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September 19, 2014

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PAGE 26A Cohen From page 4A combat alongside Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq. They are also instrumental to the current offensive against Islamic State in the area around Shingal, where tens of thousands of Yazidis, an ancient religious minority regarded as "unbelievers" by the Islamists, have endured a savage genocide. Given American reluctance to deploy ground troops, and' the recognition that the fight against Islamic State will be measured in years rather than months, it is legitimate to ask whether Turkish wor- ries about the PKK should be elevated above other consider- ations. It can even be argued that there is little justification for maintaining the PKK's "terrorist" designation. As Gfilistan G(irbey, a political scientist based in Berlin, told the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, the PKK is "deeply rooted in the Kurd- ish diaspora." and is "fighting against an existential threat in the region" in the form of Islamic State. This brings us to the second reason. Turkey is hardly in a position to complain about Kurdish "terrorism" when it provides financial and politi- cal support to other terrorist groups in the Middle East, notably Hamas. In a recent article for The Tower maga- zine, foreign policy analyst Jonathan Schanzer observed that "it is decidedly awkward for a NAT O ally to be so out- wardly supportive of Hamas in light of the group's grisly record of violence against civilian targets since its inception in 1987." Just as awkward, Schanzer pointed out, is Turkey's involvement in sanctions-busting operations with Iran, aswell as Erdogan's relations with dubious indi- viduals like Yasin al-Qadi, a Saudi businessman who was designated as a "terrorist financier" shortly after the A1- Qaedaatrocities of September 11, 2001. Which brings us to reason number three. States that support terrorist organiza- tions abroad frequently have woeful records of suppression and intolerance at home. What was true of Saddam's Iraq remains true of Assad's Syria--and of Turkey, whose president is still to be coo- fronted with the contradiction of membership in a demo- cratic alliance like NATO and support for jihadist organiza- tions like Hamas. Obama has delicately raised the issue with Erdogan--"The President and President Erdogan discussed HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 the importance of build- ing tolerant and inclusive societies and combating the scourge of anti-Semitism," said a White House statement after the two leaders met at the last NATO Summitibut this assumes that a "tolerant and inclusive society" is what Erdogan wants. When you have a store in downtown Istanbul refusing entry to "Jew Dogs" at the same time that Erdogan lambasts Israel as "worse" than Adolf Hitler, that's a misguided and even dangerous assumption. Ultimately, the war against Islamic State is a war against the philosophy of jihad. As with any war involving mul- tiple parties fighting on the same side, an overarching po- litical vision is nearly impos- sible to achieve. During the Second World War, the U.S. and Britain had few illusions about the Soviet Union, even as they allied with it. Similar cynicism is warranted now when it comes to Turkey. Ben Cohen is the Shill- man analyst for and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, -Haaretz, and other publica- tions. His book, "Some Of My Best Friends: A Journey Through Twenty-First Cen- tury Antisemitism" (Edition Critic, 2014), is now available through Amazon. Sharkansky From page 4A Military analysts say they have no such information. Various units concerned with military intelligence and planning are squabbling among themselves and with politicians about who made what projections about the force Israel would have to exert, and what would be the breaking point of Hamas. Prime Minister Netanyahu made the demilitarization of Gaza as a primary aim of Operation Protective Edge. Foreign Minister Lieberman says that it is not achievable in the near future. None of this should be new, especially to someone with 50 years of studying politics and administra- tion, with several American and Israeli wars to ponder. Military actions seldom work smoothly, and are sure to invite a blame game. While various contenders for media attention or the top slot in government are competing with one another over claims of achievement, failure, and what remains undone, Israel has emerged from this event with consid- erable assets. Chief among them is control over the borders of Gaza, with Egypt likely to cooperate due to its own problems with the political and religious allies of Hamas. Winter is coming and much of Gaza is rubble, electricity is unreliable, and its water would not pass anyone's standards. Control over the inflow of cement and other construction ma- terial can be a powerful as more air strikes, providing Israel stands against its own humanitarians and those from elsewhere demanding instant care for a population saying they won the war, and promising more of the same. This remains an interesting place, as long as we remember to remind ourselves. Ira Sharkansky is a pro- fessor (Emeritus) of the Department of Political Sci- ence, Hebrew UniverMty of Jerusalem. Rosenblatt From page 5A thoughtful, often lyrical blog, "Water Over Rocks," he wrote from Israel: "I worry about American Jewry on this trip more than I ever have. I worry about their increasing alienation from the notion of a Jewish people, each of us inherently obligated to one another despite our dif- ferences; I worry about our understandable abhorrence of the killing of innocents that too quickly shifts to blame, guilt and distance from Israel... and I worry about a kind of liberal American Jew- ish hopelessness toward the Jewish national project, the dystopian other-expression of the very spirit that created this improbable, historically miraculous, wildly creative yetweighted, complex, imper- fect nation." In our interview, he asked aloud, "What will it mean for American Jewry if the next leader of Israel will be a [Naftali] Bennett of [Avigdor] Lieberman," right- wing cabinet members who advocate tougher policies regarding the Palestinians and "who don't speak for most diaspora Jews?" "Part of the exhaustion of liberal rabbis," he noted, "is that it takes so much to move the needle" in terms of encouraging congregants to become more engaged, either in Israel advocacy or active Jewish life at home. As for the future direction of American Jewry, which Rabbi Bachman calls "a huge challenge," he says he is both "hopeful and despairing." There has never been "a more open time than now, with gays and lesbians or- dained, women Orthodox rabbis," (some would dis- _pute that description) "and the Conservative movement slowly accepting.non-Jews as members," he said. "Those are signs of great hope. But what frightens me is the allure of universal -culture and multiple identi- ties, with Jewish identity moving lower down on the priority list," particularly among young people. That translates into "a smaller voice" to address "the lessons of Jewish history and values that assured our survival" for centuries. Rabbi Bachman empha- sized that though he will be leaving the pulpit, "I'm still a rabbi and I'm not done agitating." It's just that his focus will be on helping the broader community in "al- leviating human suffering," with an emphasis on areas like poverty, homelessness and gun control, rather than confining his energy to the Jewish coommunity. He hasn't decided yet on a specific post. Though he acknowledges he was "never motivated to bring God down to people," and would sometimes tell his associate rabbis to "take your foot off the gas" when it comes to direct mentions of the Lord, Rabbi Bachman says he is not leaving his pulpit because of any per- sonal crisis of faith, as some have speculated. "I still pray and feel connected; I am a profound believer. And I want to deepen my commitment to my spirituality and to Jewish study," he said. He also plans to continue to teach and to write. He is working on a book on what it means to be a Jew in the 21st century. Rabbi Bachman's career record suggests a degree of restlessness."I need to change every seven years or so," he said, havingworked in politics in his native Wisconsin and as a Hille! rabbi at New York University before coming to Beth Elohim. But along the way he has learned that "as impatient as you may be, change comes slowly." (Thus the title of his blog, "Water Over Rocks.") He is ready for the next chapter, wel! aware that he may be letting down rflany congregants who were devoted to his rabbinic style, which he described as "bringing secular Jews back into Jewish peoplehood," and ensuring the continu- ation of Jewishheritage and tradition. But he believes he can be an example, to them and others, of someone who serves God by caring for as many of God's people as possible. Gary Rosenblatt has been the editor and publisher of The Jewish Week for 20 years and has written more than 1,000 "Between The Lines" columns since 1993. Now a collection of 80 of those columns, ranging from Mideast analysis to childhood remembrances as "the Jew- ish rabbi's son" in Annapolis, Md., is available. 5775 From page 5A such as Laos, the Philippines, Sweden, the Netherlands, Vietnam, the U.K. and the U.S.--where anti-Semitism was found to be virtually non- existent or much lower than global averages. While the level of attitudes in the U.S. has reached historic lows--as low as 9 percent of the population according to the most recent dataithis country has not been immune to the global tsunami of anti-Semitism, either. Witness the dozens of anti-Israel rallies that took place during Israel's military action in Gaza, where expres- sions of anti-Israel invective veered into anti-Semitism. And witness the names of ordinary, all-American small towns such as Pine Bush, New York, and Overland Park, Kan- sas that have new meaning to us as Jews because they made headlines as places where the specter of anti-Jewish bigotry has once again revealed its ugly face. As we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act this year, we iiiiiili i ii iiiiiiiiiiii Every day that you're outside, you're exposed to dangerous, but invisible, ultraviolet (UV) sunlight Left unprotected, prolonged exposure to UV radiation can seriously damage the eye, leading to cataracts, skin cancer around the eyelid and other eye disorders. Protecting your eyes is important to maintaining eye health now and in the future Shield your eyes (and your family's eyes) from harmful UV rays. Wear sunglasses with maximum UV protection. ~ :.~ ~; % ~ : ~. :: ~ ~ :.~ i i ...... I THEVISIONCOUNCIL celebrated the fact that much has been accomplished on the road toward a more welcom- ing and open America. This was a year in which marriage equality for members of the LGBT community made extraordinary advances. But in many areasnreligious free- dom, voting rights, education equality, women's reproduc- tive rights, discrimination and racial profiling--there is still muchwork to be done. We were reminded of this when the Supreme Court for the first time authorized sectar- ian Christian prayers at town council meetings over the objection of all three Jewish justices. Another reminder was" the climate of racial tension that unfolded in Ferguson, Mis- souri after an unarmed black man was shot by police. And we were confronted the hard reality of racist sentiments be- Pay to pray From page 25A young and unmoored, do so! Worry not about hdsting poker nights or golf club extravaganzas. Don't send bulletin after bulletin to a ream of addresses that mean nothing butwasted paper. Identify a family; throw ing expressed in major sports franchises and by celebrities. We also witnessed expres- sions of bigotry that flared up around the immigration debate, offering yet another reminder of the struggles that lie ahead. This year was a disappoint- ment for those of us who are working in coalition with Latino American groups on finding a sensible pathway for illegal immigrants to find full inclusion in society. In the ab- sence of a political will to make meaningful reforms, we saw children fleeing persecution from their home countries in Central America, only to be stopped at the U.S. border and turned back. Hopefully, next year we will see positive solutions from both the Ad- ministration and Congress. As we enter 5775, there are new challenges confronting the U,S abroad as well. We are now engaged in new war against terrorism in confronting the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, whose followers continue to shock the world with theirviolence and behead- ings of Western journalists. On this Rosh Hashanah, we pray for the safety of the U.S. soldiers who are bravely defending this great country. Let us hope for a coming year filled with peace, a year where the forces of intolerance End Oppression will give way to the forces of equal rights, understanding, freedom and democracy. Let us pray for a world where we have a strong insurajnce policy for the Jewish people's survival in the existence of a healthy and vibrant state of Israel. L'Shanah Tova! Barry Curtiss-Lusher is na- tional chair, andAbraham H. Foxman is national director of the Anti-Defamation League. two tickets in the mail. In- clude a schedule of child-care hours at the temple. Make it easy. They will come. And it will be sweet. (Shanah Tovah!) Adina Kay- Gross, a contrib- uting editor for Kveller, also works as a writing consultant at Hebrew Union College-Jew- ish Institute for Religion and teacheswriting and literature at Yeshiva University's Stern College for Women. She has been published in a number of literary magazines as well as in Tablet Magazine, The Jerusalerq Post, The New York Jewish Week and The Forward.