Arlene Kushner

Arlene from Israel – Let Us Draw Strength

Tonight begins Tisha B’Av, the most solemn day of the Jewish calendar.  It marks the day of the destruction of our two Temples and a number of other national calamities. On this day we fast and mourn, read the Book of Lamentations. We also look to the religious meaning in …

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Arlene in Israel – Taking a Broader View

I begin with some very essential observations that go to the heart of Israel’s situation, observations that are broadly recognized among Jews here in Israel, but are not grasped by many – Jews and non-Jews alike – in the Western world: How heavy, then, is the burden on the shoulders …

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Arlene in Israel – Events Unfolding

Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat) I left my posting abruptly yesterday because of the advent of Shabbat and want here to follow through.  But it’s tentatively only, because indeed events are in the process of unfolding and we have to see what tomorrow and the ensuing days will bring. Quite frankly, …

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Arlene in Israel – Potentially a Huge Turn-Around.

Today I am feeling a far greater certainty that our government is going to see through this war to its necessary end.  That our prime minister is working with resolve, looking first at the people of our nation and not over his shoulder at Obama, or the UN. Another 16,000 reservists …

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Arlene from Israel – Struggle All the Way

Let me begin with a video of something I described last night from the Shloshim ceremonies at the Great Synagogue.  This is Lt. Col. Shai Abramson, Chief Cantor of the IDF, singing with choir in prayer for the soldiers of the IDF: For strength.  (And with thanks to Linda O.) …

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Arlene in Israel – Shloshim

Shloshim means 30 in Hebrew, and and it is now a significant 30 days since the funerals of the three students who had been kidnapped and murdered by terrorists because they were Jews. ~~~~~~~~~~~ Tonight there was a major ceremony at the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem to mark this day …

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Arlene in Israel – How It Is.

  I begin by sharing this picture, drawn by an artist intent on paying tribute to our soldiers. Soldier as superman: His cape is his tallit. The artist is my granddaughter.         A true story told last week by Col. Richard Kemp: He was given the opportunity to …

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Arlene in Israel – Time to Finish the Threat.

It’s going on 72 hours since I’ve posted – the longest interval I’ve gone without a posting since this war with Hamas began.  In that period, as I have attempted to track what is happening, I felt as if my head was spinning 350 degrees. Round and round. Here I …

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Arlene in Israel – A Bit Better

July 24, 2014 Kerry has left Israel, for consultations in Cairo.  He’ll be back, undoubtedly.  But it’s nice to know he’s not here. ~~~~~~~~~~ The FAA ban on US airlines flying in and out of Ben Gurion has been lifted.  They say it’s because they have been “working with its …

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Arlene in Israel – Hold On, Hold On!

We buried another lone soldier today.  Max Steinberg, 24, a Golani soldier who came from Los Angeles just a couple of years ago.  Again, a call went out for people to come to the funeral, held at the national cemetery on Har Herzl, Jerusalem. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said: “Over …

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Arlene in Israel – A Proud and Anguished Heart

July 22, 2014: A Proud and Anguished Heart. Before I share news, I want to take the liberty of talking, first, about the anguish in my heart – the tears that I carry inside of me – because of this war we are fighting. There is, above all, the sense of …

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‘Arlene in Israel’ – War Update.

  Today was a day on which I had planned to skip posting.  A busy day, starting with an event in the Knesset this morning (about which more in time). But I know I must write to update my readers, even if very briefly. After I had written yesterday, news …

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‘Arlene in Israel’ – Who Is Like Our Nation?

 Who Is Like Our Nation? The question is rhetorical. For there is no nation like Israel. Said Prime Minister Netanyahu on Friday (emphasis added): “I have met with the commanders who are leading the IDF operation, uncommonly brave, determined and motivated commanders, with strong values. I am impressed by the motivation …

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‘Arlene in Israel’ – Keep Going, Keep Going!

Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat) I mentioned in my last post the intention to return to the issue of ceasefires, and I will do so below.  But I begin by noting that my greatest fear in this very necessary war we are waging now is that it should be terminated prematurely …

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‘Arlene in Israel’ – Ground Invasion into Gaza Begun.

It is very very necessary, this invasion – which has been ordered by Prime Minister Netanyahu. So let’s stop here for a prayer for the thousands of Israel’s soldiers who are now inside Gaza. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/15289#.U8g8IZvlrIW ~~~~~~~~~~~ I just heard an interview with Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces …

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Arlene from Israel – PHEW!

  What a roller coaster ride the last 24 hours has been with regard to our war with Hamas. Yesterday Egypt announced a proposal for a ceasefire: Both sides would stop firing, and then in 48 hours parties would convene in Cairo and – via an intermediary – discuss terms …

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Arlene from Israel – Faith and Struggle.

I’ve written about the Iron Dome, which helps protect our citizens from rocket attacks, and about the shelters that are provided, as well as about the government guidelines that are released to keep people safe. But there is a another significant factor – from my perspective and the perspective of …

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Arlene from Israel – Slowly, Thoughtfully, Agonizingly.

By now I had thought our ground forces would have entered Gaza, but the operation remains on the edge of happening. As I approach Shabbat and find I still have many preparations to attend to, I want to share only a very brief overview of what is transpiring with regard …

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Arlene from Israel – Those Human Shields.

Yet another factor in the current conflict is the willingness – indeed the eagerness – of Hamas to promote a PR advantage by putting its civilians in harm’s way. This is not a new tactic.  Israel goes to the extraordinary lengths of warning Gaza residents of a house that an …

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Arlene from Israel – Proportionality and Other Matters

There is a widespread – but very erroneous – impression that if an enemy attacks, a proportional response means a nation can only return what was received and no more. That is, the mistaken impression is that if Hamas shot one rocket, we could only shoot one rocket back. International …

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