Home
In this issue
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 Sept. 22, 2005 / 18 Elul, 5765

American effort to build democracy in Iraq naive but we must have confidence — and bankroll — emerging ‘Palestinian’ experiment in self-rule?

By Victor Davis Hanson


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After the Israelis' recent pullout from the Gaza Strip, chaos broke out. Greenhouses that had been purchased by international agencies for future Palestinian use were ransacked by the beneficiaries. Violent fights over looted equipment escalated among squatters, the government and terrorists.

Empty synagogues were burned. Gangs and criminals smuggled weapons and drugs across the unguarded Egyptian border. An apparent bomb-making factory in a Gaza building blew up. Warlords from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed victory over the Israelis and promised to set up rocket bases for envisioned new offensives against Israel. Gunmen immediately threw up their own new checkpoints to shake down and intimidate civilians.

Meanwhile, a relative of Yasser Arafat, the former security official Moussa Arafat, was dragged out of his house and executed in the street. Taybeh, a Christian village near Ramallah, was attacked by mobs and some of its houses burned.

The reactions of most Americans to all this televised Wild-West sort of lawlessness probably will fall into three broad categories:

Supporters of the Palestinians will remind us that we cannot expect the "oppressed" always to vent their pent-up frustrations in the civilized manner that we would like. In contrast, no-nonsense hardheads will adopt a "See, I told you so!" attitude in dismissing any idea that such folk could ever govern themselves.

But most in between will continue to sincerely hope for the best, while resigning themselves to the worst.

Our politicians sound even more at odds over the future of both the West Bank and Gaza. Some conservatives — who believe that democracy will emerge in Iraq even amid suicide bombing and assassination — strangely seem to rule out any such optimism for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' elected government in a similarly violence-prone region. But are the Iraqis any more experienced in, or eager for, parliamentary politics than the Palestinians? And how can one be for the idea of democracy in the more pro-American Iraq, but not so in an apparently anti-American Palestine?

Some liberals are just as inconsistent. How can they argue that the American effort to build democracy in Iraq is either wrong, naive or doomed while they have confidence in the emerging Palestinian experiment in self-rule and wish to resume American aid to it? Why should we believe that Abbas is a legitimate leader while Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, the veteran Kurdish foe of Saddam Hussein, is not?

We can, though, take another approach, acknowledging how the Palestinian situation differs from the Iraqi one while understanding what Abbas must do to achieve a peaceful state. Palestine is not Iraq (nor is it Afghanistan, either). Iraq's elected government is engaged in a necessary civil war; the Palestinian Authority is not.

Talabani's government fights daily against Islamic terrorists from a 20 percent Sunni minority (that is stained by past intimacy with the mass-murdering Saddam Hussein and present sympathy from al-Qaida terrorists).

Of course, the elected Abbas may well wish for a constitutional system similar to Iraq's. And he certainly has similar radical fundamentalist extremist enemies in Hamas, the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Islamic Jihad. These gunmen, Iraqi-style, have already began to redirect their violence against the Palestinian Authority, since it will increasingly be responsible for law, order and government as the Israelis vacate many of the disputed territories.

But here again is the key difference so far between Iraq and Palestine. Abbas' cabinet is not galvanizing popular support for fighting the terrorists, whose thuggery against Palestinians is tolerated as unfortunate blowback from their anti-Israeli jihad. Yet for Palestine to become a sovereign state that conducts normal relations with its friends and negotiates differences with the Israelis, the elected government, like Iraq's, must assume a monopoly on the use of force and put down warlords and gangs.

Just as Talabani, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and other Iraqi leaders are fighting for their lives not to allow Iraq to fall into the hands of the terrorist leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and his followers, so also Abbas must now take the same risks in order to ensure that Palestine becomes a state rather than a permanent terrorist gangland. Abbas must unambiguously accept the existence of the Jewish state and thus give up the boilerplate slogans about sending 4 million Arabs into pre-1967 Israel under the "right of return." Instead of Palestinian officials praising terrorists in Arabic ("heroes fighting for freedom") while condemning them in English to European diplomats, Abbas and his cabinet very soon must decree that Hamas and other killers lay down their weapons or face the fate of all outlaws.

The time for stale slogans about pushing the Jews into the sea is over, since Israel welcomes a democratic Palestinian state to adjudicate remaining differences. So the increasing threat to democracy's chances on the West Bank is not a F-16 or an Apache, but a masked killer with Iranian money, a Kalashnikov and a rocket-propelled grenade. Islamicists who shoot, not Westerners who support those who vote, alone can destroy the future of Afghanistan, Iraq — and Palestine.

President Talabani and his Iraqi parliament, like President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, are making progress as they fight the radical Islamic enemies of democracy and the rule of law. Mahmoud Abbas, in contrast, has not even begun.

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

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and military historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Comment by clicking here.


Archives

© 2005, TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles