Israel

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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O Jerusalem (If I forget you).

The year started in almost the same way it finished – with controversy surrounding an American President and Israel. In late December 2016, the United Nations Security Council passed UNSC Resolution 2334, which related to Israeli settlements in “Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem.” The United States of …

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Why Israel’s capital and not ‘Palestine’s’?

My answer to a Facebook question. I only realised after that the question really wasn’t addressed to me but to intellectuals and politicians in Arab states, a status I clearly don’t hold. The information is still valid. Pity to waste the effort.

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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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The Trump Nudge.

Perhaps Donald Trump gave the Arab-Israel conflict the nudge that it needs. It is fascinating to see the various objections that many pro-Israel Jews have for United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Some people oppose the move primarily out of disdain for Trump or because they …

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From the Desk of Dr Ron Weiser AM – Opinion piece Dec. 2017.

President Trump’s declaration and recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is undeniably a major symbolic milestone and one that is to be welcomed and applauded. It is also a courageous move that changes 70 years of Unites States policy. We should savour the moment. Symbolism, particularly in that …

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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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Why Trump is right in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a perfect response to President Obama’s benighted decision to change American policy by engineering the United Nations Security Council resolution declaring Judaism’s holiest places in Jerusalem to be occupied territory and a “flagrant violation under international law.” It was President …

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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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What If?

Sometimes, when considering the past, it is tempting to indulge in a “what if” thought experiment. 2017 is a year of milestones in the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is 50 years since the 6-Day War, 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, which was the British Government’s statement of support for the …

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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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Does Israel Miss The British Mandate?

Seems we Israelis, or some of us, may have been nostalgic for the British Mandate period for — well, for ever-since-the-Brits-got-on-their-boats-and-shipped-back-to-the-UK. Professor Eitan Bar-Yosef of Ben Gurion University says we have missed them in two different ways; neither of these are very complimentary to us, but not in a mean …

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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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INTO THE FRAY: Israel’s ruinous right.

Perhaps the gravest threat facing the nation today is the twin perils of a dangerous, delusional “Left” and an impotent, incompetent “Right”, unable to decisively and definitively discredit it.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions – attributed to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, circa. 1150  It is neither …

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After Balfour the war still had to be won.

His Majesty’s Government may have viewed with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. In 1917 the British still had to defeat the Ottomans who had ruled for five hundred years.

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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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INTO THE FRAY: The ruinous results of “conflict management”.

“Conflict management has not countered successful Palestinian efforts…to change crucial strategic facts on the ground with deleterious long-term implications on Israel’s security”.  Israel’s present conflict management approach, which has succeeded in reducing Palestinian terrorism to manageable proportions, is an insufficient response to the dangers of Palestinian territorial expansionism…[M]anaging the conflict …

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