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December 18, 2015

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PAGE 10A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 18, 2015 Joe Raedle/Getty Images Law enforcement officials investigating the Ford SUV at the scene where suspects of the shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Calif., were killed in a shootout with police, Dec. 3, 2015. By Uriel Heilman (JTA)--Since the mass shooting in the California city of San Bernardino, U.S. authorities have been piec- ing together what might have led Syed Farook and his wife, Tafsheen Malik, to gun down 14 of Farook's col- leagues at a holiday party for county health department employees. The attack raises a host of questions. Here are five to consider. 1. In Israel, armed civil- ians stop terrorist attacks. Should that be a model for America? Opponents of gun regula- tion argue that attacks like the one in San Bernardino, the Nov. 27 Planned Parenthood clinic shooting in Colorado and even the 2012 massacre at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecti- cut, demonstrate the need to have an armed citizenry that could stop gun-toting assail- ants quickly by force. Some look to Israel as a model, not- ing that armed civilians have played a major role in halting the recent lone-wolf attacks by Palestinians. There are, however, some key differences between the attacks in Israel's current terror wave and the mass shootings typical of America. In Israel, the Palestinian as- sailants usually are armed with less sophisticated weap- ons, such as a knife, and the lone-wolf attacks have been poorly planned, making them much easier to disrupt. Israel also has strict gun controls: Gun owners are limited to a single pistol, may purchase only 50 rounds of ammunition per year, can- not own assault rifles, and must undergo extensive mental and physical tests to receive a weapon. More- over, Israeli civilians who do carry weapons tend to be well trained (and have years of army experience). In America, the assailants have been armed with mili- tary- style automatic weapons, usually legally purchased, and often evinced methodical preparations for their attacks (one of the San Bernardino assailants went to target prac- tice twice in the days before the shooting, and the couple had bomb-making materi- als in their home). Second, though guns already are read- ily available in America, not a single mass shooting has been stopped by an armed civilian, according to an article in Mother Jones. Finally, statis- tics show thatAmericanswho own guns are far more likely to die by gunshot--whether by homicide, suicide or ac- cident--thanAmericans who don't own guns. 2. How will the stepped-up bombing of ISIS affect the likelihood of terrorist attacks in America? Much of President Barack Obama's speech following the San Bernardino at- tack was about the fight against the Islamic State, and Republican candidates for president have criticized Obama for being too timid in America's fight against ISIS. But what impact can America's actions in Iraq and Syria have on attacks of the sort perpetrated by the San Bernardino assailants? By all accounts so far, the San Bernardino shooters acted on their own volition, without coordination or help from ISIS. Even if America were to "carpet bomb ISIS into oblivion," as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a GOP presidential candidate, suggested over the weekend, that still wouldn't stop Islamic fundamentalists like Farook and Malik from buying guns in America and perpetrating a San Bernardi- no-style attack. More likely, one thing has very little bearing on the other: Islamic terrorists will be motivated to hate and at- tack America regardless of what America does or doesn't do in the Middle East. In the fight against terrorism, good defense at home matters more than good offense abroad. 3. Why did the San Ber- By Abigail Klein Leichman The trending blogAwesome Jelly predicts a new Israeli product "will forever change the way we drink water." AOL has called it "ingenious," and Entrepreneur calls it "clever." Six years of research and patented technologywent into The Right Cup, a BPA-free re- cyclable plastic drinking cup infused with FDA-approved aromatic fruit flavors to trick your senses into thinking plain water has a fruity taste. CEO and founder Isaac Lavy was diagnosed with diabetes at age 30 and was advised by his doctor to drink only plain water. But he hated the taste, and thus began a long process of research, trial and error that led to the first prototype of The Right Cup. "Isaac has been lecturing about scent marketing for a long time, so naturally this is what entered his mind after being told he had to drink only water," cofounder and creative director Erez Rubinstein tells ISRAEL21c. "Over the years, he told nardino shooters terrorize people they knew? Most terrorist attacks are perpetrated by strangers against strangers. Not so in San Bernardino, where Fa- rook chose to kilt co-workers at the Inland Regional Center of the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. The perpetrators' choice of target leaves more questions than answers, but it does suggest that attacks may be motivated by an interplay of factors: not just religious radicalism, but also personal animosities. Farook reported- ly got into a heated argument with Nicholas Thalasinos, a pro-Israel Messianic Christian whose wife said he was anti- Muslim. 4. Does calling it a terrorist attack make any difference? There is some ambigu- ity when it comes to the language we use to describe mass shootings. All provoke terror--among victims, in the community--but not all fit the dictionary definition of terrorism. That, according to Webster's, is when individuals "use violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal." By this definition, the Planned Parenthood clinic shooting in Colorado Springs, which left three dead, appears to have been a terrorist attack; the perpetrator, Robert Lewis Dear Jr., holds extreme-right views, particularly in his op- position to abortion. The 2012 shooting in Newtown that left 26 victims dead, including 20 first-graders, would not be considered terrorism by this definition, since the shooter, Adam Lanza, was more de- ranged than motivated by politics. But does it make a differ- ence? Yes and no. Yes, because if we understand the motive, authorities may focus their monitoring on tho e who harbor similar motivations (political extremists, Islamic radicals). No, because only an infinitesimal proportion of those who hold extremist views take violent actions as a result; there are legal limits to monitoring; assault weapons are easily available to almost anyone who wants them in America, and most mass shootings in America do not qualify as "terrorism." 5. Is Donald Trump Amer- ica's Marine Le Pen? America doesn't have the dark history with hate-fueled nationalism that Europe has. But Donald Trump, who has dominated most Republican presidential polls since the summer, is sounding more and more like a European far-right nationalist. His lat- est proposal, to bar all Mus- lims from entering America, would introduce in America a kind of religious discrimina- tion never before seen in this country. With some fellow Repub- lican candidates reticent to condemn Trump's rhetoric for fear of alienating the right- wing voter base, is America's right-wing adopting the sort of xenophobic nationalism that long has haunted Euro- pean politics? Hair color may not be the only thing Trump shares with Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's far-right National Front who just led her party to a first-place show- ing in the country's regional elections. The Jewish groups who would be obvious candidates to condemn Trump's Mus- lim ban have done so--the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Com- mittee, the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, among others. But others, like the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, have not (as of press time). And an Orthodox Union spokesman told JTA the organization has no response to Trump's declamation. I I Lemon is one of the first flavors to be infused in The Right Cup. many people about his idea and they all said itwas impos- sible," adds Rubinstein. As we alt know, Israelis read "impossible" as "I'm pos- sible." Skepticism only serves to strengthen their resolve to turn their out-of-the-box idea into reality. The company has already raised 242 percent of its $50,000 goal from about 2,000 backers on crowdfunding sit- eIndiegogo and the campaign is not over yet. Expected to hit the market next April after starting pro- duction in Israel, The Right Cup will cost about $35 and will be available in orange, mixed berry, lemon-lime and apple varieties to start. (Those pre-ordering from Indiegogo get free shipping within Israel.) The three-part cup releases aromas for at least six months if it is hand-washed. The Awesome Jelly blogger reports that the company sent her test straws made of Fruit on page 15A