DidJew Know?

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 March 3, 2014 / 1 Adar II, 5774

Latest Obama appointment to prove Prez set on emasculating so-called Israel Lobby

By Ben Cohen

But will the Saudis fare worse?

JewishWorldReview.com | That there is widespread anxiety over the Obama administration's Middle East policies is hardly a secret. If we have learned anything over the past six years it is that, contrary to the conspiratorial theory that the so-called "Israel Lobby" is the ultimate authority when it comes to Washington's stance in the region, the opposite is true. It is presidents and their appointees who make policies, based on their assessment of the strategic interests of the United States at a given moment. In that framework, the "Lobby" only enjoys success when it pushes for outcomes that are in sync with the thinking of the administration.

Under Obama, the U.S. has pushed policies that directly clash with the long-established positions of pro-Israel groups. Pressuring Israel in the context of the stop-again, start again negotiations with the Palestinians—for example, by publicly and vocally warning that continuing settlement of the West Bank will fuel anti-Israel boycotts—has become integral to the administration's discourse. Engaging the Iranian regime over its nuclear program, through a process that does little to technically prevent Tehran from pursuing the goal of weaponization, has emerged as the centerpiece of Obama's approach to the Middle East.

When it comes to personnel selection, the not-so-powerful "Israel Lobby" has had no choice about swallowing the bitter pill of appointments that it regards with suspicion. Most famously, that was the case with the appointment of Chuck Hagel, who in the past expressed near-virulent criticisms of Israel, as secretary of defense. And it is similarly the case with the new appointment of Robert Malley, a former Middle East peace negotiator from the Clinton administration, as a senior director at the National Security Council, where he will manage relations with the Persian Gulf states. Given the enormous tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, it's tempting to think that working on the Israeli-Palestinian track is a cakewalk by comparison.

Among pro-Israel advocates, Malley is distrusted because he broke with the consensus—shared by President Bill Clinton himself, among others—that the failure of the 2000 Camp David summit was the fault of the late PLO leader, Yasser Arafat. In an August 2001 article for The New York Review of Books, Malley and co-author Hussein Agha wrote sympathetically of Arafat's conviction "that the Israelis were setting a trap" at Camp David.

"The Camp David proposals were viewed as inadequate: they were silent on the question of refugees, the land exchange was unbalanced, and both the Haram and much of Arab East Jerusalem were to remain under Israeli sovereignty," they wrote. From the standpoint of Israel's own security interests, those observations were uncomfortably aligned with the Palestinian refusal, exemplified by the insistence on the so-called "right of return," to recognize Israel as a Jewish state—a refusal that persists in our own day.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

Then there was Malley's meeting in 2008—when he worked for the International Crisis Group, a high-level NGO—with representatives of Hamas. At the time, that led to a break with the Obama presidential campaign, which Malley was informally advising. Though Hamas is blacklisted by the U.S. as a terrorist organization, Malley defended his interaction by saying, "If you want to have movement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority you're going to have to find some way of neutralizing Hamas's spoiling capacity, and that means to some extent, to some extent, engaging with it."

Interestingly, Malley has also strongly criticized the man who now employs him over the Middle East. "An administration that never tires of saying it cannot want peace more than the parties routinely belies that claim by the desperation it exhibits in pursuing that goal," he wrote of Obama in 2011. "Today, there is little trust, no direct talks, no settlement freeze, and, one at times suspects, not much of a U.S. policy." Nor does he apparently subscribe to the view that the primary requirement for peace in the region is a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, whereas the Obama administration frequently gives the impression that this is in fact the case. "The recent focus on Arab-Israeli relations has helped foster the belief that Middle East diplomacy can be reduced to that single dimension," Malley wrote in a 2001 book review for Foreign Affairs. "It cannot."

If there was, in Malley's words, "not much of a U.S. policy" in 2011, there is one now. Critics have called it "leading from behind." Supporters term it "engagement." Semantics aside, during the Obama years, the key strategic transformation in the region has been the strengthening of Iran. Hence, it is easy to understand why the idea of someone running Iran policy who is a keen advocate of engagement, and who believes that Iranian ally Hamas should not be isolated, is so disconcerting.

The nature of Malley's new job, however, should reassure pro-Israel groups that they won't be privately grappling with him at every turn. That role will fall to the Saudis, who are furious with Obama's overtures to Iran. As this story unfolds, watch for the possibility that Malley, supposedly the bÍte noire of the "Israel Lobby," will arouse the venom of the well-paid and influential Saudi lobbyists in Washington.

Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Interested in a private Judaic studies instructor — for free? Let us know by clicking here.

Ben Cohen is the Shillman Analyst for JNS.org. His writings on Jewish affairs and Middle Eastern politics have been published in numerous publications.

© 2014, JNS.org. All rights reserved.