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Volunteers in Israel’s War of Independence

by Dusty Sklar THEY WERE CALLED Makhalniks, Makhal being an acronym for Mitnadvei Khutz Le’Aretz, or volunteers from outside the Land — the Land being Israel, the volunteers being mainly U.S. and British World War II veterans. They totaled close to 4,000 men and women, and represented fifty-eight different countries. The year was 1948, when […]

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Israel and Canadian Jews

HOW THE MAINSTREAM COMMUNITY MARGINALIZES DISSENT by Mira Sucharov From the Autumn 2016 issue of Jewish Currents WHEN the United Church of Canada voted in August 2012 to boycott West Bank settlement products, the Canadian Jewish community’s reaction was harsh and swift. Calling the decision “morally reckless,” the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), […]

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August 4: Zohar, Hot Off the Press

The first print edition of the Zohar, the central book of Jewish mysticism, was published on this date in 1558, following the removal of a ninety-year rabbinical ban on its printing. Most sources hold this first printed Zohar to be a three-volume edition published in Mantua, Italy; other sources describe a one-volume edition published in […]

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October 25: Robert Rosenberg of Ha’aretz

Ha’aretz columnist Robert Rosenberg, who wrote every day about “Today’s Situation” at a peace-oriented website, Ariga, which he founded as early as 1995, died at 54 on this date in 2006. Rosenberg was a poet, crime novelist, journalist, technophile, and senior editor who held a master’s in education from Harvard but made social-justice activism and […]

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September 29: Gershom Schocken, the Publisher of Ha'aretz

Editor and publisher of Israel’s daily Ha’aretz from 1939 until his death in 1990, Gershom Schocken was born in Germany on this date in 1912. He emigrated to Palestine after Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, and his businessman father, who later launched Schocken Books in the United States, purchased the newspaper. Gershom built it […]

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December 4: Whistleblower or Spy?

Haaretz reporter Uri Blau published a report on this date in 2008 about Israeli assassinations of West Bank militants, based on a leak of some two thousand classified documents by Anat Kamm, a former Israeli soldier. In 2006, the Israeli Supreme Court had restricted the use of military assassinations, forbidding them in cases in which […]

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In Defense of ‘Self-Hating’ Jews

Conversations with the Targets of Masada2000’s S.H.I.T. List by Menachem Wecker If self-hatred, as the Encyclopedia Judaica suggests, is “a negative attitude” that members of a minority group level against their own group, Jewish self-hatred should have disappeared when Israel was founded in what the EJ describes as a “renaissance of Jewish pride and self-respect.” […]

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Israeli Media and Public Opinion

An Interview with Media Watchdog Yizhar Be’er   Israel has always been a news-media-obsessed society. The three major daily newspapers have an estimated combined circulation of 1.2 million, and many Israeli households are also perpetually tuned to television news. The country is simply too intimate, small, and stressed out by years of war, occupation, and […]

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The Call-Up: The Lebanon War and Its Aftermath

by Amy Klein What do you do with your last two hours before your partner has to join up with his reserve unit to fight in Lebanon? We were two weeks into the Second Lebanon War (the government was still calling it a “campaign” but everyone knew it was a war). Gonen’s unit commander had […]

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