Reality Check

In this issue
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 June 16, 2003 / 16 Sivan, 5763

Hunting season

By David Warren | "Roadmap to peace" is one of those sayings, like "the cycle of violence", so fatuous that it blocks thought entirely, let alone clear thought. Such expressions deny the very reality they pretend to describe. If a cliché is to be insisted upon, I would choose "fight to the death" to describe the present tussle between Israel and Palestinian terrorism. Both cannot survive.

The cliché would also describe the current U.S. tussle with the survivors of Iraq's Baath regime, and the Syrian and other terrorists who have leached into Iraq to join them. Or, the tussle between the U.S.-protected Karzai regime in Afghanistan, and the remnants of Al Qaeda, Taliban, Hezb-e-Islami, and other "deadenders". These fights may not be very equal -- for in Iraq and Afghanistan U.S. power is locally overwhelming, and the U.S. heartland is far away. But they have the same absolute quality as Israel's much more hand-to-hand struggle.

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

In each case, there is no prospect whatever for a negotiated peace -- zilch, sunja, sifr, zepharino. In the case of the West Bank and Gaza, there is also no hope for the creation of a Palestinian state until the terrorists are annihilated -- ditto. This hard and irreducible fact is being side-stepped by the use of fatuous language. To Palestinians who want to have a state, and keep their terror militias, the kindest thing that can be said is: "Choose one." For their alternative is, to choose zero.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government seems to have reached the conclusion it had to reach, eventually. It spent a considerable portion of last year, destroying the bomb-making and other facilities of the Fatah-associated militias of the West Bank, but left the worse problem of Hamas-controlled Gaza largely alone. Now it has decided to "do Gaza".

please donate to JWR

Let your voice be heard! To express your concerns about the administration's plan for the Holy Land, you may contact

President George W. Bush by fax: (202) 456-2461, (Andrew Card, Chief of Staff) or by e-mail.

Dr. Condoleeza Rice, National Security Advisor, FAX (202) 456-2883, PHONE (202) 456-9491

Mr. Elliot Abrams, the Director for Near East and North African Affairs, at FAX (202) 456-9120, and by phone through his secretary Joanna, (202) 456-9121

Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, 1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1000 or by e-mail form:

Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, 1010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1010 or by e-mail form

Yes, the current Israeli offensive includes targeted assassinations of the entire Hamas leadership. This is unpopular even among many Israelis: those conditioned by the Pavlovian recitation of the phrase "cycle of violence". To them, and to their like in the rest of the world, there is a reciprocal relationship, such that the bombing of a bus in Jerusalem by Hamas on Wednesday is automatically paired with Israel's attempt to assassinate Abdel Aziz Rantisi on Tuesday. But in reality, as opposed to Pavlovian mantra, this is nonsense. As Hamas itself declared, the bus attack was planned well before the Israeli helicopters were dispatched against Rantisi, and the proximity in time was, in their own word, "fortuitous". This did not however stop the Western media from claiming on behalf of Hamas even more than Hamas was claiming.

Hamas is not dedicated to killing every Jew it can in response to Israeli attacks on the Hamas leadership. Hamas is dedicated to killing every Jew it can, period.

The targeted assassinations seem to be part of a larger mission of annihilation, against Hamas. Western readers, unacquainted with the Arab culture, too easily confuse rhetorical with physical responses. For sure, the Hamas rhetoric increased considerably in volume, and broadened in imagery, after the missiles slammed down around Rantisi's car. And Israel's semi-public announcement, yesterday, that the Hamas "spiritual" leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, is on the new list of targets, will crank the rhetoric higher still. But this will not be the first time in modern Arab history that an antagonist makes wild threats, while actually scuttling under the nearest rock. (Remember Saddam?)

Everything else you've read in the papers is wrong. Israel has hardly undermined the effort of Mahmoud Abbas to rein in the terror masters, since the Palestinian premier has publicly announced he has no such intention. He only asked for a "hudna" (temporary ceasefire) from Hamas, and Hamas responded by spitting in his face. Mr. Sharon is thus doing Mr. Abbas a favor, which the exigencies of Palestinian politics prevent Mr. Abbas from acknowledging. The Israelis are removing on his behalf a domestic political competitor that he could not possibly remove himself. Mr. Sharon may even be increasing Mr. Abbas's life expectancy, by means of this favor.

Nor is Israel creating an impediment to negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but rather removing a major impediment -- the organization that has vowed to sabotage them. The Sharon government is meanwhile proceeding with the dismantling of the first 14 "illegal" Jewish settlements, as per "roadmap" agreements. Far from choosing military over diplomatic tactics, Israel continues to use both, and in complementary ways.

Israel is not even increasing the prospect of terror hits against Israel, beyond the very short term. For if the IDF can succeed in damaging Hamas, or even driving it entirely underground, the organization's prospects for mounting terror raids will be reduced. And as we saw last year in the West Bank, one of the best methods of reducing terrorism is to put the terrorists on the defensive.

This is also the lesson of the American international campaign against Al Qaeda -- the more you kill, the fewer there are left to kill you, and the more the survivors are ducking for cover.

This is what the "war on terror" is about: war on terror. Every punch pulled prolongs it.

Every weekday publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor David Warren is a Columnist for the Ottawa Citizen. Click here to comment on this column.

© 2003, David Warren