In meetings with the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, and Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid, we discussed the crisis in Ukraine, the future of the Kotel, ensuring more funding and rights for non-Orthodox Jews, combatting racism, and stopping extremist violence against Palestinians, in addition to other pressing issues.
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The increasingly violent actions of certain young Jewish settlers in the West Bank against Palestinians - and against their olive trees, sheep herds, vehicles, homes, water supplies, and against their persons - have deeply troubled me, as just one awful symptom of our occupation. Last spring, in the ongoing, non-violent attempts to deter the frequent harassment by their Jewish settler neighbors, I went out twice to accompany Palestinian shepherds as they grazed their flocks.
An Israeli Reform Congregation Joins its Ethiopian Jewish Neighbors in Celebrating the Holiday of Sigd
For many generations, the Beta Israel had longed to reach Jerusalem in a quest to renew their covenant with God and for spiritual redemption. So strong was their desire that they created a holiday as a time to pray for this miracle. They called it Sigd (meaning "worship") and celebrated it on the 50th day after Yom Kippur. This year it is celebrated today, November 4.
On Sunday, Israel’s Knesset narrowly voted in Israel’s 36th government with Naftali Bennett as the nation’s 13th prime minister, unseating the incumbant Benjamin Netanyahu.
When the State of Israel was established in 1948, its secular founders envisioned a nation that would be both Jewish and attuned to the values of liberal democracy. They were confident that a country with an overwhelming Jewish majority could maintain a Jewish character and ensure civic equality for all its inhabitants.
The winds of change are blowing through Israel these days. This week the so-called “coalition for change” presented its new government to President Reuven Rivlin, ousting Benjamin Netanyahu after 12 consecutive years as Israel’s Prime Minister.
When my dream came true, and I was accepted to a PhD program at Harvard, I expected to struggle at times as a Zionist and former IDF officer.
Much of the rhetoric coming out of an American understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian interrelationship seriously lacks nuance. Nuance is cavalierly sacrificed on the altar of the soundbite and the hashtag. Those who preach liberal politics and tolerance based on their American experience seem unwilling to understand the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The current wave of violence in Israel and Gaza is a heartbreaking human tragedy. The loss of innocent life (including that of children) rends the heart, destruction of homes and endemic fear defy the peace and security in which every human being deserves to live.