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December 18, 2009

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PAGE 4A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 18, 2009 By EdgarM. Bronfman and RandallKaplan to senior educators and teach, concretely, the importance of Israel and tikkun olam. NEWYORK(JTA) WhentheJewishpeople Hillel has enjoyed success with these ap- seeksan exemplar for openness andhospitality, proaches but, more important, it is constantly we often turn to our patriarch Abraham. In evaluating their effectiveness while seeking to one fascinating chapter in Genesis we learn improve or replace them. that just three days after his circumcision, Techniques that work in North America are an ailing Abraham rushes from his tent in equally applicable abroad. Young people share the heat of the day to welcome three passing fashion, food and Facebook. Hillel students visitors who turn out to be divine messengers, and professionals from North America, Latin Our tradition amplifies Abraham's righ- America, Israel and the former Soviet Union teousness by teaching that his tent was open are traveling between countries learning from on all sides so that he would not miss a single and teaching one another, Their close personal passer-by. Following in Abraham's sandal bondsarecreatingatruesenseof"klalyisrael," steps, the rabbinic sage Hillel was famous for global Jewish peoplehood. his patience and openness. When a potential Throwing open our communities to Jews convert asked him to describe the essence of all nationalities and backgrounds is more of the Torah, Hillel did not rebuff him but easily said than done. Embracing Jews of di- responded, "What is hateful to you, do not do vergent and sometimes conflicting ideologies to your fellow; this is the whole law. All the challenges us to create environments inwhich rest is a commentary." differences are respected and civil discourse These stories resonate with anyone who is promoted. Hillel's Open Tent shouldn't just is fortunate enough to be involved with the be a metaphor but a living, breathing forum sage's namesake, Hillel, and to work with in which big ideas are discussed. college students. Who knows what divine Nowhere is this more challenging, or more spark may lie within the scruffy kid in the necessary, than when it comes to Israel. Is- baggy sweatpants? Who knowswhichwords of rael inspires passion among Jews across the wisdom will change a life? That's why Hillers ideologicalspectrum.Today'sJewishstudents tents are always open. are learning to express their differences about Today's Jewish college students are more Israel openly and with respect, and to come diverse than ever. They come from a variety together in her defense whenever necessary. of ethnic, educational, political and ideologi- Thisisagenerationthathashadtheopportu- cal backgrounds. The children of two Jewish nity to experience the soft side of Israel through parents will study with the children of the Taglit-Birthright Israel, and to advocate for intermarried.Theyhavetobeequallyaccepted her loudly in the face of anti-Israel groups and at ease in their Hillel activities, and the threat from Iran. At such far-flung Hillel has spent the last decade-and-a-half placesasBinghamtonUniversity, RiodeJaneiro, grapplingwithvariousapproachestowelcom- Columbia University and York University in ing uninvolved Jewish students and to provid- Toronto, Jewish students have stood up loudly ing resources to Jewish activists. Both Hillel's and proudly, learningthe time-honored Jewish Steinhardt Jewish Campus Service Corps pro- skills of political advocacy and defense. gram and our current Campus Entrepreneurs They also are learning that Jewish institu- Initiative emphasize peer engagement. When tions do not subsist on ideas alone. The hun- paired with deeper Jewish exploration through dreds of Jewish studentswho recently attended amoreseniorJewisheducator--helpingtofind the General Assembly of the Jewish Federa- Jewish answers to life's big questions--this tions of North America learned fundraising method provides a meaningful approach to and organizational skills that will serve them Jewish identity-building, well whether they become Jewish communal Immersive experiences such as Taglit- professionals or lay leaders. We look forward Birthright Israel and service learning trips to expanding the number of participants build social networks, expose young people exponentially in the coming years. By Efraim Zuroff started in Munich and Boere is on trial in Aachen, Germany. Kepiro, whose passport JERUSALEM (JTA)--The efforts to hold was seized by the authorities, is facing the Holocaust perpetrators accountable are prospect of prosecution in Budapest. indeed in their final phase. Still, with legal I have a special interest in the two Hun- action of various forms having been taken garian cases because they were discovered recently against four of the 10 Nazi war in the framework of the Wiesental Cen- criminals ontheWiesenthalCenter's"Most ter's "Operation: Last Chance," a project Wanted," list, it seems clear that the push launched in 2002 with the generous assis- forjusticewill continue--and register more tance of the Targum Shlishi Foundation of victories than initially expected. Miami founded and headed by Aryeh Rubin. The individuals in question--Ukrainian Cognizant of the diminishing prospects Sobibor guard Ivan Demjanjuk (No. 1); for the prosecution of Holocaust perpetra- Hungarian gendarmerieofficerDr. Sandor tors, Aryeh suggested offering financial Kepiro (2); Dutch SS hit man Heinrich Boere rewards for information that would lead to (6); and Hungarian army officer Karoly theprosecutionandpunishmentofNaziwar (Charles) Zentai (7)--represent a cross- criminals--and helped launch the project section of the suspects still unprosecuted by providing a generous grant. Our primary who were involved in a variety of crimes objective was to try to discover suspects ranging from accessory to mass murder who had been unknown to us and to the (Demjanjukand Kepiro) to carrying outthe authorities. execution of individuals (Boere and Zentai). Our initial focus was on post-communist While Zentai is incarcerated in Perth, Europe, where local collaboration with the Australia, pending approval of his extradi- tion to Hungary, the Demjanjuk trial has Justice on page 23A THE VIEWS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEWS OF HERITAGE MANAGEMENT. CENTRAL FLORIDA'SINDEPENDENTJEWISHVOICE ISSN 0199-0721 Winner of 40 Press Awards 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: Editor/Publisher Jeffrey Gaeser Editor Emeritus Associate Editor Assistant Editor Gene Starn Lyn Payne Mike Etzkin Society Editor Bookkeeping GloriaYousha Panlette Harmon Kim Fischer Account Executives Barbara do Carmo Marci Gaeser Contributing Columnists Jim Shipley Ira Sharkansky Tim Boxer David Bornstein Production Department David Lehman * David Gaudio Teri Marks Louis Ballantyne * Elaine Schooping Gil Dombrosky On campus, Jewish students are taking our young people for whatever challenges lie responsibility for running their Hillel boards, ahead, particularly in today's globalizedworld. their fraternities and sororities, and other stu- After all, we have always been a global people, dent groups. It is no accident that many of the possessing unique skills that have enabled us young people who are leading the revolution to transcend borders and cultures. of Jewish social entrepreneurship got their By immersing our next generation in the start as Hillel activists. These young people beauty of their heritage, they will not only be will strengthen our community in years to enriched, they will enrich the Jewish people come with their commitment to excellence, and the world. pluralism and engagement. Edgar M. Bronfman is the founding chair- We don't know what the future will bring man of the Hillel lnternational Board of Gov- but as the heirs of a 2,000-year-old tradition, ernors. Randall Kaplan serves as the board's we have a rich resource with which to prepare current chair. Letter from Israel Negotiations for a prisoner swap By Ira Sharkansky prevent another family from suffering the loss of a loved one. Military officers say that it is a How much should Israel pay for the release national obligation to do everything possible of Gilad Shalit? He is the soldier who was toassurethesafetyofdrafteesandtheirreturn seized in June 2006 during a raid by Gazans home after an engagement. on the Israeli side of the border. In the same The issue is also difficult for those holding incident, two Israeli soldiers died and several the Israelis. With thousands of Palestinians others suffered injuries, in Israeli prison, there are many thousands Negotiations for a prisoner swap have who want their sons, husbands, and brothers proceeded in an on-again, off-again fashion, released.Whowillbeputonthelistofdemands Hamas has control of Shalit and has denied is a matter of great sensitivity, capable of all requests that the Red Cross or some other provoking violence by disappointed families. reputable organization be allowed to visit and In order to avoid the stain of talking directly report on his condition. There have been notes with terrorists, Israel employs intermediar- from him, an audio tape and a video tape, all ies. The German and Egyptian government presumably coached and edited to show him have provided negotiators, and other govern- alive andwell treated, but eager to return home. ments--seeminglywanting to gain some credit Shalit has the advantage of educated and fortheirgoodwill--haveclaimedtobeprobing articulate parents, who have enlisted the help possibilities with those holding the captives. ofpublic relations consultants to campaign in The Shalit family, like those caught up behalf of whatever concessions are necessary in similar situations, has traveled the world to release him. Groups of school children, seekingpublicsupportandthefavorsofhighly media personalities and politicians have used placed individuals. TV news showed a clip of the slogan, "pay any price," while others have Shalit's father talkingwith Jimmy Carter that been guarded in indicating that some prices didnot improve the former president's reputa- are too high. tion in Israel. He expressed strong emotion Palestinian prisoners are the medium of about the suffering he saw in Gaza, and was exchange. The problem is not the number curtly dismissive of Shalit's efforts to engage mentioned in the informatiofi available to the him about his son. public, most likely 1,000. Israelholds more than There have been several news stories, typi- 11,000 Palestinians and other Arabs picked up cally from Arab media that"the deal is almost over the years on security charges (murder, done." It would be finalized with one more complicity in murder, weapons smuggling, meeting of the Hamas leadership and would incitement, activityin banned organizations), be finished after a Muslim holiday that was found guilty by civilian or military judges, or only a few days away. held in administrative detention. It would not One report was that French physicians had be difficult to identify a thousand who corn- examined Shalit. These would have been the mitted their crimes years ago, or who did not firstoutsiders tovisithim, andtheexamination commit the most serious crimes, was said to be part of his imminent release. We Israel's problem with Hamas' demands is have heard that Israeli prison authorities have that it includes a number of high profile in- concentrated the individuals to be freed in one dividuals, guilty of especially sensitive crimes, prison in preparation of a release. One rumor who so far have served only a few years, was that Shalit had already been transferred IDF commanders tell their troops that it is to Egyptian officials, long mooted as the first the highestpriority toavoid capture and to pre- stage in a phased exchange. vent the enemy from taking prisoners. When it Typically these stories are followed by clari- does happen, it inevitably entails several years fications from Hamas that the deal is not quite of difficult negotiations and intense emotions finished, and that a swap can occur only when concerned with one or a few Israelis. Some ef- Israel improves its offer. forts have ended without success, as a soldier Just what Israel is offering is secret. This known to be held captive either fled and died, allows the deal to go forward without intense or was traded among several groups until he pressure and violence on the Palestinian side disappeared. Other families have spent more about whose family member will be on the list. than 20 years insisting that their sons were Secrecy also minimizes pressure on Israeli beingheld, buthavefoundnoevidenceoftheir negotiators deliberating about the release of capture or their bodies. Lebanese groups have individuals with especially bad reputations. negotiated for men they said were prisoners, And it provides some protection to negotiators but where Israel received only bodies when whoare carryingoutthe instructionsofpoliti- the deal was completed, cal superiors to resist the release of particular Every deal has left a bitter taste among individuals, or individuals whose crimes fall officials and citizens, which feeds back into in the category of "no deal." opposition the nexttime. Individuals viewed as Israeli officials have promised the public a high profile killers in Israel have been lionized period of 48 hours to know the final details, at home when released. Some have returned time enough to petition the Supreme Court to violence, and eventually to Israeli prison, to halt the release of certain individuals. Once Occasionally an Israeli speaks heroically a deal is in hand that passes muster with the about "no deal with terrorists," but the senti- prime minister and colleagues assigned to merit does not hold up under public pressure, oversee negotiations, other members of the This time, as always, the issue is the number, government will do what is necessary to put and especially the "quality" of prisoners de- the issue behind them. The Court is likely to manded by the captors, rule that it is a matter for the political leader- Among the opponents of an "expensive" ship to decide, and the president will sign off swap are families of people killed by those on on whatever pardons or commutations are the enemy's list of demands, as well as ranking necessary to put the individuals on the prison officerswhoworry about encouraging further bus heading for the exchange point. raids to capture Israelis, the capacity of young Never negotiate with terrorists? Only in killers to continue fighting where they left your dreams. It is not simple. There has been off when they were captured, and to serve as no caving in to outrageous demands, but it a message that violence pays. However, there does happen. are no groups that are total in their opposition Ira Sharkansky is professor emeritus, to particular swaps. Some families of terror Department of Political Science, Hebrew victims say that Israel should pay any price to University of Jerusalem.