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 July 15, 2014 / 17 Tammuz, 5774

Stubbornness as Governance

By Fred Barnes

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The circumstances facing Israel have changed. Rockets fired from Gaza now reach deeper into the country, threatening two-thirds of Israel's eight million people. Hamas, the terrorist group responsible for the surge in rocket attacks, has become a partner in the government of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. And Abbas appears reluctant to require Hamas to give up terrorism and its commitment to destroy Israel. Meanwhile, the jihadist menace is growing in Syria and Iraq.

What hasn't changed is President Obama's policy toward Israel. It has been to press Israel to make concessions in the stalemated peace talks with the Palestinians. It hasn't worked, but not because Israel has been intransigent. Israel has agreed to numerous concessions, including a separate Palestinian state and half of Jerusalem. The Palestinians have refused all offers. 

Failure has not deterred the Obama administration. Phil Gordon, White House coordinator for the Middle East, spoke in Tel Aviv last week with the same outdated message, faulting Israel. "How will [Israel] have peace if it is unwilling to delineate a border, end the occupation, and allow for Palestinian sovereignty, security, and dignity?" he asked.

David Horovitz of the Times of Israel was appalled. "Parts of his oration read as though Gordon is a recent arrival from Planet Zog who has mistaken the Middle East for Finland," Horovitz wrote. Israeli concessions won't bring peace, he said. "You'd think this sad truth might have permeated the administration's mindset by now, as it surveys the dismal, terror-riven Middle East, and contemplates the abject collapse of its policies in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and the rest of the area."

Obama himself got into the act with an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. An agreement with the Palestinians would "help turn the tide of international sentiment and sideline violent extremists," he said. Obama praised Abbas—but not Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu—as "a counterpart committed to a two-state solution and security cooperation with Israel." What about Hamas? Obama didn't mention Hamas.

Nor was the State Department eager to broach the subject. Spokesman Jen Psaki took the attitude of "believe me, not your own eyes." She insisted there's "no evidence that Hamas plays any role in the interim technocratic [Palestinian] government." The public signing of a unity document? That doesn't seem to count. The weasel word here is "technocratic." It somehow freed the administration to minimize the ability of Abbas to stop the rocketing of Israel by Hamas.

With Obama, refusing to change his mind is a habit. He sticks with policies whether they work or not. If they've become irrelevant or counterproductive, change is still out of the question. If a proposed policy will never be enacted, he sticks with it anyway. For him, stubborn adherence reflects a mindset. If he thinks he's right, as Obama invariably does, why change?

This puts Obama in a presidential class by himself. I've covered presidents going back to Gerald Ford, and none took this approach. They changed their minds when political pressure forced them to, when a policy was failing, or when they had a simple change of heart.

George W. Bush changed his strategy in Iraq in 2007 when the war was being lost. Bill Clinton signed on to a cut in the tax rate on capital gains in 1997 and did so willingly. Against his better judgment, Ronald Reagan signed a series of tax increases in his first term. Under duress, Jimmy Carter agreed to a military buildup. And so on.

But try to come up with a big change by Obama and not much comes to mind. Yes, he flipped on same-sex marriage and became an advocate. But does anyone think his opposition was sincere—rather than political posturing—in the first place? In the 2008 campaign, he opposed an individual mandate on health insurance. Once in office, he proposed a mandate. A genuine reversal? Probably not.

As president, Obama has stuck with a string of losers on the economy, immigration, energy, and tax reform. If they've been implemented, he counts them as successes. If not, he blames Republicans for blocking them. But change policies? Never.

Obama has presided over the slowest and weakest economic recovery in decades. Median income has stagnated, millions have dropped out of the job market, new jobs are disproportionately part-time, and business investment has lagged. Remember the heralded Recovery Summer in 2010? Didn't happen. Perhaps it will this summer, five years after the recession ended.

Yet through all this, he's clung to building more roads and bridges as his policy for boosting economic growth and jobs. (His stimulus in 2009 mostly stimulated Democratic interest groups.) Here's Obama in Denver last week: "It used to be that Republicans, Democrats, everybody said, you know what, America, it's a good thing when we build roads and bridges and get a smart grid to transmit energy—all those things are good for business, good for workers, it helps—now they can't seem to pass a bill just to fund basic projects that we know are good for our economy."

Infrastructure projects have never done much for the economy. What's needed are tax incentives for business investment in growth and jobs. Obama would rather raise business taxes than reduce them. If he could, he'd increase taxes on companies with foreign profits and use the revenue to bail out the highway trust fund. That's a nonstarter in Congress. Still, he's sticking with his policy.

Obama boasts that America has become "more energy independent" on his watch. And it's true. But it's not because of his policy of lavishly subsidizing wind and solar energy—quite the contrary. Increased oil and natural gas production, which he's tried to thwart, are responsible. If he opened federal lands to oil and gas production, we'd have a bigger energy boom. But that would necessitate a presidential change of mind. So no dice.

On immigration, Obama backs an all-or-nothing policy. It's either "comprehensive" reform or no deal. Chances are he'll get nothing. "I want to work with Democrats and Republicans," he said in Minneapolis last week. But he can't do so while attacking them.

Why doesn't the president summon Republicans to negotiate a deal on immigration or other issues? The problem is that negotiations, if all goes well, lead to compromise. And that's what Obama doesn't want. Better to do as much as he can by executive order. That way he can get exactly what he wants—without changing his mind.


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Fred Barnes is Executive editor at the Weekly Standard.

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