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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 August 22, 2005 / 17 Menachem-Av, 5765

Don't Expect Any Applause

By Jonathan Tobin



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Why territorial concessions don't make Israel more popular with its critics


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For supporters of Israel, the sense of cognitive dissonance about current events is by now commonplace.


This month, Israel is leaving the Gaza Strip 38 years after it conquered the small territory in a defensive war.


Jewish residents of the area have been forcibly removed. Farms, towns, homes, synagogues and even cemeteries are either being destroyed or carted back inside the 1949 armistice lines.


In order to do this, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has divided his Likud Party, forced out some of the most talented members of his Cabinet and set in motion a series of events that threatens at times to tear Israeli society to pieces.


In exchange for this angst, Israel is getting from the Palestinians nothing but the knowledge that the retreat will most likely strengthen the hands of those who believe terror is the best way to deal with the Jewish state.


Sharon has powerful reasons for the Gaza move, including the need to keep the area's million—plus Arabs outside of Israel's borders, and create a more defensible position than the current deployment of troops who defended the settlements.

Pious hopes
But disengagement also has led many American Jews to piously hope that this sacrifice will win Israel the plaudits of the world — or at least lessen the drumbeat of criticism that can be found every day in the pages of major daily newspapers and on television news.


By giving up Gaza, they reason, Israel has confirmed its status as the certified good guy of the conflict.


But those who think that giving up Gaza will make Israel more popular are deluded themselves. It's enemies aren't impressed by its desire for peace or its willingness to give up part of its historic territory after winning wars, something no other sovereign state has ever done.


Shimon Peres, currently a member of Sharon's coalition, once famously said that Israel didn't need a smart public—relations effort to tell its story. It just needs smart policies.


By that, he meant that all it had to do was to give the Palestinians what they wanted: a state in Gaza and the West Bank. After he concluded the Oslo accords with former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and made such a state inevitable, Peres was convinced that he'd done exactly that. We all know now just how wrong he was to believe Arafat wanted peace. But what has not yet been fully discussed was just how flawed his information policy turned out to be.

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Once Arafat was installed as head of a Palestinian territory, his "police" armed and terrorists released from Israeli prisons, the false idea that Israel was a murderous occupier that killed babies became far more prevalent throughout the world, not less.


Even more recently, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak — whose bold bid for peace at the 2000 Camp David summit put almost all of the territories (including Gaza) on a silver platter for Arafat — was burned as well. Not only did Arafat say no to Barak's peace offer, within months he launched a bloody terror war.


But Israel gained no credit for its peace offer, and sympathy for the Palestinian cause did not decrease because of the decision to pursue the murder of innocents on the streets of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Instead, for the first time in decades, Israel's existence and the very legitimacy of Zionism become a matter of debate in respectable circles.


Ironically, Israel's image in the West was probably stronger when it was led by Yitzhak Shamir, a poor communicator who made no secret of his opposition to all concessions to the Palestinians.


And now, even after weathering four years of heightened terrorism that took more than a thousand Jewish lives and having handed Arafat's successor — and his Islamist allies — all of Gaza without even so much as requiring them to sign another piece of paper, just where does Israel stand?

The Poison Spreads
In Europe, anti—Jewish and anti—Zionist agitation continues to grow. Here in America, liberal Protestant denominations that Jews have always considered allies now line up to denounce even passive Israeli measures of self—defense, such as its security fence, while some also endorse an economic boycott of the Jewish state via divestment.


The poison of anti-Zionism has even leeched into some anti-Iraqi war protests, which are then treated sympathetically in the mainstream press. Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier who fell in Iraq, has become a popular focus of hostility to the Bush administration through her sit-in outside the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas. But some of her views seem to have gone virtually unmentioned by the mainstream press: one of them being hostility to Israel.


Sheehan has written that her son was killed for a "neo-con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel." She also reportedly said, "Get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine, and you'll stop the terrorism."


The fact that she would say such things, and otherwise respectable churches would denounce Israel just as it is giving the Palestinians yet another chance for peace, has to tell us something about this dynamic.


What's the root of this madness? Historians will debate this question in the future, but the most plausible theory is that the moment that Israel's spokespeople and friends abroad began talking about balancing Palestinian rights to statehood and Israel's need for security, it started to lose the media war.


Rights can only be balanced in the public eye with other rights, not pleas for safety. If the Palestinians portray themselves as the only ones with legitimate rights to disputed territories, and Israel repeatedly fails to offer an effective rejoinder, then why won't more people consider the Palestinians in the right?


And once they've gotten editors and church leaders to think of Israel as an "occupier" and inherently in the wrong, then all Palestinian tactics — even murder — become legitimate, and all Israeli countermeasures become illegitimate. That is the challenge as we await the launch of a third Palestinian "intifada," as the head of Israeli army intelligence predicted before a Knesset committee last week.


Israelis had their own good reasons to say good riddance to Gaza, but they should expect no credit for it on the pages of The New York Times, or on CNN or NPR. Years and years of concessions have only served to reinforce the idea that Israel was always in the wrong. And nothing — not giving up Gaza, or even the whole of the West Bank and Jerusalem — will change that.


Until the day when Israel and its friends begin speaking once again of inalienable Jewish rights to this land, the most we can expect is still more of the same.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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