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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 June 13, 2008 / 10 Sivan, 5768

Peace with friends

By Caroline B. Glick


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There's one thing you have to admire about the Iranians - they always tell you just want they think of you. They never beat around the bush.

Tuesday, the day after Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki completed his three-day visit to Iran, his envoy to the Islamic Republic received a care package - delivered to his front door. When Iraqi Ambassador Mohammad Majid al Sheikh's driver opened the package, he discovered it was a bomb.

In their best Farsi imitation of the Godfather, Iranian police spokesmen claimed that the package was not a bomb - but aquarium equipment. And in a way, they were right. The package was supposed to help al Sheikh "sleep with the fishes."

Just as is the case with their Syrian allies, the Iranians view assassination as the easiest way to "signal" their displeasure with various diplomatic developments. In this case, clearly the Iranians were acting out after what they considered to be a deeply disturbing discourse with Maliki.

Until recently, Maliki was viewed with suspicion by many observers due to his apparently warm relations with Iran. Indeed, ahead of his visit, just to make sure he got the message, US military commanders in Iraq stated clearly that they hoped Maliki would protest the fact that Iran is the central engine of the now waning but still murderous insurgency in Iraq. The Iraqi people too, expected him to be clear about the untenable state of affairs where Iran wages war against Iraq through proxies on the one hand, and waxes poetic about its great friendship with Iraq on the other.

Writing in Iraq's Al Dustur newspaper ahead of Maliki's visit, Bassim al Sheikh opined, "Maliki's delegation will be presenting the Iranian side with irrefutable evidence of Iranian interference in Iraqi domestic affairs.In this light, the visit could prove to be a watershed in Iraqi-Iranian relations, especially now that the covert game Iran has been playing in Iraq has become all too overt, with very few hidden cards left in Teheran's hand."

Then too, Iraq's Al-Sabah al-Jadid editorialized, "Maliki's visit to Iran could be the last chance for a rational settlement of any differences and a final dissipation of any misunderstanding that may still exist between us and our big neighbor.There is nothing in the lexicon of political pragmatism that will help us evade the consequences of living next door to this neighbor, as recent history has shown with such clarity."

Media reports of the visit included no details of what Maliki told his Iranian hosts. But given their attempt to assassinate his ambassador the day after he left, it can be assumed that the Iranians were uninterested in "a rational settlement of any differences." And indeed, it can be assumed that Maliki didn't mince any words as he discussed the war Iran is waging against his people.

What the media reports of Maliki's visit did highlight was Iran's apoplectic response to Iraq's current negotiations with the US towards an accord on the modalities of the long-term deployment of US forces in Iraq. The Iranians - from supreme mullah Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - was absolutely clear that from their perspective, if the Iraqis sign such an agreement, there will be hell to pay.

But the Iraqis have also been clear that they are interested in signing such an accord. While in its coverage of the negotiations, the Western media has concentrated on statements by Iranian-backed Iraqi lawmakers voicing their staunch opposition to the agreement, most Iraqis support it. They simply want to ensure that the agreement that is eventually signed protects their interests as a country. As Iraqi blogger Mohammed Fadhil noted last week in an article published at Pajamas Media website, this is why the Iraqi government has "sent delegations to Germany, Japan and South Korea to listen to what they - and not the mullahs - have to say about [their experience with long-term US troop presence on their soil]."

The strategic agreement now being negotiated between the US and the Iraqi government is a watershed event. Five years after Saddam Hussein's terror-supporting, weapons of mass destruction seeking regime was brought down by the US-led coalition, a democratically elected Iraqi government has emerged that views its strategic interests as aligned with the US's. Its forces are fighting side by side with US forces towards the shared goal of routing al Qaida and Iranian-backed terror militias in Iraq. Indeed, in March, Maliki himself led the Iraqi assault on the Iranian controlled militias in Basra. Two months later, Iran had been routed not only in Basra, but in Sadr City in Baghdad where Iraqi and American forces fought side by side in street after street.

Although referred to as a security agreement, to all intents and purposes, the agreement that the US and Iraq are now negotiating is a peace agreement. As most political theorists will attest, peace agreements are contracts between countries with shared interests whose representatives sit down and write out how they will advance their shared interests together. So five years after the fall of Saddam, a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional democracy in Iraq has emerged which views the US as its primary ally.

This is what a strategic victory looks like.

Not surprisingly, just as the meaning of developments in Iraq has escaped the notice of most Americans, so too, it has escaped the notice of most Israelis. And this is a shame for two reasons. First, it is a shame because Israel is missing out on the most significant development in our neighborhood since the Six Day War. And like the Six Day War, Operation Iraqi Freedom holds great opportunities for Israel. The second reason that Israel's almost complete ignorance of the significance of events in Iraq is a shame is because as Israel moves towards new elections, developments in Iraq point the way towards a new strategic framework for the next Israeli government to base its policymaking on.

For months, US commanders in Iraq have been saying that the Iraqi people cannot abide by the Iranians, the Syrians or the Saudis. They know that these countries have been the chief sponsors of the insurgencies that have killed tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens over the past five years. From the mass graves of al Qaida victims in Diyala Province to the death squads of Iranian-backed militias in Basra, the Iraqis know that these countries have acted with malice aforethought in their actions aimed at transforming Iraq into a massive killing field.

For Israeli ears, is striking about the Iraqi discourse is the near total absence of anti-Israel or anti-Semitic propaganda. Indeed, there is no discussion about Israel at all. From the 1930s through the fall of Saddam's regime, Iraq was one of the central propagators of Arab hatred of Israel of both fascist and jihadist pedigrees. Successive Iraqi regimes have used hatred of Israel as a way of solidifying and justifying their tyranny. And now, for the first time, Israel isn't an issue.

The Iraqis are concerned about their future. Whether US forces remain in place for years to come under a President John McCain or they are summarily withdrawn by a President Barack Obama, the Iraqis know that one day they will be on their own. And they will need allies. They cannot trust their Arab neighbors which treat the Shiite majority country now governed democratically with hostility and suspicion. Obviously Iran and Syria aren't good options. They will both be quick to pounce on a post-US withdrawal Iraq.

And then there is Israel.

There is no reason to doubt that Israel has a potential strategic ally in Iraq today. Indeed, Iraq could become the next decade's version of Turkey in the 1990s or Iran in the 1960s and 1970s. Both in their day were Israel's primary regional ally.

Diplomatic and military discussions may be drawn out and difficult. They may even be exasperating. And depending on developments in Iran in the coming years they may never lead to the signing of a peace treaty on the White House lawn or the exchange of ambassadors. On the other hand, they might.

But what is clear enough is that today Iraq shares vital interests with Israel. It has common enemies. It has common challenges as a democracy. And it doesn't hurt that Palestinians are nearly universally reviled by Iraqis who view them as Saddam Hussein's most stalwart henchmen.

An Israeli-Iraqi alliance would help secure Jordan. It would frighten Syria and perhaps force Damascus to reconsider its alliance with Teheran. It would provide Israel with a new source of natural gas and so end its dependence on fickle Egypt. It would mitigate Israel's political isolation in the region. It would provide Iraq with a safe port in the Mediterranean for its oil exports in the event that the Shaat al Arab is closed by Iran in a future war. Iraqi Shiite leaders could potentially help draw Lebanese Shiites away from Iran's Lebanese proxy Hizbullah. Indeed, the potential of an Israeli-Iraqi alliance is seemingly endless.

There is a basic political fact of life that stands at the heart of this theoretical Iraqi-Israeli alliance. Peace is possible for the first time between Israel and Iraq because for the first time, Iraq perceives its own self- interests as aligned with Israel. That is, peace is possible because at a very basic level, Iraqis today, whether they admit or not - are Israel's friends. And they know it.

And this raises the larger point that should inform the next Israeli government. Specifically, unlike what Israel's Left has been preaching for the past twenty years, peace is made with friends and not with enemies. It is impossible to make peace with enemies because enemies perceive their interests as being in competition with one another. And since peace agreements are nothing more than codifications of the modalities for acting on perceived shared interests, no peace treaty with an enemy is worth the paper it's written on.

It is hard today to find an Iraqi leader who overtly states his desire for peace with Israel. Mithal Alousi is the one heroic exception. But that is not important. By signing a peace treaty with the US and confronting Iran head-on, the Iraqis are making it abundantly clear where they believe their interests lie. By way of comparison of course, there are Iran's Palestinian and Syrian allies and proxies who claim that they are desirous of peace with Israel at the same time as their actions - and indeed their other statements - make clear that they perceive their interests as antithetical to Israel's interests. As a result, no matter how hard Israel tries, it will be unable to make peace with them - unless the Palestinian and Syrian perception of their interests changes.

There is little doubt that the Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government — which has ignored Iraq throughout its tenure as it has capitulated to Iranian proxy after Iranian proxy — will fail to recognize this opportunity. But the next government's strategies should be informed by the call: Give peace with friends a chance!


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JWR contributor Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Comment by clicking here.


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© 2008, Caroline B. Glick