Reality Check

In this issue

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 June 18, 2003 / 18 Sivan, 5763

Scanning the road map scorecard

By Michael Freund | For the sake of the Middle East and its future, let's take a moment and engage in a brief intellectual exercise.

Put aside any ideological or political feelings you might have about the US-backed plan to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Forget temporarily your personal views regarding Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen), or even US President George W. Bush. Instead, let's focus on a simple question:

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Are the Palestinians living up to their commitments as laid down in the road map?

On June 4, at the Aqaba summit, Abbas stood before the television cameras and said, "A new opportunity for peace exists, an opportunity based upon President Bush's vision and the Quartet's road map, which we have accepted without any reservations."

Thus with Bush, Sharon, and King Abdullah of Jordan at his side, the Palestinian leader formally undertook to abide by the road map and its obligations.

Among other things, the road map explicitly requires that "the Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence." A look at the record, however, reveals that since Aqaba, rather than putting a halt to terror, the Palestinians have accelerated it.

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According to statistics compiled by the IDF, there were 142 Palestinian terror attacks in the 10 days prior to the Aqaba summit. But in the 10 days immediately following it, there were 154 an increase of almost 10%.

These included shootings, stabbings, bombings, rocket attacks against Jewish communities, and the detonation of explosive devices against civilian vehicles.

Moreover, in the 10-day period before Aqaba no Israelis were killed by Palestinian terror, whereas in the corresponding period after Aqaba, 28 Israelis lost their lives.

Hence, in terms of both quantity of terror as well as its lethality, the Palestinians have clearly failed to live up to their road map obligation.

The second key Palestinian commitment under the road map involves putting a stop to anti-Israel incitement. The document requires that "all official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel in the Palestinian media."

Accordingly, Abu Mazen offered the following pledge at Aqaba: "We will also act vigorously against incitement and violence and hatred, whatever their form or forum may be. We will take measures to ensure that there is no incitement from Palestinian institutions."

Those were pretty strong words. For the first time in recent memory, a Palestinian leader was speaking out unequivocally against incitement to violence against the Jewish state.

But have those words been backed up by action?

Two days after the summit, on June 6, the official Palestinian Authority radio, under Abu Mazen's control, broadcast its regular series of Friday sermons. In the first homily the preacher chose to heap praise on the Palestinian "resistance," known to the rest of the world as the terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, saying, "We salute our political parties and resistance factions, which call for unity."

The second preacher decided to denounce the establishment of the State of Israel, calling it a "disaster" and a "catastrophe."

A week later, on June 13, the rhetoric grew even harsher, when Abu Mazen's official TV and radio broadcast a sermon from the Sheikh Ijlin mosque in Gaza, in which the preacher said, "O Allah, punish our enemies. O Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters. O Allah, destroy the United States and its allies."

Hence it is clear that the Palestinians are not living up to the anti-incitement requirements of the road map either. Not only has Abu Mazen failed to stop such incitement, the media organs under his direct control have continued to engage in it.

Finally, the road map also requires the Palestinians to take a series of tough steps against terrorist groups. These include a requirement to "commence confiscation of illegal weapons," dismantle "terrorist capabilities and infrastructure," and undertake "visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt, and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis anywhere."

Nevertheless, no such steps have been taken by the Palestinian Authority. Instead, Abu Mazen has been negotiating with the terrorist groups and has publicly vowed that he will not use force against them.

In the two weeks since Aqaba the Palestinians have not arrested any terrorist leaders nor confiscated any illegal weapons. The terrorist groups' infrastructure remains intact, and they now know they have no reason to fear a crackdown.

Thus, on all three counts ending anti-Israel violence, stopping incitement, and clamping down on terror groups the Palestinians have failed to deliver the goods. In baseball terms, Abu Mazen is batting a solid zero, striking out on all counts.

There are plenty of observers out there ready to offer excuses, trying to justify the Palestinians' breach of their commitments. They cite the ongoing rivalry between Abu Mazen and Yasser Arafat, the state of various Palestinian institutions, as well as the relatively short time that has elapsed since the summit.

But these are excuses, nothing more. The fact is that Abu Mazen and the PA voluntarily took upon themselves various obligations and have violated every one of them. Hence they have no one but themselves to blame for their failure to keep their word.

And so, when you put aside all the emotions the Middle East conflict arouses and examine just the facts, the conclusion is clear: The Palestinians cannot be relied upon to abide by their commitments, and they cannot be entrusted with a state.

Time and again, for nearly a decade, they have signed agreements only to violate them systematically and repeatedly. If this is the case at the outset of the road map, when the Palestinians still have so much to gain, what will happen at its conclusion, when they achieve statehood and have nothing to lose?

The facts, as they say, speak for themselves.

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JWR contributor Michael Freund served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office from 1996 to 1999. Click here to comment on this column.

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© 2003, Michael Freund