Arlene Kushner

From Israel: For Real?

On November 11, the New York Times put out a report saying that the Trump team was now starting to put together a Middle East “peace plan.” The immediate gut response to this in many quarters was simply to wonder what the team could be thinking. This was immediately followed …

Read More »

From Israel: Maybe Yes, Maybe No.

The political/diplomatic situation is so fluid, so unstable, that sometimes I prepare to report on one state of affairs, only to discover that a day later the situation has already shifted – or was not as it had been reported. Before I turn to some of these matters, however, I …

Read More »

From Israel: Shifting Sands.

We begin with more information regarding the lead story in my last posting, about Deputy Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who was uninvited at Hillel House in Princeton. It was Rabbi Eitan Webb, director of the Princeton Chabad House, who had stepped in. He greeted the overflow audience with these words: “We …

Read More »

From Israel: Same Story: Stand Strong.

My first item today is with regard to something that happened yesterday, something shameful. I also wanted to say “shocking,” but I’m not sure any of this shocks any longer: The Israeli Foreign Ministry has just published four official brochures that make the case for Israel in strong and unapologetic …

Read More »

From Israel: How Crazy Is It?

In brief, this crazy: On Monday, the IDF identified a tunnel from Gaza that had entered Israel. It was under active construction, and not simply left over from before 2014. Beginning in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, it extended “dozens of meters” into Israel – headed towards Kibbutz Kissufim two …

Read More »

From Israel: Another Imperative: On the UN.

Only infrequently do I make requests to my loyal readers regarding letters to be written. In my last posting, I made such a request.  And now I begin this posting with yet another request. You have undoubtedly heard this saying: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is …

Read More »

From Israel: Balfour Declaration: Speak Out!

Thursday is Balfour Day: Marking 100 years since British Foreign Secretary Lord Walter Balfour wrote a letter on behalf of the British government to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain. “His Majesty’s Government view with favor the …

Read More »

From Israel: One Foot in Front of the Other.

My friend – who on occasion says to me, “Sometimes you just have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going” – will undoubtedly recognize herself here. When the situation is not to our liking, we must keep going, without despair, heading in the right direction. …

Read More »

From Israel: Tough World, part II.

Nothing is more challenging and important to deal with right now than Iran, which is under the control of Islamic radical megalomaniacs bent on hegemony in this region, as well as the destruction of Israel. (Pictured: Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) Should they – Heaven Forbid! – acquire nuclear weapons, they …

Read More »

From Israel: Facing Down a Tough World.

This is a tough world, at best, and sometimes scary and downright insane. We are reassured when there is determination and strength exhibited by our leaders and those who stand with us. And I think every now and then – perversely – we can also be reassured by the way …

Read More »

From Israel: Devious and Dangerous.

I had written recently that a unity government between Fatah and Hamas was exceedingly unlikely to happen. I don’t think it has happened, even though a preliminary “reconciliation” agreement between the two parties is now being “celebrated.” There is a good likelihood that this will fall apart, for what was …

Read More »

From Israel: Season of Our Rejoicing.

Last Wednesday night began the week-long holiday of Sukkot, which is referred to as Z’man Simchatenu – the season of our rejoicing. It is a holiday of many delights, rich in mystic symbolism. A couple of days earlier, I had begun work on a pre-Sukkot posting focused on the joys …

Read More »

From Israel: Deplorable!

Solomon Gavriyah, of Be’er Yaacov, was a Staff Sergeant with the Border Police. Last year, he was wounded in a knife attack but insisted that he wanted to return to duty. Now he is dead, shot Tuesday morning by a terrorist. He was 20 years old. At his funeral, Police …

Read More »

From Israel: Auspicious.

On the second day of Rosh Hashana, the Haftora (prophetic reading following the Torah reading) is from Jeremiah 31. So said Hashem…’I have loved you with an eternal love, therefore have I extended kindness to you. I shall yet rebuild you and you will be rebuilt…You will yet plant vineyards …

Read More »

From Israel: Horizon Shrouded.

The Hebrew year 5778 is almost upon us now. It’s natural, I think, to want to know what lies ahead. But our tradition tells us that this knowledge lies in Heaven. We pray that that the Almighty will keep us. We pray for strength, and for the wisdom to hold …

Read More »

From Israel: Holy Days.

It is not a certainty that I will post again before Rosh Hashana, which begins on the eve of next Wednesday, September 20th. And so today I want to send out my wishes to all for a year of blessings – blessings of health, and parnassa, personal fulfillment and love. …

Read More »

From Israel: Reluctantly.

There are certain heated and convoluted subjects I prefer to stay away from in my postings because writing about them seems to me not productive, especially when there is so much else to deal with. But I am now witnessing a multi-pronged phenomenon that I have decided I must address, …

Read More »

From Israel: If We Will It.

Theodor Herzl is well known for his observation that, “If you will it, it is no dream…” (im tirtzu ein zo agada). It was 120 years ago, from August 29 to August 31, 1897, that Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress, in Basel, Switzerland.  That Congress – which established the …

Read More »

From Israel: On Several Fronts.

These are hardly quiet times, and there is much to attend to. The trick is to focus on those issues that have genuine import, and to pass over the shtuyote (the nonsense) that masquerades as news. Otherwise we drown in a barrage of “events,” and run the risk of paying …

Read More »

From Israel: Getting to Better.

Recent events, both here in Israel and in the larger world, have generated in many of us feelings of distress, turmoil, confusion and anxiety. There is a whole lot that is wrong, or crazy, or frightening going on. But as I sat down to write this post, I was able …

Read More »