In this issue

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 June 26, 2007 / 10 Tamuz, 5766

The fall of the house of Yasser

By Barry Rubin

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What Edgar Alan Poe knew about West Bank and Gaza leadership

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year... I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher...With the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit...

Thus, Edgar Alan Poe began his remarkable 1839 short story, "The Fall of the House of Usher." Similar feelings beset me in contemplating the fall of the house of Yasser, the collapse of the PLO, of Fatah, and of Palestinian nationalism as a movement.

I won't go into that history of disaster in detail, but suffice it to say that what is happening now fits completely into that pattern.

Put your finger into the wine and flick one drop onto the plate for each item: 1948 war; 1967 war; failed West Bank guerrilla war; September 1970 in Jordan; terrorism; Lebanese civil war; intransigence; internal anarchy; the murder of the first moderates; corruption; incitement to terrorism and intransigence; throwing away the opportunity at Camp David; throwing away the opportunity of 1988 dialogue with the United States; the 1990s' peace process; and the second intifada. Forgive me for leaving out even more such examples.

Is there a pattern? Yes:

By seeking everything, get nothing. Having as one's goal the destruction of Israel and total victory, rather than a compromise solution, the movement sank ever deeper into the mire.

Glorifying violence and terrorism brought death and destruction on the movement and its followers.

Embracing extremism, incitement, and demonization of Israel brought Hamas as its logical outcome.

AND NOW ask yourselves one simple question: Do you really believe that the Hamas coup is going to scare Fatah straight? Are these leaders and ideologues really going to learn their lesson? Well, this seems to be the main assumption of political leaders and the media in democratic countries. After all, to paraphrase Samuel Johnson, facing the hangman greatly concentrates the mind.

But wait a minute! The PLO, Fatah, and their hierarchies have made a whole career about facing the hangman and tweaking his nose while giggling madly. If they had learned from, say, September 1970 in Jordan or other disasters it would have been sufficient for them to get on the right path.

Remember the Oslo process and why was it going to work? Because, we were told, the PLO and Fatah were so weak and so buffeted by catastrophe as to finally understand they must change their ways or be destroyed. Here we go again! Don't get me wrong. I do believe Fatah is preferable to Hamas — though the gap is far narrower than all too many people seem to think.

But even if you want to believe that Mahmoud Abbas is some peace-loving good guy, he is weak, incompetent, has no following and no intention of really confronting the culture of terrorism and extremism his own group created and maintains. He will also never give up the demand that all Palestinians should be able to live in pre-1967 Israel which is a deeply personal belief of his.

ONE OF the best stories explaining the Western approach to the Middle East is the following anecdote I made up: A tourist goes into a bazaar shop, points at a carpet and declares, "This is the most beautiful carpet I have ever seen! I must have it no matter how much it costs? What's the price?"

This is how Abbas is being treated. His mere survival, no matter what he does, is being portrayed as such a marvelous asset that he is doing everyone a favor taking their money and help. Is this going to give him any incentive to change, an outcome already rather doubtful?

For goodness sake, if he and his colleagues want to survive — and not end up as bloodied corpses on some Hamas video — they better clean up corruption, give their people a moderate alternative, and stop cross-border terrorism. It is their job to persuade us that we have a real reason for not watching Hamas butcher them and loot their houses.

Otherwise, we will be forced to stand by, like Poe's character, and watch those unwilling to save themselves. "That once barely discernible fissure...rapidly widened...I saw the mighty walls rushing asunder... and the ground closed over the fragments of the House of Usher."

Isn't Middle East politics like a horror story, after all? It holds our attention for many reasons but this is one of them. "Look out behind you!" We warn, always in vain as the murderer or monster sneaks up. And isn't there always that dumb sheriff or reporter, later inevitably getting eaten or stabbed, who keeps saying, "There isn't anything there. It's all in your imagination!"

Of course, fictional victims can be forgiven since they are only stalked and killed once. They had no chance to learn their lesson. We do and so does Fatah. But in the Middle East, the same things happen over and over. It would be wonderful if someone, some day stopped the raving and instead insisted: Nevermore.

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JWR contributor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Interdisciplinary Center, and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs. His latest book is "The Truth About Syria".


© 2007, Barry Rubin