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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 1, 2006 / 5 Sivan, 5766

Don't Take Us for Granted!

By Jonathan Tobin



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Despite applause for Olmert, he can't count on unconditional American support


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Ehud Olmert emerged from his first meeting as prime minister with President Bush sounding as if the conclave couldn't have been more to his liking.


The extended face time he had with the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the cheers Olmert received when he addressed Congress last week are being put forward as a personal triumph for him as well as for his new government.


Olmert vowed to follow up on the success of his visit to Washington by visiting Europe, as well as Egypt, to drum up international support for his "realignment" plan (formally known as "convergence," and before that, as merely unilateral withdrawal) by which he proposes to pull back from parts of the West Bank and thus permanently draw Israel's boundaries without the permission of the Palestinians.


But even before the echoes of congressional cheers for Olmert's thoughtful address had died down, his rival for American love and largess issued a statement that showed just how slender the prime minister's margin for error in this game really is.

POPPING HIS BALLOON
Two days after Olmert's tete-a-tete with Bush, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas proclaimed to the international press that he would call a referendum on a proposal for a Palestinian state that would recognize Israel, if the governing Hamas party failed to accept the plan within 10 days.


Abbas is a marginalized figure within his own government and people. But despite this, all it took was for the Palestinian to say a few magic words — and a great deal of the air went out of Olmert's post-Washington summit balloon.


What Abbas did was endorse a so-called peace plan hatched by a committee of members of Hamas and Abbas' Fatah movement currently serving lengthy terms in Israeli prisons for terrorist murders. But despite the fact that they could draft it at their leisure, all the prisoners did was adopt a similar "peace" plan floated by the Saudis in 2002.


The Saudi plan was a hoax launched in order to counter all the unfair bad press they were receiving in the months after 9/11. With the connivance of The New York Times' Thomas Friedman, who trumpeted the scheme as a scoop in his column, the Saudis managed to convince some Americans that a plan that called for Israel to pull back to the 1949 armistice lines, accept the Palestinian "right of return," which would destroy it as a Jewish state, in exchange for de facto recognition, was a step toward peace rather than more war.


Israel rightly rejected the idea at the time and will, no doubt, do so again. But that didn't stop the international press, as well as some American Jewish "peace" activists from touting it not only as a sign of Abbas' moderation but as a real opening for peace that ought to trump Olmert's unilateralism.

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It isn't clear that Abbas' gambit will afford him more than a momentary tactical advantage against both Hamas and Olmert. But what it does illustrate is how precarious Olmert's hold on international goodwill is.


After all, the price he had to pay for the warm reception he got at the White House was to agree to stop telling the world that Abbas was not a negotiating partner and had proved that he wasn't interested in progress toward peace. But Abbas, despite his unwillingness to use any of the considerable force at his disposal to stop attacks against Israel, can still count on more support here than Olmert seems to understand.


Olmert is acting as if his plans will carry the day, no matter what else happens. Those of us who believe that any democratically elected leader of Israel is entitled to more than the benefit of the doubt hope he is right. But Israelis ought to care about the reason why, against all reason, Abbas is still sitting in the proverbial catbird seat when it comes to leverage in Washington.

AID REQUEST
First, despite George W. Bush's obvious and genuine affection for the State of Israel and the much-vaunted power of the Israel "lobby," Washington still has bigger fish to fry than Olmert's ambitions for a relatively quick resolution to Israel's problems in the territories.


Olmert wants (though he didn't have the chutzpah to ask for it on this trip) some additional $10 billion in aid to cover the costs of carrying out the uprooting of some 70,000 Jews who live in places in the territories that the government envisages giving up in the next round of withdrawals, as well as for their resettlement elsewhere in Israel.


But Israelis need to remember that America is spending more than a billion per week in Iraq. And though, despite the entreaties of some of our Arab and European "allies," Bush has refused to ditch Israel in return for more support on Iraq. He is highly unlikely to do anything that will rile up even more anger in the Arab world than we have already suffered. Which is to say those members of Olmert's Kadima Party who actually think that the United States — let alone Europe — will endorse unilaterally drawn borders ought not to be holding their breath waiting for such a statement.


Second, one of the main audiences where Abbas' overtures are playing well is among American Jews. Ironically, unlike the hard-core supporters of Israel in both the Republican and Democratic caucuses in Congress, who not only cheered for Olmert last week but passed a bill calling for heavy restrictions on aid to the Palestinians that the White House thought was too tough, many American Jews are more interested in giving Hamas a chance.


The vocal opposition by some left-wing Jewish groups, including the Israel Policy Forum (to whom Olmert floated his withdrawal plans at a dinner last year) to the legislation calling for an aid cutoff to a Hamas-led P.A. should be a wake-up call that he cannot count on wall-to-wall Jewish support for unilateralism. The welcome given the prisoners "peace plan" in the press ought to reinforce the danger.


But rather than answer the challenge from the left here, Olmert and his people are still far more interested in quashing the lingering carping they still hear from those who oppose any withdrawals. That's understandable given the bitter battle Olmert fought with the right, first within the Likud and then in the general election he won this year as head of Kadima.


But there is no getting around the fact that no matter how much more territory Olmert's government is prepared to give up, there will still be a powerful chorus in this country and Europe wanting more. Should his "realignment" plan actually be implemented, it will be followed by more protests focused on getting Israel to pull back even farther to the 1949 armistice lines, including those in Jerusalem.


And the thing he ought to be most worried about here is the slippage in Jewish support for Israel, even an Israel that is committed to massive withdrawals.


Rather than wasting his time trying to get international support for unilateralism that will never come, maybe Olmert should concentrate more of his efforts on stopping the bleeding in the pro-Israel community. Red carpets in London and Paris are no substitute for the ground lost to Abbas and Hamas here.

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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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