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 Feb. 22, 2008 / 16 Adar I 5768

At the Scene of Reconciliation: The Iraqis come to Denmark

By Michael Ledeen

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I'm in Denmark this week as an observer at an Iraqi "reconciliation conference" that has brought nearly two dozen political and religious leaders to Copenhagen. It's a fascinating group. The clerics range from Sunnis and Shiites to members of little-known, fascinating pre-Islamic sects like the Yezikis (who seem to be historically linked to the Zoroastrians) and the Mandaeans (the central figure of whose faith is John the Baptist), all of whom have suffered ghastly depredations in the terror war following the defeat of Saddam Hussein. Political figures include National Security Adviser Muwafaq al-Rubayie, who spent a long and intense day here on Tuesday, and remains in close contact as the participants try to hammer out a collective document.

It's probably sheer coincidence that this conference takes place at the moment General Petraeus is expressing considerable hope for reconciliation, and his statement that Iraqis need to shout instead of shoot is very much in the forefront of the discussions here. The participants believe that things in their country have improved to the point where a strong statement, containing many specific recommendations, might well have an impact on the central government. They are particularly intent on improving the treatment of some of the lesser-known religious groups in the country, who have been decimated by sectarian violence and who have yet to receive decent treatment from the government or meaningful support from the human-rights and aid communities.

As so often in the past, this ecumenical effort has been driven by the young Anglican canon of Baghdad, Andrew White, who in ten years in Iraq has won the trust and affection of an amazingly wide cross-section of politicians and clerics, and he presides over the conference, which has received impressive support from the Danish government. The foreign minister blessed the proceedings, and insisted that it produce concrete recommendations and vigorous follow-up in Baghdad. The discussions have been intense, frank, and productive. For starters, all agreed to avoid the use of the term "minorities" on the grounds that they were working for high standards for all Iraqis, and did not wish to call attention to any one group or sect. This alone would make the conference a notable event; they will also recommend that religious identification be removed from Iraqi ID cards, to make sectarian bias more difficult to implement.

There have been moments of enormous gravity, as we heard stories about the slaughter of entire communities, especially of the smaller sects. Virtually every Iraqi in the room spoke about personal losses, but they did so in tones of sadness, not vengeance, and they seemed to demonstrate a genuine desire to put an end to the violence and find a way to restore Iraq to a preeminent role in the region.

There was a fascinating discussion of church/mosque/state relations, which Canon White defined with the rhetorical question, "Should religion play an advisory or supervisory role in Iraq?" Both Luther and Tocqueville were invoked as possible guides, and Rubayie insisted that the correct answer was "both." Somewhat surprisingly, he also insisted that the Iraqi Constitution does not assert that sharia law is the country's ultimate legal authority, but rather that contemporary Iraqi practice should "rest on the pillars of Islam," thus permitting both the government and its judges rather more wiggle room than I had thought.

Wednesday's discussions were devoted to human rights, and especially to two sub-themes: the treatment of women, and the high level of violence in Iraqi society. Several participants decried the very common practice of wife-beating and child-beating, and while some insisted that this was contrary to Iraqi tradition (and explained it by the fact that this generation of Iraqis has suffered through three bloody wars, which have traumatized the whole society), all agreed that the government should take steps to stigmatize and eliminate it. Specific recommendations will probably appear in the final document. Moreover, one of the two female participants, a member of Parliament, noted that unmarried women "of a certain age" fell under the domination of their brothers, and that this situation was intolerable, to which the men agreed. I cannot count the times that participants insisted on the equality of men and women — some citing the Koran, others more contemporary documents.

In short, there are signs of hope here. The very fact that so many authoritative Iraqis were willing to come here and participate in a very public event bespeaks confidence in the future of the country, and a determination to speed up the process. One of the participants noted that it wasn't enough to have a minister for human rights (who was expected to arrive in Copenhagen Wednesday evening), because it would be difficult for a minister to expose human-rights violations by her own government. I expect a call for an independent parliamentary or even private commission.

This conference in Denmark may well prove to be a significant moment in the evolution of a better Iraq. No single meeting can possibly transform the country by itself, but these are respected people with considerable clout, and they are determined that their recommendations will be taken to the highest levels of the state and the country's mosques and churches.

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JWR contributor Michael Ledeen is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of, most recently, ""The War Against the Terror Masters," Comment by clicking here.

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