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September 12, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 12, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 UCF From page 1A was carried out in response to U.S. airstrikes against ISIS in northern Iraq. The following night, stu- dents, professors, and re- porters illuminated the UCF Reflecting Pond with their lit candles as Rabbi Chaim Lipskier drew upon the words of the Torah to express the resemblance between the burning flame of the candle and the duty to be a light unto others. In Sotloff's memory, the UCF community and the international com- munity should continuously strive to "uphold values and traditions," "raise aware- ness and alertness," as well as "be a voice for those who do not have one," said Rabbi Lipskier. In times of happiness and in times of sorrow, Knights remember the UCF creed: Integrity, Scholarship, Com- munity, Creativity, and Excel- lence. Especially in this type of situation--where there is no logical explanation or any sort of justification for the atrocities that have taken place--a tight-knitted com- munity is extremely impor- tant. The candlelight vigil, hosted by UCF organizations such as the Society of Profes- sional Journalists (SPJ), the Syrian American Council, and the Gauntlet, drew in a crowd much bigger than expected, which "really says something about the heart of people at this university", said journalism Professor Rick Brunson. Lora Abdulhau, a student at Valencia College, spoke about her family's escape from Syria two years ago. SOJC PAGE 13A She expressed her desire to "finish what Steven started" by traveling back to Syria and working as a freelance journalist after she gradu- ates college. As reporters were snapping pictures and readying theirvideo cameras, she said: "Everyone wants something in life; I want to see the truth." From page 1A 32836. Refreshments will be served at 8:45 p.m,, followed by Dr. Herzberg's presentation and then Slichot services. The joint Slichot services are a follow-up to a mean- ingful and successful joint Sotloff endeavor by Congregation Ohev Shalom, Temple Israel, Congregation Beth Am and SOJC all of whom observed Tish'a B'av together this past Aug. 4. That evening, approximately 100 people, representing all four congre- gations, gathered together at Congregation Ohev Shalom for a Tish'a B'av service that included participation from the clergy of each of the synagogues. "It only adds to our sense of spirituality and purpose when members of several area congregations join together for Tish'a B'av and Slichot," said Rabbi Hfl- lel Skolnik, the rabbi of SOJC and the current president of the Greater Orlando Board of Rabbis. "We stand and confess our sins as a community and it is a sign of the strong Jewish community that we have here in Orlando that these four Synagogues have chosen to usher in the High Holiday season with one another." Both of Dr. Herzberg's presentations are free of charge and are open to all members of the Orlando Jew- ish Community. This scholar- in-residence opportunity is supported by the Herald Institute for Jewish Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. For more information, please contact Rabbi Hillel Skolnik at 407-239-5444 or From page 1A answer to a query regarding women's involvement, Sotloff wrote from Aleppo, "Move- ment in general is becoming more difficult. Three Spanish journalists were kidnapped out of the media center. The situation is now hostile to Westerners since our govern- ments are not involving them- selves. We are now restricting movement only with fighters we trust. They certainly won't be taking us to any weddings and women's gatherings. Just having an Aleppo byline these days is a luxury. Open to sug- gestions, though. Imams are do-able." In true journalistic fash- ion, Sotloff eschewed the desk for the street. Syrians returning from Turkey were reporting that the U.S. was prepared to fund anti-Assad rebels, but Sotloff was quot- inffSyrians who were assert- ing that, "We don't need food; we need weapons. Where are our weapons?" In May 2013, Sotloffwrote that, "Syria's peaceful revolu- tion has become a military inferno." Two months before he went missing, he wrote a story about Syrian activists and their Friday demonstra- tions. "With the rebel-led Free Syrian Army locked in a stalemate with regime forces, A1-Qa'ida jihadists pouring in from neighbor- ing countries, and lootings and kidnappings prevalent, Syrians are trying to figure out what went wrong with their pristine revolution." He quoted 28-year-old Mazin A1-Masri lamenting, "We had Daniel so much hopewhenwe began protesting, but today we feel our peaceful revolution has been hijacked by gangsters and jihadists." In one of Sotloff's final stories written for The Media Line, he wrote about a four- day Syrian-American medi- cal conference in Gaziantep, Turkey, where American phy- sicians conducted aworkshop for Syrian doctors training them in the use of comput- erized equipment in trauma cases and cases of limb-loss. He struggled successfully to obtain video, and had difficulty transmitting qual- ity film due to intermittent Internet. On Aug. 2, S otloff commu- nicated with me for the last time from the Turkish border- town of Kilis, discussing the dangers of going into Syria. I warned him not to trust his "fixer" (the local making the introductions and guiding his way), but Sotloff insisted that he did. He said a few journalists were still going in and that it was his hope to return and write a book about his experiences. Shortly thereafter, Sotloff dropped off the radar. Threat- ening to go public to whom- ever might be receiving his emails, I finally heard from an anonymous organization seeking his release who told us of the abduction and that a gag order (of unexplained ju- risdiction) was in place. Sub- sequent conversations with parents Arthur and Shirley Sotloff and others close to the family confirmed the worst of fears even though it is still not known what group originally pulled-off the kidnapping. What is certain is that Sotloff eventually wound up in the hands of ISIS, perfectly-time to be used in its ghastly anti- American demonstration. For more than one year, our utmost concern beyond Steven's ultimate safety was that it not be discovered that he held dual U.S.-Israeli citi- zenship. The consequences, all concerned agreed, would be a windfall for his captors that would prove irresistible; Sotloff grew up in south Florida and after attending University of Central Florida, moved to Israel in 2008 where he enrolled in the Interdisci- plinary Center at Herzliya. Many months were to pass before Art Sotloff confirmed that Stevenwas still alive. But only two weeks ago, when the world witnessed the horrific spectacle of James Foley's beheading and saw Sotloff displayed as the "next victim ' did concern that his Israeli connections become known skyrocket. Steven Sotloff was a cou- rageous journalist whose insights were clearly "on- the-mark." His readings of events-at-hand and events- in-the-making constitute a sounding of the alarm that no one answered. Perhaps the mass outpouring over his barbaric slaying will prompt the sort of action that would be worthy of Steven Sotloff's contribution to civil society. The following is Steven Sotloff's last article written for The Media Line, titled: Islamists outmuscle Free Syrian Army to 'seize the revolution' August 6, 2013 [Reyhanli, Turkey]--As the bureau- cratic red tape in Washington has delayed arming Syrian rebels fighting with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Jihadists have slowly taken charge of a revolution that has sunk into chaos. Th.ey now control large swaths of Syria and are gradually marginalizing FSA units who are becoming increasingly demoralized. Analysts note an increasing triangulation that pits op- position forces against each other in addition to fighting regime forces. Conversations with several FSA brigade leaders reveal a rudderless revolution that is barely managing to stay afloat as foreign Jihadists in- undate Syria. They complain that if the West does not act soon, all that will be left to salvage is the sunken hopes of a people who desperately wanted an end to five decades of oppression at the hands of the Assad family. Abu Munthir, a bulky man with a Rottweiler glare, is not eager to tell his story. He hesitates before opening up about his experiences. "At first we worked with the Jihadists," says the 28-year- ol d speaking in the Turkish town of Reyhanli. "They had skills we needed and were good fighters. But soon they began pushing us out and we were too weak to stop them." Abu Munthir relates that the Jihadists group Jabhat A1-Nusra had an arching plan to hijack his revolution. Cre- ated by the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), Al-Qa'ida's regional affiliate, Jabhat AI-Nusra was initially tasked with ingrati- ating itself with the Syrian rebels. The organization first offered FSA units its bomb- making expertise and combat skills. Once the brigades were won over, joint operations came next. "It was all a ruse," Abu Munthir complained. "They wanted our trust to gain our understanding of the ter- rain and to pluck off some of our fighters." As Jabhat A1-Nusra gained strength, they no longer needed their Syrian allies and began skirmishing with the FSA to protect itsturf. In some places such as Aleppo, the FSA can still hold its ground. But in eastern cit- ies such as Raqqa, the Jihad- ists have completely taken over. "We can't do anything there anymore," laments 31-year-old FSA leader Abu Hamza in the Turkish town of Killis. "They are too strong." Raqqa is controlled by Al- Qa'ida affiliate ISI. After Jab- hatAl-Nusra's leader pledged allegiance to A1-Qa'ida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, the ISI moved its own cadres into Syria. It feared a direct link betweenAl-Qa'idaandJabhat AI-Nusra would marginalize it. The ISI however is much more ruthless than its off- spring and rarely cooperates with the FSA. Instead, it views the organization as an adversary to be battled like the Syrian regime. "They won't let us move through their checkpoints and if we do, they might shoot at us," explains Abu Hamza. We have fighting with them sometimes." In the coastal province of Latakia, which constitutes the regime's stronghold, tensions exploded in July after the ISI killed senior FSA leader Kamal Hama- mi, known to his fighters as Abu Basir A1-Ladkani. "They set up a trap for Abu Basir and ambushed him," explained 28-year-old FSA fighter Khalid Bustani in a Skype call from the prov- ince. The FSA declared an all-out war against the ISI, but in its weakened state could not do much more than engage in verbal saber rattling. "We are too weak to fight them," Bustani says. We don't even have ammunition." In June, Washington pledged to supply the FSA with bullets and the weapons to shoot them. But political infighting between the White House and Congress has held up delivery of the arms. Congressmen are wary of providingweapons that could fall into the hands of Jihadists from JabhatAI-Nusra and ISI. Radicals have benefited from previous weapons deliveries from Qatar and there is little reason to believe they will be shut out of any future bonanza. Washington's turf wars are of little concern to Abu Munthir though. He just wants to be able to push the Jihadists out of Syria. "Give me the weapons and I will fight them every day until they are gone," he says. But until the United States does, there is little he can do but curse the Jihadists who have seized his revolution. From page 2A ents home, we heard of your decision to appoint an international investigation Committee to investigate "Israel's crime" in the re- cent fighting in Gaza. You informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu half an hour after our Daniel was killed, perhaps while he was lying dead in our living room, covered in a blanket. The investigation Com- mittee will examine the "crimes of Israel" during the fighting. The investigation Committee is not asked to investigate how terrorists shoot out of U.N buildings and schools. The Committee is not asked to investigate how inside buildings of the United Nations and in hospitals in Gaza terrorist infrastructure flourish and maintain over time, or how from these places terrorist left for activ- ity aimed against innocent people. It wouldn't investigate how Hamas is abusing the Palestinian people, and how its members impose on residents of Gaza, even on children, digging tunnels aimed only for terrorism against Israel. It wouldn't investigate how after these excavations carried out under duress and in slave-like conditions, the Hamas murdered the dig- gers, even the children, just to be sure they won't be able to pass information to Israel. Why are you silent? Does your silence indicate con- sent with the abuse of the Palestinian people and the Israeli people? The answers to these ques- tions will remain unknown. And I want to ask you, Sir: Are you and the U.N does not see the links that make up the global terrorism picture? The terrorists units, fully equipped and full of hatred that attacked us in our homes, are the same units that kid- napped 43 UN observers in Syria; They are the same units that decapitated innocent people in Syria and Iraq; those unites crashed aircrafts into crowded buildings in 2001 in New York; those unites threaten the essence of demo- cratic life, and life itself, in Europe, in the United States and anywhere on the plant. Let me tell you some more about the history of our lives here, on the border with Gaza. My husband's parents, Doron, also live near the border fence and three and a half years ago a Qassam rocket exploded and destroyed their home. Up until a few years ago they had good relations with the residents of Gaza. They hired workers from Gaza to work in their fields and Pau- lina, Daniel's grandmother, drove them home- to Rafah, every evening after work. They use to invite each other for weddings and other cel- ebrations and often traveled to Rafah or Gaza to enjoy life at cafes there. All that ended when Hamas ro se to power and ordered the civilians who worked in Israel, to kill their Israeli employers; ottierwise, Hamas would hurt their families. Daniel's grand- parents used to tell us this, longing and hoping that the good proximity will resume. They even found ways to maintain contact with their friends from Gaza during the mortar shell. Like the parents of Doron and their friends from Gaza, we want to live in good proximity, in peace and security. It is our hope that our neighbors, the people of Gaza will be able to live peacefully in their homes and build and develop their beautiful country. We believe that the vast majority of the people on this plant do not want to see the sights of blood, tears and fire of the radical Islam movement, but to live peacefully, enjoy kid's laughter, wait for a better tomorrow. We do not se.ek the people responsible for our Daniel's death. We only wish your re- sponse and your voice against this crime and the crime Hamas committed against their own people. Gila and Doron Tregerman Parents of Daniel (RIP), Yoval and Ori Nahal Oz, Israel Custom Print Marketing Invtions  Amnomcetmmts Dil - Oet Printing Brochures  Booklets Direct Mail Services Forms - Leds 407-767-7110  205 North Street. Lon,cxx. FL 32750 ) @, www. elegzantpdnting, net fST: .,  - Mention This Acl and Receive 18% Discomt -