Tagged Israel

Israelis value civil liberties for all

My wife and I are considering relocating from Northern New Jersey to the Tucson area. To learn more about Jewish life in Arizona, we subscribed recently to the Arizona Jewish Post. Letters from members of the Arizona Jewish community obviously are of great interest to us since they reflect… Read more »

‘Steadfast Hope’ series was promoted as dialogue

Guy Gelbart, community shaliach, was absolutely right in his June 17 column, “Billed as dialogue on Israeli-Palestinian peace, local series is pure ‘hate pill.’” The letter writers who responded to his column — and there’s no room to refute all their unfounded accusations — disingenuously suggested that the Steadfast… Read more »

Ghetto comparison distorts history

A July 1 letter to the AJP titled “West Bank, Warsaw ghetto alike,” inverts the Holocaust by claiming that Israel behaves like Nazi Germany. The letter was written with the aim of clarifying the “obfuscation,” “distraction” and “fabrication” the author found in the “Shaliach’s View” column of June 17,… Read more »

Letters attack with lies about Israel

I too attended the Steadfast Hope series referred to in the letters to the editor of July 1 and in Guy Gelbart’s “Shaliach’s View” column of June 17. The organizers’ synchronized letter attacks on Israel’s representative, Mr. Gelbart, who responded to the content of the presentations and the manner… Read more »

With protests, Israelis are seeking the revival of the welfare state

Members of a young adult group in Kiryat Malachi, Israel, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, recruited other young adults from the city to demand affordable housing. The sign reads, “Welcome to the tent city — Kiryat Malachi.” About 100 people joined the protest on July 25. (Courtesy Jewish Agency for Israel)

The wave of protests sweeping Israel is about much more than the lack of affordable housing: It’s a grass-roots demand for a major redistribution of the nation’s wealth. In social terms, protesters are calling for a more caring government attuned to the needs of young, middle-class citizens who serve… Read more »

Local Israel Action Network to fight delegitimization efforts

Members of the Weintraub Israel Center and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona have formed an Israel Action Network to counter efforts to delegitimize Israel. The network is “part of a national trend among Jewish communities,” says Dan Karsch, chair of the network… Read more »

In helping Palestinians, IDF paramedics defy sterotypes

Helping Palestinians deal with medical emergencies is a significant part of the job of IDF paramedics in the West Bank. (Linda Gradstein)

CARMEI TZUR, West Bank (JTA) — Yana Kisluk tosses her long ponytail over one shoulder and adjusts her M-16 over the other. The pretty 21-year-old, who wears diamond stud earrings and perfect eye makeup, looks like any other young Israeli doing her compulsory military service. As a paramedic in… Read more »

Yin yang

It’s almost 6 months since we moved to Israel…and I’ll soon compose a contemplative look back at our transition to life here. But in the meantime, I’m doing eight loads of laundry in a crappy stackable washer/dryer set that’s shoved in too tight into our bathroom and it got… Read more »


I have a big personality flaw. I do not like the heat, but I can’t stay out of the kitchen. Meaning, I have a strong opinion. And I like to share that opinion with others. But then I get all bent out of shape when I have to defend my self-publicized opinion.… Read more »

The Blooper Reel

In the movie that is my life, this period in time will be filled with perfect material for the end of film outtakes. The bloopers and practical jokes that roll after the credits; that end up on disc 2 of the DVD set. Hopefully, by the time such a… Read more »

With Beckers, Tucsonans see Israel from biblical perspective

Bernadette Donfeld (left) and Esther Becker on a hill overlooking Shilo, where the Tabernacle was located for 369 years until destroyed by the Philistines. The photo was taken on a 2011 Southwest Torah Institute Israel trip. (Bob Donfeld).

      Rabbi Israel Becker and his wife, Esther, who have led Congregation Chofetz Chayim since 1979, have visited Israel dozens of times and lived there for extended periods in the ’60s and ’70s. But until last month, the Beckers had never led a group of their fellow… Read more »

Gelbart wrong on ‘hate pill’ and limiting opinions

I was a participant in the Steadfast Hope series that Guy Gelbart refers to in his “Shaliach’s View” column in the June 17 issue of the Arizona Jewish Post. I really cannot disagree with him more on his characterization of the series as a “hate pill.” The series was… Read more »

Speakers never called Israel evil

Thank you to Guy Gelbart for informing the wider Jewish community about our series: Steadfast Hope, the Palestinian Quest for Just Peace. For people interested in the topic of Israel/Palestine, we will offer other, similar programs in the future. As one of the organizers and presenters of the series,… Read more »

West Bank, Warsaw ghetto alike

I am not part of the organizing team that presented the Steadfast Hope series, but I was a member of the audience, so I know that most of what the shaliach said after the event is pure obfuscation and distraction and in many instances simply fabrication. According to the… Read more »

Fixing broken hearts in Israel

Laura Kafif, the house mother at Sava A Child’s Heart, visits with one of her charges, Zeresenay Gebru, as he recovers from heart surgery at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, May 31, 2011. (Sheila Shalhevet/JTA Photo Service)

Just two days earlier, 8-year-old Salha Farjalla Khamis said goodbye to her parents and four siblings in her village on the African island of Zanzibar. Now, in a hospital in the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon, tears roll silently down her cheeks as she watches an Israeli nurse attach… Read more »

Politics, conversion, Gaza: Rabbis’ Israel trip is inside scoop

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon of Temple Emanu-El in front of the Knesset, where 30 American rabbis were briefed during a ‘Rabbis Engaging with Israel’ mission last month

It’s not unusual for rabbis to frequently visit Israel, but last month Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon of Temple Emanu-El enjoyed the rare opportunity of traveling to the Holy Land as part of a select group from around the United States and Canada that included 10 Reform, 10 Conservative and… Read more »

Dolphinarium disco attack 10 years ago turning point for Russian-speaking immigrants

Faina Dorfman, whose only child, Yevgenia, 15, was killed in a suicide bombing at Tel Aviv’s seaside Dolphinarium disco. (Dina Kraft)

Tel Aviv — Faina Dorfman, who immigrated to Israel from Uzbekistan hoping that her only child would have a better life here, walks along a stretch of beach just south of a tattered seaside disco called the Dolphinarium. Ten years ago, a young Palestinian detonated a bomb packed with… Read more »

News Analysis: With border breaches, has the Arab Spring reached Israel?

Arab demonstrators marking the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba hold Palestinian flags as they approach the village of Majdal Shams in the Golan heights, between Syria and Israel, May 15, 2011. (Hamal Almak/Flash 90/JTA)

TEL AVIV (JTA) — If a single phrase could capture the sentiment that motivated thousands of Arabs to try to cross Israel’s borders on Sunday to “retake Palestine” from the Jews, it would be this: Yes, we can. That can-do attitude had toppled regimes in Egypt and Tunisia, and… Read more »

Op-ed: Entebbe and bin Laden raids underscore U.S.-Israel alliance

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Nearly 35 years ago, on July 4, 1976, the streets of America were aglow. The nation was celebrating the bicentennial — the 200th anniversary of its independence. In Israel, too, the streets were radiant. Israel Defense Forces commandos had rescued some 100 hostages held captive by… Read more »

The Tony Kushner flap: What does it say about the discourse on Israel in America?

In a letter to the CUNY board, Tony Kushner wrote, "I believe I am owed an apology for the careless way in which my name and reputation were handled at your meeting." (Jay Thompson)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — It was the latest dustup over what constitutes acceptable discourse in the American Jewish community when it comes to Israel. Except this time the battle wasn’t contained within the community, but began at a university board meeting and spilled over onto the front page of The… Read more »