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A PALESTINIAN STATE
Obama's Mideast Challenge
was something less than a demand
and a bit stronger than a suggestion.
But President Barack Obama's call
for Israel to freeze settlements, even the
"natural" expansion of existing communi-
ties, leads to a larger question.
And then what?
There has been solid support for such
a policy for years, even though there is
no evidence that links the settlements to
a peace agreement between Israel and its
The fact that the American president
has bought into the idea that it will influ-
ence the peace process is unsettling.
Coupled with his go-slow initiative toward
the religious despots in Iran, it raises
some questions about his priorities in the
treacherous maze of the Middle East.
It is generally agreed that a nuclear-
armed Iran, under its current leadership,
is an existential threat to Israel. Even other
Arab states dread that prospect. Given the
example of North Korea, another rogue
state with dangerous nuclear ambitions,
there is good reason for that fear.
But President Obama appears inclined
to give Iran more time to disavow nukes
and has even invited its diplomats to
Fourth of July celebrations at various
embassies as another conciliatory gesture.
Meanwhile, his settlement freeze pro-
posal seems to have been met with the
same old song and dance among the
Arabs. That's a good first step, yes, but it
must be coupled with a "just" resolution of
a Palestinian right of return to Israel. That,
of course, is a move that would change the
fundamental character of the Jewish state.
It is an interesting position the Arabs
take. They want the settlements not only
frozen but dismantled or abandoned, an
impossibility in regard to some of the
larger communities on the outskirts of
Jerusalem. Their goal is a West Bank in
which no Jew has a right to reside.
On the other hand, they demand a free
hand on their own settlements within
Israel. According to Michael Oren, the
current Israeli ambassador to the United
States, they are already defying Israeli
authorities with new construction in East
Jerusalem, Galilee and parts of the Negev.
There is little police presence, taxes
are uncollected and Israeli sovereignty is
seeping away from these areas. This some-
how has slipped through the cracks of
most mainstream media.
„ THAT ENOS ITS
AND ITS SUPPORT OF
has been told not to
attempt to take out
the Iranian nuclear
facilities on its own.
The Obama admin-
istration seems to
LIVING SIDE BY
believe that encour-
IT'LL BE CALLED
SIDE IN PEACE WITH 4
THE JEWISH STATE?
within Iran could lead
to the defeat of its
Ahmadinejab in elec-
tions this weekend.
But no Middle
believes even that
result would have any
effect on the hard-lin-
ers behind the scenes
and who really direct Iranian policy.
ing down intransigence on both sides, but
President Obama said all the right
that America will always stand firm in
things during last year's primaries and
general election campaigns to reassure
His initial policies toward the settle-
Jewish voters, skittish over his dedication
ments and Iran, however, contain little
to Israel's security.
reassurance for American Jews. We can
He seems to believe that a healthy dose
only trust that he will see the reality
of tough love can go a long way in break-
behind the veil while there is still time.
Blue Ribbon Run
ver the course of a year, a news-
paper columnist is asked to pay
notice to dozens of worthwhile
causes. But none has hit quite so close per-
sonally as the one scheduled for June 21st,
Father's Day, at the Detroit Zoo.
This is the Run for the Ribbon, a 5K
event to raise funds for prostate cancer
research and treatment.
As some of you know, I have been fight-
ing advanced prostate cancer for the last
year. It will not go down as one of the jol-
liest years of my life, but it has not been
bereft of hope, either.
New treatments are being developed,
along with palliative measures to ease the
intense pain that comes when the tumors
move into the bones.
"When we first started contacting
people in this area about making this
event a reality we found there was hardly
anyone we talked to whose family was
not affected by prostate cancer," says Dr.
Jason Hafron, a staff physician with the
Michigan Institute of Urology,
which organized the run.
"We deliberately modeled
it after the Susan Kamen Run
for breast cancer research and
awareness, because they have
done such a fantastic job. But
the ribbons we'll be wearing
are blue instead of pink. All the
money we raise will remain in
Southeast Michigan, too."
I was diagnosed with the
disease 10 years ago and treated
with external beam radiation.
When it returned, as we knew it
would, I started a round of chemotherapy.
I'm now into the third round. Some
drugs are effective for a while, others only
short term. But there is always something
else to try.
I've always thought it was a misnomer to
say that I was fighting the disease. Actually,
I am in the hands of two exceptional
physicians: Jeff Forman of the Michigan
Institute of Radiation Oncology,
whose face you have often seen
in the pages of this publication,
and Ken Pienta, at University of
They're the ones doing the
actual fighting, while I cheer
them on avidly at ringside and
hope for a TKO.
I've lost a little hair and a
lot of weight. In fact, I've seen
numbers on the scale that
I haven't encountered since
before I was a baseball writer
and discovered there was free
food to be had in the nation's pressboxes.
For the first time in my life I am being
encouraged to eat whatever I want. Well,
not the first time, really, because my grand-
mothers felt that way, too. But if I decide
that lunch will consist of a Whopper and
chocolate shake, my conscience is clear.
When I worked on the Wayne State stu-
dent paper, we were not allowed to write
that a member of the university admin-
istration was being treated for prostate
cancer. There were strong cultural taboos
about both of those words.
So we've come a long way in simply
recognizing the disease. Since men are liv-
ing longer and taking better care of their
cardio-vascular health, and diagnostic
tools are better, prostate cancer is more
prevalent than ever before. So an event like
this is badly needed.
The Run for the Ribbon will get under-
way at 8 a.m. There will also be a fundrais-
er at the Townsend Hotel on the preceding
Friday evening, June 19th: Hors d'oeuvres
and desserts for $125 a person. For more
information or to register and buy tickets
go to MlUrunfortheribbon.org .
Related prostate cancer stories can be
found on pages A9, A34 and B17.
George Cantor's e-mail address is
June 11* 2009