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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 December 29, 2008 / 2 Teves, 5769

A crisis and an opportunity

By Michael B. Oren


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | CNN International's coverage of Saturday's fighting in Gaza concluded at midnight with a rush of images: mangled civilians writhing in the rubble, primitive hospitals overflowing with the wounded, fireballs mushrooming between apartment complexes, the funeral of a Palestinian child. Missing from the montage, however, was even a fleeting glimpse of the tens of thousands of Israelis who spent last night and much of last week in bomb shelters; of the house in Netivot, where a man was killed by a Grad missile; or indeed any of the hundreds of rockets, mortar shells, and other projectiles fired by Hamas since the breakdown of the so-called ceasefire. This was CNN at its unprincipled worst, grossly skewering its coverage of a complex event and deceiving its viewers. Yet Israel should not have been surprised.


Over the past few weeks, as the tahdiyah ("period of calm" in Arabic, the termed similarly preferred by the Hebrew press) unwound and finally dissipated, Israel's policy has been to refrain from responding militarily to Hamas rocket fire. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni went to Egypt and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appeared on al-Arabiya TV to bear the message that Israel did not want war with Hamas; instead, Israel was committed to renewing the tahdiyah . The purpose was to build up a moral case for retaliating against a recalcitrant Hamas and limiting the international fallout that invariably follows any Israeli attempt at self-defense. But the tactic has never really worked and failed this time as well. Within minutes of the first Israeli air strike, the Arabs were screaming "massacre" and the media had all but forgotten the serial assaults that provoked it. The press once again attached the word "disproportionate" and the "continuing cycle of violence" term to describe a supremely justified and largely surgical (the targets were exclusively military, the victims overwhelmingly Hamas gunmen) operation. As of this writing, the Security Council is meeting and will no doubt find Israel and Hamas equally guilty for disrupting the ceasefire and demand its immediate restoration.


One wonders why Israel even bothers. Instead of undermining the Zionist ethos of defending Jews' lives at all costs irrespective of bad publicity and perilously broadcasting weakness to its enemies, perhaps Israel should simply declare that the slightest violation of the ceasefire — a single Qassam — will precipitate an immediate and disproportionate response. Since it's going to be condemned for it anyway, shouldn't Israel smash Hamas promptly and massively and reap the benefits in terms of self-respect, deterrence, and a respite for its embattled citizens?


The confusion surrounding Israel's tactics in the Gaza — Israeli tank and infantry forces are now gathering for a possible ground incursion — is indicative of a deeper bewilderment. The government is purportedly divided over the operation's goals, with Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in favor of toppling Hamas, while Olmert prefers to revive the tahdiyah. Nobody seems to know how long Tempered Lead will last or the criteria for deeming it successful. No Israeli leader, whether from Kadima, Labor, or Likud, has articulated a clear vision for Israel's relationship with the obstreperous Strip.


Here, too, there is nothing original. Back in 1949, at the end of Israel's War of Independence, Israeli forces surrounded Gaza in an attempt to conquer it and annex it to the nascent Jewish State. Frustrated in that gambit, Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion secretly sought to purchase Gaza from the Egyptians in the early 1950s, and then, during the 1956 Suez Crisis, Israel briefly occupied the Strip. Israeli soldiers in 1967 received unequivocal orders not to enter Gaza, but they did so anyway, and remained there for the next 20 years until Prime Minster Menachem Begin tried to convince Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to take control of Gaza — fruitlessly. Israel proceeded to build settlements in the Strip, but not enough to stake a firm territorial claim. It installed a PLO administration there, but later disavowed it as corrupt and terror-ridden. It initially coddled and finally combated Hamas. Finally, in 2005, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, former champion of the Gaza settlements, uprooted all 21 of them and their 8,100 inhabitants. Once renowned for his brutal suppression of Gaza terrorists, Sharon also ignored the 1,000 Qassam rockets that flew on the heels of Israel's withdrawal. Hamas was consequently empowered and eventually took over the Strip, creating the Hobbesian conditions that Israel faces today.


Nevertheless, the current round of fighting provides Israel with an opportunity to end its painful chronicle of indecision on Gaza and to embark on a lucid and realizable policy. Can Israel co-exist with a Hamas-dominated Gaza? What are the alternatives (the reintroduction of Egyptian forces, for example) to a renewed Israeli occupation of the area? To what degree will the international community accept a zero-tolerance approach to rocket attacks against Israel, and, more crucially, will the incoming Obama administration publicly endorse that stance? These and other questions might be answered in the coming days if Israel, withstanding the media backlash, dares to ask them.


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.

Michael B. Oren, a professor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a distinguished fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, is the author of Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present. He wrote this for the leading liberal opinion magazine, The New Republic. Comment by clicking here.


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