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October 10, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 10, 2014 PAGE 5A Nuclear Iran is a 'thousand times' more dangerous than ISIS By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)-- Saying a nuclear Iran would be a"thousand times"greater threat to the world than ISIS, Israel's ambassador to the United States warnedagainst including Iran in any coalition to derail the jihadist group. Run Dermer, speaking Wednesday to guests at a pre-Rosh Hashanah reception at his residence in suburban Maryland, also cautioned the U.S. against accommodating Iran during the current effort to degrade ISIS. His urgent tone was the latest sign of a split between the Obama and Netanyahu governments over how to deal with Iran's role in stopping ISIS, which is seizing swaths of Iraq and Syria. Definer noted the presence of Obama administration of- ficials at the event and praised the American president for leading a coalition to defeat the terror group. He said, however, that Iran must not be a partner in this effort. "Now I know there is still some absurd talk in certain quarters about Iran being a partner in solving problems in the Middle East," Dermer said. "They are not a partner, they were not a partner, they never will be a partner. Iran as a nuclear power is a thou- sand times more dangerous than ISIS." Iran has assisted the Iraqi and Syrian governments, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that Iran and the United States should com- municate-but not coordi- nate--their respective efforts in the battle against ISIS. Kerry said earlier this week that such communication could take place on the side- lines of nuclear talks currently underway between the major world powers and Iran. The Iranians have resisted such overtures, apparently hold- ing out for an elevated level of cooperation. Israeli officials have said that any cooperation with Iran would be counterproductive. "The ]nuclear] talks are going in the wrong direc- tion," Yuval Steinitz, Israel's intelligence minister, said in a statement emailed to reporters. "We support the coalition against ISIS and terrorist organiza- tions, but this should not come at the expense of a nuclear Iran., No U.S. official has said that Iranian cooperation on ISIS would influence the outcome of nuclear talks. Just this week Wen@ Sher- man, the undersecretary of state leading talks with Iran, suggested in a speech that the United States remained as committed to keeping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons as itwas in confront- ing ISIS. "Defeating violent extrem- ists" in Ira(] and Syria "and ending Syria's civil war are two crucial elements to the construction of a stable and forward-looking Middle East," Sherman said Tuesday in a talk at Georgetown University. Sherman, who is now in New York attending the Iran nuclear talks on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, added: "Ensuring the wholly peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program is a third-- not necessarily in any priority order." Kerry met Wednesday with Avigdor Liberman, Israel's foreign minister, who in a statement also warned against accommodation with Iran, which he called "the No. t ex- porter of terror in the world." Liberman did not, however, suggest that Iran was the greater threat and instead said the ISIS and Iran crises were interrelated. An Israeli Foreign Ministry statement said Liberman told Kerry that "Israel supports the United States in its efforts to form a broad international front against ISIS, and stands ready to help in this task should it be asked, taking into consideration the sensitivi- ties of the states taking part and the needs of the United States." Obama administration Of- ficials say that should the major powers and Iran reach an agreement regarding its nuclear programby the Nov. 24 deadline, the pact would likely allow some uranium enrich- ment--an outcome Israel is working hard to mitigate. Liberman said that in his meeting with Kerry, he also lobbied his U.S. counterpart to moderate State Depart- ment warnings against travel to Israel now that Israel and Hamas have achieved a cease- fire agreement following this summer's war. The most recent warning, issued earlier this month, warns of the "risks" of travel- ing to the region "due tothe complex security environ- ment there and the potential for violence and renewed hostilities." Chicago Jewish donors subsidize Israel defamer By Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn A major American uni- versity is currently hosting a visiting novelist who says that Israel is a deeply racist country and that its creation was a "catastrophe." And the Chicago Jewish Federation is helping to foot the bill. The Israel Studies Project at the University of Illinois, which was created by, and is funded in part by, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan of Chicago, invites Israeli writers and academics to spend time atAmerican universities. This year's choice, Sayed Kashua, certainly has some interesting things to say. Kashua is an Israeli Arab novelist, newspaper colum- nist, and television sitcom writer. He has strong opinions about Israel and is not shy about expressing them. Writing in the British news- paper The Guardian on July 19, 2014, Kashua declared: "I despair to know that an abso- lute majority in the country does not recognize the rights of an Arab to live." In the same article, Kashua also accused "the politicians "and the media" (a pretty broad swipe) in Israel of "dif- ferentiating between blood and blood, between peoples." And he claimed "on panels that I participated in, it was said that Jews are a superior people, more entitled to life." What panels? Who said it? Who did the speakers repre- sent? No details from Kashua; he preferred to paint a portrait of the entire State of Israel as profoundly racist, and the lack of evidence to back that up was not going to get in his way. ButKashua's feelings about Israel are not simply a response to what he sees as the racism of Israelis today. Rather, he sees the very creation of Israel, back in 1948, as, in his words, catastrophic. In an interview with The Daily Beast on May 15, 2012, for example, Kashua referred to "Israeli indepen- dence-what we Arabs call al-Naqba, 'The Catastrophe.'" In various other interviews and articles, he has likewise referred to Israel's creation as "the Naqbah." Kashua has been very much a part of Israeli society. He is an Israeli citizen. He is a popular Hebrew-language novelist. For many years, he authored aweekly column for What would a partisan shift in control of the Senate mean for Jewish issues? By Dmitr Shapiro Washington Jewish Week As the Republican party pushes to retake the majority of the U.S. Senate in the up- . coming November midterm ' elections, which would give it control of both houses of Congress, a partisan shift in power may significantly af- fect a broad range of foreign policy and domestic social issues that are prioritized by American Jews. Midterm elections in the Senate and House of Rep- resentatives have been his- torically difficult for the party holding the presidency. Democrats have held the Senate since public disap- proval with the administra- tion of President George W. Bush led to a Democratic sweep of both houses in 2006. This was reversed in President Barack Obama's first midterm election cycle in 2010, when Republicans-- surging from the energy of the Tea Party and criticism of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")--regained control of the House. The past six years have seen increased partisanship, a government shutdown, and continuously less major legislation passing in Con- gress. With the status quo, the difficulties Obama has faced in his dealings with the legislative branch are unlikely to improve in his last two years as president. Currently, the Senate includes 55 Democrats and 45 Republicans, and the GOP will need to pick up at least six seats to obtain a majority. In Montana, Sen. John Walsh, a brigadier general in the Montana National Guard, was nominated by the state's Democratic gov- ernor earlier this year when former Sen. Max Baucus was tapped by Obama to serve as U,S. ambassador to China. But Walsh's term was short-lived, as allegations came to light that he had plagiarized a large part of a research paper required for his advancement to general officer ranks. Waish admit- ted to the plagiarism and ended his campaign, creat- ing an open seat. Montana's at-large congressman (the state's population only en- titles it to one member in the House), Rep. Steve Daines (R), is running for the seat and is seen as an almost guaranteed winner in a state that Mitt Romney won by 13 percentage points in the 2012 presidential election. In West Virginia, 77-year- old Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D) announced in January 2013 that he would not seek re-election. In the race for the open seat, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) leads her opponent 53-34 percent in the latest Real Clear Politics projection. In 2012, Romney won the state, 62-36 percent. One of the most likely Republican pickups is in South Dakota. Last year, Sen. Tim Johnson (D) an- nounced his retirement. The state's current governor, Mike Rounds (R), easily de- feated his primary opponents and has a wide lead over his Democratic opponent, businessman Rick Weiland. Another important gain for Republicans would be the hotly contested race in Louisiana, where em- battled incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) is facing two GOP challengers. Despite having his vote split by an- other Republican candidate in Louisiana's unusual open election, Sixth District Con- gressman Bill Cassidy (R) leads Landrieu in most polls. Adding to Democrats' headaches, there are six Sen- ate seats held by Democrats that are either open seats or occupied by a weak incum- bent. These include Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, and North Carolina. Polling in these states is too close to call, though most polls slightly lean Republican. Although Jewish vot- ers are unlikely to make a major difference in any of the contested races, a shift to Republican control the Senate could spell a change in foreign and domestic poli- cies important to Jews. The Republican Jewish Coali- tion (RJC) and the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) are both he)ping their parties get out the vote. "I think there's no ques- tion that support for Is- rael will, I think, increase dramatically with the Re- publican leadership in the Senate," Matthew Brooks, executive director of the RJC and the Jewish Policy Center think tank, told JNS. org. "]This is] mostly because so much of what ]Senate] Majority Leader Harry Reid has been doing is bottling up critical legislation, includ- ing pressuring members of his own party to not sup- port hi-partisan legislation for enhanced sanctions on Iran." "I think it will be very clear that a top priority of the Republicans, if we get the Senate, would be to follow the lead of the House, which has already passed enhanced sanctions, and give the op- portunity for Sen. ]Mark] Kirk (R-Ill.) and [Senate For- eign Relations Committee Chairman Robert] Menendez (D-N.J.) to get their critical legislation through the Sen- ate and to the president," Brooks added. Brooks also pointed to the August battle in the Senate to pass emergency funding for Israel to replenish the Iron Dome missile defense sys- tem's supply of interceptor rockets. Though the funding passed unanimously min- utes before the Senate ad- journed for its August recess, Shapiro on page 19A the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, and wrote a sitcom on Israeli television about Israeli Arabs. Yet despite all that, he still regards the very creation of the State of Israel has "the Naqbah," something that was horrible, that never should have happened. Never mind that Israeli Arabs have all the same rights as Israeli Jews, that there is an Israeli Arab on the Supreme Court, that Israeli Arabs have served as Israeli consular of- ficials abroad. No, in Sayed Kashua's view, most Israelis are awful racists and it was a Nakbah, a catastrophe, that Israel was ever created. reiterates his view that Israel's creation was a catastrophe; and that "an absolute major- ity in the country does not recognize the rights of an Arab to live"? University of Illinois Profes- sor Matti Bunzl, director of the Program in Jewish Culture and Society, announced that he is "beyond thrilled" at the "marvelous development" that Kashua is coming to campus for the year. Will Prof. Bunzl be "thrilled" if Kashua says on WILL-AM that Israel's creation was a catastrophe? Will he consider it "marvel- ous" ifKashua tells the Rotary Club that most Israelis "do Here'swhattheIsraelStu  not recognize the rights of ies Project at the University of an Arab to live"? Illinois states on its website aboutvisiting Israeli scholars: "All our visitors are highly visible on campus. They give major public lectures, visit classes, and lead workshops. They are also active in the community, speaking on WILL-AM, the local NPR sta- tion and visiting Hillel, Sinai Temple, and the Rotary Club." What will they think if Sayed Kashua, on a visit to Si- nai Temple, or in an interview with the local NPR station, America, like Israel, is a free country and Sayed Kashua will be just as free here, as he was in Israel, to call Israelis racists and to characterize Israel's establishment as a catastrophe. The question is whether donors to the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago feel that this is an ap- propriate use of their money. Moshe Phillips and Benya- rain Korn are members of the board of the Religious Zionists of America. Dry Bones ,., Ti,IE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE.