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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 6, 2013/ 28 Sivan 5773

The stagnant Mediterranean

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | GIBRALTAR -- From the heights of Gibraltar you can see Africa about nine miles away to the south -- and gaze eastward on the seemingly endless Mediterranean that stretches 1,500 miles to Asia beyond. Mare Nostrum, "our sea," the Romans called the deep blue waters that allowed Rome to unite Asia, Africa and Europe for half a millennium under a single prosperous, globalized civilization.

Yet the Mediterranean has not always proved history's incubator of great civilizations -- Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Florentine and Venetian. Sometimes the ancient "Pillars of Hercules" at the narrow mouth of the Mediterranean here at Gibraltar marked not so much a gateway to progress and prosperity as a cultural and commercial cul-de-sac.

With the rise of the Ottoman Empire, and before the construction of the Suez Canal, the old classical city-state powerhouses in Italy and Greece faded from history, as the Mediterranean became more a museum than a catalyst of global change. In contrast, the Reformation and Enlightenment energized Northern European culture, safely distant from the exhausting frontline Mediterranean wars with Islam.

By the early 17th century, Northern Europeans more easily and safely reached the rich eastern markets of China and India by maritime routes around Africa. The discovery of the New World further shifted wealth and cultural dynamism out of the Mediterranean.

For a while the Mediterranean seemed to roar back after World War II. Huge deposits of petroleum and natural gas were found in North Africa. The Suez Canal was a shortcut to the newly opulent and strategically vital Persian Gulf. With the unification of Europe, and ongoing decolonization of Africa and the Middle East, there was the promise of a new, resource-rich, democratic and commercially interconnected Mediterranean.

Not now. The Arab Spring has brought chaos to almost all of North Africa. The bloodbath in Syria threatens to escalate into something like the Spanish Civil War -- sucking in Lebanese militias, Iranian mercenaries, Turkey, the Sunni sheikdoms, Israel and the Palestinians, along with surrogate arms suppliers like China, Europe, Russia and the United States.

The economies of the Islamic rim of the Mediterranean are in shambles. But then so is the southern flank of the European Union, as Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain haggle for subsidies and loans from an increasingly fed-up Northern Europe. New gas and oil finds in North America, China and Africa may soon make both Mediterranean supplies and Suez passage to the Persian Gulf irrelevant for a billion energy consumers.

A shrinking and aging Europe keeps drawing in young Muslim immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa. They want out of their impoverished Islamic homelands but are being consumed by, rather than enriching, the wealthier European societies that they are drawn to like moths to a flame. The recent rioting in Sweden, the gruesome near-beheading of a soldier in London and periodic unrest in the French suburbs all remind us that the Mediterranean is not a shared postmodern vacation getaway. Instead it is increasingly a stagnant premodern pond of religious, political and economic tensions.

Unrest in the West Bank, Gaza, Cyprus, Syria, Libya and Egypt could at any moment spark violence that cuts across religious, racial and political fault lines. Yet otherwise, these tired hotspots are immaterial to a world that from Shanghai, Mumbai and Seoul to Palo Alto, Houston, London and Frankfurt is creating vast new wealth, technologies and consumer goods -- without much of a nod to Mediterranean science or innovation.

The old strategic fortresses at Cyprus, Crete, Sicily, Malta and Gibraltar are becoming inconsequential, as the United States pivots to Asia. The Cold War is long over. Europe has all but disarmed. Meanwhile, the societies on the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean are coming apart at the seams.

It is hard to find a robust free-market economy anywhere in the Mediterranean these days. Instead, European socialism, Arab statism and Islamic terrorism in various ways are retarding commerce and growth. Mediterranean tourism -- with visitors gazing at ancient rather than modern wonders -- is more profitable than manufacturing.

Will the Mediterranean world rebound again? History is cyclical not linear, and the region's favorable climate and opportune geography suggest that it could.

Before we see another Mediterranean renaissance, constitutional government would have to sweep the Muslim world. The fossilized bureaucracy of the European Union would have to radically reform or disappear. A new generation of Michelangelos and da Vincis would have to believe that they could think, say and write whatever they wished -- in a climate of economic confidence, prosperity and security.

Unfortunately, the culture of the Mediterranean is reverting to its stagnant 18th-century past rather than leading the 21st century.

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

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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