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December 12, 2014

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PAGE 22A ' HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 12, 2014 Ambassador From page 2A aggressively discriminated against. They are barred from owning land and prevented from entering certain pro- fessions. And yet none--not one-- of these crimes are men- tioned in the resolutions before you. Ifyouwere truly concerned about the plight of the Pal- estinian people there would be one, just one, resolution to address the thousands of Palestinians killed in Syria. And if you were so truly con- cerned about the Palestinians there would be at least one resolution to denounce the treatment of Palestinians in Lebanese refugee camps. But there isn't. The reason is that today's debate is not about speaking for peace or speaking for the Palestinian people--it is about speaking against Israel. It is nothing but a hate and bashing festi- val against Israel. Mr. President, the Euro- pean nations claim to stand for LibertY, l~galit~, Frater- nitY-freedom, equality, and brotherhood--but nothing could be farther from the truth. I often hear European lead- ers proclaim that Israel has the right to exist in secure borders. That's very nice. But I have to say--it makes about as much sense as me standing here and proclaim- ing Sweden's right to exist in secure borders. When it comes to matters of security, Israel learned the hard way that we cannot rely on others--certainly not Europe. In 1973, on Yore Kippur-- the holiest day on the Jewish calendar--the surrounding Arab nations launched an attack against Israel. In the hours before the war began, Golda Meir, our prime min- ister then, made the difficult decision not to launch a preemptive strike. The Israeli Government understood that if we launched a preemptive strike, we would lose the support of the international community. As the Arab armies ad- vanced on every front, the situation in Israel grew dire. Our casualty count was grow- ing and we were running dangerously low on weapons and ammunition. In this, our hour of need, President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, agreed to send Galaxy planes loaded with tanks and ammunition to resupply our troops. The only problem was that the Galaxy planes .needed to refuel on route to Israel. The Arab States were clos- ing in and our very existence was threatened--and yet, Europe was not even willing to let the planes refuel. The U.S. stepped in once again and negotiated that the planes be allowed to refuel in the Azores. The government and peo- ple of Israel will never forget that when our very existence was at stake, only one country came to our aid--the United States of America. Israel is tired of hollow promises from European leaders. The Jewish people have a long memory. We will never ever forget that you failed us in the 1940s. You failed us in 1973. And you are failing us again today. Every European parlia- ment that voted to pre- maturely and unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state is giving the Palestinians exactly what they want-- statehood without peace. By handing them a state on a silver platter, you are rewarding unilateral actions and taking away any incen- tive for the Palestinians to negotiate or compromise or renounce violence. You are sending the message that the Palestinian Authority can sit in a government with terrorists and incite violence against Israel without paying any price. Israel learned the hard way that listening to the international community can bring about devastating consequences. In 2005, we unilaterally dismantled ev- ery settlement and removed every citizen from the Gaza Strip. Did this bring us any closer to peace? Not at all. It paved the way for Iran to send its terrorist proxies to establish a terror stronghold on our doorstep. I can assure you that we won't make the same mistake again. When it comes to our security, we cannot and will not rely on others. Israel must be able to defend itself by itself. Mr. President, the State of Israel is the land of our forefa- thers-Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is the land where Moses led the Jewish people, where David built his palace, where Solomon built the Jew- ish Temple, and where Isaiah sawa vision of eternal peace. For thousands of years, Jews have lived continuously in the land of Israel. We en- dured through the rise and fall of the Assyrian, Baby- lonian, Greek and Roman Empires. And we endured through thousands of years of persecution, expulsions and crusades. The bond between the Jewish people and the Jewish land is unbreakable. At the same time, we rec- ognize that Jerusalem has special meaning for other faiths. Under Israeli sover- eignty, all people regardless of religion and nationality can visit the city's holy sites. And we intend to keep it this way. The only ones trying to change the status quo on the Temple Mount are Palestin- ian leaders. President Abbas is tell- ing his people that Jews are contaminating the Temple~ Mount. He has called for days of rage and urged Palestin- ians to prevent Jews from vis- iting the Temple Mount using "all means" necessary. These words are as irresponsible as they are unacceptable. You don't have to be Catho- lic to visit the Vatican, you don't have to be Jewish to visit the Western Wall, but some Palestinians would like to see the day when only Muslims can visit the Temple Mount. You, the international community, are lending a hand to extremists and fanat- ics. You, who preach toler- ance and religious freedom, should be ashamed. Israel will never let this happen. We will make sure that the holy places remain open to all people of all faiths for all time. Mr. President, no one wants peace more than Israel. We are ready for peace, butwe are not nafve. Israel's security is paramount. Only a strong and secure Israel can achieve a comprehensive peace. The past month should make it clear to anyone that Israel has immediate and pressing security needs. In recent weeks, Palestinian terrorists have shot and stabbed our citizens and twice driven their cars into crowds of pedestrians. Just a few days ago, terrorists armed with axes and a gun savagely attacked Jewish worshipers during morning prayers. We have reached the point when Israelis can't even find sanctuary from terrorism in the sanctuary of a synagogue. These attacks didn't emerge out of a vacuum. They are the results of years of indoctrination and in- citement. A Jewish proverb teaches: "The instruments of both death and life are in the power of tile tongue." As a Jew and as an Israeli, I know with utter certainly that when our enemies say they want to attack us, they mean it. Hamas's genocidal charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews worldwide. For years, Hamas and other terrorist groups have sent suicide bombers into our cities, launched rockets into our towns, and sent terrorists to kidnap and murder our citizens. And what about the Pal- estinian Authority? It is leading a systemic campaign of incitement. In schools, children are being taught that "Palestine' will stretch from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. In mosques, religious leaders are spreading vicious libels .accusing Jews of destroy- ing Muslim holy sites. In sports stadiums, teams are named after terrorists. And in newspapers, cartoons urge Palestinians to commit terror attacks against Israelis, Children in most of the world grow up watching cartoons of Mickey Mouse singing and dancing. Pal- estinian Children also grow up watching Mickey Mouse, but on Palestinians national television, a twisted figure dressed as Mickey Mouse dances in an explosive belt and chants"Death toAmerica and death to the Jews." I challenge you to stand up here today and do some- thing constructive for a change. Publicly denounce the violence, denounce the incitement, and denounce the culture of hate. Most people believe that at its core, the conflict is a battle between Jews and Arabs or Israelis and Palestinians. They are wrong. The battle that we are witnessing is a battle between those who sanctify life and those who celebrate death. Following the savage at- tack in a Jerusalem syna- gogue, celebrations erupted in Palestinian towns and villages. People were dancing in the street and distributing candy. Young men posed with axes, loudspeakers at mosques called out congratu- lations, and the terrorists were hailed as "martyrs" and "heroes," This isn't the first time that we saw the Palestinians cel- ebrate the murder of innocent civilians. We saw them rejoice after every terrorist attack on Israeli civilians and they even took to the streets to celebrate the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center right here in New York City. Mr. President, as I stand be- fore you today I am reminded of all the years when Jewish people paid for the world's ignorance and indifference in blood. Those days are no more. We will never apologize for being a free and independent people in our sovereign state, And we will never apologize for defending ourselves. To the nations that con- tinue to allow prejudice to prevail over truth, I say "J'accuse." I accuse you of hypocrisy. I accuse you of duplicity. I accuse you of lending legitimacy to those who seek to destroy our State. I accuse you of speaking about Israel's right of self- defense in theory, but deny- ing it in practice. And I accuse you of de- manding concessions from Israel, but asking nothing of the Palestinians. In the face of these of- fenses, the verdict is clear. You are not for peace and you are not for the Palestin- ian people. You are simply against Israel. Members of the interna- tional community have a choice to make. You can recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, or permit the Pales- tinian leadership to deny our history without consequence. You can publically pro- claim that the so-called "claim of return" is a non- starter, or you can allow this claim to remain the major obstacle to any peace agreement. You can work to end Pales- tinian incitement, or stand by as hatred and extremism take root for generations to come. You can prematurely rec- ognize a Palestinian state, or you can encourage the Pales- tinian Authority to break its pact with Hamas and returh to direct negotiations. The choice is yours. You can continue to steer the Palestinians off course or pave the way to real and last- ing peace. Thank your Mr. President. This article was edited for space. From page 4A stance was investigated. Unfor- tunately, the list goes on an on. This is why I recently founded a Brandeis Center chapter at Cardozo School of Law, where I am currently a student. We are proud to be part of a nationwide net- work of student-led Brandeis Center chapters in Boston, Charlottesville, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Saint Paul, and Washington, D.C., that will participate in a wide range of activities to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism on campus and to help victims. Some of the work includes providing pro-bono legal research and advocacy, working with uni- versity leaders on policies to protect Jewish students, and hosting speakers and events on a variety of civil rights and anti-Semitism issues. Personally, I would like to focus on protecting freedom of speech. Both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict have a right to be heard, but it's about securing equal time and exposure for both sides of this complicated story. It's about fact-based logic rather than sensational hatred- based rhetoric. Right now, especially in New York-based public institutions, the pro- Israel side is being drowned by its opponents. We must show that anti-Zionism is in fact anti-Semitism when One side's position is stifled. Jewish students have the right to feel safe on campus. They have the right to walk the halls wearing a yarmulke. They have the right to hang a mezuzah. They have the right to host pro-Israel events, and to speak freely about their support for Israel in the classroom and on the square. When he headed the U.S. Department Of Educa- tion's Office for Civil Rights, Brandeis Center President Ken Marcus took the first step by including protection against anti-Semitism un- der Title VI of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. But more must be done to ensure that universi- ties comply with the law. I know firsthand how dis- tressing it is to be a victim of anti-Zionism that morphs into anti-Semitism. I will carry that passion of personal experience with me when helping other students. The Brandeis Center chapters give law students like me a chance to do our part. Melanie Goldberg is a student at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, a re- search assistant for Versa: the Israeli Supreme Court Eng- lish Language Repository, and one of the founders of a new student-led legal chap- ter of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights at Cardozo. 96452 2731 9 5,1847 85623 12786 34971 69238 48195 73564 3718 8645 6392 4179 9534 5826 1457 7263 2981 From page 5A a microcosm on this, our very own campus, with the kind of hatred that exists in Palestine and in Israel... I also have to say, it is very, very hard to listen to this and not think this has something to do with Jewish identity... I feel extremely threatened as a Jew by what you guys are saying.., the way that you are talking is so aggressive and so... anti-Semitic." The graduate student's heartfelt remarks were met with the following hate-filled response from Kiswani: "See, part of the problem with the Palestine question particularly on campus is it always gets framed as this two-sided thing and liberal democracy loves to make it seem like everyone has a right to speak, including the oppressor alongside the op- pressed... I don't think that this form of liberal democracy really has a place in terms of real struggle... Maybe liberal Zionists here on this campus have a hard time understand- ingwhat that means... As long as you choose to be on that side, I'm going to continue to hate you." After Kiswani's remarks, the Jewish graduate student left the room in tears. This is the true face of BDS: It is the face of pure hatred. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin is a lecturer at U.C. Santa Cruz and co-founder of the Amcha Initiative, a nonprofit that combats anti-Semitism on college campuses. To see a YouTube video of the panel, visit http://www. This essay originally ap- peared at and is reprinted with per- mission. Editor's note: www.jweekly. corn reported that results of U.C. student workers' vote on BDS proposal not expected quickly. United Auto Workers Lo- cal 2865--which represents some 13,000 graduate-level teaching assistants, tutors and other student workers in the U.C. system--held the vote on Thursday, Dec. 4, with results scheduled to be announced within a week. According to U.C. Berkeley graduate student Jonathan Kummerfeld, an activist with Informed Grads, a group of union members opposed to the measure, voting sta- tions at 10 U.C. schools were to close at 8 p.m. Dec. 4. Ballots will be shipped to Berkeley, stored temporarily in a locked office of the U.S. Postal Service, then counted on Wednesday, Dec. 10, Kum- merfield said. The count could "possibly extend into Thursday depend- ing on the number of votes," he noted.