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The Long Road Home

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How Does Israel Treat Its Arab Citizens?

{image_1}Israel’s war for independence was a particularly brutal conflict, with the avowed purpose of her attackers being to annihilate the Jewish population and secure the entire country for the Arab population. On May 15, 1948, the day after Israel’s declaration of statehood, the Secretary General of the Arab League declared in a BBC news broadcast: “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre that will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”

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The 19th Knesset

{image_1}Israel has a vibrant multi-party system democracy. In the 19th Knesset, 13 parties, ranging in size from 2 to 31 members, make up the 120-member Knesset

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Building a Home Where the Antelope Roam

{image_1}When tractors broke ground at the Gazelle Valley in Jerusalem in January 2013, a new and unique chapter in the city’s efforts to “go green” began. After a decades-long fight to keep developers away from the site, Israel will finally get its first wildlife nature park located within a city, and Jerusalem will have preserved a precious open space in its urban heartland.

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One Solution to the Israel-Palestinian Conflict

{image_1}In Israel today, there are many who strongly advocate a “land-for-peace” deal with the Palestinians. The argument is simple—the Palestinians want their own state, and like so many other territorial disputes, this too can be resolved in a grand compromise. The sad reality is that Israel received the worst run of suicide bombings and general terrorism from the Palestinians after they made their most extensive “land-for-peace” offer to Yasser Arafat in 2000. Then, when they actually gave up land in Gaza, Israel received in return more rockets, the election of the Hamas terrorist organization by the Palestinians, and two wars. Yet many in Israel today see all this conflict as needing to be resolved, hoping that a final compromise via a full-fledged “two-state solution” will end the violence. It seems the only thing they fear more than the risk of terrorism is that Israel will be forced to accept the Palestinians as citizens in one state and that somehow a growing population of Arabs will democratically end the Jewish nature of Israel once and for all. Because of this, the “one-state solution” is perhaps the greatest fear for Israel’s political left-wing. Other Jewish Israelis believe the “one-state solution” is the only real hope for a Jewish Israel to survive. 

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Israel’s Response to UN Vote

{image_1}The November 29, 2012 UN vote to upgrade the Palestinian Authority (PA) to a “non-member observer state,” in violation of the 1993 Oslo Accords, was an expected derivative of Israel's policy towards the PA since 1993—critical concessions, retreats, indecisiveness, submission to pressure, and appeasement.

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Love Thy Enemies—From Warnings to Healings, Israel Provides

{image_1}On November 18, the sun rose like any day, and like so many days dozens of trucks carrying aid and supplies entered the Gaza Strip from Israeli territory. Like so many days before it, on November 18, a total of 26 Gazan patients were accompanied into Israel for medical treatment. Yet, one of the main things that separated November 18 from a number of Sundays before, is that on that day Gaza fired 156 rockets at Israel. This followed a four-day stretch during which over 900 rockets were launched at Israel. Civilians in Israeli towns were under routine threat—some had been killed by the attacks and dozens more were wounded. It was Day 5 of Israel’s “Pillar of Defense” Operation, which was intended to undercut Gaza’s ability and desire to strike Israel’s home front at whim. Yet, despite the war-like circumstances, despite the intentional targeting of Israeli civilians by Gaza’s leaders, Israel was facilitating the entrance of aid into Gaza, and sick Palestinians into Israeli hospitals. That juxtaposition is no anomaly—it’s an intentionality.

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Purim—A Story of Redemption

{image_1}All the holidays on the Jewish calendar are extraordinary, but Purim is arguably the most joyous of them all. During Purim, Jerusalem’s streets are crowded with costumed people of all ages—princesses, priests, and pirates, and an endless parade of others. It’s a festival of celebration and remembrance where the Jewish people recall the time, 2500 years ago, when God delivered His people from destruction. 

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Christian Leaders Declare Solidarity with Israel

{image_1}Among the thousands who went up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in October were 25 Christian parliamentarians from all over the globe. This unique group of lawmakers attended a landmark three-day leadership conference sponsored by the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation (IIACF), and Bridges for Peace was honored with an invitation to participate.

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Reacting to Chemicals: The Other Weapons of Mass Destruction

{image_1}They have already been the impetus for a war in the Middle East. They have been sought by ruthless regimes. And, they have caused serious and real concern across the world. But they aren’t nuclear in nature. No, these are other weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), and they have already been unleashed on the Middle East region.

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Rock of Ages

{image_1}One of the hymns sung by Christians that has been dearly loved for over 200 years is “Rock of Ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee…” What most Christians don’t know is that Judaism also has a song called “Rock of Ages.” In Hebrew, it is Ma’oz Tzur (literally, “mighty stronghold”), thought to be composed by a man named Mordechai in Europe in the 13th century during the Crusades because the first letters of the first five stanzas form an acrostic spelling his name.

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