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September 19, 2014     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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September 19, 2014

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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 ~!ii /i=: /!!i:iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!i By David Bornstdn Charles' Challenge Charles Schwartz, of blessed memory, was My parents had been Charles' friends for a challenging man. On first impression the years, almost since the first day he came to wordsmanypeoplechosetodescribehimwere Orlando. And over the years, both through often couched in cautious criticism. Reserved. business and family, I think I can say I became Opinionated. Controlled. Condescending. afriend, and then finally, thanks to my cousin But if you were part of his circle, or had the and his wife Roz Fuchs, an honorary family opportunity to know him for a long period member as well. Let me tell you a few stories, of time, and thus were able to peel back the so you'll see Charles a little bit more like I did. layers, you knew that first impression was Charles was deeply concerned about the entirely misleading, well-being of me and my family during the Charles held himself in cheek because he economic downturn of 2006-2009. He knew was, by nature, one of the most rational men the real estate business far better than I, and I ever met. If something didn't make sense, understood the dire straits we were in as deal he spotted it. If he presented an idea, it was after deal collapsed. He would call me into his because he'd thought it out, looked at it from office or take me out to lunch on a regular all sides, and believed, wholeheartedly, that it basis to mentor me and find out how I was was the right idea. He ran both his business doing. And he had an idea that he decided and his life that way, and he was successful in was perfect for me. He had it all figured out. both. If you really knew him you had no choice He thought I should become the preeminent but to admire his intelligence, his dry wit, his residential lot salesman in Central Florida. He passionforJudaismandourJewishcommunity was convinced I could be the best, bar none. and Israel. And those of us who were lucky It would take awhile, he told me--long hours enough to really know him loved him. and three to five years of hard work making very little, but then I could position myself to make a good living the rest of my life. And he was right on all counts. But it wasn't right for me: He disagreed, of course, but he was never dismissive. And when the opportu- nity arose, he gave me a chance to rebuild in other ways that fit me better, and for that I'll always be grateful. When my mother was honored by Israel Bonds the year before her death, Charles called me and told me not to worry about buying a bond. He didn't want me to over commit, and told me he and Roz and my wife Pat and I would all have our names on thebond he purchased. At his wedding to Roz, Charles was a Shpritz- ing mess: I've never seen a man contain his emo- tions so intensely and express them by sweating so profusely. When he greeted me and planted a kiss on my cheek at Shabbat or any family dinner or holiday celebration, it was fleeting but totally sincere. When he engaged my wife in conversation, his attention neverwavered. He was open, forthright, genuinely engaged. And though he never thought I'd get rich writing, he never pooh-poohed my personal passion or advised me to quit pursuing my dreams. When Charles asked me to pitch in and help, I did without a second thought. We worked together to raise money for Birthright Israel, because, while we both believed in it, Charles had the drive and desire to do something to help. And when he asked me to serve on a small committee to try to figure out a way to help the Maitland Jewish community campus shore up its bleak financial picture, I jumped in, not because I wanted to, but because he wanted me to. That effort fell apart just a few months before Charles passed away, not from lack of effort on Charles' part, but due to the intransigence and inherent fear of change in several of our major community agencies. Thanks to the hard work of Michael Soll, Ryan Lefkowitz, and a few others, it appears that a plan is in place that will potentially reduce the debt on the campus by several million dollars. But that's not enough. And that's where you come in. And that's the gauntlet I'm throwing down to a select group of people in this Jewish community. You know who you are. In honor of Charles. In acknowledgement of his com- mitment and passion and efforts to make our community whole, I'm challenging you--the machers, the big donors, the ones with real influence-~to get together and figure out a way to retire the remaining debt on the Maitland campus. I'm not saying you should be the only ones to pony up. I am saying you have the ability to tell the agencies, like the wayward children they often act like, what they're going to do and how it's going to be done. Set limits. Insist on no more borrowing against the community's assets. Make it a condition that nothing gets built unless it's paid for up front. But get it done. You can. And if you do I guarantee that Charles will be beaming as he looks down from above with a wholly unreserved, uncontrolled smile. And that's the good word. Send your thoughts, comments, and critiques to the Heritage or email dsb328@ By Ben Cohen Incirlik has been operationally critical to our military engagements in the region over the !ast quarter of a century, including the present Here's the good news: the Obama adminis- fight against the terrorists of Islamic State. tration has finally grasped that the onslaught At the same time, there are three key of the Islamic State terror group through Iraq reasons why we should question whether and Syria needs to be defeated and destroyed, the Turks can continue to be a pillar of an Sixty-onepercentofAmericans, according to American-led alliance. Firstly, the Turkish a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, agree government's pursuit of political outcomes withthe president.At atime when much of the that undermineAmerican interests.Secondly, worldbelieves, notunreasonably, thatAmerica the murky relationship between the Turks and is in retreat, the administration's willingness to the various terrorist groups in the region. pursue military options and its almost George Thirdly, the growing intolerance that stains W. Bush-esque rhetoric regarding the "evil" Turkish politics, and particularly the nakedly of Islamic State, as Secretary of State John anti-Semitic rhetoric directed towards Israel Kerry put it, is most welcome, by Turkey's former prime minister and newly Even so, the issue of which states to involve elected president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. in the battle against Islamic State should leave Let's start with the first reason. The recent us less sanguine aboutwhere this battle might war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza could lead. Yes, yes, I know: This is the Middle East, have been ended much earlier had an Egyptian and we are therefore compelled to work with truce proposal, agreed to by the government distasteful regimes, such as the Saudis, in ac- of Benjamin Netanyahu, been implemented. complishing strategic goals like the expulsion But the Egyptian initiative was derailed by a of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991. This rival proposal from Turkey and Qatar, the two time, however, we need to avoid an outcome main patrons of Hamas. The Turkish-Qatari that strengthens Iranian influence in the proposal temporarily seduced the U.S. State region, which means that we cannot indefi- Department and resulted in the continuation nitely postpone the discussion over what to of hostilities for several more days. doaboutthebrutalregimeofBasharal-Assad The issue of Turkish trustworthiness is in Damascus. equally alive in the context of Iraq and Syria. By the same token, there's another discus- Turkey has expressed concern that weapons sionthatwecannotindefinitelypostpone.That will fall into the hands of the Kurdistan one concerns the role of Turkey--a country Workers Party (PKK), a left-wing nationalist described by a senior Obama administration organizationdesignatedbytheAmericansand official, in an interview with the New York the Europeans as a terrorist group. Times thatcoincidedwithSecretaryofDefense What this overlooks is the fact that the Chuck Hagel's visit to Ankara, as "absolutely PKK, along with its Syrian offshoot, the indispensable" to the struggle against Islamic PYD, has already played an "indispensable State. role" in the fight against Islamic State when, There is, of course, a great deal of merit moreover, the rest of the world was looking behind that statement. Turkey is historically the other way. PKK and PYD fighters go into an ally of the U.S. and a member of NAT. The airbase which the Americans maintain at Cohen on page 26A THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE 1SSN 0199-0721 Winner of 43 Press Awards FLORIDA 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 andadditional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor Assistant Editor Gene Starn Kirn Fischer Christine DeSouza MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 emaih Society Editor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Loft Apple Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky David Bornstein Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore Letter from Israel By Ira Sharkansky Wednesday morning we woke to our neigh- borhood in the headlines. My inbox included two notes from overseas inquiring about our safety. "Activists" ("terrorists" is on the other edge of the politically correct; "thieves' or "vandals" may be correct in this instance) from Isaweea torched the Fi'ench Hill gas station and looted its store. The station manager and employees are Arabs, and they will suffer at least a temporary loss of work. Likewise the Palestinians who work in Jewish industries that the worthie~ of the world boycott on account of injustice. The event at the French Hill gas station presumably came in response to the death of another activist who had been involved in a demonstration last week. The police say he fell and struck his head when running away. His uncle claims that he was an innocent bystander and was shot by the police with no justification. There was a delay in the arrival of the ambulance, due to the crew waiting for a police escort. The young man was initially brought to a Palestinian Hospital, then to Hadassah, which was unable to save him. An autopsy occurred with a Palestinian physi- cian as observer. We'll see what that settles. Neighbors told us there was noise through the night. It was still happening when we left the house in the morning and would continue throughout the day. The police had closed the roads to Isaweea, and were most likely going through their routine of pressing informants to lead them to those who had burned the gas station. It did not pass without opposition, tear gas, stun grenades, and a circling police helicopter. We had slept through the main event. This was 200 meters from our bedroom. It reminded me of being posted by the IDF lec- ture corp somewhere in Lebanon, and waking up one morning to hear that there had been action, with casualties, 50 meters from my sleeping bag. While some worry about the onset of Intifada III, the Palestinian leaderships of the West Bank and Gaza are speaking toward one an[her more like enemies than colleagues. It takes more than our available skills to know what Mahmoud Abbas is demanding. His agenda changes with the day and sometimes with the hour. It has included bringing Israel to the International Criminal Court on war crimes, demanding the removal of all settle- ments within three years (which sounds like it includes French Hill), then saying that the 1967 lines will only be the starting point of negotiations. His assertions that Hamas was responsible for a national tragedy in Gaza may get in the way of bringing Israel to trial for war crimes. George Mitchell may be positioning himself to manage another effort to bring Israelis and Palestinians together for a two-state solution. A series of articles has been well crafted with the history of the conflict, theproblems that have prevented agreement, and the dangers faced by both Israelis and Palestinians from the status quo. We know all that. Mitchell's own background leads him to cite the Northern Ireland as an example of the good that can occur after years of bloodshed. He acknowledges the differences, but he does not mention Islam. Among Mitchell's problems are the President and Secretary of State who will have to enable and support any renewal of a peace mission. Both Barack Obama and John Kerry have become targets of ridicule by leading Israeli commentators, as well as by equivalents in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. That does not bode well for another American initiative for this part of the Middle East. Mitchell's headline is "US the only power that can push for peace: America's prosperity and world dominance will extend into the future." Reading through Mitchell's three long articles, it appears that he is sure that the United States needs to assure its position as world leader, but does not indicate how it must be done. Palestinian sources have reported that President Sisi is willing to cede a chunk of the Sinai alongside Gaza to help with the creation of a Palestinian state. If the reports are true--and there have been Egyptian denials as well as substantial doubts by Israeli com- mentators that Egypt would depart from its refusal to give up an inch of its territory to help the Palestinians or the Israelis--the idea would join Mitchell's writing in a century of interesting material. Diaspora Jews continue to tussle about who is responsible for the Israel-Palestine impasse. J Street and Peace Now, along with Martin Indyk, and the New York Times blame Israeli leaders for not being honest or forthcoming in negotiations. Among those making the point of chronic Palestinian rejectionism is a film entitled The J street Challenge, which has provoked its own round of praise and reservations. No surprise that Israelis are quarreling about the aftermath of Gaza. Politicians have said that Hamas is already atwork digging tunnels, crafting missiles, and smuggling munitions from Egypt via as yet undiscovered tunnels. Sharkansky on page 26A