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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 Sept. 19, 2011 20 Elul, 5771

Was Turner's victory a referendum on Obama's Israel policies?

By Heather Robinson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Tuesday marked the first Republican victory in nearly one hundred years in New York's 9th congressional district, a Jewish and Italian stronghold. Republican Robert Turner's victory in winning the seat encompassing Brooklyn and Queens and formerly held by Anthony Weiner has led many to speculate that Jewish voters sent President Obama a message about his policies toward Israel, as they were exhorted to do by Democrat and former NYC mayor Ed Koch.

While there may have been multiple factors in this upset, concern for Israel seems to have been a real factor here, with Jewish-American voters realizing that, despite some solid moves, President Obama's policies, words, and actions toward the Jewish State over the course of his term have reflected a lack of understanding of Israel's position. In short, in regard to Israel, Obama has not been a total disaster. But neither has he earned the trust of Jewish-Americans and other American voters who prioritize the Jewish State's security.

A Public Policy Poll taken days before the election found a plurality of voters in the 9th congressional district saying that Israel was "very important" in determining their votes. Turner was winning by a 71-22 margin among those voters. Only 22 percent of Jewish voters in that district, polled before the election, approved of President Obama's handling of Israel.

On the plus side, Obama has clearly stated his intention to veto this month's expected unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood at the UN. That is important. But it is even more important the president do the right thing on more substantive matters. Thus far, his overall policy toward the Israelis has been characterized by pressuring them on multiple fronts: to stop building housing (not in some remote outpost but in their capital city), and to negotiate with the Palestinians about creating a Palestinian state carved out of territory Israel captured after being attacked in 1967—this despite the fact that most Palestinian groups, including the Palestinian Authority itself, do not even as of this week acknowledge Israel's right to exist.


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And while, regarding the Jewish State's security, it's never exactly been time to relax, with the effects of the Arab Spring yet to emerge and Iran committed to extending its terrorism in the region, the times are especially uncertain, even in the annals of Israel's always precarious existence.

While over the course of his term Obama has frequently done the right thing toward the Jewish State on diplomatic fronts, including boycotting the UN's 2009 World Conference Against Racism (Durban II) and this year's version (Durban III) to take place at the UN this week, in the big picture his policy has been one of putting the squeeze on Israel, and blaming the Israelis, while demanding nothing of the Palestinians, who have refused to even come to the table to negotiate.

Let's take a look at a few points:

1) In March 2010, the Obama Administration condemned the Israeli government for allowing construction of 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem. Shortly afterward, President Obama unleashed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who berated Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for the construction project in Israel's capital city, calling it "insulting" to the U.S. and questioning Israel's commitment to the U.S.

2) At the 2010 AIPAC conference, Obama stated Jerusalem would remain the undivided capital of Israel. Within days of hearing the Palestinians would not accept this, Obama was taking back his statement. 3) Recently, regarding Israeli/Palestinian peace talks, Obama said that as a precondition for negotiating, Israel would need to agree to return to "pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps" - a restatement of the Palestinian negotiating stance. Thus he biased any future negotiation in the Palestinians' favor ahead of time.

As stated earlier, Obama has done some things right regarding Israel in diplomatic circles. And on the biggest threat Israel faces—Iran's nuclear program—there are reports that this President has continued a program started by the Bush administration to delay the Iranian nuclear program via computer sabotage. If those reports are accurate, much is happening behind the scenes that does inspire confidence that Obama, if perhaps only for the sake of his legacy and world safety (and stopping Iran is not just about Israel but about the world too), may be trying to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons - at least on his watch. That is of utmost importance.

But his pattern of reassuring Jewish voters at pivotal moments, only to "walk back" comments later, and his publicly dressing down and pressuring the Israelis to give ground while demanding nothing of the Palestinians—do not inspire confidence that he "gets it" on Israel. Careful observers will not underestimate the man, however. If he could convince Jewish voters once that he has Israel's back, he will try his best to do so again before November. But will he keep to his promises? And are we prepared to see a hastily conceived Palestinian state muscled into existence at a time when Israel's recent concessions have been greeted with more hostility?

For a preview of what a hastily conceived Palestinian state, run by groups that do not even acknowledge Israel's right to exist, would be likely to resemble, consider Gaza.

The prerequisite to any negotiations that could lead to a Palestinian state should not focus on building construction but on zero tolerance for terrorism and incitement. And it should require that, before the United States commits its resources to helping the parties achieve co-existence, there first must be recognition from both sides of the other's rights to existence itself. Most Israelis have come around to accept Palestinians' rights to a state of their own. It is past time for the Palestinians, who are the world's greatest per capita recipients of international aid and do a great deal more demanding than productively working toward any resolution of this conflict, to accept Israelis' rights to exist in a secure Jewish homeland. Otherwise, any peace process will be meaningless or potentially harmful to Israel without ushering in true progress or prosperity for the Palestinians.

Voters who care deeply about Israel's security do not trust Obama regarding Israel. Would he go out of his way to help ensure the security of the Jewish State if doing so were to expose him to international scorn, or to cost him his popularity or some part of the legacy he wants? Would he stand up for Israel if the unthinkable should become necessary and Israel were to need to take drastic action in its self-defense? In short, is solidarity with this particular ally a core value for him? I would not count on it. And I don't think many of the Jewish voters in congressional district 9 would either.

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.

JWR contributor Heather Robinson is a New York City-based independent journalist. She has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Los Angeles Daily News, Heeb magazine, and other publications. Comment by clicking here.


© 2011, Heather Robinson

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