Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

I am really saddened to lose Shimon Peres, a leader that was among the greatest statesmen of the 21st century, an inspiring voice of reason and wisdom not just for the Jewish people and for the Israeli people, but for humanity. Shimon Peres was one of the last living pioneers who established, built, secured, and strengthened the State of Israel. He was also a visionary, philosopher and diplomat with extraordinary insight into the human spirit. I was scheduled to meet him on my last trip to Israel on the afternoon when he suffered a stroke. My thoughts are with his wonderful family, including my dear friend Mika Almog, his amazing granddaughter, and his son Chemi and daughter Tzvia, all cut from the same cloth of wisdom and warmth. May Shimon’s incredible contributions to the Jewish people, to Israel, and to the world be a source of strength to you and to all of us during these difficult times, and may his words of wisdom guide all of us for years to come. Below you will find a beautiful statement from President Obama:

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A joint poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in Ramallah and released on August 22, 2016 shed some interesting insights on the state of public opinion on both sides.  The findings include:

A slight majority of Israelis and Palestinians support the two-state solution. However, they do not trust each other, have disparate views on the terms of a permanent settlement, underestimate the level of compromise on the other side, and view its intentions as threatening. Nonetheless, at least a quarter of the opposition to a permanent settlement on both sides is flexible and it is likely that its opinion might be changed with the right incentives.

STATISTICAL HIGHLIGHTS BELOW

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This article scratches the surface of the challenge I have been hearing from Israeli friends across a spectrum of politics from right to left: Netanyahu’s methodical and obsessive effort to dismantle independent journalism and dispirit and intimidate any media critics.

 

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In a hair salon in Israel, Arab and Jewish women find common ground… in a sink.

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One Call Away – Rachel Lester

Published under Israel Mar 21, 2016

This video about Israel doing humanitarian service makes me so proud.

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An Anti-Semitism of the Left

Published under Israel Mar 11, 2016

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There are three processes taking place in Israel that, if not reversed by 2025, will end this country’s life as a modern Jewish democracy.

One process is taking place on the hills. In 1975 there were a few thousand settlers in Judea and Samaria. In 1995 there were around 120,000. Today there are 400,000. Over the past four decades, the Gush Emunim settlement movement has achieved a complete and total victory over Israeli officialdom. First it established facts on the ground, then it got those facts officially recognized, and then it tripled, quadrupled and quintupled them using state resources.

The result is a toxic demographic-political omelet which will be very hard to turn back into the egg mix from which it came. If the number of residents in Judea and Samaria reach 600,000, 700,000 or 800,000 by 2025, it will no longer be possible to divide the land, and Israel will become a binational state. Whether this binational state is no longer Jewish or no longer a democracy, the Zionist enterprise will have met its end.

The second process is taking place in people’s hearts and minds. In 1975, Aharon Barak was appointed attorney general. The appointment of the young, brilliant, independent legal professor to this elevated position indicated that Israel was becoming a genuine liberal democracy. The years of David Ben-Gurion’s statism were followed by the years of human dignity, human rights, and the building of strong, independent democratic institutions. For three decades Israel knew a relative golden age of ever-strengthening rule of law, expanded freedom of expression and the establishment of a truly free society.

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Regards from Medieval Times

Published under Israel, Middle East Dec 01, 2015

Yedioth Ahronoth – November 30, 2015

Regards from Medieval Times

By Nahum Barnea

An American acquaintance of mine got up one morning after a sleepless night, read the newspapers, brought herself up to speed on the social networks, and told her husband in a minor state of panic: “The Middle Ages are making a comeback.” When he asked what she meant, she said: the massacres being committed by ISIS in Syria and Boko Haram in Africa; the terror attacks in Sinai and Paris; the knifing terror attacks in Israel and the territories; the xenophobia in Europe and the United States; the statements being made by contenders in the race to become the Republican Party’s presidential candidate.

That is certainly quite a long inventory. Even if the Middle Ages aren’t really making a comeback—history repeats itself only in poems—it seems to me that millions of people, members of competing nations and religions, today yearn for the values that reigned in Europe during those dark days. The world is too complicated for them: they want it simple, basic, visceral and unambiguous. Either you submit to me on everything, or you’re to be sentenced to death.
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The rise of ‘shahada’

Published under Israel, Middle East, Palestine Nov 09, 2015

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