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 28, 2014 / 28 Nissan, 5774

A Cold German Spring for Merkel and Putin

By Suzanne Fields

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | BERLIN — Berlin enjoyed an unusually warm winter (just the opposite of ours), but the blast of frigid air ushering in spring seems especially suited to accompany the changing attitudes many Germans express in their view of a restive world.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's calculating behavior, first in the Crimea and now in Ukraine, sends chills down the spine of the body politic. Once gaga over Barack Obama, their warmth has turned to frost. They, like many Americans, are particularly bitter over his collecting electronic data of ordinary Germans and eavesdropping on Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.

They once laughed at the contrived macho images of Mr. Putin's bare chest, his strong arms performing the butterfly stroke, his posing next to the pike he caught that was almost as tall as he was. But they never forgot that he once practiced the grim trade of a KGB agent in Dresden, before the Berlin Wall fell, where he worked closely with the Stasi, the universally hated East German secret police.

When he climbed to power in Russia, becoming president twice, he became a leader to be reckoned with, but never trusted. One of his KGB colleagues in Dresden describes him as "someone who thinks one thing and says something else." The Russia he was elected to lead in 2000 was not regarded here as a superpower, but everyone fears his ambitious power now.

The Germans looked glowingly at Obama when he was a candidate for president in 2008, swooning by the hundreds of thousands when they greeted the junior senator from Illinois at the Brandenburg Gate as if he were a rhinestone rock star, all dazzle and glitter. He was the embodiment of hope and change, peace and love, the totally "cool" stranger. He was the antithesis of George W. Bush, whom they loathed.

The presumed president-to-be spoke as if he really believed in "allies who will listen to each other; who will learn from each other; who will, above all, trust each other." A predictably shattered romance lay ahead.

Both the Russian and the American are seen now as threatening the German wish for peace and prosperity for Europe. Putin's macho buffoonery is perceived now as having hidden a cunning strategist, planning a dangerous game of usurping power with dexterity and finesse. He's unpopular and considered armed and dangerous.

The Allensbach Institute, a German public opinion polling organization, finds that seven of 10 Germans now regard Russia as a world power, up from four in 10 six years ago.

Some of Obama's lost shine and luster has been transferred to Edward Snowden, who is a hero to many Germans for exposing the American snooping on friend and foe. The Germans find it ironic that Americans now debate Obama's "manhood," as New York Times columnist David Brooks suggests, questioning whether he's tough enough to stand up to "somebody like Putin."

Josef Joffe, the editor of Die Zeit, an intellectual German weekly, tells The New Yorker's David Remnick that the American president "wants to turn the United States into a very large medium power, into an XXL France or Germany."

Mr. Putin may be testing that. The wily Russian, perhaps dreaming of restoring Russia to the terror of Western nightmares, fails to play by the 21st-century rules that the West thinks everyone wants to honor. But from here, he's seen not as anachronism but as a man who simply plays by rules of his own.

Norbert Rottgen, chairman of the Bundestag's foreign-affairs committee, argues that Putin's unwillingness to play by the rules of international relations requires the West to show it's tough enough to stand up for convictions of its own. History has taught the Germans to be sensitive to "excessive nationalism" and "territorial megalomania," but the time may be at hand for Germany to become the crucial player. Implementing sanctions against Moscow could be the place to start.

Merkel, who grew up in East Germany when it was a Soviet satrapy, has the scientist's eye for observation and analysis. She understands the phrase, "It's the economy, dummkopf!" With 6,000 German companies doing business with Russia and more than 350,000 German workers who thrive through Russian trade with Germany, she recognizes German economic vulnerability and the importance of oil and gas imports, but she knows the damage the Europeans could inflict on Russia with serious sanctions limiting exports, which include high-tech products, trains, automobiles, chemicals and medicines.

Disillusioned that her telephone diplomacy with Putin failed, she's poised to go for more, to push her reputation as a tough Merkelvellian with the gloss of Mutti, a mother. She's fluent in Russian, but it's not at all clear that she and Vlad speak the same language.

Suzanne Fields Archives

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields