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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 April 11, 2005 / 2 Nisan, 5765

Helping and hurting

By Jonathan Tobin


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The curious and contradictory case of Israel's original peace partner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's been 25 years since Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty that has been notable most of all for the coldness of the peace that it brought.


But as Israel and the Palestinians attempt to restart the peace process, Egypt is again playing a crucial role.


To listen to Nabil Fahmy, Egypt's ambassador to the United States, that's only natural. He's been involved in the last 25 years of diplomacy and believes it is imperative that the parties, with the help of the United States, keep at it.

HARD NOT TO BELIEVE
Having recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Fahmy, I couldn't help but be impressed with him.


The ambassador was born in New York and speaks fluent English with a distinct American accent. He is articulate, smart and understands exactly how to speak to Americans, particularly Jewish audiences.


Listening to his soft-spoken and reasonable analysis of the situation, it's hard not to believe that peace is possible.


He is quick to acknowledge the frustrations felt by Israelis and Jews about the cold peace, but says Egyptians are frustrated, too. Just as Israel wanted normal relations and a warm peace, "Egyptians wanted a complete peace" that would involve the Palestinians and other Arab nations, he says.


"There are unfulfilled expectations on both sides," says Fahmy.


But despite the drawbacks of the status quo, Fahmy is right when he says it "is better than the alternative."


And in order for Israelis and Palestinians to come to terms with each other, he believes both sides must give as well as get.


"I believe most Palestinians and Israelis support a two-state solution and a peace process," he asserts.


The formula, as he sees it, is clear. The Palestinians must see a sovereign state as a reachable goal and "the Israelis must understand that this [the negotiating process] is not one stage in a continuing conflict. Israel can't be allowed to think that peace only postpones the [next round] of the conflict." That's a telling point and it is exactly on that issue that Egypt has a key role to play in either reinforcing the momentum for peace or derailing it.


For all of the recent optimism, there are ominous clouds on the horizon.


Israeli military officials have been signaling that they see the current truce being used by the Palestinians as an opportunity to rearm and reload before starting the next intifada campaign of terror.


Of particular concern has been the wholesale smuggling of arms into Gaza from Egypt via tunnels that run under the so-called Philadelphia corridor that defines the border. Once Israel pulls out of Gaza, they fear that a new Palestinian offensive will start in an attempt to duplicate what they believe to be their success in pushing the Israelis out of Gaza.


The question is, is big brother Egypt guiding the Palestinians towards peace or is it helping to let things slide back into chaos?


According to Fahmy, Egypt is committed to stopping the smuggling even though he contends the problem is "exaggerated." And to back up that assertion, the Egyptians are currently negotiating an agreement with Israel that will call for them to police the border so Israel can safely pull out.


At the same time, rather than disband the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups, not to mention his own Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is trying to co-opt them. Egypt has played a key role in that story as well, hosting conferences between the Palestinian factions. And even though the stated goal is a cease-fire, the result has been a legitimization of the terrorists.


But the conflict is fueled by hatred as much as by explosives.


And Egypt's record here is shaky. Cairo has been a font of anti-Semitic propaganda in recent years, with the broadcast of an odious multi-part drama based on the fraudulent "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" being just the most prominent example.


On that point, Fahmy is again reasonable, pointing out that his government, though slow to act, did disassociate itself from the show and that one of President Hosni Mubarak's top advisors publicly denounced hatred of Jews.


FALSE MORAL EQUIVALENCE
Fahmy is also quick to point to say that "both sides" are involved in "demonizing" one another.


However the moral equivalence he posits on this issue, as well as on that of violence, is a false one. The Israeli government is attempting to not only make painful sacrifices for peace, but is educating its children to believe in it. But a decade of Israeli concessions seems to have encouraged more contempt for the Jewish state, not less.


The Palestinians, and much of the Arab world, continue to act as if Israel's presence will eventually be extinguished either through armed struggle or being swamped by the so-called "right of return." Fahmy's reassurances will mean nothing unless the Palestinians change their tune.


And the last thing Jews need to do is to take his advice and call for Washington to repeat past mistakes and become more directly involved in the negotiations. Fahmy, who sees the actions of former President Jimmy Carter as the ideal version of American diplomacy, says that "U.S. leverage must be used" to bring about a solution.


The Palestinians are hoping that they can recreate the Oslo dynamic of ceaseless American pressure on Israel to make concessions. But to do that is to take the first step down the road to another few years of horrible violence.


What must happen is for Egypt and the rest of the Arab world to finally start educating its people to accept Israelis, not hate them. And they must tell the Palestinians that they must forget about trying to start up the war again later this year.


The point is, if it were just a matter of peace with men like Nabil Fahmy, the conflict might have ended decades ago. Peace with the cold-blooded killers of Hamas is another thing altogether.

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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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