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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 24, 2014 The high cost of ignoring Islamic culture the conflict or why, because the death of the clan member weakens the clan. In honor-shame cultures, win-win think- ing is absent; rival clans bear a zero-sum relationship to one another--whatever brings honor to one of necessity brings shame to the other, and honor is achieved by defeating and thereby shaming the other. Disputes tend to last forever. Harold Rhode of the Gatestone Institute, who served as a Middle East analyst in the Defense Department for nearly 30 years, noted that in Hebrew the verb for payment comes from the same root as completeness and peace. The payment represents the end of a transaction in which ownership passes once and for all to the other party. In Arabic, the three-letter root for payment is the same as that for pushing--in other words, the transaction is never complete, what is yours today may be mine tomorrow; your possession is only temporary. Rhode began by arguing that it is first crucial to know the cultural context within which one is acting. Only then can one be- gin to develop a strategy. Knowledge of one simple fact could have spared all the futile peacemaking efforts since 1967: Any land that was under Islamic sovereignty is forever considered Islamic territory, dar al Islam, and By Jonathan Rosenblum, Multi-culturalism, which celebrates the diversity of cultures and treats them as all equally worthy of respect, is all the rage in academia and other precincts of the Left. Yet that celehration of diversity often is little more than a cover for intellectual sloth and a total lack of interest in the actual nature of any particular culture. And where that sloth prevails its corollary is likely to be an unfounded projection of one's own culture onto others. Nowhere is that phenomenon more evident than in American foreign policy in the Middle East. Last week I attended a panel in Jerusalem titled "Why Have 'Peace Plans' Backfired: How Honor-Shame DynamicsAffectArab-Israel Re- lations ." Anthropologists have applied the term honor-shame to societies organized around clan and tribe, in which group identity takes precedence over individual identity. Those societies are governed by elaborate codes of honor, the breach of which requires expiation in blood. If, for instance, someone outside of one's clan kills a fellow member of the clan, it is incumbent on members of the clan to avenge that killing, regardless of who initiated Netayahu has the right to reject 'ethnic purity' That comment ignited a firestorm of ques- tions from reporters. At first, Carter stood his ground. At a news conference in Indianapolis two days later, he reiterated: "I see nothing wrong with ethnic purity being maintained in Indianapolis. I have nothing against a com- munity trying to maintain the ethnic purity of their neighborhoods." By the next day, the condemnations were coming thick and fast. Seventeen black members of Congress and the National Urban League denounced Carter's statements. Carter buckle& He publicly apologized, announced his endorsement of employment legislation that the Congressional Black Caucus had been promoting, and declared: "I don't stand behind any sort of connotation of ethnic purity. I don't want any community to maintain its ethnic purity. If someone from a different ethnic group wants to go into a neighborhood, I would fight for that person's right to do that." Nowadays, Carter is much more likely to be seen hugging a leader of Hamas, than standing on the same political side as an Israeli prime minister. After all; Carter has authored an entire book accusing Israel of "apartheid," and has even publicly claimed that "obviously the Palestinians have a worse time than the Rwandans." (Not so obvious to those who know that one million people were slaughtered in the 1994 Rwanda genocide.) But Carter's amended declaration speaks for itself:"Ifsomeone from a different ethnic group wants to go into a neighborhood, I would fight for that person's right to do that." The new Jewish residents of Jerusalem's Shiloach and Givat HaMatos neighborhoods no doubt appreciate that principle, regardless of who is the person articulating it. And Prime Minister Netanyahu was spot-on to use the argument to a nationwide American audience in rejecting the Obama administra- tion's latest criticism. Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn are members of the board of the Religious Zion- ists of America. By Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tol d "Face the Nation" on Sunday that prevent- ing Jews from living and building in mostly- Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalemwould mean a policy of "ethnic purification" that is unac- ceptable in democratic societies. In so doing, Netanyahu once again showed his mastery of nuance in American politics -- a nuance, as it turns out, that even American presidential candidates do not always recognize. Appearing on the CBS-TV interview pro- gram opposite anchor Bob Schieffer, Netan- yahu strongly defended the recent purchase by Jewish families of apartments from Arabs in Jerusalem's Shiloach neighborhood, as well as the Israeli government's plans to build homes for Jews and Arabs in the city's Givat Hamatos section. Netanyahu told Schieffer that he was baffled by President Obama's criticism of the latest Jerusalem developments, since the idea of barring members of a particular ethnic group from living in specific areas is clearly against American values. He said that neither the United States nor Israel should ever have a policy of enforcing "ethnic purification." That phrase brings to mind a generation- old controversy in American political history. The year was 1976. Jimmy Carter, the former governor of Georgia, was locked in a tight race for the Democratic presidential nomination. The hot issues of the day included the busing of African-American children to mostly-white schools and the building of low- income housing in higher-income neighbor- hoods. A significant number of Democratic primary voters in some states were strongly opposed to both. 'When a reporter asked Carter about the housing issue, Carter evidently tried to appeal to conservative white voters by declaring: "I see nothing wrong with ethnic purity being maintained. I would not force racial integration on a neighborhood by government action." THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. x   CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE x x ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 43 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor Assistant Editor Gene Stam Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721) is published weekly for $37.95 per year to Florida ad- - Society Editor Bookkeeping dresses ($46.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Central Florida Jewish News, Inc., 207 O'Brien Road, Suite 101, Fern Park, FL 32730. Periodicals postage Account Executives paid at Fern Park and additional mailing offices. Loft Apple Marci Gaeser POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box 300742, Contributing Columnists Fern Park, FL 32730. Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky David Bornstein 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 emaih Joyce Gore it is the duty of Muslims to secure its return to Islamic sovereignty. The very idea of a Jewish state in the heart of the Muslim Middle East was thus unthinkable for Muslims from the beginning. Rahman Azzam Pasha, the first head of the Arab League, declared on the eve of the end of the British Mandate, "If the Zionists dare establish a state, the massacres we would unleash would dwarf anything Genghis Khan and Hitler perpetuated." Not only was the creation of Israel a sac- rilege, but the defeat in arms of seven Arab armies by the Jews, who were second-class citizens--dhimmis--in every Muslim society and thereby feminized, constitutes a humilia- tion that must to be reversed by force of arms. The refugees of the 1948 War of Independence have been frozen in time since then, expressly forbidden from integrating into another Arab state, so that they would remain a permanent attack force to avenge the humiliation of 1948. The honor-shame dynamic and the Islamic prohibition on ceding territorial sovereignty has not only leftArabs and Muslims unreconciled to Israel's existence. They have not even accepted the loss of Andalusia (Spain) to the Christians in 1492. Rhode shared a sto of how his mentor Bernard Lewis, the greatest living scholar of the Middle East, once joined a group of Turk- ish friends on a tour sponsored by an Islamic research institute in Cordoba. Not suspecting the Turkish-speaking Lewis of being Jewish, the tour guide confessed, "We are determined to bring back Islamic control of Spain." At Camp David, Ehud Barak conceded to Ararat all of the Temple Mount, retaining nothing for Israel except the land under the Temple Mount. Upon hearing the offer, Arafat jumped up and shouted, "I will not be having teawith Sadat." He meant that were he to agree to any concession he would be assassinated just as Sadat was for bringing dishonor to the Arab nation. The upshot is: Temporary treaties and arrangements can be worked out with the Palestinians and relations between us might be managed, but the hope of a truly final agree- ment in Palestinian eyes is impossible given the present nature of Arab society. That perspective, however, has been totally ignored by American policymakers. As in so much concerning the Muslim world, they have been cowed by Edward Said's Orientalism, in which he argued that any discussion of the Muslim world as being driven by an honor- shame culture was derogatory. So instead our foreign policy experts apply the various "rational actor" models of game theory from which cultural and religious considerations are excluded. That the Palestinians may have different goals and priorities that Western rational actors, and that achieving statehood, as long as Israel continues to exist, is not high on the list, does not occur to them. Perhaps it is too painful to consider that there are those not eager "to give peace a chance." Culture on page 14A How Palestinian 'lawfare' could backfire By Danny Danon (JTA)--When it comes to a long-term so- lution for our conflict with the Palestinians, there is no unanimity among Israelis. Many feel that the two-state solution is the only realistic option, while others believe that a Palestinian state would endanger Israel and therefore a regional agreement is needed to address this complex issue. Nevertheless, despite these divisions, there is widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly referred to as "lawfare." Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has again presented the United Nations with a unilateral plan for achieving Palestin- Jan statehood. President Abbas' statement at this year's U.N. General Assembly, in which he rejected negotiating with Israel, is coupled with his repeated threats to use international forums against Israel if his demands are not met. It appears that President Abbas is trying to achieve via international institutions what he was unable to accomplish at the negotiating table. He seems to be ignoring, however, that the Palestinians have a lot more to lose from such actions than Israel. In March, as Israel and the American media- tors were trying to hammer out an agreement extending the U.S.-sponsored talks, President Abbas decided to sign papers admitting the Palestinian Authority to 15 international treaties and conventions. Many experts in international law see little value in the move. If President Abbas goes ahead with his plans to Use international institutions to force con- Cessions from Israel, then Israel, the United States and other fair-minded countries should demand that the Palestinian Authority be held accountable to the treaties and conventions it has signed. If he proceeds down this route, President Abbas will soon find that his own P.A. is in blatant violation of at least 11 of these 15 treaties and conventions. In April, just a few weeks after rejecting the American efforts to continue the peace talks, President Abbas announced that his Fatah faction was forming a unity government with the Hamas terror- ist organization. It is well documented that during their battle with Israel this summer, Hamas regularly used area inhabited by Pal- estinian civilians to launch attacks on Israeli civilians. This put them in direct violation of the Geneva Convention that the Palestinian Authority signed for both firing from civilian locations and purposely targeting civilian population centers. Another treaty that the P.A. is likely to find itself in direct violation of is the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. President Abbas apparently signed this convention without closely examining the legal system of the Palestinian Authority, which includes a law forbidding selling land to Jews. Those who have broken this law have been sentenced to the death penalty. It is hard to see how. President Abbas would defend such a law in international legal forums. One more example of legal trouble President Abbas might find himself in relates to the U.N. Convention Against Corruption that he signed in March. Even the biggest financial supporters of the P.A. regularly report blatant irregularities regarding the funds they con- tribute. In September the European Union reported "significant shortcomings" in the P.A.'s management of the $2.5 billion in aid that was provided from 2008 to 2012. Close observers of the P.A.'s budget know that this is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mismanagement and outright corruption. I raise these issues not to threaten the Pal- estinianAuthority but to make clear that there is legal and diplomatic recourse for unilateral Palestinian action. Regardless of one's posi- tions on Palestinian statehood, it should be made clear that this 100-year-old conflict will not be resolved if President Abbas continues on his path of unilateral action and attempts to circumvent direct dialogue with Israel. The latest conflict in Gaza and the newfound public awareness of the evils of Hamas have afforded the Palestinian leadership with the chance to improve the condition of its people. Instead of once more validating Abba Eban's statement that the "Arabs never miss an op- portunity to miss an opportunity," we can only hope that President Abbas will change course. Now is the time to disassociate himself and the P.A. from the terrorists of Hamas and join with the moderate forces in the region who are striving to end Islamic fundamentalism and move the entire region forward on a path of progress and hope. Based on his most recent actions, it is doubt- ful that President Abbas will have the moral courage needed to make the hard choice and put his people on the right side of history. Personally, I am even more skeptical than many of my colleagues that President Abbas will make such a move. What needs to be made clear, however, by the governments of Israel and the United States is that unilateral actions and diplomatic warfare by the Palestinians will no longer be met with defensive hesitation, There can be real tools that can be used against such actions and we should not shy away from using them. Danny Danon, a Knesset member, has served as Israel's deputy minister of defense.