Arlene Kushner

From Israel: Seeking Clarity.

As a rule, it is not realistic to think we can achieve full clarity with regard to political acts or decisions. There is always so much we are not privy to, or fail to anticipate – so many interpretations that present themselves. We can try to understand – indeed should try. …

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From Israel: It’s in the Air!

What I sense in the air is not a fireworks display, but a sense of progress: A movement in the right direction, in both senses of that word.  Imperfect, less steady or defined than we might like, but progress. I don’t celebrate the secular new year, but I imagine that …

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From Israel: Shifting Scenario.

I do not want to give the impression that everything is going smoothly and that there are no problems here.  It’s unlikely that anyone would believe me even if I said that. However…there is the sense that more is going well than has been the case for some time — …

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From Israel: Not Exactly a Crisis.

One tends to get the impression—on reading the news about the General Assembly vote last Thursday regarding President Trump’s new policy of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital—that something of a diplomatic cataclysm had occurred. But when we look more closely we see it is not so. In fact, the reverse …

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From Israel: The World Turns.

I had expected to be writing about the visit of Vice President Pence in this posting, but that visit has been delayed until mid-January because of the important vote taking place in Congress on tax reform. Envoy Jason Greenblatt is here holding meetings. None of those meetings will be with …

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From Israel: Miracles Great and Small.

Here we are, in the midst of Chanukah celebrations, which mark miracles for the Jewish people, most significantly regarding the miracle of Jewish survival at the time of the Hasmoneans. But this holiday inspires me to think more broadly about Jewish survival. The fact that we are here, having survived …

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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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