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 March 3, 2006 / 3 Adar, 5766

Should we just give Hamas a chance?

By Jonathan Tobin

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

Pleas to continue aid are a rerun of the whitewashing of Arafat

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Life is about giving credit where credit is due: Jewish right-wingers and centrists were wrong — and left-wingers right — about some things.

The Jewish left was right that Israel couldn't afford to ignore the demographic disaster that holding on to lands where millions of Palestinians lived represented. But there was never a clear answer on this question from the right until Ariel Sharon reversed course and called for a withdrawal from Gaza.

He said Israel should maintain as much of the land and as many settlements as possible, and withdraw behind a security barrier and wait there for a new generation of Palestinians who preferred peace to bloodshed.

The Sharon policy — now inherited by his successor, Ehud Olmert — of unilateral withdrawal represented an acknowledgement that the left was fundamentally correct about a demographic reality that could be argued with (as some still do), but not ignored.

This has given members of the so-called "peace camp," both here and in Israel, a reason to feel a degree of satisfaction — and they are entitled to it.

But, unfortunately, this wisdom does not extend to other aspects of the left's prescription for Israel.

After all, the left also spent the 1990s touting Yasser Arafat and his Fatah-led Palestinian Authority as a true partner for peace. This wasn't just limited to those heady days in September 1993, when the euphoria of the signing of the Oslo accords on the White House lawn spread false hope near and wide. Leftists continued in this fashion throughout the decade, even as proof of Arafat's unwillingness to keep his word about peace became apparent to all except those whose ideological blinders failed to let them see the light.

The left may have been right about demography. But it was dead wrong on its insistence that the Palestinians wanted peace, and could be trusted to hold fast to their agreements. Empowering terrorists did not make them peace partners; it led only to a greater number of dead Jews.

The collapse of Oslo resurrected Sharon's political career, but, ironically, his subsequent decision to seek a centrist path has given new life to the left and emboldened it on another issue.

Only one year after Arafat's designated successor, Mahmoud Abbas, took power, his Fatah Party was trounced in balloting that brought Hamas, an Islamist terrorist movement, to power.

It's probably unfair to Hamas to see it as a huge change from Abbas and Fatah. After all, Fatah was just as involved in terrorism against Israel as Hamas. But the victory of Hamas is a change in one respect. Unlike Arafat and Abbas, Hamas isn't willing to lie about its goals, or even its tactics.

Hamas and its leaders will not recognize Israel or renounce terror. It's true that Arafat and Abbas did so, while clearly intending to continue their war anyway (a point they made in Arabic to Arab audiences when they thought the West wasn't listening). But Hamas' hate for Israel and the Jews is so deeply ingrained in its religious beliefs that it will not stoop to such subterfuges.

Surely, this means that the chorus of apologies and excuses for Arafat that characterized the Jewish left's attitude toward the P.A. during Oslo would not be repeated for Hamas. No serious American Jewish group could stand up for a continuance of American funding of the P.A. now that it's in the hands of self-avowed terrorists.

But instead of the left repenting of its foolish refusal to see the truth about the Palestinians, it's repeating its mistakes with Hamas.

Palestinian elections weren't even over before many on the left began speaking of looking for "moderates" among the Hamas cadres. And joining with such inveterate Israel-bashers as former President Jimmy Carter, they began calling on President Bush and the Europeans to back off on their threats of an aid cutoff.

Spokespeople for groups like the highly influential Israel Policy Forum, as well as the persistent Americans for Peace Now, want foreign cash to keep flowing to the P.A. to give Hamas a chance. While acknowledging the nasty nature of the terror group, leftists are playing the same game with these folks that they did when they were wooing Fatah terrorists. Hamas will "do business" with Israel, they claim, if we let it. IPF spokesman M.J. Rosenberg writes that Hamas can be "trusted" to keep a truce with Israel, even as he ignores the fact that Palestinians expect it to keep fighting.

Leftists tell us that cutting off Hamas will lead to more Palestinian extremism, as if anything could be more extreme than Hamas' eliminationist covenant of hatred for Jews and Israel.

Even worse, they play upon our sympathy for the Palestinians when they assert that an aid cut-off will only increase hardship for them. Is it fair, they ask, to punish everyday Palestinians for making a democratic choice?

The answer is: Of course, it's fair! If it's their will to be represented by those who pledge an unending war — with Israel's destruction and the mass slaughter of Jews as its end goal — then they should be held accountable for that choice.

Moreover, to continue the flow of aid to the P.A. will confer upon the leaders of Hamas a mantle of legitimacy that they'll use to solidify their hold on power.

Working with Hamas or giving its leadership "a chance" to strengthen the foundations of a terrorist infrastructure unhindered is not pragmatic. It's insanity! And it's lunacy to do so using the same arguments that were employed to wrongly whitewash Arafat.


Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).

That so many otherwise intelligent Jews take this stand is perhaps another manifestation of what Harvard psychiatrist Ken Levin calls the "Oslo syndrome" in his 2005 book of the same name. In the work, Levin theorizes that the effects of the long siege of Israel and the Jews have resulted in a willingness on the part of some to embrace any hope of peace — even a delusion like Oslo.

But the problem is that by using their considerable influence in this country on those who share their views — on editorial pages of papers like The New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer — the Jewish left isn't just spinning harmless fantasies. If they are able to undermine the consensus against aiding Hamas, they will drive a dangerous wedge between Jerusalem and Washington.

And still, the war on Israel continues. Resolutions calling for divestment — a form of economic warfare — continue to gain ground within Protestant churches and among academics.

Israeli intelligence sources believe that it's only a matter of time before a new wave of Palestinian terror begins. And it's a given that some on the left will blame the new round of war on Israel, just as they blamed it for the duplicity of Arafat and Abbas.

Much of the Jewish right has owned up to its mistakes in the past, and has now adopted realistic policies aimed at preserving a Jewish majority in a secure Israel. It's high time for the Jewish left to do the same before a repetition of its past mistakes causes even more harm.

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

JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here.

Jonathan Tobin Archives

© 2005, Jonathan Tobin