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September 20, 2002 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-09-20

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Observations In Israel

mil y wife and I were in
Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Safed,
and in Judea, Israel, dur-
ing July and August.
Prior to our departure, we were told
not to ride buses, not to go to the
Jerusalem Shuk (market), the
Jerusalem Cannion (the Malka Mall)
and to the Ben Yehuda pedestrian
mall. We rode the buses, went to the
Shuk, the Cannion and the pedestrian
We rode the buses in Jerusalem and
to Tel Aviv, Tiberias and Safed. The
new Jerusalem central bus station was
crowded with Israelis traveling to vari-
ous locations. Security includes com-
plete inspections of all suitcases, back-
packs and packages.
In Tel Aviv, we met with Yossi
Meshulem, with whom I worked
when he had been an Israel Defense
Forces (IDF) project officer responsi-
ble for procurement of new military
We believed the Shuk would not
have many shoppers. We were wrong.
The Shuk was crowded with shoppers.
It still is the place to purchase the best
of Israel's fruits and vegetables.
We had believed that the Cannion
would be lacking any crowd but again
we were wrong. There were the usual

Dr. Wilbert Simkovitz is a Clawson-based

national security management consultant.

large Israeli crowds that we had seen
many times over the past years.
Outside, waiting to drive into the
parking area, a long line of about 30
cars was waiting to be checked. The
cars were examined inside, underneath
and outside and then allowed
. Prior to entry into the Shuk and
Cannion, security personnel checked
all persons, packages and purses. This
practice is followed by most business
establishments who similarly employ
security personnel. My wife and I felt
safe at all times.
The first week in Jerusalem, we
were invited to a cocktail party held at
the Ticho House. Our hosts, Matthew
and Carole Wohl of Hallandale, Fla.,
presented a group of Americans who
were bringing trained dogs to Israel.
The dogs are trained to locate explo-
sive and suspicious materials and
packages. They demonstrated the
training by exhibiting one of the dogs.
While the dog was gentle to infants
and children, he would respond to the
trainer and upon signal, attack the
trainer. The training of the dogs is at a
cost of $3,500. Donors have made it
possible for some dogs to be sent to
the Shomron and Judea settlements.
During the first week we were in
Jerusalem, the Ben Yehuda pedestrian
mall was empty with few pedestrians
and shoppers. The Cafe Chagall had

been closed and was under
There is much unemploy-
renovation for conversion into
ment and economic distress
a Starbucks. However, the
among Israelis employed- in
renovation was halted and the
the tourism economy. The
property was covered with a
hotel we stayed at had termi-
nated the employment of most
The only long-time cafe
of its staff. The two restau-
and restaurant open was the
rants in the hotel were closed.
Cafe Rimon. The Kentuc
Fried Chicken establishment
was vacated. The Sbarro pizza
Com m unity
Where Are
and spaghetti restaurant, that
Vi ews
had suffered the bombing
American Jews?
attack, was open. While there
Usually, we would meet many
were some pedestrians on King
friends from home and other
George and Jaffa streets, the area
American tourists. This time, we met
lacked the usual large crowds of shop-
only Oak Parkers Dr. and Mrs. Harry
Jubas. We noted, however, a large
Work is under way on Jaffa and
group of Asian tourists. A group from
adjacent streets to construct the new
Mongolia is expected to arrive and
rapid transit rail system. This system
tour Israel. But where are the
is to relieve the traffic situation caused
American Jewish tourists?
by the numerous vehicles traveling
During the last three weeks that we
through the inner and central city dis-
were in Jerusalem, King George Street
tricts. The construction restricts side-
was decorated with strings of street
walk pedestrian traffic.
lights from Jaffa Road to
Hotels in Jerusalem are mostly
Independence Park. It was illuminated
empty. One new 368-room hotel, a
just as some American cities do dur-
$44 million, five-star edifice that had
ing the Christmas season.
been recently constructed was closed
The Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall
after being open only about three
came alive and was the scene of a food
months. Next door, another new
fair, fashion show, beauty supply
hotel, that had been constructed only
booths, artist exhibits, musical bands
a few years ago, had only a 13 percent
and entertainment. Hundreds of
occupancy. Other hotels similarly have
a low occupancy.
SIMKOVITZ on page 28

A Hot Year Begins On Campus

ast week, two prominent
Middle Easterners traveled
to two North American
campuses to deliver speech-
es mainly about the Arab-Israeli
conflict. Both of them met protests.
One succeeded in giving the speech
and the other did not. Therein
hangs a tale.
On Sept. 9, Binyamin Netanyahu,
the former Israeli prime minister,
went to Concordia University in
Montreal to explain why "there is no
alternative to winning this war [on
terrorism] without delay." But he
never spoke at Concordia — indeed,
he never made it onto the campus
— because a thousand anti-Israel
demonstrators staged a mini-riot


Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle
East Forum and author of 'Militant
Islam Reaches America." E-mail:



with the intent of preventing
Netanyahu from speaking. .
"Benjamin Netanyahu is coming to
Montreal. Let's make it clear he's
not welcome" read their signs.
The anti-Israel forces physically
assaulted the would-be audience; a
female - professor of religion at
Concordia recounted how some of
them "aimed their punches at my
Demonstrators smashed a plate-
glass window and threw objects at
the police inside. They hurled furni-
ture at police from a mezzanine.
As Toronto's Globe 6- Mail news-
paper put it, "By lunchtime, the
vestibule of Concordia's main down-
town building was littered with
paper, upturned chairs, broken fur-
niture and the choking aftereffects
of pepper spray."
Police said it could not assure
Netanyahu's safety and cancelled the
event. To which Wassim

Moukahhal, an Arab leader
government formally desig-
at nearby McGill University
nates Hamas a terrorist
crowed: "The man is a war
group, Ashrawi states she
criminal. We don't want our
doesn't "think of Hamas as a
city and our universities to
terrorist group."
be the harbor of such a war
Also, this former spokes-
woman and colleague of
Nor was this the first time
Palestinian leader Yasser
Netanyahu has been pre-
Arafat said she considers
vented from speaking on
Israelis living on the West
campus. In November 2000,
Bank to be "legitimate ... tar-
"hundreds of raucous pro-
Commentary gets of Palestinian resist-
testers" at the University of
California-Berkeley likewise
The many objections to
managed to cancel his
Ashrawi being honored at
.Colorado College centered on her
On Sept. 12, Hanan Ashrawi went
obnoxious presence at an event deal-
to Colorado College in Colorado
ing with the aftermath of Sept. 11.
Springs to give a keynote speech at a
Colorado's Gov. Bill Owens spoke
symposium on "September 11: One
for many when he said, "It's outra-
Year Later."
geous to be bringing this woman
Protesters to her speech noted that
who has done so much to divide the
Ashrawi is smack on the side of
Middle East and has applauded ter-
America's enemies in the war on ter-
rorism. For example, while the U.S.
PIPES on page 28


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