Volume 3, Number 137
 
"There's a Jewish story everywhere"
 

Today's Postings:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

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

INTERNATIONAL
Bibi speaks; Obama reacts; our writers comment



Transcript of Israel P.M. Netanyahu's 'two-state' speech ... READ MORE

Response to speech by White House spokesman Robert Gibbs ... READ MORE

Netanyahu's speech mends alliance with United States but Middle East peace process probably is no further along ... by Ira Sharkansky in Jerusalem
Benyamin Netanyahu sought to make his speech like Barack Obama's. He announced it a week in advance, and billed it as a major statement of policy. He spent the week consulting with members of his own party, leaders of the opposition, President Shimon Peres, and David Grossman. READ MORE

Society that celebrates bloodshed not ready for statehood ... by Shoshana Bryen in Washington D.C.
News Item (Jerusalem Post): A Palestinian family has killed its 15-year-old son in the West Bank after accusing him of "collaboration" with Israel...The suspects confessed, saying they decided to kill Sawalha because of his alleged connections with the Israeli authorities... READ MORE

Netanyahu set record straight on Israel's creation, policies ... by Barry Rubin in Herzliya, Israel
In a much-awaited speech about his new government's foreign policy, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained Israel's situation, experience, and views. Other countries, especially those which think they have all the answers for making peace, should pay close attention.
READ MORE

Editor's Mailbox: News from here, there, and everywhere

Ahmadinejad's reelection as Iran's president protested as fraudulent READ MORE
Hungarian police union forges alliance with Far Right party READ MORE
Come back, Danny Bloom! READ MORE
Cyber-Referrals READ MORE
Target target of dumping law suit READ MORE
Jewish poetry subject of AJE class for adults taught by Rabbi Dalin READ MORE
Two recent SDJW editions win kudos from readers READ MORE

Local pro-Israel activist tells of his challenge to U.N.'s Richard Falk at forum sponsored by AlternateFocus ...by J.J. Surbeck
Last week our fair city hosted one of the most anti-Israel personalities the world knows (and there is no shortage of those). You may have heard the name of Richard Falk, made famous last year by the fact that Israel took the unprecedented step of denying him entry into the country READ MORE

ARTS



A Woman of Valor they could find, nine of them in fact ... by Donald H. Harrison in San Diego
As Myla Wingard played the violin between segments of A Woman of Valor on Sunday, I found myself thinking of “Pictures at an Exhibition” composed by Modest Mussorgsky.  Like Mussorgsky’s “Promenade” between paintings, Wingard’s Jewish melodies  as well as Hebraic chants by Daniel Myers transported the audience at the Lipinsky Family’s 16th Annual Jewish Arts Festival  through nine word pictures—most of them monologues—depicting nine Jewish women of San Diego County.   READ MORE

Jews for Judaism 'Be True' Writing Contest
Like a sensible diet, G-d's rules are for our own good ... by Bracha Hassid in Los Angeles
Recently, in my science class, my teacher Mr. Irons taught us that it is bad to eat food that has too much fat, sugar, or salt. I came home and decided to be even more careful with the food choices I make ... READ MORE

Cantor Mikhail Manevich sings Modim Anachnu Lach ... by Cantor Sheldon Merel in San Diego 
After I had retired from Congregation Beth Israel as cantor emeritus, my wife and I were offered an opportunity to conduct Rosh Hashanah services aboard a cruise ship from New York City to the Bahamas. READ AND HEAR


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If God voted, would he have picked McCain or Obama? ... book review by Fred Reiss, Ed.D, in Winchester, California
The Republican Party faithful were planning their trips to Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, for the national convention in the late summer of 2008, which resulted in the nomination of John McCain and Srah Palin as their standard bearers. READ MORE


JUDAISM
Bible in Pop Culture

Be fruitful and muliply; Genesis 1:28 SEE IMAGE

DINING

Windmill Farms shopping center haven for gourmets ... by Lynne Thrope in San Diego
Life is so full of wonderful surprises. That’s why I never say no to an invitation of free wine and food. I’ve learned over time these are where the great finds are found. The tasting I went to recently is located in the Del Cerro neighborhood shopping center in which Windmill Farms is the anchor. READ MORE

JEWISH HISTORY
Adventures in San Diego Jewish History
May 15, 1953, Southwestern Jewish Press
City of Hope Aux. READ MORE
Stage Dinner Dance READ MORE
City of Hope Aux. {2} READ MORE
YIVO Committee Formed Here READ MORE
Jewish War Veterans READ MORE
Linda’s Lookout by Linda Solof READ MORE
Temple Teens by Susan Solof READ MORE
Council Announces New Officers For Year READ MORE



TODAY'S ADVERTISERS
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Math Is Easy
Ohr Shalom Synagogue
Ronald Reagan Diaries
San Diego Community Colleges
San Diego County Library
San Diego Jewish Arts Festival
San Diego Jewish Chamber
Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School
Therapy in Motion Inc.
Tifereth Israel Synagogue
United Jewish Federation
XLNC-1 Radio


INSIDERS SDJW/ STAFF BOX

We make two changes in this issue. Graphics in this headline box to make it easier on the eyes, and an improved linking system so that by clicking "Read More" on an author's page, or from the headlines page, you will be linked directly to that article. Previously we linked readers to the top of the page, requiring them to search again for the story they wanted. We hope this system will prove more satisfactory.

DEDICATIONS
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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Transcript of Israel P.M. Netanyahu's 'two-state' speech

RAMAT GAN, Israel (Press Release)-- Following is the transcript of the speech delivered by Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (photo at right) on Sunday at Bar-Ilan University's Brain Science Center, under auspices of that university's Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center.

Honored guests, citizens of Israel.

Peace has always been our people’s most ardent desire. Our prophets gave the world the vision of peace, we greet one another with wishes of peace, and our prayers conclude with the word peace.

We are gathered this evening in an institution named for two pioneers of peace, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, and we share in their vision.

Two and half months ago, I took the oath of office as the Prime Minister of Israel. I pledged to establish a national unity government – and I did. I believed and I still believe that unity was essential for us now more than ever as we face three immense challenges – the Iranian threat, the economic crisis, and the advancement of peace.

The Iranian threat looms large before us, as was further demonstrated yesterday. The greatest danger confronting Israel, the Middle East, the entire world and human race, is the nexus between radical Islam and nuclear weapons. I discussed this issue with President Obama during my recent visit to Washington, and I will raise it again in my meetings next week with European leaders. For years, I have been working tirelessly to forge an international alliance to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Confronting a global economic crisis, the government acted swiftly to stabilize Israel’s economy. We passed a two year budget in the government – and the Knesset will soon approve it.

And the third challenge, so exceedingly important, is the advancement of peace. I also spoke about this with President Obama, and I fully support the idea of a regional peace that he is leading.

I share the President’s desire to bring about a new era of reconciliation in our region. To this end, I met with President Mubarak in Egypt, and King Abdullah in Jordan, to elicit the support of these leaders in expanding the circle of peace in our region.

I turn to all Arab leaders tonight and I say: “Let us meet. Let us speak of peace and let us make peace. I am ready to meet with you at any time. I am willing to go to Damascus, to Riyadh, to Beirut, to any place- including Jerusalem.

I call on the Arab countries to cooperate with the Palestinians and with us to advance an economic peace. An economic peace is not a substitute for a political peace, but an important element to achieving it. Together, we can undertake projects to overcome the scarcities of our region, like water desalination or to maximize its advantages, like developing solar energy, or laying gas and petroleum lines, and transportation links between Asia, Africa and Europe.

The economic success of the Gulf States has impressed us all and it has impressed me. I call on the talented entrepreneurs of the Arab world to come and invest here and to assist the Palestinians – and us – in spurring the economy.

Together, we can develop industrial areas that will generate thousands of jobs and create tourist sites that will attract millions of visitors eager to walk in the footsteps of history – in Nazareth and in Bethlehem, around the walls of Jericho and the walls of Jerusalem, on the banks of the Sea of Galilee and the baptismal site of the Jordan.

There is an enormous potential for archeological tourism, if we can only learn to cooperate and to develop it.

I turn to you, our Palestinian neighbors, led by the Palestinian Authority, and I say: Let’s begin negotiations immediately without preconditions.

Israel is obligated by its international commitments and expects all parties to keep their commitments.

We want to live with you in peace, as good neighbors. We want our children and your children to never again experience war: that parents, brothers and sisters will never again know the agony of losing loved ones in battle; that our children will be able to dream of a better future and realize that dream; and that together we will invest our energies in plowshares and pruning hooks, not swords and spears.

I know the face of war. I have experienced battle. I lost close friends, I lost a brother. I have seen the pain of bereaved families. I do not want war. No one in Israel wants war.

If we join hands and work together for peace, there is no limit to the development and prosperity we can achieve for our two peoples – in the economy, agriculture, trade, tourism and education - most importantly, in providing our youth a better world in which to live, a life full of tranquility, creativity, opportunity and hope.

If the advantages of peace are so evident, we must ask ourselves why peace remains so remote, even as our hand remains outstretched to peace? Why has this conflict continued for more than sixty years?

In order to bring an end to the conflict, we must give an honest and forthright answer to the question: What is the root of the conflict?

In his speech to the first Zionist Conference in Basel, the founder of the Zionist movement, Theodore Herzl, said about the Jewish national home “This idea is so big that we must speak of it only in the simplest terms.” Today, I will speak about the immense challenge of peace in the simplest words possible.

Even as we look toward the horizon, we must be firmly connected to reality, to the truth. And the simple truth is that the root of the conflict was, and remains, the refusal to recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own, in their historic homeland.

In 1947, when the United Nations proposed the partition plan of a Jewish state and an Arab state, the entire Arab world rejected the resolution. The Jewish community, by contrast, welcomed it by dancing and rejoicing.

The Arabs rejected any Jewish state, in any borders.

Those who think that the continued enmity toward Israel is a product of our presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, is confusing cause and consequence.

The attacks against us began in the 1920s, escalated into a comprehensive attack in 1948 with the declaration of Israel’s independence, continued with the fedayeen attacks in the 1950s, and climaxed in 1967, on the eve of the six-day war, in an attempt to tighten a noose around the neck of the State of Israel.

All this occurred during the fifty years before a single Israeli soldier ever set foot in Judea and Samaria .

Fortunately, Egypt and Jordan left this circle of enmity. The signing of peace treaties have brought about an end to their claims against Israel, an end to the conflict. But to our regret, this is not the case with the Palestinians. The closer we get to an agreement with them, the further they retreat and raise demands that are inconsistent with a true desire to end the conflict.

Many good people have told us that withdrawal from territories is the key to peace with the Palestinians. Well, we withdrew. But the fact is that every withdrawal was met with massive waves of terror, by suicide bombers and thousands of missiles.

We tried to withdraw with an agreement and without an agreement. We tried a partial withdrawal and a full withdrawal. In 2000 and again last year, Israel proposed an almost total withdrawal in exchange for an end to the conflict, and twice our offers were rejected.

We evacuated every last inch of the Gaza strip, we uprooted tens of settlements and evicted thousands of Israelis from their homes, and in response, we received a hail of missiles on our cities, towns and children.

The claim that territorial withdrawals will bring peace with the Palestinians, or at least advance peace, has up till now not stood the test of reality.

In addition to this, Hamas in the south, like Hezbollah in the north, repeatedly proclaims their commitment to “liberate” the Israeli cities of Ashkelon, Beersheba, Acre and Haifa.
Territorial withdrawals have not lessened the hatred, and to our regret, Palestinian moderates are not yet ready to say the simple words: Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, and it will stay that way.

Achieving peace will require courage and candor from both sides, and not only from the Israeli side.

The Palestinian leadership must arise and say: “Enough of this conflict. We recognize the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own in this land, and we are prepared to live beside you in true peace.”

I am yearning for that moment, for when Palestinian leaders say those words to our people and to their people, then a path will be opened to resolving all the problems between our peoples, no matter how complex they may be.

Therefore, a fundamental prerequisite for ending the conflict is a public, binding and unequivocal Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

To vest this declaration with practical meaning, there must also be a clear understanding that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside Israel’s borders. For it is clear that any demand for resettling Palestinian refugees within Israel undermines Israel’s continued existence as the state of the Jewish people.

The Palestinian refugee problem must be solved, and it can be solved, as we ourselves proved in a similar situation. Tiny Israel successfully absorbed hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees who left their homes and belongings in Arab countries.

Therefore, justice and logic demand that the Palestinian refugee problem be solved outside Israel’s borders. On this

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point, there is a broad national
consensus. I believe that with goodwill and international investment, this humanitarian problem can be permanently resolved.

So far I have spoken about the need for Palestinians to recognize our rights. In am moment, I will speak openly about our need to recognize their rights.

But let me first say that the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel has lasted for more than 3500 years. Judea and Samaria, the places where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, David and Solomon, and Isaiah and Jeremiah lived, are not alien to us. This is the land of our forefathers.

The right of the Jewish people to a state in the land of Israel does not derive from the catastrophes that have plagued our people. True, for 2000 years the Jewish people suffered expulsions, pogroms, blood libels, and massacres which culminated in a Holocaust - a suffering which has no parallel in human history.

But our right to build our sovereign state here, in the land of Israel, arises from one simple fact: this is the homeland of the Jewish people, this is where our identity was forged.

As Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion proclaimed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence: “The Jewish people arose in the land of Israel and it was here that its spiritual, religious and political character was shaped. Here they attained their sovereignty, and here they bequeathed to the world their national and cultural treasures, and the most eternal of books.”

But we must also tell the truth in its entirety: within this homeland lives a large Palestinian community. We do not want to rule over them, we do not want to govern their lives, we do not want to impose either our flag or our culture on them.

In my vision of peace, in this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side-by-side, in amity and mutual respect. Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government. Neither will threaten the security or survival of the other.

These two realities – our connection to the land of Israel, and the Palestinian population living within it – have created deep divisions in Israeli society. But the truth is that we have much more that unites us than divides us.

I have come tonight to give expression to that unity, and to the principles of peace and security on which there is broad agreement within Israeli society. These are the principles that guide our policy.

This policy must take into account the international situation that has recently developed. We must recognize this reality and at the same time stand firmly on those principles essential for Israel.

I have already stressed the first principle – recognition. Palestinians must clearly and unambiguously recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. The second principle is: demilitarization. The territory under Palestinian control must be demilitarized with ironclad security provisions for Israel.
Without these two conditions, there is a real danger that an armed Palestinian state would emerge that would become another terrorist base against the Jewish state, such as the one in Gaza.

We don’t want Kassam rockets on Petach Tikva, Grad rockets on Tel Aviv, or missiles on Ben-Gurion airport. We want peace.

In order to achieve peace, we must ensure that Palestinians will not be able to import missiles into their territory, to field an army, to close their airspace to us, or to make pacts with the likes of Hezbollah and Iran. On this point as well, there is wide consensus within Israel.

It is impossible to expect us to agree in advance to the principle of a Palestinian state without assurances that this state will be demilitarized.

On a matter so critical to the existence of Israel, we must first have our security needs addressed.

Therefore, today we ask our friends in the international community, led by the United States, for what is critical to the security of Israel: Clear commitments that in a future peace agreement, the territory controlled by the Palestinians will be demilitarized: namely, without an army, without control of its airspace, and with effective security measures to prevent weapons smuggling into the territory – real monitoring, and not what occurs in Gaza today. And obviously, the Palestinians will not be able to forge military pacts.

Without this, sooner or later, these territories will become another Hamastan. And that we cannot accept.

I told President Obama when I was in Washington that if we could agree on the substance, then the terminology would not pose a problem.

And here is the substance that I now state clearly:

If we receive this guarantee regarding demilitirization and Israel’s security needs, and if the Palestinians recognize Israel as the State of the Jewish people, then we will be ready in a future peace agreement to reach a solution where a demilitarized Palestinian state exists alongside the Jewish state.

Regarding the remaining important issues that will be discussed as part of the final settlement, my positions are known: Israel needs defensible borders, and Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel with continued religious freedom for all faiths.

The territorial question will be discussed as part of the final peace agreement. In the meantime, we have no intention of building new settlements or of expropriating additional land for existing settlements.

But there is a need to enable the residents to live normal lives, to allow mothers and fathers to raise their children like families elsewhere. The settlers are neither the enemies of the people nor the enemies of peace. Rather, they are an integral part of our people, a principled, pioneering and Zionist public.



Unity among us is essential and will help us achieve reconciliation with our neighbors. That reconciliation must already begin by altering existing realities. I believe that a strong Palestinian economy will strengthen peace.

If the Palestinians turn toward peace – in fighting terror, in strengthening governance and the rule of law, in educating their children for peace and in stopping incitement against Israel - we will do our part in making every effort to facilitate freedom of movement and access, and to enable them to develop their economy. All of this will help us advance a peace treaty between us.

Above all else, the Palestinians must decide between the path of peace and the path of Hamas. The Palestinian Authority will have to establish the rule of law in Gaza and overcome Hamas. Israel will not sit at the negotiating table with terrorists who seek their destruction.

Hamas will not even allow the Red Cross to visit our kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, who has spent three years in captivity, cut off from his parents, his family and his people. We are committed to bringing him home, healthy and safe.

With a Palestinian leadership committed to peace, with the active participation of the Arab world, and the support of the United States and the international community, there is no reason why we cannot achieve a breakthrough to peace.

Our people have already proven that we can do the impossible. Over the past 61 years, while constantly defending our existence, we have performed wonders.

Our microchips are powering the world’s computers. Our medicines are treating diseases once considered incurable. Our drip irrigation is bringing arid lands back to life across the globe. And Israeli scientists are expanding the boundaries of human knowledge.

If only our neighbors would respond to our call – peace too will be in our reach.

I call on the leaders of the Arab world and on the Palestinian leadership, let us continue together on the path of Menahem Begin and Anwar Sadat, Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein. Let us realize the vision of the prophet Isaiah, who in Jerusalem 2700 years ago said: “nations shall not lift up sword against nation, and they shall learn war no more.”

With God’s help, we will know no more war. We will know peace.

Preceding transcript provided by the office of the Prime Minister in Israel


Response to speech by White House spokesman Robert Gibbs

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)--Following is a comment issued Sunday by White House spokesman Robert Gibbs on Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech:

"The President (pictured at right) welcomes the important step forward in Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech.  The President is committed to two states, a Jewish state of Israel and an independent Palestine, in the historic homeland of both peoples.  He believes this solution can and must ensure both Israel's security and the fulfillment of the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations for a viable state, and he welcomes Prime Minister Netanyahu's endorsement of that goal.  The President will continue working with all parties - Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Arab states, and our Quartet partners - to see that they fulfill their obligations and responsibilities necessary to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a comprehensive regional peace."

Preceding provided by the White House

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LETTER FROM JERUSALEM

Netanyahu's speech mends alliance with United States but Middle East peace process probably is no further along


By Ira Sharkansky

JERUSALEM--Benyamin Netanyahu sought to make his speech like Barack Obama's. He announced it a week in advance, and billed it as a major statement of policy. He spent the week consulting with members of his own party, leaders of the opposition, President Shimon Peres, and David Grossman. Grossman is one of Israel's most prominent literary figures who supports greater accommodation with Israel's Arabs and its Palestinian neighbors.

Like Obama's speech, Netanyahu's would be at a university. It was meant to deal with two disputes between Netanyahu and Obama: the role of a Palestinian state in ongoing negotiations, and Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Like Obama's speech, Netanyahu's was preceded by several days of media speculation about what it would include, and the implications of the contents being predicted.

Obama's principal audience was the leaders of Muslim countries. Netanyahu's was the American president. The prime minister had to extract himself from a trap of his own making. He earlier made a point of continuing the expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and opposing the establishment of a Palestinian state. Obama identified those points as crucial for any chance of success in Israel's negotiation with the Palestinians. The Americans also saw them as essential for their own reception among Muslims, problems in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The comments that trapped Netanyahu were unnecessary. Two years of negotiation between the Palestinians and Ehud Olmert included several offers from Olmert expansive enough to cause him trouble with his colleagues. They produced rebuff and even ridicule from the Palestinians. Chronic Palestinian rejection of everything but their own demands, and Hamas control of Gaza made the prospect of a Palestinian state light years away until Netanyahu pushed the verbiage to a public confrontation with the United States.

The topic of settlements might have come up in any case. Previous administrations had complained about Israel's reluctance to honor commitments to halt their expansion, or to remove those that individuals had created without authorization. Netanyahu's comments in favor of continued settlement added to the pressure on the Americans to make an issue of them.

Both Netanyahu and Obama are great talkers, with a capacity to excite expectations among those attuned to their messages. Both have at least a touch of the demagogue. Applicable to both is the likelihood that a politician who rises by hyperbole will fall by hyperbole. Neither will achieve all that he promises. Obama will not accomplish proclaimed goals in reforming the American economy, health care, environment, and energy dependence, along with peace in the Middle East or solutions for Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Guantanamo. Netanyahu has a reputation for promising more than he delivers, claiming to have delivered just what he said that he would, and taking credit for accomplishments like economic growth that result in large measure from ongoing national and international events.

The president spoke in a grand hall, with an audience of 3,000 dressed for the occasion, before drapery whose cost would have fed a Cairo neighborhood. Netanyahu spoke in the auditorium of Bar Ilan University's Brain Science Center that was one tenth the size of the Cairo venue. There was no plush decoration. The audience was largely religious men, reflecting the character of the university, dressed as might be expected of Israelis in suits or sport jackets with or without ties, or open necked shirts without jackets.

One can interpret the content of Netanyahu's speech as designed to settle at least part of the disputes about a Palestinian state, or carving out a position that will postpone indefinitely the prospect of an accord.

The prime minister indicated his willingness to pursue the goal of a Palestinian state, but wrapped it in conditions that Palestinians are unlikely to accept. Palestinians would have to recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. Their state may have a police force but not an army, without control over

its airspace, and without the authority to make military alliances with other states. Palestinian refugees will not return
to Israel. Jerusalem will remain united under Israel's control. Hamas must not control Gaza or the West Bank.

Netanyahu rejected the view, expressed in the Obama speech, that Israel owed its existence to the persecution of the Jews that culminated in the Holocaust. He stressed the 3,500 year experience of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel, where they created the Bible. While this bit of history may seem trivial to a neutral outsider, it is one of the sticking points with the Palestinian narrative. According to their view, the land was always Arab, and the Jews had, if anything, a minor role in the distant past.

Netanyahu indicated that he would not expand existing settlements or take any further Palestinian land for settlements. He said that he would not interfere in the ongoing lives of the settlers. Thus he rejected, at least by implication, the demand of the United States to halt construction within existing settlements. What really happens will depend on approvals given to building applications, the flow of money for construction, and how Israel defines the borders of each settlement. Israel's extensive definition of settlement boundaries has clashed with those of the Israeli left, as well as with officials of the United States and other governments.

The prime minister devoted considerable time at the beginning of his speech to the point that settlements are not central to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. He described its root cause as Palestinian rejection of Israel's existence. He cited violence against Jews prior to the development of settlements after 1967, and the rocket attacks which came after the withdrawal of settlements from Gaza in 2005.

Like Obama's speech in Cairo, Netanyahu's will engender praise and condemnation. Within five minutes of its conclusion an Israeli journalist quoted a Palestinian who said that it was a barrier to accommodation. A right wing Israeli parliamentarian said that Netanyahu went too far. A settler called Netanyahu a traitor to his supporters. A left-wing member of the Knesset said that the speech was "too little, too late."

An important response came from the White House. It endorsed Netanyahu's acceptance of a Palestinian state as the end point of negotiations. It praised the speech as a good beginning, which could put negotiations back on their proper course.

Perhaps the most important response came from ranking Palestinians. They called Netanyahu a swindler and liar, and described the speech as so far from what was necessary that Israel will wait a thousand years for a Palestinian partner.

The prime minister did what was necessary. He kept his policy within the minimums demanded by the important international patron. At least for the time being, things are back where they were before his earlier comments against a Palestinian state and in support of expanding settlements.

Where things go from here will depend on how Netanyahu comments in public on his own speech, how others respond to its content and his actions, plus other events not yet apparent. We are not yet at the end of days.

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




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THE VIEW FROM JINSA

Society that celebrates bloodshed not ready for statehood


By Shoshana Bryen

WASHINGTON, D.C.--News Item (Jerusalem Post): A Palestinian family has killed its 15-year-old son in the West Bank after accusing him of "collaboration" with Israel...The suspects confessed, saying they decided to kill Sawalha because of his alleged connections with the Israeli authorities... investigation by PA security forces revealed that Sawalha had been brutally tortured before he was hanged... The perpetrators were all members of the boy's family, including his father, uncle and cousin.

The first reader comment posted at The Jerusalem Post site: "Using 15-year-olds to spy and torturing them and killing them, while certainly not equivalent, should both be condemned." Another: "Torturing and killing a 15-year-old boy is inexcusable. The anger and frustration behind it however are perfectly legitimate. I don't know the answer... (but) total resistance to Israeli occupation...is crucial."
 
The only way they could understand the depravity was to make it someone else's fault - Israel's fault. The truth is worse.
 
Societies on all continents, in all times, with all races, tribes and ethnicities up to and including Jews in Europe in the last century, have struggled under various forms of terrible oppression. In most cases, the "human protective gene" - women and children first, shelter the young, retain your essential humanity and try to pass it on to those who will survive and have to build again - has functioned as it should. 
 
There is no reason to believe Israeli occupation, benign compared to Jordanian and Egyptian occupation of the same areas from 1948-67, resulted in the disintegration of history's societal norms. And certainly there are Palestinians
who are revolted and shamed by murder conducted by their own people. 

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Palestinian "leadership" - which seeks the destruction of Israel - has deliberately undermined Palestinian society, however. They, not Israel, are the reason hundreds of thousands of Palestinians live in refugee camps around the Arab world, even in the West Bank and Gaza where they have been under Palestinian rule for more than 15 years. They, not Israel, are the exploiters of their own children. The violence they teach and practice is not the result of occupation or "humiliation." It is deliberate and cynical exploitation of what they see as a weakness of the West, as they pursue their goal.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed by their own people - as so-called "collaborators" or to avenge other "crimes," or as "honor killings," or sent out as suicide bombers. Remember the young woman who was caught as she tried to smuggle a bomb in her undergarments into an Israeli hospital where she was being treated for disfiguring facial burns suffered in a household accident. Her brothers told her she had no future as a Palestinian wife, and so should bring honor on the family - by killing Jews. Another young woman blew herself up along with two Israelis after being accused of adultery by her husband. Her choice was dishonor or death - while killing Jews.
 
The sad and ugly truth is that all of them - the victims and the perpetrators - are products of Oslo. The Palestinian Authority - including the so-called "moderate" Fatah - has brainwashed its people through speeches, media, schoolbooks and sermons in the illegitimacy of Israel, negation of the Holocaust, the demonization of Jews and the glories of blood spilled - their own and that of other people. Parents of suicide bombers are feted and told their children are heroes. Some of them believe it. 
 
It is hard to imagine how a decent society can arise out of this orgy of self-immolation and pleasure in the destruction of others. It should be clear, however, that the first step is to insist that the poisoning of Palestinians minds by their own leadership be stopped.  President Obama should insist on it - not only to honor the memory of Sawalha - but more important, to ensure the reasonable possibility of the future he seeks.

Bryen is special projects director for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. (JINSA). Her column is sponsored by Waxie Sanitary Supply in memory of Morris Wax, longtime JINSA supporter and national board member


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Netanyahu set record straight on Israel's creation, policies


By Barry Rubin

HERZLIYA, Israel -- In a much-awaited speech about his new government's foreign policy, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained Israel's situation, experience, and views. Other countries, especially those which think they have all the answers for making peace, should pay close attention. They might actually learn something.

In a recent interview, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated:

"We do have a view about Israel's security. We see historical, demographic, political, technological trends that are very troubling as to Israel's future."

This was a most peculiar thing for a secretary of state to say. In effect, she claims that the United States knows best for Israel. I cannot imagine an American secretary of state saying such a thing about any other country in the world in this manner.
But the truth is that this administration doesn't know best for Israel. (Whether it even knows best for the United States is still a very doubtful proposition.) It simply doesn't understand the realities of the region, the nature of Palestinian movements and their goals, and lots of other things.

Lots of European countries say the same thing. Indeed, in the current American administration there seem to be two competing strains of thinking that amount to the same thing: Israel is so strong that it can afford to make huge concessions; Israel is so weak that it must make huge concessions."

This is the massive misunderstanding-compounded by hostility and divergent national interests-that Netanyahu set out to address.

First, he tried to explain the Iranian threat, and his timing-immediately following an intensification of that country's dictatorship and hard-line regime-showed that he and others in Israel who have been warning about the government in Tehran have been (unfortunately) quite correct.

"The greatest danger confronting Israel, the Middle East, the entire world and human race, is the nexus between radical Islam and nuclear weapons."

The greatest danger confronting Israel, etc., is not the Palestinian problem, nor is it Islamophobia, nor an insufficient supply of American apologies and empathy.

Netanyahu stresses that he agrees with President Barack Obama on "the idea of a regional peace that he is leading .... I share the President's desire to bring about a new era of reconciliation in our region." He also stressed the importance of economic cooperation in the region.

By the way, conscious of the disastrous, albeit well-intentioned, proposal by then Prime Minister Shimon Peres for a "new Middle East" sounding as if Israeli technology would combine with Arab labor and money, Netanyahu phrased the idea in a much more modest way, making clear that Israel could learn from Arab developmental successes in the Gulf.

Regarding the Palestinian issue, Netanyahu made the following points:

--Let's start "negotiations immediately, without preconditions."

--His government will observe all its previous "international commitments and expects" the Palestinians to do the same.

--"I do not want war. No one in Israel wants war."

He then asked a key question, one that the current U.S. government and many in Europe seem simply not to understand:

"If the advantages of peace are so evident, we must ask ourselves why peace remains so remote, even as our hand remains outstretched to peace. Why has this conflict continued for more than sixty years? In order to bring an end to the conflict, we must give an honest and forthright answer to the question: What is the root of the conflict?"

Reviewing the history of the conflict, he showed that it continued because, "The Arabs rejected any Jewish state, in any borders. Those who think that the continued enmity toward Israel is a product of our presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, [are] confusing cause and consequence."

Let me pause here to explain what I knew beforehand and saw after the speech: the media reports focus on Netanyahu accepting the idea of a Palestinian state. This is a good thing to have recognized, but what is truly important is his effort to explain the Israeli interpretation of the conflict.

Speaking of the Palestinians he accurately said: "The closer we get to an agreement with them, the further they retreat and raise demands that are inconsistent with a true desire to end the conflict.

"Many good people have told us that withdrawal from territories is the key to peace with the Palestinians. Well, we withdrew. But the fact is that every withdrawal was met with massive waves of terror, by suicide bombers and thousands of missiles."

This is the core Israel experience since the signing of the agreement with the PLO in 1993.

"We tried to withdraw with an agreement and without an agreement. We tried a partial withdrawal and a full withdrawal. In
2000 and again last year, Israel proposed an almost total withdrawal in exchange for an end to the conflict, and twice our offers were rejected.

"We evacuated every last inch of the Gaza strip, we uprooted tens of settlements and evicted thousands of Israelis from their homes, and in response we received a hail of missiles on our cities, towns and children.

"The claim that territorial withdrawals will bring peace with the Palestinians, or at least advance peace, has up till now not stood the test of reality."

In fact, his arguments are so brief, clear, and accurate it is hard to resist just quoting what he said:

"In addition to this, Hamas in the south, like Hezbollah in the north, repeatedly proclaims their commitment to "liberate" the Israeli cities of Ashkelon, Beersheba, Acre and Haifa.

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"Territorial withdrawals have not lessened the hatred, and to our regret, Palestinian moderates are not yet ready to say the simple words: Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, and it will stay that way."

And so Netanyahu explains what the Palestinian side must do if it wants peace and if it truly wants a state alongside Israel. Here are the steps needed:

First, "A fundamental prerequisite for ending the conflict is a public, binding and unequivocal Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people."

Second, "There must also be a clear understanding that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside Israel's borders. For it is clear that any demand for resettling Palestinian refugees within Israel undermines Israel's continued existence as the state of the Jewish people."

Third, "The territory under Palestinian control must be demilitarized with ironclad security provisions for Israel." Otherwise, "There is a real danger that an armed Palestinian state would emerge that would become another terrorist base against the Jewish state, such as the one in Gaza....In order to achieve peace, we must ensure that Palestinians will not be able to import missiles into their territory, to field an army, to close their airspace to us, or to make pacts with the likes of Hezbollah and Iran....Without this, sooner or later, these territories will become another Hamastan. And that we cannot accept."

And here is the key sentence of the speech: "I told President Obama when I was in Washington that if we could agree on the substance, then the terminology would not pose a problem."

If these conditions are met, "Then we will be ready in a future peace agreement to reach a solution where a demilitarized Palestinian state exists alongside the Jewish state."

There are two other issues the speech addressed. Regarding a freeze on construction in settlements, he politely refused.

The other point was a polite, indirect response to Obama's Cairo speech and an assertion of Israel's strength.

"Our people have already proven that we can do the impossible. Over the past 61 years, while constantly defending our existence, we have performed wonders. Our microchips are powering the world's computers. Our medicines are treating diseases once considered incurable. Our drip irrigation is bringing arid lands back to life across the globe. And Israeli scientists are expanding the boundaries of human knowledge."

Israel does not have any desperate need, to say the least, for more unilateral concessions. Time is on Israel's side. It is the other side which faces disaster-social breakdown, economic stagnation, high levels of civil conflict.

Netanyahu concluded with an explanation of why Israel exists. While Obama probably did not intend this, he fell into the trap of defining Israel as the product of the Holocaust. Netanyahu responded:

"The right of the Jewish people to a state in the land of Israel does not derive from the catastrophes that have plagued our people. True, for 2000 years the Jewish people suffered expulsions, pogroms, blood libels, and massacres which culminated in a Holocaust- a suffering which has no parallel in human history.

"There are those who say that if the Holocaust had not occurred, the state of Israel would never have been established. But I say that if the state of Israel would have been established earlier, the Holocaust would not have occurred.

"This tragic history of powerlessness explains why the Jewish people need a sovereign power of self-defense.

"But our right to build our sovereign state here, in the land of Israel, arises from one simple fact: this is the homeland of the Jewish people; this is where our identity was forged."

He concluded by quoting Israel's Declaration of Independence but he specifically mentioned Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion as the author, a note of profound bipartisanship that few non-Israelis can understand.

"The Jewish people arose in the land of Israel and it was here that its spiritual, religious and political character was shaped. Here they attained their sovereignty, and here they bequeathed to the world their national and cultural treasures, and the most eternal of books."

I think it is accurate to say that this speech expressed the most profound consensus in Israel on these issues and that the country will fully back up its prime minister on this policy. It is also a view of the region and the conflict far more accurate than that usually purveyed by others, both those who claim to have Israel's "best interests" at heart, and those who would "wipe it off the map."



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Editor's Mailbox: News from here, there, and everywhere


Ahmadinejad's reelection as Iran's
president protested as fraudulent

TEHERAN, Iran (WJC)—Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has won Iran's Presidential election, but his opponents want the result annulled claiming large scale fraud. Unrest flared after a high turnout in Friday's election - estimated at 85% - led opposition supporters to expect a close result.

However official results gave Mr Ahmadinejad a landslide victory. His final share of the vote was almost 63% against 33.8% for his moderate opponent Mir Hossein Mousavi. Two other candidates scored less than 3% between them. Mousavi called on Iran's Guardian Council, which must certify the counting, to annul the election. When the government had declared protests against the re-election of Ahmadinejad illegal Mousavi called off a protest rally but said "I urge you, Iranian nation, to continue your nationwide protests in a peaceful and legal way."

Several foreign governments expressed concern about the election results with US Vice-President Joe Biden saying: "It sure looks like the way they're suppressing speech, the way they're suppressing crowds, the way in which people are being treated, that there's some real doubt."

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress


Hungarian police union forges alliance with Far Right party

BUDAPEST (WJC)— A Hungarian police union has announced a collaboration agreement with a far-right political party. The accord between the 'Tettrekész' (Hungarian for "Ready for Action") union and the Jobbik party has added to the concerns among Hungarian Jewry. Tettrekész, made up of some 5,300 active police officers, has issued anti-Semitic statements in the past and Jobbik, which won nearly 15% of the vote in last week's European Parliament elections, operates a private army - the "Hungarian Guard" - which has clashed with the police in the past.

Under the agreement the union publicly promises to advise the party in the development of its law-and-order policy and the party vows to incorporate the major objectives of the union in its political program. This however appears to be in breach of the country's constitution, which states that law enforcement services should be apolitical. Following a request from Minister of Public Order the Director of Public Prosecutions is examining the agreement. Until recently the secretary general of Tettrekész, Judit Szima, enjoyed immunity from prosecution as she was on Jobbik's list of candidates for the European Parliament elections, although her immunity has now lifted as she was not elected.

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress



Come back, Danny Bloom!

SAN DIEGO—On Saturday, June 13, San Diego Jewish World received notice from Danny Bloom, a correspondent in Taiwan pictured at right, that he was distraught over a racist video showing drunken American Jews in a bar in Jerusalem denouncing President Obama.  He alerted us that in his blog, he wrote:  "This is such a disgusting video, as a Jewish American man, 60, I am deeply ashamed of these young men and women in the video, and because of this video I am renouncing my Judaism today - publicly. Not that anyone reads my blogs, but here it is. I will never again call myself a Jew. This was a very sad day in modern Jewish life, and the makers and distributors of the video should be ashamed of themselves. Oi."

Our reply to Danny Bloom was as follows:

As you know San Diego Jewish World denounced the video in its June 10 edition We think our view is far more representative of Judaism than the view of the drunks in the bar. For you to renounce Judaism is to say just the reverse-- that those vile drunks speak for us. In your anger, you have mischaracterized the Jewish people.  I urge you to
return to the fold, oh prodigal columnist.
Donald H. Harrison


Cyber-Referrals


Gerry Burstain of Escondido, California sent this film clip of a little girl genius who knows more about U.S. government and its important officeholders than most every adult. Judging by the answers this segment aired on the Jay Leno show during former President George W. Bush's first term. So where's the "Jewish angle" in all this? It's her answer to Question #5.

Gail Feinstein Forman
of San Diego was fascinated by the story in the Forward about an experiment done by Israel's daily newspaper Ha'aretz. Instead of having reporters cover the news, it invited authors and poets to do so intead. Here's the link. Any authors and poets out there who want to write for us?



Target target of dumping law suit

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis on Monday announced that her office has joined with 19 other California District Attorneys, the state Attorney General and the Los Angeles City Attorney in a civil lawsuit against Target Corporation for routinely and systematically dumping hazardous wastes into the environment.

The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County on Monday, claims that more than 200 Target stores throughout the state handled and disposed of various hazardous wastes and materials improperly over a eight-year period, including bleaches, pesticides, paint, aerosols, oven cleaners, and other flammable and corrosive materials. All 19 Target stores in San Diego County were involved in the hazardous waste violations.

“Target officials were warned years ago of the unlawful practice, but decided to illegally dump the hazardous waste anyway,” said DA Dumanis. “They had a conscious disregard for the protection of human health and the environment and now they must be held accountable.”

California law requires companies to carefully store, handle, and dispose of hazardous wastes and materials. Prosecutors contend that Target systematically ignored those laws to cut costs, alleging that employees identified defective, damaged, and leaking chemical products and threw them into company compactors. Instead of being sent to authorized disposal sites, tons of hazardous wastes and contaminated materials were crushed along with discarded merchandise and garbage in massive compactors, and sent to area landfills. Hazardous waste was also disposed of by passing on damaged and unusable items through donations to charities.

The investigation began in 2002 with the help of the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and numerous other environmental health agencies statewide. The District Attorneys and the Attorney General are requesting that Target be required to manage its hazardous waste and hazardous materials lawfully and be liable for civil penalties that result from their violations.

Preceding provided by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis


Jewish poetry subject of AJE class for adults taught by Rabbi Dalin

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)—Rabbi Ralph Dalin, San Diego’s community chaplain, will teach an adult education course for the Agency for Jewish Education, on Jewish ancient and


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contemporary Jewish poetry, with separate classes offered at 10 a.m. or at 7 p.m. on four successive Tuesdays, July 7-28.  Both classes are 90 minutes with the morning class at Congregation Beth Israel, and the evening classes at the Lawrence Family JCC.

In describing the classes, Dalin said: “Together we will examine the work of some of the Jewish people's greatest poets as well as some of lesser known names. From the secular and sensual to the devout and spiritual, we will explore the poems on their own literary terms and on what they reflect of their time and their understanding of the Jewish past. Poems will be examined with both Hebrew text and English translation available. Knowledge of Hebrew is NOT necessary to appreciate the beauty of these great works of literature.

Tuition is  $60 for the general public and $54 for Melton Alumni. A minimum of 10 students required to conduct this class. Register online or phone Ilene Powell at the AJE (858-268-9200 x100).

Preceding provided by the Agency for Jewish Education



LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Two recent SDJW editions
win kudos from readers

Editor, San Diego Jewish World

I feel like an Eastern "freeloader--" term formerly used by NYT for non-employees who received an internal column for NYT staffers that commented on reporters' and writers' news stories and columns, from accuracy to styling, spelling and grammar.  (Edited by Joe Lelyveld?)

With that apology, permit me to praise the editor for a balanced, well-expressed column on Pres. Obama's Cairo speech.  Balance isn't easy--just compare ZOA's Morton Klein with J Street's Isaac Luria, l'havdil.  I enjoy the news and the personality of the San Diego Jewish World.
 
They provide an oasis of calm consideration during a time of near-rabid recriminations concerning US relations with Israel.

B'tikvat Shalom,

Norman E. La Cholter
Columbia, Maryland

Editor, San Diego Jewish World

I just finished reading the Sunday/Monday edition, which has to be one of the best of all S.D. Jewish World editions in my humble (?) view.

First, Dr. Arnold Flick’s coverage of the history of Balboa Park’s Cottage of Israel was excellent.  What was missing was the fact that an energetic group is really at the helm now and doing an excellent job in re-creating this much needed visual picture of the State of Israel.  One day last year I brought the Mayor of Tel Aviv there and he was upset at the lack of the present day presentatiion of his country.  He is most interested in seeing the rejuvenation and will provide the Cottage staff with needed visual aids.

Thanks for the story about Anna Shelley being honored by Birdie Stodel Women’s B’nai Brith Auxiliary in 1953.  Mrs. Shelley was solely responsible for bringing the organization to San Diego originally as well as Junior B’nai Brith Girls as well shortly thereafter in founding the Pioneer Women’s Organization here, which today is known as Negba throughout the world.

And, then there was your coverage of the death of Nehemiah Meyers sadly.  In 1974 I was appointed (or annointed) to be the personal escort of San Diego’s Mayor Pete Wilson on his first trip to Israel as a guest of the Israeli Consulate.  During that time I brought Wilson to the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot and Nehemiah was our host.  He devoted a full afternoon to the visit and introduced the Mayor to one of Israel’s most prestigious institutions which had been totally unknown to the San Diegan.  Only a few months ago I had the privilege of escorting the 2009 President of the Weizmann Institute around San Diego for three days and I relived the 1974 visit with him.  Wilson paid two more visits to Israel after that first trip before going on to become  California’s Senator and subsequently the Governor of the state.

Your website grows more each day and I know it must bring you well deserved attentions from many parts of the world.  San Diegans should be grateful to you for your efforts since the loss of any actual Jewish community weekly paper which for so many years brought us all together whether we lived in the east, west, north or south of our city and county.  It took the loss of those two newspapers to make the community realize their value.

Yasher Koach,

Gert Thaler
La Jolla, California

 


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GUEST COLUMN

Local pro-Israel activist tells of his challenge to U.N.'s Richard Falk at forum sponsored by AlternateFocus


By J.J. Surbeck

SAN DIEGO -- Last week our fair city hosted one of the most anti-Israel personalities the world knows (and there is no shortage of those). You may have heard the name of Richard Falk, made famous last year by the fact that Israel took the unprecedented step of denying him entry into the country when, in his capacity as newly minted "Special UN Rapporteur on Israeli Practices in the Occupied Territories," he tried to come into the country unannounced.

Instead, Israel held him in custody for 24 hours and sent him back on the first available plane to Geneva, whence he had come from. This tells you how biased and one-sided his views are. They are so outrageous that the Israelis concluded, correctly, that there was no point wasting any time with him. Let's just say that neutrality and impartiality are not his strong suits. In fact, he doesn't even pretend, having decided a long time ago that no matter what Israel did to make peace and/or help the Palestinians, it would never be enough. He belongs to the old radical school of Chomsky and Said. Need I say more?

Well, this figurehead of the bash-Israel at all costs community was the main speaker at an event organized by a local San Diego outfit called AlternateFocus, which churns out videos that support the Palestinian propaganda agenda. The meeting took place at the FourPoints Sheraton Hotel on Aero Drive last Friday June 5, 2009 at 7:30pm. What was also of interest was a look at the list of co-sponsors: National Lawyers Guild, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Middle East Cultural and Information Center (MECIC), United Nations Association of San Diego, San Diego World Affairs Council, Activist San Diego, Peace Resource Center of San Diego, San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice (and as an aside, I think it would be a good idea for as many of us as possible to sign up and become members of these groups. When we are not there, they win as their warped views of the Middle East conflict go unchallenged, and therefore gain ever more adherents).

Rita Heller, co-founder of TEAM and Chair of its Board, and I went to listen to what Richard Falk had to say. And frankly, I was disappointed. With his reputation, I expected a more fiery and energetic anti-Israel speaker. Instead, we listened to an obviously tired elderly gentleman meekly reading from his notes all the usual slogans, as if they were old mantras (which they are indeed). Some were more savory than others. He started (and concluded) by saying that governments cannot be relied upon to solve justice problems, therefore the only way to obtain results is to work through "civil society" organizations. In his view, Israel violates international law with the backing of the US. Political pressure is needed to change the "dominant narrative", "but please note that this is not an anti-Israeli stand but simply one that "defers to international law" (Right...).

Next came the juicy stuff: the Gaza war was not in response to the rocket attacks and therefore it was not a case for self-defense. His rationale? "There had been a truce during which there were "almost" no attacks", and "Hamas had offered to extend the ceasefire for 10 years, an offer which Israel ignored". (Indeed, how could Israel ignore such an offer: "we promise not to try to kill you for 10 years, but after that all bets are off." An irresistible offer if I've ever heard one.) He conceded that none of this excused Hamas for violating the laws of war, but that was still not enough to justify the defense argument used by Israel. At any rate, the Israeli attacks were "grossly disproportionate, resulting in roughly 100 Palestinian casualties for each Israeli one" (never mind that this was due to Israel investing massively in buidling bomb shelters, while Hamas didn't build a single one). Then came my favorite one: "Israel has an obligation to protect the civilian population in its capacity as an occupying power" (even though Israel had vacated Gaza). Worse yet, "Israel didn't allow Palestinian civilians to flee into Israel, and that's a new war crime that needs to be defined" (he thus ipso facto admitted that there was no breach of international law here, but that one should come up with a new rule with which to indict Israel... Some lawyer: create your laws-as-you-go...) This was surreal.... After that, he spoke more about the obligations of international law and "international morality", without defining the latter. He then went on commenting at length on the Obama's speech in Cairo, conceding in the end that a big obstacle is the absence of Palestinian representation.

There were a few questions from the usual crowd of angry anti-Israel people, several making a point of describing themselves as Jewish, adding scorn on Israel for all the crimes alleged by Falk, especially the settlements, etc, so I finally went to the mike and asked the following question: "You have me confused over one issue: you said that Gaza was still occupied territory and that Israel had therefore an obligation under the Geneva Conventions to take care of the civilian population of that territory (that they do not occupy even though you said that they occupy it)... well... I used to work for the International Committee of the Red Cross, I was in the legal division of the ICRC, and I think I know the Geneva Conventions pretty well... I've never seen anything that says that there can't be a blockade, number one, and number two that the Israelis have a responsibility for the population of a territory that they don't even control! They're not there! The only Israeli that is in Gaza is Gilad Shalit, who is a POW and whom Hamas has not shown to the ICRC, as it should under the 3rd Geneva Convention on POWS for the last three years!"

You could tell by the stunned silence from the crowd of about 80 people, who appeared to be fans of the good professor, that they didn't expect that kind of challenging question. But Mr. Falk responded: "It is a common argument in Israel, that after the 2005 disengagement... it was no longer an occupying power. But the burden of experts in international law opinion (experts like him, one assumes) is that occupation is a matter of effective control, and that Israel has continued to assert its control over every border, it controls the sea off the coast of Gaza, it overflies Gazan airspace on a nightly basis with military aircraft, and it enters Gaza - violently - on periodic occasions... so that I think that it's a very legalistic and unconvincing kind of argument to pretend that it is no longer the occupying power (Mmm... so Monaco, Andorra, the Vatican and Liechtenstein are all occupied territories by his definition?). And if it is the occupying power, then it has the obligation, under the 4th Geneva Convention, Article 33 of that Convention, not to impose collective punishment on a defenseless people. And the withholding of food, medicine and

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fuel, as well as now withholding construction material to enable the reconstruction of some of the damage done by the December attacks seems like a massive example of collective
punishment, a clear and gross violation of Article 33. Then... a situation which, I think, any impartial international criminal tribunal would regard as a war crime." An interestingly convoluted reasoning, wrong on facts and wrong on legal analysis.

After this display of objectivity and impartiality, I thought that this was too good an opportunity to miss and not ask this world-class legal authority something that has bugged me for years. Here is the exchange:

JJS: "Can you clarify one thing for me? Where in international law... on what treaty is the "Right of Return" based?"

RF: "The Right of return for Palestinians?"

JJS: "Yes"

RF: "As far as I know, there is no treaty, but there is the UN General Assembly Resolution..."

JJS: "...Which has no force of law..."

RF: "Well, that's arguable among international lawyers. It does represent a consensus of governments as to legal rights, moral rights, and if that's accepted, that's how law is formed, it's not only... "

JJS: "It's one of the components, right, of how international law is created..."

RF: "And it's been widely applied in other settings where right of... it's usually not talked about right of return but usually repatriation.... so that... I'm not an expert on refugee law, but it seems to me that there's certainly a solid case for Palestinian Right of return to the extent that the Jews have this unconditional right of return. Because, in addition to denying the Palestinian rights, it's also discriminatory."

JJS: "I understand that, but I've been trying to find the source of the "Right of Return" which is clamored all over the place as "inalienable" and so forth, and I couldn't find a single convention that really says there is a right of return."

RF: "There is very little treaty law on refugee rights, so I don't think... I know of no treaty based protection."

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen: the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories is the first one to admit that the famed Right of Return of the Palestinians has no basis in any international law treaty. Since it is purely fictional, this issue should consequently be completely taken off the table and removed from the list of topics to negotiate between Israel and the Palestinians.






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IT'S SO NICE TO MEET ME—Marjory Kaplan, at left, accepts a flower from Sherri Allen, who portrayed her in A Woman of Valor
premiered Sunday as part of the Lipinsky Family's 16th Annual Jewish Arts Festival. At right artist and writer Stefanie Lauer greets the actress who played her, Sandra Ellis-Troy
. {SDJW photos by Donald H. Harrison}


A Woman of Valor they could find, nine of them in fact

By Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO—As Myla Wingard played the violin between segments of A Woman of Valor on Sunday, I found myself thinking of “Pictures at an Exhibition” composed by Modest Mussorgsky.  Like Mussorgsky’s “Promenade” between paintings, Wingard’s Jewish melodies  as well as Hebraic chants by Daniel Myers transported the audience at the Lipinsky Family’s 16th Annual Jewish Arts Festival  through nine word pictures—most of them monologues—depicting nine Jewish women of San Diego County.  

The women’s lives were as diverse as the pictures at the exhibition that had so inspired Mussorgsky, and yet, as interpreted by Todd Salovey, the festival’s artistic director, and his teenage co-playwrights,  daughter Leah Salovey and her friend Ali Viterbi, there were impressionistic linkages among the women as well.  In one fashion or another, though they were of different ages and different national origins, each had a  Jewish story to tell.

The assumed exhibition viewer in Mussorgsky's composition had the advantage of walking from painting to painting, thus stretching his or her legs. The problem with the 90-minute play, consisting of nine monologues and short musical interludes, was that, without an intermission or some other relief, it simply was too long. I'm reminded of the reason our former mayor and later governor, Pete Wilson, used to cite about why politicians should keep their speeches short: "The mind can not absorb what the seat cannot endure."

Most, though not all, of the subjects of A Woman of Valor were in attendance at the downtown Lyceum Theatre  to observe the actresses premiere their depictions of them. Following the afternoon production there were plenty of hugs between the cast and those whose lives had been enacted on stage.  One hopes that a copy of the discerning script will be left for posterity, perhaps in the keeping of the Jewish Historical Society of San Diego, which maintains archives in the main library at San Diego State Universty

Both teen co-authors also read parts in the play—Leah Salovey, a student at Torah High School, taking the role of Dalia Margolis and Ali Viterbi, a student at San Diego Jewish Academy, portraying Shantal Reich.  

Margolis’s family, we learned, originally migrated from Mexico City to Tijuana, from whence they settled in the Eastlake region of Chula Vista. Margolis was on home vacation from her senior year at UCLA when her mother noticed a bulge on her leg—what turned out to be a cancerous tumor.  She underwent nine rounds of chemotherapy, and surgery.

Margolis was almost never without the company of her close circle of friends from the Mexican Jewish community who decorated her hospital room, and conducted Shabbat services with her in the visitor’s lounge.  When she awakened after the surgery, wondering whether or not she had a leg, someone told her “we took it all out” and that was when she realized “my limbs are not the most important thing—my life is.”  She credited the love all around her as key to her recovery.


REFLECTIONS—Erna Viterbi (seated) is flanked by Debbie Davis, on left, the actress who portrayed her in A Woman of Valor, and the co-playwright, her granddaughter Ali Viterbi

Ali Viterbi (whose own grandmother Erna Viterbi would be profiled later in the program) had as her subject Shantal Reich who grew up loving and riding horses here in San Diego County. At the same time, while studying for her bat mitzvah at Beth Jacob Congregation she became impressed by Orthodox teaching concerning the necessity for women to dress modestly.  This caused a conflict between her two loves—the uniform for horseback riding is skin-tight pants, but modest Orthodox women don’t wear pants, they wear skirts.  Reich had strong feelings for her horse, but her feelings for Judaism were ten times as great, with the result that she decided to quit horseback riding.


LINKAGE—Co-playwright Leah Salovey (in middle) is joined by Shantal Reich, one of the "women of valor" in her play, and by Sarah Price-Keating, an actress who portrayed Ariella Adatto.

The third “woman of valor” saluted in this production was Ariella Adatto, portrayed by Sarah Price-Keating.  Adatto's parents are what might have been called “organizational Jews” with meetings almost every night in support this or that good cause. She went to Harvard University, staying connected to Judaism through davening.  She loved to sing, but suppressed the urge in mixed company in observance of kol isha, the Orthodox Jewish prohibition against a man listening to a woman singing.  A woman is supposed to be sensitive to that prohibition and refrain from putting men into such situations. 

Putting others before self became Adatto’s credo. She explained that if her own life was a box with 8 crayons, having a husband in her life expanded that to 24 crayons and creating a family increased her portion to 144 crayons. Today, others people’s children are very much in her life as the director of admissions for Sky High, which numbers among its small student body three young men who are boarders.  While children need to be given boundaries, she observed, sometimes you have to allow them to push past your comfort zone—lest their adventurousness be stifled.

williams robins
MOTHER AND PRETEND DAUGHTER—Marilyn Williams, left, poses following the production with Lisa Robins, who portrayed Williams' daughter, Army Lt. Col. Elizabeth Robbins

On came Lisa Robins, who portrayed Army Lt. Col. Elizabeth Robbins, who served as a spokesman for a two-star general in Iraq.   The Army officer couldn’t be in attendance, but her mother, Marilyn Williams, was there to pose afterwards with actress Robins (one ‘b’ not two) who came down from Los Angeles for the performance. 

On Robbins' first day in Iraq, her camp was rocketed, with the shower next to the one she was using destroyed.  Her experience in harm’s way led to a belief that a Higher Force controls our destiny; soldiers “serve at the pleasure of the President, but live at the pleasure of God.”  Every Shabbat, Robbins would serve as the lay chaplain for Jewish personnel at her duty station in a chapel which could be made into a synagogue by removing or covering the Christian crosses. 

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During Passover, an Iraqi Jewish civilian made her way to the services and asked if she might have some matzah to bring to other Jews in that Arab land.  The Iraqi Jew later told how other Jews had wept upon receiving the matzah—some of them not having tasted the unleavened bread for 20 years.  

There was also a representative of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) who visited the small congregation bringing a salami to services.  “Let’s eat,” he said.  And a tradition was born of having salamis at Friday night services, which they called a “taste of Shabbat.” 

She told the story also of another Jewish soldier who was killed while working out in a gymnasium.  Robbins and a small cadre of Jews went to the morgue and read tehillim there until his body could be carried by stretcher to a helicopter.  On the field, they saw perhaps a hundred soldiers—most of them not Jewish—standing at attention and saluting their fallen comrade as the stretcher was placed into the helicopter.

Marjory Kaplan, well known to San Diego Jewry as the director of Jewish Community  Foundation, was profiled in a monologue by Sherri Allen.  Kaplan was raised in her mother’s Catholic faith, but when the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) discovered she had a Jewish father, it decided to withdraw an award she was supposed to receive in the 8th grade.  Kaplan used to imagine herself becoming a nun, motivated by Audrey Hepburn’s performance in A Nun's Story

Judaism—at least that which she saw of it in her secular father—had little appeal for her.  She thought being Jewish meant being sad. Her father spent so much time reading books about the Holocaust.  But she married a Jewish man in Denver, moved to San Diego and joined Congregation Beth Am, where she went through a formal conversion ceremony. Sometime afterwards, with the rabbi’s permission, she put together a forum for converts on “How do you survive Christmas.”  Kaplan thought perhaps eight or nine people would attend; instead there were approximately 50. 

Finding the Jewish community warm and accepting, Kaplan transitioned from an executive role in the financial world to CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation, which she has helped to grow into one of the largest in the country.  She had built the endowment base of the foundation for future generations.  Sometimes, Kaplan finds solitude and beauty during walks in Torrey Pines State Park.  There are times when she muses how nice it would be to have Jewish nuns.

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FRIENDS—Violinst Myla Wingard who played brief melodies between segments of A Woman of Valor joins Linda Bennett,
one of the women honored in the work.


Rhona Gold’s assignment was Linda Bennett, who long had been active in the Jewish community up to and after the murder of her daughter, Marla Bennett, and eight other students at Hebrew University who were killed by a bomb left in the Hebrew School cafeteria by a terrorist.  Linda Bennett’s mother used to teach her that Judaism doesn’t say people are born bad, it says they’re good, and they should do more good.  After Marla’s murder, Linda decided she had two choices—staying in bed and being sad, or following the advice that she knew her daughter would have given her: don’t give up, don’t go backwards, do more good.” 

In the aftermath of Marla’s death, several scholarships have been created in her name—and San Diego’s regional Magen David Adom (the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross) bestows a Marla Bennett award at its annual dinner.  In fact, after the performance of A Woman of Valor, Linda went to Temple Solel in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, where this year’s dinner was conducted. 

Although she has never stopped missing Marla—nor imagining her coming in walking through the door and saying it was all a bad dream—Linda has decided that “God must have had a reason—maybe He wanted her with Him.”  She also has concluded that “you really have to make the most out of every day” and be nice to each other.

The sketch of Edna Yedid was performed by Rita Zohar, who told how the Yedid family lived in pre-State Israel, when it was a British Mandate and the British rulers were determined to prevent “illegal immigrants” from sneaking into Israel. Yedid’s parents were just as determined to help those unfortunate survivors of Europe’s concentration camps circumvent the British blockade.   Once a British officer rushed into their house and started to pull Yedid’s sister out of bed.  No. no, Yedid cried out, she is my sister. 

The immigration officer challenged the shaken sibling to speak Hebrew, and fortunately she still had enough wits about her to do so.  Yedid began teaching immigrant children, first informally, and later on a kibbutz where they had been settled.  After emigrating to the United States, she continued to teach, an early assignment being at Congregation Beth Israel, where she was flattered when the cantor called her to his office and urged her to learn trop so she could teach bar/ bat mitzvah students. 

Now head of the Hebrew language department at San Diego Jewish Academy, she stresses to her students that "what we have kept for up to 3,000 years is a chain and you are a part of that chain.”

Erna Viterbi, the co-playwright’s grandmother, was another profile--portrayed by Debbie Davis.  The local philanthropist’s life began in Sarajevo, but to escape Nazi troops her family members had to flee to Trieste, and then were deported to Palma, Italy.  After Italy withdrew from the war, and Nazi troops invaded, the family fled again, this time to neutral Switzerland.  The young Erna was placed with three Catholic women, who took her to church every day and twice on Sunday, so that she soon knew her Christian prayers. But a 16-year-old Jewish neighbor whispered to her, ”Never forget you are Jewish,” profoundly impacting her.  “Ever since, being Jewish was important to me.”  She recalled how her maternal mother had helped the poor, and decided that “our traditions are beautiful”

She met her husband, Andrew, at a shul, and since he was wearing a kippah, decided that he must be very religious.  In fact, the future co-founder of Qualcomm and winner of the Presidential Medal of Science was not all that religious.   Having had childhood aspirations of being a ballerina, Erna Viterbi also found out that despite his training at a dance studio—“Arthur Murray taught me in a hurry”— Andrew wasn’t that accomplished a dancer either. 

Writer and painter Stefanie Lauer was portrayed by Sandra Ellis-Troy.  She had grown up in Berlin, even going to the same Jewish school as pianist Andre Previn, whose playing as a youngster –she remembered – didn’t measure up to their overly critical teacher’s standards.  How surprised she might have been by the career Previn subsequently had. 

During Kristallnacht, when Nazis destroyed and burned Jewish stores and synagogues, Lauer’s father, a stylishly dressed businessman, was rounded up and taken to a train.  So well was he dressed that he was able to stroll from one line on a train platform to another and board a train—as a seated passenger—for Warsaw. 

Her mother, meanwhile, decided to send Stefanie on the Kindertransport program in which England agreed to resettle 10,000 Jewish children.  There was much emotion on the platform as German Jewish parents and children parted—perhaps never to see each other again.  Lauer will never forget her mother’s parting comment to her: “Don’t forget to brush your teeth.”

Since the age of 4, Lauer had enjoyed putting her thoughts on paper and believed that her writing and later her painting would outlive her.

The play ended with the actresses quoting advice that their subjects might have passed on to the next generation of women.  Among them:  “Make the best of every situation!”  “Be authentic to yourself.”  “Enjoy everything and try to help people every day.” “Have a family”  “I have no advice—I oppose ideology!”  “Realize how precious your life is.”  “Value your culture and your religion.” 

Then they symbolically linked hands, and as Wingard played and Myers sang, they danced in a circle as the stage lights dimmed.

Harrison's email: editor@sandiegojewishworld.com


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JEWS FOR JUDAISM WRITING CONTEST


Like a sensible diet, G-d's rules are for our own good


Editor's Note: Jews for Judaism, based in Los Angeles, recently sponsored a nationwide Be-True writing contest in three divisions: middle school, high school and college, in which contestants were asked to write about their pride in being Jewish. Jews for Judaism, headed by Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz, was formed in 1985 to combat efforts on campuses by representatives of other religions to proselytize Jewish students. In this nine-part series, we will bring the top three winners in each division, courtesy of Jews for Judaism.


Be Proud, Be True, Be Jewish

By Bracha Hassid
7th grade, Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy, Los Angeles
2nd place winner; Middle School Division


Recently, in my science class, my teacher Mr. Irons taught us that it is bad to eat food that has too much fat, sugar, or salt. I came home and decided to be even more careful with the food choices I make, and I now make an extra effort to eat healthier foods. I don’t pour the salad dressing all over my salad like I used to, and I try to eat fewer cookies and sugar. Instead, I try to take a fruit because in the long run, I know it is better for my body. I know that Mr. Irons cares about me and his students, and he would not want us to harm ourselves. He is trying to teach us the difference between making good choices and bad.

The same is true with our Torah. I see that G-d is trying to show us

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love through His commandments. Sometimes restrictions may not be fun, but they are not bad either. They are actually given for our own benefit. It all has to do with how we look at the situation.

I look around myself and see many people in our community have converted to Judaism and I ask myself: “What is so special about Judaism that attracts all these people to it; what would cause them to want to be part of it, despite the fact that it can be so hard and demanding at times?”

When we look at the history of our people, we see that we have had and continue to have more than our share of pogroms, persecutions, expulsions, genocides, and barbaric acts. What makes me so proud to be a Jew is that I would never be able to stoop to such a low level. We are the people of the book, namely the Torah, and we have been taught from generation to generation the importance and sanctity of life, and how one is supposed to behave with others and the world.

The commandments are not given to make our lives difficult, but to make us into better people. That is why every morning we
recite the blessings that G-d gave us the Torah and did not make us like other nations. The standards of living and the expectations that are set for the Jews are much higher. We are the descendants of our forefathers and mothers; they were our role models and I am proud to continue that heritage.


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Cantor Mikhail Manevich sings Modim Anachnu Lach  

To hear Cantor Manevich's performance of this music by Ami Aloni, please click here


By Cantor Sheldon Merel

SAN DIEGO--After I had retired from Congregation Beth Israel as cantor emeritus, my wife and I were offered an opportunity to conduct Rosh Hashanah services aboard a cruise ship from New York City to the Bahamas. 

I carefully prepared booklets for the services and packed appropriate clothes for the 7 day cruise, but just after our arrival in New York, we were notified by the Cruise Company  that we had been “bumped”.  

Our quarters were needed for emergency workmen to make repairs while the ship was under weigh. Talk about disappointment! 

As I have often counseled others when their plans go astray, “What looks like a curse may possibly turn out to be a blessing." With that great wisdom in mind, we decided to spend the Holy Days on the east coast. We shipped our fancy cruise- clothes home, and attended Rosh Hashana services at the temple of my good friend and great chzzan,  Cantor Dick Botton.   I then phoned Beth Israel’s former Executive Director, Mark Greenstein, z’l,  who was then at Washington Hebrew Congregation, for tickets for Yom Kippur.  I was acquainted with his cantor, Mikhail Manevich,  but had never heard him sing.  Washington Hebrew Congregation, one of North America’s largest temples, has a stunning sanctuary and excellent acoustics. Marcie and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the temple’s wonderful choir and the beautiful artistic singing of Mikhail.  Hearing him sing proved to be the blessing to compensate for our cruise disappointment, and after you hear Cantor Manevich’s fine rendition of Modim Anachnu, I am confident you will agree.     

Cantor Mikhail Manevich was born in Leningrad, USSR, where he attended Glinka’s Choir School,  sang with the All boys’ choir, studied piano, conducting, music harmony and theory. He later received a degree in choral conducting from Leningrad State Conservatory of Music in 1975.  After immigrating to the United States with his wife, Ema, Mikhail attended Hebrew Union College-School of Sacred Music, and graduated in 1982.

He served Temple Emanuel of Livingston, NJ and then was appointed Cantor with Washington Hebrew Congregation in 1989.  During his tenure with the Congregation, Cantor Manevich has performed at all of the major Halls of the City: Kennedy Center, Constitution Hall and National Cathedral. His voice can be heard on six recordings.

 Modim Anachnu  is the sixth benediction of the Amidah section on the Sabbath.  Amidah (standing), is so called because it is recited in a standing posture. The Modim Anachnu prayer includes the fundamental beliefs of Judaism in God; His covenant with our forefather, the election of Israel, the Messianic Redemption and the immortality of the soul.

We acknowledge with thanks that You are Adonai, our God and the God of our ancestors, forever. You are the rock of our lives and the Shield of our salvation in every generation. Let us thank You and praise You—for our lives which are in Your hand, for our souls which are in Your care, for Your miracles that we experience every day and for You wondrous deed and favors at every time of day: evening, morning and noon. O Good One, whose mercies never end. O compassionate One, whose kindness never fails, we forever put our hope in You.  

(English translation from Mishkan T’filah, a Reform Siddur)

Merel's email: merels@sandiegojewishworld.com

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THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK

If God voted, would he have picked McCain or Obama?

By Fred Reiss, Ed.D.

WINCHESTER, California--The Republican Party faithful were planning their trips to Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, for the national convention in the late summer of 2008, which resulted in the nomination of John McCain and Srah Palin as their standard bearers. At about the same time, David Klinghoffer, author, senior member of the Discovery Institute, the organization behind intelligent design, and former columnist for the Jewish weekly, The Forward, wanted to know how God would vote in November.

To accomplish this metaphysical feat, Klinghoffer went back to the Old Testament and the Talmud to discern what God said on the “important” issues of the election: gay marriage, divorce, abortion, evolution vs. creation, taxation, health care, etc. His findings culminated in the book, How Would God Vote? In this work he concluded that the right-wing of the Republican Party had been correct all along, and that God would cast His vote as a Republican. (Undoubtedly this meant that the Democrats and other left-wing thinkers were doomed to hell.)

Larry Yudelson, founder and editorial director of the Ben Yehuda Press, and Yori Yanover, an author and editor in his own right, disagreed with Klinghoffer’s conclusions. They went so far as to question his Jewishness, meaning his ability to think as a Jew. Although Klinghoffer presents himself as an Orthodox Jew who offers Jewish insights to the evangelical Christian community, Yudelson and Yanover argue that he lacks a Jewish historical memory, and chooses the theology of St. Paul over conclusion of the rabbis.

Yudelson’s and Yanover’s book, How Would God Really Vote? tears down the straw men that Klinghoffer erects. In the chapter on abortion, they state that Klinghoffer’s only valid biblical text pointing to the idea of abortion is Exodus 21:22-25. Here, God give the rule that if men struggle together, and as a result a pregnant woman is accidently struck and aborts her child (the Hebrew literally says, “her child goes out”), but no harm comes to the woman, then the man or men causing the abortion shall be fined according to her husband, as approved by a judge.

However, if harm comes to the woman, then there is an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, and so forth. Yudelson and Yanover note that these sentences refer to an abortion in which the woman did not agree. The Bible is silent on any penalty if the woman chooses to abort.


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Klinghoffer offers that God has a plan for taxes. According to Genesis 47:24, the people were to give a fifth of their crops to Pharaoh. This, asserts Klinghoffer, is a fair tax—twenty percent. Yudelson and Yanover point out that “it’s 20 per cent with serfdom,” as Klinghoffer fails to note that in Genesis 47:13-20, Joseph turned the Egyptians into Pharaoh’s serfs before ordering a twenty percent tax.

In short, Yudelson and Yanover are accusing Klinghoffer of telling the truth, but not the whole truth. They condemn him for picking and choosing among the biblical verses and Talmudic discussions. God may know what he wants in black and white, but thirty-five hundred years of Jewish history has taught that God gave us only shades of gray.

How Would God Really Vote?
is a volume that shows clear distinctions between Jewish conservative political thinking and its liberal counterpart. The book will not win converts, but will provide biblical and rabbinic source material for some of the important issues facing the American voting public. We know how the voters voted last November, which the authors did not know at the time they wrote their books. Now that the political dust has settled, the bottom line, both literally and figuratively, is this: really, how would God really vote? It’s a trick question. God doesn’t vote, He makes the final decision.

Dr. Fred Reiss is a retired public and Hebrew school teacher and administrator. He is the author of The Standard Guide to the Jewish and Civil Calendars and Ancient Secrets of Creation: Sepher Yetzira, the Book that Started Kabbalah, Revealed, and Jeremiah’s Legacy.



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Bible in Pop Culture: Be fruitful and multiply


Genesis 1:28

God blessed them and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea, the bird of the sky and every living thing that moves on the earth."

Do you have a photo that you think illustrates how a biblical verse has worked its way into pop culture. Please send it to us for possible publication in this series, "The Bible in Pop Culture."

You may send your jpg photo for posting online to us at San Diego Jewish World, emailing it to editor@sandiegojewishheritage.com.

If possible, please send it at 72dpi resolution and 400 pixels wide. Please include the name of the photographer, the date and place the photo was taken, and any other relevant caption information.

For our growing "Pop Bible" collection please see
Bible in pop culture index

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nancy.harrison@americasvacationcenter.com



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What's good to eat in San Diego?

Windmill Farms shopping center haven for gourmets

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official chef’s jacket. Perhaps his next gig will be reported in the LA Times! I sure hope it doesn’t happen any time too soon.

KnB Cellars will profit mightily from Loren’s talent and creativity. The every Friday @5p outdoor free wine tasting is not to be missed! Order the $3 Nut Trio to nosh on. Loren flavors them in novel ways. Or choose any one of his salads – Caesar, Avocado Citrus, or Beet, Tangerine, Goat Cheese – to nibble on before going home. Better yet! Stay for dinner. The prices of Loren’s tapas and sandwiches range from $7.50 to $9 and are so au currant. If you like micro-brewed hops, taste a few for a different beer experience. Strong ale your thing? Ask for the North Coast Old Stock ‘08. I walked out with two six-packs. The molasses aftertaste still lingers.

Next stop, a couple of doors down from KnB Cellars is Dinner A-Go-Go, a ‘hybrid, next generation dinner studio.’ Order dinners online at Lisa’s website (dinnergo.com) or call (619.916.9674) to order complete “uberhealthy” foods. Her edamame corn salad has become a staple in my house.

Located in the same storefront is 3Squares (619.884.7928) where Chef Clyde works his catering magic. His food is quite popular with the Bat and Bar Mitzvah party crowd…and with the hipsters over 50, too! His kitchen is where I celebrated this year’s momentous birthday with friends as we watched him slice, dice, chiffonade, and julienne, then serve his elegant 6-course dinner. An experience NOT to be missed. B’Tayavon…

Lynne Thrope can be contacted at lynnesworld@mac.com

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


City of Hope Aux.
One of the El Morocco’s famous dinners will start off the evening right.  Installation of the new officers will follow.  The evening will be concluded with dancing plus outstanding entertainment provided directly from the City of Hope Medical Center at Duarte.  This, of course, means that the Medical Center will send down some of the excellent professional entertainers that are always available to all who lend a helping hand to that wonderful clinic.

Admission wll be $3.00 per person.



Stage Dinner Dance
Southwestern Jewish Press May 15, 1953, page 2

The El Morocco, 5108 Federal Blvd., will be the scene for a big dinner dance to be given by the City of Hope Junior Auxiliary in conjunction with their installation of officers Saturday, June 6, at 8:00 p.m.


City of Hope Aux.

Southwestern Jewish Press May 15, 1953, page 2

Members and friends are asked to be sure to attend the next regular meeting, Tuesday, May 19th, at 12 noon, non-profit Luncheon, at the Beth Jacob Center(cq).  This meeting will be of utmost importance and interest to all attending because at this time, four delegates to City of Hope Convention are to be elected.

2009 editor's note: We recognize that the three stories above appear jumbled, but we are providing a faithful transcription of what appeared in the May 15, 1953 issue of Southwestern Jewish Press.


YIVO Committee Formed Here
Southwestern Jewish Press May 15, 1953, page 2

A second meeting of a group interested in supporting the Yiddish Scientific Institute known as YIVO was recently held at the home of Mrs. Rose Brooker.  Mr. Sholomo Hochberg, west coast representative gave a most stimulating resume of highlights in Jewish history leading up to the reasons why YIVO was founded in Vilno in 1925 and why it merited support.

The main purposes of the YIVO is (sic, are) research of the past and the current social , economic and cultural life of the Jews the world over; documentation and recording by maintaining a central repository for material pertaining to Jewish life of the past and present; publication of accumulated data and the training of young social scientists for research in the fields of Jewish social science.

Mr. Bernard Veitzer, secretary of this group will be pleased to furnish any additional information on YUIVO by calling him at T-7886.

Jewish War Veterans
Southwestern Jewish Press May 15, 1953, page 2

Social meeting of the San Diego Jewish War Veterans Post 185 and Auxiliary will be held at the War Memorial Bldg., Monday, May 18th, at 8:30 p.m.  Speaker of the evening will be Mr. A. Friedman, representative of the U.S.O. Jewish Welfare Board.  All members and their friends are cordially invited.

The next regular business meeting will be held June 1.


Linda’s Lookout
Southwestern Jewish Press May 15, 1953, page 3

By Linda Solof

Golly, gang, isn’t Spring wonderful!  The sun is shining, the beaches are crowded, and graduations and confirmations are fast descending upon us, so let’s have fun!

Congrats.

Speaking of confirmations, I want to congratulate all those who will be confirmed in the near future.

Also, deserving congrats are Jane Cohn, for winning second place for society writing in the Journalism contest at State

College, and to Janet Solof, who reigned as princess at the May Fete at Roosevelt Junior High!

Party Particulars

Surprises are fun!  Just ask Shirley Krasner if that isn’t true.  Shirley was given a wonderful birthday party by Beverly Addleson, to which all her friends attended.  Happy Birthday, Shirley!

Fun was the password to Roger Brenes and Bob Meyer’s terrific party, and fun was what the fifty guests attending had.  The party included dancing, eats and yummy refreshments.  Everyone agreed that it rated at the top of the list!

Diane Fogelman was another surprised girl, when she walked into the “Rumpus Room” of the San Diego Club and found a

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group of her friends waiting to help her celebrate her birthday.  The hostess agreed that it was fabulous being thirteen, when she
could start it out so fine.  The party was completed with dancing and refreshments.  Happy birthday, Diane!

Dis ‘N Data

Come one come all, to the greatest show on earth.  I am speaking of the San Diego High School Senior Play.  This year the class of 1953 is presenting “You Can’t Take It With You” by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman.  It is a hilarious comedy, that won the Pulitzer Prize.  It will be given on May 21 and 22 at the Russ Auditorium, at 8:15 p.m.  If you don’t come you’ll not only miss a terrific play, but you’ll miss seeing many of your friends participating in it.

So long.

Temple Teens
Southwestern Jewish Press May 15, 1953, page 3

By Susan Solof

This is it kids!  It’s the big bang-up dance closing the Temple Teens for the summer.   May 23rd, that’s the date for the big formal dance.  It’ll be stag or drag, from 7:30-11:30.  There will be dancing to the sharp band of Tommy McDonald and the Navy Training Center Dancer Band, courtesy of Abe Friedman JWB-USO.

Be expecting loads of good refreshments and there will be five gifts raffled off, so everyone will have a chance.  Remember, any member can bring a non-member as a guest.  Naturally, none of you will want to miss this terrific affair!

It has been swell being your Temple Teens reporter, and I hope that I’ll be seeing you next year.

Council Announces
New Officers For Year

Southwestern Jewish Press May 15, 1953, page 3

At the last regular monthly meeting of the San Diego section of National Council of Jewish Women the nominating committee with Mrs. Harris Rubel in charge presented the slate of officers and chairmen for the Board of the coming year.  A unanimous vote was cast for the following:  Pres., Mrs. Milton Roberts; 1st V. Pres. Mrs. David H. Jaffe; 2nd V. Pres., Mrs. George Uris; 4th V. Pres., Mrs. Estelle Levi; Rec. Sec., Mrs. David Doctor; Corr. Sec., Mrs. Herbert Lewis; Fin. Sec., Mrs. Harry Sugarman; Soc. Sec., Mrs. Henry Weinberger; Treas., Mrs. Clark Moore; Auditor, Mrs. Sadie Haimsohn; Historian, Mrs. Harry Kaufman Parl., Mrs. Gabriel Berg; Hospitality, Mrs. Harry Blumberg; Service to Foreign Born, Mrs. David Horowitz; Membership, Mrs. Joseph Kwint; Telephone, Mrs. F. Gordon; Bulletin, Mrs. M. Rosenbaum; Membership Retention, Mrs., Robert Benson; Publicity, Mrs. Robert Drexler; Community Services, Mrs. Albert Hutler; Legislation, Mrs. Mannie Adler; Education, Mrs. Paul Belkin; Fund Chairman, Mrs. Charles Townes.  Several members of the retiring and the new board are planning a Council Workshop in Los Angeles on May 12.

“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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