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 Sept. 13, 2004 / 28 Tishrei 5765

Zero -Sum Game

By Jonathan Tobin

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

Decoding ‘Palestinian’ strategy helps us understand another threat

https://www.jewishworldreview.com | For those waiting to see if Israel would be any sort of an issue in the first presidential debate last week, the answer was clearly not.

With the spotlight on Iraq, it is unlikely that either President George W. Bush or Sen. John Kerry see much point in grandstanding on the Israeli-Arab conflict. The obsessive focus on Israel seems to be fading from the foreground of American public opinion.

There is something to be said for this, in and of itself, but it might be wise for American policymakers to use this point to reassess some of our basic assumptions about the situation.

After four years of a Palestinian terror war that most experts seem to agree is petering out in abysmal failure, maybe it's time again to ask what exactly it is that the Palestinians want? And what, if anything, should Americans be doing about it?

For most of us looking on from afar, the tit-for-tat going on across the border between Israel and Gaza is just a messy cycle of violence in which no one party is more to blame than the other. The assumption remains that if only the Palestinians would agree to stop terror and the Israelis would give them a state of their own, the fighting would cease.

But Israel's government has already announced it will abandon those slivers of Gaza it still controls along with the settlements planted there, sometime next year. But the Palestinians, especially the Hamas Islamic fundamentalists, continue to shoot Kassam rockets over the border into Israel. These cause both damage and casualties and prompt counterattacks by the Israelis which hurt Hamas but are unlikely to stop the attacks.

What does any of this accomplish?

More misery for ordinary Palestinians has a certain value to the terror groups. Hamas also wants credit for the Israeli withdrawal and can reinforce that point by keeping the missiles flying until the last Israeli leaves the last settlement.

But perhaps we should start considering that this is itself not an adequate explanation for Palestinian strategy. And just maybe, it should also give us some hints as to how Americans should be analyzing another potential threat to the peace in that region.

Donate to JWR

A clue to unraveling the puzzle of the Palestinians was offered on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times this week when it published a piece titled "Two Peoples, One State." Authored by Michael Tarazi, a legal adviser to the PLO and a one-time peace negotiator during the heyday of the Oslo accords.

In it, Tarazi outlined his rejection of Israel's offer of a separate Palestinian state and returned instead to the PLO's Oslo demand: a binational secular state in which Israel's Jews would be at the mercy of a Palestinian Arab majority. The Jewish state of Israel would be destroyed in the name of "equality" and "equal rights." Left unsaid is the unsavory record of the Palestinian "democrats" who would rule this state and the certain fate of the Jews who would be at their mercy once they were no longer protected by the Israeli army. This return to the rhetoric of extinction is significant because it is very much in line with the campaign of delegitimization of Israel that has being pursued by pro-Palestinian activists on American campuses and within the councils of America's mainline Protestant churches. The call for divestment from Israel that has resonated in these sectors is often couched, like Tarazi's article, in the language of human rights, but the real intention is not hard to divine: the end of Israel.

It also puts the Palestinian strategy of keeping the Israelis fighting in Gaza in a clearer focus. Since they no longer want their own state, even on the generous terms that they were offered prior to the start of the intifada, what good is an Israeli withdrawal to them? More bloodshed, which can help manufacture more pressure on Israel, will only help deepen the conflict and make peace impossible in the short term, as they work toward the long-term goal enunciated by Tarazi.

If this is so, then it's obvious that either a re-elected George Bush or a newly inaugurated John Kerry should forget about further efforts to entice the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. But it should also make another potential danger to world peace even scarier.

And by that I mean the clear and present danger posed by the certainty that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, neither Bush nor Kerry have enunciated what might be considered a coherent policy concerning this real threat.

The current administration is clearly divided over whether to confront Tehran or to engage in a dialogue aimed at getting them to stand down from their nuclear ambitions. Despite some strong rhetoric from Washington, Iran may think it has no reason to fear resolute action.

In response, John Kerry seems to be supporting more engagement — a questionable strategy in and of itself — but he mixes in enough tough talk to make his stand just as incoherent as his opponent's.

How do these various elements connect with the Palestinians and their reversion to an-all-or-nothing war with Israel?

Iran has never backed away from its rejectionist attitude towards Israel.

It's also a major funder of terror groups like Hezbollah and, as the Karine A arms affair — in which Tehran sought to increase Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's arsenal of terror — demonstrated, Iran also wants to help terror groups keep the conflict hot and bloody. And if the Iranians do develop a nuclear option, that would put the peace of the entire region — and the physical existence of Israel — very much in question.

Connecting the dots between Iranian nukes and Palestinian rejectionism may not be on the radar screen of Americans who still cling to their childish hopes that forcing Israel to further appease the Palestinians will calm the Middle-East beast.

But if their assumption is false, it would appear that whoever is elected president may be faced with a far more volatile set of problems than presently imaginable.

Heaven help us if the winner in November fails to understand all that's at stake.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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

Jonathan Tobin Archives


© 2004, Jonathan Tobin