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November 7, 2014

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 7, 2014 PAGE 11A Ammunition Hill once again a Jerusalem battleground By Deborah Fineblum Schabb JERUSALEM--As the after- noon sun showers Jerusalem with gold, Ammunition Hill looks like any of the city's other 22 light rail stops. Since 2011, untold numbers of Israelis-- Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike--have been catching the train every nine minutes or so along the 8.6-mile route through Jerusalem's main shopping streets and many residential neighborhoods. In fact, for the commuters, college students, and shoppers getting off and on here, there is little to indicate that a ter- rorist attack just recently took place on this very platform. Even on Oct. 23, the day after the attack, normalcy had already returned. Or so it seemed. The wreckage of at- tackerAbdel RahmanAI-Shal- udi's car had been cleared, and all signs of the violence had been cleaned up. In fact, theonly indication that Israeli blood had been spilled here was a group of young Israelis waving the nation's flag and singing"AmYisrael Chai" (the people of Israel live) at the top of their lungs. But now that, in addition to 3-month-old Chaya 'Zissel Braun, a second victim-- Karen Yemima Mosquera, an Ecuadorian candidate for conversion to Judaism--has died of her wounds, and as a half dozen others slowly heal from their injuries, officials are struggling to deal with the escalating violence in the nation's capital. All thewhile, Israeli citizens are trying to make sense of it all. "It's scary," said 19-year-old David Alcalay while glancing down the Ammunition Hill platform. "It brings back the feelings of when I was 8 and the second intifada was on. I would come home from school every afternoon and ask my morn, 'How many people were killed today?'" What the U.S. Secret Service can learn from Israel's Shin Bet By Dmitriy Shapiro Jewish Week What's the cure for the recent ills ofthe United States Secret Service? American of- ficials might consider taking some advice from their Israeli counterparts at the Shin Bet security agency. White House security breaches have sent the Se- cret Service scrambling to restructure itself in order to prevent similar or more seri- ous mistakes in the future. But former Israeli security and intelligence officials note that the Shin Bet, which also protects top dignitaries, has virtually the same tactics, rules of engagement, and training procedures as its American equivalent--with- out experiencing the same hiccups, at least in recent years. In 1995, the Shin Bet did experience its own crisis following the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. "I don't think [Israel's protection of dignitaries] is different from what the Americans do," former Israeli Mossad agent Gad Shimron, whowas never part of the Shin Bet's VIP security service but is familiar with its operations, told "It's the same training, more or less. It's like the training of an elite soldier, whether he is in the Israeli army or the American army. Maybe there are little differ- ences, but the basic training is the same, the aim of the service is the same." A former senior Israeli security official told JNS. org that working on culture, rather than changing tactics or overhauling organizational structure, can help the Secret Service fix its problems. "Every organization is built out of people, procedures, and culture," said the official, who asked to remain anonymous. "So if this is true, take out the written procedures, take out the people one by one as private individuals, and try to figure out whether there is something left." Shimron said that even if agencies like the Secret Service are guarding dignitar- ies 24/7, all it tales is "two seconds of carelessness" for a disaster like an assassination. "Or in this case, I'm sure that the White House nor- mally is very well-guarded, but somehow, for reasons I can't really tell you because I don't know all the details, someone managed to jump over the fence and run into the White House," he said. Questionswere raised about the effectiveness of the Secret Service after Omar Gonzalez, carrying a knife, on Sept. 19 jumpedtheWhite House fence, ran inside the front door, and passed the presidential living quarters into the East Room, where he was stopped by an off-duty agent. More embarrassment for the agency came when leaks to the media uncovered that President Barack Obama, while visiting the Center for Disease Control and Preven- tion in Atlanta, rode in an el- evatorwith an armed security guard who possessed a crimi- nal record and proceeded to take pictures of the president. The last straw came with the revelation that the Secret Service delayed confessing that shots fired at the White House in 2011hit their target. Initial reports on the incident had said that all of the shots missed the building. After a heated House Over- sight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Sept. 29 in which lawmakers on both sides of the aisle ex- pressed their lost confidence in the leadership of Julia Pierson, the Secret Service's director, Pierson resigned. Her post was quickly given to former U.S. special agent Joseph Clancy, who came out of retirement to act as interim director. Pierson, who assumed the position in March 2013, had succeeded Mark Sullivan, who resigned after it was reported that 11 agents engaged with prostituteswhile theywere on a trip with the president to a summit in Colombia. The former Israeli security official commended Pierson's resignation, saying thatwhen a director of such an agency steps down, it sends the message to citizens that the concept of responsibility is still important. In Israel, the Shin Bet has a dual role: part VIP security agency and part anti- terrorism organization. With a large portion of its members coming from other Israeli intelligence agencies, the anti-terrorism branch offers protective service agents on the ground with clear alerts on threats. The Shin Bet's meticulous- ness was recently demonstrat- ed in a visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who came to the U.S. to attend the U.N. General Assembly. Reporting on a dinner be- tween Netanyahu and Jew- ish philanthropist Sheldon Adelson at a New York City restaurant, a New York Post reporter mused about the 30 security personnel tagging along--closing off the block and making the restaurant's patrons go through a metal detector. Yet the Shin Bet is also no stranger to security failures, in particular the 1995 assas- sination of Rabin by an Israeli extremist. "That was the equivalent of the JFK assassination in :America, in terms of the shock waves domestically and worldwide--and the hu- miliation that the bodyguards experienced," said Dan Raviv, a CBS News correspondent who co-authored the book "Spies Against Armageddon," which offersa history of Israeli security and espionage. "Shin Bet veterans told me that they did not imagine that an Israeli Jew would murder his own country's prime minister. They had, in effect, been on the lookout only for threats that Arab attackers might pose." Shimron said that Israeli intelligence became aware of a possible internal threat to Rabin after he signed the Oslo Peace Accords. That turned out not to be enough to prevent the assassination. After the murder, the Shin Bet went through its own upheaval, which included the resignation of its director and a change in tactics. The Shin Bet shifted its focus when protecting dig- nitaries toward surrounding them with agents, preferably those who were taller and bigger than the individual they are trying to protect, so that a gunshot was more likely to hit an agent wearing a bulletproof vest than the dignitary. The number of agents protecting the prime min- ister was also significantly increased after the Rabin assassination. Now, whenever the Israeli prime minister goes anywhere, "the whole regi- ment of security people are Shin Bet on page 15A Ammunition Hill, how- ever, seems to historically always be in harm's way. It got its name during the 1930s as a storehouse for British am- munition and was the scene of major battles between Jordan and Israel during both the War for Independence and the Six Day War, due to its strategic location as gateway to the Mt. Scopus area and ultimately the Old City. These days it is perched on the border of Jewish and Arab neighborhoods now connected by the light rail, which means that residents of the Israeli neighborhood Pisgat Ze'ev, for instance, need to travel through Arab neighborhoods to get home at night. Increasingly, these areas of town are the scenes of frequent rock throwing. "Standing here, I saw a train go by with a cracked window and I know it didn't happen from natural causes," Alcalay said. "Sadly, it's a sign of the times." Yet as his bus passed the" Ammunition Hill train stop, YosefCohenwas quickto point out that such violence is not restricted to a certain neigh- borhood. "I've lived in this city for 30 years and I know it can happen anywhere," he said. "But I still feel safe here. Their leaders are whipping them up because they want to make us afraid, but we can't let them scare US." In the face of escalating violence, Prime Minister Ben- jamin Netanyahu has pledged to step up security, alerting his cabinet to the 1,000 additional This photo was taken at the Kotel just hours before 3-month.old Chaya Zisel Braun was murdered in a terrorist attack at Ammunition Hill light rail station in Jerusalem. border guards assigned to beef up defense of the city. "United Jerusalemwas, and will always remain, the capital of Jerusalem," Netanyahu said. "Every attempt to harm its people will be met with a stronger response. We will return peace and security to Jerusalem." Which is exactlywhat Orlee Canaan, sitting on a bench on the Ammunition Hill plat- form, wants to hear. "I'm not afraid to be here butI do know that, if we put up with them throwing rocks at trains and cars it will just escalate," said the Afula native and mother of five (one of whom is in the Israel Defense Forces). "We have to be strong and we have to be clear. Otherwise the enemy will see us as weak and become bolder and more and more violent." In fact, since theAmmuni- tion Hill attack, Hamas's news agency has been 'running a poster encouraging other Palestinians to mimic A1- Shaludiuse by using their cars as weapons against Israelis. Light rail passenger Ohela Avinir, a professor at Hadassah College en route to class, isn't optimistic about the situation. "Look around and it doesn't seem like we are at war, but we are at war," she said, describ- ing that the recent wave of attacks is "bound to make us feel morevulnerable and more aware that we are standing at an invisible border between us and the enemy." And Avinir, who has a Ph. D. in conflict resolution, argues that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict shows no sign of abating. "Until children are raised without hate it is difficult to resolve this kind of long-term conflict," she said. "Not while parents continue to teach and model violence instead of peace." Dedicated To Serving Our Jewish Community Call on Central Florida's Exclusively Jewish Funeral Home for Details Regarding: Traditional Jewish Funerals Non-Traditional Services Interstate Shipping Pre-Arranged Funerals (Shalom Assurance Plan) Headstone, Grave Markers (Cardinal Memorials) 407-599-1180 640 Lee Rd. Orlando, Florida W.E. "Manny" Adams, LFD Samuel P. (Sammy) Goldstein, Executive Director