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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. 8, 2013 / 28 Shevat, 5773

Letter from the West Bank

By Clifford D. May






There are those here who seek peace and prosperity. The odds are against them.


JewishWorldReview.com |

S AMALLAH— It’s difficult not to like Salam Fayyad. The prime minister of the Palestinian Authority has an avuncular demeanor and old-fashioned professorial charm. He boasts a doctorate in economics from the University of Texas at Austin and remains loyal to the Longhorns. He speaks in charmingly accented, rapid-fire English. In a spacious conference room in the palatial government complex where he maintains his offices, he is generous with his time, answering questions from me and other members of a delegation of American national-security professionals on a wide range of issues.

One need not agree with everything Fayyad says to appreciate that he is the kind of Palestinian leader with whom Israeli leaders could make peace — if Israeli leaders could negotiate with him, and if he could deliver a majority of Palestinians willing to accept a compromise solution to the conflict. Fundamentally, here’s what that would mean: Palestinians would have to unambiguously recognize Israel’s right to exist within secure borders. In exchange, Israel would do everything possible to facilitate the development of a free and viable Palestinian state.



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What are the chances that Fayyad can achieve that? Roughly zero to none.

Fayyad has few supporters in the West Bank — and even fewer in Hamas-controlled Gaza. He was not elected prime minister; he was appointed in 2007 by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas who claimed the power to do so on the basis of “national emergency.”

As for Abbas, he was elected to his position in January 2005. His four-year term ended in 2009. New elections have been postponed indefinitely. Similarly, the Palestinian Legislative Council, which sits in Gaza, was elected to a four-year term in January 2006. The following year, Hamas staged a bloody coup against the P.A. in Gaza. New legislative elections also remain unscheduled.

American and European diplomats value Fayyad’s skills and trust his integrity. So long as he is prime minister, they feel better about pouring in aid — more per capita than to any country in Africa, Asia, or Latin America —  that keeps the P.A. afloat. Israelis respect Fayyad, too. You do understand that all this makes him less popular — not more — with the broad Palestinian public?

Of course, popularity is not the only source — or even the primary source — of power in the Palestinian territories. But Fayyad does not command a militia. And, presumably because he is seen as a moderate, he receives no financial backing from such oil-rich Muslim countries as Iran and Qatar.

Hamas leaders — who do receive support from both Iran and Qatar — openly detest Fayyad. Finally, though Fayyad was appointed by Abbas, he is not close to Abbas, who, in addition to heading the Palestinian Authority, leads the Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization which holds the reins — more or less — on the West Bank.

Halfway through our conversation, Fayyad asked not be quoted, so I’ll respect that. But I’m revealing nothing new if I say he gets that Hamas’s openly declared threat to exterminate Israel is not conducive to peace processing. He understands, too, that there is a desperate need for political reform and institution-building in the Palestinian territories. He has been working toward that goal determinedly, if not entirely successfully.

As we leave the prime minister’s offices, we see that demonstrators have gathered outside, mostly civil servants peacefully protesting the fact that it has been a long time since they have received their paychecks.

Ramallah, the de facto capital of the West Bank, lies six miles north of Jerusalem in the Judean Mountains. By the standards of non-oil producing Middle Eastern countries, it is neither depressed nor depressing. Buildings are of white Jerusalem stone with red tile roofs. There are mosques with tall minarets and green domes; palm trees and stone walls; modern hotels and good restaurants that serve cold, locally brewed beer. A fair amount of new construction is underway, but there also are empty lots, strewn with rubble. In some of them, goats graze.

Ramallah may not be the ideal Palestinian city of the future, but, as it happens, an attempt to build that metropolis is underway on hilltops less than six miles to the northwest. It’s called Rawabi and it’s the first planned city in the West Bank, a project that will cost $1 billion, most of which is coming from Qatar. The first residents are to begin moving in within a year. In five to seven years, it is to have homes for 10,000 Palestinian families, as well as a commercial center, a cultural center, medical facilities, stores, cafes, and a giant amphitheater.

Bashar Masri, the elegant and eloquent entrepreneur behind this project, acknowledges that, to succeed, Rawabi will need businesses and jobs — high-tech would be his preference. That will require foreign investors confident that their money will not end up in the foreign bank accounts of corrupt officials. It would help, too, if Rawabi and all of what Masri calls Palestine were to enjoy not just peaceful but cooperative relations with the little start-up nation to its west.

Both Masri and Fayyad favor that outcome — of that I have little doubt. But with Palestinian power divided between a jihadist Hamas and a vacillating Fatah, and with Islamists who are committed to Israel’s extermination ascendant throughout much of the Middle East, I have no idea how they get there from here.


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Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism. A veteran news reporter, foreign correspondent and editor (at The New York Times and other publications), he has covered stories in more than two dozen countries, including Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, China, Uzbekistan, Northern Ireland and Russia. He is a frequent guest on national and international television and radio news programs, providing analysis and participating in debates on national security issues.




Previously:


02/01/13: Home, bloody, home
01/18/13: Osama and the Two Nazirs
01/03/13: Beyond 'Toxic Nationalism'
12/21/12: Jews in the Judean Desert?
11/08/12: Our enemies learned the Lessons of the Battle of Benghazi. Will we?
11/01/12: American Exceptionalism and Its Discontents
10/25/12: Feckless pols are letting America's enemies get away with murder
09/27/12: Letter from Ireland: A 'peace of sorts,' but no model for the Middle East
08/17/12: What did Obama promise the Kremlin, and why isn't it a topic in the campaign debate?
08/02/12: After the Fall
07/19/12: Why are we still tolerating terrorists?
07/12/12: Talk to Iran: But this time talk to the people --- not their oppressors
07/05/12: New York Times v. Adelson
06/28/12: Lose LOST
06/21/12: The Trouble with Multiculturalism
06/07/12: The Battle of Syria
05/31/12: Whose Middle East Policy Is It, Anyway?
05/24/12: What Iran's Rulers Want
05/17/12: Missile Defense Is for Wimps
05/10/12: The Real Palestinian Refugee Problem
05/03/12: The Foggiest War
04/19/12: Law Games
04/19/12: Liberate 'Zones of Electronic Repression'!
04/12/12: Dare we actually listen to the Islamists?
04/05/12: Lone-wolf terrorists are a growing threat. Moderate Muslims are among those in the crosshairs
03/29/12: The Diplomats' Dilemma
03/22/12: 'Destroy All the Churches'
03/15/12: A Guide for the Perplexed Fareed Zakaria
03/08/12: How to Stop Putting Gas in the Islamist Tank
03/01/12: (War) Crimes and Punishment
02/24/12: Al-Qaeda's Big Fat Iranian Wedding
02/16/12: Listening to the Syrian Resistance
02/09/12: Are Sanctions Working? If the purpose is to penalize Iran's rulers for their crimes and discourage civilized people from buying blood oil, yes
01/26/12: If Pakistan fails it, there must be consequences
01/19/12: How terrorists lose their stigma
01/12/12: Muslims Attacked! But they are the wrong types of Muslims, so who cares?
01/06/12: The Historian, the Diplomat, and the Spy
12/29/11: Iran and Al-Qaeda: Together again for the first time
12/22/11: The Case for Palestinian Nationalism
12/15/11: What's Islam Got to Do with It?
12/09/11: Buried Treasure
11/24/11: What Would the Gipper Do?
11/17/11: Appease, temporize, posture and gesture?
11/11/11: Brave New Transnational Progressive World
11/03/11: What's Wrong with Economic Justice?
10/27/11: Autocracies United
10/20/11: The most critical threat confronting America
10/13/11: We've Been Warned
10/06/11: Anwar Al-Awlaki's American Journey
09/22/11: Cheney Got It Right on Syrian Nukes
09/15/11: The European Caliphate
09/08/11: Disoriented: The state of too many Western leaders ten years after 9/11/01
09/01/11: Palestinian Leaders to Seek the UN's Blessing . . . for a two-state solution. For a two-stage execution
08/25/11: Better understanding of Islamist experience needed
08/18/11: The Arab Spring and Europe's fall
08/11/11: Borrowing from Communists to pay Jihadis?
07/28/11: Who's to Blame for Terrorism?
07/28/11: Do Somali pirates have legitimate gripe?
07/21/11: Why Bashar al-Assad matters to the West--- and what the Obama administration still doesn't grasp
07/07/11: MAD in the 21st Century





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