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Lebanon SOS

They once called it the Switzerland of the Middle East, an island of calm, cultured prosperity in a sea of chaos and cruelty. But those days are long gone. Today, Lebanon is known for something else: a failed state in the throes of what the World Bank calls one of the worst economic collapses in

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The Quirks of Israel

From the pen of Peter Fast, national director of Canada and the future CEO of Bridges for Peace International, comes an exciting new series of articles entitled the Quirks of Israel. Join Peter on a journey through the wonderfully peculiar culture, traditions, heritage and daily life of this singular nation as he unpacks, introduces and

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Gardens of Jerusalem

Jerusalem is Israel’s largest city. King David’s description thousands of year ago is still accurate today: “Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together” (Ps. 122:3). There is a perpetual housing shortage and people continue to flood into the capital. Thankfully, the parks and gardens of Jerusalem provide room for the bulging population

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Where’s the Apartheid, Amnesty International

In February, Amnesty International, an NGO that prides itself on “campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all,” published a scathing report accusing the Jewish state of the crime of apartheid. The report, “Israel’s Apartheid against Palestinians: A Cruel System of Domination and Crime against Humanity,” waxes on for 200-odd pages, filling

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Capital Concern: What a US Palestinian Consulate Says about Control of Jerusalem

For millennia, Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel—it just wasn’t always recognized as such by other nations. On December 6, 2017, the United States dramatically changed its approach by formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. Just over four years later, the Palestinians are hoping a new president in the

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To Strike or Not To Strike

Throughout 2021, the powers-that-be in Jerusalem hammered a targeted message: Israel has lost faith in diplomatic endeavors and has reverted to exploring a military approach to block Iran’s path to the nuclear bomb. The year kicked off with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi instructing the military to develop operational strike plans.

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A Rabbi, an Imam and a Bishop: Religious Pluralism in Israel

A rabbi, an imam and a bishop bump into each other at the market. This isn’t the beginning of a joke; it’s life in Israel, home to the three Abrahamic religions. The Jewish state, while being majority Jewish, hosts churches, mosques and other places of worship alongside the abundant synagogues. Naturally this brings tension. Last

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Beauty For Ashes

On November 16, 2021, Israel hosted a unique, annual event that is a remarkable celebration of life—with just a touch of glam. The Miss Holocaust pageant was held in Jerusalem, putting 10 contestants on stage to vie for the prestigious title. The event is the brainchild of Shimon Sabag, director of Yad Ezer L’Haver (Helping

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Tracing the Palestinians

Israel often draws a disproportionate share of media coverage and worldwide censure. The tide of attention—and criticism—rarely occurs in a vacuum. Israel’s actions, decisions and even existence are habitually judged in the context of another people group: the Palestinians. In fact, Israel’s position on the world stage cannot be fully comprehended without factoring in the

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Keeping Jerusalem Green

He who plants a tree, plants hope.” Lucy Larcom The overpowering, overwhelming “green” of Alaska never fails to catch me by surprise whenever I return for a visit in the summer. It always takes a day or two before my eyes adjust from the subtle, understated “green” of Jerusalem. The fact that Jerusalem is green

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