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PAGE 4 HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER i David Bornstein Who stands for Israel? My Israeli cousins visited me a few weeks ago. The conversation, as you might expect, turned from hurricanes to the economy to the elections. Their unanimous position, which you would also expect, was strong support for George W. Bush to be re- elected as president of the United States. They said, point blank, that Israel has never had it so good. Not with Bill Clinton. Not with Ronald Reagan. No one has stood up and defended Israel like Bush. That's not to say that they felt bad about Clinton's support. In fact, they liked arid respected him and have been astounded that another president might actually be a stronger proponent for them. And theyweren't pooh-poohing John Kerry either. They know that one of the key Democratic bases of sup- port is Jewish, both in terms of fundraising and voting. But the fact that George W. has repudiated Arafat, stood up to terrorists, invaded Iraq and deposed Saddam Hussein, and staunchly stood up for Israel's right to By Carl Alpert A diplomat's report HAIFA--Itisthefunctionofanambassador youth. On the political front there is never to convey to the government of the country a dull moment. More happens here in one to which he is assigned the views and policies month than happens elsewhere in a year--in of his own government, and to report back to Switzerland, for example. his capital what he learns and perceives in the While he skirted most controversial sub- foreign land. The result should be a friendly, jects, he did take a stand on the proposed mutual understanding. The relations are be- disengagement from Gaza. He considers it tween government and government, a brave, important, even essential step, and But what is the relationship between the impliedthathisowngovernmentandtheinter- ambassador and the people of the country to national community would help to implement which he is posted? We had an opportunity it. However, considering the internal opposi- to find out when the Haifa chapter of Wizo tion to the plan, he realizes that it may never (Women's International Zionist Organiza- come to pass. tion) announced that it had invited British The audience was ready with questions. Ambassador Simon McDonald to address its Do you agree with Blair that Britain was luncheon meeting on the subject of "Israel- justified in joining in the war against Sadam British relations: a personal review) after my Hussein, and if you had realized the difficul- first year in Tel Aviv." We were there, ties that would follow, would you still have The ambassador came late, revealing that been in favor? The answer to part one was in- he had had a sudden meeting with Prime the affirmative. As for part two, "The general Minister Sharon. Whether it was to receive picture was anticipated; we'll keep at it." What information, or to convey a message from the doyou think of all the U.N. resolutions against Britishpremier, he did not say. Israel? Reply: The Arabs have a large bloc in With a friendly smile and an attractive the General Assembly, but decisions there are personality, he won over his audience even not binding. It is the Security Council that is before he began his talk. He introduced him- important. The United Kingdom, considering self: Age 43, born in Manchester, educated at its interests, has preferred to abstain on anti- Cambridge, married with four children, three Israel resolutions. ofwhom are at school in Israel. His entire career How effective have you been in influencing has been in the British foreign service. UK policy? His reply was discreet: For the last His first impression, he reported, was the couple of years the British Prime Minister has small size of the country, been supportive of Israel. About the size of Wales, it has an inordinate Have you served with the diplomatic mis- reflection in world news. He quoted a Chinese sions to any Arab countries? friend who commented, "Only seven million To this he revealed that he had twice served people? And look at all the trouble they cause t" in Saudi-Arabia, the second time as second to His second impression: The country's ruiner- the ambassador. However, he reported that he ability.Israelappearstobemilitarilystrong, but had been accused of conspiring to murder, onecannotignorethesizeofthehostileMuslim and had been compelled to leave the country. world. He made no reference to the unfriendly Next question. attitude of many other countries as well. There were more questions, among them A third impression: Despite all this, life regarding the hostile attitude of the British seemstobecarriedonnormally, withthesame press. The BBC, he said, causes more trouble day-to,day problems of any other country, to the British government than it does to Another impression was with the country's Israel. resiliency. Suicide bombings, with their dread- At the end he was asked to draw the winning ful toll of human lives, were quickly followed numberforthedoorprize. Heagreed, butthen by the determination to get on with life. He followed another number, and another, some was impressed with the vibrancy, the vitality twenty inalI.The BritishAmbassadortoIsrael of life that finds expression in culture, sports, cooperated most graciously. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. O O O ISSN 0199-0721 CENTRAL FLORIDA'S Winner of 36 Press Awards HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721) is published weekly for $34.95 per year to Florida ad- dresses ($41.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Central Florida Jewish News, Inc 207 O'Brien Road, Suite 101, Fern Park, FL 32730. PeriodicaL, 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. MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 email: Heritagefl@aol.com INDEPENDENT JEWISH VOICE 0 0 F~litor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Assistant Editor Gene Starn Lyn Payne Booty Editor Gloria Yousha Elaine Schooping Amount Executives Barbara do Carmo Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim 8hipley Carl Alpert Michael Gamson Tim Boxer David Bomstein Gall Simons Production Department David Lehman Teri Marks Korina Miller defend itself against terrorism has won them over big time. The flip side, of course (and it's not much of a flip), is John Kerry's views on Israel. While there's no telling how strong an advocate he would be as president, his record as a Senator and his position papers are as supportive and persuasive as a Jewish audience could desire. In a speech to the Anti- Defamation League on May 3, Kerry said, "The people of Israel should also know that, as president, my commitment to a safe and secure Jewish state will be un- wavering. For nineteen years, this is a pledge I have kept in the United States Senate -whether through my votes on economic aid, military security, or the location of the U.S. Embassy. And it is one I will continue to keep." Kerry states that "anti-Semitism - often masked in anti- Israel rhetoric--is a dangerous trend threatening both Israel and Jewish com- munities around the world." His other talk- ing points include supporting Israel's right of self defense, including actions taken by Israel against Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror- ist groups, support for Arafat's isolation and removal as leader of the Palestinians, support of the security fence, support of Israel's with- drawal plan, a guarantee to maintain Israel's military "superiority, support of Israel aid, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, end- ing Iran's nuclear program, standing by Israel in the United Nations, fighting Saudi govern- ment anti-Semitism, and creatingaprogram to promote independence from Mideast oil. With the possible exception of the embassy move to Jerusalem, which Bush has been unable to effect, and a program that promotes alternative fuels as a means ofoil independence, the two candidates present themselves as consummate partisan supporters of Israel. Bush has proven, after four years in office, that his support of Israel is undeniable. Kerry's record in the Senate speaks the same language. So how do Jews vote? I think the answer is obvious, and the choices radically different. We have to look at issues other than Israel to determine our preference for president. And it is in other areas of key con- cern that we must be guided by our values, our personal belief systems, and our consciences as we cast our votes in November. By Jonathan S. Tobin What does it mean when the head of a United Nations agency tells the press that he believes that members of a terror- ist group are on his payroll and that he's okay with that? In the case of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near.East, or UNRWA, the answer is that it's simply business as usual. The United Nations has long been a bas- tion of anti-Israel sentiment, but for those unfamiliar with UNRWA, it's the living ex- ample of this bias. It is one of two refugee agencies run by the world body. UNRWA deals only with the Palestinians. The other deals with the rest of the world and the countless conflicts and refugee populations created by every other war that has been fought elsewhere since Israel's creation. This division of authority has been the backbone of the Palestinians' strange status as the only refugee population that relief workers do not attempt to resettle. In combination with the restrictive anti-Pai- estinian refugee policies of the Arab world, UNRWA has helped to keep these people in a state of impoverished limbo that is useful to anti-Israel propagandists who dream of destroying the Jewish state. But how can even the most anti-Zionist of U.N. bureaucrats justify the use of the agency as a cover, both literally and figura- tively, for Palestinian terrorist activity? Since the beginning of the current terror- ist war against Israel four years ago, the use of Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances by terrorist groups has been well documented. Now it appears that UNRWA vehicles may be used in this manner as well. An Israeli surveillance drone took photos of what were at first believed to be a Kas- sam missile being loaded onto an UNRWA ambulance last week in the Gaza Strip. UNRWA denied the claim and a closer look at the evidence may prove their in- nocence in this case. But the controversy Let me spell out a few differences citing my personal preference: Bush is opposed to ited, specific situations. Kerry abortion and says he would not Court justices who disagreed. 152 executions as governor it an effective deterrent. Kerr jor-party nominee for president death penalty Bush has not detailed an economic the next four years but has made a of extending the 2001 and 2003 making them l economic growth. Kerry has health care as the center~ package. Bush favors more forests to preve States from the U.N.-backed climate treaty, saying it was unfair. The calls Bush's environmental record the of any president. Kerry opposes mote areas to prevent fires. He the U.N.-backed climate change favors continuing talks. Kerry has est congressional ratings Conservation Voters. Bush has constitutional amendment to ban marriages. Kerr~ but also opposes a const to ban them. He supports unions to extend all sex couples. So there you have it, a snapshot other important issues. I trul, are a one-issue voter, and that a concerned, committed Jew is can't go wrong in this election. I (and I have never been a one-issue any candidate single issue) are numerous sig~ these two candidates, and I will based on the total package, and not he solely by my passionate support for difficult as that be. : That's the opinions in this column are tt, and not the Heritage or an~ agency or organization. Send J comments, and critiques to the email dpbornstein @earthlink.net. only underlines what is already granted by Israelis: that UNRWA nei and facilities are at the terrorist groups. Indeed, Israel has a arrested 13 UNRWA employees for part in terrorist activities. This notion was reinforced by head Peter Hansen, who told nadian Broadcasting Corporation am sure that there are Hamas on the UNRWA payroll and I as a crime." It's true that not Hamas carries a gun or a bomb ing even unarmed Hamas run of UNRWA resources, at best, the agency a facilitator for terror worst, a co-conspirator. Given this see-no-evil attitude or1 t] of UNRWA, it's not surprising that r its thousands of employees see no to using its facilities ciai resources to assist the on directed against Israeli civilians. While no one seriously believes Palestinian Authority and its interested in stopping the missiles launched from inside Gaza quite another thing for an ing in the name of the world body -- and the recipient millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars the same sort of shell game. No one expects the Unit, to reprimand Hansen, but the from the United States to this not be tepid. Washington should transfer of funds to is fired and the agency's payroll purged of terrorists. Anything would not only be a violation which prohibits aid mone to support terror, but also a violation of trust. Jonathan S. Tobin is the Jewish Exponent in can be reached via e-mail at hexponent.com. on-line at www.jewishexl