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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 Sept. 12, 2003 / 15 Elul, 5763

An end to the delusions

By Jonathan Tobin


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The exception to an anti-terror consensus lingers


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Sept. 11, 2001, is a date not likely to fade from the memories of those who lived through it. Yet 24 months later, I can't help but wonder how future generations will mark this day.

Time has a way of healing wounds. But it can also help change the context of the event itself. One example is the way we now remember the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, which brought the United States into World War II.

As much as we hold dear the memories of those slain on that day, generations that grew up since the war with Japan barely understand the anger and hurt of Americans who were shocked into a world conflict on that day. Thus, it is no surprise that commemorations of that date have declined in attention.

In 2003, it is hard to imagine that Americans will ever think that way about 9/11, but in a strange way, we should hope that this does, in fact, happen.

That's because if Dec. 7 is no longer a day of overriding national importance to most Americans, it is because the threat to our national existence from Japanese imperialists and their German allies is long dead.

Will we experience such a total victory over the forces of terrorism that will transform our 9/11 trauma into a topic relegated to the History Channel?

Unfortunately, that seems hardly likely.

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American forces have routed Al Qaeda's allies from Afghanistan and evicted the Ba'athist regime of Saddam Hussein from Iraq, but the enemy of 9/11 constitutes more than a couple of rogue regimes. It is, instead, an ideology of hate and terror that spans the world, from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia, and from Ramallah to places inside the West, wherever adherents of Islamic fundamentalism — what scholar Daniel Pipes terms "Islamism" — reside.

This Islamist threat wasn't born on Sept. 11. Indeed, most of the American media and our foreign-policy establishment spent decades pooh-poohing the idea that Islamic fundamentalism posed any sort of threat.

But, in the immediate aftermath of the terror attacks, most Americans seemed to grasp the nature of this threat. And President Bush's ringing post-Sept. 11 rhetoric declaring war on the terrorists — and all those who aid or shelter them — helped mobilize this consensus into a coherent foreign-policy agenda.

That was a formulation that upset many of the elites in the media and academia where temporizing and rationalization of hatred for America was still the conventional wisdom of the day. But outside of the fever swamps of the far left, where loathing for America still thrives, such notions were abandoned.

And, despite debates over the wisdom of the Iraq war, as well as continuing questions about the future of that country, the consensus that all-out war against terror must be pursued has held.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF TERRORISM

But, from almost the very first moment of America's counter-offensive against terror, there has been a glaring exception to our post-9/11 policies: Palestinian terror against Israel.

President Bush rightly saw Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for what he is, an unrepentant terrorist who should be shunned, not embraced. But Bush's attempts to bypass Arafat by creating an alternative Palestinian leadership in an attempt to appease America's European and Arab "allies" did not stop Americans, as well as Europeans from treating Palestinian terrorism differently from that of Al Qaeda.

With the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, it is clear that the attempt to bypass Arafat while still giving the Palestinians a state never had a chance to succeed. But the damage that the double standard on terror has created not only undermined Israel, it hurt American policy, too, because it allowed funders of terror against both Israel and America (such as those in Saudi Arabia) a loophole that allowed them to escape scrutiny.

In the eyes of Washington and the media, those who kill Americans are terrorists who must be eradicated without giving a thought to any other consideration. But those Palestinians who kill in Israel are not terrorists, only militants or activists whose demands must be satisfied.

According to Washington, American pre-emptive attacks on Al Qaeda or Ba'athist leaders are justified no matter where or when they take place or how many civilians get killed in the crossfire. But Washington considers Israel's attacks on the leaders of Hamas, who openly boast of their desire to eradicate Israel completely and who seek to kill as many Jews as possible, prohibited "assassinations."

Some genuinely believe that reasonable accommodation of Palestinian ambitions will still stop terror. Others seem to take the position that while attacks on Americans were unjustified, those on Israelis were, somehow, deserved.

If only, they still say, the Israelis would get out of the territories, stop building a security fence or be kinder to Palestinians at checkpoints, there would be no need for suicide bombers to blow up mothers and babies in Jerusalem cafes. Such sentiments misunderstand the goal of the bombers.

MISUNDERSTANDING TERROR

The grievances of those Hamas leaders who send terrorists to kill Jews, as well as those, such as Arafat, who countenanced their missions, are not limited to complaints about borders. They want to destroy Israel — no matter where its borders lie or what barriers exist at those borders, just as Al Qaeda wants to destroy America.

It is easy for most of us to understand that Al Qaeda's desire to bring down the West is irrational and cannot be appeased. Why, then, is it so hard for us to understand that Arab attacks on Israel are similarly based? And why does any rational person think that even if we acquiesced in that goal, that their attitude toward Americans would be any less violent?

As we recall the victims of Sept. 11, we should not forget that Israel has suffered similar catastrophes nonstop for the last three years and more. The people who carry out those attacks must be treated no differently than the ones who assaulted America. Appeasement of certain kinds of terrorists won't make America safer. In fact, the exception for Hamas only undermines our efforts to isolate other killers.

The memory of a day of horror has steeled Americans to the necessity of carrying the battle against international terrorism to the places where such evil is bred. But so long as we continue to pretend that we can distinguish between Palestinian terrorists and those in Iraq or Indonesia, we will be reverting to our previous coma about the nature of the threat.

And that's the main point about remembering the attacks. Our commemorations must never be divorced from the reality of a common war against terror. That is a mistake that an America that wants to win the war cannot afford to make.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com 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 Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here. In June, Mr. Tobin won first places honors in the American Jewish Press Association's Louis Rapaport Award for Excellence in Commentary as well as the Philadelphia Press Association's Media Award for top weekly columnist. Both competitions were for articles written in the year 2002.

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© 2003, Jonathan Tobin