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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 Sept. 1, 2010 / 22 Elul 5770

Reason for optimism in Mideast talks

By Michael B. Oren


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Israeli and Palestinian leaders are in Washington in an attempt to make peace — again. This summit marks the latest chapter in a story that began on the White House lawn 17 years ago when Israelis and Palestinians committed themselves to ending the conflict once and for all. Since then, every round has failed and bloodshed has continued. Against the backdrop of Tuesday's Palestinian terrorist attack that left four Israeli civilians dead, including a pregnant Israeli woman, why should these negotiations be different? Is there any reason for optimism?

Indeed, there is. For the first time in history, most Arab leaders view a Middle Eastern state other than IsraelIran — as their major enemy. The Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is strong, stable and deeply committed to resolving the conflict based on two states for two peoples, Israeli and Palestinian. In the West Bank, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is working to restore law, order and economic prosperity while similarly pledging to pursue the two-state solution. And President Barack Obama has placed achieving peace at the top of his foreign policy agenda. Never before, perhaps, have conditions been so conducive for a breakthrough.

Still, daunting obstacles remain. Nearly half of the territory slated to become part of the future Palestinian state is controlled by Hamas, an Iranian-backed terrorist group dedicated to Israel's destruction. The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, is insisting that Israel indefinitely freeze all construction in the West Bank Jewish communities. While little can be done at this stage to neutralize the Hamas threat — the hope is that the people of Gaza will someday rid themselves of Hamas and opt for peace — the construction issue need not be a deal breaker. Adding a bedroom for a growing family should not disrupt the peace process.

The West Bank — or, as the Bible calls it, Judea and Samaria — was twice used as a staging ground for wars of annihilation against Israel, which captured the area in 1967. Sacred to the Jewish people for 3,000 years and vital to the defense of Israel's borders which were a mere eight miles wide prior to 1967, the West Bank became the home to hundreds of thousands of Israelis. With the start of the peace process in 1993, successive Israeli governments recognized the need to make painful sacrifices in these crucial territories while upholding the right of Israeli citizens to continue to build there. Palestinian and Israeli leaders agreed that the final status of these settlements would be determined, along with Jerusalem, refugees, and borders, in the peace talks.

Since assuming office a year and a half ago, Prime Minister Netanyahu has made several gestures to the Palestinians to encourage them to return to the negotiating table. In addition to removing hundreds of checkpoints and facilitating the Palestinian economic boom, he refrained from building any new settlements, from acquiring new territory for existing ones, and from incentivizing Israelis to move to them. Finally, in a measure described as "unprecedented" by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Netanyahu froze all new construction within the settlements for a ten-month period.

The Palestinians are now threatening to quit the negotiations unless Netanyahu extends the construction freeze. Israel, of course, is seeking specific goals in the talks, including the demilitarization of the Palestinian state and its recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Israel also wants the Palestinians to cease teaching their children that Israel has no right to exist and naming their public squares after terrorists. But we are not insisting that the Palestinians meet these objectives before the talks even begin. We appreciate, therefore, Secretary Clinton's call for "good faith" negotiations "without preconditions."

Settlements have never been an obstacle to peace. Though Israelis account for 17 percent of the West Bank population they inhabit a mere 1.7 percent of the land. The existence of the settlements did not prevent Egypt and Jordan from making peace with Israel or the Palestinians from negotiating with us for nearly two decades. All parties to negotiations understand that the large settlement clusters will, in any final status treaty, remain part of Israel.

As President Obama launches the direct Israeli-Palestinian talks, there is indeed reason for optimism — in spite of the obstacles. If the core issues are determined at the table rather than before the negotiations start, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas can move swiftly and confidently toward concluding an historic treaty. Though long overdue, but not too late, the peace we have yearned for may yet be achieved.


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Dr. Michael B. Oren is Israel's ambassador to the United States.


© 2010, Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services