Arlene Kushner

From Israel: Shining the Light

Tonight we light the first candle of Chanukah, a holiday that in its essence is about the survival of Judaism at a time when Hellenization threatened tradition. Let the lights shine bright upon us, and may we hold fast to all we are meant to be. ~~~~~~~~~~ My postings will …

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From Israel: “So, the World is Crazy”

Most of us have known this for some time, but the hysteria about the declaration by President Trump that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel brings this reality home to us all over again. That Palestinian Arabs would react vehemently (and I’ll get to that below) was a given, and …

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From Israel: Next Stage and Forward.

We’ve had the big announcement from President Trump, an announcement that was – as has been pointed out – both morally courageous and historic. In case you didn’t catch his speech, you can see it here (move directly to minute 34): Or you can read it here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/12/06/statement-president-trump-jerusalem ~~~~~~~~~~ In …

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From Israel: Mazel Tov!

President Donald Trump, in a speech delivered from the White House, has announced that the United States, in accordance with the 1995 Embassy Act (about which more below) now recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He has instructed the State Department to begin arrangements for establishing the US Embassy …

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From Israel: Wait a Minute.

In certain places in the world, weather changes so swiftly that it’s not uncommon to hear the comment, “Don’t like the weather? Wait a minute…” That is how certain events pertaining to Israel seem now: Don’t like the news? No problem. It will probably change momentarily. Keeping track is difficult. …

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From Israel: Slip Sliding Away.

It has been two weeks since I’ve posted – an inordinate amount of time for me. But I have been hard at work on my new, upgraded website, which I hope to unveil within days. Today is November 29, kaf tet b’november – an auspicious time to pick up on …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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