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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. 6, 2009 / 12 Shevat 5769

Israel's fateful elections

By Caroline B. Glick


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Tuesday's general elections will officially end the briefest and most nonchalant electoral season Israel has ever experienced. Regrettably, the importance of these elections is inversely proportional to their lack of intensity. This is, these are the most fateful elections Israel has ever had. The events of the past week make this point clearly.

Monday Iran successfully launched a domestically manufactured satellite on a ballistic missile called the Safir-2 space rocket. Since the launch, experts have noted that the Safir-2 can also be used to launch conventional and non-conventional warheads. The Safir-2 has an estimated range of 2000-3000 kilometers. And so the successful satellite launch showed that today Iran is capable of launching missiles not only against Israel, but against southern Europe as well.

Many Israeli leaders viewed Monday's launch as a "gotcha" moment. For years they have been saying that Iran's nuclear program is a threat to global security - not merely to Israel's security. And Monday's launch just demonstrated that they were right all along. Israel isn't the only country on Iran's target list.

Unfortunately for Israel, the international community couldn't care less. Its response to Iran's latest provocation was to collectively shrug its shoulders.

On Wednesday emissaries of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany convened in Wiesbaden, Germany to discuss their joint policies towards Iran in the aftermath of the satellite launch. Some Israelis argued that Iran's provocation forced these leaders' hands. Their reputations for toughness were on the line. They would have to do something.

Unfortunately for Israel, the emissaries of Russia, Britain, China, France, Germany and the US are more interested in convincing the mullahs that they are nice than in convincing them that they are tough.

Far from deciding to take concerted action against Iran, the great powers did nothing more than wish the Obama administration good luck as it moves to directly engage the mullahs. As their post-conference press release put it, the six governments' answer to Iran's show of force was to "agree to consult on the next steps as the US administration undertakes its [Iranian] policy review."

As US President Barak Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have explained, the US is reviewing its policy towards Iran in the hopes of finding a way to directly engage the Iranian government. While they claim that the aim of these sought after direct negotiations will be to convince the mullahs to give up their nuclear weapons program, since taking office the new administration has sent out strong signals that preventing Iran from going nuclear has taken a backseat to simply holding negotiations with Teheran.

According to a report in Aviation News, last week the US Navy prevented Israel from seizing an Iranian weapons ship on the Red Sea suspected of carrying illicit munitions to either Gaza or Lebanon. A week and a half ago, the US Navy boarded the ship in the Gulf of Aden and carried out a cursory inspection. It demurred from seizing the ship however, because as US Admiral Michael Mullen the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff explained on January 27, the US believed it had no international legal right to seize the ship.

In inspecting the ship the US was operating under UN Security Council Resolution 1747 which bars Iran from exporting arms. The US argued that it lacked authority to seize the ship because 1747 has no enforcement mechanism. Yet the fact of the matter is that if the US were truly interested in intercepting the ship and preventing the arms from arriving at their destination, the language of 1747 is vague enough to support such a seizure.

And that's the point. The US was uninterested in seizing the ship because it was uninterested in provoking a confrontation with Teheran which it seeks to engage. It was not due to lack of legal authority that the US reportedly prevented the Israeli Navy from seizing the ship on the Red Sea, but due to the administration's fervent wish to appease the mullahs.

Today the ship, which was sailing under a Cypriot flag, is docked at the Port of Limassol. Cypriot authorities have reportedly inspected the ship twice, have communicated their findings to the Security Council, and are still waiting for guidance on how to deal with the ship.

All of this brings us back to next Tuesday's elections. With the US effectively giving up on confronting Iran, the entire burden for blocking Iran's quest for nuclear weapons falls on Israel's shoulders.

This means that the most important question that Israeli voters must ask ourselves between now and Tuesday is which leader and which party are most capable of achieving this vital goal?

All we need to do to answer this question is check what our leaders have done in recent years to bring attention to the Iranian threat and build coalitions to contend with it.

In late 2006, citing the Iranian nuclear menace, Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Lieberman joined the Olmert government where he received the tailor-made title of Strategic Affairs Minister. At the time Lieberman joined the cabinet, the public outcry against the government for its failure to lead Israel to victory in the war with Iran's Lebanese proxy Hizbullah had reached a fever pitch. The smell of new elections was in the air as members of Knesset from all parties came under enormous public pressure to vote no confidence in the government.

By joining the government when he did, Lieberman single-handedly kept the Olmert government in power. Explaining his move, Lieberman claimed that the danger emanating from Iran's nuclear program was so great that Israel could not afford new elections.

But what did he accomplish by saving the government by taking that job? The short answer is nothing. Not only did his presence in the government make no impact on Israel's effectiveness in dealing with Iran, it prolonged the lifespan of a government that had no interest in forming a strategy for contending with Iran by two years.

In light of this fact, perhaps more than any other Israeli politician, Lieberman is to blame for the fact that Israel finds itself today with no allies in its hour of greatest peril. Had he allowed the people to elect more competent leaders in the fall of 2006, we might have been able to take advantage of the waning years of the Bush administration to convince the US to work with us against Iran.

Then there is Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. If Lieberman was the chief enabler of Israel's incompetent bungling of the Iranian threat, as Israel's chief diplomat, it is Livni - together with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert - who deserves the greatest condemnation for that bungling.

Throughout her tenure as Foreign Minister and still today as Kadima's candidate for Prime Minister, Livni claims that she supports using diplomacy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But in her three years as Israel's top diplomat, Livni never launched any diplomatic initiative aimed at achieving this goal. In fact, she has never even publicly criticized the European and American attempts to appease the mullahs.

Livni has remained silent for three years even though it has been clear for five years that the West's attempts to cut a deal with Teheran serve no purpose other than to provide the Iranians time to develop their nuclear arsenal. She has played along with the Americans and the Europeans and cheered them on as they passed toothless resolutions against Iran in the Security Council which - as the Iranian weapons ship docked in Cyprus shows - they never had the slightest intention of enforcing.

As for Defense Minister Ehud Barak, as a member of the Olmert government, his main personal failure has been his inability to convince the Pentagon to approve Israel's requests to purchase refueling jets and bunker buster bomb kits, and to permit Israeli jets to fly over Iraqi airspace. To achieve these aims, Barak could have turned to Israel's friends in the US military and in Congress. But he did no such thing. And now, moving into the Obama administration, Israel finds itself with fewer and fewer allies in Washington's security community.

For the past several years, only one political leader in Israel has had the foresight and wisdom to both understand the dangers of Iran's nuclear program and to understand the basis for an Israeli diplomatic approach to contending with the threat that can serve the country's purposes regardless of whether or not at the end of the day, Israel is compelled to act alone.

In 2006, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu took it upon himself to engage the American people in a discussion of the danger Iran poses not only to Israel but to the world as a whole. In late 2006, he began meeting with key US governors and state politicians to convince them to divest their state employees' pension funds from companies that do business with Iran. This initiative and complementary efforts by the Washington-based Center for Security Policy convinced dozens of state legislatures to pass laws divesting their pension funds from companies that do business with Iran.

Netanyahu also strongly backed the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs' initiative to indict Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as an international war criminal for inciting genocide. Both the divestment campaign and the campaign against Ahmadinejad have been Israel's most successful public diplomacy efforts in contending with Iran. More than anything done by the government, these initiatives made Americans aware of the Iranian nuclear threat and so forced the issue onto the agendas of all the presidential candidates.

For their part, instead of supporting Netanyahu's efforts, Livni, Barak and Lieberman have disparaged them or ignored them.

Because he is the only leader who has done anything significant to fight Iran's nuclear program, Netanyahu is the only national leader who has the international credibility to be believed when he says - as he said this week - that Israel will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. For its part, Likud under Netanyahu is the only party that has consistently drawn the connection between Iran, its Palestinian, Lebanese, Iraqi and Afghan terror proxies, its Syrian client state and its nuclear weapons program and made fighting this axis the guiding principle of its national security strategy.

Given the US-led international community's decision not to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, it is clear that in the coming months Israel will need to do two things. It will need to put the nations of the world on notice that they cannot expect us to stand by idly as they welcome Iran into the nuclear club. And Israel will need to prepare plans to strike Iran's nuclear installations without America's support.

More than ever before, Israel requires leaders who understand the gravity of the hour and are capable of acting swiftly and wisely to safeguard our country from destruction. Only Netanyahu and Likud have a credible track record on this subject.

For the sake of our country, our nation and our posterity, it is our responsibility to consider this fact when we enter the voting booths on Tuesday.


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 Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Comment by clicking here.


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© 2008, Caroline B. Glick