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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 Nov. 7, 2005 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

Some things that Americans can teach the French

By Froma Harrop


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Has anyone in the United States noticed that the Paris suburbs have been racked by race riots for a week? That youths in these ghettos are opening fire on police?

You'd never know it from American media coverage. There's very little of it on TV, despite the dramatic footage of burning cars. On CNN Headline News, the French riots were given 20 seconds, wedged between an item about Scooter Libby and one about how a musicians' strike at Radio City wouldn't affect the Rockettes.

What's more astounding is that Americans, despite their frequent delight in France-bashing, have not used the mayhem to turn a bright spotlight onto the failings of French society. Here we have nine towns in France consumed in what one French union leader called a "civil war," and few American commentators are wagging their fingers over what's wrong with France.

Compare that with 13 years ago, when the world's cameras trained on the violence in Los Angeles. The L.A. riots became the No. 1 story across the globe. The instant analysis from Europe was that the chickens of racial injustice had come home to roost. And there was much self-satisfied clucking about America being a messed-up place and Europe having gotten things right.

French President Francois Mitterrand used the L.A. riots to defend France's generous welfare programs. The chaos in America, he said, showed "that the social needs of any country must not be neglected."

The welfare benefits in France are still pretty nifty, and yet the immigrant neighborhoods around Paris are exploding in fury. Something else must be going on. The popular explanation from official France is that the rioters are mostly impoverished Muslims, whipped up by an extremist clergy. There's truth in that, but there's a deeper root cause, which is harder to fix: racism. The immigrants and their children feel like foreigners in a country that will never accept them as truly its own. The French want them to quietly clean their toilets, and then disappear at night.

A similar story unfolded after this summer's London bombings. The perpetrators were Muslim radicals, but the real shock was that the bombers were not immigrants. They were their British-born children, who had received all the public benefits of being British, but felt only rage toward their country. All the bennies in the world won't cover a sense of being reviled.

Americans may have something to teach their European friends. The United States absorbs immigrants by the millions. The immigrants don't riot. They work, and they assimilate. It could be that Americans' devotion to working — often ridiculed by leisure-loving Europeans — translates into greater respect for people who work. Ours is a more open society.

Perhaps Americans haven't applied a sharp cultural critique because what little coverage they see from Europe tends skip over the ugly parts. In his book "The United States of Europe," Washington Post writer T.R. Reid portrays a continent of unending pleasure and comfort. His Europe is about young people taking their bullet trains from Madrid to weekend skiing in the Alps; first-class health coverage; pure food; and secure pensions. But the 300-page book devotes only two sentences to Islamic immigrants, mainly a dry reference to the growth in their numbers.

Eerily, the sparks that ignited the violence in Los Angeles and the Paris suburbs were virtually identical: resentment over perceived abuse by police. In Los Angeles, the trigger was the jury acquittal of the officers caught beating Rodney King, a black man, on film. In France, it was the death of two North African youths, electrocuted when they touched a power transformer. The rioters say police were chasing the young men. The police say that was not the case.

In 1992, presidential candidate Bill Clinton went to South Central Los Angeles and appealed for calm. This week, French President Jacques Chirac is appealing for calm, though from the safety of the government offices in Paris.

The two conflicts reflect very different political and cultural histories, but both stem from a deep sense of disenfranchisement by people of color. When it comes to matters of race, Americans have come quite a distance in 13 years. The French really haven't started the journey yet. Perhaps Americans do have something to teach them.

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


Froma Harrop is a columnist for The Providence Journal. Comment by clicking here.

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