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 Jan. 7, 2004 / 13 Teves, 5764

Link between Syria and Spider-Man and Wal-Mart?

By J.R. Labbe

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

A shopping spree turns into a geo-political awakening | The Spider-Man T-shirt labels escaped close scrutiny until after the items were on the kitchen table, awaiting wrapping and bows.

It was bad enough being reduced to fighting last-minute shoppers at one of those big-box stores. But darn it all, when 4-year-old triplets have specific requests for gifts, and the only place to find them is a Wal-Mart, principle goes right down the toilet.

One hardly blinks these days at a "Made in China" or "Made in Japan" label. But "Made in Syria"? That'll draw you up short.

"Made in Syria" - as in Axis of Evil Part Two. As in political and logistical ally to Hezbollah and other armed radical groups. As in state sponsor of terrorists.

As in the target of Public Law No. 108-175, signed by President George W. Bush on Dec. 12, to "prohibit United States businesses from investing or operating in Syria."

Syria, exporter of toddlers' T-shirts with Spidey on the front.

Donate to JWR

Apparently this shopper wasn't the only one who hadn't read the label until the purchase was final. Neither had Wal-Mart.

"We were not aware that we were carrying the merchandise you mentioned with a label from Syria," said Melissa Berryhill, senior public relations manager in Wal-Mart's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. "Thank you for bringing it to our attention."

You're welcome.

Although it is curious that Wal-Mart, which has been accused of making conscious political and moral statements through the merchandise it chooses "not" to carry — no handguns, no books with questionable content or jacket art, no CDs deemed offensive, no video games that are overly violent — wasn't aware that it sold products made in a country listed as a rogue nation by the State Department.

Wal-Mart didn't break any laws in buying Syrian-made T-shirts. Neither did any of the American companies along the product chain that leads from a comic book character's merchandising rights and licensing agreements to the Haddad manufacturing company.

No statutes ban Syrian products from entering the United States.

"Although the Department of State lists Syria as a state sponsor of terrorism and reports that Syria provides `safe haven and support to several terrorist groups,' fewer United States sanctions apply with respect to Syria than with respect to any other country that is listed as a state sponsor of terrorism," said the congressional findings portion of HR 1828 - the Syrian Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act.

With the act's passage, that could change. The president now has the authority to impose sanctions if Syria doesn't get right with the Western world.

Those penalties include prohibiting the export of U.S. products to Syria, prohibiting U.S. businesses from investing or operating in Syria, and banning aircraft owned or controlled by Syria from taking off from, landing in or overflying the United States — a "don't even think about it" sanction, given that this is not happening now.

But Syria can still sell goods here.

It's not as if Syria is a major U.S. trading partner. It ranks somewhere around 94th on the list. U.S.-Syrian trade totaled $500 million in 2002 — a pittance, although U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil Corp. has joint ventures with Syrian firms, and ConcoPhilips has gas operations there.

One Middle East expert says that the threat of economic pressure is unlikely to change hearts or minds.

"Syria, which has extensive trade ties with Europe, is set to become an EU partner in 2010," Murhaf Jouejati, adjunct professor at George Washington University and adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute, testified to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States on July 9.

Losing a Wal-Mart contract won't exactly paralyze the nation - not as long as the Germans and the French have money to spend.

Wal-Mart's Web site lists its supplier standards for ensuring that companies with which it does business comply with labor, compensation, health, safety and environmental laws. The company has a compliance office in Dubai, which one supposes would be responsible for checking up on Middle Eastern contractors and subcontractors.

Guess the Haddad company does OK when it comes to accessible restrooms and no forced labor.

Every weekday 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 Jill "J.R.'' Labbe is a senior editorial writer and columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Comment by clicking here.

© 2003, Fort Worth Star-Telegram