If Sderot is known as the Bomb Shelter Capital of the World (previous blog) Netivot, eight miles further south along the fraught border with Gaza, has been called the Varanasi of Israel, likened to Hinduism's holiest city because of its links to Jewish mysticism and miracles.
I grew into adulthood and under certain Republican and hawkish narratives.
Like a clear majority of Israelis, I have long believed that the Palestinians have "a right to be a free people on their land." It would serve not only Palestinian interests but Israeli interests as well. But there is just one problem, and it is contained in eight words the president expressed: "The Palestinians are not the easiest of partners."
This photo documentary on the Israeli border town of Sderot is not intended to get into the political argument between Israel and Palestine over who is right and who is wrong but merely to take a walk through a town that has earned the title of Bomb Shelter Capital of the World for its ubiquitous reinforced shelters against the hailstorm of rockets and mortars from Gaza.
I grew up in a Christian home. My father was a physicist and aerospace engineer and mother was a stay at home housewife. When I was little, much as I suspect is the case for most Christian children, I was told about Christmas and Santa Claus.
The hardening of the occupation, the inexorable expansion of the settlements, and the deepening violence seen in the assaults on Gaza in 2014 lead us to call for the Episcopal Church to take this next step for justice and a lasting peace.
The tenth anniversary of the BDS movement is fast approaching, inspiring hope and fear to the respective opponents and proponents of the ongoing domination of Palestinians.
One would think that those who suffered persecution as much as the Jews would treat others with care and sensitivity. That the victim can become a victimizer is painful to face, but it is a reality nonetheless.
The thing that we need most in the United States is not more people for whom less war is their top issue; the thing that we need most is to reduce the general phobia among liberals and progressives so that making advocacy for less war becomes a standard feature of the liberal-progressive package presented to the public.
Jews in America have made too much progress over the last half-century to cause us to overreact. Still, we cannot afford to be complacent. We have to address these campus issues now before they expand further and spin out of control, truly creating a widespread worrisome atmosphere.
Founders of many modern states, including stalwarts of anti-terrorism like Israel and allies in the war on terror like the Kurds, achieved goals with political violence that killed innocent people and would be classified today as terrorism.
On this important day, I can live with these dual feelings: an immense pride as a Jew in the glories of the Jewish state, and a realization that the challenges facing Israel are profound and require new initiatives.
Jews and Muslims should not be working against each other, but with each other to promote their common interests and rights as religious minorities in Europe, particularly with the rise of right-wing parties across the continent.
Cardin's initiative is all about trying to block European sanctions on Israeli settlements in the West Bank (which sanctions are, by the way, supported by Human Rights Watch.) Cardin is trying to block European efforts to bring about a two state solution to the conflict. Thus, Ben Cardin is a Two State Faker.
Israel's Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) has demanded that notoriously racist club Beitar Jerusalem, the bad boy of Israeli soccer, retract recent statements that it would maintain its policy of not hiring Palestinian players because of opposition by the team's militant, racist fan base.
When you stand at attention this Yom Hashoah, don't just remember the past but think of an effective action plan, asking what am I doing to fight anti-Semitism today and to build a positive modern Zionism for the future?