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September 12, 2014

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PAGE 4A By Ben Cohen HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 Reflections on the beating of George Galloway Ask a foreigner to name a British parliamen- tarian. Assuming they are able to provide an answer, there's a high chance, especially if that person is a Jew or a Muslim, that the name on their lips will be that of George Galloway. The 60-year-old Galloway has been a fixture of the British House of Commons since 1987. In that time, he has represented a variety of constituencies, beginning in the Scottish city of Glasgow and currently representing a sec- tion of Bradford, a heavily Muslim city in the north of England. He has also represented two different political parties, the first one being Labor, from which he was expelled in 2003 over his inflammatory comments concerning the forthcoming war in Iraq, followed by the far- left Respect, an oddball coalition of Islamists, Trotskyists, and anti-war activists which Gal- loway himself set up and Which has remained his political home over the last decade. A man who craves celebrity and attention, Galloway is rarely out of the news, which is what accounts for his name being recognized well beyond the boundaries of the United Kingdom. Typical of Galloway's recent public- ity stunts was his appearance on a reality TV show wearing a red leotard and impersonating a purring cat. Galloway remained in the limelight in late August, but not in the type of way he'd normally envision, While posing for pho- tographs with admirers on a street in west London, he was approached and beaten by 39-year-old Neil Masterson. By the time Masterson was apprehended by the police, he had left Galloway with severe bruising on his face and head, and a couple of broken ribs. It was a nasty beating, but not a fatal one, and Galloway was discharged from hospital the following day. I will readily admit that, like many Jews, my reaction to the news was one of unbridled joy, tempered by the guilty realization that, in a democracy, violence is rightly frowned upon as a means of dealing with one's political opponents., However distasteful someone's views--and Galloway's views are, without question, highly distasteful--there are legal and constitutional channels available to chal- lenge them. The problemis that Galloway has never been forced to answer in court for his incitement against Jews and Israel, his shady financial dealings through various charities like the notorious "Viva Palestina," his brazen sup- port for Islamist terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, and his fondness for brutal dictators like Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad, Fidel Castro, and Hugo Chavez. Since he has carried on these antics with impunity, countless Galloway adversaries on social media platforms opined that the beating had "been a long time coming." Was Israel justified in going after Hamas terrorist tunnels? the context of ordinary military encounters, in which the enemy is not using their own civilians as human shields. If the enemy is deliberately using civilians as human shields, the rules of proportionality should allow for more anticipated civilian casualties, especially if the target is of great military significance, as these terror tunnels were. The reason that civilian casualties, as well as military casualties among both Hamas terror- ists and Israelisoldiers, could be anticipated, is because the entrance to these terror tunnels were deliberately placed by Hamas in densely populated civilian areas including mosques, schools and private homes. These tunnels could not be destroyed from the air without causing a far greater number of civilian ca- sualties than those resulting from a ground attack. Moreover, the only way to ensure their destruction was for ground troops to go from tunnel to tunnel and to blow them up one by one. This inevitably risked civilian casualties. Had Hamas built the entrance to the tunnels in the many open areas of the Gaza Strip, away from the most densely populated urban cen- ters, the number of civilian casualties would have been considerably reduced. Hamas thus made a calculated decision to put the Israeli government to a difficult choice: either allow the tunnels to remain, thus risking the lives of thousands of Israeli civilians; or send ground troops into densely populated areas to destroy the tunnels, thus risking the lives of Palestinian civilians and Israeli soldiers. Every democracy in the world would choose the latter option if faced with this tragic and cruel choice. That is why the laws of war authorized Israel to do what it had to do to destroy the tunnels. To be sure, the law of proportionality also required Israel to take reasonable steps, By Alan Dershowitz The key question--both legally and mor- ally-in evaluating Israel's recent military actions is whether the Israeli government was justified in ordering ground troops into Gaza to destroy the Hamas tunnels. This question is important because most of the deaths-- among palestinian civilians, Hamas terrorists and Israeli soldiersmcame about after Israeli ground troops attacked the tunnels. These tunnels went deep underground from Gaza to Israel and were designed to allow Hamas death squads to cross into Israel and to kill and kidnap Israeli citizens. No reasonable person can dispute that these terrorist tunnels were legitimate military targets. Nor could there be any dispute about their importance as military targets, since Hamas was planning to use them to murder and kidnap hundreds if not thousands of Israeli civilians and soldiers. And Israel had no way to discover from the air the exit points from these tunnels on the Israel side of the border, since they were hid- den from view and known only to Hamas. The only way to disable them was through boots on the ground. If Israel had the right to try to destroy the tunnels, then the resulting deaths of Palestinians must be deemed proportional to the military value of Israel's actions, since it is unlikely that the tunnels could have been destroyed without considerable loss of life, because their entrances had been deliberately placed by Hamas in densely populated areas. The law is clear that military targets may be attacked, even if civilian casualties are anticipated, so long as the importance of the military target is proportional to the antici- pated civilian casualties and that reasonable efforts are made, consistent with military needs, to minimize civilian casualties. This sensible rule of proportionality was devised in Dershowitz on page 14A THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT.   CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE   ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 43 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor Assistant Editor Gene Stare Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza Society Editor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Lori Apple * Marci Gaeser 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 email: Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley * Ira Sharkansky David Bomstein Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman * Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore But just how bad is Galloway? In my mind, nothing beats his craven appearance before Saddam Hussein in 1994, long after the Iraqi dictator deployed chemical weapons against both the Iranian army and the defenseless Kurdish population in the north, duringwhich Galloway declared, "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability." Yet there have been several moments almost as nauseating in the intervening two decades. In 2006, while in Beirut, Galloway fawned over the Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, expressirg his wish that the terror master would one day become president of Lebanon. There was his 2005 election campaign in the eastern London constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow, during which his supporters hounded sitting representative Oona King, a black woman of Jewish origin, with anti- Semitic rhetoric. There is Galloway's insatiable appetite for headlining TV shows on some of the world's most foul networks, including Press TV, the Iranian government-financed Holocaust denial outfit, and RTV, the English-language mouthpiece of Russian President Vladimir Putin. And there is his habit, which drives some observers to mirth and others to apoplexy, of sauntering around like a wannabe dictator, a Cuban cigar fixed in his mouth, speaking English with an Arabic-inflected accent despite the fact that he hails from the Scottish city of Dundee. But it was the latest Galloway scandal that was probably uppermost in Neil Masterson's mind when he spotted him and landed a series of punches and kicks. In early August, with Israel's Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in full swing, Galloway delivered a speech in Bradford in which he declared the city to be an "Israel-Free Zone." "We don't want any Israeli services," Gal- loway ranted. "We don't want any Israeli academics coming to the university or the college. We don't even want any Israeli tour- ists to come to Bradford, even if any of them had thought of doing so. We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel, And you have to do the same." Jewish leaders rightly dubbed this tirade as hate speech. Galloway was even questioned by police, as there is no First Amendment in the U.K. that protects racist or anti-Semitic invective. But as of yet, no charges have been brought against him. Therein lies the tragedy of the assault on Galloway. Over the years, there have been many opportunities to prosecute him--for unfiled paperwork relating to his charities, for his handing over of thousands of dollars in cash to Hamas leaders, for baiting British Jews with his violently anti-Zionist rhetoric, and for allegedly benefiting from the U.N.'s "Oil for Food" scandal in Iraq. Yet Galloway has never paid the price for his actions. Had any of these episodes been properly investigated, it's conceivable that Galloway would now be sitting in a jail cell. For anyone who cares about democracy, seeing Galloway behind bars would be a far more satisfactory outcome than seeing him writhing around on a London sidewalk, cow- ering beneath the blows of his assailant. The MP's incarceration is an outcome, moreover, that is still worth pursuing. Ben Cohen is the Shillman analyst for and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Haaretz, and other publications. His book, "Some Of My Best Friends: A Journey Through Twenty-First Century Antisemitism " (Edition Critic, 2014), is now available through Amazon. Letter from Israel [ Who should worry more? By Ira Sharkansky Policymakers aspire to clarity. It is easiest to define and defend one's actions according to fixed lines. Government benefits should go to individuals who meet certain criteria. Giving discretion to the people who carry out policy is problematic. It facilitates favoritism and brings charges of discrimination. Yet some issues do not lend themselves to clear lines, and some of those who implement policy should have discretion. Physicians make some decisions according to widely accepted criteria, but are entitled to use the judgment they have been trained to exercise. In prac- tice, police officers also use their judgment, even while the formal rules constrain them more than physicians or other highly trained professionals. When pressure builds in criticism of what exists, we expect politicians to use their judg- ment, tilted by the ideology or party platforms they used to describe themselves to the voters. Then there are the fluid issues of great national import. Threats of war or lesser possibilities in international affairs bring to the fore the need to adjust to powerful others, and the possibilities of great harm or benefit. In a general sense, Israel's problems are well know, but the details of what has to be judged are more often in the grays of ambiguity than in the clear contrasts of what should or should not be done. Gaza and the Golan are appropriate ex- amples. How to respond to incidents of missiles or gunfire which may upset residents near the border, but do not cause great damage or casualties? Those coming from Gaza most I]ke- ly have been aimed at Israel and deserve a response, while those coming from Syria may only be poorly aimed side effects of warfare between others. What to do about missiles that come only occasionally from Gaza, usually land in empty fields, with the only casualties being individu- als needing treatment for anxie[y? Israel's policy has generally been to respond at a low level, such as bombing facilities late at night when casualties are not likely, or an even more symbolic warning via attack on an empty field. In regard to Syria, there have been no Israeli responses to incidents judged to be mistakes occurring on the other side. In response to something thought to be intentional, there have been artillery responses that have caused casualties among those thought to be responsible. In both case, Israel's primary concern is not to make things worse. Israelis charged with making the decisions have had considerable experience. Politicians reaching high office have generally done so gradually, learning as they climb. Senior military officers have been exposed to strategic as well as tactical training, including a range of political views, intelligence reports and analyses about Israel's neighbors, as well as years of work in different tasks as they have climbed through the ranks. Argument prior to decision occurs at the top of the IDF as well as in government. For an example of the think- ing that occurs at the top of the IDF, see this. At times, the forums that include the most senior military and political personnel decide that conditions require more than routine responses governed by the rule of not making things worse. Operation Protective Edge is the latest example. About this and previous occasions, Israelis quarrel about what was done, and what was not done. The points that have a chance for a serious hearing are likely to reflect knowledge about Israel's adversaries and Israel's capaci- ties. In the case of the recent operation, there is widespread disappointment that Hamas was not completely vanquished, but also widespread agreement that Israel--or perhaps any conceivable alliance with more powerful nations--cannot eliminate completely the roots and supports of Hamas or any other version of fanatic Islam. Giving good reason to stay away from us is a summary of current policy that has wide support among Israelis, even while we quarrel about these issues: Was Israel's actions too great? Would Palestinian casualties and the extent of destruction cost more in international support than they accomplished in deterring Hamas violence? Did Israel wait too long in order to rzspond forcefully, and did it exact enough damage Sharkansky on page 15A