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October 10, 2014

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 10, 2014 Netanyahu gives crash course on Mideast terror threats By Sean Savage As world leaders con- verged on New York City for the 69th United Nations General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to remind them that the threats Israel faces today could be their own problems tomorrow. "Israel is fighting a fa- naticism today that your countries might be facing tomorrow," Netanyahu said. In a wide-ranging speech to the 193-member world body that included not only a focus on Islamic terrorism but also on a nuclear Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Netanyahu said all Muslim extremists--from Islamic State to Nigeria's Boko Haram to Hamas to Iran are branches of the same "poisonous tree." "Some are radical Sunnis, some are radical Shi'ites," Netanyahu said. "They all seek to create ever-expand- ing enclaves of militant Islam where there is no freedom and no tolerance." Netanyahu "gave the out- standing speech of his career, the one that we who have known him for 30 and more years have been waiting for through his several prime ministries," said Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum. "He spoke with eloquence and vision about a moral issue of the greatest impor- tance, namely Islamism, as no other leading politician has ever done," Pipes told As expected, one of the biggest themes throughout the weeklong U.N. gathering was a focus on the threat posed by Islamic State to the international world order, with nearly every major world leader mentioning the U.S.-led international efforts underway to combat the terrorist group in !raq and Syria. President Barack Obama, in his U.N. speech on Sept. 24, referred to Islamic State as "the cancer of vio- lent extremism." "The only language un- derstood by killers like this is the language of force," Obama said, alluding to the recent launch ofairstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria by the U.S. and several Arab allies. "So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death." The coalition of allies-- which includes Arab states such as Jordan, Saudi Ara- bia, the United Arab Emir- ates, and Qatar, as well as several Western countries like France, the U.K., and Australia--has reshuffled regional alliances in the quest to defeat the new threat emerging in the Middle East. "Islamist extremism be- lieves in using the most brutal forms of terrorism to force people to accept a warped world view and to live in a quasi-medieval state," British Prime Min- ister David Cameron said in his U.N. address. "We need Muslims and their govern- ments around the world to reclaim their religion from these sick terrorists." Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem used his U.N. speech to try to capitalize on this shift in global priorities. "Syria reiterates that it stands with any internation- al effort aimed at fighting and combating terrorism," Muallem told the world body, referring to the anti-Islamic State coalition. Just a year ago, it was the Syrian government that was in the crosshairs of the U.S. and the international com- munity for using chemical weapons against its people. But a diplomatic deal bro- kered by the U.S. and Russia allowed for the purported peaceful dismantling and removal of the chemical weapons possessed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Yet on Sept. 18, Reuters quoted an Israeli official who said that Syria still possesses chemical weapons. Syria's top patron, Iran, also sought to capitalize on the focus on Islamic State by positioning itself as an ally in the fight against extremism. "I deeply regret to say that terrorism has become globalized: from New York to Mosul, from Damascus to Baghdad, from the east- ernmost to the westernmost parts of the world, from al- Qaeda to Daesh (the Arabic acronym for Islamic State)," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the U.N. While the U.S. has so far refused to officially work with Iran on confronting Islamic State, Iran has re- portedly sent Revolutionary Guard troops to Iraq to fight Islamic State under the com- mand of Maj. Gen. Qasem Solaimani. But in a possible indica- tion of a thawing of tension between the West and Iran, Rouhani met with the U.K.'s Cameron while in New York, marking the first meeting between the leaders of the two countries since Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979. Netanyahu, however, ac- cused Rouhani of one of history's "greatest displays of doubletalk" and noted that Iran is the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. "Iran's President Rouhani stood here last week, and shed crocodile tears over what he called 'the globaliza- tion of terrorism.' Maybe he should spare us those phony tears.., and call off Iran's global terror campaign," said Netanyahu. Comparing the Islamic State threat to a nuclear Iran, Netanyahu said that "it's one thing to confront militant Islamists on pickup trucks, armed with Kalash- nikov rifles. It's another thing to confront militant Islamists armed with weap- ons of mass destruction." Netanyahu also took aim at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, UN Photo/Amanda Voisard Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Sept. 29, points to a picture of a Palestinian rocket launcher stationed in a civilian area of llamas-controlled Gaza. who in his speech to the U.N. on Sept. 26 said Israel com- mitted "genocide" during this summer's conflict with Hamas in Gaza. "Abbas gave a dismal, inciting, fraudulent talk that deserved to be knocked hard, and was," Middle East Forum's Pipes told Abbas accused Israel of committing "absolute war crimes carried out before the eyes and ears of the entire world" during Operation Protective Edge, and called on the U.N. to pass a resolu- tion setting a deadline for Israeli withdrawal to pre- 1967 lines. With the emergence of Islamic State, along with other terror threats such as those posed by the Muslim Brotherhood, its Palestin- ian offshoot Hamas, and al- Qaeda, Netanyahu said that Israel is turning to regional partners to help foster peace and combat extremism. "To achieve that peace, we must not look only at Jerusalem and Ramallah, but also to Cairo, Amman, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, and elsewhere," he said. "I be- lieve peace can be realized with the active involvement of Arab countries--those who are willing to provide political, material, and other indispensable support." El Al faces uproar over haredim's refusal to sit near women By Ben Sales TEL AVIV (JTA)--For ap- proximately a half hour at the beginning of her El Al IsraelAirlines flight last week from New York to Tel Aviv, Elana Sztokman watched as the haredi Orthodox man seated next to her rushed up and down the aisle searching for someone willing to switch seats so he wouldn't have to sit beside her. On the same route several hours later, another El A1 flight was delayed as haredi men stood in the aisles refus- ing to sit next to women. After takeoff, the men resumed their protest until other seats were found for them. A passenger on the flight told the Israeli website Ynet that the trip was "an 11-hour nightmare." Israel's national airline has long had to contend with haredi Orthodox Jews insisting on gender separa- tion in the skies. But the two recent incidents--Sztok- man's story went viral after she wrote about it in the on- line magazine Tablet--have prompted calls for El A1 to resolve the ongoing issue. Some have suggested that the airline insist that strictly observant passengers sit in their assigned seats. Others say the airline should create gender-segregated sections, so seat maps would not have I nformati o n 86&742.,.6655 Cornerstone is committed to caring for all hospice patients regardless of / C] payer source or ability to pay. 100% Covered by Medicare & Medicaid 5019096 to be reconfigured on the spot. "What offends me is the premise that sitting next to me is a problem," said Sztok- man, author of the recent book "The War on Women in Israel: A Story of Religious Radicalism and the Women Fighting for Freedom." "I'm a person first and foremost." Sztokman, who has faced similar situations on past El A1 flights, said she has writ- ten the airline to complain several times but has not heard back. In a statement responding to an inquiry from JTA, El Al made no mention of the Sept. 22 and Sept. 23 incidents, but said that the airline's staff- ers "are trying their best to respond to every request of any of the passengers." An online petition launched Sunday is calling on the air- line to provide a small section of gender-segregated seats for an extra fee. In two days, the petition garnered more than 1,500 signatures. "I do think El Al has a responsibility to make its passengers feel safe and pre- vent this type of thing from happening," the petition's author, Sharon Shapiro of Chicago, told JTA. "I don't think women should be ha- rassed or feel bad or guilty if they can't change seats. I don't think men who feel it's a halachic [Jewish legal[ mandate that they can't sit next to women should be put in a position that they have to nudge and ask." Special sections or flights for haredi passengers have been suggested before but never implemented. In a controversial move, some Israeli bus companies sepa- rated seating for women and men on several lines in 2010. In 2011, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that forcing such segregation is illegal. "If they rent the whole plane, El Al can run empty planes," said Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Is- rael Religious Action Center, a Reform Jewish group. "But you can't make people move because of their gender." Hoffman's organization challenged E1Al two years ago on gender segregation when an American woman, Debra Ryder, was forced to switch seats after a man refused to sit next to her. A lawyer for Hoffman's group, Orly Erez-Litkhovsky, demanded that Ryder be compensated approximately $14,000 as a result. E1 A1 rejected the payment demand but said it would revisit its guidelines for flight attendants in terms of having them ask passengers to move or telling people to stay in their seats. The man who was assigned a seat next to Sztokman's eventually switched with another passenger. Sztok- man said she hopes public outcry in the wake of the incident--including outcry from haredi Orthodox--will push El Al to take action. "I hope this helps people within the haredi world think twice about whether this is the culture they want, and I hope this encourages women in Israel to speak more," Sztokman said. "We have to speak more. We can't just sit down and keep taking it."