Archive | Sharkansky_Ira

How long can Trump, Netanyahu stay in office?

By Ira Sharkansky JERUSALEM — What’ll it take to get rid of Trump? It won’t be easy. It shouldn’t be, given his election. One should be careful of messing the aura of legitimacy, even for a boor who can’t express a sentence in his native language, has flirted with a government considered a serious antagonist […]

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Parallel tsuris in Israel and the U.S.

By Ira Sharkansky JERUSALEM — Neither of the societies that I have called my own are at peace. Neither are they at war. It’s something in between, with enough tension to cause us to think, or at least to wonder. Here there continues the almost daily efforts of Arabs or Palestinians–whatever term is appropriate–to kill […]

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Why isn’t Japan as repentant as Germany?

By Ira Sharkansky JERUSALEM — We recently had the pleasure of hosting a family of Japanese friends on our balcony. Along with the view, extending 35 miles to the lights of Amman, in contrast with their Tokyo view to the nearby apartment house, we talked at length, as we have done in the past, about […]

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The many judicial probes into Bibi

By Ira Sharkansky JERUSALEM — Between the lines, if not clearly in the lines of nearly every news broadcast is the question of how close are police investigators to the Prime Minister. Except for what seems to have been a temporary uptick in tensions about the Temple Mount, Jordan, and Jaffa, we’ve been dealing with […]

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Azaria case sharply divides Israelis

By Ira Sharkansky JERUSALEM — 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 community in the United States. The Azaria problem is […]

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Comparing Israel and U.S. minorities

By Ira Sharkansky JERUSALEM — 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 Palestine National Authority, a few deaths and perhaps a couple […]

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U.S. realism and idealism in the Middle East

By Ira Sharkansky JERUSALEM — Elliott Abrams’ Realism and Democracy: American Foreign Police after the Arab Spring (A Council on Foreign Relations Book, Cambridge University Press, 2017) is both a useful assessment of Arab Spring and what came next, and an insightful commentary on the nature of a world power and those who serve it. […]

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Posted in Books & Poetry, International, Middle East, Sharkansky_Ira, USA0 Comments

Middle Eastern arithmetic

By Ira Sharkansky JERUSALEM — It’s not the same arithmetic taught at the Highland School in the 1940s. However, it’s a central component in the rules of the game that allow Arabs and Jews to manage alongside one another in the Middle East. And by extension, how the rest of the world can accommodate itself […]

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Temple Mount fight is over power

By Ira Sharkansky JERUSALEM — The Temple Mount, Friday prayers, metal detectors, and the incitement of Muslim religious and political leaders were as exciting and worrying as we’ve seen for some time. Commentators and prominent officials were adding to the noise, with competing assessments of how we’ve gotten here, who was responsible, and what should […]

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Tension at the Temple Mount

By Ira Sharkansky JERUSALEM — It was best not to write about this right away. Needed 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 tense, with Friday prayers posing a challenge […]

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Why Bibi Netanyahu stays on top

By Ira Sharkansky JERUSALEM — Bibi’s strong, politically, despite years of police inquiries, and reports suggesting that he might be on the edge of a criminal indictment. Recent polls indicate that he is usually the favorite as Prime Minister in the event of an election. Bibi’s lead over others has never been large, but Israeli […]

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Vietnam and Israel, a comparison

By Ira Sharkansky JERUSALEM — Malcolm Gladwell’s “Saigon 1965,” a chapter in his podcast Revisionist History, brought me back to the University of Wisconsin 1968-75. I participated in campus discussions on Vietnam, and smelled the tear gas used against mass protests. Gladwell’s message is that a mass of information about the Vietcong lent itself to […]

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Posted in International, Middle East, Sharkansky_Ira

Trust a rare political commodity in Israel

By Ira Sharkansky JERUSALEM — Trust, loyalty, and interdependence have been keywords in numerous complaints and rants over the last few days, since the government decided in favor of its ultra-Orthodox colleagues and against overseas Jews. There is no certainty in what comes next in this column, and it is not meant as a personal […]

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Arabs and Jews seem to get along in Jerusalem

By Ira Sharkansky JERUSALEM — 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 grasp is that there already is peace. It ain’t perfect, […]

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