Jerusalem street in December 2013 snowstorm Monday, 5 January 2014 | Winter has come to Jerusalem and with it, once again, the possibility of snow. Although accumulation is not common here, teasing flakes of light, white snow often fall each year. Accumulation is rare, but when thin blankets of white appear, they usually dissipate within hours or, at most, in a day.

Thirteen months ago, however, the snow that fell was anything but normal.

UN General AssemblyTuesday, 29 September 2015 | The queue of world leaders marching to and from the podium of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly is underway. So far the stage has seen Iran's President Rouhani, Russia's President Putin, US President Obama, China’s President Xi Jinping, Egypt’s President Sisi, and Jordan's King Abudallah II. It has also been the platform for the Pope to pontificate. Still to come this week are Palestinian President Abbas and Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Rivlin to Zidan Saif’s daughter “Your father was a hero.” Thursday, 20 November 2014 | Under cloudless skies and a setting, late-autumn sun, thirty-year-old Arab Druze officer, Police Master Sergeant Zidan Saif, was laid to rest yesterday afternoon. Saif, an Arab Israeli was a member of the religious Druze community. He died from wounds sustained while coming to the rescue of Ultra Orthodox Jews under attack in their synagogue two days ago—on Tuesday, 18 November.

  Oslo Accords signing ceremony in 1993 Monday, 21 September 2015 | Last week Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pledged to drop a "bombshell" when he speaks to the United Nations General Assembly in nine days. Speculation about that bombshell included his possible resignation as President, the dismantlement of the Palestinian Authority [PA] or declaring dead the Oslo Accords. In fact, according to the Palestinian News Network [PNN], Abbas plans to seek international declaration of Palestine as a State under occupation, "with Israel being the occupying power."
 Wednesday, 9 September 2015 | Windless and warm, Jerusalem is swimming in a brownish-orange haze. While residents here lightheartedly compare the atmospheric look to scenes from movies like Mad Max and Star Wars, it is a kind of Israeli humor that, paradoxically, affirms the toxicity of air that everyone must breathe.

Sandstorms like this, called haboobs, are fairly common. But this haboob at this time and this size is anything but common. Not only does it blanket Jerusalem, it has fallen on the entire northwestern side of the Middle East. Satellite photos of the phenomenon portray an amoeba-like cloud draped across Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

  Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Monday, 26 October 2015 | The foremost legal scholar of Islam in Jerusalem is the Grand Mufti, Muhammed Hussein. Yesterday, he asserted that the first man, Adam, perhaps with the help of angels, built today's Dome of the Rock, the 1300-year-old Islamic shrine that sits atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City. Accordingly, he said, the site has been an Islamic mosque "3,000 years ago and 30,000 years ago."
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  Tuesday, 25 August 2015 | As the United Nations prepares to lift sanctions against Iran for its weapons-grade nuclear program, the prospect of an economic crisis hit yesterday in markets around the world. Is there a connection?

Yesterday saw almost every market teeter on the brink of free fall. Economic fears were triggered by China's ongoing failure to prevent a sell off. In spite of yet another infusion of cash to undergird its markets, The Washington Post reports that "Chinese stocks recorded their biggest slump in eight years during what [its] media dubbed 'Black Monday.'"

Israel Advanced Technology Industries, a conference sponsor Wednesday, 7 January 2015 | Counterintuitive to global perception of the Jewish state, Israel's economy is robust and growing.

Yesterday Israel sponsored its first Foreign Trade conference in Tel Aviv. Israel's Minister of Economy, MK Naftali Bennett, kicked off the event stating that, "Recently there is a trend of complaining how bad everything is in this country.

  Terror attack at bus stop Wednesday, 14 October 2015 | After weeks of rising violence aimed at Jews, yesterday's wave of terror in Jerusalem seems to be a tipping point. Attacks began in a city near Tel Aviv. A terrorist attempting murder was subdued in Ra’anana. Minutes later, another stabbing attack was thwarted in Holon, just south of Tel Aviv.

Then, at 10:23 a.m., a rat-a-tat-tat of vicious assaults hit Israel's capital city.

Netanyahu with world leaders: “...if we are united, this terrorism will be unable to defeat us.” Monday, 11 January 2015 | After separate but related terrorist incidents in Greater Paris last week, Israel's response has been public and emphatic. The essence of its message has two parts: it calls on nations to protect their Jewish citizens and it invites those same Jewish citizens to immigrate to Israel. "The state of Israel is your home," said Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. "All Jews who want to immigrate to Israel will be welcomed here warmly and with open arms. Our state is your state."

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