It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Israel is located smack dab in the middle of one of the world's biggest political hotspots. But it does take a few to keep this tiny country along the eastern Mediterranean safe and secure, and that seems to be why Israel is bouncing back big time in 2015.
Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren is getting some attention for his claim in a memoir to be published next week that President Obama "abandoned Israel." The book is sure to be a hot debating point this summer in the American Jewish community and possibly beyond.
A three-minute video, posted by a Saudi government-backed organization to YouTube on June 4, has garnered 150,000 views in 48 hours and sparked a discussion in the kingdom about how to stem sectarian conflict.
Nasser was only four years old in June 1986 when, after the remains of an ancient synagogue were discovered in Old Susya. Israel's Civil Administration declared his village an archaeological site and expropriated it. Bulldozers had blocked the caves and destroyed their homes.
This week marks the 48th anniversary of the Six-Day War in Israel. It is the anniversary of the state of euphoria which existed in Israel after the defeat of so many of its neighbors. After all, some months before June, 1967, people were not sure if the State would survive and in fact mass graves were prepared, just in case.
Often films and stories from Israel and Palestine concentrate on the conflict between these two cultures, rather than life as it is experienced on the ground; daily life amid stoning, shooting and bomb explosions.
It's being alone on the open road surrounded by 7 other strangers. It's not showering for three days after hiking in the blazing hot sun. It's jumping into a taxi and realizing your Arabic is a complete joke and those fancy translation apps you downloaded at the German airport are useless.
Contrary to common wisdom, the turmoil sweeping the Middle East, the convergence of multiple conflicts, and future uncertainties have created new compelling circumstances that support the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
The General Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC), meeting later this month, will consider two resolutions calling for divestment from Israel and another labeling the Israeli treatment of Palestinians as akin to "Apartheid."
Today, Beersheba is a modern university town of some 200,000 people, at 25 miles from the Gaza strip further than either Sderot or Netivot, though still within range of incoming grad rockets that have at times pummelled the city.
"We're going to have to go into Gaza every two years to 'mow the lawn,'" Avner Gvaryahu said, referring to what senior IDF commanders call the recent ...
I am visiting Israel to deliver some lectures. I note a sense of helplessness; Israelis have kind of accepted that every few years there will be a war, people will be killed, but there is nothing Israel can do to change that. That is the belief I detect.
Netanyahu now seems to think that the world is so stupid that simply mouthing the words "negotiations" and "Arab Peace Initiative" is enough for all of this to be set aside.
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."