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December 5, 2014

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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 5, 2014 Overlooked Palestinian terror group returns with a vengeance By Ben Cohen The older I get, the more my childhood memories fade, but I still vividly remember the morning of Sunday, July 4, 1976. I was eight years old at the time, spend- ing Shabbat with my grandparents at their house in London. Early on that Sunday, I woke to the sound of my grandpa, the emi- nent Sephardic Rabbi Dr. Solomon Gaon, whooping and yelling and generally making a racket in the kitchen--behavior that was most definitely out of character. Thinking something was wrong, I bolted downstairs to discover my elated grandfather listen- ing to the BBC radio news. Locked in his embrace, and in between his joyous shouts of, "They are free! The hostages are free!" I could make out certain words uttered by the announcer--"Israeli forces," "rescue operation," "hijacking," and so on. The news that made my grandfather's heart burst with pride was, as those who recognize the date will have figured out, the rescue op- eration mounted by Israel to free around 100 hostages from an Air France plane that had been hijacked seven days earlier by Palestinian terrorists and diverted to Uganda, then under the boot of the brutal dictator Idi Amin. After aweek of sheer hell, during which the German leftist hijackers separated the Jewish from the non-Jewish passengers with the uncompro- mising determination of concentration camp guards, Israel launched a daring and successful raid to bring them home: Among those killed in the gun battle was the operation's com- mander, Yonatan Netanyahu, the brother of the current Israeli prime minister. President Ronald Reagan later described the operation as a gift from Israel to mark the United States bicentennial, which fell the same day. I relate that anecdote because that morn- ing was the first time that I encountered the name of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Marxist faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) led by the late Dr. George Habash, which planned and executed the Air France hijack- ing in conjunction with a group of left-wing German terrorists. From the late 1960s onwards, the PFLP established itself as the most spectacularly violent of the Palestinian factions, carrying out hijackings and bombings, and working with a range of far left terrorists like the notorious Carlos the Jackal. The PFLP spoke in the barbed, aggressive language of both Marxism and Arab nationalism, but left little doubt as to its real target. If the Entebbe episode failed to convince outside observers of the PFLP's hard-wired anti-Semitism, then its bombing of the Rue Copernic synagogue in Paris in October 1980 should have set aside any lingering doubts. Over the last 20 years, the PFLP has been eclipsed by both Fatah, the faction currently led by the forked-tongued Palestinian Author- ity President Mahmoud Abbas, and Hamas, the Islamist terrorists who still reign in Gaza. But this week, the PF.LP returned to the scene with a vengeance, again by targeting a syna- gogue, this time in Jerusalem rather than in a Western capital. While the PFLP didn't explicitly claim re- sponsibility for the atocity at the synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood, it did laud the attack while describing the two assailants, cousins Ghassan and Odai Abu Jamal, as "PFLP comrades." A statement released in the name of Khalil Maqdesi, a member of the PFLP's Central Committee, was in essence a call to genocide. "Occupiers and racists do not belong to the land of Palestine; there are, and must be, consequences and repercussions for the theft of our land and our rights," Maqdesi said. If his meaning here is unclear, look at the bloodstained images from the Har Nof synagogue for clarification. Similarly, any- one tempted to believe that the PFLP is the Iran nuclear talks extended threats against Israel continue By Allna Dain Sharon The Nov. 24 deadline for negotiating a deal on Iran's nuclear program expired, as the P5+1 powers (U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China, and Germany) were unable to reach an agreement with the Islamic Republic. But the talks were extended to June 30, 2015, At the same time, an Iranian official said over the weekend that his country gave the Hezbollah terror group--which is based in Lebanon, Israel's northern neighbor hun- dreds of missiles with 160-220 mile ranges. "Our strategic guiding principle is the ap- propriate arming of Hezbollah and Hamas with advanced, modern weapons in order to allow the resistance groups to deal with the bloodthirsty Zionist regime," said Iranian Revolutionary Guard Aerospace Force Brig. Gen. Seyed Majid Moussavi, Iran's Fars news agency reported. Iran's transfer of the missiles, which are capable of hitting the southern Israeli city of Dimona, add evidence supporting the narra- tive of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netan- yahu, who has repeatedly called for a complete dismantling of Iran's nuclear program. Earlier this month, Iranian Supreme Leader AyatollahAli Khamenei released aTwitter post titled "9 key questions about the elimination of Israel." As part of the tweet, Khamenei pro- posed a referendum that would serve as a means for building consensus on destroying Israel. "[Iranian Supreme LeaderAyatollah Khame- nei is] publicly calling for the annihilation of Israel as he is negotiating a nuclear deal with the P5+1 countries," Netanyahu said. The first answer provided within Khamenei's nine points accuses "the fake Zionist regime" of trying to achieve its goals via "infanticide, homicide, violence & iron," with the only solution to these "Israeli crimes" being the "elimination of this regime." The "practical & logical mechanism for this," according to Khamenei, is through a "public and organized referendum" for all the "original people of Palestine including Muslims, Christians, and Jews," excluding "the Jewish immigrants who have been persuaded into emigration to Palestine," who "do not have the right to take part." In addition to the referendum, the Iranian leader called for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to fight against Israel, rejecting any U.N.-moderated negotiation. "So far as I know, Khamenei's idea of a ref- erendum has notbeen proposed by the Islamic Republic of Iran until now. It suggests that the Iranian leadership wishes to make common Sharon on page 15A THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. #  CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE x  ISSN 0199-072,1 Winner of 43 Press Awards Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor Assistant Editor Gene Starn Kim Fischer Christine DeSouza HERITAGE Florida Jewish News (ISN 0199-0721) is published weekly for $37.95 per year to Florida ad- Society Editor Bookkeeping dresses ($46.95 for the rest of the U.S.) by HERITAGE Gloria Yousha Paulette Alfonso Central Florida Jewish News, Inc., 207 O'Brien Road, Suite I01, Fern Park, FL 32730. Periodicals postage Account Executives paid at Fern Park and additional mailing offices. Loft Apple Marci Gaeser POSTMASTER: Send address changes and other correspondence to: HERITAGE, P.O. Box 300742, Contributing Columnists Fern Park, FL 32730. Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky David Bornstein * Ed Ziegler MAILING ADDRESS PHONE NUMBER P.O. Box 300742 (407) 834-8787 Production Department Fern Park, FL 32730 FAX (407) 831-0507 David Lehman Gil Dombrosky emaih Joyce Gore I secular organization that Maqdisi presents it to be, should ask why the terrorists screamed "Allahu Akhbar" as they embarked on their murder spree. What was most striking about this state- ment, however, was Maqdesi's praise of Jew- ish anti-Zionists: "Thousands of Jews around the world are true and genuine voices for the struggle, leading boycott movements and join- ing the Palestinian struggle for liberation on a dailybasis. We salute each and every one of them." I think he knew what he was doing here, and it's smart. Maqdesi understands that by heaping compliments on the tiny minority of Jews who collaborate with anti-Semites, many observers will conclude that the PFLP didn't kill Jews this week because they are Jews. And once that's established, the door is open to the moral equivalency and rationalization that has stained so much of the media coverage of the Har Nof attack. We saw Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett rudely chastised by a BBC presenter for showing a photo of the bloody devastation in the synagogue; this from a broadcaster that went to town with the graphic images gener- ated by this summer's conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gazat We saw Alan Dershowitz admirably counter Ashleigh Banfield, the asi- nine CNN anchor who ventured, "When you have mandatory conscription and service in Israel, effectively the Palestinians will say, 'it's war against everyone,' because everyone is a soldier"--the kind of logic that justifies the murder of children and the elderly. And there were similar examples which I don't need to go into, because they were geared to making the same point: Palestinian terrorists aren't motivated by hatred of Jews or the desire to destroy the Jewish state, but are instead fol- lowing an understandable, if misguided, path that is born of frustration. What happened in Har Nof is a reminder that the Palestinian goal of genocide--most of the time prettified as the "one-state solu- tion'--predatesthe emergence of llamas and is subscribed to with similar fervor by ostensib!y secular organizations. It is this wretched ambi- tion that has prevented a two-state solution from being achieved, and there are no signs of that changing any time soon. Hence the challenge for Jews in America and elsewhere in the Diaspora. We don't have to live with the daily fear of terrorist attacks, unlike the Israelis, but we are obliged to set the record straight. What occurred this week in Jerusalemwas, as the U.N. Security Council deemed it, a "despicable terrorist attack"--as despicable as the terror wrought by Islamic State in Syria and northern Iraq. And that is the only fact that matters. Ben Cohen is the Shillman analyst for JNS. org. His writings on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics have been published in Com- mentary, the New York Post, Ha'aretz, Jewish Ideas Daily and many other publications. U.S. response to Jerusalem synagogue attack disappoints By Stephen M. Flatow JNS .org The scenario has been repeated more times than I can remember: Palestinian terrorists murder Israelis. The Obama administration condemns the attack. And that's it. No change in U.S. policy, no penalties or consequences for those who encourage and praise the killers. The Palestinians are, quite literally, getting away with murder. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the Nov. 18 slaughter of four Jews in a syna- gogue in Jerusalem's Har Nof neighborhood. He even acknowledged that it was "a pure result of incitement, of calls for days of rage" by the Palestinian leadership. Indeed it was. It's too bad it took a massacre to get Secretary Kerry to admit that. If only he had spoken out against Palestinian incitement weeks or months ago. But "speaking out" is not enough. Bland verbal condemnations of incitement don't make any difference. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and has col- leagues don't take America's words seriously. There have to be actions. The Palestinian leaders need to see that there will be real consequences for their incitement. Secretary Kerry said that Palestinian leaders "must begin to take serious steps to restrain any kind of incitement that comes from their language, from other people's language, and exhibit the kind of leadership that is necessary to put this region on a different path." But what if they don't? What's he going to do about it? Back in 1998, President Bill Clinton's admin- istration established a Trilateral Committee on Incitement. (That's what Israel received in exchange for agreeing to the Wye River Memorandum.) But the committee turned out to be a farce. The Israeli members of the committee would complain about Palestinian leaders making inciting statements, and the Palestinians would respond by pointing to some individual Israeli newspaper columnist who said something strongly critical of the Palestinians, and they would say that, too, was incitement. The problem was that the Clinton admin- istration refused to define "incitement." It refused to acknowledge the difference between what a Palestinian official said and what an inr dividual Israeli pundit said. The U.S. preferred to play the "both sides are guilty" game. Itwas like putting Holocaust survivors and Holocaust deniers in a room together and declaring that each side has its own equally valid perspective. President Obama's response to the Har Nof massacre took the same "both sides" approach. He declared, "At this sensitive moment in Je- rusalem, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower ten- sions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace." Calling on "Israeli and Palestinian leaders" to "lower tensions and rejectviolence" is saying that they are both currently not doing enough to lower tensions or reject violence. Both sides are to blame. Both sides need to act. This kind of moral equivalency is false and outrageous. Israel has done everything possible to lower tensions. Israel is the victim. The Palestinians are the aggressors. But President Obama re- fuses to acknowledge that simple truth. If the Obama administration is really in- terestedin lowering tensions and getting the Palestinians to reject violence, there is plenty it can do. Here are a few first steps: --Revive the Trilateral Commission on Incitement, but start by defining incitement, and then impose real penalties on the inciters, --The PA has a policy of paying salaries to Palestinian terrorists who are imprisoned by Israel. Whatever they pay the prisoners should be deducted from America's $500-million an- nual aid to the PA. The PAalso pays the families of terrorists who are killed in action--meaning that the families of the Jamal cousins, who carried out the Har Nof massacre, are about to receive large checks from the PA. Deduct that from the U.S. aid package, too. --The Har Nofattackwas perpetrated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. It's the second-largest faction in the PLO, of which Abbas is chairman. The U.S. should demand that Abbas expel the PFLP from the PLO. If he refuses, declare him to be partially responsible for the Har Nof attack, and put him on the "U.S. Watch List," which prohibits terrorists from entering the U.S. --There is a park in Ramallah, Mahmoud Abbas's capital, that is named after Dalai Mu- ghrabi, leader of the Palestinian terror squad that murdered 38 Israelis in a 1978 attack, including the niece of U.S. Senator Abraham Ribicoff. Every Palestinian child who walks those streets gets the message--he sees who is regarded as a hero, who he is supposed to emu- late. The U.S. should demand that Mughrabi's name be removed. And ifAbbas refuses, there need to be consequences. I am flying to Israel this week with a heavy heart. I am filled with grief for the families of the latest terror victims, I am worried about my children who live there and have to go to work every morning, not knowing iftheywill return home that night. And I am anguished by the thought that my own government could do so much to combat Palestinian terrorism--and yet chooses to do next to nothing. Stephen M. Flatow is aNew Jersey attorney whose daughter Alisa was murdered in a 1995 bus bombing by the Palestinian terrorist group Islamic Jihad.