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September 12, 2014

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PAGE 14A JNF From page 1A dedicated to giving back to Orlando--their adopted home. Jim has been an active member of the Holocaust Re- source and Education Center board for the last 20 years and served the last four as president. Valeria is involved in women's philanthropy through 100 Women Strong and serves on the board of the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. They are also active support- ers of the Orlando Health Cancer Center. In 2006 they joined a JNF mission to Israel that turned out to be a life-altering and most meaningful ex- perience. They have been involved with the local JNF board since their return- Valeria has served as Presi- dent and they led a mission to Israel in 2010. Jim and Valeria, who cele- brated their 20th anniversary this year, share a love of travel, evident in both their life sto- HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 ries and in where they met-- the baggage claim at Orlando International Airport. "Valeria and Jim have made special contributions to the Orlando Jewish com- munity, Israel and to JNF, said Deborah Meitin, JNF Orlando Board president. "Through Jim's leadership at the Ho- locaust Center and Valerie's leadership role and dedication to JNF here in Central Florida, they have made a difference for so many and are deserving of this award." Tess Wise, founder of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center (HM- REC) of Central Florida, will also be honored at the dinner with JNF's Guardian of Israel Award. JNF Chief Executive Officer Russell F. Robinson will be the keynote speaker for the event. Sponsorship information and tickets are available online at For more information, please contact Laura Abramson at or 407.804.5568. Review From page 3A by Conde Nast Publishers (owner of Wired magazine). Following the buyout, Swartz dropped out of Stanford to work for Wired magazine. Noah Swartz shared that although his brother became very rich by the age of 19, he remained unchanged. Money had never had been a motiva- tor for Aaron, who was most comfortable living in a small apartment and wearing j eins. Corporate America did not agree with Swartz, and he left his well-paying job to pursue his first calling, computer activism (aka Hacktivism). Swartz advocated for trans- parency on the Internet, and open access to library and scholarly files for the public good. His strong desire for an open-access Internet would take over his career, and would become the source of major legal problems, and even lead to his death. In 2011, Aaron hacked into the JStor library at MIT to liberate millions of schol- arly files that he felt should be available through open access. The hacking was de- tected by MIT, and Swartz was caught illegally downloading the files. He was arrested and charged with four felonies. Swartz would be haunted by the specter of prosecution and prison time until his death by suicide in 2013. Though JStor dropped the charges against Swartz, the government continued to aggressively pursue the case. Swartz's friends and family believe that his case was being used as an example, serving as a deterrent to ward off future trouble from computer activ- ists. If convicted, Swartz could have faced up to 35 years in prison and an onerous fine. His supporters felt the asso- ciated penalties were unduly harsh, and not befitting Of his victimless crime, which some called, "taking out too many books from the library." Later, Swartzwas offered but refused a plea deal, as a felony record would curtail his pursuits in political and computer activism. At this time, my own sym- pathies were largely swayed in favor of the beleaguered computer activist. Swartz seemed to be a victim of the political climate, in which the government was toughening up on computer crimes. He was aggressively pursued for a crime in which the complain- ant was not seeking any dam- ages. To make matters worse, Swartz was later charged with a total of 13 felonies, mostly stemming from the outmoded "Computer Fraud and Abuse Act" (CFAA), passed in 1986, when the computerized world was a different place. My inside knowledge of Swartz's family home came in handy as Noah Swartz recounted a harrowing tale of the FBI conducting sur- veillance on their Highland Parl home, when a govern- ment vehicle cruised up and down their drive. The Swartz home is'not easily monitored, as it is hidden on all sides by neighboring homes, and is not visible from the street. The long and narrow driveway that leads up to the recessed English-style cottage is both wooded and foreboding. No one drives down the impos- ing drive unintentionally, as there is no turn around, and the only way out is in reverse. I can recall taking out several bushes and fence posts as an inexperienced teen driver while backing down the narrow roadway. Therefore, the FBI meant business when they traveled the length of the family drive to see if Aaron was present. Swartz remained politi- cally active during the two years the government took to build a case against him, and was an instrumental player in defeating the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Despite his successes, the pressure of his impending trial and prosecu- tion began to build. Swartz's isolation from his friends and family began to increase. His mother, Susan, added that the threat of jail time began to weigh upon him. His father, Robert, shared that legal fees were in the millions of dollars and mounting. Aaron became concerned about becoming a burden to those closest to him. On Jan. 11, 2013, Swartz was found dead in his apart- ment, a victim of suicide by hanging. Following his death, mourning took place on twitter and online. Aaron's friends and family blamed the overzealous government prosecutors for his death. Robert Swartz concluded, "Can we still do something, given what's happened, to make the world a better place? That's the question one can ask." Swawrtz's brother added, "Aaron really could do magic. (Let's) make sure the magic doesn't end in his death." Since Swartz's death Con- gressman Ron Wyden (D- Oregon) and Zoe Lofgren (D- San Jose) are working on reforming the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act with (CFAA) with the introduction of "Aaron's Law." I highly recommend view- ing"The Internet's Own Son" to discover more about the legacy of Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who never stopped fighting for what he truly believed. "The Internet's Own Son" is available through Bright- house on Demand and on the Internet. Pamela Ruben a writer and educator currently residing in the Orlando area. She is publisher and editor of Cen- Dershowitz From page 4A consistent with its military needs, to minimize Palestin- ian civilian casualties, even when attacking legitimate military targets. The key word here is "reasonable," and Israel has gone well beyond what other countries have done in analogous situ- ations. They issued warn- ings, by leaflet, phone and other means--warnings that Hamas countermanded in its efforts to keep civilians in harm's way and continue to have them serve as human shields to protect their terror tunnels. Israel did not issue warnings when it needed to act quickly to save its own soldiers from ambushes and other serious risks. Israel thus tried to minimize Pal- estinian civilian casualties, while Hamas tried to increase both Palestinian and Israeli civilian casualties. The Israeli government is conducting several investiga- tions as to whether any of its soldiers violated its carefully designed rules of engagement that were drafted by lawyers familiar with international law. If they did not, then there is no valid legal or moral case against Israel. If they did and are prosecuted by Israeli authorities--either military or civilian--then the rules of the International Criminal Court would preclude it from bringing charges against any Israelis. The right of Israel to target these terrorist tunnels is thus central to any analysis of the legal consequences of civilian deaths in Gaza. Yet a recent "report" by a grouia of self-described legal experts that accused Israel of "war crimes" did not even mention the tunnels. This report, deceptively entitled "Joint Declaration by International Law Experts on Israel's Gaza offensive," also deliberately ignored the facts that Hamas combatants do not wear uniforms, repeatedly fired rockets and mortars from densely populated civilian ar- eas, and stored weapons and ammunition in and around mosques, schools, and desig- nated refugee centers--all in violation of the laws of war. Legally, the report misrep- resents a crucial dimension of 7 8 3 4 6 1 9 2 5 61423958 49715362 2586947 1 53291786 72384519 98576243 37658124 84137695 16942837 International Law, by claim- ing that Israel violated the principle of "distinction" by targeting civilian buildings, without mentioning that a civilian structure becomes a legitimate military target when it is used for military purposes. More serious is the accusa- tion that Israel committed the war crime of collective punishment by deliberately attacking the civilian popula- tion. Again, this is a blatant mischaracterization both of Israel's actions which were preventive rather than puni- tive in nature, and a willful misappropriation of a term defined in the context of mass executions during World War II. Hamas knows that in the modern media environment it profits from the deaths Oxfam From page 5A and moving it to the Be'er Sheva area in the Negev. With an average of four people per household approximately 3,600 Palestinians and Arab workers are being directly impacted by the SodaStream West Bank plant closing. Many of these Palestin- ian and Arab workers had been earning enough money with SodaStream to apply for mortgages and building homes. When those mortgage payments can't be paid and the foreclosures start there will be much anger and frustration in Rivers From page 11A stood there looking straight ahead. Didn't talk or make jokes. One armwas at her side, relaxed; the other clutched her small purse. She was offstage. She almost seemed shy. The elevator doors opened and she was back on--the broad smile, of Palestinian civilians, so much so that it repeat- edly refused ceasefire offers proposed both by Israel and international mediators. The vast majority of Palestinian deaths came after Hamas refused to accept these cease fires, The title of the report is doubly deceptive because very few of its signatories are recognized experts in international law. Those who are--such as Richard Falk, John Dugard and Pe- ter Weiss--have notorious reputations as anti-Zionist Zealots. The very fact that they labeled Israeli defensive actions as "offensive" demon- strates their bias. No self-respecting lawyer would ever file a brief mak- ing the kind of unsubstanti- ated factual and legal claims made by this report. Were a lawyer to file a brief that did not mention the most salient facts that undercut its conclusion--here the tunnels and use of human shields--that lawyer would be disciplined, perhaps even disbarred. This report is a disgrace to the legal profes- sion and to the academic in- stitutions-such as Boston University, Georgetown, and UCLA--whose names are highlighted for identifica- tion purposes. Its biased authors should be called to account for this unpro- fessional and unethical document and no credibility should be accorded it by fair minded people concerned for the truth. Nor should people of good will pay any attention to Bishop Desmond Tutu's most recent screed, accusing Israel of conducting a "dispropor- tionally brutal" military attack and "indiscriminate killing" in Gaza. Tutu also deliberately fails to mention the terrorist tunnels of death, as if by ignoring them, they would stop posing a lethal threat to thousands of Israeli citizens. Those who condemn Is- rael's recent military actions have an obligation to answer the following questions: did Israel have the right to try to prevent those tunnels of death from being used to murder and kidnap its citizens? If so, how could Israel have accomplished that with substantially fewer casualties? these West Bank communi- ties. There is no work in the West Bank for these Palestin- ians to move into comparable earning jobs and supporttheir families. Now there are 3,600 ad- ditional frustrated and angry Palestinians in the West Bank. Their anger, strangely enough, will not be focused on Oxfam International and the BDS Movement who are responsible for them losing their livelihood. That anger will be focused like a laser on the Jews and Israel. If I was a Palestinian community organizer I would be channeling this ant-Jew/ Israel anger by building more violent terrorist cells in the West Bank and East Jerusalem with all these now unemployed SodaStream workers. Qatar would be smart to give these families a little bit of money and food to tide them over for a short time instead of financing a Gaza weapons buying spree. When the money and food runs Out, desperation sets in. Generos- ity in the Arab world comes with a very high price tag. The payment will almost certainly be the radicalization of these once proud Palestin- ian SodaStream workers. Sadly, there are no profits in peace between the Palestin- ians and Israelis for groups like Oxfam and the BDS Move- ment who thrive on poverty and misery. The big picture The idiocy of the Oxfam BDS campaign created a situ- ation where some EU and U.S. large wholesalers had to can- cel ordersof Israeli products. The unintended consequence is that Russia is now buying up from Israel what the EU and U.S. are unfortunately boycotting. the quick wit, the self effacing banter was in full swing. But mostly, she was gracious. That was 15 years ago, she was 66 years old (young!), but it seems like yesterday- as all special events seem to be in our memories. Pictures were taken- The Heritage ran two of her: one with Mardi Shader and Susan Shapiro, who were co-chairs of the event; and the other with the Series staff. During her talk at the Mor- rell Series, Rivers not only made us laugh, she shared with us some of her most terrifying moments and spoke with compassion and insight about the hardships we all endure, and showed us that even in the hardest situations, there is humor and triumph. As she titled one of her many books, "Bouncing Back: I've survived everything.., and I mean everything.., and you can too!" We related to her. We will miss her.