Members of the South Florida Jewish community were treated to a Lunch and Learn at Chabad of Lincoln Road in South Beach on Wednesday, December 14.
Rabbi Zev Katz welcomed the crowd of over 100 people, and introduced the speaker, member of the Israeli Knesset Tzipi Hotovely, of the Likud Party.
Ms. Hotovely’s leadership, charisma, charm and ability were evident during her talk, making it clear why she is considered a “rising star” in the Knesset.
Following her talk, the audience had an opportunity to ask questions.
Ms. Hotovely, who sits on the Security and National Defense Committee, had just arrived in Miami from Belgium where she had attended a meeting of NATO members. She said that she couldn’t sleep from fear, realizing that Israel and the U.S. are the only ones who recognize the threat of a nuclear Iran.
She said that the European countries are asleep, having adopted a Chamberlin-like attitude, and are much more sympathetic to Islamist causes and don’t perceive Iran as a danger.
Regarding Newt Gingrich’s remarks concerning the non-existence of a Palestinian people, language, culture, or identity, she said that no matter whether the Palestinians are recognized as a nation or not, the problem still remains on how to deal with them, and this is what has to be addressed.
Ms. Hotovely said that the right wing in Israel made a big mistake in taking the stand that Judea and Samaria were necessary for Israel’s security. She said that the Palestinians took the position that their homes were taken from them, which is the morally superior argument. It doesn’t matter if a thief needs the home for security, because he remains a thief. We need to take the stand that Israel is ours as it was promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the problem started in 1948, so if Israel’s creation was denied, then 1967 is irrelevant.
Ms. Hotovely’s educational background started with a Chabad education as a child, and she is presently working on her doctorate in law.
Ms. Hotovely’s first question when she met Rabbi Zev Katz was if he can help her arrange to visit the Ohel gravesite of Lubavitcher Rebbe in Queens, as she has never been there and always wanted to go as she feels very close to the Chabad Movement.
The Chabad House of South Beach has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, since their opening 13 years ago out of a Mitzvah Tank which grew into a full time permanent structure- the Chabad House.
Shliach Rabbi Zev Katz is currently being assisted in the Chabad House activities by Levi Zeiler and Berel Vogel.