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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 May 2, 2006 / 5 Iyar, 5766

The Limits of Sympathy

By Jonathan Tobin

As charitable a community that we are, Palestinian appeals for Jewish donations should still be greeted with skepticism


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the wake of the collapse of the peace process and the rise of Hamas, the debate about how to engage the Palestinians continues to bedevil the Jewish community.



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The Israeli government, as well as most Israelis and American Jews, clearly believes that there is no negotiating with a terrorist government.

Nor do many see much purpose in a charade of talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose own equivocal views about terror only look good in comparison with the bloodthirsty instincts of Hamas,Islamic Jihad and the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade of his own Fatah party.

At the same time, we are sensible of the humanitarian disaster that the Palestinians have inflicted upon themselves. There is no question that the situation in the territories is bad. The corruption of the Palestinian Authority helped kill whatever business that wasn't wiped out by the conflict that they have fomented. Widespread unemployment is exacerbated by the fact that many with jobs are simply part of the P.A.'s bloated payroll and do no productive work.

All this leads to more Palestinians than ever being dependent on the United Nations Relief And Works Administration, a refugee agency devoted solely to their welfare but which has been manipulated to prolong their suffering rather than to alleviate it.

Having destroyed their economy by choosing war over peace time and time again — and having now isolated themselves from an international community eager to help by voting for Hamas — Palestinians still turn to the world with their hands out, pleading for assistance.

Such appeals sound like the lament of a child who has murdered his parents, and then asks for sympathy because he's an orphan.

So to whom do they turn? Why to American Jews, of course.

Who else would be an easier mark for Palestinian hustlers than those Jews whose idea of Jewish identity is to support any cause but that of their own people?

Ever since the beginning of the Oslo peace process, a certain portion of American Jewry has been flinging some of their charitable donations down the sinkhole that is the Palestinian economy.

Some were enticed to invest in Palestinian businesses with the laudable notion that by promoting a healthy Arab economy, they would not only build a constituency for peace but make some cash too. But almost all who did so soon saw their investments fall victim to the avarice of the Palestinian kleptocracy or the senseless violence of its terrorist apparatus.

Others invested in advanced training for Palestinians. This led to some P.A. bureaucrats getting a free ride at the Harvard Business School courtesy of American Jews where they may have honed their intellects but failed to apply the principles of sound finance to their own government's financial skullduggery.

Now in the wake of the latest Palestinian disaster comes a new set of American pilgrims who hope to feed hungry Palestinian kids in the name of peace and co-existence.

But while we should all be sympathetic to appeals to help children, some prudence about those Palestinian adults who ask for our money is called for. And when such requests come from a longtime Israel-basher and former spokeswoman for the arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat like Hanan Ashrawi, skepticism ought to be the order of the day.

As it happens, Ashrawi is here in the United States making a stop in Philadelphia this week to help raise money for the Palestine Children's Relief Fund, a group led by veteran Israel-haters, and which has had ties with a Hamas front group named the Holy Land Foundation, which was shut down by the U.S. government for aiding terrorists.

Indeed, according to the American Jewish Committee, the Holy Land Foundation — which along with three other Islamic charities was found liable for the 1996 murder of 16-year-old American David Boim at the hands of Hamas gunmen in the West Bank — it tried unsuccessfully in 2004 to divert some of its frozen assets to the Palestine Children's Relief Fund.

According to Yehudit Barsky, director of AJCommittee's division on Middle East and international terrorism, had they succeeded in doing so, it would have limited the amount of money available to pay the judgement awarded to Boim's parents.

In addition to speaking at a formal dinner for the group, Ashrawi will also be hosted by local Jews, including some with long records of Jewish activism, for a fundraiser specifically aimed at raising Jewish money. These Jews say that past statements of their new Palestinian friends are irrelevant to the obligation to give tzedakah (charity) as well as to build bridges for peace.

But how can anyone trust Palestinian "charities" that are compromised by their terrorist connections to carry out the noble intentions of their Jewish donors?

While the impulse to help needy kids is commendable, Jews who are solicited to give to groups such as this need to think carefully about the ultimate destination of funds raised by such persons, and whether or not better ways exist to help the Palestinians in the long and short term.

One suggestion might be for Palestinians to stop educating the younger generations to hate Jews, and to cease promoting terrorism and suicide bombing as the kind of fate a child ought to embrace. If they did, there would be no need for them to ask for alms from Jews — who are, ironically enough, the intended victims of such violence.

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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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