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September 19, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 PAGE 5F By Gary Rosenblatt step down from his pulpit in June 2015, Rabbi Bachman When I asked Rabbi An@ explained that he felt the need Bachman what he plans to to devote his full-time ener- speak about in his sermons gies to alleviating poverty in during this, his last, Rosh our society. HaShanah and Yom Kippur But when I posed the ques- services as senior rabbi of tion about his theme for the Congregation BethElohim, I High Holy Days later this thought he would bring up the month, his one-word response importance of closing the gap came without hesitation. between the wealthy and the "Israel," he said. needy in this country. "My message will be, 'Don't After all, the 51-year-old abandon Israel.'" rabbi built a reputation at Shaken by witnessing the the Park Slope, Brooklyn effects of the Gazawar while synagogueasastrongvoicefor visiting Jerusalem this sum- progressive Judaism, giving mer, the rabbi said he plans secular Jews a sense of mean- to press home the point that ing through social justice and the Mideast is an increasingly communal causes beyond dangerous region with direct ancient rituals and prayers, implications for us here in Over his nine-year tenure, America. Citing the rise of membershipdoubledtol,000 ISIS and Islamic militants families. LastMarch, whenhe in Syria, Gaza and Lebanon, surprised his congregation he asserted that the violent with the news of his plan to aggression is "all intercon- nected" and that "Israel is at cording to the rabbi. It's more students were Jewish and miracle of Jewish history and the front lines of a conflict about being a realist, rec- whichwereArab.Hesupports I wonder what it will all end that will affect us for the next ognizing the country's very other programs as well that up looking like." Beyond his 100 years, so we'd better get real security concerns while foster Jewish-Arab coopera- rabbinate, he plans to keep used to it." resisting what he sees as "the tion in Israel, whose society working toward ensuring a Critical, at Limes, of Jewish erosion of civil structures" in has "too great an emphasis more open Israeli society. groups that advocated either a society moving rightward, on difference," he said. He "If not moving there I widening the war or making "Who speaks for the center thinks diasporaJewr has"far have to find ways to stay in the deep concessions, he said he of American Jewry?" he won- less clout than we think" on game," he said, with the goal will"poke some holeson both dered aloud, crediting AIPAC Israeli politics, and that "the of"creating new institutions." sides. But I want to criticize for "doing an amazing job of most impact we could have Among the projects Rabbi the left internally," he added, advocating for the govern- wouldbe a mass aliyah ofreli- Bachman expressed an inter- troubled by leaderswho spent ment of Israel's position" but giouslypluralist Jews."Buthe est in launching is a post-high more time criticizing than noting that the pro-Israel knows that is notlikely, inpart school gap year program defending Israel during the lobby "is not about conven- because most American Jews in Israel for large numbers recent Gaza fighting, ing nuanced conversation on are notsufficientlydevoted to of American Jewish teens, Though he is amember of J Israel and its policies." That's live in an Israel that he says recognizing the success of Streetand Rabbis for Human something that interests him is far less multicultural than the Orthodox community in Rights, he said that dovish asaworthycausehemaywant the U.S. strengtheningJewishidentity Jewish groups have "worthy to be involved in the future. Personally, hewould prefer for their children through ye- values, but too often they Rabbi Bachman is a long- to make aliyah now. What shivaprogramsinIsrael.Heis don't take into consideration time supporter of Yad b'Yad, holds him back, he said, are concernedaboutdiminishing how tough and complicated theonlybilingualHebrewand the obligations of his family tiestolsraelfornon-Orthodox the world is." Arabic school in Jerusalem. life, with a wife with a career Jews here. In a sense, "the terms'left' Having visited there recently and children in their teens. In the Aug. 1 entry of his and 'right' no longer apply" he came away impressed"As a student of history," he when it comes to Israel, ac- that he could not tell which said, "I am fascinated by the Rosenblatt on page 26A By Barry Curtiss-Lusherwill lead to any meaningful And yet the international critical in saving countless and AbrahamH. Foxman changeinthedepressingstate blame-gameisalreadyunder- lives and protecting cities of affairs in the Palestinian way. If past is prologue, Israel from incoming rockets. As we mark the end of an- territories and particularly in once again will take the full We must never forget the other year with the advent of Gaza, where Hamasruleswith brunt of blame while Hamas lives of the three kidnapped Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish an iron fist, an anti-Semitic gets a pass. We will need to Jewish teenagers Naftali New Year, we pause to take charterandadeepideological be prepared for the onslaught Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and stock of the year that has opposition to any rapproche- of one-sided investigations, Eyal Yifrach. They became passed, to learn from our- ment with Israel. biased recriminations, and the latest blameless victims selves, our experiences and In the year ahead we can calls for boycott, divestment of terrorism and blind hatred our mistakes as we move for- expect Israel to face new and sanctions against the and extremism. We mourn ward to build a better future, challenges internationally Jewish state, the 72 Israelis killed in the This has been a most dif- as a result of the ongoing Fortunately, Israel was not 50-day conflict, as well as ficult year for the Jewish conflict. We know that Israel completely alone. Many Eu- the Palestinian civilians who people and particularly for acted with an abundance of ropean countries stood up to needlessly died in Gaza. the state of Israel, which once caution in Gaza and had no support the Jewish state as it In terms of anti-Semitism again has fended off a threat other choice but to protect its fought to defend itself and its globally, by any measure the on its southern border from civilians fromthe hundreds of civilians from the campaign year 5774 was an annus hor- an implacable foe, the ter- rockets flying overhead and of Hamas terrorism, and the ribilis for the Jewish people. rorist group Hamas. As the more than a dozen terrorist U.S. provided crucial support The passions whipped up by year concludes there is little tunnels burrowing under- to Israel's Iron Dome missile those protesting the war in hopethatthemostrecentwar neath Gaza into Israel.defense system, which was Gaza led to open displays of By Shana Medel Jewish UCF Knights filed into the UCF Pegasus Ballroom. to Anti-Semitism is rising at quietly listen to the speakers an alarming rate across the featured at an SJP event. United States, especially on Thesestudentswerenotthere college campuses. A group to make a raucous or to dis- such as Students for Justice pute the biased slander being in Palestine (SJP) is not in- spoken into the microphone; terested in engaging in civil these students were there conversations with pro-Israel simply to assess what type of students. They would rather threat SJP poses to the cur- harass supporters of Israel, rent and future UCF student shout anti-Semitic insults, body. Although they were and turn to violence--as relieved to see a rather small witnessed recently at Temple turnout of UCF students and University--to spread their local community members, desire to "free" Palestinians that did not make listening from the "open-air prison" to the event any easier. they supposedly live in. This A Palestinian-American type of student-run organi- poet by the name of Remi zation thrives upon media Kanezi recited a poem that manipulation, demonizing spoke about the Israelis' "in- and delegitimizing Israel, as digenous confusion"andhow well as urging for the boycott the "Zionists [would] one day and divestment of the tiny cower in embarrassment" at democratic state, the slightest mention of their Even with the increasing "66 years of continued ethnic trend to spiral into this realm cleansing," As the pro-Israel of hatred, the University of students cringed at the lies Central Florida (UCF)--the being spewed to the audi- second largest school in the ence, the rest of the crowd nation with close to 60,000 applauded and nodded their students--has a surpris- heads in agreement. ingly minor history of anti- SalaatulMaghrib, original- Semitic acts and anti-Israel ly from Detroit, first opened sentiment. However, this fall his speech with a verse from semester, SJP finally arrived the Koran: "Indeed, Allah's at the UCF campus with the power orders justice, good backbone of their organiza- conduct, and giving to rela- tion firmly resting on falsified tives and he forbids immoral- information and inaccurate ity, bad conduct, and oppres- claims, sion. He admonishes you, so OnthenightofSep.6,seven that perhaps you may be re- minded." In regards to oppos- "human rights," "pro-justice ing Israel, he continued with: and pro-truth," and "ending "...This talk and this event are the occupation" it is easy to [about] anti-oppression. This see how they are attracting talk is anti-genocide. This talk peoples' attention. However, is pro-humanity...This talk what college students need is pro-peace and pro-justice to ask themselves is if these because we stick to the side assertions are true. Shouting of justice wherever we are." slogans such as, "From the Statements such as these river to the sea, Palestine raise some interesting ques- will be free," "Baby killers," tions. For instance, if this talk and "Death to Israel" can be isabout"anti-oppression"and internalized quicker than G-d forbids"bad conduct and Israel activists can refute oppression," then that must them. The refutation takes mean supporting the over- time, education, andawilling- throw of Hamas, right? After ness to listen whereas yelling all, Hamas is a recognized anti-Israel phrases takes mere terrorist organization that seconds. publicly oppresses its own It is unfortunate that UCF people: murdering them if students, whether they have they speak out in opposition, a stance on the Arab-Israeli usingthemashumanshields, conflict or not, may have to and pouring thousands of endure this struggle on their dollars into building terror very own college campus. tunnels instead of helping Nevertheless, UCF Knights, them improve their poverty will continue to stand united stricken lives, and strong. We will not let Maghribclosedhis25-min- Israel's name be associated ute speech with: "You must with words such as "apart- raise awareness and under- heid" or "genocide." Even if stand the facts. As long as SJP becomes disruptive, we you're on the side oftruth and will continue to spread the thesideofjustice, you're fine." truth and debunk the lies. In reality, those individuals The Jewish community has who vehemently oppose the strong partnerships with mere existence of the State other student-run organiza- of Israel along with Students tions at UCF and we refuse for Justice in Palestine con- to let SJP make students feel stantly mislead large groups uneasy or unsafe at their own of people. By disguising their university. desire to wipe Israel off the Shana Medel is a Heritage map with language such as, intern and student at UCF. hostility against Israel. Those displays gave way in many instances to ugly anti-Semitic outbursts, while leading some- to act out violently against Jewish institutions, homes and businesses. Who would have thoughtwe would hear chants of "death to the Jews" on the streets of Berlin in our lifetime? Who would have thought that Jew- ish stores would be marked and face boycotts, that Jews on the streets would be attacked in broad daylight? This time around, unlike during the Second Intifada or Israel's military offensive in Gaza in 2008-2009, the anti-Jewish attacks were not limited to the Middle East and Europe. This time Jew- ish communities from South Africa to Turkey and South America were the scene of ugly anti-Jewish rhetoric at protests and outbursts of anti- Semitic violence. It seemed as if the lid was taken off, and unbridled anti-Semitism was taking form all around us. Some countries responded better than others. In Western Europe leaders of France, Britain and Germany stood up zens in Germany and Britain organized large public rallies against anti-Semitism. This time we also had a more complete picture of the extent of the problem. Released in May, the ADL Global 100, a first-of-its- kind survey of anti-Semitic attitudes in 100 countries worldwide, revealed the star- tling fact that anti-Semitism is hardly a thing of the past. We learned that 26 percent of the world's population harbors classical anti-Semitic attitudes. The litany of ancient notions we thought had been a thing of the past--that Jews have too much power in business, that Jews dominate finance, that Jews don't care what happens to anyone but their own, that Jews have too much control over global af- faii s and the media, that Jews are responsible for most of the world's wars--these have stuck, and have remarkable staying power in far-flung regions of the world. Therewas some good news and rays of hope in the survey as well. For reasons not en- tirely clear there are certain places around the globe-- and made clearanti-Semitism was unacceptable. And citi-5775 on page 26A Dry Boa RtN ; ! AYATOU.AH ISI STOP TIE ISIS/ CE I OOC-S NU EAR WEAPONS.