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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 21, 2008 / 16 Iyar 5768

Finding Appeasers in the Mirror

By Jonathan Tobin



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Dems cry foul at Bush rhetoric on terror, but will either party do more than talk?


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Not long before President Bush delivered a speech to Israel's Knesset last week celebrating that nation's 60th anniversary, the residents of the Jewish state's southern city of Ashkelon received a different sort of greeting.

An Iranian-made Grad model Katyusha rocket crashed into a mall in the city of more than 100,000, wounding four persons while several dozen others were treated for shock.

The missile, launched by the Islamic Jihad group from their safe haven in Hamas-ruled Gaza, served as an interesting counterpoint to Bush's tough talk about terror, which set off a controversy back home.

Bush's speech was noteworthy because it expressed a passionate support for Zionism in a way that only an evangelical Christian such as the 43rd president would find congenial. While some of his predecessors such as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton ("Shalom, chaver") have spoken with affection of Israel, it was remarkable to hear a president describe the re-creation of Jewish sovereignty in terms that a religious, as opposed to a secular, Zionist would use.

It's one thing to talk about common values, but quite another to speak of Israel's independence as "the redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham and Moses and David — a homeland for the chosen people Eretz Yisrael," as Bush did.

Bush didn't stop there, but eventually went on to predict what the Middle East would look like 60 years hence, when Israel will be celebrating its 120th anniversary in peace alongside a peaceful and democratic Palestinian state in the midst of a Middle East in which such states will be commonplace, and from which Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas will be banished.

From his lips to G-d's ears.

FIGHTING WORDS
Yet the only attention given to this astonishing speech centered on one passage in which he put down talk of negotiations with "terrorists and radicals" as "appeasement."

Sen. Barack Obama, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, treated that sentence as a personal attack, even though he wasn't mentioned in it. Obama has said that he intends to meet with leaders of rogue states, such as Iran and Syria, which Bush has shunned.

"Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American power — including tough, principled and direct diplomacy — to pressure countries like Iran and Syria," Obama said in a statement.

Democrats quickly realized that by taking offense at this charge, they could engage in a debate with the unpopular incumbent rather than with the Republican whom Obama must face in November, Sen. John McCain. As such, the exchange was scored a win for Obama.

But lost amid the tactical partisan squabble are some more important points than whether or not Bush was thinking of Obama when he said the word "appeasement."

Obama has reiterated his opposition to talking to Hamas, even though he says he would talk to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who threatens to destroy Israel.

But at the same time that Bush and Obama were drawing lines in the sand about Hamas, representatives of the Israeli government were themselves engaged in negotiations with the group about a cease-fire and the exchange of prisoners via the good offices of Egypt. Given the need to stop the terrorist missile barrage on southern Israel and gain the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, they believe they have little choice but to bargain with these killers.

Also that week, the United States did nothing as Hezbollah terrorists routed the moderate pro-Western Lebanese government and made it clear that that tortured country remained firmly in the grip of allies of Iran.

Combined with the utter contempt with which another pro-democracy Bush speech was received by the leaders of the Arab world, and what you have is an administration whose words are not matched by deeds.

Partisans will say that is merely a reflection of Bush's incompetence, and they won't be entirely wrong given the mistakes made in Iraq. But the president's second term has actually been a lesson in the futility of attempts at diplomacy, such as those that Bush derides and Obama embraces.

On Iran, there has been plenty of tough talk. But in practice, all Bush has done about the growing existential threat that it poses to Israel and the West is ineffective diplomacy in which he has relied on Western European countries that Iran knows will always back down.

As for the administration's effort to push for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, though the president's critics blame him for the stalemate, Bush's shunning of Yasser Arafat (unlike Bill Clinton's genuine appeasement of that terrorist) was correct. So was the decision to stand by Israel when it launched counterattacks that defeated Arafat's intifada terror offensive.

CHAMBERLAIN OR CHURCHILL?
But Bush has painted himself into his own diplomatic corner by banking on the Palestinian Authority and its leader Mahmoud Abbas, in spite of its own bad record on terror and inability to confront Hamas. The president's reward for supporting the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza was the creation of a Hamas terror state that gives Iran another beachhead on the Mediterranean. Bush's response has been to pretend it will disappear if Israel is nicer to Abbas. That sounds like the counsel Neville Chamberlain might be giving us today, rather than the wisdom of Bush's hero, Winston Churchill.

So rather than worrying about whether Bush's successor will be an "appeaser," it might be more apt to ask the lame-duck president whether he will himself live up to his rhetoric in his remaining months of office.

Obama's talk of meeting with Ahmadinejad is certainly wrongheaded. But what we must ask is what will he do if, as president, his "tough diplomacy" fails to halt Iran's nuclear drive, as it inevitably will. Skepticism that he will do nothing more than talk is warranted. The question isn't really about who is an "appeaser" today, but whether or not either Obama or McCain will have the will to forcefully confront a genocidal regime that must now surely think any American will back down when push comes to shove.

Heart-felt support for Israel such as that spoken by Bush is more than welcome, but while Palestinian missiles continue to fall and with the threat of far worse from Iran in the future, it doesn't matter much what Republicans or Democrats say about terror. It's what they are willing to actually do about it that counts.

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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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