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JTNews | August 10, 2012

JTNews | August 10, 2012

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Published by Joel Magalnick
JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington for August 10, 2012
JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington for August 10, 2012

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Published by: Joel Magalnick on Aug 09, 2012
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@jew_ish • @jewishcal
h ic f
W W W . J t n E W S . n E t
august 10, 2012
22 av 5772
volume 88, no. 16
connecting our local Jewish community
good eatin’ page 16the guide inside
Back to (HeBrew)ScHool
N pgms hughuh gin im  hngh f f suppmnyJish ning
JTn .
friday, augusT 10, 2012
Th cltr o sccss anailr
Jonathan S. tobin
All’s air in love, war and politics. So it isto be expected that Jewish Democrats desir-ous o President Obama’s re-election willbe doing their best to perpetuate the ideathat Republican presidential candidate MittRomney’s oreign trip this month was anunmitigated disaster. But the media narra-tive about his trip to Israel is one that oughtto worry supporters o Israel no matterwhich party or candidate they support.Romney is said to have disgraced him-sel by saying that i you want to under-stand the stark contrast between the successo Israel and the ailure o the Palestin-ians, “Culture makes allthe dierence.” It was to beexpected that the Palestin-ian Authority (PA) wouldattack him. But the Ameri-can mainstream media hasbeen almost as scathing indescribing it as an “insult.”While political observ-ers will rightly put thisdown as just one amongscores o minor skirmishesin a long presidential cam-paign that won’t havemuch impact on the naloutcome, the controversy is actually quite signii-cant in terms o what itreveals about American attitudes towardthe Middle East. Far rom Romney beingrevealed to be a oolish dabbler in or-eign policy whose blunders have exacer-bated an already troubled peace process,his comments were actually quite accurateabout the reasons why Israel is a haven o ree enterprise and the areas run by thePA are, to be charitable, a basket case. Itis, instead, Romney’s critics, such as thepompous editorialists at the New York imes, who are demonstrating their pro-ound ignorance. What’s more, it is thereusal o so many allegedly inormedobservers o the region, as well as Amer-ican and European political gures, toadmit that what Romney said was true,that is enabling the corruption and vio-lence that continues to sink any hopes o Palestinian reorm.Te act that the key to success liesin the political and economic cultureo a nation is something that has beenacknowledged by virtually every credibleauthority on the subject. Indeed, even theUnited Nations’ Arab Human Develop-ment Report noted that existing culturalnorms in the Arab world are a primary obstacle to progress.Romney’s critics say he’s wrong becauseIsrael’s “occupation” is the reason why the West Bank and Gaza are so depressed.While the continuance o the conlictbecause o Palestinian intransigence doesn’thelp development, that is not the cause o all their problems. As anyone who has evena passing knowledge o how the PA govern-ment in the West Bank, as well as the inde-pendent Palestinian state (in all but name)that Hamas governs in Gaza, work, o-cial corruption is the rule rather than theexception. Te complete absence o the ruleo law there is not the ault o Israel but o the terrorist organizations masquerading aspolitical parties who run those places.Instead o concentrating on osteringree enterprise and creating trust, the ocuso the Fatah-run entity is the enrichmento the ruling elite and the continuance o the war on Israel. Following in the oot-steps o Yasser Araat, Mahmoud Abbasand his cronies have squandered or stolenmost o the billions that have been pouredinto these areas by the European Unionand the United States.Palestinians are not just hampered by the Arab cultural backwardness in whichhuman rights are abused, women are dis-criminated against, and gays and reli-gious minorities are persecuted. Tey areharmed by their own particular culture, inwhich rejection o the legitimacy o Israeland omenting o hatred against Jews hasgiven their leaders license to eschew peaceand gloriy violence. Anyone who ignoresthis truth and the need or Palestinians toundergo a cultural sea change or peace orprosperity to have a chance is doing themno avor.Te troubling aspect o this story isnot whether Romney will be hurt by it, butwhether riends o Israel on both sides o the political aisle will continue to avoid thetruth about the Palestinians. Neither polit-ical correctness nor the political advantagethat Democrats seek justies the attackson Romney’s remarks. Anyone who caresabout peace in the Middle East — includingJewish liberals — ought to be echoing theRepublican on this issue, not attacking him. 
 JNS Columnist Jonathan S. Tobin is senioonline editor of Commentary magazine and chief political blogger at www.commentarymagazine.com. He can bereached at jtobin@commentarymagazine.com.Follow him on Twitter at @TobinCommentary.
Mitt Romney touches the Western Wall during his recent trip to Israel.
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friday, august 10, 2012 .
jtnew OpiniOn
“Islam is the perfect religion for Muslims. Christianity is the perfect religion for Christians. Judaism is the perfect religion for Jews.”— Rabbi Jim Mirel of Temple B’nai Torah at a joint Tisha B’Av/Ramadan event last week. See the full story on page 6.
the rabbi’s turn
Obama has hlp makIsral sar
Edgar M. bronfMan
JTa World Nws Srvc
NEW YORK (JA) — Troughout ahal-century o international diplomaticwork, I have learned to tell the politi-cians rom the riends and the charlatansrom the statesmen. Charlatans scream.Tey tell you what you want to hear andcall other people names. Friends and lead-ers need not rely on rhetoric or boisterousbravado. Tey produce results and act onprinciple.President Obama is such a riend andleader. In his 3-1/2 years in oce he hasdeepened and strengthened the relation-ship between the United States and Israel.And today, Obama continues to imple-ment a comprehensive pro-Israel agendathat has made Israel saer and more secure.Under Obama, U.S. nancial aid toIsrael is at its highest levels ever. Duringthe past our years, Israel has avoidedbecoming engaged in any substantialrontal military engagements, advancedits notable economic development, andremains prepared or negotiating a com-prehensive peace. Obama as presidenthas led a mutually benecial resurgencein the exchange o strategic technology,intelligence and cooperation betweenU.S. armed orces and the Israel DeenseForces.Standing by Israel, Obama opposed theunilateral declaration o a Palestinian stateand blocked its recognition at the UnitedNations. He supported Israel’s right todeend itsel and conronted head-on thenow-discredited Goldstone Report thatcondemned Israeli deensive action o itscoast. He also ordered the United States towithdraw rom the Durban Review Con-erence, whose namesake conerence wassupposed to be about racism but insteadbecame an anti-Israel hate-est. Obamastated unequivocally that “he UnitedStates will stand up against eorts to singleIsrael out at the United Nations or in any international orum.”Going even urther, Obama has takenthe oor o the United Nations to declarethat “Israel’s existence must not be a sub- ject or debate” and that “eorts to chipaway at Israel’s legitimacy will be metonly by the unshakable opposition o theUnited States.”When Fatah and Hamas joined polit-ical orces and pressured Israel to enternegotiations with them, Obama told theworld that “No country can be expectedto negotiate with a terrorist organizationsworn to its destruction,” concluding that“Israel cannot be expected to negotiatewith Palestinians who do not recognize itsright to exist.”And this is also why Obama has takensuch a strong stand against the Iraniannuclear program — the single greatestthreat to the State o Israel and the stability o the Middle East. Afer years o inactionand neglect by the Bush administration,Obama constructed an international coali-tion to impose the most crippling sanc-tions ever on the Iranian regime. Tesesanctions have already chocked o Iran’saccess to many capital markets and havehad a proound eect on the way ehrannances its nearious operations. CovertU.S. operations targeting Iran’s nuclearinrastructure reportedly have also slowedtheir rate o progress.While his opponents can talk tough onIran, the president is doing what is nec-essary to prevent Iran rom developing anuclear weapon.Nevertheless, despite clear acts andsubstantial evidence, political partisansand opponents o the president continuea coordinated campaign to distort reality in a brazen attempt to ool the public. Tesame type o people who called Obamaa closet Muslim and claimed he was notborn in the United States now exercise lin-guistic calisthenics to obuscate the truthand portray the president as hostile to theJewish State. Nothing could be urtherrom the truth.Not long ago, while sitting in the OvalOce, Obama looked me in the eye andsaid, “My commitment to Israel’s security is bone deep.” He did not have to say it. Ialready knew that President Obama wouldnever orsake the Jewish State, its security,and its people. His record o perormanceis crystal clear and the charlatans cannotchange that.My ather beore me actively supportedJewish communities around the world andprior to 1948 closely worked with thoseestablishing the modern State o Israel. Formore than a hal century, I have workedwith successive Israeli governments andU.S. presidents — Republican and Demo-crat — to provide or the saety and secu-rity o the Jewish people and the State o Israel.My amily has loved, worked, investedin and supported the State o Israel, itssecurity and its people since beore itsounding. We have not always agreed withits policies, but we have always been thereto support and deend its governmentand people. We are connected to every acet o Jewish lie and want nothing morethan Israel’s peace, security, vibrancy andprosperity. I am condent that PresidentObama shares our values and I shall con-dently vote or him in November.
Edgar M. Bronfman is the former CEO of theSeagram Company Ltd. and the former  president of the World Jewish Congress.
 All that w n
rabbi JaninE SchloSS
Tmpl Bth am
I have a conession tomake. You see, I thought Iwas pretty modest, but I’verecently learned that I mighthave been haughtier than Ithought I was. You want tohear the story? Sure! Here’show it begins….Like I said, I think I’mpretty modest. I don’t havea lot o clothes; I don’t spenda lot o time concerned withhow I look. I don’t brag about my house ormy trips or my kids’ school. So i you hadasked me this question a ew years or evena ew months ago, I would have comort-ably told you that I think I control my pos-sessions and my wants pretty well.hat was beore the divorce. Eventhough my husband and I separated quiteamicably, we still had to divide up ourpossessions. Te process was understand-ably dicult, and it was the rst time thatI began to realize how important my pos-sessions were to me.Ten we had to sell the house, andthat’s when the real trouble began. I
 my house. It’s beautiul and it’s big andeverything I owned could t in it. Teproblem is, when you get divorced, youhave to get two houses or the price o one.So surprise, surprise, the rental home thatI moved into a ew weeks ago is hal thesize o my previous home. It wasn’t until Istarted unpacking that I truly realized how many 
I own! I think I could ll my new kitchen three times over and still nothave enough room or everything!Tis week’s orah portion, Ekev, talksabout this exact experience. God tells us:“ake care lest you orget the Eternal yourGod…. When you have eaten your ll, andhave built ne houses to live in, and yourherds and ocks have multiplied, and yoursilver and gold have increased, and every-thing you own has prospered, beware lestyour heart grow haughty and you orgetthe Eternal Your God” (Deut.8:11-14).God is sending us a very important message. God issaying: When we’ve eateneverything we want to eat,and we’ve built a big house tolive in, and our possessionshave not only increased butmultiplied, we run the risk o becoming ull o ourselves.Te more we have, the morelikely we are to become conceited and sel-absorbed.Not only that, but the more we have,the less ofen we give thanks to God. Sud-denly the money in our bank accountseems like a tting reward or our bril-liance. We believe we deserve to be so wello and — perhaps most tragically o all —we orget to give to others who have lessthan we do.So too with me. I had eaten my ll, Iwas living in a ne house, and I had pros-pered. I had plenty, but I had gotten tothe point where I no longer appreciated it.Worst o all, I had orgotten to give thanksto God or the goodness around me.I am grateul that the lesson o Ekev came just when it did. Now that I’mdownsizing, I need to nd a way to eel just as proud o mysel and my home nomatter how many bathrooms there are(or aren’t!) in my new house. I need tostay appreciative and I need to rememberto give to others, even as I begin this new stage in my lie’s journey.Most o all, with every box that Iunpack, I need to remember to thank Godor the tremendous good in my lie. I havea roo over my head, I have beds or my children and me, and I have ood in my pantry. Tank you, God — I truly have allthat I need.
Rabbi Janine Schloss is Temple Beth Am’sdirector of education.
CheCk out our new look!
Tis issue marks the debut o our new logo and a reresh in the design o thepaper. It also marks the rst time that JNews will be distributed throughout theGreater Seattle area on a biweekly basis, so it’s available or everyone to enjoy!One criticism we have heard since we adopted the JNews name was that wedidn’t sound Jewish enough. Now, when you see us in your synagogue, in your neigh-borhood coee shop, in your supermarket, or in your mailbox, you’ll know rightaway exactly who we are and who we represent: You, our Jewish community.As always, thank you or reading.Joel Magalnick Editor and Acting PublisherJNews, Te Voice o Jewish Washington

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