In this issue

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

Why despite Syria's allies warning of retaliation for Israeli airstrikes, the threats are likely hollow

By Christa Case Bryant andNicholas Blanford

An Israeli military jeep drives near the Israeli-Lebanese border close to the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona January 31, 2013

Who has what to lose; a cost risk assessment

JewishWorldReview.com |

BEIRUT — (TCSM) Syria and Iran have threatened retaliation against Israel for a reported strike or pair of strikes in Syrian territory, but it is widely seen as counter to their interests to follow such bellicose rhetoric with concrete action.

Hezbollah slammed the attack as "barbaric aggression," but the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group is seen as unlikely to risk a fresh war with Israel when one of its chief backers, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is fighting for his regime's survival and is in no position to engage Israel. Iran, which also backs Hezbollah and could use it as a proxy to retaliate against Israel, is likewise seen as loath to play that card and risk losing one of its best deterrents against an Israeli attack.

"I don't think any of the sides are willing to risk a war at this time," says Timur Goksel, a Beirut-based commentator who served with the United Nations peacekeeping force in south Lebanon between 1979 and 2003. "If there's going to be another war, it will more likely be related to an attack on Iran, not on an arms convoy or a facility in Syria."

But the mutual deterrence that has kept Hezbollah from engaging in a fresh war with Israel, potentially on behalf of Iran or Syria, appears increasingly tenuous.

Israeli officials have remained tight-lipped about the reports of military action, but analysts say it was likely motivated by both a sense of growing urgency and a calculation that neither Syria nor Hezbollah would retaliate.


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"I have a distinct feeling that something happened in Syria that increased or heightened the threat perception in Jerusalem as well as in Washington," says Prof. Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. "I think the Israeli view is probably that Hezbollah and Syria are weak, with little likelihood of response or escalation."

Amid official Israeli silence, there is still uncertainty as to the actual target of the air strike. Numerous reports cite unidentified US and Israeli sources claiming that the attack targeted a convoy carrying weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The weapons were variously reported as SA-17 mobile medium-range anti-aircraft missiles, Yakhont anti-ship missiles, or Scud short-range ballistic missiles. All three weapon systems are regarded as "game changers" in the Israeli context because of the threat they pose to Israeli aircraft, shipping, and populated areas respectively. In particular, the SA-17 missiles could limit the ability of Israeli jets to monitor Hezbollah and Syrian weapons sites.

However, Syria claims that the air strike targeted a research facility that belongs to the Scientific Studies and Research Center, known by its French acronym as CERS, a government-run agency that is suspected to spearhead Syria's weapons development program. Israeli Lt. Col. Dany Shoham (ret.), a specialist in chemical and biological warfare who served in Israel's Ministry of Defense in the 1990s, says it's possible that that facility was developing or upgrading components related to chemical weapons.

The facility is located in Jermaya, five miles from central Damascus, and is surrounded to the north, east, and west by sprawling military bases for the elite Republican Guards unit.

Israel last staged a raid inside Syria in September 2007 when it targeted a suspected nuclear facility near Deir ez-Zor in the northeast. If the target of the air strike was indeed a Hezbollah arms convoy in transit across the border with Lebanon, it would be the first time that Israel has undertaken such a step.

The fact that Hezbollah ignored that report and instead publicly endorsed the Syrian claim that a military research center was targeted suggests that the militant group is not planning to retaliate against Israel.

But Syria's ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdul-Karim Ali, warned that his country may strike back. Damascus has "the option and the surprise to retaliate," he said, according to the Associated Press, but declined to give a timeframe.

Ali Akbar Velayati, the Iranian supreme leader's top foreign policy adviser, declared over the weekend that "an attack on Syria is considered an attack on Iran and Iran's allies."

As one of Syria's closest allies in the region, Iran is locked into the geopolitical game as leader of an axis of resistance against Israel and the US.

But Iranian news organizations have signaled Iran's disinterest in further escalation by highlighting Russia's firm response that such an attack was "unacceptable" but giving little indication of an Iranian reaction.

Iran arguably has much more at stake in Syria than Russia, after using the Assad regime for decades as an instrument to spread its own influence and to arm allies like Hezbollah and Hamas as front-line proxies in their fight against Israel.

Fiery rhetoric against the "Zionist regime" and injustice against Palestinians is a daily ritual in Iran. Yet Fars News merely reported today that Iran's parliament would take up regional issues and Syria on Feb. 3, and that Iranian and European Union ambassadors had recently met in Beirut.

However, Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian warned today that the strike will have significant implications for the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, according to the Associated Press.

Since the month-long war between Hezbollah and Israel in summer 2006, the Lebanon-Israel border has witnessed its longest period of calm since the late 1960s. However, the 2006 war ended inconclusively and since then both sides have been preparing for the possibility of a fresh encounter.

Israel has reorganized and retrained its forces to better fight a non-conventional foe like Hezbollah. Meanwhile, Hezbollah, with the backing of Iran and Syria, has undergone a massive recruitment program and is believed to stocked its arsenal with new and improved weapons and invested more heavily in electronic warfare capabilities.

While neither party has shown any willingness to plunge into fresh fighting, the strategic ramifications of the war in Syria on the Middle East in general - and the Hezbollah-Israel dynamic in particular - could yet complicate the mutual deterrence.

In September, Hezbollah said it had flown a reconnaissance drone over southern Israel, which initially went undetected by the Israeli military before being shot down. It was the deepest-ever penetration of a Hezbollah-operated drone into Israeli airspace and the first time the group had dispatched a drone into Israel since 2006. Israel, too, has shown unusual assertiveness if it indeed attacked Syrian soil.

But for now, the threat of massive destruction on both sides of the border in the event of another war suggests that the calculus that has helped maintain calm since 2006 will continue to hold, analysts say.

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© 2013, The Christian Science Monitor