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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 March 17, 2005 / 6 Adar II, 5765

Learning our lesson

By Jonathan Tobin

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Palestinian-aid debate shows perils of both ignoring the past and living in it

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sinn Fein Party leader Gerry Adams is in the United States this week for St. Patrick's Day.

But as disinterested in Adams as some of us might be, the comings and goings of the head of the political wing of the Provisional Irish Republican Army should also be required reading for those who care about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

That's because up until recently, Adams could not only count on a friendly reception from prominent Irish-American politicians such as Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), but he has even spent the holiday in the White House.

Not this year.

The euphoria over the 1999 Good Friday Agreement that seemed to mark the beginning of the end of the violence in Northern Ireland made Adams very popular in the United States, even among those who were not necessarily sympathetic to his cause of uniting all 32 counties of the Emerald Isle (including the six currently living under the Union Jack) in a socialist republic free of British rule.

Thankfully, there's been no return to an all-out terror war between Protestants and Catholics. But the descent of the "military" wing of the IRA into brutal criminality, and the unwillingness of the group to disarm and operate as a strictly political entity have made life abroad a little less pleasant for their mouthpiece.

This time around, Adams will not lift a glass with Kennedy or King. And the White House is also out of bounds. The anger of the leaders of both Britain and the Irish Republic — not to mention the revulsion of a growing number of Northern Irish Catholics at the lawlessness of his men — have made Adams unwelcome on these shores.

That is a lesson that recently elected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas should take to heart.

Abbas is the flavor of the month these days in Washington. Like Adams, and unlike his old comrade Yasser Arafat, Abbas wears a suit, not combat fatigues. And on this image as a peacemaker do the hopes of Americans and Israelis rest.

In the few short months since Arafat passed on to what one can only hope will be a measure of justice in the next world, Abbas has transformed the image of the Palestinians in the United States. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President George W. Bush both agree that Abbas is a worthy partner for peace. And they are doing their best to bolster what they hope will be his campaign to transform Palestinian society.

Essential to the plan is money. Abbas needs American funds to bankroll the bankrupt P.A., and jumpstart a Palestinian economy ravaged by both war and the corruption of Abbas' own Fatah Party. The White House wants Congress to give Abbas $200 million now. There is little doubt he will get it, and even less that more will follow in the future.

The sticking point is the reluctance of some members of Congress to approve the aid without including provisions that would provide genuine accountability for the use of the money by the Palestinians. Interestingly, the current legislation on the aid does not include something that served in the past to make oversight impossible.

What's missing is a measure that would allow President Bush to override congressional concerns about misuse of American taxpayer dollars by the Palestinians by his invoking unspecified "national security" concerns. In the Oslo era, this mechanism allowed President Bill Clinton to silence questions about Arafat and keep the dollars flowing.

The mainstream American Israel Public Affairs Committee supports both the aid and the omission of the waiver. But some American Jewish supporters of the peace process — not to mention the Bush administration — think eliminating the waiver is a bad idea.

The Israel Policy Forum, which pushed for the failed Oslo process even after it crashed and burned, thinks giving real accountability for the aid is endangering "goodwill" for the Palestinians and Abbas.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Zionist Organization of America thinks the aid is just a bad idea. They point to Abbas' history of support for terror and his dabbling in Holocaust denial as reason to make the P.A. ineligible for U.S. help.

Their argument has logic, but the problem is that if there is to be a peace process at all, the facts dictate that it must be greased by American cash. Call it bribery if you like, but no dough, no chance of peace. And as long as the Israeli people and their government want to pursue the Abbas gambit, American Jews cannot say no to it, no matter how justified concerns about the P.A. leader might seem.

But without holding the Palestinian's feet to the fire on his pledges to end terror and create a real democracy (as opposed to the kleptocracy he and Arafat ran for a decade), there's little chance the outcome will differ from the Oslo debacle.

What we should be asking both the administration and Congress to do is to not repeat the mistakes the United States made in the 1990s as "goodwill" trumped the truth about Arafat.

It may be that in many respects, Abbas is no different than his predecessor, but if he delivers a real cease-fire and creates something approaching a civil society on his side of the security fence, few Israelis will care.

Rather than squabbling over the terms of the aid in a futile repeat of the stupid politics of the Oslo era, Bush and American supporters of Israel need to be creating a process of accountability for Abbas, not a mechanism for him to escape the consequences of his actions.

Abbas and those who would give him a free ride need to look at what happened to Gerry Adams this week and take heed.

If Fatah and its Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, in addition to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, prove as unwilling to disarm as the IRA, then peace is not going to be on the menu. Oslo should teach us that the revival of hopes for peace is exactly the time to set tough standards of behavior. Wearing a suit and speaking nicely wasn't enough to give Adams a pass. The same standard ought to apply to Abbas.

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JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here.

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