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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 July 21, 2004 / 3 Menachem-Av, 5764

There's nothing wrong with a pandering platform

By Jonathan Tobin


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While we are right to be skeptical about any promise made in the summer of a presidential election year, this doesn't mean that supporters of Israel should sit out the process


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Do the platforms put forward every four years by our major political parties matter? In general, the answer would have to be no.


The platforms are documents that bind neither presidential candidate, and often have little impact on the policies that the winner in November will pursue. The fact that for decades both Republicans and Democrats passed platform planks calling for moving the U.S. Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, only to have presidents of both parties reject this advice, is testimony to how meaningless this exercise can be.


But while we are right to be skeptical about any promise made in the summer of a presidential election year, this doesn't mean that supporters of Israel should sit out the process.


Even though we can't be sure that anything the Democrats or the GOP promise in their platforms will come to pass, the value of the symbolism involved is not to be minimized. If we are to continue the tradition of bipartisan support for Israel, then both parties must be put on record saying so.


That's why we are encouraged by the decision of the Democrats to specifically support Israel's right to hold on to parts of the West Bank in any possible peace settlement. By echoing President Bush's stand on this question, the Democrats are doing more than ratcheting up the bidding in the struggle for Jewish votes. Call it pandering if you like, but they are also sending a signal that those who hope to detach the United States from Israel in the coming years are bound to lose.


In this light, friends of Israel should hope the Republicans, who are bent on substantially increasing the small share of the Jewish vote that they won four years ago, will see the Democrats and raise them by explicitly endorsing Israel's right to build a security fence — a point that the Democrats chose to omit from their plank.

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While some will dismiss this competition as mere electioneering, let's remember that such pro-Israel statements are not being made in a vacuum. Hatred for Israel generated by anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world, a phenomenon illustrated by the preposterous ruling of the International Court of Justice in the Hague that Israel must tear down its West Bank security barrier.


Even more ominous are the signs that anti-Israel sentiment is finding a home on the margins of American politics. The Green Party, the far-left environmentalist party that, under the leadership of maverick candidate Ralph Nader, had an enormous impact on the 2000 race, recently issued its own platform. But, in addition to pushing for cleaner air and water, the Greens have also a foreign policy agenda these days: the eradication of Israel.


Though media coverage of the recent Green convention in Milwaukee concentrated on the party's refusal to back Nader this time, as the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle reported earlier this month, the Greens also passed a platform endorsing, among other things, the so-called Palestinian "right of return," an end to U.S. support for the Jewish state, and the replacement of the State of Israel with a binational Jewish/Arab state.


It would be easy to laugh this off as the ravings of a bunch of tree-huggers, but that would be to miss the point.


Although they are a tiny minority, the Greens are given respectful treatment in the national press that is not accorded to other fringe groups. Few causes are considered more chic than environmentalism and even though the Greens are Luddites with no chance of winning a national election, their support has steadily grown over the years. Unlike other extremists, the Greens can count on both the media and their base in academia to soften any criticism of their stands.


The fact that they have lined up behind the Jew-haters points to the growing legitimacy accorded such despicable ideas on not only the far left but in academia as well. That they did so without so much as a peep of protest from the mainstream press also speaks volumes about the way such views are increasingly accepted.


All this shows that anyone who scoffs at the Democrats or Republicans lining up for Israel should think again. At a time when it is more vital than ever that American Jews speak up for Israel, the Greens have shown that the radical anti-Zionism so fashionable in Europe today has won a toehold on our own shores.

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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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© 2004, Jonathan Tobin