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Israel & the Near East

Lost & Found Lost & Found
Tuesday, January 4, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In 1974, a strange letter from northeastern India landed on the desk of Israel's then Prime Minister Golda Meir. It was sent by a group of Indians claiming to be descendants of the biblical tribe of Menashe.
Comeback Kids? Comeback Kids?
Thursday, December 30, 2010 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Israeli elections are far off. But two familiar figures, only recently down and out, have re-emerged at opposite ends of the political spectrum, setting journalists and veteran observers to wonder about the future shape of things.
And Not a Drop to Drink And Not a Drop to Drink
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

With Israel's Carmel fires barely extinguished, word came in early December that the water level in the Kinneret, also known as the Sea of Galilee, was approaching the "black line" at which no more pumping could take place.
The Continuing War for Safed The Continuing War for Safed
Thursday, December 16, 2010 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Safed (Hebrew: Tsfat) is a picturesque town of 32,000 souls nestled in the hills of Galilee.  It is also home to a hardline branch of the Islamic Movement looking for ways to undermine Jewish sovereignty.
Shorting History Shorting History
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

English-language introductions to modern Israel are few and far between, and good ones even fewer and farther. For that reason alone, the publication of Martin van Creveld's The Land of Blood and Honey: The Rise of Modern Israel raises the hope that here, at last, is the book to recommend to anyone seeking a definitive, concise, level-headed, and well-written guide to the Jewish state.
The Mood of the Oud The Mood of the Oud
Friday, December 10, 2010 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Arab elements continue to animate many forms of Jewish expression that, originally rooted in Arab countries, have been transplanted into Israeli society.
Sin City on the Sea? Sin City on the Sea?
Thursday, December 9, 2010 by Hillel Halkin | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Tel Avivians are rubbing their eyes these days. Until lately so little thought of by the world that many tourists to Israel never bothered to visit it at all, their city is suddenly high on the places-to-be lists.
Soulmate Wanted Soulmate Wanted
Wednesday, December 8, 2010 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Slowly but surely, the divide between Ashkenazim and Sephardim in Israeli society is ebbing. But in one sector it continues to stand fast.
Fire and Resilience Fire and Resilience
Tuesday, December 7, 2010 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Along the flanks of Israel's Carmel range, just below the scene of the past days' cataclysm, it is possible to see, in ancient caves whose ceilings are caked with millennia of soot, some of the earliest evidence of the human use of fire.
The Discreet Coyness of Salam Fayyad The Discreet Coyness of Salam Fayyad
Friday, December 3, 2010 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In a recent short article, Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, has reported on his program of building the civic and economic infrastructure of a Palestinian state, a program now into its second year of creating "facts on the ground."
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Editors' Picks
Is the Kotel Plaza a Synagogue? David Golinkin, G’vanim. How should the State of Israel respond to the increasing religious policing around the Western Wall that is slowly but surely turning the area into a Haredi synagogue? (PDF)
The Perils of Self-Deception Colin Rubenstein, Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council. To imagine that anti-Semitism would evaporate if Israel signed a peace deal with the Palestinians is sheer fantasy.  So why do pundits and policymakers regularly make this claim?      
Japan's Inner Israel Glenn Newman, Japan Times. Both Japan and Israel rose from deprivation to prosperity in, historically speaking, the blink of an eye. But now Israel is punching far above its economic weight, while Japan can't seem to get off the mat. What happened?
Thatcher and the Jews Charles C. Johnson, Tablet. Unlike most Tory politicians before her, the Iron Lady was a staunch defender of Jewish causes and a supporter of Israel in her political career.
Where are the Red Lines? Eli Lake, Daily Beast. New diplomacy between the U.S. and Israel has prompted conversations over what triggers would justify a preemptive attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
"Fight Judaization!" Jonathan S. Tobin, Contentions. The tour of Arab capitals being conducted by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh demonstrates that Hamas' goal is not only to destroy the State of Israel but to eradicate Jewish history.
Unfit to Print Ron Dermer, Jerusalem Post. Netanyahu's senior adviser explains why the Prime Minister "respectfully declined" to write for the New York Times: "We wouldn't want to be seen as "Bibiwashing" the op-ed page."
Havel and the Jews Paul Berman, Tablet. Rita Klimova, Havel's ambassador to the U.S., was a Jew who lived on Riverside Drive. But the connections among Israel, the Jews, and Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution went much deeper. (Interview by Marc Tracy)
Yehuda Halevi's Death and the Cairo Genizah Eliezer Brodt, Seforim. Legend says the great 12th-century Spanish hymnist reached Eretz Yisrael but was killed at Jerusalem's city gate. Genizah documents suggest that the legend was based on fact.
New President Calls for Tunisia's Jews to Return Associated Press. With Islamists in power, Israel warned Tunisia's remaining Jews to emigrate. But they're staying put. In fact, Tunisia's president wants the emigrants now in Israel to come back.