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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 13, 2005 / 4 Iyar, 5765

How Pure Must a Good Cause Be?

By Jonathan Tobin


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Complaints about World War II Allied tactics illuminate contemporary dilemmas





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | British historian Niall Ferguson ruffled some feathers this past week with a commentary published in the Los Angeles Times on the anniversary of World War II.


Ferguson, a brilliant writer who is the author of some rather original works about the First World War, decided that the 60th anniversary of the date that the Germans' surrender ended the war in Europe was a good opportunity to question the morality of the Allied cause.


No, not the decision to fight the Nazis. Even though Ferguson is devoted to the idea that the British made a huge mistake in opposing the expansionist ambitions of Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany by entering World War I, he doesn't question the justice of resisting Adolf Hitler.


But, he insists that the war was a "tainted victory" won only at the cost of "moral compromises" that ought to prompt shame as well as pride in "the gre atest generation" that fought it.


That's the sort of language that is bound to infuriate the dwindling band of veterans of that conflict. But hurt feelings notwithstanding, we need to answer his challenge about this history and to relate it to our own time.

UNPLEASANT HISTORY
As for the details of World War II, Ferguson is, of course, right. The war was won on the basis of an Anglo-British alliance with a totalitarian regime led by a tyrant nearly as mad as Hitler: Soviet Union under Josef Stalin.


Stalin murdered nearly as many of his own people as Hitler did. In addition, Soviet revenge for the mass murders, pillage and rape of the Soviet Union carried out by the Nazis was nothing less than the rape and pillage of Germany.


And when the war ended with the Red Army in possession of Eastern Europe, the peace that followed ushered in a 40-year period of slavery for the peoples trapped in those satellite states that were the fruit of the Allied deal with the Soviet devil.


All of which explains why President Bush's rightful denunciation of the Soviet oppression of the Baltic states this week was so bitterly resented by the Russians, especially President Vladimir Putin, a man who seems to fancy himself as the reincarnation of the Romanov Tsars - if not Uncle Joe himself.


And, as Ferguson points out, not everything the United States and our gallant British allies did was without blemish either. The Allied strategic bombing campaign that wrecked havoc on Germany and Japan, took the lives of hundreds of thousands many of whom were probably innocent civilians. That the Americans and Brits eventually took up the same indiscriminate bombing tactics that they had originally denounced as evidence of Axis barbarity shows, in the historian's mind, that the Allies had thrown away any "moral restraint" in the pursuit of victory.


Can we agree? This is not a purely academic question, because his abuse of the Allies echoes the rise of revisionist sentiments in both Germany and Japan.


In Germany, where guilt for the Holocaust has been drilled into the consciousness of the country, public discussion of German suffering during the war is becoming fashionable. While not quite asking for equal status with the victims of Nazi persecution and aggression, many contemporary Germans think it is high time we talked more about German civilian deaths.


And in Japan, revisionism about their wholesale atrocities in China, the Philippines and the rest of Asia is also growing.


The problem with German and Japanese whining about the suffering they underwent due to their own evil actions towards others isn't just that it's in extremely bad taste for them to behave as if they were the victims instead of the perpetrators. This discussion is also being turned into ammunition for those who wish to paint current American war aims and tactics as inherently disreputable.


The excesses of such World War II revisionism should teach us that when we focus exclusively on those who suffered because of actions taken by those with the preponderance of right on their side, our view of the entire conflict can become hopelessly distorted.


It is in that same context that we should take much of the ongoing discussion of America's moral failures in Iraq or Israel's moral failures in its battles of survival against the Palestinians.


Neither the U.S. Armed Forces nor the Israel Defense Force is perfect.

CRIMES AND ALLEGATIONS
The Abu Ghraib prison scandal showed that there are some Americans who have abused their positions and committed despicable acts.


Likewise, the IDF is not populated exclusively by saints. Confrontations at checkpoints set up to deter suicide bombers have resulted in unpleasant incidents that do not always reflect well on the State of Israel. Nor can the IDF, just like the U.S. forces in Iraq, be sure that every bullet or shell aimed at a terrorist or a terrorist hideout will not hit a civilian.


Counter-terrorist warfare, not unlike a lot of the combat in World War II, is messy and lots of people, not all of them bad guys, are inevitably going to get hurt. But the fact that both Israel and the United States go out of their way to avoid civilian casualties in a way that the Allies of 60 years ago would not have dreamed of doing hasn't stopped critics from making hyped up and false allegations of "war crimes."


War is organized barbarity, but some wars are just. The failure of Americans to live up at all times to what the Israelis call a concept of "purity of arms," doesn't undermine the morality of America's purpose today anymore than the firebombing of German cities did decades ago.


The men and women who currently defend the freedom of both the United States and Israel deserve to be held accountable, but nothing they do should diminish the justice of the purpose of their struggle.


The reason we honor those who fought the Nazis is not because they were all paragons of virtue, but because the larger cause they served was moral. When we lose sight of that we forget the most important lessons about that war and all those that followed.

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JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here.

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