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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 May 11, 2009 / 17 Iyar 5769

Sometimes it is more essential to define the nature of evil than good

By Jonathan Rosenblum


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Upon his first visit to one of the liberated death camps, Allied Supreme Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "There are those who ask what are we fighting for. Let them come here and see what we are fighting against." Eisenhower's remark contains an important insight: Sometimes it is more essential that one define the nature of evil than that one define what is good. About the latter, there will inevitably be many opinions. But they need not prevent a consensus from coalescing around the definition of evil.


I was reminded of that point last week as I watched The Third Jihad, the third in a trilogy of documentaries on the threat of radical Islam produced by Raphael Shore and Wayne Kopping. Towards the end of the documentary one of the experts interviewed, former CIA intelligence officer Clare Lopez declared, "The real war is between the values of freedom and barbarism. If we are not willing to recognize the battle as one for our civilization, we might as well give up right now."


The last time the West faced such a civilizational threat, many refused to recognize the nature of the conflict. In Troublesome Young Me, Lynne Olsen offers a gripping account of the group of youthful Conservative backbenchers, who eventually ousted British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain from power and brought in Winston Churchill in his place, nearly a year after the outbreak of World War II.


England entered that war totally unprepared, and lagging far behind Germany in every respect, apart from its navy. Even after Britain proclaimed war, following the Nazi invasion of Poland, Chamberlain pursued it half-heartedly and dreamed of an imminent peace. Britain and France bombed only German military targets most narrowly defined. Meanwhile Luftwaffe pilots in Poland followed orders to "close [their] hearts to pity," happily machine-gunning women and girls picking potatoes, bombing churches and hospitals, and strafing toddlers being herded to safety.


The parallels between today and the earlier period are eerie. Chamberlain, like President Obama today, enjoyed an overwhelming majority in Parliament. His party whips enforced party discipline with an iron hand — think Rahm Emanuel — and backbenchers who stepped out of line put their political futures on the line.


In another interesting parallel, Chamberlain enjoyed almost across the board fawning support from the press and the BBC. That included self-imposed censorship on the information reaching the British public. After the Anschluss, British papers carried no pictures of the hundreds shot in the first days after the Nazi takeover, of the tens of thousands arrested and sent to concentration camps, or of Nazi soldiers forcing Jewish doctors, lawyers and professors to scrub the streets and clean toilets on their hands and knees. When reporters asked Chamberlain about such matters, he snapped at them for believing "Jewish-Communist propaganda," and that was the end of the matter.


The British press ignored both the massive German arms build-up prior to the War, and the pitiful state of British preparedness. Both before and after the conflict started, it suppressed mention or quotations from Hitler's speeches that would have conveyed a much different impression of his goals. As a British TV character tartly observed forty years later, "It is hard to censor the press when it wants to be free, but easy if it gives up its freedom voluntarily."


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Chamberlain never read Mein Kampf, in which Hitler laid out in startling fashion both his future plans for the Jews and for German conquest. Far from viewing Hitler as an evil man, Chamberlain believed him to be a "gentleman," with whom he could do business. He was more than once shocked to find that Hitler had lied to him, even though that too was foreshadowed in Mein Kampf, Said future Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, "He didn't believe people existed [who would] say one thing and do another. …It was pathetic, really."


Chamberlain, according to Olsen, ''could never bring himself to believe that [Hitler and Mussolini] wanted to go to war. Clinging to the security of his ignorance, he created a peace-loving image of them that defied reality." For a decade, the English and French did nothing in response to fascist aggression in Abyssinia (Ethiopia), Austria, and Czechoslovakia, and precious little even in the wake of the German invasion of Poland.

France and England thereby encouraged Hitler to believe they were too weak to prevail, a judgment in which he was very nearly right. That should have taught us — but did not — that those who hope to avoid war via appeasement inevitably end up fighting later on worse terms.


At no point, did Chamberlain recognize that Hitler constituted a mortal threat to Western civilization. As a consequence, he displayed far more ruthlessness fighting those within his own party who dared challenge his policies than he did in fighting Hitler.


The inability to recognize Hitler as evil incarnate is the most frightening parallel to today. President Ronald Reagan was reviled by Western elites for calling the Soviet Union the Evil Empire, as was President George W. Bush for grouping Iran, North Korea, and Saddam Hussein's Iraq together as the Axis of Evil.


The West still remains incapable of acknowledging evil or giving credence to the pronouncements of evil men. Ayatollah Khomeini long ago made clear that he was prepared to see Iran go up "in flames," if the worldwide rule of Islam were thereby furthered. Mutual assured destruction, says Bernard Lewis, the greatest living authority on Islam, is for Ahmadinejad, "not a deterrent but an incentive." Surveying the scene in Beslan, where Chenyan Muslims killed nearly 300 Russian schoolchildren, one of the speakers on The Third Jihad puts the point succinctly: Why should those who don't hesitate to send out their own children to be killed hesitate to kill other peoples' children?


Yet the highest wisdom in the West today is to not take seriously the threats of Ahmadinejad or the speculations of the Iranian leadership about the mathematics of a nuclear exchange with Israel. They are not madmen, we are constantly told.


President Obama has no taste for confrontation with radical Islam (only with Israel). He cannot even admit that it exists. Evil, it seems, is one of the few words that does not come trippingly off his tongue.

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JWR contributor Jonathan Rosenblum is founder of Jewish Media Resources and a widely-read columnist for the Jerusalem Post's domestic and international editions and for the Hebrew daily Maariv. He is also a respected commentator on Israeli politics, society, culture and the Israeli legal system, who speaks frequently on these topics in the United States, Europe, and Israel. His articles appear regularly in numerous Jewish periodicals in the United States and Israel. Rosenblum is the author of seven biographies of major modern Jewish figures. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Yale Law School. Rosenblum lives in Jerusalem with his wife and eight children.






© 2007, Jonathan Rosenblum