink back into the Galut," he said, referring to the Diaspora. "That's not the kind of Jew I want to be." from page 3 e Palestinian Authority perfect," said Will a at Univer- "leaves them He said he was to the desperation of [nian population, fuels sup- s so hard being a moder- ~everagrees Dempster, an poon to create ~r Jewish students .~re's a place Currently" in groups too pro-Israel, ~aJewish-Muslim dia- on the Israeli- the U.S.-led overshadowed activity on that recedes from however, some see renewed activ- Israeli-Palestinian the ongoing U.S. presenceinIraqmayfuelcom- designed to teach students -- of effective public speak- parisons between Israel and skills on a range of topics, ing. America as occupiers, said from Israeladvocacy to social AIPAC instructs student Wayne Firestone, director of justice, activists to build coalitions the Israel on Campus Coali- The trip is a jumping-off withcampusinfluentials, such tion, anumbrellaof26Jewish pointforstudentstoblitztheir as student government lead- groups, campuses in spring, when ers, college Democrats and "We know that the theme of nicer weather generally cor- Republicans, andreportersfor 'End the occupation at any responds with more activism, the campus newspaper, and to cost' is going to be used," he Firestone said. lobby local members of Con- said. Inthe meantime, Hilleland gress. Firestone also anticipates other Jewish organizations '`wewillbesuccessful,"said that detractors will focus on such as AIPAC -- which this Daniel Rubinstein, a sopho- the security fence Israel is summer held a workshopfor moreattheUniversityofTexas building, using slogans such activists from 60 high-profile at Austin who interned for as "Tear. down the wall." campuses -- are trying to AIPACthissummer."It'sabout Those messages likely will boost students' proactive Is- relationships and politics." IoomlargeatPalestiniansoli- rael advocacy skills. Like many students, darity conferences to be held For example, the Leaders Rubinstein said Jewish orga- at Rutgers University and Assembly provided slick and nizations' efforts have given Ohio State University in Oc- sophisticated training for its him a base of knowledge to tober. Grinspoon interns, fight anti-Israel activity. Before the conference, the . Political consultant Brent He can "pick up the phone Rutgers Hillel plans to spon- CohendisplayedaPowerPoint andgetanyresource"heneeds, sot a week of programs under presentation with communi- Rubinstein said. the banner, "Israel inspires," cations advice such as don't But even Rubinstein with visits by young Israelis, repeat a negative, don't lose grapples with how to respond elected officials and Israeli one'stemperanddospeaksim- toanti-Israel rhetoric, recall- drummers, ply and sincerely, ing incidents when he wished On a broader scale, Hillel, Cohen underscored the he had responded with a real in partnership with the point with video footage to zinger. American Israel PublicAffairs display the do's -- with shots A lot of Jews on campus Committee, isplanningawin- of Bill Clinton -- and don'ts "know that Israel is impor- ter mission to Israel that is ---withexamplesfromAIGore tant, butwhenitcomestoreal confrontation they don't know how to respond," Rubinstein said. That was evident when one student at the Leaders Assem- bly, explaining his inability to confront anti-Israel activists, asked what the intifada was. Such ignorance is indica- tive of the state of the Ameri- can Jewish education system, Infeld said. "We eat the" waste products of that system, Infeld said. Of course, the issues vary from campus to campus and from activist to activist. Israel is the central issue for Ben Herman, 19, a mem- ber of the MADPAC pro-Israel group at the University of Wis- consin. Palestinian activists, who outnumber pro-Israel ones, are winning the battle on cam- pus, he said. Many Jewish students either want to take a sort of vacation from their Jewish life or are "not as well-informed as they should be," he said. In part, that may be due to religious-secular rifts in the Jewish student community. At Princeton, the Center for Jewish Life has a "mystique of being this Orthodox clique," according to student Dylan Tatz, 19. The chief challenge is "get- ting people who haven't set foot in a Hillel to set foot in a Hillel," Princeton sophomore Nathaniel Fintz said. Nicole Rubin and Rachel Ganin, sophomores at Ameri- can University, say they struggle to find a Jewish com- munity on campus. Rubin said she is a "little ashamed" to be associated with the pro-Israel group on cam- pus, which she feels is anti- Palestinian. Meanwhile, Ashley Winter, 19, treasurer of Rutgers Hillel, is enthusiastic about the up- coming"Israel Inspires" week. While Jewish students have some nervousness and con- cern about the planned Pales- tinian solidarity conference, Winter said, there is "excite- ment for what we're going to be able to do" to portray Israel as a "source and wellspring of Jewish heritage," culture and life. from page 3 Chaverot's Woman of theFund chair at Temple Israel Life Member and its presi- City Library. Zemel also re- payHadassahduesforoneyear Year. and ispastpresidentofB'nai dent. Later she changed to organized and revamped for every convert. She gave Hosid has IJeen an out-B'rith Women. the afternoon group and held Temple Israel's Library with gift certificates from Borders standingleader in Hadassah Helen and husband Jack several major portfolios in- Holly Mandeikern. She cur- to every Chesed winner and Temple Israel and the Or- Hosid, were honored at the cludingthemanagementofarently belongs to Congrega- plans to continue. She estab- rnovingtoOrlando lando Community. She has State of Israel bonds in 2002 very successful thrift shop in tion Ohev Shalom and Con- lisheda fund in perpetuity for- husband Steve held numerous portfolios in for many years of dedication South Orange, N.J. for her gregationAhavasYisrael. She the benefit of the Hebrew Day Israel and she Hadassah, was president of to Israel and to the Jewish group in Maplewood; became commissioned a new Torah School. Currently she is in the Chaverot-Hadassah and is Community. president and eventually for Ahavas Yisrael and dedi- 13th year ofworking for Legal [ Group presently chair of Jewish Ruth Zemel joined Junior Chapter president, cited a new Timid to Ohev Aid in the intake department Helen Hosid to Education in Rishona- Hadassah as a young woman When her youngest was in Shalom for the small sanctu- and has worked as a volunteer Leadership Chaverot. She was honored inMaplewood, N.J. When she high school, she became a ary. She presently works in pink lady at Sanford Hospitai. National as "Woman of the Year" in made the transition to librarian and on moving to the COS Gift Shop. In between all this she man- and Ruth Zemel 1992. Hosid was president of Hadassah, she started an Florida, volunteered to as- Zemei is a Hadassah aged to knit 50 sweaters for Jas Rishona- her Sisterhood and a Torah evening group and became a sist the director of Orange Founder, has volunteered to needychiidren. page 5 The time has come for Is- process is for Israel to imple- The Palestinians living in rael to take decisive action ment a policy of zero toler- Gaza, the West Bank or living )rriblebutpre against the Palestinian ter- ance towards terrorism. For in refugee camps in Arab ringthebrief rorists. Hopefully the Israeli starters Ararat and his cro- countries can thank corrupt month sup- strikes at Hamas and the nies have to go. The Pales- and morally bankrupt leader- re or "Hudna counter-terrorism opera- tinian Authority never' in- ship for their plight. Israel as the Israelis tions in the territories we've tended to make peace with has made a sincere effort at terrorist groups seen over the last week are Israel, they never amended compromise and peace, only d the time to just the beginning. Israeliin- the PLO charter calling for to see her women and chil- rockets, in- telligence agencies are being the destruction of Israel, and drenbrutally murdered.Even arnassmugglingflooded with reports oftheir intent during the en- the well meaning incurably reorganize planned attacks that include tire Oslo process was to gain Defense mega-terror scenarios such a foothoidwithin"Palestine" points double homicide bomb- from which to attack Israel. Appelt aum as: y ings, airplane hijacks, bomb- Instead of building an infra- Continued from page 5 Strip, a car attacks on major hospi- structure based on coexist- In a re- tals, and strikes against stra- ence and tolerance, the Pal- stands for the opposite. The Defensetegic targets. Israel's well- estinians institutions in- Guided not by principle but Israel has trained military and police creased the anti-Israel rheto- by ideology alone, conserva- Palestinianforces are the only forces ca- tic, created a culture of death tives today are working to pable ofdealingwith this im- and led their nation down a weaken voting rights, free in its manent threat, path of despair and destruc- speech guarantees, the right Theonl, tion. to umons and of optimistic amongst us must now recognize that peace with Palestinians is not a tangible goal for the near future. Ask- ing Israel to exercise restraint and sacrifice more lives for this unachievable goal is the biggest sin we can make, The creation ofa Palestinian state at this point in time would be a lethal mistake for Israel. It course, women's reproduc- tive rights. No less impor- tant, conservative proposals for school vouchers and "faith based" initiatives could forever blur the legal bound- aries separating church and state. It's for the Jews that is a country's duty to protect its citizens above all else. Is- rael should be encouraged by her friends and the Jews of the world to use the great power at her disposal to do so. Jay Kohn served in the Is- rael Defense Force and holds a Masters Degree in Modern Middle East History from Tel Aviv University. conservatives have decided to compete for our support. But it will be even better when they discover that it takes more than talking about Israel to win it. Stuart Appelbaum is presi- dent of the Jewish Labor Com- mittee.