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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. 21, 2011 / 17 Adar I, 5771

Hamas thrilled at opportunity in change in Egypt

By Edmund Sanders





Group deemed terrorists by successive American administrations may attempt to change image, but a senior commander is quite frank about its intentions


JewishWorldReview.com |

JUSEIRAT — (MCT) Egypt's revolution brought sudden and unintended freedom to Ayman Nofal.

During the chaos in Cairo, the senior Hamas commander broke out of an Egyptian jail with thousands of other prisoners, traversed the Sinai desert in a series of getaway cars, crawled through a smuggling tunnel at the border and emerged back home in the Gaza Strip to a hero's welcome.

Now Nofal has one thing on his mind. "I'm anxious to get back to fighting Israel," the 37-year-old Palestinian militant said in his home, surrounded by several of his six children and a plastic flower bouquet.

The man accused by Egypt of plotting terrorist strikes against vacationing Israelis in the Sinai added, "I'm ready for the next battle." Ramifications of the leadership change in Egypt are pulsating through this impoverished seaside territory, raising new doubts about Israel's four-year-old strategy for containing Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since 2007.

Thanks to a controversial sea and land cordon imposed with former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's help, and a 22-day military offensive two years ago that killed 1,400 Palestinians, Israeli officials were once confident that Hamas had finally been beaten into submission, at least for the short term.

"Israel is the big loser in recent events," senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said in an interview in his mint-green Gaza City home, rebuilt after Israel tried to assassinate him with a 2003 airstrike that killed his son. "This is a new era. They should fear."

Under Mubarak, Egypt provided crucial support to Israel, sealing its border with Gaza for prolonged periods, constructing an underground barrier to block smuggling tunnels and arresting numerous Hamas leaders. Mubarak said he feared that Hamas, an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, would spread Islamist extremism into his nation.

With the Brotherhood, which had been officially outlawed in Egypt for decades, now a strong force in the nation's politics, Hamas is hoping for warmer ties with Cairo, including an open border, free trade and formal diplomatic exchanges.


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"This is our opportunity to have ordinary relations and break the siege," Zahar said.

Even under Mubarak, Israelis complained that the Egyptian-Gazan border was like Swiss cheese, on account of the proliferation of arms-smuggling tunnels. They warn that Hamas is already exploiting the chaos to resupply with heavy guns and rockets through the Sinai peninsula. An open border would make the arms flow even worse.

"Mubarak agreed that Hamas needed to be tamed," said Ilan Mizrahi, former head of Israel's National Security Council. "I'm not sure the new regime will adopt the same policy. … That could open a gate for money, weapons and Iranian instructors."

Nofal, the escaped Hamas fighter, said Israel's capacity to impose its military will on Gaza has been weakened.

"Without Egypt's backing, Israel could never start another war in Gaza like the past one," he said.

Israeli army officials, eager to ensure that the landmark 1979 peace treaty with Egypt remains in force, declined to comment.

Though it remains unclear how Egypt's next government will approach Gaza, the Egyptian military has promised to continue respecting its international peace treaties, including the one with Israel. Analysts say Israel could argue that joint anti-terrorist efforts along the border should be part of that agreement.

So far, Egypt's military-led interim authority has left in place a temporary closure of the Gaza border, which was sealed for security reasons during the unrest. But Zahar said Hamas received hints that it would reopen this month.

Gazans counting on a warmer relationship with Egypt point to their cultural and religious kinship. An opinion poll last year found that about half of Egyptians supported Hamas.

On the other hand, Gaza militants are frequently blamed for using Egypt's restive Sinai as a launching pad for their attacks. In recent weeks Hamas militias were suspected of bombing the natural gas pipeline to Jordan and Israel and firing upon Egyptian security outposts. Hamas denied involvement in both incidents. Hamas has also been accused of firing rockets from the Sinai into Israel.

Some expect Hamas to follow the lead of the Muslim Brotherhood in trying to present itself as more moderate and less threatening. "They're trying to lower their profile," said Robert Pastor, a Carter Center senior adviser who meets frequently with Hamas leaders. "They don't want to provoke additional fears."

Zahar acknowledged that Hamas was taking a patient approach, not wanting to "embarrass" Egypt's new government. He said Hamas is even keeping its distance from the Muslim Brotherhood, avoiding telephone contact because "we know the West is listening to every phone call and would try to abuse such information."

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© 2011, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.