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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 August 4, 2014 / 8 Menachem-Av, 5774

And the war came

By Paul Greenberg




JewishWorldReview.com | The innocent American could only read the headlines and shake his head sorrowfully at the continuing carnage in Gaza -- a pillar of fire by night and a cloud of smoke by day. How did this happen again? Simple: Hamas renewed its indiscriminate attacks on Israel through overhead rockets, underground tunnels, words and deeds -- and Israel finally responded in force.

Not just the innocent but the sophisticated observer has to wonder: Why? What's the sense of it? There seems none from the rational -- that is, the conventionally Western -- point of view. Which may explain why generations of Western diplomats, denizens of think tanks, and Deep Thinkers in general, have failed to make sense of this ever-renewed conflict, let alone end it.

All these modern Panglosses come off as hopelessly naive as John Kerry, and as completely ineffectual as Hillary Clinton -- the last two secretaries of state to preside over American foreign policy in that always dangerous part of the world. And both succeeded mainly in making it more dangerous.

Despite all the years of negotiations, hopeful beginnings that prove false starts, agreements that no one may agree with soon enough, temporary truces that prove all too temporary, the missiles and rockets soon fly again. And we're all back to reading, and some of us may even have to write about, the latest war in the Middle East as the bodies pile up. The place has been a trap since the days of Samson and the Philistines, and a trap it remains. Even if this latest temporary truce had held, it was fated to be only temporary.

Despite the best intentions of all, naive or knowledgeable, who cry Peace, Peace ... there is no peace. For the violent bear it away time and time again. Violence seems as endemic to Gaza as its heat and flies. And its wars.

Why? Surely it doesn't have to be this way, and yet the war came. Why? At such times the heretical thought occurs that, yes, it does have to be this way, for there are some conflicts that are by their nature irreconcilable, irrepressible and therefore unavoidable, even inevitable.


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As unacceptable as so heretical a thought has become in the more nicefied precincts of the West, it keeps recurring. Lest we forget, there was a time when Western civilization, too, was split by holy wars fueled by religious fervor. It was not until 1648 that the treaties of Westphalia put an end to the Thirty Years' War and its slaughter by assigning disputed principalities to the formal faith of their sovereigns. But even after religious wars no longer divided Europe, they became national and ideological in character, and even deadlier.

One such irrepressible conflict finally bubbled to the surface even on these supposedly peaceful shores, and could no longer be put off any longer -- despite the best efforts of statesmen whose talents far exceeded those of the present generation's. Statesmen like Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun and the great compromiser himself, Henry Clay. Yet all failed to put off the Irreconcilable Conflict forever. And the war came.

The saddest and most vicious breed of war, civil war, would ravage a no longer United States of America, and neither North nor South would emerge as they were before. The old republic would be forever gone, replaced by one nation indivisible, the old South dead. However much nostalgists miss it, and lovers of freedom hated it, the antebellum South is beyond reviving. War can change things, sometimes definitively. It did the Union, even though it now goes by the same name.

Many and complex reasons are still adduced by historians who, in the way of historians, can be relied on to come up with still another explanation for the Civil War in every generation. For it remains the central tragedy of American history. It was left to one of those earlier statesmen, to sum up in a few words the cause of that irrepressible conflict. Abraham Lincoln did it in his second inaugural address. With its concise clarity and Biblical overtones, it still echoes and re-echoes in time because of its eloquence and understanding -- and simplicity:



"On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it -- all sought to avert it. ... Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came."

Some conflicts are as simple as they are terrible. In today's continuing, and surely to be continued, war between Hamas and Israel, one party would make war rather than let a nation survive, while the other would accept war rather than let it perish. Which is why so many Israelis seem to recognize that this is all part of one long existential war, that is, a war concerned with their nation's very existence. And that some conflicts will not be settled till they are settled by force.

That is the irreconcilable, the undeniable, obdurate essence of a war that may make no sense from afar, but whose outcome, in this round or any that follow, makes all too much sense to both sides. To one, nothing but the obliteration of the other would be an acceptable outcome of the whole, long struggle. Hamas' very charter, its constitution, its founding document, says so. The other, Israel, feels its very survival is at stake, and is not about to cooperate in its own extinction. And the war came.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Paul Greenberg is the Pulitzer prize-winning editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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