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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 19, 2006 / 21 Iyar, 5766

The Conflict in a Nutshell

By Jonathan Tobin



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Utopians need to learn that for all of the talk of co-existence, the conflict is, even in the eyes of Arab moderates, still a zero-sum game, in which the Arabs lose as long as the Jewish state lives

A real-life illustration


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Visitors to Israel are often hard-pressed to assimilate much of what they see. But occasionally, all of the disparate elements of Israeli society with its heavy baggage of history, culture and politics can be placed into a comprehensible perspective.


Such a moment came for me last week while attending the International Conference of Jewish Newspaper Editors. Among the many interesting sessions brought together by its organizers for the assembled Jewish press was an afternoon in Nazareth, the Arab city in the Galilee where we visited a business project many see as a hopeful sign of the possibility of Arab-Jewish cooperation.


Nazareth-based NGT — Next Generation Technology — is a joint project of entrepreneurs, scientists and technicians with a double purpose. On the one hand, it is a business "incubator" that seeks to finance various business ideas with the hope that they will take off and become successful enterprises.

IT'S JUST GOOD BUSINESS
Operating with both private capital and guaranteed government loans, NGT's founder and CEO, Sharon Devir, describes himself as nothing more than a "venture capitalist" whose aim is to make money.


But Devir has a slightly different angle than the score of other incubator projects currently operating in the country. NGT's uniqueness lies in its express desire to bridge the vast gap between Jews and Arabs inside of Israel. As such, it has prospered, and gained valuable publicity in the Israeli media because of its status as a joint Israeli-Arab project.


While seeking to get life-science technology-based startups such as Fluorinex (which hopes to produce dental products) and Nutrinia (which produces baby-formula supplements) off the ground, it is also building trust between two diverse sectors of Israeli society.


Nasri Said — NGT's vice president and the man who chooses which start-ups to push — is an Arab, as are five of its principal local backers. Other financing comes from Israeli Davidi Gilo and a quartet of well-heeled Americans, including Alan Slifka, who has poured a fortune into projects devoted to helping foster understanding between Jews and Arabs.


Devir insists that the co-existence angle of his project is just good business, and his colleague Nasri dismisses the notion that his involvement with Jews would endanger him within his own community.


"This isn't viewed as a negative," he says. "Everywhere, Arabs work with Jews."


But this breath of fresh air was quickly dispelled when the same group that met with the NGT team sat down with a pair of Israeli-Arab journalists in what was ostensibly billed as a session devoted to understanding the issues and concerns that they deal with. Rather than a fuzzy schmoozing session with fellow newsies, what followed was a hard slap in the face for anyone who thought "good business" would be enough to bridge the gap between Jew and Arab.


For anyone who doubted that the conflict - and not life-science technology — was still at the top of the agenda, Haneen Zoubi, the general director of I'lam, a "media center for Arab Palestinians in Israel," had a wake-up call.


"This land is our [the Arab] homeland," she spat out when asked to discuss her status. "We are the indigenous people; we're not immigrants."


Reciting a laundry list of complaints about the plight of the 18-20 percent of Israel's citizens who are Arabs, Zoubi made it clear that her main complaint was with the nature of the state of which she is a citizen: "Israel can't be a democratic state and a Jewish state."


"We don't want 'to destroy Israel' — we want to change it," said Zoubi. At the same time, she asserted that she defined herself as "Palestinian," not an Israeli. That's because it is the whole Zionist enterprise — and not just some of its policies — that really bug her.


While Prime Minister Ehud Olmert believes his planned unilateral withdrawals from more of the territories will maintain a Jewish majority inside Israel's borders, it is that very concept that Zoubi rejects. Other plans for putting more Jewish resources into the Galilee and the Negev are nothing more than "Judaizing," she says. The notion of keeping Israel Jewish is "an obsession."


"I'm not a foreigner. I have the same rights, maybe more than immigrants from Russia," said Zoubi.


Her anger was echoed by the other Arab participant in the colloquy, Adeed Alwan, a 63-year-old who has variously worked for Saudi-owned Arabic papers in London, the BBC and the Israel Broadcasting Authority.


Rather than focus on ending the conflict, Alwan was more concerned with rehashing Israel's War of Independence, in which Arabs living in villages such as the one he was born in were dispossessed by the tide of war.


As such, the discussion quickly spiraled into a composite of every other Israeli-Arab debate about the rights and wrongs of the conflict — and led absolutely nowhere.


Complaints about the difficult position of Israeli Arabs — or Palestinians with Israeli citizenship as they prefer to style themselves these days — are not without justice. Living in a country whose purpose is to be the sole Jewish state while the rest of the Arab world rejects and makes war on it is a hard task.


But to listen to Zoubi and Alwan, who justly describe themselves as "moderates" within an Arab context, is to hear people who have not made peace with the idea of a Jewish state. They are unmoved by living in a country where Arabs can vote for parliament since it does not automatically translate into the power to squelch the Jewish majority.

A ZERO-SUM GAME
Far from accepting the idea that Arab sovereignty in the land must content itself with the putative Palestinian state currently ruled by the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Authority, their implicit demand is that Israel — and not just the West Bank and Gaza — must be purged of its specific Jewish identity if they are to be satisfied.

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For all of the talk of co-existence, the conflict is, even in the eyes of these Arab moderates, still a zero-sum game, in which the Arabs lose as long as the Jewish state lives.


That also means that even if Olmert's scheme for separation is completed, that will still leave a potentially hostile Arab minority within Israel's borders. Can they be satisfied with business development projects when it is still the fundamental issues of identity that are at stake?


Those thinking that a restful peace lies just beyond the next round of "disengagement" will have to have an answer to that question, lest they doom Israel and its friends to further disillusionment. Unfortunately, on even the sunniest days in Israel, it can take only an hour or two for even a bright glimmer of hope to be overshadowed by rancor.

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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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© 2005, Jonathan Tobin