In this issue

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 August 6, 2010 / 26 Menachem-Av, 5770

Case Closed: Embarrass Them

By Mona Charen

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For now, the Iranian government has suspended the death by stoning sentence meted out to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the 43-year-old mother of two who was convicted of adultery. There is a lesson here.

There is often debate in free countries about whether it is counterproductive to protest human rights outrages committed by repressive countries. For most of the past decade, for example, while Hugo Chavez has cemented his relationship with Iran, he has made life for Venezuela's Jewish community more and more precarious. More than once, regime thugs have invaded Jewish community centers and synagogues. These violent outbursts were accompanied by escalating anti-Semitic rhetoric from state-controlled media and from the president himself.

A debate erupted within American Jewish circles. Is it better to protest loudly and publicly or will this simply make the lives of Jews in Venezuela that much harder? Writing in the Miami Herald in January 2008, Dina Siegel Vann of the American Jewish Committee cautioned that "Shouting and screaming from the safety of the United States may feel good to some, but the goal of the exercise is not to satisfy their needs (but those) of Venezuelan Jews who have repeatedly said that such behavior is likely to exacerbate the situation. ... Many in decision-making positions in the U.S. government have rightly, if belatedly, concluded that public confrontation with his regime should be avoided when possible."

Leaving aside the assertion that Venezuelan Jews preferred their American co-religionists to remain silent (many did not), and acknowledging that some in "decision-making positions in the U.S. government" preferred back-channel diplomacy (that would be the State Department), the call for "quiet diplomacy" sacrifices too much.

As we have seen in the case of Ashtiani, international protests very much do affect the way even the worst regimes treat their people.

During the 1970s, Jewish groups around the world drew attention to the plight of Jews in the Soviet Union. Through demonstrations, letter-writing, organizing at synagogues and on university campuses, even picketing the visiting Bolshoi Ballet, activists highlighted the fact that Jews in the USSR were not only second-class citizens, they were prisoners as well. Of course, all of the citizens of the USSR were prisoners, too. But only the Jews had an international cheering section. Bill Buckley wrote at the time that he hoped the Soviets would release every Jew who wished to emigrate — except one — so that the protests would continue.

The agitation on behalf of Soviet Jewry came at a time when the West was deeply wedded to the idea of detente, which in practice meant not just live and let live, but was thought to require self-censorship on our part. It became bad manners to call too much attention to the spirit-crushing tyranny behind the Iron Curtain. The Jewish protesters embarrassed the State Department and other "decision makers" within the U.S. government.

But they won. In 1974, Congress passed the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which linked "most favored nation" trade status to freedom of emigration. As Richard Perle, one of the drafters, recalled later, "It had a galvanizing effect on millions of Soviet citizens — Jews and non-Jews — who understood that people in the West ... were willing to stand with people seeking freedom."

Natan Sharansky, who was a "prisoner of conscience" in the Gulag when President Reagan delivered his "evil empire" speech spoke of its effect. "It was the great brilliant moment when we learned that Ronald Reagan had proclaimed the Soviet Union an evil empire before the entire world . . . that moment made it impossible for anyone in the West to continue closing their eyes to the real nature of the Soviet Union."

Ashtiani, who has already received 99 lashes in the presence of her teenage son, was facing "imminent" stoning — a method of execution that is really torturing someone to death. The Iranians have carried out such sentences — most often on women (you can find pictures on the Internet if you can stand it) — many times in the past. Never before has an international outcry been triggered. But Ashtiani's two children have gotten the message out, and protests have erupted across the globe. Eighty prominent people including Condoleezza Rice, Robert Redford, the president of the European Parliament, Robert De Niro, Bernard-Henri Levy, and three former British foreign ministers signed an open letter in the Times of London condemning the regime. The president of Brazil, lately a pal of Ahmadinejad's, was even moved to offer the woman sanctuary in his country.

The public shaming of the Iranian regime has possibly saved Ashtiani's life. We are left to imagine what sort of electric effect a strong show of support from our current president might have on the rest of Iran's suffering people.

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.

Comment on JWR contributor Mona Charen's column by clicking here.

Mona Charen Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate