Newspaper Archive of
Heritage Florida Jewish News
Fern Park , Florida
December 4, 2015     Heritage Florida Jewish News
PAGE 5     (5 of 60 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 5     (5 of 60 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
December 4, 2015

Newspaper Archive of Heritage Florida Jewish News produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2019. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 4, 2015 PAGE 5A How to By Stephen M. Flatow A memorial ceremony was held at Ben Gurion Airport just before the body of 18-year- old Ezra Schwartz was flown to the United States for burial last Saturday night. William Grant, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, was in a{tendance. Yet if the ceremony had taken place at the site of the attack in which Ezra was murdered, U.S. diplomats would have boycotted the event. That's because the attack took place in Gush Etzion, and believe it or not, the policy of the U.S. government is to boycott the funerals of American victims of Arab terror if the funerals take place beyond the pre-1967 armistice line. On top of all the pain that an American family suffers when a loved one is cruelly torn from this world by Pal- estinian terrorists, our own government adds to their pain and suffering with this pointless insult. This incredibly insensitive policy first came to public attention in May 2001, after a Long Island woman, Sarah Blaustein, was murdered by Arab terrorists. The funeral was held in Efrat, a large Is- raeli city that is all of 13 miles south of Jerusalem. But that is past the 1967 line, which for no logical reason is treated as if it is sacrosanct, when in fact it is nothing more tha an old and irrelevant armistice line. And so Martin Indyk, who was the U.S. ambassador to Israel at the time, boycotted Sarah's funeral. The presence of an Ameri- can diplomat at such a funeral is only symbolic. But in this world, symbols are important. When American ;epre- sentatives stand shoulder to shoulder with the families of terror victims, it sends a message to the terrorists that America has Israel's back. But when the U.S. govern- ment boycottsa terror victim's funeral because it is in disput- ed territory, then the U.S. is saying that the territory really belongs to the Palestinians, and, in effect, that the victims had no business being there in the first phice. It drives a wedge between America and Israel. It gives the terrorists encouragement. American Jews need to press the Obama administration to take specific, concrete steps to demonstrate American solidarity with the American victims of Palestinian terror. Ending the boycott of victims' funerals is just one small step. Here are some others: Court-awarded com- pensation for terror victims' families should be deducted from the annual U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority. American officials should refuse to visit any Palestinian city in which streets or parks are named after killers of Americans. U.S. training of Palestin- ian policemen should be made conditional on the Palestinian Authority firing all police of- ficers who have been involved in attacks onAmericans (there are more than afew). Ezra Schwartz was the 138th American citizens to be murdered by Palestinian terrorists since the 1960s. How many more will die before the U.S. government takes even these minimal steps for justice? Stephen M. Flatow, an at= torney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian- sponsored Palestinian terror- ist attack in 1995. By Eli Verschleiser Our revulsion at the Paris attacks and subsequent Isis violence was palpable, and our reaction almost universal. We want action. But are we prepared to ac- cept the difficult truth? The only answer to brute force by evil and depraved fanatics is brute force by the good guys--working with some of the not-so-good guys. The French wasted no time launching counterstrikes against ISIS targets in retalia- tion for the brutal slaughter of 129 citizens at multiple Paris locations. At the same time, the Russians, once confirm- ing their airliner was brought down by a terrorist bomb (ISIS took responsibility) have unleashed some heavy ordnance on targets in ISIS' growing territory. There will be no shortage of payback for these outrages, and the ones sadly to come, and the U.S., under increasing pressure to take leadership, will keep up or increase its own strikes. The burning question: Will it matter? This is not a war over ter- ritory that can be easily won by controlling airspace, ports and resources and by deplet- ing the other side's troops. It"s a war against an ideology that almost effortlessly gains new recruits and sympathizers, not just people in bunkers in Iraq and Syria, but well- educated people in Europe, in peaceful Mideast states and even in the U.S., willing to give their lives in a conflict that we can barely understand, let- alone contain. There are those who believe we are playing right into Isis's hands with our response. More bombings create more civilian casualties, and more angry orphans to join Isis. Our suspicion of and, on the part of some, hostility toward Muslim refugees in Europe and those trying to enter the U.S. also creates radicals. The Rus- sians, always with an agenda of their own, stand to benefit from this too: The refugee problem boosts the fortunes of ' right-win political parties in Europe more inclined to align themselveswithVladimir Pu- tin, and less concerned about his subjugation of Ukraine. If chaos is what Isis craves, it is meeting its own objectives handily. Despite the above concerns, we have no choice but to drop bombs, and no choice but to carefully scruti- nize the refugees to weed out potential terrorists, despite the notion on the left that it is un-American not to quickly open our doors. Leaving us with so few choices, Isis is outmaneuver- ing us. But there's one aspect of this no-choice conundrum that, as perplexing as it may be, could lead to the eventual defeat of Isis. They are gripped by a powerful delusional vision of what some call "volcanic jihad" that can establish a beachhead in the Middle East that spreads radicalized Islam around the world, and that vi- sion affects everyone around them, creating the unlikeliest bedfellows. Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Kurds, even Hezbollah in Beirut, Sunni tribes in Iraq and of course the Russians all have the same interest in excising this cancer, as do the U.S. and its NATO allies. Can they all join together in a workable coalition? Do we dare even work with Bashar Assad's forces? Or is keeping him in power too bitter a bill to swallow? It may be precisely because of the odds mounting against them that Isis operatives have struck or so many times in recent weeks--the RUssian airline, Paris, Beirut--and may be planning new attacks in Brussels or the U.S. Accordin to a New York Times analysis, nearly 1,000 deaths have caused by Isis outside Iraq and Syria so far in 2015. A former CIA official told the paper the group is moving beyond inspiring "lone wolf" attacks by sympathizers, and now seems to have the ability to coordinate its own operatives. It remains to be seen if this power could withstand the disruption of focused attacks by a coordinated coalition of enemies, which could break off communication from the stronghold in Raqqa, Syria, to its operatives abroad. Perhaps in the best case scenario, such force reverts Isis to inspiring the lone wolves again through brutal videotapes and funda- mentalist rantings, and there will be fewer recruits if they see the cause losing steam rather than ascendant. But if inciting a global, apocalyptic war is a key goal of Isis, uniting some of the most disparate powers can achieve exactly the apposite effect. To achieve this coalition, western powers must step up their efforts to convince Arab powers to take an active role, not just cheerlead, meaning, troops and logistical support, including use of airspace and bases. It should not be the job of French or American troops to clean up their neighbor- hood for them. A key strategy for Isis is to rely heavily on fence-sitters to be scared into silence and inaction. A 2004 manifesto written by the precursor group to Isis, entitled "The Management of Savagery," as reported in a re- cent essay by Scott Atran and Nefess Hamid in the New York Review of Books, calls for fol- lowers to "diversify and widen the vexation strikes against the Crusader-Zionist enemy in every place in the Islamic world, and even outside if possible, so as to disperse the efforts of the alliance of the enemy..." Divide and conquer is a time-proven strategy, and it has made Isis more powerful, Tragic on page 15A By Andrew Silow-Carroil NJJN From the attacks in Paris to the deadly toll of terror in Israel, events of the past week have reminded us of the wide gap between Jews and the rest of the world. As if we needed any re- minding. Following the rampage in Paris, which left over 140 dead, Jewish organizations, Israeli officials, and everyday Jews rushed to condemn the murders and express their solidarity with the people of France. Friends adopted the Tricolorefilter On their Facebook pages; the walls of Jerusalem's Old City were illuminated in blue, white, and red. But even in solidarity there was discord. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel stands "shoulder to shoulder with France in this common battle with militant Islamic terrorism," not everybody accepted the comparison. Editorialists in France and Israel charged Netanyahu with distorting the Israeli-Palestinian con- flict, and 'ignoring Israel's own culpability in the "cycle ofviolence."To equate Hamas with ISIS and Boko Haram, an American student in Israel wrote in the Forward. "allows Netanyahu to suggest that terrorism in Jerusalem has nothing to do with political struggle but stems purely from religiously or ethnically motivated hatred." And the outpouring for France caused others to wonder why there seemed so little similar sympathy for the Jewish victims of terror in Israel. Some noted that France supported the Euro- pean Union's decision to label products made by Jewish- owned businesses in the West Bank. Others asked why there were no blue-and-white "We stand with Israel" filters on Facebook (see related story). According to Israel's count, 21 people have been killed and 184 wounded in terrorist attacks in Israel since Oct. 1. That includes 74 stabbings, 10 shootings, and 11 "car rammings." The terrorists in Israel have yet to stage the kincl of mass event that paralyzed Paris, but the fact that Israelis are experiencing slow-motion violence doesn't make it any less frightening or traumatizing. Why isn't the Eiffel Tower lit up in blue and white? Over 30,000 people signed a petition asking the Obama administration to "acknowl- edge" the murder of Ezra Schwartz, the 18-year-old American teen killed by a terrorist while on his way to deliver food to Israeli soldiers in the Etzion bloc in the West Bank. (The Obama administration condemned Schwartz's mm;der in the "strongest possible terms" in a statement issued Nov. 20.) Schwartz's murder seemed to galvanize many Jews' sus- picions of double standards and selective sympathy. In large part that is because we felt his murder so personally, so acutely. The Rutgers-bound Ezra could have been any of our kids, visiting Israel on a gap year or summer program or even Birthright. Why, we ask, don't others here feel a kinship with this young American cut down while undertaking a charitable mission? The perception gap be- tween Jews and the rest of the world has a lot to do with the Israeli narrative, unresolved even among us. We talk about Israel as a Western bastion in a violent neighborhood, full of tech entrepreneurs and suburban professionals. But we also play up Israeli vulnerability in the face of Islamic extremism, Pales- tinian incitement, and Arab rejectionism. Imagine the young Jewish family, with fragile ties to Israel, who might be contemplating let- ting their kid spend time on a program in the country. Is Israel the "start-up nation," or a war zone? Much of the world, mean- while, regards Israel as a battleground and, perhaps worse, as a special case. Tsk- tsking commentators hold its government to impossibly high standards of "Western" behavior, but ignore the vi- cious context in which its antagonists operate. The conflicting reality of Israel--which is both a thriv- ing Western country and a jittery stage for all sorts of extremism--creates a chal- lenge for those interested in shaping the country's public image. The Right insists that Israel is facing the same brand of terrorism as the rest of the world--fed by radical Islam, carried out by its deluded followers. The Left says such analysis is propaganda and removes Israel's agency in addressing the issues at the core of the conflict. And the vast middle, I'm guessing, want to put aside transparent hasbara and political opportunism in the name of a simple human im- pulse to grieve for the victims and condemn the perpetra- tors. They accept that Israel's struggle with the Palestinians is political and specific, but also know that religious fanatics are eager to exploit the struggle in service of their nihilistic ideology. They feel deeply for the parents bury- ing a child, whether shot dead in a Paris theater or on a road south of Jerusalem. They understand how the simultaneous attacks on a world cultural capital seize headlines and drive the global agenda, but feel it is not too much to ask that attention also be paid to an American teen who was killed not for anything he did or said, but because he was a Jew. They know that competi- tive suffering is always un- PO2 ANJSLIMS TO SAVE ISLAM, THEY'D NECH TO SUDP LY BELIEVE THAT BUT THAT WOULD JUST TU2N THEM ro A a4CH seemly, even when justified. And that sympathy is not a zero-sum game. Andrew Silow-Carroll is editor-in-chief of the New Jersey Jewish News. Between columns you can read his writing at the JustASC blog. BRAINIAC EXPLAINS ",TIHAD" 2EALLY MEANS "SELP"CRITICISM" AND BECOM J A "BETTER PERSON" LIBE2AL5. DryBones .com