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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

Think Israel's objective in Syria is to weaken Assad or embolden the rebels? Think again

By Edmund Sanders and Patrick J. McDonnell


Fire and smoke fill the skyline over Damascus, Syria, early Sunday



Jewish state is preparing for next war. Here's why


JewishWorldReview.com |

W ERUSALEM— (MCT) With three airstrikes against Syria since January, Israel has inserted itself forcefully into the Arab Spring's most intractable conflict, heightening fears that Syria's civil war could spiral into a regional conflagration.

The bombings of targets near the Syrian capital — including two strikes in a 48-hour period beginning Friday — represent a risk-laden strategy based on the calculation that retaliatory attacks against Israel by Syria or its allies are unlikely. Still the bombings inevitably raised the specter of a broader regional war in the heart of the volatile Middle East.

But even as some Israeli officials confirmed their military's involvement in Sunday's pre-dawn assault on a reported weapons compound, they insisted their goals in Syria are narrow, and portrayed the engagement as defensive and largely unrelated to the two-year uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Rather than trying to weaken Assad or tilt the scales for either side, Israelis say they have an eye on the prospective next war — against the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is backed by both Iran and Syria.

The aim of the airstrikes, Israeli officials say, is to prevent Syria's advanced weaponry, much of it made in Iran, from being transferred to Lebanon and Hezbollah.

"If we don't take action now, we will be on the receiving end of those missiles," said a senior Israeli government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Israel has not officially confirmed unleashing the attacks. "We have to act to guarantee our security, and that applies to Syria and Iran."

Although acknowledging Israel's role in the airstrikes, the official would not specify the targets. Sunday's foray was aimed at preventing Hezbollah from adding a new kind of missile capability to its already sizable arsenal, which reportedly includes tens of thousands of rockets, some capable of carrying heavy payloads deep into Israel, the official said.

Israeli and U.S. news reports have suggested that one target was a facility housing either Iranian-made Fateh-110 surface-to-surface missiles or their Syrian-made counterpart, the M-600.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry, in a letter of protest to the United Nations, said Israeli missiles on Sunday struck three military sites — in the Damascus suburb of Jamraya, where a defense research complex is situated; in Maysaloun, close to the Lebanese border; and at a "paragliding airport" in al-Dimas, also near the Lebanese frontier. The bombings caused an unspecified number of deaths and "widespread destruction," the Foreign Ministry said. Syria vowed to strike back but provided no details.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly warned Syria that transferring chemical or advanced weapons to Hezbollah would be a red line as far Israel is concerned. But with Assad's survival uncertain, Israeli analysts say that Hezbollah and Iran feel an urgency to transfer sophisticated weapons to Lebanon.

In Syria, where the explosions shook the capital early Sunday, officials sought to cast the Israeli "aggression" as a propaganda victory — evidence of Damascus' longtime assertion that the rebellion is choreographed from Washington and Israel, and features an alliance between al-Qaida-linked rebels, Israel and the West. The attacks were portrayed by the official news agency as a desperate bid to raise the flagging morale of rebel "gunmen" dispirited after a series of recent battlefield losses.

A Syrian Foreign Ministry official in Damascus told CNN that the attacks were a "declaration of war."


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Syrian opposition figures contacted did not want to be associated with an attack by Israel. For the time being, the strikes seemed unlikely to affect the course of the Syrian conflict, now in its third year

According to Syrian officials, the Jamraya defense compound that was hit Sunday was the same site targeted by Israel in a Jan. 30 airstrike, its first aerial attack during the Syrian civil conflict.

The targeting suggests that Israeli officials view the Jamraya compound —about 20 miles from the Lebanese border — as a crucial distribution center for armaments headed to Hezbollah.

Some reports from Syria indicated that Sunday's targets included not only the Hezbollah arms pipeline but also Republican Guard bases, anti-aircraft batteries and other more traditional military sites. Such targeting, if confirmed, would seem to blur the line between Israel's avowed non-involvement in Syria's civil war and its determination to stop weaponry destined for Hezbollah.

Among the lingering questions about the weekend raids was whether Israeli jets ever entered Syrian airspace or instead fired rockets from positions above neighboring Lebanon. Authorities in Beirut have complained of stepped-up Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace.

Despite the clear risk of retaliation, Israeli officials seem confident that both Syria and Hezbollah are too preoccupied with Syria's struggle for survival to open a new front with Israel. Hezbollah has admitted dispatching some fighters to Syria to battle rebels.

Any attack on Israel probably would trigger a devastating Israeli response. The Israeli bombing campaign during the 2006 war with Hezbollah resulted in massive damage to Hezbollah strongholds in southern Beirut and elsewhere. Iran picked up much of the reconstruction cost.

) Tzachi Hanegbi, a Likud Party lawmaker and confidant of Netanyahu, told Israeli news site Ynet that Syrian retaliation "was deemed to be a long shot."

Israel's asserted attempt to limit its targets to Hezbollah-bound weapons and to avoid overt attacks against Assad and his forces may reduce the pressure on both Syria and Hezbollah to retaliate, reasoned Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, a former Israeli military intelligence chief.

"It enables Syrians to say, 'This isn't our business,' and enables Hezbollah to decide they weren't the one attacked," he said. "Both sides can go into a zone of deniability."

Key U.S. lawmakers said the strikes may also have served to expose weaknesses in the Assad regime's air defenses and could embolden the United States and its allies to take more steps to aid rebels fighting the government.

"The Russian-supplied air defense systems are not as good as said," Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., said on NBC's "Meet the Press." Leahy, who heads the appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations, said the Israeli Defense Forces were using American-made F-16 Fighting Falcon jets to launch the missiles against Syrian targets.

Sen. John McCain, (R-Ariz., said on "Fox News Sunday" that the Israeli airstrikes should "put more pressure" on the White House to aid forces fighting the Assad regime. McCain said the U.S. should not send in troops but called for "game-changing action" by the U.S. rather than incremental steps.

The White House is considering whether to arm the rebels after intelligence reports indicated that the Assad's forces may have used nerve gas.

The real wild card in the aftermath of the Israeli strikes might be Iran. Officials of the Islamic republic, which is in the midst of a presidential election campaign, have warned that that any attack against Syria would be viewed as a strike against Iran.

"The bombing of Syria is really more of a test of Iran than Assad," said Moshe Maoz, a Hebrew University professor and Syria expert. "Israel is testing the patience and strategy of Iran and wants to see Iran's reaction, which might help if Israel attacks Iran itself one day."

Israel, with the Middle East's only nuclear weapons arsenal, has threatened to attack Iran's nuclear facilities to prevent the Islamic republic from building its own nuclear bomb.

Netanyahu did not comment Sunday about the attack, but he convened his security cabinet to discuss the matter. Two Iron Dome missile-interception systems were deployed in northern Israel and commercial air flights in the region were suspended as a precaution. The prime minister apparently felt confident enough to proceed with his upcoming diplomatic trip to China, leaving Israel on Sunday evening.

Around the Arab world, several nations condemned the strikes and called upon the U.N. to take action. Iran also condemned the attack.

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© 2013, Los Angeles Times Distributed by MCT Information Services

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