Five Days in Palestine

by Dina Heisler and Susan Nobel   PEOPLE around the world and across time crave similar things. They want the chance to raise their families within a peaceful and fair environment, one that affords a decent quality of life without fear of one’s fellow man. This was the main takeaway from our voyage into another world: […]

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The Uncivil Servant: Fauda”s Dehumanizing Humanism

by Mitchell Abidor Discussed in this essay: Fauda, a television series by Avi Issacharoff and Lion Raz.   IN HIS EXCELLENT New Yorker article on the Israeli TV series Fauda (the word means “chaos”), which can be streamed on Netflix, David Remnick quotes series producer Avi Issacharoff as saying of the show that it “was an […]

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Women in the Israeli Military

Orna Barbivay, who in 2011 became the first woman in Israel’s history to become a major general, the second highest rank in the Israeli armed services, was born to Jewish immigrants from Iraq and Romania on this date in 1962. According to Jodi Rudoren in the New York Times, Barbivay spent “34 years of often being […]

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Executed, Then Exonerated

Meir Tobianski, an officer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) who was executed as a traitor for allegedly passing targeting information to Jordanian artillery forces during Israel’s War of Independence but was fully exonerated one year later, was born in Kovno, Lithuania on this date in 1904. Tobianski had served as a major in the […]

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February 12: Ehud Barak

Ehud Barak, Israel’s 10th prime minister (1999-2001) and most highly decorated combat soldier in Israeli history, was born on Kibbutz Mishmar HaSharon on this date in 1942. He was trained in physics, mathematics, and engineering at Hebrew University and Stanford. Barak joined Israel’s armed forces in 1959 and served for thirty-five years, rising to the […]

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July 22: The Targeted Assassination

Israel bombed the Gaza City house of Salah Shehade, who led the military wing of Hamas, on this date in 2002, killing Shehade as well as fourteen other people. The attack with a 2,200-lb. bomb wounded more than fifty others and destroyed two houses while partially destroying nine others and damaging twenty more. Shehade, 49, […]

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June 28: Yigael Yadin

Yigael Yadin, who was David Ben Gurion’s Head of Operations during the Israeli War of Independence and then Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces from 1949 to 1952, died in Jerusalem at 67 on this date in 1984. Son of archaeologist Eleazar Sukenik and women’s rights activist Hasya Sukenik-Feinsod, Yadin became an archaeologist […]

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June 20: Ben Gurion Almost Provokes a Civil War

On this date in 1948, David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, ordered the new Israel Defense Forces to seize the ship Altalena, which was laden with weapons and about 1,000 Jewish immigrant fighters. The ship was controlled by Menachem Begin’s Irgun. Ben-Gurion first demanded that Begin hand over the weapons and the ship, and […]

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