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Articles written by Ira Sharkansky

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 By Ira Sharkansky    Opinions    May 5, 2017

Current Commotions

There’s always something to bother the Jews of Israel. Currently we’re smelling the preparations for a national election. Some may suspect that it wafts over the continent from Britain or France, but it comes from local pressures. The major respo...

 

Shooting ouselves in the foot?

The most prominent problem currently facing Israel in international politics is one of our own making. Not the work of us all, but the work of some. It’s the so-called settlement law, which aspires to solve the problem of some 4,000 homes built on...

 

Barack Obama, RIP?

Obama’s strength is a capacity to speak, and excite many of us. Sometimes in support of what he says. Sometimes in frustration about his slippery superficiality. Sometimes with greater enmity. That he is also black adds to the appeal for many, and...

 

Current and perpetual troubles

Only three days passed between the political storm triggered by the verdict against Elon Azaria, the Israeli soldier who shot an unarmed Palestinian attacker, and the terror by heavy truck that killed four IDF officer cadets and wounded others....

 

What's important

I’ll indicate in advance that this is a personal and rambling note, promoted by several responses to what I wrote about the recent decision of the UN Security Council. And it is by no means the first time I’ve been provoked by what I’ve...

 

Jews and others, there and here

In a recent article, Caroline Glick, a staff writer for the Jerusalem Post, takes aim at what she sees developing in the American Jewish community. Her targets include Jews supporting Obama, Clinton, and others of the Democratic Party establishment,...

 

What's worrying us

It’s not all Arab terror, clashing demands of ultra-Orthodox and Reform Jews, concerns about what Obama might do in the coming month, Trump in the Oval Office, or barbaric Russians, Syrians, and other Muslims just over the northern border. ...

 

The Wild East

The concept is vague and messy in a number of ways. Where does the Wild East begin? On the eastern border of what was Israel prior to the 1967 war? With or without the expansion of Jerusalem legislated by Israel but not recognized by other...

 

The present and future with Trump

Donald Trump is sending mixed messages, some of them more troubling than others. Americans might wonder why others are paying attention. The answer is simple. The U.S. aspires to influence the world, or at least large parts of it. And large parts of...

 

What's real in politics

Will the real Donald Trump stand up. Opps. He doesn’t seem to be ready. We don’t know. It may take some time. We may never know. We’re not yet sure who is the real Barack Obama or Benyamin Netanyahu. Going back in history, we can ask the same...

 

Us and them

We don’t live in a world of clear contrasts, whether we call them blacks and whites, or good and evil. Israel’s relations with its neighbors have evolved over the course of 70 years to something that is far more subtle and nuanced than what is...

 

We've met the enemy

Not much politics here. A long national holiday begins a few days before Rosh Hashanah and extends till two days after Succot. In Jewish tradition, there is a day after a holiday, perhaps to provide for recuperation.  All told, that’s close to a...

 

A stiff-necked people, i.e., us

Israeli politicians and Jewish activists here and there are calling for unity, typically behind whatever point of view they are supporting. In extremis, we hear that it is essential for the survival of Israel or the Jewish people. Yet it never takes...

 

A complex relationship

It isn’t easy summarizing the relationships between Jews and Arabs in Israel, or extending that to Israeli Jews and Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza. Animosity is more apparent than accommodation in most summaries of Israeli and Palestinian...

 

Who are they?

Several of our headlines have dealt with an issue that is always in the near background: Who are the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs? How do they think? and Is there any chance of living in a condition of peace, or at least reasonable quiet? One of...

 

Curse of the absolute

We’re taught to honor principles, and there is merit to that principle. But they are also the traps in which disappear decency and good sense. Those who think and express themselves in absolutes and reject dispute from those who doubt the value of...

 

On the borders of cultures

We’re all on the borders of cultures. We express the condition by where we travel, with whom we deal, and how we deal with those who are different from ourselves. Staying close to home and minding our own business are conventional ways of dealing...

 

What to do?

Not much of anything. This is a time for watching and waiting. The biggest crap shoot is in the United States. Currently it seems wisest to bet the nickel on Hillary, and a dime or even a quarter that the stay-at-homes will have more votes than any...

 

The Olympics

Politics isn’t everything. There’s also sport. Anyone who’s visited Rome’s Coliseum, or the remains of Greek amphitheaters around the Mediterranean, knows that its capacity to divert has been with us for a long time. We’ve moved beyond the...

 

America, Israel in black & white

The pictures are fuzzy. Overt, explicit, and legally enforced racism is no more in the United States. Individual blacks, Asians, Jews, and other minorities, and women, can reach as high as the White House, senior governmental and corporate positions,...

 

Stuck with unpleasant events

A single page in the weekend edition of Yedioth Aharonoth captures the essence of where we are. One article on the page is a rational assessment of recent violence, its decline, and concludes with the point that there is no solution, other than the...

 

Not all pleasant in Promised Land

Our flight returning from Europe occurred with the news of a multiple terror attack on the Istanbul airport, which has so far produced more than 40 deaths and 260 injuries. No organization has claimed credit, but the betting is on the Islamic State,...

 

World organizations, RIP

The headline of this note, letting aspirations for an organized work rest in peace, may reflect more cynicism than reality. Colonialism began its demise with World War I, when the European powers that could carve up the world and color the maps as...

 

La la land

We’ve known for some time that American society looks as much like a Third World country as a First. Sure, it has a GDP that is still larger than China’s, and it is viewed, especially by Americans, as a world leader in just about everything...

 

It ain't done till it's done

There’s been another resignation associated with the appointment of Avigdor Liberman as Minister of Defense. This one comes from the Minister of Environment, who associated his resignation not only with the appointment of Liberman, but with the...

 

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