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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 Oct. 30, 2008 / 1 Mar-Cheshvan 5769

The End of the Special Relationship?

By Jonathan Rosenblum


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For those inclined to see the workings of Divine Providence in human history, the special affinity of the American people for Israel provides a happy example. If Israel could have only one consistent ally in the world, it would surely have picked the world's (still) most powerful nation. Without the United States, Israel would be hard pressed to obtain the weapons needed to defend itself.

American popular support for Israel has many sources. The first is historical. The Puritan founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony self-consciously modeled themselves on the ancient Hebrews, and styled themselves as the New Israel. The Hebrew Bible provided their guidance. All the early presidents of Yale College were Hebraists, and the College's insignia was patterned on the Urim ve'Tumim (breastplate) worn by the Kohen Gadol (high priest).

To this day, Americans remain by far the most religious people in the Western world. Seventy million American evangelicals constitute Israel's most ardent supporters. Americans have always tended to be jealous of their sovereignty and willing to defend against any threat to their liberty. The state motto of New Hampshire, "Live Free or Die," captures that spirit. As such, they admire Israel's doughty self-defense against far more numerous enemies.

In Western terms, America is a Center-Right country. A major aspect of the American exceptionalism discussed by historians is its failure to develop a class-based political movement. That too has strengthened the bonds to Israel. Among American liberals, who tend to see the world in terms of victims and oppressors, 59% view the Palestinians more or equally sympathetically (according to a 2002 Gallup poll). Among conservatives, whose focus is on particular values and the determination to defend them, 59% view Israel more favorably.

The presence in America of the world's largest Jewish community — a community that is both wealthy and politically active — has also shored up American support for Israel. (That community, however, is diminishing both in numbers and concern with Israel; many of the most active supporters of Israel in Congress come from states with few Jews.)


BELIEF IN AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM, its chosenness, has always played a major role in American civic religion. The two dominant conceptions of American foreign policy — isolationism and liberal internationalism — are both predicated upon an assumption of American moral superiority. Isolationists fear contamination from the "foreign entanglements," of which President George Washington warned of in his Farewell Address. Liberal internationalists seek to remake the world in America's image.

Senator Barack Obama represents a third foreign policy approach — what Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington calls the "cosmopolitan." Far from taking American virtue as its starting point, the cosmopolitan seeks to remake America in Europe's image.

Thus Senator Obama presented himself to Europeans last summer as a citizen of the world, one of them. "Mr. Obama," in the words of Fouad Ajami, "proceeds from the notion of American guilt. We called up the furies ... ." He accepts the Western European critique of America's aggressiveness, and seeks to restore American "moral standing" in the eyes of the world.

He shares the Europeans contempt for the terminology of good and evil: "A lot of evil's been perpetuated based on the claim that we were fighting evil," he says. If his heart thrilled at the sight of Iraqis twice braving suicide bombers to go the polls, he kept it to himself. The war in Iraq, in his view, was nothing more than a "cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors ... to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the cost in lives lost and in hardships born."

And he expresses understanding of the grievances for the perpetrators of evil — Hamas, Hizbullah, even the perpetrators of 9/11, which he characteristically portrayed as part of "an underlying struggle between worlds of plenty and worlds of want" (despite the affluent backgrounds of the attackers). He voted against a Senate bill to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.

Senator Obama's most fervent support has come from the university campuses and cultural elites — where attitudes tend most to resemble those of Western Europeans and where scorn for those who "cling to guns or religion" runs rampant. The campuses also happen to be the redoubts of the greatest hostility to Israel.


AN AMERICA THAT MORE CLOSELY RESEMBLES Western Europe will not be good for Israel. Western Europeans consistently rate Israel the greatest threat to world peace. And they are remarkably cavalier about Israel's defense of its own existence. Recent memory does not include any Israeli response to attack that the Europeans did not deem disproportionate. The Western European countries have done little to prevent the United Nations from degenerating into an anti-Israel debating society, and a number have supported or abstained on U.N. Human Rights Council resolutions supportive of anti-Israel "resistance" — i.e., terrorism.

Many commonly-held attitudes predispose Europeans against Israel. Western Europe is far along a project of transferring political legitimacy from nation-states to supranational organizations, like the European Union, the United Nations and the International Criminal Court. Having achieved their nation-state rather late in the day, the Jews of Israel remain proud of it. To the Europeans, however, a non-Moslem state based on national/religious identity appears an atavism.

Western Europe's almost religious faith in international institutions of open membership, like the U.N., and a declining concern with national sovereignty threaten Israel. International criminal jurisdiction has already rendered Israeli military personnel wary of traveling abroad. Senator Obama frequently demonstrates a similar reverence for the U.N., and has a long list of international treaty obligations to which he is eager to submit the United States.

Europe has adopted a stance of appeasement towards both external threats and to Islamic minorities within. (Ironically, the United States, which offers no special dispensation to Moslems, has done a far better job of integrating Moslem immigrants than European countries.) Europeans' abhorrence of any resort to military action causes them to instinctively recoil from Israel, as the superior military power in the region.

Having moved beyond simplistic categories of good and evil, Europeans try to take, at best, an even-handed approach to any conflict, invariably warning, for instance, against a "cycle of violence" whenever Israel responds to attack. Obama's immediate call for "mutual restraint" after the Russian invasion of Georgia was a classic example of that tendency.

At worse, European sophistication favors whichever party can present itself as the aggrieved underdog, or serves to mask an ugly cynicism, as in the recent multi-billion deals signed by Austrian and Swiss energy companies with Iran.

To the extent that Senator Obama's likely election betokens a move towards a more European America, the special ties that have bound the people of America and Israel show signs of fraying.

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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.






© 2008, Jonathan Rosenblum