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 Oct. 31, 2005 / 28 Tishrei, 5766

Is the choice Abbas or the abyss?

By Jonathan Tobin

Strategy on Palestinians a mockery of president's stands on democracy and terror

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In any descent into folly, there is a tipping point. Before that happens, there's a chance to reverse course and avert disaster. But after the crucial moment arrives, failure is inevitable, and the only question is just how badly things will actually turn out.

No, I'm not talking about the Bush administration's Iraq policy, its hurricane recovery efforts or the fallout from the Valerie Plame leak case. Rather, the really bad mistake Washington is about to commit is one that has generated no outrage from the press or worries about declining poll numbers.

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Ironically, it was at Bush's meetings with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last week — an event that provided a respite from bad press — at which the greatest administration blunder of the month occurred: Bush gave Abbas the green light to allow Hamas terrorists to keep their arms and run in next January's Palestinian elections.

Not only does this contradict Bush's own challenge to the world that it must choose between terror and democracy; it also gives the lie to the administration's position on what is acceptable in the efforts to establish a government in Iraq.

Some of the administration's defenders will claim that excluding Hamas or any other Islamist movement would undermine democracy.

But nothing could be further from the truth. A political party in a democracy does not need an army, let alone a terrorist wing.

Excluding armed gangs from the status of genuine democratic parties is simple common sense. How, we must ask Bush, can an election be considered fair when the contending parties can intimidate voters and the media at will?

Of course, would it be fair to exclude Hamas while including Fatah, which has its own "armed wing" — the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade — that murdered three Israeli teenagers in cold blood the day before the Washington meeting?

But to even ask such questions is to ponder issues that the administration is unwilling to face. The Bush team's approach to the Israel-Arab conflict has boiled down to a simple prayer that somehow Mahmoud Abbas can transform Palestinian politics and culture from one of terrorism and war to one of peace.

Needless to say, they're simply dreaming.

But rather than merely excoriate the administration and its cheerleaders in the press on the issue (often the same group that is screaming for Bush's head on every other topic), it would be more useful to ask why they're doing it, and what can possibly be done to rectify the situation.

What has made Abbas Bush's man in Ramallah?

Part of the answer lies in the fact that with the war in Iraq still hanging in the balance, the need to keep the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians calm has trumped the administration's ability to distinguish between fact and fiction about Abbas. Bush's team has apparently concluded that it must prop up Abbas no matter what he does — or doesn't do — to preserve any chance of peace. Since they see the choice as being between Abbas and the abyss, they choose the former.

In Bush's defense, it must be admitted that the Israeli government has come perilously close at times to the same position. Since it feels it must have someone on the other side to talk to, even if peace is impossible, the conclusion has been better Abbas than anyone else.

But here in the United States, this realpolitik approach has been transformed into a genuine cheering section for Abbas among the foreign-policy elite. It makes sense that those whose careers were sunk by belief in the Oslo disaster would say this, but what in heaven's name are Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her boss, who presumably are free of the Oslo infection, doing?

The answer is that they're slowly being sucked into the same pattern that characterized American policy during the Oslo era. So convinced was the Clinton administration of the need to preserve Yasser Arafat as a peace partner that they preferred to deceive themselves and others in order to avoid facing the truth about him. The same is going on now with Abbas, whose meeting with Bush last week had all the earmarks of Clinton's endless romancing of Arafat.

True, Abbas plays his role as would-be peacemaker much better than his former chief. He dresses properly, and adopts the right tone of conciliation when called upon to do so.

But when he uses his Rose Garden photo op to push for the release of blood-stained terrorists — whom he had the chutzpah to call "prisoners of freedom" — it is clear that it's still the terror chiefs who call the shots, not any would-be democrats.

Abbas is, after all, a veteran bureaucrat of Palestinian terror. That would not be crucial if he had genuinely changed his — and his government's — position, but he hasn't.

No matter how much American and European money he gets (and haven't we all seen that movie before?), Abbas can no more ask Hamas to give up killing Jews than he could ask his own followers to do so. Nor can he possibly end the incitement to violence and hatred of Israel that is routine within the official Palestinian media without undermining his own legitimacy.

So much for the virtues of "moderation."

The Bush administration is right to say democracy should apply to everyone, including the Arabs. But if Palestinian politics is predicated on terrorism, then we have to ask what value is democratic competition between armed gangs?

And that's the box that the increasingly hapless administration is about to find itself in.

Having stiffed Ariel Sharon on Hamas and signaled Abbas that he's under no pressure to disarm, Bush is heading toward a moment when he'll be forced to make a hopeless choice between two equally unacceptable alternatives: Once the Palestinian electorate speaks, Bush will have to recognize a Fatah-Hamas coalition government and thereby giving the lie to its anti-terror strategy. Or he can tell the Palestinians at that point that relations with terrorists are impossible and undermine his otherwise exemplary Middle East democracy project.

Either way, the stage will be set for a renewed intifada, whenever the Palestinians decide that violence will again gain them more than talk. One can hope that then Bush will react properly and again back Israel, but by then it will be too late to avert the damage. Israel will pay for this folly in blood. The United States will pay in damaged credibility that will hurt the war effort in Iraq.

Bush could have laid it on the line to Abbas about Hamas and his own killers. But the belief that this particular Palestinian is indispensable appears to have overcome any sense of danger.

The tipping point is fast approaching. But it appears that few in the administration realize that they have already struck a devil's bargain with Abbas.

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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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