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The Forgotten Exodus: Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries

I knew Hannah Behar was extraordinary the first time she cupped my cheeks in her age-gnarled hands and called me habibti (Arabic term of endearment). At 86, Behar—a friend’s grandmother who welcomed me in her home as a daughter—was the picture of vitality and spunk. Her exceptional character, I learned, was forged in the fires

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Fighting the Good Fight: Israeli Athletes Facing Discrimination

“I think not going is losing.” — Gili Cohen Gili Cohen first hit the judo mat when she was four years old. An Israeli citizen from Ra’anana, just 20 minutes north of Tel Aviv, the 26-year-old is now a leading judoka who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics. In October, she climbed the podium at

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Israel’s New National Aquarium

What’s it like to be a fish? As human beings we are dependent on the air we breathe, so unless we scuba dive or snorkel, avenues to enter a watery environment are quite limited. Therefore, the underwater world is a mystery to most of us. Aquariums, large and small, give us a chance to see

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Hidden Life of the Dead Sea

The turquoise blue waters of the Dead Sea shimmer in the sunshine like an exotic jewel set between the Judean Hills of Israel and the Moab Mountains of Jordan. For millennia, this natural wonder has cast its allure over people who have come to seek the healing properties of its mineral-laden waters and nutrient-rich black

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From North Korea with Hate–Nuclear Program Threatens Israel Too

  North Korea tested a nuclear weapon on September 3rd that literally shook the region. The United States Geological Survey, a government entity that measures earthquakes, reported on their website a “possible explosion” measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale. They reported the rumble was felt by persons in China, Russia and Japan. And symbolically, the

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Friend or Foe? The Complex Country of Lebanon

There’s complicated, and then there’s Lebanon. The country’s government is effectively controlled by Hezbollah, a terrorist organization. That same group murdered current Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri’s father, but now he is something of a figurehead for the government mastered by Hezbollah. Meanwhile, the Lebanese army is tasked by the United Nations with keeping Hezbollah’s arms

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Lifeline for the Old

As I stepped into the room filled with elderly artisans, I sensed a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. For the most part, we had no shared language, but I knew each one was happy to be there. Seated at tables in groups of three or four, some were chatting with a neighbor as they worked, while others

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Promised Land or West Bank

I grew up during the days when the Second Intifada (uprising) raged in Israel. Night after night, the 7 o’clock news brought tidings of terror attacks and suicide bombers. In the mornings, newspaper headlines screamed that the prospects for peace looked increasingly grim and clashes between Israel and Palestinians continued. While cities like Tel Aviv

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A Year of Extraordinary Anniversaries

“In Israel, to be a realist you must believe in miracles,” David Ben-Gurion said. The nation’s first prime minister was right—Israel is no ordinary country. Yet, even in a land where biblical prophecies are being fulfilled, 2017 was extraordinary. This year, Israel celebrated a group of milestone anniversaries that marked significant beacons in the nation’s

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Let’s Be Friends

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a strong leader and skilled politician who has navigated Israel through some very rough waters. However, of late he is revealing a new skill, one he has often been accused of lacking in the past—that of diplomat. While the historic Africa–Israel summit has been postponed for the time being,

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