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October 19, 2018

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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 19, 2018 By Caroline Glick FiftypercentofAmericanJews define them- selves as liberal and only 8 percent of Israeli At the end of the month, the Jewish Federa- Jews define themselves as leftists. tions of North America will hold their annual Sixty-one percent of American Jews think General Assembly in Israel. And while the that "Israel and an independent Palestinian Federations' decision to hold their annual state can coexist." Only 43 percent of Israelis conference in Israel rather thanAmericaseems agree. at face value to be a statement of solidarity Eighty percent of American Jews vs. 49 per- with Israel, in this case, it isn't, cent of Israeli Jews think non-Orthodox rabbis Five months after U.S. President Donald should officiate at Jewish ceremonies in Israel. Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jeru- The odd thing about these data is that they salem from Tel Aviv in an extraordinary aren't new, and they certainly don't point act of friendship, the Jewish Federations to unbridgeable disputes between two well- of North America chose to hold their intentionedsides to an argument. annual General Assembly in Tel Aviv. Israel has certainly demonstrated its good The name the Federations gave their confer- will. ence is also a stunner. According to the American Jewish Corn- "Israel and the Diaspora, We Need to Talk." mittee's survey of Israeli Jewish andAmerican What do we "need to talk" about? Jewish opinions published in June, a mere 42 The homepage of the conference's website percent of Israeli Jews supported establishing makes that clear enough. At the very top, it an egalitarian prayer area at the Western Wall spells out all the differences dividing Israeli while 48 percent opposed it. And yet, out of and American Jews. respect forAmerican Jewswho overwhelmingly Anti-Semitism as a political issue By Jim Shipley is quoted as saying something detrimental to Jews in a speech or a conversation at There was atimewhen"real"anti-Semitism some time. was alive and doing well in the United States. So? How important is this if the candidate's I have written before that had we moved to platform and stance on issues agree with our Shaker Heights, Ohio, two years earlier than own. For some of us, one statement, one quote we did, we could not have bought a house that is detrimental or even borderline about there. It was not until 1948 that the "No Jews" Jews is enough to disqualify that candidate. restriction was declared illegal. For others it is dependent on the time that the At that time there were quotas on the statement was made. number of Jews allowed in many medical and Look, Iwas raisedinatimewhen racial jokes law schools around the country. Most country were part of the daily lexicon--even if we bore clubs did not allow Jews (we retaliated by open- no antipathy to the race we were demeaning. ing our own country clubs and not allowing Today sensitivity is greater to any remark, gentiles). Before the war, Jews from Europe joke or statement that might offend someone. fleeing the Nazis were turned away and sent So, no more black jokes, Polish jokes, Italian back to certain death, jokes--or, God Forbid an anti-Jewish joke. Well, we've come alongway. Two Jews serve Unless of course we are joking about our own on the Supreme Court (ladies, yet!). Quotas ethnicity--and with a fellow Jew. Of course. and religious qualifications are pretty much Funny, isn't it? Jews can make jokes about all illegal. But like roaches in the walls, it still Jews, Italians about Italians--but we dare exists. We are living in a political atmosphere not joke about anyone else's ethnicity, reli- that is designed to pull people apart. We have gion, or cultural quirks. Anti-Semitism, of become tribal once again, course, is different. In its most violent form Political discourse has become toxic. When it created the Holocaust. In its more subtle personal attacks become the norm, when in form it created quotas, discrimination and oursocialmediaworldtherearenorulesabout the occasional spray-painted swastika on a truth or sources, we tend to protect ourselves suburban garage door. and our own. Jews, by taking the high road and integrating In this election year, all the stop signs are themselves into society through grit, determi- pulleddown.Truthtakesabackseattonuance nation, and yes, skill; have, in most of society, and attacks. There are a plethora of fringe or- taken our rightful place. But, just below the ganizations that are blatantly anti-black and/ surface, the beast still breathes. or anti-Semitic. God help the candidate that Thereare nations in theworldinwhich few, is endorsed by them--unless of course they if any, Jews live--but where anti-Semitism strike a chord that the candidate themselves is rife. Why? How? Well, in many cases it is endorse--if only by innuendo, religiously driven. The record of the Catholic We all say and do stupid stuff. Many of our Church in the Second World War is far from beliefs and attitudes are based on what we stellar. Much of the Muslim world is totally heard at the dinner table when we were kids. anti-Semitic. It is tough as we grow and live in a world dif- Traces of it of course remain in sections ferent from the one in which we were raised of our society. Whether created by religious to change certain ideas and patterns, belief or jealousy or just plain "gotta blame Theworld around us has changed drastically somebody!" It's here. during the past two generations. Race and So, if a political candidate made a state- religion do not have the restrictive borders ment or said something and was overheard they used to. However, unfortunately, the no matter when--it is something to take into extremes are still there, consideration. We must be aware. We must So, as Jews we ponder. This candidate be awake. And yes, it should be. seems to follow my political ideas, seems to Anti-Semitism is and I'm afraid will always call for the changes I'd like to see. BUT--he be a political issue. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. ISSN 0199-0721 CENTRAL FLORIDA'S INDEPENDENT JEWISH VOICE * * Winner of 46 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene Starn Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza HERITAGE Florida Jewish News ( ISN 0199-0721) is published weekly for $37.95 per year to Florida ad- dresses ($46.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Central Florida Jewish News, Inc 207 O'Brien Road, Suite 101, Fern Park, FL 32730. Periodicals postage paid at Fern Park and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. Society Editor Office Manager Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Kim Fischer Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Mel Pearlman David Bomstein Ed Ziegler MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Production Department Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 David Lehman Gil Dombrosky email: Joyce Gore supported it, the government established an egalitarian prayer area at the Western Wall. The issue of non-Orthodox rabbis in Israel is imaginary. According to the AJC, less than one percent of Israelis define themselves as either Reform or Conservative. And there is no line of Reform and Conservative American Jews demanding to get married in Israel. As for the issue of a Palestinian state, if the American Jews shared Israel's good will, they would not pick a fight on the issue. The AJC poll showed that 68 percent of Israeli Jews think it is inappropriate for American Jews to attempt to influence Israeli policy on national security issues including the issue of negotiations with the Palestinians. Only 25 percent of Israeli Jews deem it appropriate. Given the wide majority of Israelis who oppose their meddling, it is clear that no Israeli govern- ment is likely to give American Jews a seat at the table as itdetermines policies forwhich only Israel's citizens will bear the consequences. Presuming American Jews have a modicum of respect for Israelis and their government, it would seem reasonable for them to respect the wishes of the people of Israel. As for the ideological divide between liberal American Jews and right-leaning Israeli Jews, it is true that it is wide. But it is also true that it has been that way for decades. And yet, until recently it was never an obstacle to good relations. So what is going on? Why did the Federa- By Stephen M. Flatow (JNS)--Some American pundits are slam- ming Israel for denying entry to Palestinian- American student Lara Alqasem. Perhaps they should take a look at America's own laws concerning the admission of extremists before they throw mud at Israel. In 2014, Ms. Alqasem became a member of the anti-Israel group Students for Justice in Palestine at her home campus, the University of Florida. She didn't join as some passing lark; she was an activist who rose through the ranks, becoming vice president of the chapter, and then serving as president in 2016-17. SJP is not a group that merely criticizes Israel. It supports Palestinian terrorists. In recent years, it has issued statements and held events praising and defending, among others, convicted Jerusalem supermarket bomber Rasmea Odeh; convicted Palestin- ian sniper and bomb-maker Samer Issawi; and Palestinian stabbers Fadi Moon and Fadil Qawasmi. With that kind of track record, ifAlqasem was a non-American applying to enter the United States, she would not be admitted. U.S. law specifies several categories of people who are denied admission, including those who "espouse" terrorism. Look at the section called "Inadmissible Aliens" in 8 U.S. Code 1182, (a) (3) (B) (i) (IV) (bb). It bars any "representative of a political, social, or other group that endorses or espouses terrorist activity." That sounds to me like a pretty good de- scription of Students for Justice in Palestine. The grounds for exclusion don't stop there. Consider (a)(3)(A)(iii)(VII). It denies admission even if the applicant doesn't represent a pro- terrorist group--if she is just an individual who "endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terror- ist activity or support a terrorist organization." That sounds to me like a pretty good descrip- tion of Lara Alqasem. And then there's (a)(3)(A)(iii). An applicant is denied if he or she intends, even"incidentally," to engage in "any activity" that has as one of its purposes "opposition to the Government of the United States by force, violence, or other unlawful means." I would call support for anti-Israel terror- ism an activity that promotes opposition to Israel by force. And by the way, although this does not apply to Lara Alqasem, it's worth noting that U.S. law also targets foreigners if they have certain political opinions. According to (a)(3)(A)(iii)(D) (i), you cannot immigrate to the United States if you are someonewho"is or has been a member of or affiliated with the Communist Party or any other totalitarian party, or subdivision or affiliate thereof, domestic or foreign." tions choose to insult Israelis by holding their conference in Tel Aviv rather than Jerusalem five months after the U.S. government finally moved the U.S. embassy to Israel's capital? And why are the Federations demanding that Israeli Jews give them an accounting for the longstanding disparities in the outlooks of the two communities? The most reasonable explanation for the Federations' unfriendly behavior is that it doesn't lay in anger over Israel's policies re- garding non-Orthodox rabbis or the Palestin- ians or Israel's rejection of the political Left. Rather, the Federations decided to highlight these longstanding, workable gaps in order to hide the real source of the anger that their leaders feel toward Israeli Jews. The source of the anger can be summed up in two words: Donald Trump. Israelis are divided on many issues. But one issue unites them. Israelis love Trump. This week the Pew Research Center pub- lished a new survey analyzing how the nations of the world view Trump and America under Trump. While support for Trump and the U.S. is low and dropping among many key U.S. allies, particularly in Europe, Israelis adore him. And under Trump, their longstanding overwhelm- ing support for the U.S. has increased. The Pew study found that 83 percent of Israelis and 94 percent of Israeli Jews love Glick on page 15A Columnists Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss, writing in The New York Times this week, acknowledged that SJP "has received funding and other assistance" from American Muslims for Palestine, some of whose leaders have ties to the terrorist group Hamas. Despite that connection, they say that Israel should admit Alqasem. Stephens and Weiss usually are on the right side when it comes to Israel. But once in a while, they're wrong. And they're wrong on this one. They offer two arguments: one strategic and one principled. The strategic argument is that expelling visitors such as Alqasem "power- fully reinforces the prejudice of those visitors (along with their supporters) that Israel is a discriminatory police state." That makes no sense to me. Alqasem and her friends in SJP obviously are Israel-haters through and through. Their words and deeds irrefutably demonstrate their hatred. They believe Israel is a"discriminatory police state" and worse, long before she was detained. Keeping Alqasem out of the country she hates won't make her hate it any more than she already does. JNS editor in chief Jonathan S. Tobin has made a similar argument regarding Alqasem. He wrote this week that keeping anti-Israel radicals out of Israel "is handing Israel's op- ponents an unearned propaganda victory since it bolsters their lies about Israel being an apartheid state." I disagree. Those who falsely call Israel an apartheid state will con- tinue to do so, whether Israel admits or denies entry to foreign extremists. Their lies are not "bolstered" by Israel taking the same modest border-control actions that the United States itself takes every day. The second Stephens-Weiss argument is one of principle. They say that liberal democracies such as Israel should show "deep tolerance for opinions [they] find foolish [or] dangerous," and refrain from "expelling visitors who favor the BDS movement" because democracies have to make room for all kinds of views. That argument is highly misleading. Alqa- sere is being denied entry not because of her "opinions" or what she "favors," but because of her actions. She has been (up until at least last year) a leader of an organization whose activities include publicly cheerleading for terrorists. That is not an opinion on Israel's borders or housing construction policy. That is actively promoting the cause of those who murder Israelis. And those who promote that evil cause have no place in Israel. Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. His book, "A Father's Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror," will be out later this month.