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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 Nov. 12, 2007 / 2 Kislev 5768

Dancing With Desmond

By Jonathan Tobin



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Who cares about a South African cleric's false charges? Maybe we all should!


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Later this month, representatives of Israel's government are slated to attend a new peace summit at Annapolis, Md., sponsored by the Bush administration.


Desperate not to be seen as obstructing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's goal of creating a Palestinian state before her boss's term expires in January 2009, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has enthusiastically endorsed the conference. Given the fact that the history of Mideast "peace" summits shows that such conclaves are as likely to increase violence as they are to engender reconciliation, the stakes for Israel's future at Annapolis are enormous.


Placed in this dramatic context, can there be anything more inconsequential than arguments among American Jewish groups over the rights and wrongs of responding to Israel's foes?

POINTLESS FEUDING
On first glance, the answer to that question is a definite "no."


Last month, the Anti-Defamation League and the Zionist Organization of America engaged, for what only seems like the umpteenth time, in a tit-for-tat dust-up of duelling quotes between their respective leaders Abraham Foxman and Morton Klein. The focus of their dispute was whether or not it was a good idea for Jews to advocate against an invitation to South African cleric Desmond Tutu to speak at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. Tutu was invited and then disinvited after some local Jews, citing the ZOA's research on the Anglican archbishop, protested. Then, after the ADL weighed in against the protest, Tutu was reinvited.


The debate hinged on whether a ZOA press release which focused on Tutu's history of anti-Israel statements, was accurate. A Jewish Telegraphic Agency story reported that the most damning quote cited by ZOA from a 2002 speech given in Boston was an inaccurate summary rather than a direct quote as claimed. But a subsequent release from ZOA with more quotes from Tutu made it appear as if the substance of their original missive might have actually been correct.


In the end, a comment to a JTA reporter by Klein that made it seem as if he didn't care about the accuracy of his research so long as his intended targets were bad guys was the worst mistake ZOA made. That got Klein a lot of bad press, but it left me wondering why anyone should care about anything the 76-year-old Tutu says, let alone at a school in Minnesota that I (and probably most of you) had never heard of before this. Tutu may be a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize but other than that dubious honor (which puts him in decidedly mixed company), what has Tutu done other than give speeches for the last 20 years?


Surely, he isn't worth all this bickering except as an excuse for revisiting the pointless feud between the leaders of the larger and more influential ADL, and the far smaller ZOA.


But a couple of weeks after all this, Tutu returned to the site of the speech that ZOA had supposedly misrepresented and, more or less, said it all over again. The Boston Globe reported that Tutu spoke on Oct. 27 at a conference sponsored by the Friends of Sabeel, a virulently anti-Zionist, left-wing, Christian Palestinian group, held at Boston's historic Old South Church. Those who don't want to trust accounts of the speech can go straight to the transcript at: www.boston.com/news/daily/29/102907speechtext.pdf.


As in the past, Tutu claimed to speak as a friend of the Jews and a "spiritual descendant" of Judaism. But his rhetoric was aimed at delegimitizing the Jewish state. He falsely asserted that its efforts to defend itself against Palestinian terror and an ongoing war of annihilation on the part of the Arab and Muslim worlds (subjects he thinks unworthy of mention) are the same or worse than the apartheid he fought against in South Africa.


But going further, Tutu invoked the Bible and Jewish history against the Jews: "Remembering what happened to you in Egypt and much more recently in Germany — remember, and act appropriately." Invoking the Exodus from Egypt, as well the Holocaust, the South African preached that the G-d of Israel would judge and punish the Jews for their alleged offenses against the Palestinians.


"One day you will implode," thundered Tutu.


Hairsplitters are invited to debate whether this is anti-Semitism or merely a lesser variety of hate speech. The fact that he spoke about the supposed sins of the "Jews" rather than the State of Israel was interesting. Considering also that his Sabeel hosts have repeatedly invoked the deicide myth about the killers of Christ in their rhetoric against Israel, it's hard to give Tutu the benefit of the doubt. But however you wish to label this talk, and others like it he has made before, in which he has said that, like Hitler and other tyrants, Israel and "the Jewish lobby" would be brought down, the implications are ominous.

WORSE THAN JIMMY CARTER
As publisher Martin Peretz (who is also a confidant of the newest Peace Prize winner, Al Gore) wrote in his blog for The New Republic, "Tutu has outdone even Jimmy Carter ... and there is a certain gall to this ... Of course, Tutu's moralizing is historically blind ... Why is he encouraging such self-deception at the price of bloodshed and Palestinian blood, particularly?"


Even more significant is the fact that some here have sought again to defend Tutu. Matthew Duss blasted Peretz in the influential liberal journal American Prospect by claiming it was "libelous" to accuse Tutu, whom he describes as "one of the great moral tutors of our age," of saying anything wrong.


All of which left me wondering whether we shouldn't be paying even closer attention to what people like Tutu are saying.


Compared to the events that will soon unfold at Annapolis, the tedious flaps over Tutu may be unimportant and counterattacks from pro-Israel forces focused solely on him are a waste of time and effort. But those wondering about whether the administration's obsession with Palestinian statehood will blow up in Olmert's face need to think long and hard about the way the chattering classes in this country are talking about the conflict.


The growing acceptance of anti-Israel invective which, at the least, seems to border on indictments of Jewry as a whole, aren't merely deplorable. They are the context in which the post-Annapolis debate on Israel and the Palestinians will be played out.


The battles waged by American Jewish groups against each other may not be worth more than a yawn. But Tutu, Jimmy Carter, and books like Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer's The Israel Lobby will surely play a crucial role in determining how the Jewish state is viewed in the coming crisis and those that follow. The influence of these figures and the falsehoods they have championed will aid those intellectual forces deployed to blame everything on Israel — no matter how much it concedes — and to hold the Palestinians innocent — no matter what atrocities they commit.


And that is something about which friends of Israel should be very worried indeed.

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JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here.

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© 2007, Jonathan Tobin