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America could learn from Israel’s proud patriotism.

Here’s my favorite joke from a week in Israel. What’s the difference between secular, liberal Jews and Donald Trump? Trump has Jewish grandchildren. From a distance, the politics of Israel look even more hopelessly fractured than our own. With 14 parties, including secular Jews, ultra orthodox and Arabs, vying for 120 seats in the Knesset,...
Time: 22:41     Date: 12.12.2017
Last US News - Opinion: America could learn from Israel’s proud patriotism. NY Post 24 - US News

Trump has Jewish grandchildren.

From a distance, the politics of Israel look even more hopelessly fractured than our own. With 14 parties, including secular Jews, ultra orthodox and Arabs, vying for 120 seats in the Knesset, coalition governments are the norm and minor parties with a handful of seats become kingmakers.

But seen up close, those differences largely fade on the issue of national security. Because their tiny nation faces existential threats from Iran and its proxies on three borders, Israelis are united in their commitment to protecting their country.

Patriotism is borne of necessity and forged with near-universal military service. Parents speak with more pride than fear about their children getting ready to serve.

Self-defense is an Israeli founding virtue because Jews learned over thousands of years that “history can turn on you at any moment,” as one academic put it.

A shared realization that there is no place to run to was evident everywhere we went. A mother on a kibbutz near Gaza told of the dangers of life along the border, where Hamas rockets fall from the sky and terrorists try to tunnel underneath the fence.

She evacuated during the 2014 war, but soon came back, children in tow. Why doesn’t she leave for good?

“I was born on this kibbutz,” she says. “This is our land. It was always part of Israel.”

Another Israeli mother we met lives only a few miles from the Syria and Lebanon borders, putting her family on the front lines. She, too, wouldn’t leave, saying “this is home.”

A human rights leader was methodical in his criticism of his government’s treatment of Israeli Arabs, but passionate in defense of the Jewish state’s right to exist with secure borders.

“The idea that Zionism is racism is outrageous,” he declared.

Each time we heard a version of the love of country, I wondered whether Americans can recover their common ground. That’s not to suggest we lack patriots; it’s just that the left and right define patriotism as differently as night and day.

Our national security has become almost as partisan as taxes and abortion.

I was with a group of educators traveling with Project Interchange, a program of the American Jewish Committee. The aim was to show us Israel in all its complexity and progress, and to meet people from across the spectrum.

We were there when President Trump made the historic declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his plan to move the embassy from Tel Aviv. He was condemned in Europe and throughout the Mideast, but “Israel loves Trump” signs appeared in Jerusalem, with even left-wing dissent muted.

“It’s that way for every Israeli,” said Avital Leibovich, formerly the chief spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces and now head of the AJC there.

Although virtually every American presidential candidate for the last 30 years promised the move that Trump made, many Israelis were OK with delaying it until there was peace with the Palestinians. But the eagerness for Trump to deliver on his promise now reflects the fact that most Israelis have given up on a deal with the Palestinians.

Believing Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza are neither willing nor capable of making a deal and sticking to it, they’ve moved on to improving relations with Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia and forging ties with China and India.

Those changes in Israeli society led a Palestinian leader from the West Bank to tell us he was neither shocked nor dispirited by Trump’s move.

“It’s been clear to Palestinians since the Oslo Accords that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” said Elias Zananiri. He said he “admired Trump’s careful approach” in making it clear that Jerusalem is holy to three religions and that the announcement does not preclude East Jerusalem from becoming a Palestinian capital.

He is also optimistic that, in his next move, Trump will tilt toward the Palestinians and Israelis will have to go along.

Zananiri, a Christian and former journalist, also surprised some in our group by suggesting former President Barack Obama made things worse in his bid to forge a peace deal. He said Obama “went too far and too fast” and that his focus on stopping Israeli settlements before talks could start “put Abbas in a squeeze.”

“Abbas couldn’t become less Palestinian than Obama,” and so negotiations were frozen, he said.

Naturally, sentiments such as Zananiri’s are nowhere to be found in the lockstep praise of Obama and criticism of Trump by most American media. The “sky is falling” chorus was so certain that widespread violence was inevitable that correspondents donned their flak jackets and combat helmets, eager to have their bias confirmed that Trump had provoked mayhem.

When a relative handful of demonstrators showed up, and even fewer engaged in violence, the journalists were crestfallen.

The scene gave rise to the second funniest thing I heard. It came from a government official who said, “I almost expected the media to start setting their own tires on fire so they would have something to film.”

Is it a Bitcoin ‘sell’ game?

Headline: “People mortgaging their homes to buy Bitcoin”

What a great idea. What could go wrong?

Sloppy news disservice

Amid the many media mistakes lately, an AP dispatch from Boston wins the prize for most errors per word. In four paragraphs containing just 139 words, the wire service made three significant errors.

According to a correction, top NPR host Tom Ashbrook has been placed on leave, not suspended; station WBUR-FM is not calling the allegations sexual misconduct; and the station and ownership, not NPR, are investigating.

Otherwise, heckuva job.

NY can’t rely on luck

New York was lucky that Monday’s would-be suicide bomber couldn’t detonate his bomb properly, but luck is not a strategy. Neither are platitudes.

What are they waiting for?

Starting with the Chelsea bombing in September of 2016 and the truck attack on the downtown bike path in October, Monday’s attack is the third in 15 months. That’s more than got through the dragnet in the previous 15 years.

Something’s changing, and the pols better figure out what it is, and tighten the screws. Pronto.

Opinion

Last US News - Opinion: Why the American immigration system is broken — and how to fix it. NY Post 24 - US News
Why the American immigration system is broken — and how to fix it.
There is a widespread belief that immigrants and their offspring have poverty-defying superpowers that natives do not. That...
Last US News - Opinion: The city could pay billions for a test that didn’t really discriminate. NY Post 24 - US News
The city could pay billions for a test that didn’t really discriminate.
It’s just nuts that the city might have to cough up billions for supposedly racist teacher-certification exams it stopped...
Last US News - Opinion: Team Cuomo shows it doesn’t care about toxic water after all. NY Post 24 - US News
Team Cuomo shows it doesn’t care about toxic water after all.
Now that the state’s bungling of the Hoosick Falls water-contamination nightmare has faded from the headlines, Gov. Cuomo’s...
Last US News - Opinion: The ‘deep state’ leaves Trump with no good options. NY Post 24 - US News
The ‘deep state’ leaves Trump with no good options.
President Trump is not generally given to understatement, but he soft-pedaled problems at the Department of Justice. There...

Opinion

Last US News - Opinion: Why the American immigration system is broken — and how to fix it. NY Post 24 - US News
Why the American immigration system is broken — and how to fix it.
There is a widespread belief that immigrants and their offspring have poverty-defying superpowers that natives do not. That...
Last US News - Opinion: The city could pay billions for a test that didn’t really discriminate. NY Post 24 - US News
The city could pay billions for a test that didn’t really discriminate.
It’s just nuts that the city might have to cough up billions for supposedly racist teacher-certification exams it stopped...
Last US News - Opinion: Team Cuomo shows it doesn’t care about toxic water after all. NY Post 24 - US News
Team Cuomo shows it doesn’t care about toxic water after all.
Now that the state’s bungling of the Hoosick Falls water-contamination nightmare has faded from the headlines, Gov. Cuomo’s...
Last US News - Opinion: The ‘deep state’ leaves Trump with no good options. NY Post 24 - US News
The ‘deep state’ leaves Trump with no good options.
President Trump is not generally given to understatement, but he soft-pedaled problems at the Department of Justice. There...
Last US News - Opinion: How Feinstein is conspiring to destroy Kavanaugh. NY Post 24 - US News
How Feinstein is conspiring to destroy Kavanaugh.
Democrat leaders and their liberal aides, along with professional agitators, are all intermingled and conspiring together...

Living

US Living News: ‘Insecure’ shows how hard it is for a black girl to find love. NY Post 24 - US News
‘Insecure’ shows how hard it is for a black girl to find love.
When I moved to New York City in March of 2008, I thought my life would look a lot like Carrie Bradshaw’s from HBO’s...
US Living News: The best books of the week. NY Post 24 - US News
The best books of the week.
West Wingers: Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House Ed. by Gautam...
US Living News: Why the inventor of the labradoodle regretted his creation. NY Post 24 - US News
Why the inventor of the labradoodle regretted his creation.
With its cutesy curls and plaintive eyes, it’s no wonder the labradoodle became America’s second-favorite dog in 2012....
US Living News: Here’s why relationships are making us fatter. NY Post 24 - US News
Here’s why relationships are making us fatter.
If you’ve gained weight in a committed relationship, you’re not alone. Almost 80 percent of Americans put on...
US Living News: ‘Curb’ star Cheryl Hines would like you to buy her a dirty martini, please. NY Post 24 - US News
‘Curb’ star Cheryl Hines would like you to buy her a dirty martini, please.
Cheryl Hines, 53, star of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” was raised in Tallahassee, Fla., and lives in Los Angeles....
US Living News: People are using a new app to report sex assault anonymously. NY Post 24 - US News
People are using a new app to report sex assault anonymously.
In the wake of #MeToo, more than 1,000 people have downloaded an app aimed at rooting out repeat sex offenders by allowing...
US Living News: Top food researcher resigns after his work gets retracted. NY Post 24 - US News
Top food researcher resigns after his work gets retracted.
NEW YORK — A prominent Cornell University food researcher resigned after an investigation found he committed academic misconduct,...
US Living News: #WhyIDidntReport blows up on Twitter after Trump’s remark to Kavanaugh accuser. NY Post 24 - US News
#WhyIDidntReport blows up on Twitter after Trump’s remark to Kavanaugh accuser.
On Friday, President Trump questioned Christine Blasey Ford, the professor who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh...

Business

Last US Business News: State unemployment regulations leave New Yorkers struggling. NY Post 24 - US News
State unemployment regulations leave New Yorkers struggling.
Dear John: Until recently, I was unemployed and as a white college-educated female in my 50s, I would gladly have worked...
Last US Business News: Con Ed won’t take on certain expenses because as a monopoly — they can. NY Post 24 - US News
Con Ed won’t take on certain expenses because as a monopoly — they can.
Dear John: I own a co-op apartment in which the gas meter is in the kitchen. It was determined that the gas meter was defective...
Last US Business News: US student debt might lead to the next financial crisis. NY Post 24 - US News
US student debt might lead to the next financial crisis.
In may not be trigonometry, but if you do the math, there is a great divide in how an estimated $2 trillion will be paid...
Last US Business News: Wall Street is high on Thiel-backed cannabis company. NY Post 24 - US News
Wall Street is high on Thiel-backed cannabis company.
America saw reefer madness take over the stock market last week. For a few months now, the budding industry has captured...
Last US Business News: Next crash will be ‘worse than the Great Depression’: experts. NY Post 24 - US News
Next crash will be ‘worse than the Great Depression’: experts.
Ten years ago, it was too-easy credit that brought financial markets to their knees. Today, it could be a global debt of...
Last US Business News: John Paulson teams up with investors to start Gold Council. NY Post 24 - US News
John Paulson teams up with investors to start Gold Council.
John Paulson is taking on the gold industry. The billionaire hedgie — known for his well-timed bets against subprime mortgages...
Last US Business News: Hefty Arconic price tag could scare off potential bidders. NY Post 24 - US News
Hefty Arconic price tag could scare off potential bidders.
The leveraged buyout of Arconic has run into a bit of turbulence, The Post has learned. Potential bidders for the aluminum...
Last US Business News: Retailers warn of price hikes due to Trump tariffs. NY Post 24 - US News
Retailers warn of price hikes due to Trump tariffs.
President Trump’s base better get ready for some sticker shock come Monday. That’s when Trump’s fresh round of tariffs...

Metro

Metro News: Elderly woman accused of replacing pricy painting with fake. NY Post 24 - US News
Elderly woman accused of replacing pricy painting with fake.
An Illinois health tech company with a vast art collection says an elderly Manhattan woman is holding one of its paintings...
Metro News: De Blasio aide fired after being charged with weapons possession. NY Post 24 - US News
De Blasio aide fired after being charged with weapons possession.
The former aide to Mayor de Blasio who was charged for riding around in a SUV with a loaded gun got the boot from the city...
Metro News: Cop wounded when girlfriend was shot by his ex won’t talk to police. NY Post 24 - US News
Cop wounded when girlfriend was shot by his ex won’t talk to police.
The off-duty Yonkers cop wounded when his girlfriend was fatally shot by a crazed ex-lover has refused to talk to investigators,...
Metro News: Brooklyn high school unveils plan to address lead water crisis. NY Post 24 - US News
Brooklyn high school unveils plan to address lead water crisis.
City school officials showed up last Tuesday armed with fresh water and a repair plan for a Brooklyn high school where a...
Metro News: Brooklyn motorcyclist killed after car rams into him. NY Post 24 - US News
Brooklyn motorcyclist killed after car rams into him.
A motorcyclist was killed when he rammed into a Nissan in Brooklyn on Saturday, cops said. Julius Holloway, 47, was heading...
Metro News: Elite NYPD anti-terror unit wrote bogus tickets to fill quotas: whistleblowers. NY Post 24 - US News
Elite NYPD anti-terror unit wrote bogus tickets to fill quotas: whistleblowers.
Members of the NYPD’s elite Strategic Response Group — about 700 highly trained, heavily armed cops who respond to...
Metro News: NYPD cop accused of choking girlfriend released without bail. NY Post 24 - US News
NYPD cop accused of choking girlfriend released without bail.
An off-duty NYPD cop accused of choking his ex-girlfriend — and sending her a terrifying picture of a noose —...
Metro News: Homeless man found stabbed to death in Washington Heights. NY Post 24 - US News
Homeless man found stabbed to death in Washington Heights.
A man who cops believe was homeless was found stabbed to death in Manhattan early Saturday. A passerby discovered the body...

Sport

Last US Sport News: This is why Stanton decided to come to the Yankees. NY Post 24 - US News
This is why Stanton decided to come to the Yankees.
These are the nights Giancarlo Stanton envisioned when he became a Yankee last December. Four tubs full of Chandon champagne...
Last US Sport News: Aroldis Chapman takes big step forward — with one caveat. NY Post 24 - US News
Aroldis Chapman takes big step forward — with one caveat.
Aroldis Chapman’s second appearance after returning from left knee tendinitis went much better than his first, as he threw...
Last US Sport News: David Wright not the only veteran facing his final days as a Met. NY Post 24 - US News
David Wright not the only veteran facing his final days as a Met.
WASHINGTON — Jose Reyes will wait until he returns to Citi Field on Tuesday before allowing it to sink in that he’s likely...
Last US Sport News: Todd Bowles must be on guard against the Jets splintering. NY Post 24 - US News
Todd Bowles must be on guard against the Jets splintering.
The Jets have hit their first crisis moment of 2018. Yes, it is only September. Yes, they are not even one quarter of the...
Last US Sport News: Pat Shurmur has to fix this mess now or the Giants are done. NY Post 24 - US News
Pat Shurmur has to fix this mess now or the Giants are done.
HOUSTON — They are battered and bloodied, there are open wounds everywhere on the 0-2 Giants. The start of the 2018 season...