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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 23, 2005 / 16 Sivan, 5765

How partisan politics — the real motive behind the huffing and puffing about Guantanamo — can lead otherwise sensible people to loose their grip on common sense

By Jonathan Tobin



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War protests prompt spurious analogies


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Public opinion surveys have repeatedly shown that Americans are remarkably ignorant of their own history, let alone anyone else's. So maybe that's why our politicians feel they can get away with the most egregious historical analogies when discussing the issues of the day.


Given the unfortunate fact that many Americans may well be laboring under the misapprehension that the Gettysburg Address had something to do with World War II, why wouldn't members of the U.S. Senate throw around references to the Holocaust as if it were an incident that occurred during the War of 1812?


It's been a banner year for dumb quotes from senators, and given the fact that inane remarks have never been in short supply, that is no mean feat.


Earlier this year, West Virginia's former Kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan and current Democratic Party elder statesman Robert Byrd compared the since failed Republican effort to squelch filibusters of judicial nominations to acts of Nazi repression. That worked so well for Byrd that Pennsylvania's own Rick Santorum, who is the Republican Senate Conference chair, returned the favor and said the same thing about the Democrats' filibustering.


To his credit, Santorum soon apologized for his nonsensical statement. Byrd, on the other hand, did not.


The latest purveyor of a Holocaust analogy is Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate's deputy minority leader.


In the course of an impassioned speech about alleged abuses of prisoners at Guant?namo Bay by U.S. personnel, Durbin claimed that this treatment was reminiscent of actions by "the Nazis, the Soviets in their gulag, or some made regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no regard for human beings."

NOT EXACTLY GENOCIDE
This came on the heels of another remark by the head of the Amnesty International human rights group that also compared Guantanamo to the gulag.


All this shows how partisan politics — the real motive behind the huffing and puffing about Guantanamo — can lead even otherwise sensible people to loose their grip on common sense.


As for Guantanamo and the brutalizing of prisoners there, any breach of individual rights ought to concern us. But the problem with much of the debate on this issue isn't whether or not the soldiers and other personnel charged with interrogating terrorists and those captured in the field fighting on behalf of terrorist regimes may have been too rough at times.


Let's remember a simple fact: Not one person has been killed at Guantanamo, while Hitler and his henchmen murdered 6 million Jews and millions of non-Jews during the Holocaust. Stalin killed tens of millions.


Being forced to listen to rap music or suffer extreme heat in a cell or even being chained to a chair for an extended period of time (the allegations Durbin referred to) may or may not be legal, but it is also not genocide. The people who want to commit genocide are the guys being held at Guantanamo, not the American servicemen and women trying to protect us from them.


But claiming that Americans are committing the equivalent of genocide is, at least in the view of some people, good politics. The backlash against the war in Iraq has spurned a lot of spurious arguments but the mock impeachment hearings held by Congressional Democrats last week in the Capitol basement, seemed to bring out the nuts that always lurk at the margins of the body politic.

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It was probably a given that a session devoted to labeling the conflict as a plot would, sooner or a later, include the accusation that it was a Jewish plot. And so it was little surprise that among those summoned to serenade various members of the House of Representatives was Ray McGovern, a former intelligence analyst who was allowed to use this partisan forum to make exactly that point.


According to McGovern, the war in Iraq was fought for Israel, and was used by the "neocons" — the buzzword conspiracy theorists use instead of "Jews" — to carry out the will of the Jewish state. He claims President Bush, only recently seen embracing Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, was under the svengali-like thrall of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

FORUM FOR EXTREMISM
McGovern claims this thesis is being silenced. "Israel is not allowed to be brought up in polite conversation," said McGovern. "The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic."


For this piece of invective, Rep. James Moran (D-Va.), who took in the event and helpfully prompted McGovern's remarks about Israel, merely thanked him for his "candid answer."


Meanwhile, according to news reports, this disgraceful event was being viewed by an overflow crowd on television at national Democratic headquarters in Washington where other crackpots, though not anyone necessarily associated with the party, handed out leaflets that claimed Israeli involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks.


Such people do not represent mainstream Democratic voters, let alone the American public. But it is the sort of thing that is heard more and more among extremist groups, such as those funded by billionaire George Soros, who are seeking more influence in the party. This is not just about the dumbing down of American politics, but an attempt to legitimize extremism.


While we probably shouldn't expect people like Moran or the other organizers of the House "hearing" to behave like adults, we ought to hold serious people like Durbin to higher standards. But if everything — from history to the imperative to fight and win the war on Islamic terrorism and history — can be thrown out the window in order to pursue a partisan grudge against Bush, then we ought not to be surprised that anti-Israel invective follows closely behind.


Interestingly, a survey recently conducted by Republican pollster Frank Luntz for the nonpartisan Israel Project, claimed that increasingly partisan Democrat elites are viewing Israel with distaste partly because Bush has been widely identified as a supporter of the country.


If true, this is a development that Jewish Democrats ought to view with alarm. After all, if we are prepared to believe that Guantanamo is the equivalent of Auschwitz or the gulag, then it is no stretch of the imagination to think of Israel as the evil genius behind the Sept. 11 terror attacks or everything you don't like about American foreign policy.


Just as Republicans need to restrain extremists on the right, it's imperative that Democrats, who, after all, must be considered the odds-on favorites to recapture the White House in 2008, do the same to the apparently growing ranks of anti-Israel extremists on their left wing.

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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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© 2005, Jonathan Tobin