Arlene Kushner

From Israel: Hanging by our Fingernails??!

In spite of the title of this posting being potentially ominous in tone, I begin with a brief good news item: It rained on Tuesday here in Jerusalem, and only in Jerusalem. The rainfall ‒ accompanied by thunder and exceedingly heavy for a brief time ‒ was a real surprise. …

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From Israel: “A Real Mess, and Yet…”

It was a mess. It was terrible. That is, the presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Biden, which took place in Cleveland on September 29. I am not here to argue that it was anything but. ~~ HOWEVER, this does not give anyone the right to distort …

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From Israel: Do We Know What We Are Doing??!!

I am speaking at a national level here in Israel, not a personal level.  Nevertheless, before Yom Kippur is absolutely the right time to ask the question. We have been watching the unfolding of a new international dynamic with several nations in turn – predominantly Arab/Muslim nations – agreeing/or giving …

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From Israel: “You Won’t See Me Dancing!!”

I had thought I would not write again until after Rosh Hashanah, but feel compelled to put out this posting on the new agreements Israel has signed with the UAE and Bahrain. The signing on the White House lawn on Tuesday, September 15, generated an enthusiastic – even highly emotional …

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From Israel: Tempest-Tossed!!

Rosh Hashanah begins on Friday night, and will be celebrated here from within a lockdown. None the less, we always look to better times.  And so I begin this posting with a heartfelt prayer that this coming year, 5781, will be one that is rich in blessings:  A year of …

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From Israel: The Stuff of Nightmares!!

I watch what is going on in the US and I see the outlines of a nightmare, unimaginable only a year ago. The drama is unfolding in urban streets, as America is torn apart by violence and hatred. There are many areas where putative political “authorities,” such as they exist, …

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From Israel: Undercurrents and Complications!!

Life is not simple for Israel, and we delude ourselves when we imagine it is. Always there is the unexpected, the undertow, the splash in the face. ~~~ Particularly is this the case with political issues. Today I want to look at Israeli sovereignty, a very political issue. All of …

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From Israel: Mission Impossible!!

Making sense of a world that seems more convoluted day by day is impossible.  None-the-less, I’m going to give it my best shot.  Be sure to read to the end for two good news items that will provide a badly needed smile and a bit of uplift. ~~~~~~~~~~ We look first …

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From Israel: Have We Sold Out??

The news was startling and in some respects very exciting: On Thursday, first President Trump and then Prime Minister Netanyahu made the announcement: United Arab Emirates (a Sunni Gulf state that is a federation of seven sheikdoms) has agreed to normalize ties with Israel. In coming weeks, delegations will be …

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From Israel: What the Heck Is Going On??

First, a clarification: One reader recently posed a question about my origins, and it is possible that others may wonder as well. I was born in the US, and spent a good part of my life there: I still pay US taxes and vote in American elections. I am passionate …

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From Israel: Tragedy Looms!!

In recent years, I have struggled to absorb the painful reality of what has been unfolding in the US.  At this point the situation seems incredible. But it is real, and needs to be dealt with.  What is greatly worrisome is that many Americans persist in keeping their blinders on. We …

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From Israel: Madness, Disaster and Promise!!

Wednesday night and Thursday are Tisha B’Av – the day that marks many catastrophes that have befallen the Jewish people, most significantly the destruction of our Temples. It is a time of mourning. Tisha B’Av calls for contemplation, and this year is particularly difficult.  Not only for us, as a …

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From Israel: A Bust???

What I am referring to – amongst the myriad of matters that might go “bust” – are the plans to apply Israeli sovereignty to parts of Judaea & Samaria now (emphasis added): “Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s plan to apply sovereignty over parts of Judaea and Samaria has been frozen …

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From Israel: Tumult and Tangle!!

So much, so much to deal with! Prime Minister Netanyahu had indicated on July 1 – the first date on which he would have been able to bring decisions about application of sovereignty in Judaea & Samaria to the Cabinet – that there would likely be news next week. But …

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From Israel: An Unmitigated Mess!!

Today is the day on which Israel was to begin application of sovereignty. That is not going to happen today, and I will get to that below. ~~~~~~~~~~ But I have been tracking more than one unmitigated mess, and I want to first circle back briefly to that other enormous …

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From Israel: Now THIS is Funny!!

I am certain that many of you remember, earlier in June, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and some of her progressive fellow Democratic members of the House (notably including Chuck Schumer) knelt for eight minutes and 46 seconds to protest the murder of George Floyd. What was particularly notable about …

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