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 April 23, 2008 / 18 Nissan 5768

Making Sense of the ‘J Street’ Jive

By Jonathan Tobin

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New D.C. Jewish lobby seeks to undermine AIPAC in the name of mythical Arab moderates

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It is not exactly a secret that in some quarters, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, better known as AIPAC, is seen as a vast, powerful organization that has run roughshod over Capitol Hill and imposed a pro-Israel slant on American foreign policy.

For those who have been asleep for the past couple of years, that is, more or less, the thesis of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of "The Israel Lobby," a book that has propelled those two otherwise respected but obscure scholars into stars of the left-wing academic speechmaking circuit.

This was the same line taken by former president Jimmy Carter in his 2006 "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which similarly libeled American Jews and sought to delegitimize American supporters of the Jewish state.

Of course, both books are bunk.

The reason why the overwhelming majority of Americans back Israel has little to do with AIPAC's lobbying prowess and everything to do with the fact that most of us rightly see Israel as a democratic ally with Western values, assailed by Arab and Muslim authoritarians and Islamists. Oh, yes, then there is the small detail that a huge slice of the U.S. electorate believe that their Christian faith makes it imperative that they support Israel.

But that said, AIPAC has done a pretty good job rallying this natural goodwill for Israel, and turning it into votes for measures that buck up the alliance between Jerusalem and Washington.

Indeed, it has been doing this job for so long that it's getting hard for a lot of us to remember that once upon a time, support for Zionism was once very effectively countered by State Department Arabists and oil-industry advocates.

And despite the fact that anti-Israel members of Congress are a minority these days, foes of the Jewish state still make themselves heard with ease in Washington and in the academy. They are, after all, funded by a source that actually dwarfs AIPAC's American Jewish donors: the Saudis and the Persian Gulf states.

But not all of AIPAC's critics are avowed anti-Zionists. For some American Jews, AIPAC's success in mobilizing a broad bipartisan coalition in favor of the alliance is somehow troubling. For self-proclaimed "doves," AIPAC has become part of what they see as an American-Jewish-made obstacle to peace. Some on the Jewish left are now seeking to, in the words of a Jewish Telegraphic Agency report on the subject, "play tough" with AIPAC via the creation of an organization calling itself J Street in a takeoff on the fact that many D.C. lobbyists work on the city's K Street.

J Street's appeal seems to center on the notion that members of Congress are under the misapprehension that the alleged right-wing slant of AIPAC is not representative of the views of most American Jews who are, according to J Street's backers, doves like them.

They want to help promote American support for Palestinian and other Arab "moderates." J Street's goal will be to puncture AIPAC's aura of power and make it clear that the "pro-peace" lobby is the true voice of American Jewry, as well as being more genuinely supportive of the interests of Israel.

It is a free country, and J Street has every right to use the reported $1.5 million raised on its behalf to say anything it wants to Congress or anyone else. But the group's premise is flawed in several respects.

The first is the notion that Jewish criticisms of Israel are being suppressed in this country.

In promoting these "dovish" views, they are, after all, hardly alone. Other groups, including the influential Israel Policy Forum, already provide a forum for the "peace now" crowd. Nor are such views absent from the American media, which are flooded with abuse of Israel and where defenses of Jewish rights in the conflict, as well as the state's measures of self-defense, are often lacking.

Moreover, the notion that AIPAC is a creature of Israel's Likudnik right is another falsehood.

AIPAC, itself the creation of a broad coalition of groups, has always reflexively supported the point of view of all Israeli governments, including the ones that promoted the Oslo peace accords and the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. Throughout the entire period of Oslo-inspired peace euphoria, as well as during the leadup to the pullout from Gaza, AIPAC's policies were a source of great frustration to right-wingers, who, at times, themselves sought to outflank the lobby.

More importantly, the notion underlying the whole initiative is based on belief in a creature as mythical as the unicorn: Palestinian peaceniks.

The current situation, in which the Islamists of Hamas clearly command the support of the majority of Palestinians, while being physically in control of Gaza, is deplorable. But it is a fact.

Diplomatic charlatans, such as the aforementioned Jimmy Carter, may tirelessly promote, as he did just this week, the idea that Hamas wants peace but no one — not even the Palestinians — believe him. Its goal is not a secret: the destruction of the Jewish state and not merely its withdrawal behind the 1949 armistice lines.

On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority — the body that Israel's government and the Bush administration claim is "moderate" — is powerless to make peace, even if they really want it. But given the role that the P.A., and its Fatah and Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade components, plays in fomenting hate and terror against Jews and Israel, faith in their good intentions requires a substantial suspension of disbelief.

More to the point, in the aftermath of the crackup of Oslo, the second intifada and the rise of Hamas, the whole idea of American Jewry, as well as Israeli voters being split along "right" and "left" fault lines about peace, is an outdated concept.

The vast majority of both Israelis and American Jews no longer support the idea of holding onto most of the territories. But the concept that more Israeli concessions (on top of the enormous sacrifices in terms of land and blood already made by Israel in the name of peace) will transform the Palestinians into peace partners is discredited. The majority of Israelis would gladly make a land for peace deal. But they now understand that there is currently no one to make it with.

That's a tough pill for many of us to swallow. For those who prefer to focus on false notions of Israeli intransigence, rather than the actual record of the last 15 years of failed attempts at peacemaking, J Street will provide an outlet.

In the coming months, J Street will probably use whatever influence it can muster to undermine the pro-Israel community's continued attempts to ask Congress and the White House to hold both Hamas and Fatah accountable for their support of terror and hate education for Palestinian kids. They'll probably fail. But that they will do so in the name of peace won't make their position any less foolish, as well as irresponsible.

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

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