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 June 11, 2004 / 22 Sivan, 5764

The Making of A Mid-East Conspiracy: Nicholas Berg Was Not Beheaded

By Steven Stalinsky

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https://www.jewishworldreview.com | Following the beheading of Nicholas Berg in May by terrorist Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, the killing became the latest in a long line of conspiracy theories which have emerged from the Arab and Iranian media.

Ibrahim Al-Fayoumi, a member of Egypt's Al-Azhar Islamic university, stated on May 12th that the beheading of any person, dead or alive, is forbidden by Islamic law, but that he thought that the Berg case was "American propaganda to divert from the [Abu Ghureib] scandal."

An article titled "The Unexamined Life of Nicholas Berg," which appeared in the Saudi daily Arab News on May 21, questioned Nick Berg's presence in Iraq, alluding to his alleged connections to the Mossad as a "communication spy." The article also placed doubt on Al-Zarqawi's involvement in Berg's murder.

The Iranian daily Tehran Times of May 18th included an article which called the Berg beheading a fraud: "Not only were the purported screams of Nick Berg not in synchrony with the decapitation, but there was also a total lack of blood ... We forwarded the video to … a forensic expert… He wrote back … that in his opinion the video is a fraud…" The paper cited 'La Voz de Aztlan' as its source. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the L.A.-based paper is "the racist and antisemitic Web magazine of a tiny group of extremist Chicanos."

On May 20th, Dr. Sheik-Attar, an Iranian political commentator, appeared on Iranian channel Jaam-E-Jam 2 and blamed the CIA for murdering Berg, to overshadow the Abu Ghureib prison scandal. He explained that previous U.S. actions had created such a precedent: "A chance observation of The Bay of Pigs and Cuba affair [shows that] a senior CIA official told [CIA director] Allen Dulles, 'We can sacrifice seven or eight Americans there.' That was supposed to serve as pretext for attack, but Kennedy opposed it. This is not unprecedented. Absolutely, that is their method."

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A May 15th story on Aljazeera.net discussed conspiracy theories in online Arab chat rooms regarding the Berg beheading, and the article "raised numerous questions concerning its authenticity." Questions involved: Why Nick Berg was wearing an orange jumpsuit, the timing of the executioner's announcement that Berg was to die for "Iraqi prisoner abuse," and Berg's Jewish background. Other questions included why "the body is completely motionless even as the knife is brought to bear …" The Arab bloggers write that the accent of the executioner is not Iraqi or Jordanian, and that Al-Zarqawi was believed to have been killed in March. One writer observes that his face is so well-known that "why would he bother to cover it?"

Fares.net, one of the first Arabic Internet sites, included on May 17 discussions on Berg's killing, concluding that the videotape was a fabrication. Translations of the Arab bloggers statements include: The bodies of the killers looked husky, unlike the thin and agile bodies of Iraqis; The hands of those people looked very white; Their motions looked like those of Westerners; In the videotape a Western voice was heard saying "thy will be done," which is an expression that even an Arab well versed in English would not use; and the chair on which Berg was sitting is the same kind that Lynddie England, who is accused of abuse in Abu Ghraib, was photographed sitting in, and is the same kind as chairs seen in that prison.

Other questions brought up by the Arab bloggers include: Was Berg used to carry out the bombings that Al-Zarqawi was accused of? Did the U.S. set the killing up to save Bush's standing in the upcoming elections? One person wrote "If you thought that the Americans could not possibly go that far … remember the black history of the CIA … and remember who killed the President of the U.S. John Kennedy?" Another wrote, "Since Berg visited several countries in the world, he could have been a Mossad agent, and the Mossad wanted to get rid of him..."

The site included side-by-side close-up pictures of Berg, one with a beard from the beheading videotape, and another one is a bespectacled picture of him released by his family. A line was drawn along his nose, which was supposedly straight in the family picture and crooked in the other one. The caption under the pictures says: notice the difference. The real Berg is on the left, not the one in prison garb.

Like many other conspiracy theories told in the Middle East, this one too will likely gain acceptance as time goes by.

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Steven Stalinsky is Executive Director of The Middle East Media Research Institute (www.memri.org). Click here to comment on this column.

© 2004, MEMRI