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October 28, 2011

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PAGE 4A The HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 28, 2011 , ..... ...... ...... .=_ whose children was lost, and the one whose my daughter. I feel like she is screaming, her  f "O  "  1 w 4lqurned.:..,  blood, her ashes are crying out to us and I ,. a : .......  cannot do anything to prevent it." Good Yehiyah Sinwar, a founder of Hamas' mili- According to a 2007 report by an Israeli ,-.nJ  tarywingiwho had served almost 25years of terrorism victims group, 177 Israelis were . , . ., ]By David ]Bornstetn there can be no doubt that saving Gilad Sha- lit was a great ending to a horrific story, the epilogue is, at best, bittersweet. More than 500 Arab prisoners have to date been freed in the exchange for Gilad, including convicted terrorists and murderers, and this is where I cringe. This is the bile on which I choke. Israel swore it would never release prisoners with blood on their hands, and now it has. It's not up to me to question the internal decision making of the Israeli government. Nor do I want to diminish the accomplishment of freeing an Israeli soldier, or the value of his life. But I do want to remember the eyes and ,thoughts and feelings of those other parents who lost children and now must live with the murderers going free. It is those people who I don't want to diminish either, for I know how I would feel if I were either parent--the one Freedom at what cost I feel guilty even as I begin to write. The joy and relief felt by Jews worldwide at the release of Gilad Shalit from five years of captivity at the hands of Hamas is real, dep, and deservedly so. How many times have Our rabbis asked us to think about and pray for him since his capture? How often have we wondered if he, like so many other Israeli soldiers, was being tortured by ter- rorist.s, and if his life was already forfeit? To the Shalit family, we all say thank God your son has been returned. But his release came at a high cost. Just as Israeli leadership looked into the eyes of Gilad's parents and vowed that he would Someday be freed, so too they look today into the eyes of hundreds of other parents whose children were murdered by militant Islamic terrorists and say, "We're sorry." For while By Ira Sharkansky democracies in relying on a death penalty, long prison terms and one or more guns in most homes for the sake of self-defense? Or is it nothing more than a cynical con- cern for the oil of places like Iraq and Libya, and the hope that soothing comments about Islam will keep enough Muslims qtdet to allow business as usual? None but the mindless should speak with confidence. Better to begin from the epigram that it is easier to destroy than to construct. And to recognize that while the Middle East (except for Israel's little exception) looks dismally similar, the reality isone of differ- ences. Things among the Muslims are not so different that we should expect anything like enlightenment in the near or distant future, but details are important. Egypt is beginning to look like more of the same, i.e., one military autocrat replaced cur- rently by a committee of generals, seemingly re!uctant to relinquish power. Tunisia had an election last week, and we'll know more about it soon. Predictions are that the competition among more than 100 political parties will see a large minority--perhaps a plurality--voting Islamic. Guesses are that Syria's current ruler has been sobered by the pictures of what hap- pened to Gadhafi. Assessments are that he will try even more severe repression rather than personal flight or the convening of a repre- sentative convention to arrange forgiveness and build an enlightened regime. News about Yemen, Somalia, Bahrain and Afghanistan are equally confused, are about as encouraging. On this side of the street, we are preoccupied withpictures of Gilad Shalit, and reports about his physical and emotional health. One of the more than 450 prisoners already released in order to bring him home (with another 550 scheduled to be let go in amonth) has appeared before school children in Gaza to .urge them toward a life of martyrdom. That's the other side'of the street. Ira Sharkansky is  professor emeritusl  Department of Political Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. You've heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. You've seen the pictures of Moammar Gadhafi's death. -Given the comments of Barack Obama and the analysis that appeared in the New York Times; I'm not all that sure that enough Americans understandwhat they have seen. Recall George W. Bush's comments about bringing democracy to Iraq and elsewhere? Now there is Barack Obama on Gadhafi's death. "This marks the end of a long and . :: pinful chapter for the people of Libya who now have the opportunity to determine their :own destiny in a newand democratic Libya." The lead paragraph in one of the items in the   New York Times: "For President Obama, the :., ' ,_image of abloodied Col. Moammar el-Gadhafi  offers vindication, however harrowing, of his . intervention in Libya." One must be careful. Not every Muslim is a blood thirsty, enthusiastic killer of those considered to be enemies, all thewhile scream- ing "Allah Akba." ("God is great" is a close, if not exact translation). However, one of the iconic videos of the intifada that began in 2000 shows a crowd in Ramallah killing two Israeli reservists who made a wrong turn. The massacre took place in a police station, more or less like the killing of Gadhafi. Prominent on the video is an ecstatic killer waving his blood soaked hands to the cheering crowd from an upstairs window. That took place about five miles from here. Only a few hundred meters away were two cases of near lynchings in the recent year of Jews not familiar with the area, who made a wrong turn into Isaweea.  On'e has to wonder about American roman:: ticism about Islam, the Middle East and the magic to be produced by Israeli concessions to Palestinians. Is it simple ignorance about :: a distant land not well covered in schools and :} universities?  Does it reflect the persistence of a frontier mentality that is nearly unique amongWestern  [TIE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. 1 III II I  O CENTRAL FLORIDA'S INDEPENDENT JEWISH VOICE   gx ISSN 0199'0721 Winner of 40 Press Awards. r. " F.dorlFubllhr .......  ........ ' : Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus 'Associate Editor Assistant Editor i: :' "Gene Sham " Ln Davidson Hike Etzkin HERITAGEFlodda Jewish News" (ISN 0199-0721) " =is puhlished kly for $37.95 per year to FIorida ad"  Editor :i i;- " dresses ($46.95 forhe rest of the U.) by HERITAGE G]o Yoush - ' Paulette Harmon. Kim Fischer Barbara do Caro : Marci Gaeser .... eontfiitin CdMnim Jim Shipley Ir Sharkansky Tim Boxer David Borilein '= Terri Fine Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman David Gaudio Teri Marks Loft Apple * Elaine Schooping * Gil Dombrosky , Central Florida Jewish News, Inc., 207 O'Brien-R0adi: "Suite 101, Fern ParkFL 32730. Periodicals postag/'/-. 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 " FernPark, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 email: tion and killing of two Israeli soldiers in the 1980s. Showing no remorse, he immediately called on the capture of more Israeli soldiers to help free thousands of other Palestinians in Israeli jails. Wafa al-Biss, a 26-year-old woman who was arrested in 2004 for trying to detonate explosives strapped to her body at an Israeli checkpoint near Gaza. "We shall continue o n this path of struggle and resistance and martyrdom," al-Biss said upon her release. The woman who drove the car for the bomber of the Sbarro pizza restaurant in 2001 and was closely involved in the planning of the attack that murdered 15 people and injured 130. Again showing no remorse, she declared that she knew she'd be let out in a prisoner swap at some point, and when set free, she'd carry on. When asked on television whether she knew how many children had been killed in that attack, she replied that she did not. On being told that the number was eight, she smiled for the camera. Dalia Cohen's daughter Kinneret was mur- dered in 1989 by terrorist Abed al-Hadi Ganaim when he tookcontrol of a public bus and drove it off a cliff. "On the one hand, I am happy that Gilad is coming back to his mother," says Dalia. "I am also a mother and I know what it's like. I know how much I.would want to get my child back. Everybody is happy around me but I cannot rejoice. Abed al-Hadi Ganaim was set free today. I feel like I am betraying murdered in the five years before the study by recidivist terrorists who had been freed. Abbas ibn Muhammad Alsayd, released in 1996, was subsequently involved in three ter- rorist attacks, including the 2002 bombing of a Netanya Passover seder. In 1998, Iyad Sawalha was released as a "good-will" gesture; in 2002 he detonated a bomb that killed 17. And in 2003, Ramez Sali Abu Salmin was released; 7 months later he blew himself up in a Jerusalem cafe, killing 7. Being a Jew is a complicated enterprise. On the one hand, we value each individual life as sacred, and maintain our morals and our sense of justice and righteousness and integrity as if our lives, rather than our reputations, depended on it. On the other hand we live in a world of grays, a harsh, pragmatic world of deal makers and compromise, and the very values we live for are often undermined for the sake of a clearly mixed good. We are complex. We are conflicted. We are, in our hearts, try- ing our best. But even the best intentions are often challenged by a bitter dose of reality. I am happy for Gilad and his family. I am sad and dismayed for the families whose children died at the hands of now free murderers, and I am scared of what the future may bring. And that's the good (and bad, and.mixed) word. The opinions in this column are those of the writer and not the Heritage or any other individual agency or organization. Send your thoughts, comments, and critiques to the Heritage or email American relations with the Arab world have been strained for decades; Israel's 'relations with the Arab world barely exist. But the Arab world itself is not all of a piece. The outright enemies of Israel and the West--preeminently, Syria and Iran--are political totalitarians, using the terrorist proxies of Hamas and engage in or threaten open war against not only their publicly defined adversaries but everybody around them. Most of their victims, indeed, are themselves Syrians and Iranians, followed by Lebanese and Palestinians. Egypt is different, and has been different since the death in 1970 of the nationalist hero -tyrant Gamal Abdel Nasser. When Anwar Sadat took the helm from his predecessor, Cairo's government de-radicalized itself to a degree--much as China's did after the death of Map, even.though neither one underwent a formal regime change. Ruled for decades by the authoritarian Hosni Mubarak, a military man, today Egypt is governed by a military junta--the Council oftheArmed Forces. Throughout this post-Nasser period, and again like the modern Chinese Communist party, the establishment has not only tolerated but promoted a certain amount of ideological diversity--limited, but miles away from the norm in the region's worst regimes and movements. This policy has undoubtedly helped save Egypt from either reverting to full-blown despotism or smashing itself up in yet another doomed-to-lose war against Israel.  Among the beneficiaries of the regime's toler- ance is Gamal Abdel Gawad Soltan, director of the AI-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. This government-sponsoredthinktank has managed, incredibly, to remain somewhat independent of the state it purportedly serves. Unlike the AI Ahram newspaper, with which it" shares office space, the institute is no government tool. How has it preserved its autonomy?"Mubarakwas corrupt and authori- tarian," Soltan explained when I asked, "but he was not Saddam Hussein, Hafez al-Assad, or Muammar Gadhafi." I could vouch for this. I had been to Mubarak's Egypt, Gadhafi's Libya, Iraq shortly after Saddam Hussein finished wrecking the place, and Lebanon while the Assad fam- ily waged a terrorist war in Beirut against - the elected government there. Egypt under Mubarak was hardly a free country, but it certainly wasn't totalitarian. For the most part, if people stayed out of the state's way, the state left them alone. Still, why issue paychecks to scholars who spend every working day writing and publish- ing thoughtful essays that regularly cut against the grain of government policy? By Michael J. Totten Jewish Ideas Daily The center, Soltan told me, was established in 1968 "after we lost the war with Israel. The rationale behind it was to create a place where we could-analyze our reasons for failure. The government needed a second opinion, and it needed people who could think freely. A few think tanks were created around town for this purpose, and this is the one that survived." The ground rules, moreover, have remained c|ear from the beginning:"We can conduct our reseaxch and publish it, but we can't mobilize activists. We are allowed to say what we want as long as we don't oversay it, or act on it." Soltan's political views line up, more or less, with those of other Egyptian liberals whether inside or outside the establishment. He wants the army to loosen its grip and hold free elec- tions. He distrusts the Muslim Brotherhood. He doesn't much care for Israel, but he has no interest in terminating the peace treaty or gratuitously antagonizing Jerusalem. As for the activists in Tahrir Square, he finds them immature, naive and emotional. In short: a political liberal with the temperament of a conservative. Much more outspoken than Soltan is his col- league Hala Mustafa, a borderline revolution- ary who also works at the A1Ahram Center and edits her own magazine, Democracy. Mustafa's vociferous denunciations of the regime, and of the Islamist movement that she sees as its evil twin, appear not only locally in Arabic but also in English in the Western press. She. too, favors maintaining the peace treaty with Israel, but unlike Soltan she wants normal relations with the country, a position supported by only a very small number of her fellow Egyptian liberals (not to mention ordinary Egyptians). Not surprisingty, Mustafa has gotten herself into trouble. She made headlines around the world after the regime mounted a fierce public campaign against her for meeting with the Israeli ambassador in her office. Not that she had done anything unusual--Israelis visit the AIAhram Center on a fairly regular basis--but the government seized the opportunity to cast suspicion on her and, no doubt, to intimidate her. "This was the first incident of its kind since the [1978] peace treaty," she said to me. "The press syndicate is working under the control of the security services. I didn't do anything wrong. It just gave them an excuse to put pressure on me." She was certain her office was being bugged and that somebody was listening to every word of our interview. Like many Egyptians who thinkas she does, Mustafa believes that the military regime and the Muslim Brotherhood will work together to build a new political order. "The military depend on the Muslim Brotherhood, which has some popularity," she observed. "When [the two] clash, it's over the issue of shar- ing power. It's not an ideological dispute. So Egypt on page 19A In Egypt with liberals