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Ten Common Misconceptions about Israel

In conversations outside the Holy Land, I’ve found that much of what people assume about Israel is incorrect, mostly because they have never had the opportunity to visit. Until tourism resumes and people can come experience this amazing country for themselves, I’m here to set the record straight on a few misconceptions. 1. Israel is

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Education is the Answer

It’s the rare parent who doesn’t long for their children to receive a good, solid education that will be their pathway to a brighter future. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” Ideally, those places

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Jerusalem Stone

What comes to mind when visualizing the City of the Great King? Do you see images of the iconic stones of the Western Wall that have withstood centuries of conflict? Do you see the narrow streets of the Old City zigzagging through a maze of diverse cultures? Or perhaps you see the upscale Mamilla Mall,

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Pay-for-Slay

According to Palestinian law, every Palestinian convicted of an attack against Israelis is eligible for lavish financial payments doled out in “monthly salaries” to both the terrorist and his or her family from the moment of arrest—with the bonus of additional cash grants and priority civil service job opportunities upon release. The deadlier and bloodier

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Watering the World’s Deserts, Drop by Drop

In 2000, the northern coastal valley of Peru was a barren desert where farmers could grow little. For many years, their hope of turning the desert green seemed like a pipe dream. Peru rivalled Haiti as one of the poorest nations in the western hemisphere, with many of the Peruvian people lacking food and basic

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Saying Goodbye to Ruvi

His granddaughter calls him “Care Bear.” Israelis know him as Ruvi, their beloved national grandfather. Peers describe him as “honest and uncorrupted…standing like a solid rock in defense of democracy.” To world leaders, he’s President Reuven Rivlin, Israel’s tenth president, who’s earned the respect of influencers and ordinary people alike with his integrity, humility and

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Tzedakah

In the book of Deuteronomy, there is a forewarning that there will always be poor people among us, a notion which is repeated in the Gospels. Christianity and Judaism share a common thread of generosity towards those who are less fortunate—and also a desire to see the world repaired through acts of justice, generosity and

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The “Political Wing” Myth Why Hamas and Hezbollah Change Strategy, Not Philosophy

In 2006, hope reigned on the Palestinian streets. The populist Hamas movement had won legislative elections against their political rival Fatah (leading secular Palestinian political party), and some in the West wanted to believe that the victory could mold the terrorists into statesmen. In less than 18 months, that hope was dashed as Hamas waged

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Libels, Lies and Deceit: The Modern Twist on an Ancient Smear

The tragic tale tugged at the heartstrings of readers the world over. It painted a pitiful picture of the plight of two neighboring families, both exposed to the ravages of a terrible plague with but one cure. Sadly, one of the families—a brutal, tyrannical type—controlled the cure, and chose to dispense the life-saving remedy to

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Israel: A Safe Space

“Is Israel safe?” “Do you feel safe there?” “Are you ever afraid?” These are the questions friends and family ask—from the day I announced I was moving to Jerusalem and all throughout the past three years of living in Israel. In describing what they think of Israel, most people who have never set foot in

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