Washington Week


Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

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 May 19, 2005 / 10 Iyar, 5765

Sharansky to Congressional subcommittee: Support for ‘Palestinian’ leaders should be linked to democratic reforms, protection of dissidents

By Heather Robinson


Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

Our reporter attends a hearing assessing the ‘Bush Doctrine’. A key participant was the man whom the President acknowledges as having significantly influenced his Middle East policy. Will he take his words to heart?


JewishWorldReview.com |

WASHINGTON — In a Congressional subcommittee hearing, Natan Sharansky, former Israeli minister for Jerusalem and diaspora affairs, expressed his belief that any Israeli concessions as part of the U.S. sponsored Roadmap  —  including the planned August withdrawal from Gaza  —   should be contingent upon Palestinian reforms. He also called upon the U.S. government to support dissidents in the Palestinian territories and other parts of the Arab world.


The hearing, held by Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Connecticut), examined the impact of U.S.-led efforts to foster democracy in the Middle East, and U.S. policy in Iraq. Testifying alongside Sharansky was Mithal Al-Alusi, an Iraqi politician whose grassroots political party, The Democratic Party of the Iraqi Nation (DPIN), advocates individual rights and alliances between the new Iraq and other democracies, including Israel.


A former Soviet dissident who was imprisoned for nine years in the U.S.S.R., Sharansky recently resigned his post as a minister in the Israeli government due to concerns that Israel is failing to demand meaningful democratic reforms on the part of Palestinian leadership.


The purpose of the hearing was to explore whether the Bush Doctrine  —  to combat terrorism and support democracy  —  is working in the Middle East, and to discuss ways to further encourage democratic reforms in the region, according to documents prepared by Shays' office in advance of the hearing.


Sharansky emphasized that Israel's plan to withdraw forces from Gaza in August should be contingent upon reforms within Palestinian society. Specifically, he would like to see Palestinian leadership dismantle terror organizations, end incitement in official schools and media, provide better housing, and relinquish its tight control over Palestinians' economy.


"The questions we should be asking are whether the education of incitement will continue, whether [Palestinians] will continue in refugee camps or [receive] better housing, whether a free economy will be allowed, and whether terrorist organizations will be dismantled or allowed to continue," he said.

Donate to JWR


In an interchange with Shays, Sharansky expressed concern over the possibility of Israel's repeating some Oslo-era mistakes.


"The big mistake of Oslo was [the idea that] if we strengthen [Arafat's] dictatorship, it will bring us stability," he said. "We need [to help build] a free Palestinian society. If we move in the opposite direction  —  "


"So we have to tolerate instability to get stability?" asked Shays.


"So-called stability brought by dictators brings about long term instability," said Sharansky.


Intrinsic to Sharansky's theory, expounded in his recent book "The Case for Democracy: the Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror" is that totalitarian or "fear" societies require an external enemy in order to control their citizens and maintain their illegitimate power. According to the theory, a government that functions without the consent of the governed and disregards the rights of its citizens will seek conflict with other countries as a tool for diverting its people's frustrations. President Bush has cited Sharansky's book in recent months.


At the hearing, Sharansky postulated that if the Israeli and U.S. governments were to employ what he termed a policy of "linkage"  —  making concessions toward — and funding of — Palestinian leadership conditional upon that leadership's institution of democratic reforms  —  peace might have its chance.


"With Abu Mazen, we have a better chance, but only if our concept isn't 'Let's support at all costs.'" he said. "The linkage must be clear: [it's] a struggle against terror organizations, not a cease fire. The system of education is not for incitement and terrorist activities. We need more free economic life for the Palestinians, not more control over Palestinian life by leaders…if these [conditions] are linked to support, then there is a good chance."


Remembering the hope he garnered when he learned, as a dissident, of President Reagan's characterization of the former Soviet Union as "the evil empire," Sharansky spoke about the need to support Palestinian dissidents with whom he says he has dialogued.


"When I was talking to Palestinian dissidents who are strong advocates for a democratic society during Arafat['s leadership,] there was a difference between what they faced and what I did, because [Soviet dissidents] knew we could go to prison, but the free world would be aware of us," he said. "[Palestinian dissidents] had no such assurance.


"The main message [of the West] to them was, 'Don't weaken Yasir Arafat.'"


Sharansky concluded, "Palestinians who want civil societies are our real allies. No concern should undermine our commitment to supporting them."


In his testimony, Al-Alusi echoed Sharansky's concerns about the need for the U.S. government to support individuals in the Arab world who champion true democracy, including individual rights.


"We need real support for liberals in the Mid-East," Al-Alusi said.


A one-time Ba'athist who fled Iraq 26 years ago with his family after being threatened with death for opposing Saddam's human rights abuses, Al-Alusi returned in the aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom and accepted a position as director general of the Iraqi National Commission on de-Ba'athification.


Last September, in order to explore possibilities for cooperation between Israel and Iraq in fighting terrorism, he attended a counterterrorism conference in Herzliya. While he was still at the conference, his family began receiving death threats. Upon his return, the Iraqi interim government stripped him of his position and security protection for violating a law, established under Hussein's dictatorship, against visiting Israel.


Not willing to be intimidated and with the help of his sons, he founded the DPIN and got the party onto the ballot for the Iraqi election.


Days afterward, his two sons, Ayman, 30, and Gamal, 22, as well as their bodyguard, were murdered by insurgents.


At the hearing, Al-Alusi, who continues to run the DPIN, pointed out that unlike the larger, religious parties in Iraq, parties like his that favor individual rights and alliances with other democracies receive no support from American non-governmental agencies.


"In Iraq, extremist parties have 100 newspapers, liberals have five," he said. "Extremists have TV and radio stations, but no liberals have TV or radio stations."


Asked by Rep. Shays for his opinions about U.S. policy in Iraq, Sharansky said he did not know who he was "to speak in the presence of a hero of the Iraqi nation, Mr. Al-Alusi," but that in general, he believes the free world should use the policy of linkage  —  or use all political and economic means at its disposal to encourage any new government to respect the rights of minorities and dissenters.


An exchange between Rep. Shays and Sharansky toward the end of Sharansky's testimony highlighted the latter's desire to see the U.S. pressure Arab countries on behalf of dissidents.


While commending Sharansky's courage, Rep. Shays noted Sharansky had been sentenced to 13 years in a Soviet prison.


"But I only served nine," Sharansky said.


Rep. Shays shot back, "only nine?"


"Yes," Sharansky said. "Because of the pressure of the U.S. government."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes inspirational material. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Heather Robinson's dispatch by clicking here.

© 2005, Heather Robinson