Articles written by Ira Sharkansky

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Terror here and elsewhere

A Palestinian used his car as a weapon and drove into a cluster of soldiers alongside an IDF base in the West Bank. He killed two and injured two others. A few days later, a Palestinian stabbed a security guard in Jerusalem’s Old City. Those were... Full story



Is this another occasion to sit shiva for the idea of a Palestinian state? Or yet another indication that the idea is well within the realm of dreamland, not to die, but not to achieve anything real? Several events qualify for the label of... Full story



There’s a question mark alongside the title of this note, insofar as the issues involved in assessing what is described as Palestine raise a host of questions and few clear answers. The problems are normative, i.e., what should be, as well as... Full story


The marginality of Jews

Trump’s speeches, and what has happened since, remind us once again about the marginality of Jews. Some may feel comfortable, and justly, given his realism about Jerusalem the Western Wall, and non-Israeli sources of problems throughout the Middle... Full story


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,... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story



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... Full story


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,... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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,... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story

 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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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.... Full story


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... Full story


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,... Full story


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.... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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... Full story


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