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
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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 Jan. 17, 2005 / 7 Shevat, 5765

Overseas Skeptics

By Jonathan Tobin

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Cheerleaders and skeptics of latest peace moves need to be careful

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It was Karl Marx, the false prophet of communism, who once wrote that history repeats itself, "the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."

That bon mot could, more or less, sum up the reaction of some skeptical onlookers to the embrace of new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas by both the governments of Israel and the United States.

For those who spent the 1990s claiming the Oslo process was rendered meaningless by the unwillingness of the Palestinians to make peace, the hoopla surrounding Abbas' unsurprising electoral triumph this week has a hint of déjà vu.

They point to Abbas' history of personal involvement in terrorism, his stated unwillingness to disarm the terror groups, his support for the Palestinian "right of return" — which is to say, the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state — and ask why anyone could imagine such a person doing any differently than Yasser Arafat, the man he loyally followed for decades.

What's going on? One might question the motives of those unreconstructed Oslo-ites in the media for foisting the mantle of peacemaker on Abbas. But are the Israelis, and by extension, the Bush administration, which is backing their play, just dumb?

According to Israeli government spokesmen, the answer to the latter question is no. Unlike the wide-eyed belief in a "New Middle East" that characterized the Oslo euphoria broadcast by the Labor Party government of the late Yitczhak Rabin, Israel's new coalition of Sharon and the ever-hopeful Shimon Peres claims it is taking nothing on faith.

In the meantime, Israel's American friends are left with a dilemma: How enthusiastic should they be about what some are claiming is a genuine opportunity for peace?

And that's where the line about history repeating itself comes in. A brief review of American Jewish attitudes toward the peace process from 1993 to the present shows the perils of making assumptions about the Palestinians.

From the moment the Oslo accords were signed on the White House Lawn in September 1993 — up until its final collapse in the fire and bloodshed seen in the launch of the Palestinian terror war of attrition in September 2000 — the instinct of most American friends of Israel was to blindly support the process.

That wasn't surprising. If Israel's democratically elected leaders choose to take a chance on peace, the natural instinct of those who do not vote, pay taxes or do military service in the Jewish state ought to be to defer to their judgment.

Americans who pose as greater experts in Israeli security than Israeli generals may not be wrong, but theirs is a difficult position to pull off. Being more Zionist than the Israelis is a pose few can credibly sustain.

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What did happen here over the course of the Oslo period is that some Americans didn't make that mistake. Instead, they merely demanded that the Palestinians live up to their Oslo promises to end terrorism and stop teaching hatred of Israel and the Jews. Championed by the Zionist Organization of America and its leader, Morton Klein, the demand for accountability started out as a marginal movement. But by the end of the decade, as the perfidy of Arafat became even clearer, Oslo skepticism became mainstream.

The worst aspect of this debate was the foolish insistence on the part of both the Israelis and the Clinton administration on lying about Arafat and Palestinian noncompliance. In the end, the whitewash of the Palestinians only undermined the pro-Oslo forces' credibility.

Will all this happen again?

Klein, for one, who is no more impressed by Abbas than he was by Arafat, thinks we seem to be back where we were in 1993.

"Most American Jews were fooled by Arafat," he asserts. "We should be acutely aware that Abbas was Arafat's top deputy for 40 years." Klein believes American Jews should place the same sort of pressure on Washington to insist on concrete moves for peace as they did during Oslo.

But however principled it might be, such a stand runs smack into the desire of the Israeli government that its American friends not do anything that would scuttle the chances that Abbas will give Israel a measure of stability, if not peace.

Sharon can rightly answer his American critics that he, not they, has the support of the majority of Israelis for his plan to withdraw from Gaza and to try to negotiate again. Pointing out Abbas' very lengthy resume of dastardly deeds doesn't help his cause right now, his people say.

For now, that will probably be enough for most Americans, and even for those politicians who once supported Klein's demands for Palestinian accountability. Sharon's reputation as a "hard-liner" (like Yitzchak Rabin's before him) and Bush's ardent support for Israeli security will give them plenty of leeway from American Jews and the pro-Israel majority in Congress.

That means those right-wing Israelis who might be looking to America for help in stopping the Gaza withdrawal plan are doomed to disappointment. Given that fact, the ZOA will be smart if it merely insists that the Palestinians keep their promises. If their position morphs into open opposition to Sharon, few will follow. And heaven help any American Jewish group or leader that even flirts with supporting Israeli soldiers who say they will refuse orders to disband settlements.

Right-wingers here need to be careful to stay clear of anything that reeks of support for outright rebellion over Gaza. If they don't — and Klein, for one, insists that his group believes soldiers should follow their orders — then they are on the fast track to political oblivion.

For now, most of us will sit back and watch anxiously to see if Sharon's bet on Abbas is a wise one. The Palestinians, and not the arguments of the skeptics, no matter how cogent, will answer that question.

But we should still keep one warning sign for danger firmly in mind.

If, after months and maybe even years of more of the same from the Palestinians, we are still hearing excuses about Abbas' behavior and messages about the importance of ignoring anything that squelches optimism, then the skeptics will be proven correct.

If so, then, as has happened many times before in Jewish history, what we will be watching will be a tragedy, not a farce.

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JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here.

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