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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 Feb. 3, 2004 / 11 Shevat, 5764

Hizbullah's Victory, Israel's Decline

By Daniel Pipes


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http://www.jewishworldreview.com | When asked in 1787, as the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia came to an end, whether it had created a monarchy or a republic, Benjamin Franklin replied. "A republic, if you can keep it."


His pessimism comes to mind whenever a republic makes a terrible mistake, from the French policy of appeasement toward Germany in the 1930s to the U.S. policy of incrementalism in Vietnam to the South Korean "sunshine policy" now underway.


And Franklin's worry felt newly relevant on Thursday last week, as the State of Israel effected a most extraordinary swap with Hizbullah, one of the world's leading terrorist groups.


In exchange for one rogue Israeli civilian, captured while possibly engaging in dubious transactions, plus the remains of three soldiers, Israel released 429 living terrorists and criminals, including 400 Palestinians, 23 Lebanese, 5 other Arabs, and 1 German, as well as 59 corpses.


It comes as little surprise to learn, in the description of the New York Times, that this exchange prompted "a day of national celebration" in Lebanon and a "somber" mood in Israel. Nor is it astonishing to hear the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, describe the present as "not a time of happiness."


Sharon went on to explain his motives in carrying out the exchange by referring to the relatives of the dead Israeli soldiers: "three dear families, whose souls knew no rest for the past 40 months, will now be able to unite with their sorrow over a modest grave, and composure as a promise was kept, and a right and moral decision was made despite its heavy price."

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In other words, a major decision of state was taken for the sake of bringing small solace to three families. But what are the strategic consequences for Israel of this act of seeming morality?

  • Some or many of those 429 will again engage in terrorism against Israel, perhaps sparking a whole new campaign of violence. That is what happened once before: in 1985, Reuters explains, the Israeli government "swapped more than 1,100 Palestinians for three missing soldiers. Seven hundred Arabs were allowed to stay in the occupied territories and many later became leaders of the Palestinian uprising that erupted in 1987."

  • The lopsided deal signals Israel's enemies that they can extract huge benefits by taking even just one civilian Israeli hostage. Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch has collected many Palestinian statements drawing this conclusion. The military branch of Fatah "emphasized the necessity to follow in the footsteps of the act of Hizbullah, so that all prisoners and detainees will be released." A Hamas leader saw in this deal confirmation that terrorism "is capable of achievements to liberate the land and people." A newspaper hails Hizbullah for opening "a new door of hope for the families of the prisoners, after it was closed during the political solutions between the [Palestinian Authority] and Israel, which did not lead to any practical results."

  • Israel's reputation and standing undergo severe damage from this signal of demoralization and vulnerability. Listen to Ali Khamene'i, Iran's supreme leader, on the exchange, seeing in it another proof "that the evil Zionist regime is defeatable by the strong wills and concrete faiths of the Mujahedeen of Islam."


The Sharon government also failed its allies in the global war on terror.

  • Hostage-taking looks like a more effective tactic than it did a week earlier. If it can win a signal victory for Islamists in Lebanon against Israel, their ideological counterparts are more likely to use it in Iraq against the U.S. government, in Moscow against the Russian government, and in Kashmir against the Indian government. Each terrorist success, however local, has the potential to reverberate internationally.

  • The moral opprobrium of dealing with terrorists is eroded. If releasing hundreds of terrorists is acceptable for Israel, why not other countries too?


These many negative consequences raise questions about the morality of this Israeli government action.


In its early decades, Israel's strategic prowess was legendary, transforming a weak country into a regional powerhouse. The past decade has seen the opposite process, whereby that powerhouse reduces itself to a tempting target. That this change is entirely self-induced and achieved through the democratic process makes Benjamin Franklin's prophetic concern all too real.


When will the descent stop? By then, how much damage will have been done?

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 Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and the author of several books, most recently Militant Islam Reaches America. Comment by clicking here.

© 2004, Daniel Pipes