Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Orit Arfa

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  • Meet Ashraf Jabari: The Palestinian populist 

    Orit Arfa|Feb 12, 2021

    (JNS) - With a mask resting below his mouth, which just took in its third or fourth cigarette of the last hour, Palestinian reformer and businessman Asharf Jabari said he hasn't received the COVID vaccine yet. And that's not because he's not interested in it or because Israel hasn't provided any supply to the Palestinian Authority, as some news outlets are wont to report. "They [the Palestinian Authority] want it, but they're waiting for the vaccine from Russia," Jabari said in Hebrew, just one...

  • For Israeli right, Trump's Middle East legacy will outshine his troubled last days

    Orit Arfa|Jan 29, 2021

    (JNS) — For most of the Israeli right, U.S. President Donald Trump’s pro-Israel legacy will far outlive the marred reputation of the last days of the presidency. Pro-Trump leaders, activists and analysts said that the Jan. 6 mob invasion of the U.S. Capitol, for the most part, will not change the nationalist camp’s high regard for the Trump administration’s pro-Israel achievements, which include moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem; recognizing Israel’s sovereignty of the Golan Heights and the legitimacy of Jewish settlements in the West Bank...

  • US special envoy Elan Carr: 'Anti-Semitism is evil, regardless of where it comes from'

    Orit Arfa|Aug 2, 2019

    (JNS)-Elan Carr, a Jew of Iraqi descent, was appointed Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, a senior diplomatic post that had been vacant for two years until he assumed it in February. Carr is a well-known pro-Israel figure in California, having served as the Los Angeles deputy district attorney before making an unsuccessful 2014 bid on the Republican ticket for Congress in the Democrat-heavy L.A 33rd district. His wife, Dahlia, is a physician, and he flies every weekend from... Full story

  • Chanukah and Christmas lights intertwine in former Nazi hotbed

    Orit Arfa, JNS|Dec 29, 2017

    Most residents of Tübingen, Germany, probably don't know that the local "synagogenplatz" (synagogue plaza) even exists. The rusted memorial to the synagogue that burned to the ground during Kristallnacht is one of the few tributes to Jewish life that once existed in the city-not that Jews ever really thrived there. The source of Tübingen's growth (its population is 90,000) and fame is its university, founded in 1477 by Eberhard the Bearded, who expelled all Jews from the medieval town. Upon t... Full story

  • A lightning 'Boldt' of German support for Israel

    Orit Arfa, JNS.org|Mar 4, 2016

    Andreas Boldt can't help but effuse praise and love for Israel almost any chance he gets-even with his kids. In some of his Facebook posts, the 37-year-old has his blonde-haired children (ages 5-13) passionately singing "Adon Olam" and "Hatikvah." Documenting a recent trip to Israel, he took particular pride in his meeting with IDF Maj. Gen. (ret.) Doron Almog, the first commando to land on the Entebbe runway in the famous 1976 hostage-rescue mission. With his bright blue eyes, carefully... Full story

  • Dorms in the hills: Tirael Cohen leads a new kind of settlement movement

    Orit Arfa, JNS.org|May 15, 2015

    About three years ago, Tirael Cohen posted a flimsy, 8-by-10 inch flyer in the Ariel University halls seeking students to create a student village in Samaria. Within a few days, more than 150 students called expressing interest-and it was all she and her friends needed to get started. Today, Cohen is the director of Kedma, a growing organization that runs student villages in Judea and Samaria. On May 19 in Jerusalem, she will accept the "Spirit of Zion" Moskowitz Prize for making her Zionist... Full story

  • What ordinary Palestinians are saying about the Israeli election

    Orit Arfa, JNS.org|Apr 3, 2015

    Near the entrance to the city of Ariel in the heart of Samaria lies an Arab strip mall of sorts, where Jews and Palestinians alike can get fruits and vegetables, a car wash, pet supplies, hummus, and falafel. The former mayor of Ariel, Ron Nachman, used to joke that the area is Ariel's "duty-free zone." It's located right on the border of Israeli-controlled and Palestinian-controlled territory, so no one really knows exactly to whom the shop owners pay taxes. Abu Ali, a Palestinian man who owns... Full story