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November 9, 2012

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 9, 2012 PAGE 19A Egypt From page 1A won elections doesn't un- derstand how ideological the organization is, and doesn't understand how it is struc- tured to resist moderation," said Eric Trager, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Trager described a system in which it takes five to eight years to attain full membership in the Brotherhood, and during which aspirants are subject to tests that weed out moderates. Jewish concerns about how Morsi will handle relations with Israel have mounted in recent weeks. Addressing the United Na- tions General Assembly on Sept. 27, Morsi did not mention Israel by name once, although he spoke at length about the Palestinian cause. His only reference to Israel was as "a party in the international community" that denied Pal- estinian rights. The text of Morsi's speech as prepared and distributed in advance by Egypt's mission to the U.N. included a positive reference to the Arab League's 2002 peace initiative, which Idea called for comprehensive peace and recognition of Israel in exchange for Israel's with- drawal to the 1967 lines and a resolution to the Palestinian refugee issue in exchange. Yet Morsi, JTA has discovered, omitted that part in the speech he delivered. Also removed in the remarks Morsi delivered was a vow that was included in the advance text to uphold international commitments--an assur- ance that the United States has sought, particularly as it relates to the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. Next, in October, in a public message, Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide, reportedly said that "Zionists only understand the language of force" and "increased their corruption throughout the world, shed- ding the blood of the people, trampling sanctuaries and holy places, desecrating even their own sanctuaries through their actions." Then, on Oct. 19, Morsi attended Friday services at a mosque in Mersa Matruh, an Egyptian seaport, at which the imam- a prominent local Brotherhood figure - prayed to God to "deal harshly with the Jews and those who are allied with them." The Middle East Media Research Institute published video of the event in which Morsi appeared to nod and mouth "amen" to those words. "The drumbeat of anti- Semitism in the 'new' Egypt is growing louder and reverber- ating further under President Morsi and we are increasingly concerned about the continu- ing expressions of hatred for Jews and Israel in Egyptian society and President Morsi's silence in the face of most of these public expressions of hate," the ADL said in a state- ment. Morsi and the Brotherhood also have been consolidat- ing their power. In August, Morsi replaced the leadership of the military--long seen as a bulwark of support for maintaining strong ties wit the U.S. and upholding the peace treaty with Israel. He has also removed limits on the presidency that the junta that controlled Egypt after Hosni Mubarak's ouster in early 2011 had inserted. Joel Rubin, the director of government affairs for the Ploughshares Fund, said that much of this posturing has to do with internal political con- siderations as the Brotherhood seeks to consolidate its leading role in the Egyptian polity. "He's making a priority of maintaining the leadership profile," said Rubin,who previ- ously worked on Middle East issues as a congressional staffer and at the State Department. "He has a political base he speaks to." Trager said that the offend- ing statements of the sort delivered by the imam were not uncommon in Egypt. "What is as disturbing is that these prayers are ubiquitous in Egypt and a common feature," Trager said. "It's awful, the president sitting there and saying amen, but you have tens of millions of Egyptians saying amen." A poll in September com- missioned by The Israel Project found 74 percent of Egyptians disapprove of the fact that Egypt maintains diplomatic relations with Israel. The poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, was based on face-to-face interviews with 812 Egyptians and had a margin of error of 3.5 percent. There are already disagree- ments between Congress and the Obama administration over how best to deal with the new Egyptian government. The State Department an- nounced in September plans to maintain the $1.3 billion in military assistance to Egypt and to increase economic assistance and support for democratization programs. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), the chairwoman of the foreign operations subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representa- tives Appropriations Commit- tee, immediately put a hold on $450 million in emergency aid, saying "I am not convinced of the urgent need for this as- sistance and I cannot support it at this time." James Phillips, a senior fellow atThe Heritage Founda- tion, said that giving the emer- gency aid "sends the wrong signals to the Egyptian govern- ment." He noted the two days it took for Morsi contain mob attacks on the U.S. embassy on Sept. 11 and publicly criticize them. "He has proven himself to be someone who can't be counted on," Phillips said. But Rubin said the assis- tance, primarily designated for the military, helps bolster Egyptian moderates. Still, he said that it was appropriate for the Obama administration to make clear its unhappiness with anti-Semitic and anti- American pronouncements. He noted Obama's declaration in an interview with Telemun- do recently that Egypt was neither ally nor an enemy--a significant downgrading of the status of Egypt, which has long been one of the leading recipients of U.S. aid. "We should be comfortable in telling Morsi what we think is appropriate and telling him what we think the government of Egypt needs to be saying and not saying regarding Israel," Rubin said. Steven Cook, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Rela- tions, said that the U.S. should closely watch areas where ten- sions between Israel and Egypt could flare up. "There are certain discrete things the U.S. can do, like help manage the situation in Sinai," he said, noting the increase in tensions after attempted terrorist attacks from the Egyptian peninsula bordering Israel. "That's the flashpoint where political leaders have to do things are rational from their perspective, but that could lead to" an outbreak of conflict. From page 4A believe that we pay for what is important to us and see "free" offers as a come-on with hid- den expenses down the line. David Bryfman of the Jew- ish Education Project in New York focused on the "free" issue in an ELI talk (the Jew- ish equivalent of TED talks) and in his writings recently, suggesting that "the value of Jewish life and living has been ... distorted by the increasing addition of free initiatives," which he believes can have unintended but "potentially devastating consequences." He argues that "free adds value only if it is connected to something else." Because someone else is paying for it, it isn't sustainable, and it Florida isn't really free. "And when [donors] are paying for one thing, it often means that they are not paying for something else." David Cygielman, the CEO and founder of Moishe House, an international organization that subsidizes rent for single young Jews in return for their promise to host events with Jewish content, wrote a piece on the eJewishPhilanthropy website last week saying it's a mistake and missed op- portunity to downplay the significant cost absorbed by funders underwriting these "free" programs. "If my peers ... are being taught that everything is free, how can we expect them to give back down the road?" he asked. In his essay, called "The Myth of Free," Cygielman said Moishe House launched a campaign that makes its budget transparent so resi- dents and alumni can see the level of philanthropic support the program receives. More than two-thirds of Moishe House residents contributed to the program last year, and Cygielman suggests that "sharing our budget and being transparent" was a key factor. "Free," in and of itself, is neither a good or bad policy, according to Mark Charend- off, former head of the Jewish Funders Network (and a Jew- ish Week board member). He says the key is the rationale and intention of the donor. Citing the Birthright pro- gram, he suggests that the donors' goal is not simply to give young people a free trip to Israel, but to lead them on a path where they come to appreciate the values of Jewish life. "If they get a taste of it [through the Israel experi- ence], they may become lifetime consumers," says Charendoff, noting that the donors "have confidence in their product," which is Jew- ish life. Chabad has been remark- ably successful around the world in providing free servic- es and courses and, once their consumers are pleased, asking them for donations. That formula, and raising large sums from wealthy donors, the vast majority of whom are not ritually observant, has made Chabad the envy of every Jewish organization. But with a number of major foundations concentrating on young people, many other segments of the community are finding it increasingly dif- ficult to raise funds for their projects. One frustrated rabbi seek- ing support for a major adult Jewish education program told me this week that "people over 40 in our community are the walking dead," virtu- ally unnoticed by significant funders. Of course it's the funders' prerogative to decide who and what to support, but that brings us back to whether the community as a whole has a say as to which programs are free and which aren't. A final note to Jewish lead- ers: Don't judge the Jewish commitment of our young people by whether or not they join synagogues and longstanding Jewish organiza- tions. They are of a new genera- tion, with multiple interests and identities, and they tend to express their Jewishness by rolling up their sleeves rather than pulling out their wallets. Theywill give of themselves if they believe in the authen- ticity of a cause. It's our job to show them that Jewish life is a cause well worth investing in. So take my advice. It's free. Gary Rosenblatt is editor and publisher of The New York Jewish Week, from which this article was reprinted by permission. You can email him at From page 5A enjoyed in 2008. In interviews Tuesday with more than a doz- en Jewish voters, Obama was not infrequently described as the lesser of two evils. "I voted against Romney," Victor Barth said."I don't think we had too much of a choice. I took the better of the two evils." Barth and his wife, Rhoda, cast their votes for Obama on Tuesday afternoon at Temple Emeth, a Conservative con- gregation in Delray Beach located barely a mile from a mammoth billboard show- ing an Iranian missile aimed squarely at Israel. The caption: "Friends don't let friends get nuked. Stop Obama." "Terrible," Rhoda Barth said. "It is shameful. It should not be up there." "My biggest problem with both parties is the money they spent on this campaign could have floated a Third World country," Victor Barth said. "It's a crime." Jewish Obama supporters tended to emphasize Obama's stands on social issues--no- tably abortion rights and gay rights--as well as his policies toward the poorwhiie dismiss- ing charges that the presi- dent has been insufficiently committed to the security of Israel. Romney's Jewish sup- porters talked mainly about the Republican's commitment to Israel and, secondarily, his ability to steer the economy out of the doldrums. Debbi Klarberg, a Boca Raton resident who described herself as "very pro-Israel," said she had some reserva- tions about the president on that front--but not enough to change her vote. "Basically his values rep- resent who I am as a person," she said."I guess my beliefs are more in line with Democratic values." Orthodox Jews, however, appear more inclined to back Romney over the president, polling suggests. Orthodox voters are believed to have given a majority of their votes to the Republican nominees in the previous two presidential elections. At a kosher restaurant Monday night in Boca Raton, three Orthodox patrons said theywere supporting Romney, largely because of Israel. "I'm voting for Romney, I'm not hiding it," said a woman who declined to give her name. "The main thing is Romney is better for Israel than Obama is." Eytan Marcus, an Orthodox critical care physician who spent part of his childhood in Israel, said there was little dif- ference substantively between Obama and his predecessors on support for the Jewish state. Rather it was Obama's subtle favoring of the Arab states thathe feared had emboldened them politically. "He's enabled the Arab na- tions," Marcus said. "He didn't do anything for Israel, but he strengthened the Arabs. It tips the balance." Republicans have ham- mered the president on the issue of Israel in billboards, print advertisements, mail- ings and robocalls that seem to have disgusted and fatigued Jewish voters of all persua- sions. Even cellphone num- bers haven't been immune this year. And perhaps more pertinent, many voters claim to be ignoring the persuasion efforts. "I had to take the phone off the hook, I had to turn off the answering machine weeks ago," said one Jewish voter in Boca, who nevertheless expressed regret that it had cost her the thrill of having Barbra Streisand's voice on her machine. Streisand is one of several celebrities who recorded calls on behalf of Obama. As the final day of voting rolled amund--Floridians had more than aweek to cast their ballots this year--there was a palpable sense of relief that the end was finally in sight. At the Bagel Tree, nearly everyone had cast their votes prior to the actual Election Day. Therewas one exception, though. 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