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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 24, 2011 / 20 Iyar, 5771

Fallout and failure

By Jack Kelly




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The walkback -- unspoken acknowledgment from the White House that it had blundered -- began within hours after the president left the podium, and continued through the weekend.

Most of Barack Obama's ballyhooed speech at the State Department last Thursday (5/19) was an effort rhetorically to get out in front of the turmoil in the Middle East that caught his administration by surprise.

"It will be the policy of the United States to promote reform across the region, and to support transitions to democracy," the president said.

"With this Barack Obama openly, unreservedly, and without a trace of irony or self reflection adopts the Bush doctrine, which made the spread of democracy the key U.S. objective in the Middle East," said columnist Charles Krauthammer.

The president did not acknowledge his debt to his predecessor. It was especially cheeky of him to say, as if he'd had something to do with it: "In Iraq, we see the promise of a multiethnic, multisectarian democracy."

Few noticed, because attention was riveted on the last few paragraphs, in which Mr. Obama signaled he wants two significant shifts in U.S. policy toward Israel. Recognition of a Palestinian state no longer should be conditioned on acknowledgment by the Palestinians that Israel has a right to exist. And negotiations for creation of that state should be based on the (indefensible) borders Israel had before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

It seemed odd for the president to bring this up, because the Arab-Israeli conflict has nothing to do with the unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain that was the ostensible topic of his speech.

He alarmed Israelis -- and supporters of Israel in America -- without pleasing Arabs. Hamas described Mr. Obama's speech as "a total failure."

"Mr. Obama should have learned from his past diplomatic failures -- including his attempt to force a freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank -- that initiating a conflict with Israel will thwart rather than advance peace negotiations," said the normally Democrat-friendly editors of the Washington Post.

Many Democrats are friends of Israel, so the likelihood Congress will follow the president in his pro-Palestinian tilt is close to zero.

If U.S. policy toward Israel is unlikely to change, the president's political fortunes may. Jewish donors have told Mr. Obama's re-election committee he will lose support if he is too tough on Israel, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Most Jews would never contemplate voting for a Republican. But many may close their wallets. And if Jewish support drops to 60 or 65 percent from the 78 percent of their votes Mr. Obama received in 2008, that could cause him trouble in Pennsylvania, big trouble in Florida.

"Rarely has a U.S. president caused such a stink with no prospect whatsoever that anything could possibly come of it," said Rick Moran of the American Thinker.

So what was he thinking?

According to Helene Cooper of the New York Times, the White House feared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "would box in the president" by offering a plan for Middle East peace when he addresses the House of Representatives Tuesday (5/23).

"So White House officials timed Mr. Obama's speech Thursday to make sure he went first," Ms. Cooper reported.

The effort to one up the Israeli prime minister boomeranged badly Friday (5/20) when Mr. Netanyahu looked the president in the eye and gave him a short, respectful, but powerful explanation for why Israel can never return to the 1967 borders.

"Obama likes to bully people when they're sitting captive in his audience and can't respond," said Jed Babbin of the American Spectator, citing as evidence his attacks on the Supreme Court in his 2010 State of the Union address, and on Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis, in his budget speech last month.

"He sat, hand across his face, glaring at Netanyahu," Mr. Babbin said. "His bullying failed and he knew it."

The epic fail was not that the White House goofed badly on its short term political calculation, but that that calculation was made with so little understanding of the Middle East, and so little regard for strategic consequences.

If the president and his aides truly were surprised by Israel's reaction, said MSNBC talk show host Joe Scarborough, a former congressman: "then they're not ready for prime time."

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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