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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 March 6, 2012/ 12 Adar, 5772

The romance of the empty rhetoric

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Words, words, words. Stonewall Jackson famously told soldiers to "make short speeches, and when you draw the sword throw away the scabbard."

Barack Obama is obsessed with words. He never learned to make a short speech, and he's certainly no Stonewall Jackson. The Israelis understand that, however well-meaning he may be. The president may even believe most of the stuff he hears himself say.

Mr. Obama made another pretty speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, on Sunday and thrilled only those who gorge on the romance of rhetoric. Mr. Obama and his teleprompter put on a show of bluffery that was surely the envy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "Iran's leaders should know," the president said, "that I do not have a policy of containment. I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. And as I've made clear time and again during the course of my presidency, I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests."

Almost any Iranian truck driver could guide a Mack truck through the loopholes with no fear of scratching the paint. The president won't hesitate when it's "necessary" to defend the United States and its "interests." The president, of course, will decide when it's "necessary," and he gets to determine what those "interests" may be. It may be "necessary" to soothe the Islamic world by doing nothing beyond making still another speech. The "interests" of the United States, as Mr. Obama might define them, could only be defended by another bow from the presidential waist.


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Binyamin Netanyahu, the visiting Israeli prime minister who is accustomed to tense visits to friends in Washington, reminded Mr. Obama the next day that despite the president's scolding about "loose talk of war" his own responsibility to his country is "to ensure that Israel remains the master of its fate." He could have reminded the president of the reply of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney to French demands for tribute and other bribes for "offensive" remarks by President John Adams to Tallyrand: "Millions for defense, sir, but not one cent for tribute." Such plain speech has gone out of style in Washington, when and where it is needed most. But not in Jerusalem, where the prospect of hanging naturally focuses the mind, as Dr. Johnson said it does.

Mr. Obama, with his high regard for his reputation as a man with singular gifts of pretty speech, no doubt imagines he has discharged his obligations to an ally with words (and a few notes of music). If he were a true student of the Muslim mind, instead of being merely an admirer of the cultural gifts of Islam (such as they are), he would understand that the hard men in Tehran hear his rhetoric not as kindly sentiment but as evidence of weakness and flaccid impotence. That's why they so eagerly get on with the pursuit of the weapons needed to "wipe Israel off the map." The Islamic despots understand a thing or two about empty rhetoric.

Nobody wants war, which is always bad for all living things. The Israelis understand that a nuclear weapon in evil hands will be bad for Israel most of all. "I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," Mr. Obama told AIPAC, "I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say." This echoes his declaration earlier to an interviewer that he doesn't bluff. Alas, a man who doesn't bluff never has to say so; if he makes such a boast it's usually a giveaway that he's bluffing. When Richard Nixon declared that he was not a crook everyone took that as confirmation that he was. Some things are most obvious when unspoken.

Through word and lack of deed, Mr. Obama leaves the inevitable impression that he regards the standoff between Iran and Israel in terms of moral equivalence, not as the harsh reality that it's Iran's boast that it is building the weapons to destroy the Jewish state that is the source of fear and loathing in the Middle East. It's Mr. Obama's insistence that he prefers diplomacy that reassures the mullahs in Tehran, that he is counting on his eloquent bluster, boasting and bombast that will make the Iranians and their like-minded friends repent and behave themselves.

The president's romantic rhetoric only persuades them that he wears an empty scabbard.

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.

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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