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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. 24, 2011 / 20 Adar I, 5771

Why upheaval in the Arab world was met with slow, tepid response from the E.U.

By Robert Marquand





What can go wrong --- and what's being done to prevent it


JewishWorldReview.com |

cARIS — (TCSM) Europe's proximity to North Africa makes revolution in the Arab world of obvious and enormous significance. The speed of change in Tunisia and Egypt caught Europe unprepared and slow to respond — though European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton quickly responded to violence in Libya, calling it "unacceptable."

For the most part, however, the euphoria and ingenuity of the young, tech-savvy revolutionaries and their calls for dignity, jobs, and the end of police states initially filtered to Europe through a layer of caution and worry. The first EU ministers' meeting on the subject took place Feb. 20, and a "new partnership" with Egypt and Tunisia was promised. Prior to this, a divided EU mostly watched as Western response got shaped by the US.

Europe's oil comes through the Middle East, and Arab immigrants populate its cities. There's concern about instability and tides of new immigrants.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is reportedly miffed that President Obama abandoned Hosni Mubarak so soon, and Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi defended the ousted leader a week after he fell. Mr. Berlusconi is also the closest EU leader to Libya's Muammar Qaddafi.

Much of the fear in Europe involves sudden changes to a status quo the Continent has been comfortable with for years. Arab autocrats policed borders and coasts to stop migrants heading north, and won Western support by presenting themselves as bulwarks against Islamic extremism. Human rights issues were rarely raised.

"The Obama people played this well," says Antoine Sfeir, director of the Middle East Journal in Paris. "Obama understands the Facebook generation. But in the European popular mind there's been a tendency to view this through an Islamic lens. In fact, we are arriving back to the fundamental 14 points of President Wilson in 1917, and self-determination. The EU needs to rethink its checkbook diplomacy to the Middle East and engage in things like funding schools."

Europe's overall reaction has largely been divided, with Germany, the United Kingdom, and Nordic nations hailing change much earlier than France and Italy, where popular concern about the Arab world, Islam, and immigrants is higher.

British leader David Cameron was the first EU head of government to visit Cairo this week, en route to a long-planned trip to Gulf states for a controversial sale of British arms.


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But in Kuwait, Mr. Cameron offered a mea culpa for decades of British support for Arab dictators. At the Kuwaiti parliament, he refuted the argument underpinning Western policy that "stability required controlling regimes and that reform and openness would put that stability at risk … we should acknowledge that sometimes we have made such calculations in the past. But I say that is a false choice."

In Cairo, Ms. Ashton promised $1.3 billion in aid to Egypt as part of a strategy of civil society building.

While informed opinion in Europe recognizes the two uprisings as having decidedly secular roots, there are perceptual hurdles, particularly in France. (The foreign minister was conspicuously absent today in a French delegation to Tunis led by Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, after 40 anonymous French diplomats published a joint condemnation of the North African policy of President Nicolas Sarkozy.)

"Europe talks about democracy day and night. Then, when it comes, all we want to talk about is the [Muslim] Brotherhood," says a Paris analyst, pointing to the cover of a popular French weekly that features a veiled woman holding an Egyptian flag with a headline: "Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria … The Islamist Specter."

In a recent TV debate involving France's position in the Arab uprisings, Jean-François Cope, who is head of the ruling party in France and chiefly responsible for promoting its anti-burqa law, faced off against Tariq Ramadan, a leading European scholar of Islam and grandson the Muslim Brotherhood's founder. The debate quickly turned into a small argument.

Mr. Cope: "Isn't it written in the founding charter of the Muslim Brothers: 'The Koran is our constitution, Jihad is our way, martyrdom is our hope?' "Mr. Ramadan: "It is a slogan.… Is it not said in the French national anthem 'let impure blood be spilled in our furrows?' Did you reduce France to that? You cannot reduce an organization to a slogan."

"Those who demonstrated in Egypt are precisely those demonstrating in Iran against [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad," wrote Olivier Roy of the European University of Florence in "The Post-Islamic Revolution," a recent essay that quickly made the rounds here. "They might be believers, but they separate that from their political demands: In this sense the movement is 'secular,' because it separates religion from politics."

Mr. Roy argues that while Europe is seeing Arab uprisings through the lens of Islamism, colored by 1979 Iran, pluralistic politics in Egypt will likely sap the Islamists' position, not reinforce it. "Youngsters know that Islamist regimes have become dictatorships; they are neither fascinated by Iran nor by Saudi Arabia."

Cameron in Kuwait took a different European view on the uprisings, saying that "Some would claim that Arabs or Muslims can't do democracy, the so-called Arab exception. For me that is a prejudice that borders on racism."

While Europe has largely been on the sidelines in the Arab uprising — or taken cues from the White House — it is beginning to act. A significant nudge came when 5,500 Tunisian immigrants arrived last week on Italy's Lampedusa Island in the Mediterranean. The figure is now 6,000.

The European Union has announced $23 million in immediate aid to Tunisia and $350 million by 2013 in addition to monies promised to Egypt by Ms. Ashton today. The EU has also said it will undertake a deeper and more serious effort to support elections, the writing of constitutions, and civil society.

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© 2011, The Christian Science Monitor