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Articles written by Ira Sharkansky

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It's the economy, stupid

One of Israeli’s prime time evening news programs ran a series on what it called the Palestinian middle class. It featured glitzy hotels, shopping malls, and restaurants in Ramallah and other West Bank cities, interviews with managers and patrons,...

 

What to do about radical Islam?

There ain’t much anybody can do. It’s one of our insoluble problems. For those of us outside areas of the Middle East and Africa where one or another radical movement established itself, the problem may grow with the defeat of the extremists in...

 

Two Jewish states

The latest acts in the long running saga of Elor Azaria emphasize the deep divisions among Israeli Jews. There are also sharpening gaps between Israeli Jews and those of the Diaspora. Especially prominent are those separating us from the large Jewish...

 

Minorities

It’s not yet clear that the commotions surrounding the Temple Mount and the incident in Amman are behind us. An optimist’s view is that two weeks of demonstrations, nastiness from the pinnacle of the Jordanian government as well as the...

 

Is peace possible?

An article by a former Israeli Ambassador to Greece details the breakdown in peace talks meant to reunite the Island of Cyprus, and suggests a parallel to frustrations at brokering a peace between Israel and Palestinians. In both Cyprus and Israel,...

 

Closing the Temple Mount

It was best not to write about this right away. Need to see how it would percolate. It could have been massive or a momentary blip testing the level of accommodation between Israel, the Palestinians, and other Muslims. Truth is, that it is still...

 

Peace process

Before we were disturbed by a dust-up among Jews about the Western Wall and conversion, we were befuddled by another delegation of ranking Americans prodding Israelis and Palestinians to sit around a table and make peace. What these worthies do not...

 

Gevalt, again

The Jews of Israel are watching Muslims near and far killing themselves, and contemplating horror scenarios of a serious threat from Iran, Hezbollah, or some other evil source. There are near daily efforts of individual Palestinians to attack Jews,...

 

Sound and fury in the academy

The slippery subject of academic freedom has moved into our headlines with a draft code of ethics for universities and their personnel. It is the work of Professor Asa Kasher, a philosophy professor at Tel Aviv University, and the author of the...

 

Can Donald do it?

He says that he wants to settle things between Israel and Palestine. His initial venture outside the U.S., to the Middle East, may indicate the importance that he assigns to it. There was also a business deal with the Saudis, that will bring more...

 
 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...

 

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