Shlicha’s/Shaliach’s View

Ethiopian aliyah stories resonate amid protest

Oshrat Barel

Ethiopian protest in Israel It’s been more than 30 years since the first immigrants came from Ethiopia to Israel. As a young teenager I remember the new immigrants coming to the merkaz klita (absorption center) in Revaya next to my hometown. My mother volunteered as the chair of the… Read more »

Shlicha’s view: Contemplating Israeli election, family politics

Even if a donkey will be at the head of the Likud, you will vote Likud,” I laughed with my father, and he said, “Yes,” smiling, “because I am a man of ideology.” I was raised in a pluralistic home in terms of political approach. My beloved late father… Read more »

As elections near, Israelis seek new way forward

Oshrat Barel

Elections in Israel — why now? During my recent visit to Israel, many of the conversations I had with family and friends were about the upcoming elections in Israel. The fact that the elections are being held prematurely did not come as a surprise, especially given that Israel has… Read more »

Two writers’ views of Israel and a sad goodbye

Oshrat Barel

  Israeli culture Every year there is an Israeli book or two that tries to shed new light on the complicated situation in Israel. I found two recent books very interesting and in a way even complementary.  “The Industry of Lies” by Ben-Dror Yemini explores the mechanism that causes… Read more »

Terror demands appropriate, careful response

Oshrat Barel

Terror in Israel, again Since the recent escalation of terror in Israel, I have been asked about one of the latest incidents in which a young Israeli Arab from Kafr Kana ran toward an Israeli police car and stabbed at the car. Several policemen stepped out of the car… Read more »

Exodus to Berlin, Rabbi Akiva and a kind family

Oshrat Barel

Current Israel “I have a dream,” wrote a young Israeli, Naor Narkis, several years ago, describing the life he would love to have. Now the 25-year-old is leading a social protest that is making him a role model for many young Israelis, even though for weeks he kept his… Read more »

Naivety lost, but hope for peace must always remain

Oshrat Barel

Current Israel So much has already been written about the past summer in Israel, the kidnap and murder of our three teens, nonstop missiles firing into Israel, tunnels, terrorism and the double standards of the international media. It is almost four months since it began. Only last week, while… Read more »

Sacrifices add to the power of Israel’s Independence Day

From Commemoration to Celebration The uniqueness and in a way, also the beauty, of Israel’s Independence Day (Yom Haatzmaut) is that it doesn’t stand on its own. Holocaust Memorial Day (Yom HaShoah) and the Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror (Yom Hazikaron) serve as the buildup,… Read more »

Around the world, when rescue is needed, Israel is first to help

Oshrat Barel

Line between life and death/ ­good and evil Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu likes to draw lines, especially red ones, as he claimed at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee national conference earlier this month. What caught me in his speech, to a very welcoming audience, wasn’t the Iranian… Read more »

Israel memorial, rally honor the disenfranchised

Oshrat Barel

Pluralism in Israel Israel is known for its pluralism, yet there is still room for improvement. Lately, two different events made me realize that Israel is making progress even more rapidly. First, a national monument that honors 15,000 Jewish and non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust who were persecuted by… Read more »

Exploring Israel through Tucsonans’ eyes

Oshrat Barel

Let me tell you about the best part of my role as a shlicha (emis­sary from Israel). Without a doubt, it is the opportunity, every single day, to meet the most interesting people and to do what I like most: explore Israel through others’ eyes — your eyes. This… Read more »

After years in Tucson, seeing Jewish identity differently

Guy Gelbart

It is time to say shalom, the He­­brew word for hello, goodbye and peace. We came in peace, we go in peace. How does one summarize three years? Do you list all the events you created or took part in? Do you make a list of achievements? What was… Read more »

Israel at 65: Remembering the price of Israel’s freedom

Guy Gelbart

During the recent Passover holiday, we celebrated the ending of our slavery and becoming a free people. After fleeing Egypt, we were liberated but not yet free. Even after receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, we were not yet free. It took more than 40 years, a full generation,… Read more »

The great debate: Is Judaism a religion?

Guy Gelbart

Is Judaism a religion or is it not? This is the question I posted on my Facebook page, Tucson Shaliach Guy Gelbart, with the intention of creating a thought-provoking discussion. I shared a link to a YouTube video of a talk by my friend Avraham Infeld, president of the… Read more »

Gelbart: What kind of Palestinian state can we expect?

Guy Gelbart

Is creating a Palestinian state truly in the best interest of hu­man rights? This fundamental question is often ignored. Many, including myself, refer to a two states for two peoples solution as the best possible option. I personally tend to support this approach, yet I have some significant concerns.… Read more »

Israel’s election process explained … in brief

Guy Gelbart

Israel’s elections are approaching, so it seems like a good time to explain the complex, confusing and often awkward process that constitutes the heart and soul of Israeli democracy. In 1948, when the state of Israel was declared, it was decided the Jewish state would be a multi-party parliamentary… Read more »

Shaliach’s view: Avoiding collateral damage — your moral choice scenario

Guy Gelbart

Imagine the following horrible scenario: an armed group of 100 snipers takes over a main building in downtown Tucson; they shoot people walking on the streets. The entire downtown area is shut down; people are locked in their offices across the city and can’t go home. Assume that you… Read more »

‘Language of the Hebrew Man’ lyrics pose poetic question

  Speak up, the language of the Hebrew Man,” says a song by popular Israeli singer/songwriter Ehud Banai. Of course we all know what the language of the Hebrew man is — but do we really? Does Banai refer to the current, updated, slangy Israeli Hebrew? Or does he… Read more »