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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 May 30, 2007 / 13 Sivan, 5767

The Heavy Burden of Victory

By Jonathan Tobin



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Lamenting the 'occupation' won't make the facts that led to '67 conflict go away


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | French writer Alexandre Dumas the elder wrote in 1854 that "nothing succeeds like success." But when it comes to the State of Israel, it appears that nothing seems to fail as abysmally as victory.


As the world notes the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War this coming week, much of the coverage and commentaries about the topic seem to center on the same theme: How Israel's historic triumph has become an intolerable burden that is itself the primary "obstacle" to peace.


Once upon a time, the great victory of 1967 that was achieved against great odds and at a moment in history — when much of the world expected that Israel was about to suffer a catastrophic defeat — was emblematic of Jewish pride. Yet that event is now increasingly seen as emblematic of unhappiness with the Jewish state.

40 YEARS OF 'OPPRESSION'?
After all, the critics note, the anniversary's not so much of battles fought and won against great odds, but of 40 years of Israeli "oppression" of Arabs in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, the territories "conquered" in 1967.


The toll exacted by Israel's presence in the territories is seen as being responsible for the country losing its soul. Settlements and checkpoints have become deeply negative symbols of the country. In the Diaspora, it is the villainous Israel of "occupation" that has become the pariah despised by intellectuals and academics, and increasingly shunned by Jews who are not eager to identify with an oppressor.


Among those who do still embrace Israel, the war's anniversary inspires nostalgia for the state that existed before the unification of Jerusalem, and access to places where our history began to topple the existing Israeli political applecart. It was, as the Israel Policy Forum's M.J. Rosenberg, recently wrote, the Israel of the book and film "Exodus," a place he asserts, that could be admired without apology.


The war set in motion a series of events that led inevitably not just to settlements, but to the end of Labor Party domination of Israeli politics and the mainstreaming of forces such as the nationalist right, religious and Sephardi Jews, who had hitherto been marginalized by the Ashkenazi elite.


The Israeli right has had its failures, but the idea that the country was better off under the rule of the paternalistic Labor-dominated government of Israel's pre-war era is more myth than fact. The socialism embraced by that governing elite didn't merely retard the nation's economic progress. An era in which the government prevented the development of local television — to cite just one example of the excesses of this time — is nothing about which we should wax nostalgic.


Yet Rosenberg is right when he says that a more powerful Israel than the idealized early pioneer state "is a hard sell to those under 50, and particularly to young Jews of college age." But the problem is that those, like Rosenberg, whose main agenda is "to end the nightmare" of the occupation, seem to forget what the alternative to the actual outcome of the Six-Day-War was.


That is the crux of much of the teeth-gnashing about Israel's 40 years of post-1967 sin. The main point of contention between Israel and the Palestinians, and their supporters, is the same as it was 40 years ago: the existence of a Jewish state within any borders.


What then was the alternative to victory and "occupation?"


The answer is simple. Had Israel been defeated, then the oft-repeated threats of extermination of both the State and her people by Arab leaders such as Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser and Palestinian leader Ahmed Shukairy, might well have been fulfilled.


We are told, ad nauseum, that the "occupation" is the reason for the ongoing conflict. Yet in 1967, Israel's dominion was limited to the exact boundaries that we are told are the only solution to the conflict. The world of June 3, 1967, was one in which not a single Jew lived in Judea and Samaria, nor in the eastern part of Jerusalem. No Jew prayed at the Western Wall, or could even visit any Jewish historic or religious site in the West Bank.


The war's anniversary ought to bring to mind the fact that the issue then is largely the same as it is today. There is not a shekel's worth of difference between the rhetoric and the goals of Hamas, Al Qaeda, or that of the leadership of Iran and that of the pre-'67 war Arab and Muslim world.


Compare the Jews of Sederot, who are subjected to missile attacks from Gaza today, and those slain by cross-border terror attacks that emanated from the same area prior to June 1967. The only difference is that prior to the Oslo peace accords and Israel's complete withdrawal from the territory in August 2005, we could still harbor illusions about the willingness of the Palestinians to embrace a chance for peace.

LONGING FOR DEFEAT?
All the introspection about 1967 ought to lead us to wonder why so many of us here are so uncomfortable with an Israel that is identified with power rather than weakness. Was the Israel that so many believed to be fated for imminent extinction in May 1967 more virtuous than the contemporary Jewish state? No. The "occupation" that fuels Arab and Muslim fury refers to every inch of the country. Israel's victory did not create Islamist extremism, it's just another excuse for a hatred that already existed.


Conversely, the joy with which the Jewish world greeted the events of June 1967 stemmed not only from being reunited with places like the Kotel, as identification with a proud, successful Jewish people. Like the creation of the state in 1948, the Six-Day War changed the lives of every Jew. For centuries, Jewish identity was bound up with homelessness and powerlessness. These victories allowed Jews to hold their heads up higher not only here in the United States, but even in the Soviet Union, where a movement for emigration to Israel was launched in its aftermath.


The Israel that emerged from that war has made its share of mistakes — though some of those errors were rooted more in a naive belief in the possibility of peace than triumphalism. But what the war demonstrated to the world was that the Jewish re-entry into history that Zionism represented was not to be erased after a mere 19 years.


That is a verdict some would like still to reverse. Yet the "occupation" so many lament was created by Arab aggression, and is rooted in the alienable right of the Jewish people to their own country rather than in some aberrant variant of Zionist imperialism. More territorial compromise will come when Israel's enemies give up their war to destroy it. Sadly, as recent events have again proved, that moment is nowhere in sight.


Until it does, those supporters of Israel here who spend so much time apologizing for it would do better to apply themselves to the task of asserting the justice of Israel's right to self-defense. Success in war has its drawbacks, but the alternative in 1967, as well as today, remains unthinkable.

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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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