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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 June 8, 2009 / 16 Sivan 5769

In Cairo, Obama pandered

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Obama went to the Middle East, he said, to speak frankly and forthrightly about the issues that bedevil America's relations with the Muslim world. "Part of being a good friend is being honest," he had said in an interview just before his trip. He warned his Cairo audience that he intended to be blunt. "We must say openly the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors," he declared; so he was going to "speak as clearly and plainly as I can."

About some things, the president was indeed direct. He conveyed his impatience with those -- there are many in the Middle East -- who blame the 9/11 terrorist attacks on a Jewish or American conspiracy. "Let us be clear: Al-Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that day" and "the victims were innocent men, women and children. … These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with."

He was even more scornful about Holocaust denial, which is also rife in the Arab world. "Six million Jews were killed" by Nazi Germany, Obama said -- "more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful."

Would that the rest of his remarks had been equally plain-spoken. As the first American president with Muslim roots, Obama benefits from much acclaim and goodwill in the Middle East. Rarely has a president had a better opportunity to openly address the pathologies and prejudices that drag Islamic societies backward, trapping so many of the world's Muslims in cultures that are unfree and unenlightened. As a candidate for president, Obama had argued that his experience of Muslim life gave him the moral authority to speak truth to Islamic power. "I can speak forcefully," he told The New York Times, "about the need for Muslim countries to reconcile themselves to modernity in ways they have failed to do."

But he didn't do so. Instead Obama pandered to his audience. He repeatedly praised Islamic history and teachings, repeatedly drew attention to American or Western shortcomings -- and repeatedly avoided speaking frankly about the dysfunctions in contemporary Islam.

He spoke of democracy, for example, but only in gauzy platitudes about "the freedom to live as you choose" and the need for "government of the people and by the people." Obama could have mentioned that democracy is almost entirely absent from the Arab world, or called for the release of imprisoned dissidents. He could have used his bully pulpit to urge an end to Egypt's repressive "state of emergency," which has lasted 28 years. He could have contrasted Iraq's hard-won constitutional democracy with the Middle East's ugly autocracies and dictatorships. He could have offered hope and encouragement to persecuted reformers and pro-democracy activists. Why didn't he?

"I want to address … women's rights," the president said, as well he might, given the appalling subjugation of women in so many Muslim countries. But about that subjugation -- the gender apartheid in Saudi Arabia, the fanatic misogyny of the Taliban, the widespread female genital mutilation, the "honor" killings of women who get pregnant out of wedlock -- he spoke not a word. The closest he came to denouncing the thugs who blow up girls' schools and murder their teachers was to observe tepidly that "a woman who is denied an education is denied equality." He disagreed, he said, with those who think "that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal." But what about women who are forced to wear a hijab? About them, Obama was silent.

Most astonishing of all, Obama never spoke the words "Islamist" or "Islamism." In a speech directed to Muslims worldwide, he made no effort to refute radical Islam's endorsement of global jihad. He spoke only of "extremists" -- as in "violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security" -- but said nothing about the totalitarian religious ideology that drives them. For Obama, speaking in the heart of the Arab world at a seat of Muslim learning, it was the perfect moment to strike an intellectual blow against radical Islam. It was the ideal venue to implore Muslims to rise up, vocally and en masse, against the jihadists who preach and commit violence in the name of Islam.

What the Brandenburg Gate was for Ronald Reagan in 1987, Cairo University could have been for Obama. Reagan seized the moment, spoke the truth, and helped liberate half a continent. All Obama did was give a speech.

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Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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