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December 2, 2014

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 July 30, 2007 / 15 Menachem-Av, 5767

‘Flying Imams’ and Reichstags

By Jonathan Tobin



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Controversies over 'John Doe' bill and Ellison illustrate chasm over terror war


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It used to be that the only people I knew who were concerned about the behavior of fellow mass-transit passengers were Israelis. But that was before Sept. 11, the airline "shoe bomber," the Madrid railway attacks and the 2005 suicide bombings in the London subway.


Like it or not, the mantra "if you see something, say something" is simply part of the reality of life in the age of the war on Islamist terror. Indeed, it was exactly this sort of routine vigilance on the part of a young clerk at a Circuit City electronics outlet store this spring that led to the uncovering of a local Islamist plot to murder U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J.


But while that young man was justly celebrated for his good deed, others with equally reasonable suspicions of foul play can expect something quite different: a lawsuit.

JUSTIFIED SUSPICIONS
Passengers on a U.S. Airways flight in Minneapolis last November noticed six Islamic clerics behaving in a suspicious manner. They were not merely praying loudly before boarding, but didn't sit in their assigned seats and spread out around the airplane and asked for unneeded seatbelt extenders.


Frightened by the possibility of a hijacking, the passengers reported this behavior to authorities. The six Muslims, now known as the "flying imams," were questioned and then exonerated. But it didn't end there.


Rather than express understanding of the situation, with the help of the Council of American Islamic Relations, the imams accused everyone involved in the incident of anti-Muslim prejudice, and are suing the passengers that they frightened.


The goal of the lawsuit is not just revenge for their experience, but to send a message to anyone who associates Muslims with terror — no matter how reasonable their suspicions might be — they should think twice before saying anything.


The possibility of such lawsuits, not to mention the certainty that Cair will label them as "racists," will deter those who report questionable activity to the authorities, and thus potentially make it easier for terrorists to operate in the open.


Some members of Congress have responded to this problem, and are seeking to add to a Homeland Security bill an amendment that would give immunity to anyone who reported in good faith suspicious activity on mass transit. Though the provision sponsored by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) was passed in both Houses of Congress, it may yet be discarded when competing House and Senate bills are reconciled in conference.


If that happens, it will be because some of our politicians are more interested in their war on the administration than in giving honest citizens protection against frivolous lawsuits by the Islamist race-baiters at Cair, whose roots as a support group for Hamas betray their own extremist agenda.


But at the heart of this controversy isn't just partisanship, or a desire to protect innocent Muslims from humiliation. What this is about is the legitimacy of the war on Islamist terror itself.


Insight into this dilemma was provided, ironically enough by the first professed Muslim to serve in Congress: freshman Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).


Ellison caused a regrettable kerfuffle when some pundits wrongly expressed opposition to his decision to take his oath of office last January by swearing on the Koran. His defenders sought to downplay any notion that this former supporter of Louis Farrakhan was anything but an ardent defender of civil liberties.


But in a July 8 speech, Ellison revealed himself to be someone who looks at the post-9/11 world from a CAIR-like frame of reference. In it, he compared America's response to that attack to the way the Nazis exploited the 1933 burning of the Reichstag in Berlin.


The statement was not just a classic example of Michael Moore -style, over-the-top hatred for Bush, but revealed a sensibility that saw the entire effort to fight Al Qaeda and render future terror attacks less likely as inherently illegitimate. In Ellison's vision, the belated efforts by Americans to wake up to the reality of the Islamist threat was a nightmare based on fraud and fear-mongering Nazi-look-alikes, not a nation asserting its right to defend itself against terror.


That such sentiments exist in the fever swamps of both the far right and left in this country is no secret. That they are being put about by members of Congress — especially the man embraced by American Muslims as their role model and spokesman — is telling.


The speech also generated one of those controversies that illustrate how distorted both political discourse and interfaith communal relations have become.


In response to his use of an inappropriate Nazi analogy, the Anti-Defamation League first reached out to Ellison. Seeking to make friends rather than merely to shoot from the hip, the ADL met with the congressman to try and coax back in off the ledge. But though the Minnesotan now says he agrees with ADL's position, he was slow to backtrack, and after the affair dragged on for weeks, the group's leader, Abe Foxman, finally issued a statement taking him to task.


Ellison's reaction was to play the victim and claim he was "blindsided" by Foxman's reproof since he eventually intended to say something though he won't make one now. Thus, rather than the focus being on Ellison's wild charges, Foxman wound up in the dock.


Due to Ellison's clever spin, the reaction to his speech was treated as the offense, not his appropriation of Holocaust imagery to smear the anti-terror campaign. The issue became Foxman's supposed eagerness to garner publicity and to shrei gevalt, not Ellison's embrace of extremist rhetoric.


But Foxman had been dead right about Ellison.

WHILE AMERICA SLEPT
Prior to 9/11, America was asleep to the threat from Islamist terrorists, and their apologists and rationalizers. After that national trauma, more of us began to think about the danger and take action.


It is true that the Homeland Security Department created to coordinate our defense has been a disappointing boondoggle. And a fear of accusations of racism from CAIR has led to a refusal to use profiling techniques that has rendered airline-security measures a joke, as old ladies can be strip-searched while those who are more likely to be dangerous are left alone. But though the possibility of another atrocity exists, there has been no repeat of 9/11.


While the administration has plenty of mistakes to answer for, the real danger is the return to the pre-9/11 apathetic mindset that Ellison and his allies at CAIR are encouraging.


If it has gotten to the point where people like the U.S. Air passengers and Abe Foxman are seen as the problem — and not the jihad-rationalizers at CAIR or a congressman who thinks Republicans are Nazis — then we are back to square one in the war on terror. If so, that is bad news not just for the ADL and Bush, but for all of us.

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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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