Volume 3, Number 71
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"

Today's Postings:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

{Click on a link to jump to the corresponding story. Or, you may scroll leisurely through our report}

Demographic trend lines no cause for panic in Israel ... by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
The new administration in Washington is down on the floor wrestling with economic problems that are world class and historic in their severity. Along with that, the campaign theme of Change, some of the new people in Washington, and a host of wannabes, have sought to refresh some old slogans about the Middle East. READ MORE

Columnist puts AP Middle East analysis under microscope ... by Barry Rubin in Herzliya, Israel
HERZLIYA, Israel, March 21— The problem, as we see repeatedly, with much media coverage of issues involving Israel is the way the story is defined.

Middle East media analyst says news outlets miss mark ... by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
SAN DIEGO—Peter Lemish is on sabbatical from Sapir College, the regional college in Sderot named for Israel’s former Finance Minister Pinchas Sapir, who along with his contemporary David Ben-Gurion was a champion of settling Israel’s Negev Desert.

The Jews Down Under... a roundup of Australian Jewish news by Garry Fabian in Melbourne

Jewish misgivings hit mainstream headlines READ MORE
Searle's response to The Age's reportage READ MORE
Jewish Students form unlikely alliance READ MORE
Still no decision despite draft change to Durban II agenda



A play re-staking Franklin's claim to a Nobel Prize ... by Cynthia Citron in Los Angeles
Quick, name a famous female physicist. Okay, besides Marie Curie. Sadly, the name Rosalind Franklin doesn’t spring readily to mind. But it should, since Ms. Franklin did the crucial work that led to the discovery of the structure of dioxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the very building blocks of life. READ MORE

What a deli-ghtful time Terkel could have had with dad! ...
by Carol Davis in San Diego
Studs Terkel was born in 1912. That same year my Dad, Arthur (Lem, Labe) Cohen was born. Turkel died in 2008 when he was 98. My Dad died when he was 93. It must have been a good year! My Dad was as deli man. He worked in the deli business almost all his life. READ MORE

November 28, 1952; Southwestern Jewish Press

Interfaith Work Told By S.D. Hillel READ MORE
Camp Whispering Pines To Open Next SummerREAD MORE
Temple Teens READ MORE
Young Jewish Couples Club READ MORE
Thanksgiving Service Held Jointly At Tifereth Israel Synagogue

We continue our examination of Jewish entertainers

Dinah Shore sings "See the USA in Your Chevrolet" VIEW VIDEO

Jan Murray hosts "Dollar A Second" quiz show VIEW VIDEO

Lillian Roth sings "Low Down" in movie "Madam Satan" VIEWVIDEO

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Luise Rainer as Anna Held in "The Great Zigfield" VIEW VIDEO

Bonus: Teapack at 2007 Eurovision competition VIEW VIDEO


Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School: Levin Visits Soille Hebrew Day’s 3d Grade Class READ MORE

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America's Vacation Center
Anti-Defamation League
Balloon Utopia
Carol Ann Goldstein
Congregation Beth Israel
Jewish Family Service
Lawrence Family JCC
San Diego Community Colleges
San Diego Jewish Academy
San Diego Jewish Chamber
Seacrest Village Retirement Communities
Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School
Tifereth Israel Synagogue
United Jewish Federation
XLNC-1 Radio


Triple coincidence: Editor Donald H. Harrison interviewed Peter Lemish earlier this week about media accuracy covering the Middle East. Then came a column from Barry Rubin looking at the same issue (but concerning a different story) from another perspective. And to top it off, Garry Fabian's regular column from Australia led off with a controversy between the Jewish community and the media over reporting of its objections to a scheduled appearance by former president Mohammad Khatami of Iran.


Each day's issue may be dedicated by readers—or by the publisher—in other people's honor or memory. Past dedications may be found at the bottom of the index for the "Adventures in San Diego Jewish History" page.

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Demographic trend lines no cause for panic in Israel

By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM—The new administration in Washington is down on the floor wrestling with economic problems that are world class and historic in their severity.

Along with that, the campaign theme of Change, some of the new people in Washington, and a host of wannabes have sought to refresh some old slogans about the Middle East. They may assert their support for Israel and concern for its future, but they talk about tough love and pressuring Israel to accommodate what they see as essential facts.

Chief among these is their perception that Jewish settlements in the West Bank as a key—perhaps the key—to accommodation. There is also certainty about the trends of Jewish and Arab growth in the area between the Jordan and the Mediterranean. If there is no agreement, in their view, Arabs will overcome the Jews demographically. The best result imaginable will be one state. The Jews will be a minority, sooner or later the place will be called Palestine, and there will be another Jewish migration.

A few words on trend lines, usually considered important in projecting what is likely to happen.

Compare China and the United States on the one hand, and Palestine and Israel on the other hand.

Trend analysis indicates that the United States has more to worry about than Israel. The sleeping giant has woken up. China is getting stronger. It has acquired enough leverage on United States Government bonds to make some Americans worry about their independence.

Am I predicting that China will overtake the US in the near future? No.

The distant future? Also no, but that is an open question. It depends on too many things capable of confounding a prediction.

Trend lines show a weaker case for predicting Israel's collapse. Looking backward to the 1930s when the Jews of Palestine began to accept territorial compromises they considered unpleasant. Palestinians and other Arabs rejected them in the expectations of overcoming the Jews. In the almost 80 years since that began, there has been a growth in Israel's economic and military capacity, along with stagnating or diminishing Palestinian well being and strength. Most recently, the political split in Palestine, civil violence, poverty, destruction, and dependence on outside aid are most prominent in Gaza. The West Bank is in better shape, but it depends on Israeli security actions against Hamas inroads. If Hamas succeeds in its aspirations, the West Bank might become like Gaza.

Does this assure Israel's safety?


Prediction is risky. Lots of variables, some of them not currently on the screen, will influence what happens. Only the naive are certain of their predictions. Nonetheless, projections from the recent past are useful. Trends do not always continue, but they usually do.

There are several points to make about Israeli resilience.

It is strengthened by a willingness to accommodate international pressure, shown most notably by Oslo in 1993, and Camp David and Taba in 2000.

It has shown a capacity to reject some of the demands coming from Palestinians and others.

Under this heading we can place the most recent rejection of demands from Hamas and much of the Israeli public to "pay any price" for the release of the Israeli prisoner. The government was ready to release a number of prisoners with

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blood on their hands," but not those involved in the most heinous of actions. Individuals might quarrel about the willingness to release X and not Y, but the important point is that Israel knows how to say no.

It has also overlooked sweeping demands to withdraw Jewish settlements from the West Bank. A positive response seems unlikely after the withdrawal from Gaza produced several thousand rocket attacks against Israeli civilians.

The demographic threat of Palestine is real, but those likely to suffer are Palestinians. Israel knows how to defend its borders. The growth in population, fueled by food aid from the United Nations, threatens Palestine with continued poverty.

The Holocaust, and the persecution of Jews in Arab lands are often used as moral justifications of Israel's existence.

They are also useful as explanations of Israel's continuing resistance of pressure from western governments.

Survivors of the Holocaust and refugees from Arab lands have pretty much left the scene. However, their children and grandchildren are running the country. If you want to see tough, look again at those pictures from Gaza. Some Israelis disagreed about the operation and express dismay at the death and destruction. Jews tolerate dispute, but the support for the action remains considerable.

Prime Minister designate Benyamin Netanyahu has talked about shelving the idea of a Palestinian state. That has brought expressions of shock, dismay, and threats from Western capitals. The words suggest that Israel may have voted itself into an unpleasant corner.

Those who know Netanyahu well realize that he often acts more pragmatically than he speaks. Moreover, his capacity to create a government is not certain, nor is his ability to keep it going with a thin majority in the Knesset and inner tensions. But all those expressions of dismay and threat about what he has said may be nothing more than lip service. When western diplomats look at the record of Palestinian rejection and infighting, they see something other than political enlightenment.

Take another look at those trend lines. There is no indication that Israel is falling apart. They do not assure continued prosperity or survival. They do justify optimism among Israelis and those who claim to be its friends..

Sharkansky is professor emeritus of political science at Hebrew University. His email is msira@mscc.huji.ac.il


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Columnist puts AP Middle East analysis under microscope

By Barry Rubin

HERZLIYA, Israel, March 21— The problem, as we see repeatedly, with much media coverage of issues involving Israel is the way the story is defined. There need not be any
sense of bias by a reporter. Merely copying what other journalists do or from a specific ideological framework—not because reporters have preconceptions but because they make far less effort than in the past to balance them—leads to a conception of the story that is skewed.

This appears subtly in news stories but very openly in analysis pieces. Consider Associated Press bureau chief Steven Gutkin's "Analysis: Mideast peace up to interlocking deals," March 16, 2009. The lead is innovative but a bit clunky:"The fate of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has become a collection of moving parts that somehow need to come together in a single package: an Israel-Hamas prisoner swap, a truce for Gaza, and new governments on both sides of the firing line that could pursue peace."

There is an attempt to present the issue as involving a number of aspects.

Yet the article mixes two very different things: the situation between Israel and Hamas regarding Gaza, and prospects for a comprehensive peace.

In a very real sense, these are not related or, to put it another way, they are inversely related.

The undercover assumption here is that the more peace there is between Israel and Hamas, the more likely a comprehensive peace becomes. In fact, the first would damage the second. The reason why should be obvious: Hamasis against any compromise peace but favors long-term, bloody struggle using terrorism. If Hamas survives as ruler in Gaza, and even more damaging if the Palestinian Authority and Hamas make a coalition, the chances for a comprehensive peace—low enough already—decline
to zero. All-out war is guaranteed.

The article next discusses the ups-and-downs of Israel-Hamas negotiations over a prisoner exchange and continues:
"Such a swap could have helped pave the way for a long-term Israel-Hamas truce deal that in turn might have opened the Gaza Strip's blockaded borders to allow for reconstruction after Israel's punishing offensive there."

This can be summarized as: truce brings open borders brings reconstruction to repair damage caused by Israel. The words "rockets" or the phrase "cross-border attacks" do not
appear in the article. There is no hint that Hamas aggression is the cause of conflict, nor that the fighting started because Hamas unilaterally rejected the existing truce (which it wasn't enforcing any way).

Equally, there is no mention that the issue is not just opening the borders but what is allowed to go across them, nor that there is some problem with rebuilding things in order to benefit a radical and repressive Islamist regime to keep it in power.

Thus the story is this: Israel attacked and destroyed Gaza, let's have a truce so it can be rebuilt.

And who do you think that places the blame on? Then we turn to an equally important—and misexplained—subject:
"Rebuilding Gaza will almost surely also depend on the success of current reconciliation talks in Egypt between Hamas militants and the Western-backed Fatah movement in efforts to reverse the results of a brief 2007 civil war that left rival Palestinian governments in Gaza and the
West Bank."

At least the reporter wrote "Western-backed" rather than
moderate, though no hint is given that the civil war was started by Hamas.

It was a rather one-sided civil war.

Yet next comes a truly terrible and profoundly misleading sentence:"Getting Hamas and Fatah to reconcile is also key to the success of U.S.-backed Mideast peace talks, as it's unlikely Israel would sign on to a deal if moderates are in control of just the West Bank while militants rule Gaza. The latest news from Egypt is that the Hamas-Fatah talks are
not going well."

Well, where to begin? While it is true that Israel wants understandably to sign a peace deal only with a united Palestinian side which can deliver on its pledges, putting Hamas and Fatah together will ensure no such deal can
ever be signed.

There is no hint in this article of why the word "militants"
is used to describe Hamas. A lot of people critique the media for not using the word "terrorists" I don't agree. Terrorism is
a tactic and Hamas uses terrorism yet that does not encompass the organization's views or goals. I'd prefer to see such phrases as: radical Islamist or determined to wipe Israel off the map or repressive, or even genocidal.

But the implication is not that Hamas would block peace—much less that the Palestinian Authority would—for we are next told: "The biggest question now is whether Israel would sign a deal under any circumstances. Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, a political hawk, early
Monday initialed a coalition agreement with the ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu Party, increasing the likelihood that Israel's next government will spurn peace
talks." "The bottom line is that the obstacles to Palestinian unity, openborders for Gaza and a peace deal that would usher in Palestinian statehood seem as formidable as ever."

Note that there has not been one phrase or sentence to suggest that Hamas or Fatah or the PA are obstacles, only Israel. The Palestinians problem is just that they cannot unite, not that they oppose peace.

By the way, from a purely analytical point of view it should be pointedout that the reason PA-Hamas talks don't go well is that both want to be in command, while Hamas is not going to give up control of Gaza.

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There isn't going to be any Palestinian unity at all. You can bet on it. And of course both Netanyahu and the Yisrael Beitenu party support a two-state solution.

But that one sentence is so important let me repeat it:
"The bottom line is that the obstacles to Palestinian unity, openborders for Gaza and a peace deal that would usher in Palestinian statehood seem as formidable as ever."

So this is what is allegedly needed for peace:
—Palestinian unity (in which Hamas would veto any peace);
—Open borders for Gaza (which would not only make Hamas rule permanent but would allow in items used for military purposes so Hamas could build up its army).
—A peace deal that would usher in Palestinian statehood.

As always, there is no mention of a peace deal that would: end the conflict forever, bring full recognition of Israel, or provide Israel with security structures and guarantees.

This is the standard practice of AP and a lot of the media.
What Israel wants in a peace deal is never ever mentioned.
The rest of the article discusses the prisoner exchange using such phrases as "Israel's crushing economic blockade of Gaza" and"bloody Israeli military offensive in Gaza." No criticism ofHamas; no mention of rockets; no mention of repression and executions of oppositionists in Gaza.

And we are told:"Hamas is desperate to reopen the area's borders to allow in reconstruction supplies."; This makes Hamas seem humanitarian. But usually those who are desperate are ready to make concessions to get what they need. This is not true in Hamas' case.

And finally, the ending:"If Hamas sticks by its refusal to recognize the Jewish state, as seems likely, a new right-wing Israeli government could use that as an excuse to shun a future Palestinian unity government, and perhaps even
intensify the blockade of Gaza."

Let us consider the full implications of this sentence: If Hamas says that it will never recognize Israel, will continue to attack Israel, doescontinue to attack Israel, teaches children to be terrorists, and has thegoal of wiping Israel off the map, this merely gives Israelis of the "right-wing"; an "excuse" to be mean to them.

Can people really be writing this kind of drivel, the slightest
examination of which shows its absurdity? Can the AP and other news organssneeringly reject any criticisms and assert that this is fair and balanced and good and accurate coverage? Yes.

But is this fair, balanced, accurate, and accurate coverage?

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center at IDC Herzliya and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition) and The Truth About Syria.

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Levin Visits Soille Hebrew Day’s 3d Grade Class

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Middle East media analyst says news outlets miss mark

By Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO—Peter Lemish is on sabbatical from Sapir College, the regional college in Sderot named for Israel’s former Finance Minister Pinchas Sapir, who along with his contemporary David Ben-Gurion was a champion of settling Israel’s Negev Desert.

But Lemish’s experiences at Sapir College had a way of accompanying him from Israel to his temporary home in Brookline, Massachusetts, and on to a business-pleasure trip to San Diego. 

His wife, Dafna, a professor at Tel Aviv University who is now a visiting scholar at Harvard Medical School, earlier this week lectured on children and the media at the University of San Diego. The Lemish family also visited with cousins Hal and Eileen Wingard, and heard the violin concert given by Eileen’s sister, Zina Schiff, in the opening performance of the San Diego Jewish Music Festival.

In an interview at the Wingard’s home in the Del Cerro area, Lemish (at right) told of recently hearing a siren in Brookline and suddenly reliving an experience he had while standing near the window of a sheltered room at Sapir College. There had been a “red alert” signaling that an incoming Kassam missile had been fired at Sderot from the neighboring Gaza Strip, and Lemish along with other faculty members got to the safe room within the 15-second time period.

Then, there was an explosion at some distance away, but though Israel has a way of warning residents of incoming missiles, it has no signal to tell them when it is safe to come back outside.  Instead Israelis typically listen for the sound of the explosion, estimate how far it was from them, and return to what they had been doing previously.

Shortly after this explosion, Lemish was looking out the window towards the impact area when another missile hit the campus within a short distance of the safe room.  The blast blew him back from the window, throwing him painfully to the floor.

All this was brought back in an instant by the sound of the siren in Brookline; it was clearly an episode of  post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Lemish said.

During the previous six years, Lemish taught classes one day a week at the college which is about an hour and 15 minutes from his home in Kfar Saba, Israel, which, coincidentally, was where Pinchas Sapir had lived in a modest apartment until his death in 1975. 

Like his wife, Lemish is an expert on media—and his courses dealt with such subjects as how the media covers the Middle East conflict and  how public relations officers for non-governmental organizations develop and utilize media coverage to achieve their organizational objectives.

Lemish told me that the bulk of the media—whether it be the indigenous Israeli media or the international media—has fallen short of the ideal of providing their audiences with fully-rounded, well-researched accounts of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  He said that Ha’aretz, nearly alone among Israeli media, tries to examine the conflict by pursuing the truth wherever it may lead.

 In the absence of independent media research, propaganda often gets reported as fact, potentially causing further hardening of attitudes in Israel and the Palestinian territories against each other, he said.

Lemish took up the example of the constant charge—so oft repeated that many take it as fact—that Palestinian textbooks teach hatred for the Jews.  He said this charge has been examined by several independent academic commissions and found to be either untrue or to be a half-truth that he suggested is being spread by a right-wing organization opposed to Palestinian political aspirations.  He urged me to “Google” the words “Palestinian textbooks” and see what I would learn by reading several of the sites I hit upon.

I subsequently did so, and read that most of the offensive Palestinian textbooks are not those that were produced under the Palestinian Authority, but instead were carry-over textbooks from the pre-1967 era when Jordan administered the West Bank and Egypt administered Gaza.  Today, Israel is at peace with both countries.  However offensive the textbooks may be, Israel did not choose to replace them in the 42 years it has controlled Palestinian areas.  Textbooks recently created by the Palestinian Authority for two elementary school grades, while far from being Zionist narratives, do not  vilify Jews, Lemish said.  They do discuss Palestinian history as well as hopes for development and independence.

Lemish said that since immigrating from the United States to Israel in 1971, he has come to know and be friends with numerous Palestinian educators, whom he said are moderate, peace-seeking people, who have the same high levels of academic integrity as respected professors anywhere else.  They would not be part of any racist or anti-Semitic effort, he said.  Certainly there are some extremists in the ranks of Hamas, he added, but there also are extremists on the Israeli side.  The media has a responsibility to avoid manipulation by either side.

Currently, said Lemish, there is considerable soul-searching as well as journalistic and governmental inquiry into the question of casualties in the recent Gaza campaign, which Israel described as an effort to stop constant rocket attacks such as the one that injured Lemish and another in March 2008 that killed Roni Yiyhe, a student and ather of four, as he sat in his car in a college parking lot.

Palestinian authorities say that over 1,400 people were killed in the military operation and that most of them were civilians.  The Israel Defense Force disputes these figures, and says, to the contrary, that mainly combatants were killed.

In addition to the question of exact numbers, said Lemish, is another question concerning whether Israel’s policies are changing concerning when lethal force should be used.

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“We have seen reports that have come out over the last four days of soldiers who were fighting in this last campaign who say they either saw overt killing of civilians or that they know that action was condoned,” Lemish told me.  “They felt confident that if they decided that Palestinians at a distance were threatening to them, and they shot them, or they did enormous physical damage to their property, then they knew that would be an accepted  response.”

There are field manuals and drills for Israeli soldiers, many of whom are youngsters just out of high school, teaching them how to distinguish between someone with hostile intent and someone who is simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.  However, said Lemish, what occurs on the battlefield or even at checkpoints does not always conform with these teachings. 

It’s up to Israel’s military authorities to determine whether an Israeli soldier, or unit, exceeded appropriate force levels.  The question being asked by the media now is whether sufficient mechanisms are in place to insure such accountability.  Lemish said if soldiers believe that they will not be held accountable by higher authorities for using excess force, they may give vent to the anger they feel against Palestinians and to the frustration they feel over the ever-tense Middle East situation.

Lemish said that Middle East violence tends to spiral, or escalate, with each side feeling it necessary to retaliate against the other in the absence of some mechanism for the opposing forces to mediate disputes.  The fact that there was a fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas for many months before the Gaza engagement—a ceasefire that was periodically broken, but nevertheless a ceasefire—means that pragmatic accommodations are possible, he added. 

“I think that trying to break that spiral of violence—to say what are the alternatives to that – requires a media that is investigating, that is telling the full story of what has been going on, and is willing to withstand enormous amounts of public pressure from interest groups that want to try to influence that media policy,” he said.

Sderot is a city of particular interest to San Diegans because it is surrounded by Sha’ar Hanegev, the municipality incorporating 10 kibbutzim, a moshav and the student village of Ibim that all form a partnership region for the United Jewish Federation of San Diego.  The Sha’ar Hanegev schools are adjacent to Sapir College as are the government offices of the municipality. 

Lemish said that a study of media stories about Sderot showed that 95 percent of them deal with the security situation, leaving almost untouched other interesting aspects of the city.  For example, he said, under a former mayor of Sderot, Amir Peretz (a Labor Party leader who subsequently served as Israel’s Defense Minister), the small city enjoyed an economic revival with new industries providing jobs for waves of immigrants from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union.  “It went from being a mabara (a tent camp for immigrants) to an economic success story,” he said.

Furthermore, going back to the 1980s, Sderot has been known as an origination point for Israeli rock bands, among them Teapacks, led by Sderot musician Kobi Oz, who now has his own television show. However, even the music is affected by the security situation.  Below is a YouTube video of the Teapacks competing in the 2007 Eurovision semifinals:

Harrison may be contacted at editor@sandiegojewishworld.com

"Teapack" at 2007 Eurovision competition:

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The Jews Down Under ...
Roundup of Australian Jewish News by Garry Fabian

Jewish Misgivings hit mainstream headlines

MELBOURNE-The matter of the protest letter by the President of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) regarding the visit of the former Iranian president, was front page news in The Age, one of Melbourne's mainstream newspaper, under the headline Jewish fury at Iranian Visit. The article is reprinted in blue type:

Searle's response to The Age's reportage

The following article by John Searle was published in The Age in response to the above story that appeared in the paper the previous day.

Khatami is not the conciliator he claims to be

Jewish Students form unlikely alliance

Sydney - Jewish students have joined forces with an unlikely ally to create one of the largest campus-based campaigns against prejudice and intolerance ever held in Australia.

The Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS),
together with the National Union of Students (NUS), launched Students Against Racism And Hatred (SARAH) this week.

Within a few days, more than 600 students had signed up to be part of SARAH via the group's page on the social networking site, Facebook.

The group is the brainchild of AUJS political director Glen Falkenstein, who helped forge the links with the NUS, which has traditionally been more closely aligned with pro-Palestinian groups than the Jewish students.

"I spoke to [NUS president] David Barrow and [NUS
ethno-cultural officer] Matt Incerti about it and they were very keen to get involved and have been instrumental in getting the campaign off the ground," said Falkenstein.

In a statement of support, Incerti said SARAH "will emphasise reason and logical analysis in overcoming racism and hatred, rather than an emotional response."

While SARAH's creators have emphasised anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism as forms of discrimination that need to be eradicated, the group is open to wider political and faith
student groups and targets all forms of prejudice and intolerance.

AUJS president Daniel Kitay said this week that AUJS now enjoyed healthy relations with the NUS a change from a decade or two ago when the NUS, and its predecessor the Australian Union of Students, were so staunchly anti-Israel that they sent money to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.

Kitay said that despite the NUS being dominated by students affiliated with the Labor Left, the student representative body had been fully supportive of SARAH and its aims.

"The NUS definitely has new leadership, they have left behind their old-school mentality," he said.

However, there is one student group that has declined an invitation to participate in SARAH: the Socialist Alliance.

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Kitay said the reason for this was "because one of the challenges we have with this campaign is that it is dominated by the Israel-Palestinian conflict".

Until SARAH develops a broader base, he said, it is unlikely the most anti-Israel group on campus will get involved.

The next step for SARAH is to cement its structure -- which includes a delegate in each state and at each participating university -- and to organise activities, such as festivals and parties, to promote the cause.

"Each campus will have one event to start off with and it will grow from there to regional and perhaps national events. We may also be setting up a website which will serve as a resource for those affected by racism and discrimination," said Falkenstein.

Still no decision despite draft change to Durban II agenda

CANBERRA- References to Israel have been removed
from the draft resolution for the Durbin Review Conference, but the Australian Government is yet to make a decision on whether it will attend.

The new text, which has not yet been accepted, was drafted by the Russian delegation, and according to reports it is shorter in length and Ano longer singles out Israel for criticism.

Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Australia would consider the draft outcome document after revisions were made on March 16.

Speaking to ABC News Radio on Wednesday morning,
Smith said he had spoken to the Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen about the new developments.

Verhagen told him that he had informed the European Union Foreign Ministers that unless the text changes, the Dutch won't be going.

"He got very strong support from a number of his European colleagues," Smith reported.

Smith also emphasised that without substantial changes, Australia would pull out.

"We won't take part in the re-run of Durban I, which was essentially an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic harangue."

This week, three senators spoke out in favour of Australia boycotting the conference, also known as Durban II, next month in Geneva.

But this was before a new draft text was released overnight on Tuesday, erasing all references to Israel in an attempt to placate possible attendees, including Australia, the United States, and the European Union.

Earlier, Senator Judith Troeth, a Victorian Liberal, called on Michael Danby to speak out in the Labor party room on the matter.

"Australia has a long and proud history of standing up against racism and anti-Semitism," Senator Troeth said. "Mr Danby should call on his own government to continue this tradition.

But Danby hit back at Senator Troeth.

"The Jewish community should remember that the Howard government participated in Durban I [the United Nations World Conference against Racism in 2001]," he said.

Danby said the Government is waiting to see changes to the draft document.

"The Australian Government is giving the United Nations a last chance to change these resolutions," he said.

Two other senators, Labor's David Feeney and Family First's Steve Fielding, also spoke this week against Australia's attendance at the Durban Review Conference.

"It seems the Rudd Government's fanatical obsession with winning a seat on the [UN] Security Council has caused it to lose its moral compass," Senator Fielding said.

In his speech, Senator Feeney said: "I believe that Australia should give very serious consideration to what interests we would be serving by dignifying this conference with our presence."

The Jewish community also kept pressure on Smith this week.

Zionist Council of Victoria president Dr Danny Lamm said: "The best message we could give the world is for Libya, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the Arab League and the Palestinian Authority to pontificate to a sea of empty desks."

In calling for Australia to boycott the conference,the President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Robert M Goot AM SC and the President of the Zionist Federation Philip
Chester, said the Draft Outcome Document published 17 March 2009 from the Chair of the Working Group Yuri Boychenko (the Boychenko Draft) did not merit Australia's attendance at the conference.

Messrs Goot and Chester said:

—When we met recently with the Foreign Minister, he said that absent substantial improvement in the text of Draft Outcome Document, Australia would not participate in
Durban II and he expressed interest in seeing what text might emerge from the Chair of the Working Group Yuri Boychenko.

—We have now seen the Boychenko Draft text and it must be acknowledged that it is a significant improvement on the version in circulation from 20 February 2009, which we discussed with the Foreign Minister.

—Significantly however, the Boychenko Draft contains a statement, as an agreed paragraph 1 which 'reaffirms' the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA) as it was adopted at Durban in 2001 (Durban 1)".

—The Israeli and the American delegations withdrew from Durban 1 over the demonizing language ("apartheid", "war crimes", etc. in the draft declaration). The "compromise text",
negotiated by Canada and the Europeans, still singled out Israel. It emphasized "the plight of the Palestinian people under foreign occupation", recognized "the inalienable right of the
Palestinian people to self-determination", and promoted the claim to a "right of return".

—An endorsement of this discriminatory language at the Durban II Conference would reinforce the damage done eight years ago at Durban.

It was that language led the Australian Government's representative at Durban I to make the following statement on 8 September 2001, in relation to the adoption of the final document and report of the Conference:

—Australia is unequivocal in its opposition to racism in all its forms and is committed to strong action at all levels to combat it, both domestically and internationally, and this was
reflected in the approach we took to this World Conference. We regret that far too much of our time has been consumed by bitter divisive exchanges on issues which have done nothing to advance the cause of combating racism. This has been particularly evident in respect of the debate about the Middle
East. Despite the great efforts of many delegations, including that of Australia, to achieve a balanced text, the references to the Middle East contain language which will do nothing to achieve greater peace in that troubled region and nothing to advance the objectives of this Conference.

We have some specific reservations on the text we are about to adopt which we would like to be included in the record of the meeting in the same manner as that requested by the Canadian delegation. In relation to the second paragraph.of your text on the Middle East, my delegation believes that this paragraph deals with a political situation, and has no place in
the outcomes of the World Conference, which is on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.... my delegation believes that this language undermines the agreements reached between Israel and the Palestinian
Liberation Organisation, as the representative of the Palestinian people, which aim to achieve a just settlement of the refugee problem, in accordance with the relevant United Nations
resolutions, through direct negotiation to resolve all outstanding final status issues.."

—In light of those statements and the fact that paragraphs 63-65 and 115 of the Document adopted at Durban I, single out Israel amongst all of the worlds nation states for criticism as
a racist state, and in light of the principled statement by the Australian Government's representative at Durban we assume that notwithstanding its advances, the Boychenko Draft
does not represent the substantially improved text or the qualitatively improved text to which the Australian Government aspires.

—In this latter respect, we note that the Dutch Foreign Minister, Maxime Verhagen has produced an even more truncated version of a Draft Outcome Document which does not reaffirm the DDPA.

—We would urge the Australian Government to actively support the Dutch Draft Outcome Document.

—We once again urge the Australian government to withdraw now from the Durban II Conference, notwithstanding the Boychenko draft. That draft, by reaffirming the DDPA, in fact re-runs Durban I, which as you noted on ABC Radio on 18 March 2009, was "essentially an anti-Israeli, antisemitic harangue." Withdrawal now will send an important message to the world including those countries which look to Australia to provide leadership."

Fabian's email is fabian@sandiegojewishworld.com


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A play re-staking Franklin's claim to a Nobel Prize

By Cynthia Citron

LOS ANGELES—Quick, name a famous female physicist. Okay, besides Marie Curie. Sadly, the name Rosalind Franklin doesn’t spring readily to mind. But it should, since Ms. Franklin did the crucial work that led to the discovery of the structure of dioxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the very building blocks of life.

The fascinating story of Ms. Franklin’s grueling research, carried out in spite of the carping and ridicule of her male colleagues, is told exquisitely in Anna Ziegler’s new play Photograph 51, currently on stage at one of the very best theatres in Los Angeles: The Fountain. Impeccably directed by The Fountain’s Simon Levy, the play stars Aria Alpert as the driven, competitive, and morbidly secretive Rosalind Franklin, whose work, apparently, was all-consuming.

Franklin was born in 1920, in an era when a particularly brilliant girl, if she wanted to be popular, had to be smart enough to pretend to be dumb. Later, when women were struggling to be accepted in a man’s world, the axiom was that a woman needed to be twice as competent and twice as clever as a man just to stay in the game. Franklin’s goal was never to be popular. (The fact that she was humorless, socially awkward and Jewish, in addition to her intellectual brilliance, probably didn’t help, either.) Rather, as she wrote to her father in 1940: “by doing our best we shall come nearer to success and that success in our aims (the improvement of the lot of mankind, present and future) is worth attaining.”

Playwright Ziegler’s portrayal seems to reflect some of the disparaging opinions expressed by James Watson in his popular 1968 memoir, The Double Helix, in which he presented Franklin as a bad-tempered, arrogant bluestocking who jealously guarded her data from colleagues, even though, he claimed, she was not competent to interpret it. This caricature of Franklin was met with the protests of those who had worked with her, including Maurice Wilkins and Watson’s collaborator Francis Crick, who admitted that Franklin had been only two steps away from producing the solution that he, Watson, and Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize for in 1962. Franklin’s friend, Anne Sayre, subsequently (in 1975) published a biography in angry rebuttal to Watson's account, and Franklin's role in the discovery became better known.

In fact, Ziegler’s account makes very clear that Watson and Crick built their Nobel Prize-winning model of the structure of DNA only after having seen Franklin’s Photograph 51, one of a series that foreshadowed the construction of their model in the first place. If Franklin had been a little bolder in her hypotheses and taken the risk of building a model based on her hunches, rather than hesitating until she had thoroughly proven the validity of her work, she undoubtedly would have beaten Watson and Crick to the Nobel. And especially her treacherous colleague Wilkins, who was responsible for passing her Photograph 51 to her professional rivals.

It may be that the self-aggrandizing Watson was still aggrieved at having been rejected when he had applied for a job in Franklin’s lab at King’s College in London. And Wilkins may still have been smarting from her personal treatment of him: he had anticipated working with her on the DNA photography that he was already engaged in, but apparently this collaboration had never been communicated to her, and so she brushed him off like a buzzing mosquito.

In all fairness to the men involved, however, the ambitious Watson, played with bouncing enthusiasm by Ian Gould, the stolid Crick, played with very British earnestness by Kerby Joe Grubb, and the slightly goofy and awkward Wilkins, played by Daniel Billet, seemed to have cause for their antipathy toward this “uppity” woman. In a time when women were expected to defer to the men around them, Rosalind Franklin lived by her own rules: working unceasingly, but slowly and methodically, seemingly unconcerned about the scientific “race” her male colleagues were engaged in. She was not collegial, or even friendly, did not know how to make small talk or interact with people socially, and even though she was an extremely attractive

woman, by the age of 36 she had, admittedly, never been out on a date. She died of ovarian cancer in 1958, shortly before her 38th birthday.

Despite her prickly personality and personal tragedies, director Simon Levy has presented her as a rich and

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sympathetic character. And the men around her, treacherous as they might have been, are also presented with sympathy and understanding. Further, what might have become a fairly static recitation about a complex and barely comprehensible scientific subject is rendered enthrallingly exciting with the help of Travis Gale Lewis’ innovative set design and Kathi O’Donohue’s dramatic lighting. Lewis’ set, a series of angled, solid black walls, comes to life as blackboards as Franklin, in her lab, and Watson and Crick in theirs, rush to chalk up their arcane formulas and drawings as they approach the solution to their quest.

You may not understand every nuance of their work, but you can’t help but be caught up in their passions and their drama. Photograph 51 is an important slice of history, beautifully acted and intriguingly presented. An exciting adventure all around.

Photograph 51 will continue at the Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Avenue (at Normandie) in Los Angeles Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2 through May 3rd. Call (323) 663-1525 for tickets.

Citron's email is citronc@sandiegojewishworld.com

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WORKING?—Marie France Arcilla, Adam Monley, Nehal Joshi and Danielle Lee Greaves in The Old Globe's production of Working
Photo by Craig Schwartz


What a deli-ghtful time Terkel could have had with dad!

By Carol Davis

SAN DIEGO—Studs Terkel was born in 1912. That same year my Dad, Arthur (Lem, Labe) Cohen was born. Turkel died in 2008 when he was 98. My Dad died when he was 93. It must have been a good year! My Dad was as deli man. He worked in the deli business almost all his life. Days on end he spent slicing salami, cheese, roast beef, corned beef and every other item you might see in the best looking deli case on both sides of the Mississippi.

But mostly he was a kibitzer. He could chat away with the best of the best with his less that high school education. He could show you how to skin and bone a white fish, slice lox by hand and cook a brisket. He knew how cheese was cured, bootleg was made and once bragged about being so taken by a performance by Lily Pons that he kissed her after the opera he had to take a bus to see.

He could add a column of numbers up and down the side of a brown paper bag in no time. And when I was a young girl growing up in Worcester. Mass., my friends and I would crowd around his wooden pickle barrel outside his deli and watch him ritually, roll up the sleeve of his gray deli jacket, poke his whole arm into the pickle barrel, swirl the brine around and pull out the best looking pickle of the bunch for each of us. No one has that story on file. But if someone had asked him what kind of work he did, he might have modestly answered that he was just a deli man.

Had Terkel asked that would have been my Dad’s story.

Studs Terkel was a prize winning author and radio broadcaster who began working in 1952 for WFMT first with the “Studs Terkel Almanac” and the “Studs Terkel Show.” It was mostly a musical show. Later it became “The Studs Terkel Program”, which came along by accident. His first book Giants of Jazz was published in 1956. Ten years later, his first book of oral history interviews, Division Street: America came out. Several other oral history books followed including those about 1930’s Depression, World War II, race relations and the American Dream among others.

Late into his life Terkel continued to interview people, work on his books and make public appearances. His 1974 book, Working People Talk About What They Do All Day And How They Feel About What They Do became the 1978 Broadway musical, Working.

Clive Barnes of the Post wrote: “Ambivalence here we come! …This is what Working is fundamentally about. It’s about the sheer fascination of being an ordinary person”. You bet your sweet bippy, Mr. Barnes, ordinary people!!!!! That he didn’t like the show is about as generous a review I can muster about his review. It also got a mediocre review from Walter Kerr of the Times. Well so much for the New York reviewers of the ‘70’s. The show closed after only 24 performances.

But let’s back up. Working the musical was taken from the Book by Studs Terkel and adapted by Steven Schwartz and Nina Faso with additional lyrics and music by Craig Carnilia, Micki Grant, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Rogers and Susan Birkenhead and James Taylor. In 1981 it played successfully here in San Diego at The San Diego Repertory Theatre. At that time, yours truly praised the show but ended with a plea to update the work. Personally, I didn’t think anyone was listening, but in 1982, 1999 and 2008 it was updated, tweaked, revised and restaged at regional theatres around the country.

It is currently in a splendid West Coast Premiere and newly ‘re-imagined’ production at the Old Globe Theatre through April 12th. Schwartz brought his updated version to the Globe, which included new songs by In The Heights, Tony award winner Manuel Lin-Miranda. Most of the interviewees are a carry over from the original show; the housewife, waitress, steel worker, teacher and retiree named Joe to

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name a few. To make it more appealing to contemporary audiences, the hedge fund guy, and tech support phone worker from India, a UPS delivery guy, fundraiser, fast food delivery boy and caregivers are a new part of the collective mass.

With an extremely talented, diversified, solid and able cast of six transforming seamlessly before our eyes the show opens with the Company singing “All The Live Long Day”.

Then the heart of the show highlights a cross section of the interviewees along with monologue, music and lyrics set to the working class, every day hum drum of, yes, ordinary people doing extraordinarily prideful work.

“Just a Housewife” (Craig Carnella) Danielle Lee Greaves lament ends and before we can blink she is a hooker. Wayne Duvall changes amazingly I must add, from a proud steel worker to the retiree, Joe. Adam Monley is one of the new guys added; the sleazy hedge fund manager who has no qualms about getting rich quick and screwing anyone along the way. All too timely as the AIG debacle was unfolding! Be careful of his ethics.

Donna Lynne Champlin is perfect as the Jewish school teacher Mrs. Hoffman who just wants someone to tell her how to teach this new breed of children in “Nobody Tells me How” (Mary Rogers and Susan Birkenhead). She has that hapless look of someone just about at the end of her teaching career and in a turnaround; she is the effervescent, best at her job Italian waitress as she convinces “It’s An Art” (Stephen Schwartz) as the tray-wielding, customer pleasing waitress. The assembly line workers and Mason (dying breeds) are heart wrenching and the UPS worker adds more humor than substance. Nehal Josji is convincing as the stonemason, fast foods delivery boy and phone tech supporter we all get so frustrated with.

All this and more is crammed into this ‘new ‘look at Working, set on Beowulf Boritt’s tri level, multi functional set that zips along on the fast track to ninety minute production without intermission. Director Gordon Greenberg and choreographer Josh Rhodes do exceptional work keeping the movement at a hustle, Jeff Croiter’s lighting design with Aaron Rhyne’s projections conjure up the multi faceted look at the American worker and Alex Lacamoire’s orchestrations put the final touches on a well deserved look of Americana. It is worthy of a second look if you’ve seen it before or a first glance if not.

Somewhere Terkel and my Dad are having a conversation. They have a lot to share. It’s still a work in progress. Working continues through April 12th on the Main Stage of The Old Globe Theatre.

See you at the theatre.

P.S. Terkel’s last book, published in 2008 was P.S.: Further Thoughts from a Lifetime of Listening. It was published in November. He died in October.

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Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
With thanks to Gail Umeham for the transcription

Interfaith Work Told By S.D. Hillel
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 28, 1952, page 5

San Diego State College observed Religious Emphasis Week during Nov.17-19. The purpose of the week is to stimulate interest in religion and encourage greater understanding between the various faiths. Sponsored by the Interfaith Council at the college, the week was highlighted by classroom discussions, seminars, and exhibits. Each faith represented on the Interfaith Council furnished a speaker for their seminar, a local religious leader for classroom discussions, seminars, and objects for exhibit.

The San Diego Hillel group provided the main speaker of the week, Rabbi Magnin of the Wilshire Blvd. Temple in Los Angeles; and Rabbi Seidman, associate director of Hillel at U.C.L.A., as seminar speaker on Judaism.

Faculty members were given an opportunity to have speakers on religious topics come to their classes. The speakers were also made available to the campus organizations, sororities, and fraternities; so that in open discussions the students could air their religious problems and ask any question they had on a particular phase of religion. Hillel supplied two very interesting speakers, Rabbi Monroe Levens, and Rabbi Baruch Stern.

An art exhibit in the Art Gallery carried through the religious theme with enlarged photographs from Life Magazine depicting the churches, synagogues, art, and sculpture of the Medieval period. Exhibits in the library included a display of various kinds of Bibles, from the Torah and the Gutenberg Bible to the new Revised Standard Version Bible. One exhibit displayed pictures of famous religious leaders of our time, including their books and a brief explanation of their works. A display of Jewish ceremonial objects, such as a talis, tvillem,, shofar, Torah ornaments, and menorah, stood in the entrance to the library.

Hillel members who were active in organizing Religious Emphasis Week were Thelma Lee, student advisor, Eli Sercarz, seminar chairman, Clara Naliboff, exhibit chairman, and Dr. Ernest Wolf, Hillel advisor, who was advisor to the Interfaith Council.

Camp Whispering Pines To Open Next Summer
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 28, 1952, page 5

Camp Whispering Pines, in Julian, for boys and girls, will be opened next summer, it was announced by Albert Hutler and Maxwell Kaufman, owners of the newly developed camp.

Located in the heart of vacationland at an altitude of 4500 feet, it is notable for its beautiful and healthful climate.

Newly constructed modern cabins with complete facilities will provide the best in housing for the children. A large, well lighted dining hall has just been built to accommodate more than 100 boys and girls. A 30 x 60 foot lighted swimming pool will be constructed in the spring. Also being developed is the large playing field area for games and sports of all kinds.

The season will begin on June 28 and run till August 21. Registration will be opened on Dec. 1. Telephone F-8393 for further information.

Temple Teens

Southwestern Jewish Press, November 28, 1952, page 5

By Susan Solof

December 6 is the date of the “Title Hop.” Come dressed as the title of your favorite song, movie or book. There will be a terrific prize, one for a girl and one for a boy for the best illustrated title. Refreshments and dancing—7:00 to 10:30 p.m. Parents please be prompt.

All Temple Teens are cordially invited to a dinner-dance given by Mjrs. Mendell in honor of Jerry’s Bar Mitzvah at Beth Jacob Center, December 20.

The Temple Teens are really getting started off with a bang. Our last dance Turkey Trot was a huge success. Over 70 kids were there and everyone had a wonderful time. Join Temple Teens. Dues are payable now.

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Young Jewish Couples Club

Southwestern Jewish Press, November 28, 1952, page 6

Hanukah will be the big theme at the next meeting of the Young Jewish Couples Club, Saturday evening, December 6 at the Tifereth Israel Synagogue.

In a room appropriately decorated with Hanukah articles, members and guests will enjoy traditional Yiddish and Hebrew songs by women of the Tifereth Israel Choir. Cantor Joseph Cysner will be on hand to lead the group in Hanukah songs. This is to be followed by one of Rabbi Levens' well-liked holiday discussions. Dancing and refreshments will put a pleasant ending to an already pleasant evening.

This year again, Hanukah articles will be displayed in the form of a workshop. Members will be given an opportunity to buy menorahs and other Hanukah articles from the Synagogue.

A New Year’s party, open to the whole Jewish Community, is being planned by the Young Jewish Couples Club at the Vasa Club. Tickets are $10.00 per couple and can be obtained from Sandy Alters, R-1661, the Herman Hornsteins, T-1-9420, or any other members of the Board. The price of the tickets includes dancing to a smooth orchestra in a beautifully decorated hall, a wonderful floor show, noise makers, refreshments, and drinks. We’ll be seeing you there.

Thanksgiving Service Held Jointly At Tifereth Israel Synagogue
Southwestern Jewish Press, November 28, 1952, page 6

Under the auspices of Congregations Beth Israel, Beth Jacob and Tifereth Israel, the first annual Union Thanksgiving Service took place on Thanksgiving day, November 27th.
Officiating at the service were Rabbis Morton J. Cohn, Monroe Levens and Baruch Stern, assisted by Cantors Joseph Cysner, Julian Miller and the Choirs of the Synagogues.

Guest speaker for the occasion was the Rev. John C. Wiley, minister of the Mission Hills Congregation Church. Adding interest to the event was the presentation of two United States Defense Bonds to the winners of essay contests conducted in the three religious schools on the theme, “Thanksgiving and the American Jew.” These bonds were available through the kindness of Mr. Harry A. Azus, Mr. Mickey Goldfarb and Mr. Julius Kahn.

A Thanksgiving social hour followed the service through the courtesy of the Bohemian Bakery and Mrs. Leo H. Brett, Mr. and Mrs. Morey Novak and Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Goldberg. As presently conceived, the Union Thanksgiving Service will be an annual event, meeting in ration at the different synagogues.

“Adventures in Jewish History” is sponsored by Inland Industries Group LP in memory of long-time San Diego Jewish community leader Marie (Mrs. Gabriel) Berg. Our indexed "Adventures in San Diego Jewish History" series will be a daily feature until we run out of history.

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Jewish Internet Favorites ...
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