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September 8, 2017

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PAGE 10A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 8, 2017 Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas By Ben Cohen Aleading Palestinian news- paper published an account on Monday of a tense encounter between Palestinian Author- ity President MahmoudAbbas and US President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner in Ramallah last week. Al-Quds, a Jerusalem-based newspaper that is close to the PA, reported that Kushner had raised the issue of the so-called "martyr payments" made to convicted terrorists and their families--a policy dubbed "pay to slay" that costs the PA more than $300 million annually. The Taylor Force Act, which is likely to be voted on during the upcoming ses- sion of the US Congress, would make American aid to the PA contingent on a wholesale abandonment of the "martyr payments." Gal Berger, a leading Israeli journalist who covers Pal- estinian affairs, was quoted in theAl-Quds piece as say- ing that "Abbas informed Kushner that he would never stop paying these salaries until his dying day, even if this cost him the presidency." Added Berger--in a trans- lation of the Al Quds ar- ticle made available by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)--"Abbas's statements reflect a measure of the Palestinian anger over the focus of the US delegation on this topic and its disregard of core issues such as the two- state solution and the halting of the settlements." During the same meeting, Abbas was reportedly infuri- ated by Kushner's refusal "to define the borders on the Palestinian state as the 1967 borders, but said that this would be a matter to be agreed upon by the Israeli and Pales- tinian sides." On the two-state solution specifically, Kushner was said to have shown "some openness" on the matter. According to Berger, Abbas reiterated his desire for the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative-- which calls for a Palestinian state with its capital in east- ern Jerusalem -- to be used as the basis for any future negotiations with the Israeli government. If attempts to restart talks fail, Berger con- tinued, Abbas was likely to lobby the UN Security Council for increased pressure upon New Israel, as well as seeking the admission of an independent State of Palestine as a full UN member. Following his meeting with Kushner, Abbas issued a statement through the PA's Facebook page underlining his unwavering support for the payments to terrorists. "I will never stop [paying] the al- lowances to the families of the prisoners and released prison- ers, even if this costs me my position and my presidency," the PA president said. "I will pay them until my dying day." Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images An anti-Nazi protest in front of the German legation in New York, 1933. Beth Shalom Memorial Chapel ProucJJ .Serving Our Communitoq Por Over Years By Josefin Doisten (JTA)--The Nazi punching debate (is it OK to punch a Nazi?) wentvirai in January af- ter a liberal protester slugged white supremacist Richard Spencer in the face during President Donald Trump's inauguration. But whether it's OK to confront hatred with violence is not a new topic of con- versation. The question was debated in the 1930s among American Jews, who were faced with both the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany and Nazi sympathizers at home. One hotbed for the debate was Newark, New Jersey, home to a large German-American population and a fair share of supporters of the Nazi cause. Though only around 5 percent of the city's Ger- man-American population of some 45,000 sympathized with the Nazis, they made it known, said Warren Grover, a historian and the author of the 2003 book "Nazis in Newark." Following Hitler's rise to power in 1933, Jews in New- ark saw Nazi-sympathizers marching down their city's streets. "The threats they faced were physical because the Na- zis were marching in uniform. Many of them were armed. They broke windows, and they attacked merchants, but never with fatal consequences," Grover said of residents of the city's Third Ward neighbor- hood, where many Jews and Nazi supporters lived side by side. Nazis also screened movies with anti-Semitic messages and hung anti-Jewish posters in the city, Grover told JTA. At a local election in bordering Irvington, they plastered posters across the city urging residents nottovote for Jewish candidates. In response, Jews started organizing to defend them- selves. Across the country, Jews would fight Nazis on an ad hoc basis. But in Newark, a more organized group emerged: the Minutemen Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky had started the group in New York, but the Minutemen were shut down there by the authorities after some Jews reported them, fearing the use of violence would lead to an increase in anti-Semitism. In Newark, however, the Minutemen took hold, aided by another Jewish gangster, Abner "Longy" Zwiilman, and led by former profes- sional boxer Nat Arno. On Oct. 18, 1933, JTA reported on a typical clash, outside a Nazi meeting at a German auditorium: "The meeting, at the Schwabenhaile, under the auspices of the Friends of the New Germany ... was the target for stones and stench bombs thrown by the anti- Nazis in the crowd of about one thousand who waited outside the hall." The following May, JTA reported on a melee in Ir- vington: A "Nazi meeting terminated in fisticuffs, a miniature riot, arrests and injury to many persons." Though the Minutemen were "cheered and accepted by the majority of the Newark Jewish population," Grover said, not everyone was en- thusiastic. Some Jews, especially those affiliated with Reform syna- gogues, "felt it gave Jews a bad name to be engaged in brawling, and they felt the government would take care of it," he said. Those who op- posed the group tended not to live in the Third Ward. Yet the mostly Jewish group, which also had a few Irish and Italian members, became a powerful tool to fight Hitler sympathizers.. "The Minutemen were ready for them. The Minute- men had clubs and stink bombs, and they attacked the participants of the event," Grover said of one Nazi mass demonstration in 1933. "Po- lice came, and there were some arrests, and people said later that the Jews, the Minutemen, had no right to attack a peaceful gathering in a Newark hail" The Minutemen boosted Jewish morale. "Physical prowess as exhib- ited against the Newark Nazis, Irvington Nazis, was a matter of pride for the Eastern Euro- pean Jews who came because of the pogroms in Russia in the 1880s," Grover said."They took pride in it because they saw the newsreels coming from Germany [showing] how the Jews in Germany were being treated and all the differ- ent anti-Jewish legislation." Ultimately, Grover said, the group served its purpose: de- terring Nazis from organizing in Newark. "Just the thought of having Minutemen present at any of their meetings discouraged a lot of the Nazis from holding public meetings," he said. "They were successful because a lot less propaganda was brought out by the Nazis because of fear of the Minutemen."