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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 Dec. 15, 2008 / 18 Kislev 5769

What they say isn't what you hear

By Barry Rubin


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The full horror of contemporary Middle East politics and debate is comprehended by few in the West, largely because people aren't informed by their political leaders, intellectuals and media.


Occasionally, the truth emerges, as on September 11, 2001, but soon is reburied under mountains of obfuscation. After all, Iran's president called for Israel to be wiped off the map, according to the official Iranian translation, and The New York Times publishes an article analyzing whether this ever happened.


I imagine exchanges like this: Middle Easterner (in Arabic): "We'll wipe you out, kill your children and trample your cities into dust!" Translator (in English): "He says that justified grievances about American aggression are creating hurt feelings which can only be resolved by Western policy changes."


These thoughts are inspired by at least four examples this week.


First, an Arabic-speaker writes me, "Right now I'm watching Himam as-Sa'id, leader of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, on al-Aksa TV giving a speech (or rather a rant). He's screaming about how the Islamic armies will turn Palestine into a graveyard for the Jews." This is followed by threatening the Jordan government as traitorous for making peace with Israel and "the usual cliches." But then my friend concludes: "As we all know, this isn't the sort of language the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood uses when speaking English." For good measure, he inserts some links to Western newspaper articles that claim the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood is really a moderate organization with which Western governments should dialogue.


Then there are two recent interviews given by Palestinian Authority Ambassador to Lebanon Abbas Zaki, who explains that the PA considers the US an enemy. Of course, the Americans have been paying Zaki's salary for 14 years through direct aid and by persuading allies to donate money, backed a Palestinian state and pressed Israel into many concession for the PA. But none of this matters to Zaki and other senior Fatah leaders. In Arabic, they are still hard-liners and anti-Americans.


In early November, Zaki gave a lecture explaining that moderation was just a pretense and the goal was still Israel's destruction. In his words, given the Arab nation's weakness and US power, "the PLO proceeds through phases, without changing its strategy." Soon it would be in a position to bring about Israel's collapse and drive "them out of all of Palestine."


One of the main examples of nonsense substituting for serious analysis is the fantasy of splitting Syria away from Iran. This notion is encouraged by Syria's effective propaganda network and lots of Western helpers. A Lebanese friend sends me a boatload of citations from Syrian officials promising eternal loyalty to Iran. I believe them.


For example, Syria's ambassador to the United States explained on al-Jazeera television in May, "Syria will not distance itself from Iran because our ties with Iran are... [linked] to deep historic, cultural, social and religious ties, common interests." An article by regime fan Rime Allaf in the Novosti press agency on November 25 notes: "For three decades, the Syrian-Iranian relationship has survived a sustained Western effort to break the alliance... and to shift the politics of both regimes." But nothing will weaken this partnership unless the regime in one of these countries falls. Agreed.


The Washington Post's David Ottoway writes of how Syria needs and benefits from the alliance with Iran. But he continues, "Western and Arab sources... feel, nonetheless, that the Syrian-Iranian friendship is unnatural [and] short-term." Syria's regime is thought too secular to stick with Teheran very long. He also, however, provides extensive quotes from Syrian officials who insist — with detailed arguments — that the alliance is here to stay.


Oh, by the way, the article is dated September 29, 1983.


Finally, if you want to understand the current spectrum of public debate in the Arab world, consider a television debate between Kamal al-Hilbawi, director of the London Center for the Study of Terrorism, and political analyst Nabil Yassin. The former is supposed to be the radical, the latter the moderate.


Hilbawi endorses killing Israeli civilians, including children, because, he says they're all potential soldiers. He claims, "In elementary school, they pose the following math problem: 'In your village, there are 100 Arabs. If you killed 40, how many Arabs would be left for you to kill?' This is taught in the Israeli curriculum."


Yassin responds by saying he is against murdering civilians: "I condemn the Israeli governments for teaching children such things, but I do not condemn the child, who still doesn't know how he will kill the Arabs in 20 years' time, when he becomes a soldier."


I read that just after helping my two kids with their math homework and I guess I must have missed those equations. Actually, in my daughter's school they're now studying Islam and Christianity, learning a fair, factual picture of both religions.


There are, however, schools that teach that way. What Hilbawi described is an almost precise rendition of Syrian second-grade textbooks, for example, which contain math problems about killing Israelis.


At any rate, their debate shows us the permissible margin of discussion: The Arab radical lies that Israel is a nation of genocidal killers; the moderate retorts that of course it's true but the children aren't responsible for being brainwashed by those evil monsters.


Certainly, the best Western strategy in today's Middle East is to cooperate with relatively moderate states and groups opposed to the spread of radical Islamism and Iranian-Syrian influence.


The first problem is that many in the West are more interested in courting the extremists in the mistaken belief they'll change.


The second problem is that even those whose objective interests are relatively moderate and parallel those of the West and Israel — even those acknowledging this fact in private — aren't willing to speak and act along these lines.


The third problem is that there are few moderates and that the spectrum of debate is dominated by extremists and those who pretend to be radical for safety's sake or to exploit militancy for their own advantage.


Oh, by the way, the program in which Arab viewers were told that Israeli schools teach children to murder Arabs wasn't aired on the Hizbullah channel but on the BBC's Arabic service. That's quite a service. Incitement to terrorism thanks to British taxpayer money. Political insanity denied can be contagious.


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JWR contributor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, Interdisciplinary Center, and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs. His latest book is "The Truth About Syria".


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© 2007, Barry Rubin