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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 August 11, 2011 / 11 Menachem-Av, 5771

Libyan rebels embrace U.S. and its flag

By David Zucchino





Benghazi residents show a love of all things American, from pop culture to gadgets to fast food. And American flags are common at rallies in Benghazi, in recognition of U.S. support for the rebel cause


JewishWorldReview.com |

BENGHAZI, Libya — (MCT) Omar el Keish wanted to make a strong statement when he headed out with his wife and daughter recently for a revolutionary rally here in the de facto rebel capital.

Keish decided to bring along a flag. It wasn't the ubiquitous Libyan rebel flag that flutters at every downtown rally. He chose the American flag — the Stars and Stripes — on a long, heavy pole.

The 57-year-old airline pilot waved the big fluttering fabric with both arms, and rallygoers smiled and flashed the V for victory sign at the sight of Old Glory.

"Libyans love America," Keish explained as he cut through a boisterous crowd that numbered in the tens of thousands. "They love the flag because it stands for freedom and democracy — exactly what they want for Libya."

In a region where America is often mistrusted and resented, rebel-held eastern Libya stands out as an island of pro-American sentiment. The rag-tag forces that drove out Moammar Gadhafi's security forces in February credit U.S. and NATO warplanes for rescuing Benghazi from a government counterattack in March.


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America's popularity has risen further since July 15, when the U.S. formally recognized the rebel Transitional National Council as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people.

More American flags have begun to pop up at opposition rallies and outside shops. Some young men sport ball caps emblazoned with a small U.S. flag and the New York Yankees logo.

Anti-Gadhafi graffiti that dominates the Benghazi cityscape occasionally includes the American flag or pro-U.S. slogans. Schoolchildren occasionally place the Stars and Stripes in their anti-Gadhafi drawings.

"I made a whole new supply of American flags after the U.S. recognition, and I've sold most of them already," said Mohammed Ali Harari, a tailor who sews and sells foreign flags at the Benghazi courthouse complex.

Not that the United States is the most popular foreign country here. That designation is shared by France and Qatar, which have provided the rebels with weapons as well as money and political support. Some rebel fighters fly the French tricolor on their gun trucks and several downtown buildings sport the maroon-and-white Qatari flag alongside the red-black-and-green rebel flag.

The U.S., for its part, has provided $25 million in non-lethal military aid to the rebels, including uniforms and ready-to-eat halal meals. Some members of Congress have suggested providing weapons, but the Obama administration has ruled that out so far.

Still, many Libyans consider the U.S. the sole foreign power capable of toppling Gadhafi. For that reason, Gadhafi's opponents tend to praise U.S. policy toward Libya while also expressing frustration that America has not done more.

Young volunteers at the front, in particular, say their patience is running out. They contend that the United States could overthrow Gadhafi but is holding back.

"We expect more from America — they're the most powerful country, and they can do anything," said Ali Abdelsalam, 27, an electronics salesman. "They have the best weapons. They should give them to us, and then we could finish Gadhafi right now."

If U.S. policy is generally admired here, America's cultural appeal is off the charts. American websites, cellphones, videos, music, clothing, cars and movies are immensely popular among the young men who form the core of the rebels' volunteer force. American pop culture is also popular in Arab countries less enamored of U.S. policy.

Perhaps the single-most coveted status symbol here is the iPhone. Imported from Dubai or Europe, it sells for about 1,400 Libyan dinars, or $1,090, here. Young men save for months for one, and many beg friends traveling to Europe, where iPhones cost less, to bring back one for them.

Young men also spend exorbitant amounts for Nike sneakers. Wealthy Libyans cruise Benghazi in imported Hummers and Ford Mustangs — drawing envious stares from men lounging at cafes.

Car radios blast American rap music — Jay-Z, 50 Cent and Eminem. Satellite TV channels from Egypt and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, broadcast mainstream American standards such as "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Lost," "Friends," "Prison Break" and "Pimp My Ride."

Young Libyans, who watch KFC and McDonald's ads on foreign satellite channels, complain that the fast food isn't available here. But restaurants offer "beef burgers" ("hamburger" sounds too much like a pork product), and diners who want fried chicken order "Kentucky chicken."

English usage is surprisingly widespread among rebel fighters at the front. Gunmen often tell visiting American journalists that they want to emigrate to the United States — after they topple Gadhafi.

"Thank you America!" Yousif Abuleifa, 31, an oil engineer who has volunteered at the front, hollered at an American reporter who was chatting with Keish, the flag-waving pilot.

"We know we couldn't have faced down this dictator without America's support — France and the UK, too, but especially America," Abuleifa said, pointing to Keish's flag.

Keish said he lived in Southern California from 1976 to 1990, working as a flight instructor at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana. He said he's proud to be Libyan — especially an anti-Gadhafi Libyan — but admires the freedoms and choices available in the United States.

"That's why I fly the flag — to support American-style freedoms that we all want here," he said.

Harari, the flag-making tailor, said it wasn't difficult to create copies of American flags he'd seen on TV. He's made three sizes, selling them from $23 to $39.

The biggest ones have 50 stars and 13 stripes. But the popular small flags feature, for reasons Harari could not explain, 70 stars and 15 stripes.

"They just want the flag," he said, shrugging. "They don't care how many stars it has."

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© 2011, Los Angeles Times Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.