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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 April 17, 2008 / 12 Nissan 5768

China learns the price of a few weeks of global attention

By Anne Applebaum

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In London, a man with a fire extinguisher hurled himself at a torchbearer using what a friend gleefully describes as a "rugby tackle." In Paris, the torch's omnipresent security guards—members of the Sacred Flame Protection Unit of the Chinese People's Armed Police, the same paramilitaries who put down riots in Tibet—had to extinguish the flame themselves to prevent protesters from doing so first. In San Francisco, the torch disappeared, reappeared, changed routes, and then vanished altogether. City officials explained that they had moved their "farewell to the torch" ceremony to a "private" location in order to avoid demonstrations.


In other words, the ceremony was canceled. Score one for the protesters! And welcome to the latest Olympic sport: "put out the torch"—a game being followed, at least in my part of the world, with enormous enthusiasm. Over dinner in Warsaw, Poland, visitors from London brag about "their" protesters. Over breakfast in Berlin, Germans can read accounts of the ceremony's modern origins: It seems Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's filmmaker, invented the torch relay for the 1936 Berlin Olympics and then deployed it with "terrifying mastery," according to Die Welt, in her film Olympia.


What a disappointment this must all be for the China Daily, the English-language organ of the Chinese Communist Party, which last month bragged that the 2008 torch relay "will traverse the longest distance, cover the greatest area and include the largest number of people" since this ancient Greek custom was invented by the Nazis in 1936. After the chaos in Paris, the same newspaper was reduced to spluttering at the French press, the French people, and French culture itself: "Pride and prejudice," the newspaper intoned, have "cast a shadow on this ancient civilization."


How utterly predictable. Even without the recent riots in Tibet, anything as ludicrous as a 130-day, 85,000-mile torch relay was going to attract a healthy dose of negative attention. Why does the thing have to go to so many cities, after all? Why does it need to go through Tibet? Why is it surrounded by track-suited thugs? Why does it travel in a customized jumbo jet? Wasn't this supposed to be a relay? And what is the symbolic significance of a battery-operated chemical flame, anyway? What does it have to do with athletes or world peace? Any ceremony of such profound inauthenticity—the Chinese are calling it the "journey of harmony"—deserves to be disharmoniously disrupted as often as possible.


It's true that the Greeks put on a parallel extravaganza four years ago. Previously, it had traveled only between Athens and the Olympic city or within the Olympic country. But the Greeks are a small nation with only local enemies. China is a totalitarian empire with many enemies and should know better than to stage a deliberately provocative, easily disrupted event like this one.


But clearly the Chinese did not know better. Their confused, unprepared official reaction has wavered between outright dishonesty—"all Torch Relay cities have given strong support for the event"—and incoherent anger. Chinese bloggers apparently favor the latter. One posted a photograph of an anti-torch protester, along with the words, "Remember him he'll die a terrible death."


In fact, for all of their wealth and sophistication, China's leaders still have an extremely crude understanding of global media—you can't force the world's press to celebrate "harmony," for goodness' sake—and of global politics. Despite his earlier enthusiasm, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has now announced he won't attend the opening ceremonies in Beijing: The photographs of Chinese paramilitaries pouring out of his Downing Street residence have made it politically impossible.


Inevitably, "wiser heads" and old China hands will now call upon the world's press and the world's politicians to calm down, avoid boycotts, and leave the torch alone so the games can go on and China's nationalist passion can cool down. Right this very minute, I'm sure someone is whispering in George Bush's ear, urging him not to skip the Olympics, not to offend the Chinese, not to follow Brown's example.


I hope he doesn't listen. Americans, Brits, Russians, and indeed the citizens of many large nations are forced to think all of the time about how their actions are perceived abroad. Why shouldn't the Chinese do so, too? They wanted to use the Olympics to trumpet their success, but there is a price to be paid for those few weeks at the center of global attention. Of course, no one believes that "Free Tibet" signs on the Golden Gate Bridge will truly liberate Tibet, and the absence of the U.S. president from some horrifically overchoreographed ceremony in Beijing won't bring democracy to the Middle Kingdom. But it will show some of the Chinese people what some of the world thinks of their repressive system—and quite right, too.

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

APPLEBAUM'S LATEST
Gulag: A History  

Nearly 30 million prisoners passed through the Soviet Union's labor camps in their more than 60 years of operation. This remarkable volume, the first fully documented history of the gulag, describes how, largely under Stalin's watch, a regulated, centralized system of prison labor-unprecedented in scope-gradually arose out of the chaos of the Russian Revolution. Fueled by waves of capricious arrests, this prison labor came to underpin the Soviet economy. JWR's Applebaum, a former Warsaw correspondent for the Economist and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, draws on newly accessible Soviet archives as well as scores of camp memoirs and interviews with survivors to trace the gulag's origins and expansion Sales help fund JWR.

Comment on JWR contributor Anne Applebaum's column by clicking here.


Previously:

04/01/08: Head scarves are potent political symbols
03/26/08: The Olympics are the perfect place for a protest
03/19/08: Could Tibet bring down modern China?
03/12/08: Have political autobiographies made us more susceptible to fake memoirs?
03/05/08: Why does Russia bother to hold elections?
02/20/08: Kosovo is a textbook example of the law of unintended consequences
02/06/08: A Craven Canterbury Tale
02/06/08: French prez' whirlwind romance reminds voters of his political recklessness




© 2008, Anne Applebaum

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