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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 March 8, 2007 / 18 Adar, 5767

The charms of denial

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A couple of years ago, the Japanese consul general at New Orleans dropped by to straighten me out about the Rape of Nanking — a six-weeks-long orgy of rape, murder, torture and general barbarity that a Japanese textbook had just referred to as "the Nanking Incident."


Useful things, euphemisms. It was as if a German text had referred to the Holocaust as the Auschwitz Incident.


My distinguished visitor, the Hon. Masaru Sokato, had already written an indignant letter to the editor in response to my editorializing about the tendency in today's Japan's to gloss over the atrocities that country committed during the late unpleasantness known as the Second World War.


Mr. Sokato followed up his letter with a personal visit, explaining that the new, enlightened and properly penitent Japan would never minimize the war crimes committed by the bad old Japan.


I was reminded of his assurances on reading a headline in the paper just last Friday: "Japanese leader: No proof / women forced to have sex / Lawmakers push to mute '93 apology for brothels."


It seems that, back in 1993, the Japanese government had apologized to the Comfort Women — the hundreds of thousands of mainly Korean and Chinese women forced to service Japanese troops during the war.


That was shortly after historians had unearthed official Japanese documents showing how military authorities worked directly with private contractors to force women into the brothels.


As good old Jake Burden noted in Robert Penn Warren's "All the King's Men," there's always some clue left behind. Some document that surfaces years or decades later and blows the official cover. Like a government contract with the Imperial Army, or Kurt Waldheim's initials on a slip of paper authorizing an execution.


A group of Japanese parliamentarians — 120 of them at last count — now want to revoke their government's apology to the Comfort Women. Their leader explains that it was all a misunderstanding. The military brothels were only an example of free enterprise in action, a kind of Halliburton delivering sexual services.


To quote the Hon. Nariaki Nakayama: "Some say it is useful to compare the brothels to college cafeterias run by private companies who recruit their own staff, procure foodstuffs, and set prices. Where there is demand, businesses crop up…."


Why, sure. The law of supply and demand. Adam Smith and all that. Ain't nobody here but us entrepreneurs. The whole business was as wholesome as a college cafeteria.


Telltale phrases tend to pop up when politicians are preparing to say something beyond belief. One such phrase is the ever-handy introduction, "Some say…." It serves to distance the speaker from the outlandish theory he's about to propound but doesn't want to accept personal responsibility for. Don't blame him; blame the anonymous Some.


Another such phrase is "There is no evidence that…." When the current Japanese premier, Shinzo Abe, sought to absolve his country of responsibility for the hundreds of thousands of women forced into prostitution during the war, he didn't say it never happened, but rather: "The fact is, there is no evidence to prove there was coercion."


All those hundreds of thousands of women must have volunteered. The official documents, the personal testimony of survivors, the Japanese government's own acknowledgment and apology … all those are now to be consigned to the memory hole.


Even now, somewhere in some Japanese ministry of truth, a Japanese Winston Smith is doubtless being assigned to rewrite all that history. On the theory that he who controls the present controls the past.


The Rape of Nanking, the Comfort Women, the Bataan Death March — all those things that happened didn't happen. Or, if they did, the authorities were never involved. Or if they were, they were provoked by Western imperialism. We all know that routine by now.


But there will always be some of us who remember. And will even write about it. Remember Pearl Harbor. And so much else.


The Japanese are scarcely alone when it comes to rewriting the past. These days the most popular work of history in the new, enlightened Germany is a book by a once respectable scholar, Jorg Friedrich, who explains that the Germans were as much victimized by Hitler as the Jews. Since the Allied fire bombings that the Nazis brought down on German cities was the moral equivalent of the Holocaust.


It's a plausible enough theory — if you forget the difference between a debatable military strategy that resulted in terrible suffering and a deliberate, calculated program to wipe out millions. And some other elemental distinctions.


Nor is this kind of thing limited to the old Axis powers. Every people has its historical revisionists. What good, unreconstructed Confederate doesn't know that it was really the North that started the Civil War, that The War had nothing to do with human slavery but was all about states' rights, that Abraham Lincoln never freed a single slave, that the 14th Amendment is illegal….


It's not just the Japanese who tend to remember the past as they would like it to be remembered. It's a human tendency.

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

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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