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October 17, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 17, 2014 PAGE 5A By Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn As Yom Kippur sermons go, Martin Indyk's was a doozy. Speaking at the Adas Israel synagogue in Washington, D.C. on the holiest day of the Jewish year, the former U.S. envoy to the Israeli- Palestinian negotiations ac- cused Israel ofshowing"total disrespect" for the Obama administration. Indyk said many things in his Yom Kippur addresswith which one might take issue, but one analogy in particular stands out as especially disturbing. He said that he "discovered" in the most recent round of failed negotiations "that we would crack the whip, but no one was responding to our whip cracks. That's a change." How disappointing for In- dyk. Those who recall his days as U.S. ambassador to Israel no doubt feel a sense ofdejavu when they hear Indyk talking about whips. Here is how he described his role in Israel to the Washington Post back on Feb. 24, 1997: "The image that comes to mind is a circus master. All these players in the ring. We crack the whip and get them to move around in an orderly fashion." Ironic, isn't it? The ex- diplomatwho accuses Israel of being "disrespectful" has re- peatedly compared the Israelis to circus animals who need to have some sense whipped into them. And when the dumb brutes don't respond, Indyk the circus master is outraged and lashes out at his victims. The irony goes further. Indyk served a president who has made almost a hobby of being disrespectful to Israel's prime minister. Nobody can forget the time that Presi- dent Obama deliberately left Prime Minister Netanyahu waiting for an hour and a half, while he went off to have dinner with Michelle and the kids. Or the infa- mous photo that the White House released of President Obama with his feet on his desk as he spoke by phone with Netanyahu. Not to mention just last week, when Mr. Obama repeat- edly referred to Netanyahu as "Bibi," while Netanyahu, by contrast, appropriately referred to Obama as "Mr. President." In an earlier era, perhaps someone could complain that it was difficult for an American president to pronounce a name such as "Menachem." But how hard would it have been for Presi- dent Obama to pronounce the name "Benjamin"? If the U.S.-Israel relation- ship is indeed "in trouble," as Ambassador Indyk claimed in his Adas Israel speech, the reason is not that Israelis are being "disrespectful," which Indyk claims to be "really, really disturbed by." The reason is that the ObamaAdministration's poli- cymakers, starting with the president and going all the way down the line to envoys such as In@k, automatically blame Israel for everything and the Palestinians for nothing. They denounce Israel for construction within exist- ing Jewish towns in Judea- Samaria, but never criticize the Palestinian Authority for building entire new Arab cities there. They denounce Israel for building homes in Jerusalem, yet they never say anything about the wide- spread illegal Arab construc- tion in Jerusalem. Nor do they ever say a word about the truly "disrespectful" actions by the PA toward the United States, such as paying salaries to imprisoned ter- rorists who have murdered Americans, or naming streets, parks and soccer tournaments after killers of Americans-- including the killer of the niece of the late U.S. Senator Abraham Ribicoff. Just two weeks ago, both PA" cabinet minister Yusuf Ida'is and the official PA news agency "WAFA" praised the killers of the three Israeli teenagers--one of whom was an American--as "Shahids," or "martyrs." And just a few weeks before that, the official PA daily newspaper Al-Hayat AI-Jadida published no less than five articles in a six-day period accusing the United States of creating ISIS in or- der to destabilize the Middle East. (For details, see www. It is precisely this Obama- Indyk attitude, which ignores the disrespectful actions of the PA, and accuses Israel of being "disrespectful" if it fails to respond to "whip cracks," which threatens U.S.-Israel relations. Moshe Phillips and Benya- rain Korn are members of the board of the Religious Zionists of America. By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)-- PalestinianAuthority President Mahmoud Abbas is talking tough. And Israel and the United States don't seem to mind too much--or else think their best option at this point is to grin and bear it. Abbas used his Sept. 26 speech to the United Nations General Assembly to accuse Israel of racism and geno- cide. He and his aides again are raising the possibility of seeking U.N. action to sanc- tion Israel. They appear ready to bypass negotiations with Israel in favor of seeking an international declaration of a Palestinian state--positions consistently opposed by Israel and the United States. Still, Israeli and U.S. of- ficials have been relatively tepid in their responses. For example, Israeli Prime Min- ister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose dramatic and assertive speeches have become an an- nual tradition at the General Assembly, offered only a quick rejection of Abbas' withering speech. Perhaps more telling: Is- rael no longer seems to be pushing the Obama admin- istration to penalize Abbas. That represents a pivot from Israel's posture following the breakdown in talks between Israelis and Palestinians in April and before the onset of this summer's Gazawar. Dur- ing those months, Israel and its allies in the U.S. pro-Israel community and in Congress were threatening to cut as- sistance to the Palestinian Authority if Abbas sustained a government of technocrats that was backed by Hamas. But Abbas is smelling a lot sweeter after Israel's war with Hamas, according to a Letters To The Editor We are a diverse community and we welcome your letters and viewpoints. The views and opinions expressed in the opinion pieces and letters published in The Heri- tage are the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Heritage Florida Jewish News or its sta The Heritage reserves the right to edit letters for clarity, content, and accuracy. And respectful of lashon hara, we will not print derogatory statements against any individual. Please limit letters to 250 words. Send letters to P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. Or e-mail to news@ Have we lost our way? Dear Editor: My grandfather, from Po- land, escaped the Nazis and made it onto a boat when he was 13. He arrived in New York City and was looked after by survivors of the Nazis Holocaust and others who denied Jewish people the right of prayer and their religion. He became the president of the First Benevolent Komorower (Association/Organization) in New York. Louis, my grandfather, worked for a clothing manu- facturer in New York. For the summer, he built two 'Bunga- low Colonies' in the Catskills, NY. He also had the first hotel in the Catskillswithwhat they called "indoor plumbing." My father worked for the College System of New York City, he taught English to im- migrants at night and taught Sunday School at Temple Emanuel in Brooklyn, N.Y. My brother and I both graduated from the Hebrew School of the East Midwood Jewish Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. He graduated from the college program. I finished the high school program. East Midwood Jewish Cen- ter was an amazing place. It was alive with Judaism and was a fun place to go. I loved Sabbath services. Rabbi Halpern was inspira- tional. Four generations of our family prayed there. My father, Philip, and my mother, Florence, decideditwas important to keep the spirit of our history alive and as a family, we founded the Rose and Louis scholarship fund to continue the traditions of Judaism My brother served as presi- dent of the synagogue. lobbyist who works Middle East issues on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers who wanted to punish Abbas before the war are now backing proposals that would return his Fatah party to authority in the Gaza Strip, where it was ousted by Hamas in bloody fighting in 2007. "Especially with this pos- sible new role in Gaza, Israel may want to keep the Palestin- ianAuthority on life support," said the lobbyist, who was speaking anonymously in order to be candid. The Obama administration does not want the Palestinian Authority to bring its case for statehood to the United Na- tions again, but would not say What it was prepared to do to prevent the P.A. from coming before the Security Council. "I won't comment on hypo- theticals," a senior adminis- tration official told JTA when My mother died on Erev Rosh Hashanah. My father died on Nov. 18. This time of year has always been emotional for me. I have always tried to be with my family on the High Holy Days. We lived in New York on Sept. 11, 2001. From our house in Brooklyn, we saw The World Trade Center. I went to Pace University, right by City Hall and would go to the World trade Center for lunch many times. I even worked at a store on the site prior to the Center being built. Sept 11 hit our family hard. My wife and son felt strongly about living in New York after this. My son, who is autistic, wanted to move. We felt that New York City was not a safe environment for our son. Of course, he was comparing Disney to New York... How can New York win out? On Nov. 11, 2001, we came down to this area to look for a place to live. We found an in- viting area called Celebration. One of my biggest concerns was finding a Jewish Commu- nity. Even though there was 'talk' of creating one in Cel- ebration, it never happened. So, every year, since 2001, I would fly to New York to be with my brother. This year, he said to me, quite directly, I am getting older. It is time to find a welcoming home in Orlando. asked about Abbas' proposal last month at the General As- sembly to consider an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, with land swaps, within a limited time period. "I will say, however, that we strongly believe that the preferred course of action is for the parties to reach an agreement on final-status is- sues directly," said the official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity to be candid. "We have long made clear that negotiations are the means by which this conflict will be resolved and that a resolution to it cannot by imposed on the parties." Translation: The Obama administration wants to try getting the parties back to the table to renew negotiations that collapsed in April before considering how to deal with the latest Palestinian U.N. initiative. He also said that he would make money from our char- ity available if I liked the synagogue as a donation or funding, if I felt at home. With his urging, I dug out my bar mitzah talis and headed over to the Jewish synagogue onApoka-Vineland Road. At 6:30 on Friday night (Kol Nidre), I came to worship. With a smile on my face and respect for who I am, my herfi- tage, and my future, I parked and approached the door. Iwas stopped quite abruptly and told that this was a "pri- vate prayer service" and I could not enter to pray. I was told quite specifically andwith attitude that I would not be allowed in. This is the first time I have EVER been turned away for prayer at any synagogue any- where in the world. Why be a Jew when a fellow Jew treats you like dirt and denies you prayer? Somehow, I don't see that happening in a mosque or church anywhere. And, what do I tell my brother? This is an insult to Jews throughout the world. What do I do about this? Have we lost our way? Have we forgotten our history? Have we forgotten how our ances- tors were refused admission to sanctuary? Is this right? Les Kippel Celebration The Palestinians faited ultimately in their 2012 effort to garner Security Council recognition, not just because the United States made clear it would veto any such at- tempt, hypothetical or not, but because the Palestinians could not acquire the nine votes out of 15 necessary to take up the bid. This time, the Palestinians believe their chances have improved. The Jordanian del- egation, currently occupying one of the Security Council's rotating seats, is circulating a draft resolution that would have a state in place by No- vember 2016, with its capital in Jerusalem. If the Obama administra- tion is not as forthrightly pushing back against the resolution now as it did in 2012, it's because it lacks a viablealternative, said Tamara Coffman Wittes, the direc- tor of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. "The United States does not have a pathway back to negotiations," said Wittes, a Middle East official at the State Department during Obama's first term. She pointed out that the MONEY TO HA 5-COkq'ROLLEO AZA... IS LIKE GIVli MONEY TO A APOICT , ,l, israelis and the Palestinians are at considerable odds: Ab- bas wants to bypass Israel and take his case to the U.N., while Netanyahu wants to ignore the Palestinians altogether and is pushing for peace with other Arab nations first. "It's a much easier place for the United States to say 'Don't worry about that, let's do this instead,'" said Wittes, describing the circumstances of U.S. diplomacy two years ago, when the administra- tion was able to tell Security Council members that it is was cobbling together talks and that a resolution was premature. "It's much more difficult for the United States to block action in the United Nations" under the current circum- stances, she said. "If it doesn't have that alternative, it's left with watering down the reso- lution, trying to moderate it." It's not clear how any statehood resolution could be moderated so that it would be acceptable to Israel while also satisfying the Palestin- ians. The nine months of talks that ended earlier this year did not seem to produce Kampeas on page 15A AND EXPECTING THAT IT WON'T BE USEO gOR TE2202ISM...