Arlene Kushner

From Israel: Curse Them!

Just days ago, in the spirit of Rosh Hashana, I wrote an upbeat posting. But that upbeat mood did not last. Could not, perhaps. Just as there is joy at holiday time, we here in Israel contend with the increased desire of our enemies to do us harm as we …

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From Israel: Days of Awe.

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, we ushered in the Jewish New Year, 5779, with prayer, meditation and the sounding of the shofar. It is a serious time, the beginning of the ten Days of Awe that culminate with Yom Kippur. But it is also a joyous time. We …

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From Israel: Spinning Wheels.

In the political world, wheel-spinning is frequently the norm. Lots of talk, which – to continue the metaphor – lends the impression that there is engagement, movement forward on one issue or another. But in the end the talk often turns out to be blather that takes us nowhere. We …

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From Israel: Don’t Blink.

Yes, my friends, I am here. Working hard on another writing project, and laboring mightily to make sense of the news. Did you ever stand on the side of a highway, with the cars whizzing past? Hard to not feel a bit dazed. In recent days, I have been watching …

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From Israel: Way Beyond Stupid!

There is no “ceasefire” agreement as I write.  And I pray it does not come to be.  Consider: At the end of prayers today for the beginning of the Eid al-Adha holiday, Ismail Haniyeh, chair of the politburo of Hamas, delivered an address to the people of Gaza (all emphasis …

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From Israel: Throwing Up My Hands!

I would like to provide my readers with clear information on what’s happening in this part of the world. I would like a bit of certainty as we move forward. I would like to be able to report on an Israeli government stance that is reassuring. I would like a …

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From Israel: An Unholy and Ugly Mess.

The status quo with Hamas is intolerable and dangerous.  That is the given. But we continue to operate on the cusp of war without reaching that war. Solutions are not simple and clear-cut (even as some assume they are): The way is strewn with complexities.   What is required of …

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From Israel: Deplorable!!

We should ask ourselves, again, and again, how we got into the situation in which we have found ourselves. The question is of key importance, because the situation is intolerable. After months of enduring violence at the fence and ever greater numbers of incendiary devices launched from Gaza, after the …

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From Israel: Fizzle.

After all of the hullabaloo, all of the analyses about deals that might take place between Hamas and Israel, and between Hamas and Fatah, it appears that we are left in the end with not much of anything. ~~~~~~~~~~ Quite simply, it’s a playing out of the parameters I’ve been …

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From Israel: Distressed and Furious.

My friends, I had held off posting right before and again right after Shabbat because the situation here has been enormously lacking in clarity, and in tremendous flux, with many contradictory statements being advanced. Now, while there is still lack of clarity, and while matters may shift at any moment, …

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From Israel: Modeling Insanity.

Most of you are familiar with the saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This is broadly attributed to Albert Einstein. While I find no verification of this, it really does not matter, for the point is well taken. Following …

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From Israel: Menace in the North.

Today we consider the enormous unrest in the north. What I present here is an overview of a vastly complex scenario – encompassing several players — that is shifting almost daily. Liat Collins on Friday cited an IDF intelligence officer who “mourned the passing of an age when he could …

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From Israel: Give Me a Break!

On July 19, the Knesset passed Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People. The furor that has ensued since then has been unreal.  As I have been focused on security issues, I come to this only now.  But a refutation of the charges leveled against this …

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From Israel: Crossing a Red Line!

When last I posted, I spoke about the murder by a Hamas terrorist of Aviv Levi, an IDF soldier who was at the Gaza fence when he was shot in the chest by a sniper. I said then that the weapon used was an Iranian copy of the metal-piercing Austrian …

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From Israel: Malice and Madness.

Today is Tisha B’Av, the saddest day of the Jewish year. A day on which we mourn for the destruction of our Temples, and for the many calamities that have befallen us. One speaker I heard this morning spoke about the fact that this is not our history – it …

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From Israel: Hard and Necessary Choices.

Two news items as I begin today’s discussion: 1) On Sunday, the Al-Nirab airbase, in northern Syria outside of Aleppo, was attacked. This is a base utilized by Iranians. Israel has not acknowledged responsibility for this attack but Israeli involvement is broadly acknowledged. Latest reports indicate that 22 people were …

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From Israel: Intolerable!

It’s enough when our enemies are difficult to deal with. But deal with them we can, if we are resolute and clear-eyed. If we understand our rights and are not afraid to use our strength wisely. But when the above is not the case? Intolerable. ~~~~~~~~~~ It is difficult to …

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From Israel: A Quagmire

There were multiple reports over the last couple of days regarding the direction of Trump’s “peace plan.” The first report I saw said (emphasis added): “The Trump administration is reportedly focusing on improving humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip, while putting its as-yet unveiled peace plan on a back burner …

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From Israel: The Head Spins.

Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, was in town this week for a conference on his Israel Victory program. I will simply say here that the idea is that Israel cannot achieve what is necessary with regard to real peace until the Palestinian Arabs – who do not …

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