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JTNews | The Voice of Jewish Washington for April 1, 2011

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the voice of jewish washingtona life of dance Blessed for passover passover kids reading a righteous gentile

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april 1, 2011 26 adar ii 5771 volume 87, no. 7 $2

STeve Bloom/The olympiaN

Volunteer and former food competition winner Linda Blustein (right) surveys the challah entrants before judging the best in four categories at Temple Beth Hatfilohs 23rd annual Blintzapalooza on March 27 in Olympia. The temple raised $11,000 for three Olympia-area charities.

Where she stands: Washingtons newest congresswoman on IsraelTim Klass JTNews CorrespondentThe newest member of Washington States congressional delegation professes strong support for U.S. aid to Israel, but is undecided about two-state-solution funding for the Palestinians. In an interview with JTNews, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R3rd District), also said she believes her views are common among the 87 Republican House freshmen despite their nearly unanimous demands for big-time budget cutting and strong skepticism of foreign aid. Weve heard strong support for Israel, Herrera Beutler said. When I think about foreign aid to Israel, I think about long-term relationships, she said. I think its in our interests to retain that relationship. I think theres a lot of that same kind of feeling within my freshman class. Herrera Beutler, 32, photogenic and wellspoken, was a Bush White House intern and served three years in the state House before winning an open seat last fall that had been held for six terms by Democratic Rep. Brian Baird. One of the youngest members of Congress, she delivered the GOP weekly address on March 19, focusing on what Republicans consider regulatory barriers to job creation and gaining national exposure that is rare for a new arrival in the House. The Washington Post lists her as one of 10 House newcomers eight Republicans and two Democrats to watch in the 112th Congress. Rainer Waldman Adkins, co-chair of the Seattle chapter of the pro-Israel peace organization J Street, said he asked Herrera Beutler during a lobbying trip to Washington, D.C. last month to support foreign aid generally, and funds for both Israel and the Palestinian Authority in particular, as essential to achieving a two-state solution and peace in the Middle East.X Page 24

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OpiniOn

the rabbis turn

opinion

The act of remembering and givingMy father was a wandering Aramean. It is with these words that our Passover Haggadah reminds us each year of the wanderings of our people throughout the ages. As we read the familiar passages, sing the well-known melodies and eat the traditional Pesach foods, we recall the tale of our peoples passage from slavery and exile into freedom in the land of Israel. We feel connected, linked to past generations, as if indeed this was our own personal story. We were there in Egypt; we crossed the Sea of Reeds; we sang the songs of victory with Miriam; we stood at Mt. Sinai and received the Torah from God. And we remember what it was like to be slaves, to be the oppressed. In every generation, we are commanded to see ourselves as if we came forth from Egypt. Empathy, one of the highest values in our Jewish tradition, demands that we do not separate ourselves from those around us whose lot in life is less pleasant than our own. To be a Jew means identifying with the downtrodden and persecuted. During this time of year, our festival of

a gentile critic of the new anti-SemitismEdwaRd alExandER Special to JTNewsJews often have occasion to lament the truth of the biblical text that says that our enemies will arise from among us: Many of Israels fiercest enemies today are themselves Jews. But we also (sometimes) have occasion to rejoice that some of Israels staunchest and most articulate friends are gentiles. One such righteous stranger is Englands Professor Bernard Harrison, who will lecture at the University of Washington on April 7 on Anti-Zionism, Anti-Semitism, and the Intellectuals. He will come to Seattle from Indiana University, where he is to give the keynote address at an international conference on Resurgent Anti-Semitism. Resurgent anti-Semitism is by now the subject of numerous books (and hundreds of articles). Their shared conclusions, set forth from a variety of perspectives, is that the physical violence of the new Jew hatred is largely the work of young Muslims. But the ideological violence is the work primarily of leftists, self-identified anti-racists, humanitarians, and liberals (including Jewish ones). Harrisons book, The Resurgence of Anti-Semitism: Jews, Israel, and Liberal Opinion (2006), brought to its subject a new authorial identity, a different academic background, a distinctive and exhilarating voice. It was the first in English about contemporary anti-Semitism (mainly of the British sort) by a gentile. According to Harrison, his gentile identity not only contradicted a major premise of the new antiSemitism, i.e., that only Jews support Israel, but also made him privy to the expressions of anti-Semitic prejudice, political and social, by apparently respectable academic people, when Jews are absent. Harrison is a scholar trained in habitual skepticism, bitterly close reading, and aggressive contentiousness contributed by forty years in the amiable sharkpool of analytic philosophy. His book mercilessly dissects anti-Israel invective and smug clich coming from the New Statesman, Guardian, BBC, and other British bastions of anti-Jewish sentiment. He devotes all of chapter two, for example, to a single infamous issue of the New Statesman of January 2002. Its cover showed a tiny Union Jack, placed horizontally, being pierced by the sharp apex of a large Star of David, made of gold; below, in large black letters, was the question: A Kosher Conspiracy? A cover right out of Der Sturmer; and the articles that accompanied it had at first suggested to Harrison that he should title his analysis of them In the Footsteps of Dr. Goebbels. He later decided that would be inadequate to the gravity of the case.bernard harrison will speak on thurs., april 7 at 3:30 p.m. at savery hall 260, university of Washington, seattle.

Rabbi RicK HaRKavy Congregation Bet Chaverim

Pesach reminds us of this obligation. We think of others and try to feel what they might feel. We look outward at our world, at the hungry, the homeless, the sick and the needy, and we reach out a helping hand. Near the beginning of our seder, there is an ancient reading that some Jews recite in Aramaic as well as in the vernacular. This prayer declares: Let all who are hungry come and eat. In our world, especially during these difficult economic times, it is incumbent upon us to remember this reading. So what can we do to help the needy within our community? It is no longer enough to invite the hungry to come in. Often the hungry do not live in our neighborhoods. So what should we do? Sometime between now and Pesach, bring cans and packages of chametz to Bet Chaverim and place them in the receptacle near the front door. This food will be distributed to the poor and hungry in our area. Doing this is very simple. It is also very Jewish. May God bless you and your loved ones with a sweet and meaningful Pesach.

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letters to the editorinflammatory Words

While Josh Basson has made another case for Israel to push aggressively for negotiations with Palestinians (Obstacles to peace, Letters, March 25), hes also continuing a remarkable vilification and hate campaign about them. Its of inflammatory words: Savage killers brings to mind European-British descriptions of savage black Africans; and our homegrown campaign of gross and ugly stereotyping (and eradication) in taming the West of the noble savages of the plains. There is horrific slaughter; what sort of human being deliberately butchers a human baby; and unspeakable evil. Is it any wonder a sizeable and vocal number of American Jews are fiercely opposed to a Palestinian state? Indeed, Jewish Israelis are more supportive of relinquishing the West Bank than American Jews. Basson continues with linguistic fury: Murder; point-blank range; of students gunned down; and the civilized mind struggling to make sense of such savagery. He writes of Jews being described by the P.A. as vermin, enemies to be destroyed and infidels. In June 2006 I was in a cab in Jerusalem; the Jewish cabbie called the Arabs animals. Didnt the Nazis claim Jews, Romany and Sinti were sub-human? Is there any difference between the hate propaganda Mr. Basson detests and his own derision and contempt for Palestinians? And what of the 750,000 Palestinians displaced in 1948? Will Mr. Basson speak out forcefully about their languishing in what we euphemistically sanitize-by-name as refugee camps for a mere 63 years? What of Palestinian children and infants killed by missiles targeting Hamas? Are their deaths less savage, toxic, hateful or violent from an F-16 jet rather than a knife or handgun? The settlers movement and their militants who wantonly murder Palestinians and destroy orchards and olive trees are the best friends Hamas and Al-Aqsa Martyrs can hope for. And the Palestinians who savagely murder Israelis are the best friends the settlers movement can dream of. So is it any wonder right-wing Israeli and settlers are enraged and infuriated over the West Bank Palestinian non-violent and civil disobedient oriented economic boycott of settlermade goods as they are about terror attacks? akiva segan seattle

Among the many left-liberal canards, slanders, slogans, and clichs that Harrison dismembers in his book are the following: I