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 January 30, 2009 / 5 Shevat 5769

Is this the job of the president of the United States?

By Diana West

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It all just went by in a flash: The very first TV interview Barack Obama gave as president went to Saudi — backed, Dubai-based Al-Arabiya television. Missed it? The interview aired too late Monday night to make the morning papers (in most of the United States, anyway), transforming its initial burst of coverage into a second-day follow-up story (at least in the United States). It was as if the people (Americans) who put Obama into office were so much, well, chopped liver.

Is that halal? Couldn't say. But the target audience for this first Obama interview was anything but kosher. The whole event, however, was a huge surprise.

According to Time magazine, Al-Arabiya reporter "(Hisham) Melhem's bosses in Dubai got a feeler from the White House on Sunday." That image alone — a White House "feeler" to "bosses in Dubai" is sci-fi fantastic. That is, it's easy to see why Obama would bypass Fox News, for example, but how could he do this to his Main Squeeze Media (MSM)?

On Monday, the White House contacted the Washington bureau of Al-Arabiya, but even then Melhem wasn't expecting anything greater than an interview with the new envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell. "Would you like to chat with the president about 5 p.m. today?" a White House caller asked the reporter. And that was how this precedent-shattering interview came about.

But why did it come about? I'm guessing Barack Now-You-See-Hussein-Now-You-Don't Obama chose to sit down for this first interview before the Muslim world for an important reason. He wanted to appeal to what he seems to regard as his new constituency.

No kidding. Obama spoke quite deliberately about the requirements of his new "job" as commander in chief, many of which are unprecedented. "My job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language has to be the language of respect."

That's the job of the president of the United States?

"I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries," Obama continued, simply speaking about his Islamic connections, indulging in what he condemned as "scare tactics" on the campaign trail. Now these connections are job credentials. "My job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives."

That's the job of the president of the United States?

Obama continued. "My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record — as you say, America was not born as a colonial power — and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that."

What golden age of American-Islamic "respect and partnership" (circa 1979 or 1989) Obama is talking about I have no idea. But mark his words to describe Islam and the United States: "People who just want to see their children live better lives" versus a country that isn't "perfect" and sometimes makes "mistakes." This is one reprehensible way for an American president to frame the relationship between the repressive, jihad-exporting Sharia cultures of Islam and the liberty-and-justice-for-all-based USA.

"I'm not going to agree with everything that some Muslim leader may say, or what's on a television station in the Arab world," he continued, quite possibly but also quite opaquely referring to the genocidal yearnings and hatreds expressed from Iran to Syria to the Palestinian Authority by both leadership and state-run media. "But I think that what you'll see is somebody who is listening, who is respectful" — there's that word again — "and who is trying to promote the interests not just of the United States, but also ordinary people who right now are suffering from poverty and a lack of opportunity. I want to make sure I am speaking to them as well."

This wasn't just one of those beacon-of-freedom pep talks U.S. presidents have given in the past. This was something different. Indeed, not since Napoleon has a leader of a Western superpower made so unabashed a political pitch to the people of the Muslim world.

Commenting on CNN, Islam apologist Reza Aslan called himself "giddy" over the interview, explaining: Obama "is essentially setting himself up as a bridge between the Muslim world, between the United States and the Middle East. It's a grand gesture, and I think it's going to be taken very well."

In the Muslim world, anyway. But again, that's precisely where Obama was aiming. At one point, the interviewer mentioned Osama bin Laden and his henchman Ayman al-Zawahiri.

"They seem nervous," Obama interjected.

When asked why they should be "more nervous," the president replied: "Well, I think that when you look at the rhetoric they've been using against me before I even took office, what that tells me is that their ideas are bankrupt."

Excuse me, Mr. President: You mean before they used rhetoric against you, their ideas were not bankrupt? But I digress. What's worth noting here is the possible glimmering of a presidential inference that he, Barack Hussein Obama, poses an alternative to Al Qaeda in the eyes of the Muslim world. (Mehlem insists Obama doesn't put Hamas and Hezbollah in the same category as Al Qaeda.)

Obama continued: "There's no actions that they've taken that, say, a child in the Muslim world is getting a better education because of them, or has better health care because of them. ... And over time, I think the Muslim world has recognized that that path is leading no place, except more death and destruction."

Mehlem later interpreted these comments as I did above — as the Obama alternative to Al Qaeda for Muslims. As Mehlem put it to theatlantic.com, "He's closing down Guantanamo, sending Mitchell, pulling out of Iraq, and ... I hope he would show Palestinians and Israelis tough love. Do you want to tell me that bin Laden and all these nuts" — excluding Hamas and Hezbollah, in Mehlem's eyes — "are not going to be nervous about him?"

In other words, the new president of the United States is vying for the affections of the Muslim world, and this is making jihadists "nervous." Aslan's comments seemed to underscore this same point. "I'm sure that wherever Zawahiri and bin Laden are right now, they're scrambling to try to figure out a way to answer this comment. When the president of the United States says, `My family is Muslim,' what are you supposed to respond to that? How do you — how do you criticize that?"

I'll agree that it does tend to leave one speechless.

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© 2008, Diana West