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November 4, 2016     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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November 4, 2016

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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 4, 2016 By Ben Cohen After months of dithering, the Obama administration has finally taken some action against the Lebanese Islamist terror organiza- tion Hezbollah. The U.S. Treasury Department has ap- plied sanctions on four Hezbollah operatives reportedly planning terror attacks, as well as a company, Al-Inmaa Engineering and Con- tracting LLC, controlled by a senior Hezbollah financier. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Depart- ment has sanctioned Hezbollah commander Haytham 'Ali Tabataba'i, also known as Abu 'AliA1-Tabataba'i, under U.S. counterterrorism rules. He has lead Hezbollah special forces, operated in Syria and reportedly was with Shi'a rebels in Yemen, according to the State Department. These measures are small, but they are, at least, a reminder of destructive forces in the Middle East beyond ISIS. Hezbollah, created by the Iranians as a proxy force to wage war on Israel, is now an integral element of the Russian-Iranian-Syrian regime axis that has successfully exploited the emergence of ISIS to establish itself as the current, dominant power bloc in the Middle East. As the price of his flimsy deal with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, President Barack Obama has allowed this bloc to rise unchallenged, and even downplayed the threat it represents. As Secretary of State John Kerry put it at the end of September, speaking to a group of Syrians, imploring for an end to the slaughter in the northern city of Aleppo, the U.S. isn't going to take the fight to Hezbollah, because "Hezbol- lah is not plotting against us." Given that Hezbollah has remained faithful to the same Islamist ideology since its found- ing, and carried out shocking acts of global terror, like the 1983 bombing of U.S. Marines in Beirut and the Buenos Aires bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in 1994, one wonders what "not plotting against us" means exactly. Hezbollah, after all, only exists to plot against "us:" Israel, the United States, the Sunni Arab countries, Europe, indeed, anyone who stands against the terror organization. Perhaps it's Kerry's way of saying, "Hezbollah isn't a priority in the way that ISIS is," leaving us in the grotesque position of enabling one lot of Islamist barbarians from the Shi'a side, as we confront another lot of Islamist barbarians from the Sunni side. Make no mistake, Hezbollah is barbaric, and its current alignment with Vladimir Putin's dictatorship in Russia doesn't make it accept- able. Israelis have had decades of experience with its goose-stepping fighters, most recently during the 2006 war in Lebanon, when Hez- bollah rained down hundreds of missiles upon Haifa and other northern cities. This year, the beleaguered people of Aleppo have been getting their own taste of the same. Since at least February, Hezbollah has played a critical role on the ground in northern Syria, Letter from Israel fighting on behalf of the tyrant President Bashar al Assad. As the Wall Street Journal reported at the time, "Hezbollah along with members of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard unit, and thousands of Iran-funded and trained Shiite fighters from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere, are leading the current ground assault in... A|eppo." The significance of holding Aleppo was un- derlined in a bloodcurdling speech back in June by Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah, broadcast live on the terror group's A1 Manar television station. "We are facing a new wave... of projects of war against Syria, which are being waged in northern Syria, particularly in the Aleppo region," Nasrallah asserted. "The de- Cohen on page 14A The power of interfaith relations Hello, readers! We hope you all enjoyed stand" Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur; the time for reflection during the many October board member may learn about the traditions holidays and are greeting November with a and history, but without hearing direct testi- sense of renewal and reinvigoration. Your mony from students or teachers (as at a recent JCRC certainly is! Seminole County School Board meeting), the We are gearing up for a big fall seminar, board member cannot know how it feels to Nostra Aetate: Turning Points for Interfaith have to miss a particular practice, make up Dialogue, on Monday, Nov. 14. In partner- a test or lose time on a project. The personal ship with the Interfaith Council of Central story adds a layer that truly connects and Florida, the Diocese of Orlando, the Holocaust may change the board member's sensitivity Memorial Resource & Education Center, and on calendar and scheduling issues. the Peace and Justice Institute at Valencia Within our community, this personal ap- College, we will explore Nostra Aetate, the proach has been used to great effect with our Vatican's 1965 Declaration on Relations with younger community members. We laud the Non-Christian Faiths. Nostra Aetate was Jewish Academy of Orlando for its multi-faith particularly seminal in improving relations program with students from the Islamic So- among Catholics and Jews.Wewill learn about ciety and the Geneva School, and the various this important document, its impact and how synagogue religious schools, for arranging similar turning points for interfaith dialogue similar programming. Likewise, we, as adults, can provide a path forward for understanding, strive to learn directly from our colleagues in acceptance and partnership, the faith community by asking questions in The seminar will feature a presentation by one-on-one settings or by attending educa- Dr. Ruth Langer, professor of Jewish Stud- tion sessions such as the Islamic Society's bi- ies and associate director of the Center for monthly Open House, the Holocaust Center's Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston Col- "Faith, Peace and Justice" summer series or lege, as well as facilitated table discussions the Interfaith Council's monthly Interfaith among attendees and leaders representing Discussion. Once we understand what drives multiple faith traditions. The evening, which one another, we are better equipped to move includes dinner, will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. forward to work in partnership on issues of at the NorthView Building on the University common concern. of Central Florida Campus, Though we may not agree with all faiths on When we invited our partners from all issues or causes, we believe in the power of other faiths to serve as table leaders, it was interfaith relations. They are the genesis for heartening to see just how many were in- how, inthewordsofNewYorkTimescolumnist terested--and how willing they are to work, Nicholas Kristof, "people of good will, regard- learn and grow with us.As we pursue our aim less of where they stand on the faith spectrum, to be a valuable, trusted resource and ally can begin to move from fighting one another in the Central Florida faith community, we to tackling the common enemies of humanity are treating our partners from other faiths that plague us all." how we ourselves would like to be treated. If you would like to attend Turning Points We believe that all of us--organizations, for Interfaith Dialogue on Nov. 14, you may institutions and individuals--can benefit, from learning about one another's faiths or by calling (407) 645-5933, ext. 233. The from one another, event, which includes dinner, is $36 per person It is nearly impossible to fully understand ($20 for students). the values, traditions and motives of any faith We will see you here in this space again next without hearing directly from its adherents, month! As always, if you have any questions Let's say that a school board member reads a about this column or about JCRC in general, pamphlet on the High Holy Days to "under- please THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE # # ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 44 Press Awards EWISH NEWS 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. MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 email: Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor News Editor Gene Starn Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza Society Editor Bookkeeping Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Account Executives Lori Apple Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky David Bornstein Ed Ziegler Production Department David Lehman Gil Dombrosky Joyce Gore By Ira Sharkansky Not much politics here. A long national holiday begins a few days before Rosh Hasha- nah and extends till two days after Succot. In Jewish tradition, there is a day after a holiday, perhaps to provide for recuperation. All told, that's close to a month without politics. When things get going again in a few days, we may hear how the greats and near greats are responding to the UNESCO decisions about the lack of a Jewish claim to the Temple Mount, and the expansion of a regional war with new atrocities from Nigeria, across Libya and Egypt, and on through Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Meanwhile, American politics are more exciting. And since the president is also as close to anyone as leader of the world, it will impact on everyone else, either by what she/ he does, or chooses not to do. As it looks from here, my recollection of Pogo is relevant. He could have written the script. We've met the enemy and they are us. Some of the usually repressed, ugliest of American traits are front and center, and have a chance of carrying this election. Racism and its anti-ethnic equivalents, along with an outspoken disregard for women have been prominent in Trump's campaign, getting enthusiastic responses from his supporters. The themes have been in U.S. culture forever. Abe Lincoln grew up with them, and freed the slaves as much out of a military tactic as any inbred sense of human rights. The Know Nothings were a political party active before the Civil War in opposition to Catholics and other immigrants. It's appro- priate to employ its label now, given what we know about Trump supporters. Hillary is not the best candidate to deal with the threat. The New York Times headlined an article, "Issues in Hillary Clinton's Past leave Her Muted in Furor Over Donald Trump." Its essence was that "her old missteps and her husband's history have effectively paralyzed her during a moment of widespread outrage." It's not only her weakness with respect to Trump's record on women. Her problem with email monkey business has traction, along with the wishy-washy response of the FBI and reports that Bill talked with the attorney general about the problem, and more recent news that a senior State Department official offered a quid pro quo to the FBI in exchange for a favorable ruling on Hillary's emails. Add- ing to the image of sleaze are reports about the Clinton Foundation, and the function of contributions to acquire access to the secre- tary of state. Despite the negatives associatedwith Donald Trump, my mailbox has received several mes- sages from well-educated American Jews who write in the mode of "Anybody but Clinton." One of the more informative polls appeared in the Washington Post. It came amidst the brouhaha about Trump's sexual comments and revelations from women claiming to have been groped, pawed, and otherwise molested by him. The poll showed an advantage for Hillary, but of only four percent, which could be easily overturned by another demonstration of her having to be carried by aides. The poll also showed thatAmericans choosing either Trump or Clinton were fixed in their support, and were intense in their opposition toward the other. Apoll publishedinthe JerusalemPostshowed that Israelis tend to view Trump as more sup- portive of Israel or less likely to pressure Israel than Hillary, but that they tend to support Hillary nonetheless. Makes one proud to be an Israeli. Not the Know Nothings for us. One is hard pressed to find a good reason for supporting Hillary, other than her serving as the alternative to Trump. No less a Democratic establishmentarian than Tom Friedman said on Israel television that the best explanation for Hillary's nomination was that Democrats viewed it as "her turn." Many are looking for a third party alter- native. However, voting for the Libertarian candidate, or the anti-Semitic Jewish Green Party candidate, might screw up the counts in key states and render their electoral votes a matter for a crapshoot. A friend sent me an article from Politico Magazine headlined "In a Time of Trump, Mil- lennial Jews Awaken to Anti-Semitism." The article's phrase "the tangled world of Jewish politics" is my choice for insight of the week. However, the item is limited in seeing an increase in anti-Semitism as associated with the Trump campaign, and comments by some of his key aides, if not the candidate himself. What it lacks is coverage of the increase in anti-Semitism that preceded Trump's nomina- tion by several years, and has been promoted by Jews in the tangle who see themselves as having a monopoly on what's proper. They are the supporters of BDS, some of whom affiliate with JStreet. They join with some misguided Jews of Israel in thinking that the actions of the Jewish state rank with the world's atrocities worth condemning. They add their voices to something invented by Palestinians and supported by European and Americans, with some of them inclined to sacrifice Jews wherever they are along with Israel. New among the worrying things about the Trump campaign are his repeated claims of a media conspiracy against him, and hints about vote fraud in what he calls a"rigged election." Donald's latest is the statement that he'll be sure to accept the election results, only if he's the winner. It doesn't take more than that to ignite the anti-government paranoids among his supporters. The environment is ripe, having been prepared by generations who don't trust gov- ernment and inclined to hate people different from themselves. Its been made worse by the rusting of what had been major centers of American industry, and perhaps by a Black sitting in the Oval Office. Should this sentiment carry on after the election, it would be -- at the least -- a repeat of the madness charging that the CIA was responsible for the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The fanciful claims about Barack Obama's birth certificate, and somewhat more convincing claims that a politicized court gave Florida and the presidency to George W. Bush. Analysts may be working for decades on the issue of how two so basically flawed candidates found themselves the last people standing in each party's competition for the nomination. American society survived several presiden- tial misfits, and is likely to survive the coming selection, unless Trump gets the call, with the power over the world inherent in the job. Comments welcome.