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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 August 23, 2013 / 17 Elul, 5773

Jordan's wary welcome

By Michael Gerson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | MAFRAQ, Jordan -- A dozen Syrian women aged 12 to 16, mainly refugees from the flattened city of Homs, sit in a semi-circle. Their heads are covered. They are naturally reticent dealing with a male foreigner. But they eventually warm up, talking about their escapes, their plans for school, and Syrian pop stars.

Have they witnessed any violence themselves? I ask. Every hand is raised.

"My grandmother was collecting her clothes, trying to escape. A sniper killed her right on the spot. We could not reach her because we were afraid of the sniper."

"Out of my balcony, I saw two people slaughtered with a knife. I can still see the details. They don't go away."

"Right outside our house, the soldiers would force girls to take off their clothes and decide who would be raped or killed. It is why we didn't look out."

Their tone is unsettlingly matter of fact. "When there is too much death around," one explains, "people stop feeling anything."

There is plenty of death around in Syria. Unlike, say, in Libya, were Moammar Gaddafi ended up friendless and hunted, every faction in the Syrian conflict has powerful outside sponsors, leading to a war without resolution.

Atrocities can be found on various sides. But the regime of Bashar al-Assad has made a systematic march across the moral boundaries of war: targeting schools during school hours, making use of what are believed to be chemical weapons against civilians, dropping barrel bombs (oil drums filled with TNT, oil and chunks of metal) from helicopters to destroy neighborhoods. When they first arrive, preschoolers at the Za'atri Refugee Camp dive to the ground when they hear an airplane overhead.

In Jordan, there is a broad realization among government officials, aid workers and refugees that the Syrian crisis is now chronic. One humanitarian worker estimated to me their efforts might be required for six to 12 years.



This adjustment of the time horizon can be seen at Za'atri -- with about 120,000 residents, the second largest refugee camp in the world. Tents are giving way to prefabricated housing. Some residents are fashioning these units into three -sided dwellings, with a paved courtyard in the middle, on the model of a Damascus home. The main shopping street offers washing machines, cigarettes, phones, wedding dresses and televisions. Jordanian officials visiting the camp look at the signs of permanence and worry, recalling past waves of Palestinian and Iraqi refugees.

More than three-quarters of Syrian refugees live outside the camps in cities and towns. Initially, many Jordanians opened their homes and even took out personal loans to offer help. But this welcome has (naturally) faded over time. In a Jordanian boarder region near Syria where I visited, hospitals are full and refusing referrals, medicines are in short supply, schools are running double shifts, scarce water is delivered less frequently, wages have been undercut by high-skill, low-cost Syrian labor.

Add to this a growing resentment that refugees get aid while equally poor Jordanians often do not. Add to this a recent cut in the electricity subsidy in Jordan, a reform mandated by the International Monetary Fund as an austerity measure. At best, this is a recipe for tension; at worst for instability. And Jordan is the keystone of stability for the whole region.

Jordan -- a nation of about 7 million next to a collapsing country of 22 million -- is in the process of being overwhelmed. And this demonstrates the yield of foreign aid. During the current crisis, the U.S. government has spent more than $1 billion in the region to limit the spread of chaos. In Jordan, for example, it is involved in constructing 100 new schools. This is not an altruistic add-on to American policy; it is a particularly successful, non-military instrument of influence. Donors and humanitarian organizations -- such as CARE (which hosted my trip), Mercy Corps and Save the Children -- are shifting their focus from emergency refugee assistance toward helping whole communities, trying to mitigate the tensions between migrants and hosts. The success of this approach is essential to Jordan, to the region and to American interests.

Yet few make the case. The Obama administration has little interest in raising the profile of Middle Eastern problems that offer few clear solutions. And appeals by humanitarian groups for private donations to help Syrian refugees have generally fallen flat. Americans apparently believe the Syrian crisis is a purely internal matter, with no good guys to root for.

They might think differently after meeting the young women from Homs.

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Previously:



08/20/13The hardest goodbye: A parent letting go
08/16/13 For GOP, opposition shouldn't only mean obstruction
08/13/13 Crazy, humane determination creates breakthrough for millions
08/09/13 America's bubble of complacency
07/01/11 The GOP's ideal America
03/04/11 The last doughboy and the emergence of a great nation
03/01/11 Conservatives shouldn't be so surprised by freedom
02/22/11 The progression of pain
02/18/11 The seriousness primary
02/11/11 Do Egypt's protests mean American decline?
01/27/11 No-bend Obama
01/21/11 Two good arguments for civility -- and passion -- in politics
01/11/11 Obama's staff changes give him a second chance
01/11/11 Is Arizona shooting an empty search for meaning?
01/07/11 WikiLeaks gives dangerous ammunition to a tyrant
01/04/11 Michael Vick: Symbol of the second chance
12/28/10 Social Security reform is the answer to Obama's problems --- and the nation's
12/21/10 When foreign policy realism isn't realistic
12/17/10 When it comes to politics, Obama's ego keeps getting in the way
11/26/10 Libs resort to conspiracy theories to explain Obama's problems
11/19/10 With Holder at the helm, detainee policy is a disaster
11/12/10 Blue-state budget crises spell even more trouble for Dems
10/19/10 Obama the snob
10/12/10 Seeds of victory in Afghanistan
10/05/10 Believers' remorse
10/04/10 Pound-foolish on national security
09/28/10 Babylon on the Potomac
09/27/10 Our reluctant commander in chief
09/21/10 Blue strongholds are becoming Democratic graveyards
09/17/10 For the GOP, a bittersweet brew from the Tea Party
09/15/10: Insanity's great enablers
09/13/10: The lost communicator
09/08/10: Will 2010 midterms be 1994 all over again?
09/01/10: Obama's economic wandering
08/27/10: Miracles from abroad
08/25/10: Address these issues in order to strengthen the Tea Party
08/20/10: The lost promise of Barack Obama
07/23/10: Obama's greatest nightmare
02/04/09: The Reality of Innocence
01/07/09: The Risks in Obama's Ambitions
12/31/08: Support Obama Will Need
06/13/08: Prince Charles, Organic Conservatism Icon
06/11/08: No longer a bankrupt political joke but still overshadowed
04/23/08: McCain's anger management
04/10/08: A Country for Old Men
03/06/08: Does the America Need a Hug?
03/06/08: Obama's First 100 Days
02/29/08: Words Aren't Cheap
02/22/08: He Said, They Said
02/20/08: Dying silently in Zimbabwe
02/15/08: Hillary's Unappealing Path
02/13/08: NATO's Afghan Stumbles
02/08/08: Why McCain Endures
02/06/08: One surge that led to another
02/01/08: In North Korea, Process Over Progress
01/30/08: Compassionate to the end


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