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. 23, 2009 / 29 Shevat 5769

Terrified of speaking about terror

By Kathryn Lopez

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Eric Holder, the new U.S. attorney general, says we're cowards. He's right, but his reasons are all wrong.

In a recent speech marking Black History Month, Holder said, "Though race-related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about things racial."

Holder really should start listening more. We gab about race all the time — mostly debating supposed controversies ginned up by self-appointed "civil-rights leaders" such as Al Sharpton. I stopped taking Sharpton seriously somewhere between him refusing to apologize for his role in the Tawana Brawley hoax and the deaths at Freddy's Fashion Mart. We'd be better off if everyone followed my lead on that point.

As it happens, Holder's speech came a day after I sat in front of a young black man who liberally peppered a 15-minute phone conversation with the n-word. Five minutes into the young man's phone call, a slightly older black man stopped his own phone conversation, walked over and told the young man, gently and respectfully, that he should cease using foul language. The younger man was chastened, and he changed his tone (for a bit anyway). Pundits and attorney generals can — and do, and will — talk endlessly about race; guys on the commute home, the words they use and the moves they make are the game-changers.

At some point, Americans are going to want something other than talk from this administration.

Holder's speech could be forgettable if it weren't such a wasted opportunity. True, courage is needed, but race isn't the elephant in the room that we're refusing to discuss. The issue that makes cowards of us all is this war we're in, and it's a subject that we need to be honest about, for ourselves and for the people fighting in it. Headlines have gone from calling the conflict "Bush's War" to "Obama's War," but altering the title doesn't change the fact that we're all missing the point.

Recently, not far from where a Continental jet plunged earthward in upstate New York, a Muslim owner of a TV station, who did public-relations work for Islam, allegedly killed his wife in what looks to be an "honor killing." What does this have to do with our cowardice and the war? Everything.

I don't blame Islam for an apparent honor killing in the Empire State. But as Phyllis Chesler, author of a study that recently appeared in Middle East Quarterly, can tell you, angry Muslim husbands can use the tenets of their creed to justify killing a wayward wife. The victim of the upstate murder once told a reporter: "I did not want my kids growing up to watch Muslims being portrayed as terrorists." Unfortunately, her husband may have been a terrorist, at least toward his family. Muslim religious leaders need to use this tragedy as a teaching moment instead of merely distancing themselves and their religion from this man's actions.

I don't want to see Muslim men portrayed as terrorists, either, but I want Muslim men to stop killing in the name of their religion. But first we have to call Islamic terrorism by its real name.

In April of 2004, Andrew McCarthy, who prosecuted the mastermind of the first attack on the World Trade Center, and wrote a bracingly honest book, "Willful Blindness: A Memoir of Jihad" (Encounter, 2008), about the experience, gave a speech in which he warned us that we were being clueless cowards. "Terrorism is not an enemy. It is a method. It is the most sinister, brutal, inhumane method of our age. But it is nonetheless just that: a method. You cannot, and you do not, make war on a method. War is made on an identified — and identifiable — enemy." McCarthy pinpointed the enemy as "militant Islam — a very particular practice and interpretation of a very particular set of religious, political and social principles." He added: "Now that is a very disturbing, very discomfiting thing to say in 21st-century America. It is very judgmental. It sounds very insensitive. It is the very definition of politically incorrect. Saying it aloud will not get you invited to chat with Oprah. But it is a fact. And it is important both to say it and to understand it."

Now that is a speech that an attorney general or president should be making. But get the issue and the name right. Until then we do have a cowardice problem.

Comment by clicking here.


© 2009, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.