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 July 2, 2007 / 16 Tamuz, 5767

Holy Land hotties?

By Jonathan Tobin

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A photo spread in 'Maxim' highlights dangerous fallacy about promoting Israel

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Amid concerns over the Hamas coup in Gaza, some Jews found something different to worry about instead of the question of whether Islamist killers were closer to their goal of annihilating the State of Israel.

An unlikely alliance of Orthodox Jews and feminists were dismayed over the fact that Israel's New York City consulate assisted an American "men's" magazine in getting female soldiers to reveal a great deal of flesh for its photographers in front of scenic backdrops. Even worse, Israel's diplomats in the Big Apple also helped promote the photo spread at an official reception in honor of Maxim magazine.

Susan Weidman Schneider, editor-in-chief of Lilith, the journal most closely associated with Jewish feminism, denounced the consulate's involvement as "sexist." Some Orthodox Jews denounced the project as demonstrating a shameful lack of morality. An emergency meeting of the Knesset to deal with this shandah was even threatened.

In response, both consulate officials and cover girl Gal Gadot — "Miss Israel 2004," and a former Israel Defense Force fitness instructor (who demonstrated her own particularly appealing brand of fitness in a bikini and high heels in a photo that was also splashed across the cover of The New York Post) — responded to the brouhaha as if critics were not only hopeless squares, but also ignorant of the impact that Ms. Gadot's lithe form could have on Israel's public-relations problems in this country.

David Saranga, Israel's consul for media and public affairs in the media capital of the world, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Maxim was a "serious magazine," and that his job was "to promote Israel as a normal country, particularly among the magazine's young male readership."

Alas, I am such a policy wonk (not to mention a happily married man) that I don't read Maxim, and so can neither confirm nor deny its "seriousness." Informed sources tell me that it's not as explicit as other examples of this genre, so perhaps we should take Saranga at his word on that point.

But I was once a "young male," and I'm sure that the origin of pretty girls whose pictures my generation leered at had no impact on our opinions about politics, either domestic or foreign. I doubt that it's much different for Maxim's readers today.

Granted, if Maxim's audience were presented with dueling photo essays of Gazans in burqas and Israelis in skimpy swimwear, I suppose they might decide Israel would be more entitled to most-favored nation trading status than a putative "Palestine."

But the real problem is not the consulate's lack of concern for the dignity of their country. It is the very notion that anyone will be more willing to help Israel if they think its people are sexy. And it's no different for those who think Americans will support the Jewish state if they know how smart Israelis are.

The Israel21c campaign, which aided the Maxim project along with the consulate, helps promote Israel's image as a high-tech wonderland full of academics and entrepreneurs who are curing diseases and building the modern equivalent of the better mousetrap, which will motivate the world to beat a path to its door. The stories they circulate are nice. But they do nothing to change the views of those who think that Israel is a wicked oppressor of poor Palestinians.

And it is that canard — not the fact that "young American males" might not know just how hot Israeli girls might be or whether Israeli geniuses are finding a cure for cancer — that is the reason why some American campuses and churches are hotbeds of hostility to Israel.

So long as the lies about Israel's supposed cruelty and responsibility for not only the continuation of the conflict with the Palestinians but the mess in the Middle East in general are being given a serious hearing, all efforts to change the topic to how clever Israelis are or how cute their women might be will be a waste of time.

Take, for example, the cover story in The Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday, June 24, about the economic and cultural gap between the West Bank and Gaza. While its facts about the backwardness of Gaza were indisputable, the causes for this gap, presented almost in passing, were put down largely to the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, and the restrictions on travel imposed by Israel and the number of refugees in each area.

Unmentioned in the otherwise unexceptionable piece were the causes of the 1949 armistice lines (an Arab refusal to accept statehood alongside a Jewish state), the reasons for the restrictions (the widely popular Palestinian cultural practice of supporting terrorism, especially suicide bombing), and the refusal of the Palestinians and the Arab world to resettle their refugees, as the Jews did theirs after 1949.

Witness, also the decision last week of both The New York Times and The Washington Post to give space on their op-ed pages to spokesmen for Hamas. If terrorists whose goal is the annihilation of Israel are now part of the national conversation, what's wrong is not the lack of exposure of Israeli bodies, but of arguments that its cause is just and that its enemies are vile Islamist Holocaust-denying murderers.

It is a bitter irony that ever since Israel resolved to make unprecedented concessions to its foes for the sake of peace that its support abroad has declined. British trade unions and academics were not announcing boycotts of Israel prior to Oslo. But since 1993 the notion that Israelis no longer believe in the right of Jews to live in their ancestral homeland has helped fuel a growing anti-Zionist movement in the West.

Most Israelis support territorial compromise so long as they get peace in return. But their diplomats have spent so much effort either whitewashing their supposed peace partners (as they did for Yasser Arafat during the heyday of Oslo) or propping them up (as they are doing now for Mahmoud Abbas) that it is no longer entirely clear to many Westerners that what is at stake is the right of the Jews to their own country, not the supposed right of Palestinians to destroy it to achieve sovereignty themselves. They allowed the dialogue on the Middle East to be one that balanced Palestinian "rights" against Israeli "security," forgetting that the former will always trump the latter in the court of public opinion.

If Israel's envoys want to catch the imagination of American youth, they need to forget about the cheesecake. The bad press their country gets is based on unchallenged pro-Arab propaganda and a lack of advocacy for the rights of Jews, not foreign skin rags getting access to its prettiest women.

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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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