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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

They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman

By John Thorne


Beji Caid Essebsi (r.), former Tunisian Prime Minister and founder of the Nidaa Tounes party, arrives for a round of consultations with other political parties at the Carthage Palace in Tunis, last week. Mr. Essebsi, an advisor to Bourguiba who also held several ministerial posts under him, steered Tunisia through a bumpy period in 2011 as head of a caretaker government




"Be careful what you wish for" is more than a cliche


JewishWorldReview.com |

TONASTIR, Tunisia — (TCSM) The mother led her daughter by the hand to the back of the mausoleum, beyond the sarcophagus, to point out photographs of the mausoleum's occupant meeting other dead dictators.

"See? That's Nasser, and Saddam Hussein, and that's Hafez al-Assad," she said. "Do you know who he was?" Silence. "He was president of Syria," the mother continued. "You need to know history."

A recent visit to the tomb of Habib Bourguiba, Tunisia's first president, was a chance for Fatima Trabelsi to teach her daughter Tawba about "the greatest Arab leader," she says.

In reality, Bourguiba's record is mixed. Although he modernized Tunisia, he also jailed and tortured his critics.

But these days many Tunisians, rattled by post-revolution instability, like to remember him as a fatherly figure who brought education, development, women's rights, and a sense of direction.

That nostalgia could influence how Tunisians vote in elections later this year. It also raises a crucial question about democratic transition: whether the instinct to trust in charismatic leaders will be replaced by trust in democracy itself.

Unemployment is up, investment is down, and fear of violence by Islamic extremists is growing. Many Tunisians say surer hands are needed at the tiller. They are delighted to be rid of Bourguiba's successor, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was toppled in 2011. But according to a February poll by the International Republican Institute, only 52 percent prefer a democracy, even if unstable, while 42 percent want a stable dictatorship.

PROMISED DEMOCRACY, PRACTICED DICTATORSHIP
Stable dictatorship is what Bourguiba offered, despite a promising start as a democratic voice.

He was born in 1903 in the coastal city of Monastir and was educated in France. Back home he joined the Destour party, which wanted a constitution to secure Tunisians' rights under French rule. He formed a bolder splinter group, the Neo-Destour, and negotiated independence from France in 1956.


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That involved ruthlessly sidelining a former ally, Salah Ben Youssef. Bourguiba became president; Ben Youssef was shot dead in a Frankfurt hotel in 1961. His murder remains unsolved, but his overall fate set a precedent. Bourguiba enforced a secularist order and stayed in power by crushing opponents. In 1987, old and ailing, he was removed by his prime minister, Mr. Ben Ali.

Ben Ali ran a police state and let development lag while his family enriched themselves through corruption.

After Ben Ali's departure, the long-persecuted Islamists of the Ennahda party won October 2011 elections on a platform of democracy and a return to what they call Tunisia's Arab-Muslim heritage. Ennahda now heads a coalition government.

BACKLASH
Not all Tunisians like Ennahda's approach. Three months after the party's victory, thousands stood in a Monastir stadium, cheering a different brand of leader. "Oh Beji! Oh Beji!" they chanted as Beji Caid Essebsi took the podium.

Mr. Essebsi, an advisor to Bourguiba who also held several ministerial posts under him, steered Tunisia through a bumpy period in 2011 as head of a caretaker government.

Watching him in the stadium, economist Mahmoud Ben Romdhane recalled crowds cheering Bourguiba and urged Essebsi to re-enter politics. Last summer Essebsi founded the Nidaa Tounes party; Mr. Ben Romdhane is on its executive council.

The party's rivals call it a haven for unreformed members of past regimes. That criticism is unfair, says Ben Romdhane, who describes Nidaa Tounes as a big tent. His own example is a case in point.

As a union leader and senior member of Amnesty International, Ben Romdhane opposed both Bourguiba and Ben Ali for their autocratic rule. But he admires the former's vision.

"Bourguiba had culture, political acumen, and a strategy for Tunisia," he says. "That legacy failed to bring democracy. What we want to do now is make that link."

DEMANDING COMPETENCE
Mrs. Trabelsi and her husband, Mounir Dellech, run a business manufacturing work uniforms in their home town of Sousse. She says sales are down and customers are requesting to buy on credit.

"We've gone from crisis to crisis," Mr. Dellech says. "These kinds of problems would never have existed under Bourguiba."

On April 6 the family visited Monastir for the commemoration of Bourguiba's death in 2000. Mrs. Trabelsi, in dress and headscarf, explored the memorabilia with Tawba. Her husband trailed behind them in a gray-green suit, absently fingering an unlit cigar.

Outside, the wind was snapping banners with Bourguiba quotes. "Work is the first element of human dignity," read one. A few vendors gloomily tried to sell cotton candy and knick-knacks.

It's scenes like this that have some Tunisians looking to Nidaa Tounes. Dellech is one of them. He doesn't see evidence of closet autocrats; he does see a record of competence.

"Beji Caid Essebsi is experienced, and we need people with experience," he says. "And not all members of [Bourguiba's and Ben Ali's now-defunct party] were dishonest. Some kept the country working."

Nidaa Tounes narrowly beat Ennahda in a poll last month by EMRHOD, a Tunisian-Algerian research company. But success depends on presenting a clear economic program and — ultimately — building a party with appeal beyond the glow that surrounds Essebsi, says Ben Romdhane.

Nidaa Tounes is opening offices around Tunisia and has links to trade unions and entrepreneurs, he says. It has also formed a coalition with four other opposition parties to counter Ennahda's electoral weight.

Those things matter. Increasingly, Tunisians stress that rhetoric comes second to results.

Among them are Wafa Jguirim and Saifddine Benaicha, information technology students in Monastir. They paused outside the mausoleum while Mr. Benaicha bought a Habib Bourguiba car air freshener.

Both see promise in Nidaa Tounes. "But every party needs to be scrutinized," says Ms. Jguirim. "I think since the revolution, Tunisians have understood that."

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© 2013, The Christian Science Monitor

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