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The Desert Will Blossom

After seeing photos of the lush, green Galilee, an astonished friend told me that she thought Israel was all desert. Israel is not exactly all desert, but desert does make up almost 60% of the nation’s land mass. I expect she envisioned camel caravans making their way across endless dunes of sand, but, in fact,

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Methuselah: The Story of the World’s Oldest Date Palm Tree

It was an exceptionally hot day in September when a small group of scientists gathered together in the heart of the Arava Desert. One by one they began to carefully harvest the luscious fruit of a date palm tree. But this was no ordinary date palm tree, for it had been pollinated by a tree

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Chagall’s Legacy in Israel

In the beautiful Judean Hills, there is a place of healing called Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, overlooking the village where John the Baptist was born. Since opening its doors in the early 1960s, Hadassah has been celebrated for its medical advances and patient care. In 2005, the hospital won the coveted Nobel Peace Prize for

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Resurrection of the Iran Deal?

“There must be no return to the 2015 nuclear deal,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a December 2020 speech. “We must maintain an uncompromising policy to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons.” In light of Iran’s intransigence and the international community’s indecisiveness, his words rang with desperation. Israel, perhaps more than

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Through the Streets of History

Journeying along the streets of Jerusalem is like paging through an encyclopedia filled with a rich and vibrant history. Jerusalem does not have regular street names like Maple, Magnolia or Main. Rather, at every turn, the events and people who were influential in the history of the Jewish people or in the creation of the

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Life Above All Else

On October 18, a new patient arrived at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center coronavirus ward in critical condition. Saeb Erekat—chief Palestinian negotiator, right hand to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the man hailed as the public face of the Palestinian people—had tested positive for COVID-19 days earlier. The disease quickly ravaged Erekat, who suffered from

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Something Old, Something New

One of my favorite things about living in Jerusalem is the seemingly never-ending layers of history that coexist with the style and energy of the modern capital of Israel. This city is a treasure trove of ancient history ever present amidst the contemporary everyday hustle and bustle of life. Let’s take a look at a

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Trouble Brewing for Hezbollah

Hezbollah terrorists have been the primary power in Lebanon for years, and that force has been for anything but good. The terror group has used the Lebanese towns and countryside as their own human shield-laden missile array for a future war against Israel. Hezbollah has also wielded disruptive, if not controlling, political power in Lebanon’s

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Shanghai: The Noah’s Ark of the Orient

A cruise liner gently bumped against the wharf at the mouth of the Yangtze River in the late spring of 1939. The ship had voyaged 8,000 miles [12,874.75 km] from Italy, and the people on board—Jews from Germany—stood at the rail, gazing on the scene before them with trepidation and excitement. Shanghai had been their

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A Sanctuary for Birds and Birders in Jerusalem

In the heart of the bustling city of Jerusalem, nestled between Israel’s Knesset (Parliament) and the Supreme Court, lies a serene nature sanctuary. The Nili and David Jerusalem Bird Observatory (JBO) rests on an acre-and-a-half (0.6 hectares) of lush land that provides a safe haven for some 200 species of birds and other wildlife within

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