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December 4, 2009     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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December 4, 2009
 

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PAGE 4A By Nancy Falchuk HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 4, 2009 Spreading awareness of the greatest gift kidneys--an impressive number until you compare it to the 80,000 Americans on waiting lists for kidneys. Many ofthemwill die waiting. Our medical expertise is running faster than our ability to sign up donors--both liv- ing donors for kidneys and bone marrow, and people who formally register to be postmortem donors. It's not for lack of generosity. Every organ donor is a tribute to the most generous instincts of the human spirit. But to be a donor, one needs one more characteristic: awareness. Millions of generous people are not aware. Some avoid thinking about the issue. Others resist becoming donors out of a traditional mind-set they believe is rooted in religion, even though religious authorities from virtu- ally every denomination and every faith have endorsed the life-giving practice of organ donation. Hadassah, alone and in partnership with other health-oriented organizations, has made a priority of awareness. For 10 years we have sponsored educational programs on the importance of organ donations. We do this not only in our chapters but also as outreach to the wider Jewish community and the general public. We also have done tissue typing for potential bone marrow donors at our annual conventions. NEW YORK (JTA)--Nothing should sur- prise the medical staff of a big hospital, but last July the Hadassah Medical Center had an extraordinary48-hour period inwhich surgical teams performed two heart and three kidney transplants. The most dramatic case was that of a 42-year-old mother of six who had been living for a year with an artificial heart and who finally had a human donor. As a nurse, nothing is more remarkable to me than how far organ transplantation has come just during the course of my profes- sional career. When I was in nursing school, kidney trans- plantationwas in its infancy and the first drugs to treat acute rejection were being introduced. Dr. Christiaan Barnard's first successful heart transplant was still in the future. But as far as organ transplantation has ~ome, there is still work to be done. Even that extraordinary two-day period at the Hadassah Medical Center suggests challenge as much as achievement. The surge or dearth of healthy organs on any given day points up the uneven pace of donations. The statistics, likewise, tell two stories. In 2008, there were 28,000 organ transplants in the United States. Some 16,000 involved It can't happen here? On Sept. 21, the FBI arrested TarekMehanna in a Boston suburb. Tarek is a graduate phar- macist and is a teacher in a Muslim school. He has dual U.S. and Egyptian citizenship. The FBI said Mehanna and his associates were planning a holy war by attacking our troops and shooting shoppers in U.S. malls. The victims could easily have been someone you know and love. On Sept. 17, the FBI arrested Najibullah Zazi, 25, an Afghan living in Queens linked to al-Qaida. Zazi is accused of plotting to blow up the New York subway system. Law enforcement officials say this was the most serious terrorist threat against the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001. If the plot succeeded how many Americans would have been killed on U.S. soil? Then there is the Nov. 6 shooting spree on American soil at Fort Hood, Texas, that resulted in the murder of 13 andwounding of another 30 by a 20-yearveteran, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a Muslim. Hasan had purchased his weapons at a local retail gun store several weeks prior to the slaughter. It has been reported that head had been heard referring to the War on Terror as the War on Islam. It has been learned that while shooting, Hasan was shouting in Arabic "Allahu akbar," the Arabic phrase for "God Is Great." It has also been reported that Hasan was proselytizing military personnel. These sample cases should make it clear enough that the war on terror has landed in the USA. It is time for our leaders wake up and start publicizing the fact that we are being attacked. By Ed Ziegler In discussing the War on Terror, there are a number of people who have told me there is no concern at this time. They say the war is elsewhere. I would be very surprised, if after reading this article, there is anyone who can still deny that the War on Terror has hit the USA. Please let me know your opinion. Over the past 20 years, our enemy--jihad. ists-- have been coming here and successfully securing a toehold. For many years our Home- land Security, FBI, etc., have been searching for terrorists within the USA. Every so often our protectors have successfully uncovered terrorist plots prior to their causing disasters and killing Americans. It is a mistake to think there is only handful of enemies here. In the past several years there has been a significant increase in the number of terrorists and their supporters identified, arrested and convicted. The following are only a few of the terrorist activities in the USA that have been exposed this year. On Sept. 29, Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alish- tari, a New York businessman, pleaded guilty in a Manhattan Federal Court to funneling $152,000 to a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan. He said he believed the money was to buy night vision goggles to train jihad- ist killers. On July 27, the United States attorney in North Carolina charged seven people with con- Spiring to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to murder and kidnap. Of the Every culture reserves a special place of honor for lifesavers, and that is exactly what donating an organ makes you. According to Jewish tradition, whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world. In fact, saving one life by donating an organ may indirectly save others. Increasing the voluntary donor pool would go a long way toward ending illegal trafficking in human organs. This criminal trafficking has not spared the Jewish community. Many of us have been shocked in recent months over news reports of individual Jews involved in the practice. Paid donors are typically people from poor countries who give up a kidney or part of their liver under substandard surgical conditions and with little or none of the post-operative attention they need. Those who trade in human organs exploit not only the poor but also the sick--those willing to pay anything to save the life of a loved one. Even if we cannot solve the problem of human greed, we can strike a blow at one of its outlets by dramatically increasing the vol- untary donor pool. So if you haven't thought about becoming an organ donor, now is a good time to start. If you want more information, or if you have any hesitation, a world of information is waiting for you. Two especially good Web sites that answer virtually any question you can imagine are those of the Mayo Clinic and of the New York Organ Donor Network. The science to save lives is in place and improving every day, and the world has plenty of generous people. It's up to all of us to make sure that awareness matches generosity. Nancy Falchuk is national president of Hadassah: The Women's Zionist Organization of America. Letter from Israel An empty gesture By Ira Sharkansky Reading the announcements of gov- ernment officials is more of an art than a science. It is appropriate to weigh the use of certain words rather than others, and take note of what a statement does not say. No one, including those involved in its preparation, can claim certainty as to how it should be read, much less what it can lead to as one statement provokes others from allies and antagonists. Consider Prime Minister Netanyahu's announcement that his government has agreed to a freeze of new housing con- struction in the West Bank (excluding Jerusalem) for a period of 10 months in an effort to persuade the Palestinians to begin negotiations toward a peace agreement. While members of the government trum- peted the announcement as a gesture that should move the Palestinians, it did not take long for commentators to declare it a dead letter. Sure enough, within a day ranking Palestinians reiterated their new position that they would only start negotiations when there was a total freeze of construc- tion (homes and ot.her facilities), including the post-1967 neighborhoods of Jerusalem. What does all this mean? One interpretation is that it reflects the teething problems of the American presi- dent. When he and his secretary of state emphasized the need to freeze settlements, and included Jerusalem in the mandate, they brought the Palestinians to assert a demand they had not made before during 17 years of negotiations. Another interpretation, not altogether different, is that the talk'of negotiations is a game without end played by numerous governments. If officials are wise and have noticed what has happened since Oslo, they should realize that negotiations go of "yes" to know if they are anything more than words. The government's freeze for 10 months appears to be no more than a gesture for the Americans, knowing that it might not be enough to attract the Palestinians. The gesture has not come smoothly. Netanyahu has distanced himself from one minister who has termed the Obama administration "dreadful." Among the problems of the freeze is its implementation. The attorney general told the government, during the session when the freeze was approved, that there were not enough building inspectors to enforce it. Things more substantial than curtains will be added to existing structures in the West Bank. And whatever goes up in established settlements against the government's edict is not likely to come down. Settler leaders have expressed anger. They use the word "traitor" in condemna- tions of the government's action, symbolic as it may be. We hear of young couples who cannot find housing in the same settlement as their parents. Whether they actually build is yet to be seen. One must reckon with the political influence of the settlers. To ride roughshod over them would be like Barack Obama riding roughshod over insurance companies and physicians while passing his health reform. Such things do not happen in the American democracy or in the Israeli democracy. If there was any life in the peace process, it appears that the Barack administra- tion killed it by an ill advised overreach (complete settlement freeze, including Jerusalem). Shimon Schieffer, a respected centrist commentator, used the word "childish" in reference to American ef- forts. Yosi Beilin, a former foreign min- ister, former head of the left-wing Meretz Party, and the major voice in the Geneva seven charged six are U.S. citizens including To better understand the war our enemy Daniel Boyd and his sons Dylan Boyd, 22, and Zakariya, 20. On Oct. 2~ that, in Detr~ Imam Luqm~ weapons ch~ called a crirn to Islam. The resisted arrest and fired his weapon. ~N~RE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. ~x ~x ~x CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE ISSN~ Editor Emeritus Gene StarE On Oct. 28, the Associated Press reported that, in Detroit, the FBI attempted to arrest Imam Luqman Ameen, a religious leader, on weapons charges and on what authorities called a criminal gang run by U.S. converts to Islam. The imam was fatally shot after he is waging against us read "Stealth Jihad" by Robert Spenser and "Muslim Mafia" by Gaubatz & Sperry, both of which talk about the secret underworld that is conspiring to Islamize America. Ed Ziegler is a board member of the New Jewish Congregation and president of its brotherhood. He can be reached at edziegler@ embarqmail.com. 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: news@orlandoheritage.com Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Associate Editor Assistant Editor LyE PayEe Mike Etzkin Society Editor Bookkeeping GloriaYousha Paulette Harmon Kim Fischer Account Executives Barbara do Carmo Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky Tim Boxer David Bomstein Production Department David Lehman David Gaudio * Teri Marks Louis Ballantyne Elaine Schooping Gil Dombrosky nowhere as long as the Palestinians adhere to their mantras of refugee rights and 1967 borders. Since Gaza fell into the hands of Hamas, the chances of an. agreement are even less. The Fatah party of Mahmoud Abbas is barely holding on to the West Bank, propped up by Americans, Israelis and others, Should Abbas dare to show flexibility, his hold on power would be even more tenuous. Even though wise leaders may recognize that reality, they cannot admit it, and give up the quest for peace. Who could do that when the future of the Holy Land is at stake? Moreover, there are unwise lead- ers in the bunch who may really believe in fairies and other delights, like peace between Israel and Palestine. With them beating the drums, and especially if they are the powerful Americans with a popular leader (who no other leader can publicly call naive), then the chorus joins in the pursuit of peace. The result is that emissaries flit hither and yon, trying one idea after another, all the while gaining publicity and feeding the media's needs for a story. Minor players puff themselves up and offer their services as mediators. It is hard to tell them "no," but it is appropriate to weigh the expressions Initiative, expressed his amazement and worry about American blunders. Beilin's mentor, Shimon Peres, former just about everything in Israeli government and the doyen of the peace camp, said pointedly and publicly to the American president that Jerusalem is Israel. The terms evil and stupid are not ap- propriate, but naive is sufficiently polite and accurate. President Obama came on the stage of international politics with a great deal of support in the United States and throughout the world. He has made things worse in the Middle East, and may not be doing better elsewhere. It is timely to say once again that, com- pared to other democracies, the United States has a flair for selecting national lead- ers who can excite popular enthusiasm, but are woefully short on relevant experience. Barack Obama is the flip side of George W. Bush. The circus of presidential primaries, inspiring rhetoric, and a lot of money does not assure a better world. Enjoy what you think is best, my Ameri- can friends. The rest of us will do what we can to minimize the damage. Ira Sharkansky is professor emeritus, Department of Political Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.