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December 2, 2014

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. 8, 2004 / 14 Teves, 5764

‘Move On’ Over the Edge

By Jonathan Tobin


Furor over anti-Bush Web site shows the depths to which politics can sink


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | In the 1948 movie adapted from Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "State of the Union," a political consultant played by Adolfe Menjou set a character played by Katherine Hepburn straight about American politics.


When asked what was the difference was between the Democrats and his own Republicans, Menjou succinctly summed up the situation: "They're in, and we're out."


A lot about American politics has changed since then, but that little bit of wisdom remains intact.

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There's no better indication of this than the furor over MoveOn.org, a highly publicized Web site/activist group dedicated to opposing the war in Iraq and vilifying the current occupant of the White House.


No scandal that can be remotely tied to George W. Bush and no bit of news that can be construed as proof that the war on terror is being lost — or shouldn't be fought at all — are omitted from the site.


But the name of the site reminds us that one's attitude toward the need to keep the fires of rabid partisan debate well-stoked depends on who's in office. MoveOn was, after all, founded in 1998. Its purpose was to encourage Americans to avoid thinking too much about the scandals associated with Bush's predecessor. MoveOn was eager for us to forget about Bill Clinton's flaws and to "move on" to other topics.


But if they are hypocrites, so, too, are Republicans, who talk about the bad taste of the anti-Bush crowd, but were willing to believe anything about Clinton, no matter how outlandish.

IT ISN'T BEANBAG
One thing Clinton and Bush have in common is an ability to drive their opponents out of their minds. As many liberals have admitted, hate is not too strong a word to describe their antipathy to Bush — and it shows. The same was true for the way conservatives felt about Clinton.


Democracy isn't beanbag. Lambasting incumbents is what people in free countries are entitled to do. Tough criticisms, hard questions and heavy doses of satire and sarcasm are entirely appropriate in politics.


But as was the case during the height of the right's Clintonmania, the willingness of some partisans to make unbelievably outrageous accusations about Bush is troubling.


The latest instance involves the posting on the MoveOn site of ads that compared the president to Adolph Hitler.


The two offensive pieces were entries in a contest the group was holding to determine which Bush-bashing diatribe was the best. After they came in for heavy criticism from such groups as the Anti-Defamation League, the group was at pains to point out that they hadn't actually endorsed the ads and quickly pulled them.


In the 1960s, the pop culture of the day dumbed down the term "fascist" from a term that had a specific meaning rooted in historical fact to one that could describe just about anything objectionable. Now, for some on the far left, anyone to the right of say, Joe Lieberman, is considered fair game for comparisons to the Nazis. Rather than being considered beyond the pale, Hitler analogies are nowadays considered clever ripostes, especially among those who cannot control their distaste for Bush.

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So don't be deceived by the disclaimers from MoveOn's defenders. In the group's world, the "Bush is a Nazi" routine isn't aberrant, it is mainstream thinking. It was not long ago that a major funder of the site, billionaire George Soros, told The Washington Post that Bush reminded him of the Nazis. And he is not alone.


Part and parcel of this sort of nonsense is the constant drumbeat in MoveOn circles about the neoconservative conspiracy to take over the country and the world. As the term neocon has become synonymous with Jew, it's hard not to get a sinking feeling of stepping into a morass of prejudice as you navigate the Net with help from MoveOn links.


Indeed, all one has to do is to go to the group's Middle East resource links page (www.moveon.org/peace/middleeast.html) to discover just how deep the well of hate for Jews and Israel is. There, among a few sites associated with the mainstream Israeli peace movement, you can find links to a host of virulently anti-Zionist sites where violence against Israelis and calls for the destruction of Israel are commonplace.


Last summer, the National Jewish Democratic Council asked MoveOn to remove material posted on the site, calling it "biased, factually inaccurate and [that it] gives comfort to those who would say progressives are not pro-Israel." It's still there.

WHO'S COURTING THE NUTS?
To be fair, the far-right has employed this sort of rhetorical overkill that is now featured on MoveOn itself in the past with accusations of communism. And there are those on the lunatic right who still think the whole country is being run by what they call a "Zionist occupation government." But the difference here is that the people who know what the acronym ZOG means aren't, thank heaven, being courted by Bush.


Unfortunately, some of those who think Bush had advance knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks, or that the war to liberate Iraq is merely a neocon plot for world hegemony or buy into neo-Marxist fantasies about the oil industry, are being heard from more and more lately.


MoveOn is increasingly influential. Not only did the Democratic candidates seek to win the Internet primary that the group ran last summer, but MoveOn itself has helped raise a great deal of money for candidates in the 2002 Congressional elections.


The cheapening of political discourse did not begin with MoveOn or the right-wingers who were prepared to believe that Bill Clinton was a Communist mole, a drug-dealer or a murderer. Dirty politics in this country can be traced back to the scandalmongers that slung mud at George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.


Yet as much as it would be comforting to dismiss this sort of nastiness as a necessary evil in a free country, the rise of the Internet culture makes this practice a little more frightening. We live in a time where any idiot can post lies on the Web and have them spread across the world in seconds. Internet urban legends can fester in the public consciousness and prove impermeable to those who answer them with truth.


That's why it isn't enough to shrug our shoulders and say "everyone does it" when we are confronted with the ugliness that partisan extremists can inflict on our political discourse. No matter how much we may dislike some leaders, partisanship must have its limits. It is long past the time for responsible citizens — be they Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal — to put the crazies in their place.

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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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© 2003, Jonathan S. Tobin