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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 2, 2006 / 4 Shevat, 5766

The weakness in backing strongmen

By Max Boot


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Hamas' victory shows the folly of relying on tyrants


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Hamas' victory in the Palestinian elections last week is widely seen as discrediting President Bush's desire to spread democracy. Actually, the electoral triumph of this pro-terrorist, anti-Western movement offers more evidence for the failure of the cynical approach that the United States pursued before Bush came into office — a pseudo-realistic policy of using supposedly benign dictators to repress Islamic extremists.


That, after all, was the rationale behind the Oslo process: Israel and the U.S. would support Yasser Arafat in the hope that he would deliver peace and crack down on the crazies. Fat chance. Instead, his Fatah party gave birth to the suicide bombers of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and he tolerated terrorists affiliated with competing groups, as a cudgel to pressure Israel into greater concessions. Palestinian television and radio stations, newspapers and schools never ceased to glorify suicide bombers (shahids, or martyrs) and to revile Jews and Americans. When Israel wasn't willing to deliver as much land as Arafat wanted, he unleashed the second intifada, an all-out terrorist offensive that took years to defeat.


In that time, conditions only got worse in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, leading to a precipitous fall in Palestinian living standards and considerable property damage and loss of life, without defeating the "Zionist entity." This failure increased disenchantment with the Palestinian Authority, which has all the disadvantages of a typical oligarchy (including extreme corruption) and none of the advantages (it provides no law and order). Disenchantment turned to disgust when Gaza descended into anarchy following the Israeli pullout. It was thus no great surprise that voters turned to Hamas, which has shown itself to be less venal and more adept at delivering social services than the incumbent Fatah party.


Polls indicate that most Palestinian voters aren't in favor of waging all-out war against Israel, which would result in ruinous retaliation. But there is no denying that this has been Hamas' agenda, notwithstanding occasional truces. It now has a choice — either suspend its war on Israel and concentrate on delivering mundane civil services, or risk a backlash among voters.


The Hamas militants, unlike their fellow fundamentalists in Iran, don't have the luxury of oil revenues. Much of the Palestinian Authority's budget comes from European, American and Israeli largesse, which presumably will be cut off unless Hamas comes out against violence and in favor of Israel's right to exist. If Hamas sticks to a rigid ideological agenda, it will become as unpopular as the Taliban. And if Hamastan becomes a breeding ground of international terrorism, it will be even more vulnerable to a military response than Afghanistan was.


Most of the dictators we wind up supporting or tolerating — not only Arafat but also Hosni Mubarak, Bashar Assad, Pervez Musharraf, the Saudi royals and, once upon a time, Saddam Hussein — have a symbiotic relationship with Islamic extremists. The radicals serve the dictators' purpose: They scare the West into endorsing an illiberal status quo. Mubarak, for one, extends more tolerance to the Muslim Brotherhood than to liberal critics such as Ayman Nour, now languishing in jail. When the mosque becomes the only outlet for dissent, the odds of an Islamic takeover increase once the tyrant leaves the scene.


Bush is right not to play the dictators' game anymore. The best way to avoid the Hobson's choice between different types of tyranny — secular or religious — is to pressure existing regimes to allow more dissent and eventually democracy. That never happened under Arafat, when all the major media outlets were controlled by the state and the judiciary was the handmaiden of the government. Anyone who publicly criticized Arafat's graft and incompetence risked a beating, or worse. Countless Palestinians were killed after being convicted in kangaroo courts of being Israeli "collaborators."


For years, the United States and Israel turned a blind eye to such abuses. And now we see the result: a brutalized society in which the most radical elements have taken over. We should work to avoid that outcome in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and other Muslim states by getting serious about human rights now — before it's too late.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power  

The book was selected as one of the best books of 2002 by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor. It also won the 2003 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award, given annually by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for the best nonfiction book pertaining to Marine Corps history. Sales help fund JWR.



Max Boot is Olin Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He is also a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times. To comment, please click here.


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