Page 1

ISRAELTODAY An Israel Awareness Publication Produced by Hillel Students

The Samuel Scheck Hillel Community Day School | The Ben Lipson Hillel Community High School

5 Iyyar 5772

The Juda and Maria Diener Elementary School | The Henrietta Scheck Middle School

volume 1, issue 1

Existential: The Threat of Iran

By Sophia Brener, Grade 11 H.I.T. Editor

Photograph by Steve Lummer

It was 73 years ago when the biggest threat toward the security of the Jewish people rested on the hand of a mad man, Adolf Hitler. Today again, the security of the Jewish people is being threatened. President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollahs of the Republic of Iran are attempting to develop weapons of mass destruction, with intentions of erasing the Jewish State from the world. Apart from wanting to demolish Israel, Iran has another agenda. Iran has threatened the United States, calling it the “Big Satan.” Major leading western countries, along with the UN Security Council, have imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran in order to get them to stop the production of nuclear weapons. Negotiations held in Istanbul last Saturday were conducted between Iran and the P5+1

group of world powers. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims that due to the 5-week gap between meetings, (next on May 23 in Bagdad) Iran was given a “freebie,” where time was given

to enrich more uranium. President Barack Obama responded by saying, “Now, the clock is ticking, and I’ve been very clear to Iran and to our negotiating partners that we’re not going to have these talks just drag out in a stalling process, but so far at least we haven’t given away anything.”

The Flytilla

Israel Proves itself a Democracy Again

By Elon rubin, Grade 11 H.I.T. Staff Reporter

In recent months, Israel has been plagued by criticism for her “unfair treatment” of the Palestinians who live among them. Recently, a form of protest was recreated to display to the world the Israeli oppression of its Palestinian residents. This protest has been comically dubbed the “flytillas,” as a sort of jab at the previous flotilla protestors. These new protestors had planned to have hundreds of activists board flights to Israel and hold a conference in Bethlehem in the West Bank. They said this conference would expose the fantastical mistreatment of the Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis. However, it did not go as

planned since most of the protestors were stopped by Israeli security, and many were stopped even before boarding planes in Europe en route to Israel. In response to these protestors, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu questioned their motives by asking, “Why did they come to Israel, the only real democracy in the Middle East? When civilians are being oppressed in countries and territories in the same region, Syria, Gaza, and Iran, why would they look at the least oppressed people in the Middle East? The Palestinians are given health care, electricity, plumbing, and other benefits, which is at no cost to them .”



Shabbat Parshat Tazria-Metzora

Light Candles: 7:32 PM Havdallah: 8:33 PM

april 27, 2012

This Week in Israel’s History

his week 64 years ago, the Hagana’s command decided to take the initiative and gain control of the territory allocated to the Jewish State and establish effective communication lines with Jewish settlements outside those boundaries. Operation Nachshon reopened the road to the besieged Jewish section of Jerusalem, although only briefly. The Hagana captured the entire city of Tiberias in which there were besieged Jews in the old city, Haifa, the area connecting Tel-Aviv with her outlying neighborhoods, the Jerusalem neighborhoods Katamon and Shech Jarach, the Western Galilee, and Safed. British intervention prevented the conquest of Jaffa by Jewish forces. (The city surrendered later in May.) A number of Arab attacks, such as that on the convoy descending from Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem, resulted in many casualties, but without strategic gains. Kawukji’s “Army of Salvation” was in fact defeated at this stage. The creation of a continuous strip of Jewish-controlled territory contributed to the decision by the president of the United States to suspend the trusteeship plan and enabled the proclamation of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948.

The Samuel Scheck Hillel Community Day School The Ben Lipson Hillel Community High School The Juda and Maria Diener Elementary School The Henrietta Scheck Middle School

From This Week’s Torah Portion

Dvar Torah

By Rabbi Uri Pilichowski Judaic Studies Faculty

In a recent interview with Globes Magazine, Holocaust scholar Elie Wiesel asserted that Iran is a threat, but it cannot make a second Auschwitz. Responding to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s frequent likening of a nuclear-armed Iran to the Nazi Holocaust, Wiesel said, “It is unacceptable and impossible to make comparisons with the Holocaust. Iran is a danger, but to claim that it is creating a second Auschwitz? I compare nothing to the Holocaust. Only Auschwitz was Auschwitz. When you make a comparison to the Holocaust it works both ways, and soon people will say what happened in Auschwitz was ‘only what happened in Bosnia.’” The Jerusalem Post reported that Netanyahu rejected Wiesel’s criticism saying in an address to the country that “uncomfortable truths” must be aired. “I know there are people who believe that it is forbidden to mention the unique evil of the Holocaust while talking about the current threats facing the Jewish people. They claim that doing so cheapens the Holocaust and insults its victims,” Netanyahu said. “I completely reject this approach.” Whether we accept Wiesel’s criticism or Netanyahu’s warnings, the upcoming danger is clear. A recent Reuters article reported, “A U.N. nuclear watchdog revealed intelligence pointing to research activities in Iran of use in developing the means and technologies needed to assemble nuclear weapons,


Sophia Brener, Grade 11 - Editor

Arielle Ben-Ezra, Grade 11 - Editor Ari Gontovnik, Grade 11 - Writer Elon Rubin, Grade 11 - Writer

Rabbi Uri Pilichowski - Faculty Advisor

Palestinian President Sends Letter to Netanyahu

By Ari Gontovnik, Grade 11 h.i.t staff reporter

This past Tuesday, Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Ereket gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a letter with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s demands for restarting peace talks. This transpired at an important meeting in Jerusalem in which Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was supposed to attend but decided not to show at the last minute for unclear reasons. In this letter, Abbas basically reiterated what the Palestinian demands have been for quite a while. He stated that if negotiations are to begin, Israel must first freeze all settlement construction in the West Bank and all talks should be based on Israel accepting that the borders be based on the 1949 armistice lines with mutually agreed

should it decide to do so.” On seder night we recently read, “For not just one nation has risen against us to destroy us, but in every generation an enemy rises against us to destroy us; and G-d saves us from their hand.” Wiesel doesn’t reject the warning that Iran wants to annihilate the Jewish people, and stopping Iran should be our top priority. Keeping with this theme, Netanyahu said, “I will continue saying the truth to the world but first of all to my own people, who I know are strong enough to hear the truth Netanyahu said. And the truth is that it is necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. It is the duty of the world, but above all, it is our duty.”

modifications. This proposition will severely hurt any chance at future compromise or negotiations as the Palestinians are demanding that Israel go into these negotiations with the stated preconditions. Negotiations cannot be successful if one side goes in demanding something from the other, yet the Prime Minister has said that he will reply to the letter within two weeks. Beyond this issue, there is a problem with the entire premise of the Palestinian demands. These “1967 lines” which they demand Israel must return to were never intended to be the borders of Israel and are simply armistice lines where Israel and the Arab nations agreed to stop fighting in the end of the Independence War in 1949. Even if this is not taken into consideration, what guarantee does Israel have that if they leave the entire West Bank that this land will not turn into a hot bead of terrorism with rockets being showered into Israel from there? This is exactly what happened in 2005 when Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza and Hamas took this land over to use it as a staging ground to launch rockets into Southern Israel. If negotiations are to truly work and a lasting and strong peace are to come out of them, then both sides need to walk into negotiations with an open mind and without any preconditions whatsoever. The Palestinians will have to be able to accept certain limitations in order to safeguard Israel’s security and Israel will have to be willing to accept some tough

compromises in exchange for peace in a two-state solution.

Hillel Israel Today is a publication of The Samuel Scheck Hillel Community Day School/The Ben Lipson Hillel Community High School to educate the extended community and strengthen its sense of Israel advocacy. This is written and produced by the school’s Pro-Israel Teens Club, a group committed to educating and raising awareness among fellow students about news and issues connected to Israel. With passionate spirit, vast knowledge and clear vision, club members train to become articulate spokespeople and advocates who meet with politicians and other community leaders to make a difference locally and globally. For information, please write to

From early childhood through Grade 12, Hillel inspires students to become exemplary global citizens with strong Jewish identity through an innovative curriculum enriched by co-curricular experiences. All of this is set within a nurturing, diverse, traditional community. Hillel is one of the largest Jewish day schools in the nation, Florida’s first Jewish International Baccalaureate® (IB) World School and the country’s only Jewish – and South Florida’s only private – 2011 Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. For information, please visit

Israel Today  

An Israel awareness publication produced by studets at The Samuel Scheck Hillel Community Day School | The Ben Lipson Hillel Community High...