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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 January 7, 2009 / 11 Teves 5769

Pointless Peace Proposals

By Anne Applebaum

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Circumstances change; so do the names of the leading players. Peace negotiators come and go; so do the details of their agreements. But in the end, one aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains the same: When all else has failed, you can be absolutely certain that someone, somewhere, will issue a statement calling for peace.


There has been no shortage of such declarations the past few days. In the wake of Israeli attacks on Gaza, Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. secretary general, appealed "to all members of the international community to display the unity and commitment required to bring this escalating crisis to an end." Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy spokesman, called for a halt to hostilities. "The cease-fire has to be a cease-fire complied [with] by everybody and be clearly maintained," he proclaimed. "What we need," echoed the British prime minister, Gordon Brown, "is an immediate cease-fire."


As night follows day, these statements were accompanied by a mass migration of politicians to the Middle East. French President Nicolas Sarkozy set off for Israel. So did Karel Schwarzenberg, the foreign minister of the Czech Republic, the country now holding the rotating presidency of the European Union. There, both may encounter Solana, Tony Blair and who knows how many others. Even Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent an envoy. Like having an Olympic team that wins lots of gold medals, having your own Middle East peace policy has become, it seems, a sign of international prestige.


But other than that prestige, it's increasingly hard to see the point of such gestures. In the Middle East, the most significant and successful diplomatic initiatives have always been the quietest: The Oslo peace accord of 1993 was, at least in its initial phase, negotiated in absolute secrecy. By contrast, the diplomatic initiatives most clearly designed to serve the interests of the diplomats (or at least of their constituents back home) are the loudest and most public: Think of the Annapolis peace conference of autumn 2007, where toasts were drunk, cameras were plentiful and all kinds of marginal players were at the table. It would be giving that gathering too much credit to blame Annapolis for Israel's ground invasion of Gaza this week. Still, it's surely fair to say that that conference, for all of its pomp and circumstance, failed to prevent a new explosion of violence.


But it could not ever have done so. For the trouble with all of these peace efforts, peace conferences, peace initiatives and peace proposals is that none of them recognizes the most obvious fact about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: It's not a peace process; it's a war. At the moment, at least, both parties are still convinced that their central aims will be better obtained through weapons and military tactics than through negotiations of any kind. To be more explicit, Hamas and its followers believe that the continuing firing of rockets into southern Israel will, sooner or later, result in the dissolution of the Jewish state. The Israelis — both on the "peacenik" left and the more bellicose right — believe that the only way to prevent Hamas from firing rockets is to fight back. Intervention — whether by well-meaning Europeans, U.N. delegations, Russian envoys (or even Condoleezza Rice, who has wisely stayed home, so far) — can postpone the conflict but cannot halt the violence, at least not until one side or the other surrenders.


That brief, halcyon period of the Oslo peace process was possible because this is precisely what happened: a combination of Russian emigration into Israel, the end of Soviet support and general weariness led at least a part of the Palestinian leadership to conclude, after 30 years, that it would never push Israel into the sea. At least some of the equally weary Israeli leaders came to believe that their occupation policies were doing Israel more harm than good and that they would gain more from negotiating than from fighting. Further negotiations will make sense only when Hamas's leaders — currently emboldened by a combination of popular indignation and Iranian support — finally arrive at the same conclusion as their secular counterparts, and a new generation of Israelis is persuaded to believe them.


Until then, there is no point in bemoaning the passivity of the Bush administration, the silence of Barack Obama, the powerlessness of Arab leaders or the weakness of Europe, as so many, predictably, have begun to do. It's no outsider's "fault" that the fighting continues, and pretending otherwise merely obscures the real issues. Diplomats might be able to slow its progress, but this war won't be over until someone has won.

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APPLEBAUM'S LATEST
Gulag: A History  

Nearly 30 million prisoners passed through the Soviet Union's labor camps in their more than 60 years of operation. This remarkable volume, the first fully documented history of the gulag, describes how, largely under Stalin's watch, a regulated, centralized system of prison labor-unprecedented in scope-gradually arose out of the chaos of the Russian Revolution. Fueled by waves of capricious arrests, this prison labor came to underpin the Soviet economy. JWR's Applebaum, a former Warsaw correspondent for the Economist and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, draws on newly accessible Soviet archives as well as scores of camp memoirs and interviews with survivors to trace the gulag's origins and expansion Sales help fund JWR.

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Previously:

12/30/08: The magnificent rhetorical legacy of the Founding Fathers
12/23/08: Do riots in Athens portend demonstrations in Paris and Cincinnati?
12/16/08: Breach of Trust: Bernard Madoff's massive fraud will cripple American capitalism
12/09/08: In praise of charismatic politicians
12/03/08: Moscow's Empire of Dust
11/20/08: Getting Past Mythmaking In Georgia
11/12/08: In Praise of Political Rock Stars
10/03/08: Election Day myths you must resist
09/30/08: Not just a metaphor: Lehman Brothers was economic's 9/11
09/04/08: Class of '64
08/28/08: Did Hillary really help the Barack cause?
08/27/08: ‘Show of Power,’ Indeed
08/19/08: What Is Russia Afraid Of?
08/13/08: When China Starved
08/11/08: Two of the world's rising powers are strutting their stuff
08/05/08: How Alexander Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago changed the world
07/29/08:‘The Hour of Europe’ Tolls Again But are European politicians up to the task?
07/15/08: Why Does Obama Want To Campaign in Berlin?
07/01/08: Citizen Athletes: How did a guy who can't speak Polish end up scoring Poland's only goal of Euro 2008?
06/24/08: Why do we expect presidential candidates to be kind?
06/17/08: Pity the Poor Eurocrats
06/12/08: Is the World Ready for a Black American President?
05/28/08: The Busiest Generation: America seems to value its children's status and achievements over their happiness
05/20/08: Leave Hitler Out of It: The craze for injecting the Nazis into political debate must end
05/13/08: A Drastic Remedy: The case for intervention in Burma
05/07/08: A Warning Shot From Moscow?
04/23/08: Radio to stay tuned to
04/17/08: China learns the price of a few weeks of global attention
04/01/08: Head scarves are potent political symbols
03/26/08: The Olympics are the perfect place for a protest
03/19/08: Could Tibet bring down modern China?
03/12/08: Have political autobiographies made us more susceptible to fake memoirs?
03/05/08: Why does Russia bother to hold elections?
02/20/08: Kosovo is a textbook example of the law of unintended consequences
02/06/08: A Craven Canterbury Tale
02/06/08: French prez' whirlwind romance reminds voters of his political recklessness




© 2008, Anne Applebaum

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