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Curated by Kenneth Weene
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Russian Subbotniks dream of coming to Israel

Russian Subbotniks dream of coming to Israel | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
After joining the Jewish people two centuries ago, the Subbotnik community feels that Israel should recognize them as Jews and enable them to immigrate.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The Cossacks had reduced the shtetl to ashes. An old man, one of the few survivors or this latest pogrom, limped and crawled through the death-littered streets until he reached the place where the synagog, now destroyed, had stood. Making his painful way through the smoldering embers he went to where the bema had been, where the ark which had held the holy of holies had stood. 

"God of our fathers," the old man began to pray, "for four thousand years we have been your chosen people. Couldn't you give somebody else a chance?"

If these people want to make the aliyah, if they want to offer their young to the Israeli military and to take their chances against the waves of Arabs hoping to destroy the Jewish state, how perverse it seems to me to be for the rabbis to object. 

Beyond that, have the people of Israel forgotten the tale of Ruth the convert who chooses her commitment to Israel over returning to her own people? 

I don'g go Biblical very often, but I surly think that this is a story of great emotional force. For another religion based story, you can check out my novel Widow's Walk, the story of one woman's faith and questioning. 
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Soon-to-Be-Released Document Instructs Israeli Soldiers in ‘Ethics’ of Engagement With Palestinians, Humane Behavior Under Volatile Circumstances

Soon-to-Be-Released Document Instructs Israeli Soldiers in ‘Ethics’ of Engagement With Palestinians, Humane Behavior Under Volatile Circumstances | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A new document that aims to prepare IDF soldiers for ethical dilemmas they are likely to encounter while servin
Kenneth Weene's insight:
I read this piece and had two reactions: 1) It's good that the Israeli army is trying to teach the soldiers to treat the Palestinians more appropriately. 2) It's disgusting that the Israeli army is constantly monitoring  and controlling  the lives of people who should have their own state. Certainly, if you must be an army of occupation, you should treat people with compassion, understanding, and respect, but why be an occupying power when there is no way that will lead to real peace?
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Netanyahu says willing to discuss Arab initiative for peace with Palestinians

Netanyahu says willing to discuss Arab initiative for peace with Palestinians | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held out the prospect on Monday of reviving a 2002 Arab peace initiative that offers Israel diplomatic recognition from Arab countries in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
We can as a world hope that peace will finally emerge in the Middle East. Perhaps the recognition on both sides that they are breeding extremists that will destroy their own governments will push the Arabs and the Israelis to move to enfranchise and empower the Palestinian people. 
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Why one Gazan turned destroyed home into a zoo - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Why one Gazan turned destroyed home into a zoo - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A Palestinian who has been waiting for the reconstruction of his house destroyed in the war on Gaza almost two years ago is now using it as a zoo.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
There is something both wonderful and absurd about this man's decision, but it does remind us that the people of Gaza are living lives of quiet desperation and need our assistance. 
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Palestinian flag raised at United Nations headquarters - BBC News

Palestinian flag raised at United Nations headquarters - BBC News | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
President Mahmoud Abbas warns he no longer feels bound by agreements with Israel, as the Palestinian flag is raised for the first time at the UN.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As I recall the statehood of Israel was established by a vote at the United Nations not by direct negotiations with the countries around it. Why should the Palestinian State have to negotiate with Israel for the right of statehood? Let there be two states already and perhaps they can actually learn to live together. It is certainly time for the Palestinians to recognize the reality of Israel and the Israelis to recognize the rights of Palestine.

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Aided by the Sea, Israel Overcomes an Old Foe: Drought

Aided by the Sea, Israel Overcomes an Old Foe: Drought | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
A major national effort to desalinate Mediterranean seawater and to recycle wastewater has provided the country with enough water for all its needs.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Can the United States learn to use water wisely? Do we have the national will and pride necessary to work on any problem with the determination and perseverance that is required? National determination to survive and prosper is the bedrock of Israeli politics and makes this kind of success in the face of a great challenge possible.

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United Arab party a surprise new force in Israeli election

United Arab party a surprise new force in Israeli election | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
UMM EL-FAHM, Israel (Reuters) - A political sideshow for much of the past six decades, Israel's Arab minority is hoping to gain much-needed muscle after next week's parliamentary election, with four Arab
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is about time for minority populations to recognize the need to work together as voting blocks instead of fighting for the crumbs they might receive. I only hope that Black and Hispanic Americans can also come together to become their own political force so that the United States can move towards greater justice and equality.

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France Considers Backing Palestinian Statehood

France Considers Backing Palestinian Statehood | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
France would join Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain
Kenneth Weene's insight:

A two state solution is well passed due. How can it happen if the countries of the world don't recognize one of the two states? The real questions: can the people of Israel and Palestine learn to respect one another's right to exist? Can they learn to cooperate and work towards a better life for all?

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Syrian Rebels Seize Russian Spy Station Near Israeli Border

Syrian Rebels Seize Russian Spy Station Near Israeli Border | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
When the Free Syrian Army pushed Assad’s soldiers out of a town south of Damascus, the last thing they expected to find was a Russian spy post, a few miles from the Golan Heights.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As I have said all along, the Russians consider Syria part of their sphere of influence and nothing good will be accomplished there without the Bear's cooperation.

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Presbyterians Vote to Divest Holdings to Pressure Israel

Presbyterians Vote to Divest Holdings to Pressure Israel | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The church voted at its general convention to divest from three companies that it says supply Israel with equipment used in the occupation of Palestinian territory.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The Presbyterians have taken a strong, well measured step that sends a clear message, Israel must commit itself to the rights of Palestinians as well as to the continued existence and success of Israel. This is the kind of leadership we should expect from our churches.

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Jim Collie's comment, June 23, 2014 11:44 AM
Kenneth -- I worked as a volunteer during this meeting of Presbyterians and I more than appreciate your clear ability to cut through all of the clutter about this issue and get to the heart of the matter.
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Palestinians win settlement land from Israel

Palestinians win settlement land from Israel | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Farmers return after legal victory to be given rights to West Bank land abandoned by settlers in 2005.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I am delighted to see this small victory for human rights, but it is such a tiny victory that leaves so much more yet to do.

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Trump vows to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace, offers no new policies

Trump vows to broker Israeli-Palestinian peace, offers no new policies | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
President Donald Trump vowed on Wednesday to do "whatever is necessary" to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians as he hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, but gave no sign of how he could revive long-stalled negotiations.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If Mr. Trump can pull off an Israeli-Palestinian agreement that lasts for more than a year and actually moves these two groups towards peace, be it two states, a confederation, or even membership in a larger regional body, my hat will be off to him. Meanwhile, I don't see wither Abbas or Netanyahu as able to deliver the support of their own people. The Palestinians are terribly divided, and the right (orthodox) segment of Israel is determined to take back every inch of historical Judea. Sadly for both sides, Europe, which would need to be part of any workable solution, is overflowing with Syrian and other Arab refugees and is therefore not so interested in doing right in this situation as it is in avoiding more pressure. And, for the countries of the Middle East, making peace with Israel is hardly in the cards while ISIS is stirring up the most extreme Islamics. I have to say, making peace in Palestine makes Northern Ireland look like a walk in the park. Of course, they do have peace in Belfast, but...
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Israel's smartest student is an Arab

Israel's smartest student is an Arab | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Israeli-Arab Mohammed Zeidan was this year's only student to achieve the highest possible score on Israel's college entrance exam.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Congratulations Mr. Zeidan. You may only be one young man, but your accomplishment reminds us to search for the good in all people. 
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The Two-School Solution

The Two-School Solution | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
The Two-School Solution « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In Israel a small movement towards sanity, the integration of schools and of cultures. It is very small and mostly for the smallest of children, but still it offers promise. If nothing else, perhaps it will force Israeli lawmakers to provide equal funding for Arab children. Call it segregation or apartheid, it is always wrong. 
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Benjamin Netanyahu claims Holocaust Denial is now kosher | NewsBiscuit

Benjamin Netanyahu claims Holocaust Denial is now kosher | NewsBiscuit | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Despite Germany re-affirming their role in the Final Solution, Israel's Prime Minister has decided that Palestinians were to blame for the WW2 genocide. Although Palestine is a mere 1040 kilometres from Berlin, Mr. Netanyahu is convinced that Adolf Hitler was led astray by the then Grand Mufti of Jerusalem; causing Mr. Hitler to put aside his love of Jewish culture, renowned tolerance  and a ‘promising’ career in water colours. Although Haj Amin al-Husseini met Hitler after the Holocaust began, Mr. Netanyahu explained that Palestinians may have had time-travel capability – which is contrary to the Torah.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It isn't easy to find the humor in the Israeli-Palestinian horror and it's even harder to get me to laugh about the Holocaust, but this bit or satire does the job. That it also shows Netanyahu to be a total ass makes it even better.

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New Poll Shows Most Palestinians for Practical Progress, Tactical Compromises with Israel

New Poll Shows Most Palestinians for Practical Progress, Tactical Compromises with Israel | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Outside advocates and political figures would do better to stray from their well-traveled hard line and follow the relatively pragmatic lead of the Palestinian people instead.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Obviously, any movement towards a popular acceptance on both sides of a two state solution and of a solution to the issue of "The Right to Return" is a good sign. The world needs peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Certainly, the Palestinian people need peace for their own lives and the future of their children. The Israelis, too, need peace so they can continue their march into the future. Of course, it will take even more support for real change, but this is a good bit of news.

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A Fascinating Glimpse at the Rituals of Strictly Orthodox Jews Living in Israel - Feature Shoot

A Fascinating Glimpse at the Rituals of Strictly Orthodox Jews Living in Israel - Feature Shoot | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
For The Lives of Orthodox Jews in Israel, photojournalist Yaakov Naumi sheds light on the rituals of the Haredi Jewish community in cities like Jerusalem and Bnei Brak, where daily life is conducted according to strict Orthodox adherence to Jewish law.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

We live in a strange world, but some people, especially the ultra-religious tend to make it even stranger. Here are some fascinating examples from ultra-orthodox Jews.

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Palestinians Make Strides Toward Draft Resolution at U.N.

Palestinians Make Strides Toward Draft Resolution at U.N. | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
After a day of intense lobbying, the Palestinians persuaded Arab diplomats to support a draft Security Council resolution that is aimed at the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from the West Bank.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I hope the U.S. government will not block this resolution. It is way past time for the two-state approach to move forward. Israel needs peace and the Palestinians need to have not only peace but a state of their own.

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Israeli Cabinet Passes 'Nationality Law'

Israeli Cabinet Passes 'Nationality Law' | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Controversial legislation has set off a vexed debate about Israel's future
Kenneth Weene's insight:

In my opinion, this is a bad law designed to arouse anger and outrage so that the Israeli government can go on with its attack on Arab homes and communities. Certainly Israel is a place of refuge for Jews and has an historic connection to the Jewish faith and people. But it is also the home of others and certainly has deep religious significance to others. Perhaps it is time for Israel to learn something from Canada or Belgium, countries in which ethnic difference could be a cause for dismemberment but countries in which a sense of the greater togetherness has been the norm.

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Sweden to recognise Palestinian state

Sweden to recognise Palestinian state | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it
Sweden is to "recognise the state of Palestine", Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has said, the first long-term EU member country to do so.

"The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution," he said during his inaugural address in parliament.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Bravo! Much as I want Israel to continue to exist, I know that in the long run some form of two-state solution is absolutely necessary.

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Pope lends tacit support for Palestinian state as he arrives by helicopter in Bethlehem during Middle East tour

Pope lends tacit support for Palestinian state as he arrives by helicopter in Bethlehem during Middle East tour | enjoy yourself | Scoop.it

Pope Francis prays at Israel's separation barrier on his way to a mass in Manger Square


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2638645/Pope-lends-tacit-support-Palestinian-state-arrives-helicopter-Bethlehem-Middle-East-tour.html#ixzz32jYTIAbH
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I never thought I would be posting fan pictures of the Pope, but this guy seems to be the real deal, a man who talks the talk and walks the walk. It is well past the time for a Palestinian state; maybe he can actually help bring that about. Perhaps the sharing of prayer can work.

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