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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. 21, 2007 / 9 Tishrei 5768

How not to help ‘moderates’

By Caroline B. Glick


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | According to the commander of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, Israel's raid in Syria on September 6 against what was reportedly a North Korean-supplied nuclear installation in eastern Syria restored Israel's deterrent posture which was so weakened in last summer's war in Lebanon.

Yet as the execution of anti-Syrian Lebanese parliamentarian Antoine Ghanem in a Christian suburb of Beirut on Wednesday indicated, Israel's successful raid did not derail Syria and Iran's pursuit of their strategic goals. Those goals involve achieving regional domination through their proxies in Lebanonas well as in Iraq and the Palestinian Authority.

In Iraq, the Americans and pursue a policy of military confrontation against Shiite and Sunni forces that are supported and directed by Iran and Syria. In contrast, in Lebanon and the PA, the Americans and the Israelis have avoided decisive confrontations opting instead to advance a diplomatic course aimed at bringing about the political defeat of Iranian and Syrian proxies. In Lebanon, this involves supporting Prime Minister Fuad Siniora's government against Hizbullah. In the PA it involves supporting Fatah against Hamas.

It is still too early to know how the American strategy of military confrontation against Iranian and Syrian proxies in Iraq will pan out. But it is already clear that the American-Israeli strategy for contending with Lebanon and the PA has failed.

Ghanem was a member of the Christian-Phalange party. He had announced his intention to run in the presidential elections that will take place next week in the Lebanese Parliament. With his assassination, the Syrians and Iranians effectively completed their campaign of murder and intimidation aimed at anti-Syrian Lebanese politicians. With Ghanem out of the picture, the anti-Syrian forces lost the parliamentary majority of 72 out of 128 seats that they won in the 2005 general elections. Today, the anti-Syrian coalition has only 64 sure votes. A presidential candidate needs a 65 vote majority to be elected. Now the pro-Syrian forces have the ability to force their presidential candidate on the country.

Led by Hizbullah, the pro-Syrian parliamentary bloc demands that a "compromise" candidate who will bring "national unity" be elected to the presidency next week. Their demand is openly supported by France, the UN and Saudi Arabia. The Americans have not weighed in on the issue and so it can be assumed that they too support it.

Although the demand for "compromise" and "unity" sounds like a call for fairness and even stability, just the opposite is the case. In the Lebanese context, "compromise" and "unity" can only serve to bring about the election of yet another Syrian and Iranian puppet to the presidency. Like outgoing President Emil Lahoud, such a leader will work to prevent Lebanon from extricating itself from Iranian and Syrian influence and control.

That that the inclusion of pro-Syrian and Iranian elements in the Lebanese government renders the government, regardless of its members' actual desires an effective tool of Syria and Iran was made clear in last summer's war. During the war, Hizbullah's membership in the Siniora government worked to transform the Siniora government into a mouthpiece of Hizbullah and through it, of Iran and Syria.

Many had hoped that Hizbullah's entry into Lebanese politics would signal its integration into Lebanese society and force its leaders to dismantle Hizbullah's military force. But the opposite occurred. Hizbullah's entry into Lebanese politics — and into the Siniora government — consolidated its position as a Syrian-Iranian state within the state in Lebanon. Rather than distance itself from Hizbullah after Hizbullah launched its war against Israel, the Siniora government actively assisted it both diplomatically and militarily. With Hizbullah in the government, the Lebanese military openly assisted its forces in attacking Israel and IDF troops.

Hizbullah used its governmental power to increase its influence over the Lebanese military. With Shiites comprising 40 percent of the Lebanese army and with army commander General Michel Suleiman being touted by pro-Syrian forces as a "compromise" candidate for the presidency, it is impossible to trust the Lebanese army's loyalty to the elected government. Indeed, since the war, the Lebanese army has enabled Hizbullah to reassert its control over southern Lebanon and has turned a blind eye to massive arms shipments to Hizbullah coming across the Syrian border.

During last summer's war, in a bid to protect the ostensibly pro-Western Siniora government, the US, France and the UN pressured Israel not to attack Lebanese infrastructures. By so acting, the US, France and the UN ignored the actual status of the government. While it talked the anti-Syria talk, it walked the Hizbullah walk.

Siniora's inability or unwillingness to confront Hizbullah and to end its status as an independent political and military force in Lebanon engendered a situation where through their support for Lebanon's "unity" government, the US, France and the UN effectively protected Hizbullah and preserved its ability to maintain its independent position in Lebanon as a Syrian and Iranian proxy against Israel. Since the cease-fire went into effect last August, that protection has been maintained by UNIFIL forces stationed along the border with Israel.

Last October Iran and Syria determined that Hizbullah had nothing more to gain from remaining in the government and so they ordered it to resign. Ever since, they have worked steadily to overthrow the government by politically paralyzing it in parliament and, of course by assassinating its supporters. At the same time, they have poured arms and cash on Hizbullah and ordered it to expand its territorial control north of the Litani River while enacting an ethnic cleansing of southern Lebanon by preventing Christians who fled their villages during the war from returning home.

Commentators warn that if the Lebanese Parliament does not elect a pro-Syrian presidential candidate next week that President Lahoud is liable to call general elections. Those elections, in turn are liable to give rise to a situation where two separate governments operate in competition. That, we are warned, will almost certainly foment a new civil war.

But given the fact that Hizbullah, together with Iran and Syria already wield enormous power over the Lebanese army, it could be reasonably argued that a renewed civil war is the least bad option. The more likely option — that Iran and Syria will consolidate their domination of Lebanon — would be far more destabilizing for the region and for Lebanon itself.

The fact of the matter is that the West's unconditional support for the anti-Syrian forces in Lebanon has always been problematic. Even if Hizbullah had not entered the government, Siniora and his colleagues never had sufficient political or military will or power to fight Iran, Hizbullah and Syria effectively. Indeed, many members of the anti-Syrian coalition are anything but pro-Western.

Aside from the Siniora's government's inherent inability to assert its control over the entire country by defeating Hizbullah and its sponsors, there is the fact that the government's regional supporters have never been interested in a confrontation with Hizbullah or Iran and Syria. Specifically, the Saudi government, which acts as the Siniora government's primary supporter in the Arab world, has consistently encouraged it to reach an accommodation with Hizbullah rather than fight it. When the Saudi view is contrasted with the consistent Iranian and Syrian goal of dominating Lebanonthrough Hizbullah, it is clear that the political victory of the anti-Syrian and Iranian forces in 2005 was insufficient to defeat Hizbullah or free Lebanon from the influence of Syria and Iran. It is after all impossible to accommodate an opponent charged with destroying you.

The situation in the PA is strikingly similar to that in Lebanon. But it is also far more problematic. As in the case of the contest between Hizbullah and the Siniora government in Lebanon, so in the PA, the US, Israel and the West in general have decided to support Fatah in its contest against the Iranian and Syrian proxy Hamas.

Militarily, the desire to "strengthen" Fatah has led to a situation where Israel has almost completely stopped its operations against Fatah terror cells. Furthermore, it has abstained from taking action against Hamas's new army in Gaza, lest an Israeli offensive somehow weaken Fatah.

Politically, Israel and the US are bending over backwards to appease Fatah in the hopes that doing so will strengthen it against Hamas. Wednesday Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Israel in order to advance the peace process with Fatah. On her way to Israel Rice told reporters, "We can't simply continue to say we want a two-state solution. We've got to start to move toward one."

For its part, the Olmert-Barak-Livni government already made clear through official statements and leaks that it is ready to withdraw from Judea and Samaria and to partition Jerusalem and surrender the Temple Mount.

The reason that the situation in the PA is worse than the situation in Lebanon is because Fatah is not analogous to the Siniora government. For all its weaknesses, the fact remains that the Siniora government truly seeks Syrian and Iranian disengagement from the country. The same cannot be said of Fatah. As the fighting this week between Fatah terrorists and the IDF in Nablus indicates, far from objecting to terrorism and the war against Israel, Fatah fights side by side with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Consequently, the massive concessions that the Olmert-Barak-Livni government is now offering Fatah will redound directly to Hamas's (and Iranian and Syrian) benefit. This will be the case both if Israel actually implements those concessions and if they are merely offered formally at Rice's summit in November.

Since Hizbullah quit the Siniora government in October, the Lebanese leadership has rejected all of Hizbullah's demands for "unity." In contrast, both before and since Hamas took over Gaza in June, Fatah has sought to join a Hamas-dominated "unity" government. And while in Lebanon, Iran and Syriaactively undermine Siniora and his colleagues, in PA, they assist both Hamas and Fatah. Both serve Iran and Syria's purpose of expanding and consolidating their control over Gaza, Judea and Samaria.

In their handling of the situations in Lebanon and the PA, the US and Israeli governments are implementing a strategy predicated on their refusal to acknowledge the nature and significance of regional power struggles in these theaters both for the West and for the Syrians and Iranians. As is the case in Iraq, so in the cases of Lebanon and the PA, the possibility of forming a "moderate" government will only materialize after the Lebanese and Palestinian Iranian and Syrian proxies — Hizbullah, Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad — are defeated.

Moreover, in spite of the IDF's bravado, the fact is that as long as these proxy forces continue to exist and augment their powers, and as long as the Syrian and Iranian regimes remain in power, no single military operation — no matter how successful — can rebuild Israel's deterrent strength or ensure its security.


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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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© 2007, Caroline B. Glick