In this issue
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. 2, 2006 / 4 Shevat, 5766

With Hamas win we should express relief rather than anxiety

By Victor Davis Hanson

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Unexpected. Terrible. Inevitable. Everyone has a particular take on the dramatic Palestinian election victory of Hamas.

Right-wing cynics of American support for Middle East democracy say that we got our just desserts for our naive idealism. How foolish to ever believe that such tribal people might vote themselves a responsible government!

"Be careful what you wish for," smug leftists chime in. But they harp that the Bush administration is hypocritical in lamenting the results. After all, how can the United States advocate democracy and then back away when it doesn't get pro-Americans?

Others hedge that the Hamas victory hardly means consensual government as we know it — given the Palestinians' lack of an independent judiciary, free speech or habeas corpus.

There is even less consensus about the future. Pessimists point to the German elections of 1932 and 1933, which mainstreamed the Nazis and allowed them to seize power and destroy the very democratic machinery that had given them their legitimacy. Next, will the Muslim Brotherhood come to power in Egypt and end reform ("one election, one time"), once we force the Mubarak dynasty to accept free and unfettered voting?

The more optimistic always counter with the example of Nelson Mandela's once-outlawed African National Congress. Those former militants evolved beyond terrorist attacks on the white apartheid government to become the ruling government of South Africa.

Israelis, too, are divided. Liberals there assume that Hamas must turn moderate, once it is forced to clean sewers and fix electrical cables rather than shoot guns off in the street when it doesn't get its way.

Conservatives there are oddly just as serene, but make a different argument: Now there will be no phony talk about a "militant" wing of Hamas or a duplicitous Palestinian Authority complaining that it can't control renegade suicide bombers. No, as legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people, Hamas can at last lead their brave jihdadists in an open war against the vilified Jews. As in 1967 or 1973, let the battlefield adjudicate their warriors' future.

Yet there is one constant to all the bickering over the Hamas victory: Democracy, even in the violent Middle East, brings a certain clarity, and with it, at last, honesty.

Hamas can either renounce its charter principles — or follow them by quite openly taxing its people to raise money for more suicide bombing brigades. As an Islamic state, it can craft sharia law and an open alliance with a similarly theocratic Iran, enjoying both the short-term benefits — and global downside — of such an Islamic axis. Nor do such anti-Western radicals need to accept hundreds of millions of dollars in infidel American and European largess.

Here in the United States, we should express relief rather than anxiety. None can accuse America of propping up right-wing puppets that do our bidding. We not only supported the elections, but also subsidized them. So now, with perfect consistency, we can accept Hamas' victory, but keep our money and distance from such creepy characters.

What we are witnessing are the aftershocks of the removal of Saddam Hussein and the messy democratization of the Middle East. These ensuing tremors have left pro-American autocrats in the Gulf and Egypt and hostile dictators in Syria, Libya and Iran trembling.

The upheaval is as dangerous and unpredictable as it is honest, since at last America has a consistent Middle East policy: We will encourage free and open elections, but need not always be friends of the subsequently elected governments.

We are in a new age in which the failed realist policy of bankrolling autocrats who pumped oil and kept away communists has run its course. The old slurs about American imperialism and CIA-engineered coups can now be put to rest. The Middle East will need to get a life — and move beyond the stale half-century-old blame-America rhetoric that we propped up some corrupt Saudi royal in the 1940s or ruined an Iranian reform in the 1950s — and thus forever set them back.

In the meantime, the U.S. must itself adapt to the new honesty, as we encourage the democratization of the Middle East and, for the foreseeable future, the likely emergence of grassroots anti-Western Islamic governments. First, we must pull our fingers out of the crumbling dikes of autocracy and cease giving any money to the corrupt status quo (such as the Mubarak dynasty). Such funds only encourage the sense of victimhood on the part of rival Islamists and give them anti-American ammunition in the elections to come.

Second, we must turn to more oil drilling at home, energy conservation, nuclear power, and, most importantly for our transportation needs, methanol and ethanol production. Only then can we cease sending billions of petrodollars to the Middle East that warp its economy, subsidize otherwise failed ideologies and promise that the next arms race will turn nuclear. So by all means, let them all vote and elect whomever they want — and let a confident United States hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

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.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Comment by clicking here.


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