Rachel Somekh teaches two classic Iraqi appetizers, potato chops and cigars
Judging from his public statements, Assad seems convinced that the Bush administration will not stop at Iraq, and that after a U.S. victory in Baghdad, he could be next on the regime-change agenda.
Therefore, when Assad vilifies the United States and openly aids the Iraqi war effort, he believes he is fighting for his life. In late March, buoyed by what he saw as initial Iraqi success in resisting the U.S.-led invasion, Assad explained the basis of his thinking in a fierce diatribe against Israel and the United States.
The war in Iraq, he told the Lebanese newspaper, As-Safir, was an Israeli-American conspiracy "designed to redraw the political map of the Middle East." In Assad's view, the United States would take Iraq's oil, and Israel would become the dominant regional power.
As if we don't have enough problems, it seems there's an unlimited supply of horrific hereditary diseases just waiting to ensnare Jews and their children. Tay-Sachs cripples infants before their first birthday and eventually kills them, Gaucher disease erodes healthy bones and organs, Niemann-Pick, cystic fibrosis, Crohn's, Canavan and dozens of others. And that's just among Eastern-European Ashkenazi Jews. A host of other hereditary diseases affect Sephardic, Iraqi and Persian Jews. Does somebody up there hate us?
The most talked-about, perhaps the most feared, figure in Israeli politics this holiday season is neither a statesman nor a rabble-rouser. He is Yitzhak Kedouri, a frail, mystical Iraqi-born rabbi, barely able to speak or to walk unaided, whose widely distributed kabbalistic amulets are credited with swaying thousands of underprivileged Sephardic Jewish voters.