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Paula R. Stern

Arik, Ask the People

I'm trying to understand what is happening in this country. The more times I listen to the latest news, the less I understand. I'm not even convinced the government itself can explain its actions., 2/15/2005, 11:07 PM

Auschwitz: A Breaking Point

Everyone has a breaking point. It is the point at which you simply feel you cannot take any more. You cannot cry more, you cannot feel anger and you don't want to feel sadness. You feel that your heart hurts, and you don't want to feel that either., 1/27/2005, 11:55 PM

United We Stand

A recent conversation I had with a friend brought home, again, the successes and the failures of modern-day Israel., 1/11/2005, 10:24 PM

The Guard

In Israel, security is an ingrained part of our lives. What would be considered an invasion of our rights in any other place is accepted as normal here. We open our bags, allow guards to run security wands close to our bodies, open our car trunks without a second thought., 1/3/2005, 11:21 PM

In Death...

The long and drawn-out death of Yasser Arafat afforded Israel the opportunity to remind people of a life that was dedicated to violence, terror and hatred. It brought back the memories of the Munich Olympics, the murdered school children in Ma'a lot and the more recent attacks that continue to plague us., 11/11/2004, 9:56 PM

Burning Anger and Anguished Chaos

Beyond the grief and the shock of the apparent devastation, there was anger. Sharper and more intense than is normal in these circumstances. Amazingly enough, I am not angry at the terrorists. At least not abnormally so., 10/10/2004, 6:32 PM

Living Precariously

In a very real sense, Sukkot is about being exposed to potentially hostile elements and it is for this reason one can easily understand that Israel itself is perhaps the largest <I>sukkah</i> of all. We can surround ourselves with an army, build a wall and establish checkpoints, but ultimately, as we can see from the tragic events on the first day of Sukkot, we are living precariously., 10/3/2004, 10:48 PM

What the Arabs Have Done to Themselves

Knowing that a pregnant woman had been injured and that time was of the essence, the Magen David Adom (MDA) squad prepared the ambulance as they drove and within minutes, they arrived at the entrance to Azzariya? and there they stopped., 8/16/2004, 8:52 PM

A Chain and a Song

I took the easy way out and stood with three of my children in the center of Jerusalem yesterday afternoon, part of a vast human chain that stretched 90 kilometers from Judaism's holiest site to the sea. It was a compromise of sorts, as I'd expected to be standing in very different circumstances., 7/26/2004, 5:02 PM

Waiting for the Dawn of Peace

From one second to the next, the sky does not suddenly brighten. I looked up and saw that it was still very dark. The immediate area was lit by strong lights and most people were just waiting. Suddenly, a murmur began on the other side of the divide. One man stepped forward and began. Further across the plaza, another man began leading his group, and another and another. Beside the divider, nearer, 6/10/2004, 10:08 PM

A Shameful Picture

I watched as a father cradled his baby and ran to safety, shielding the child with his own body. At any moment, as gunshots rang out in the background, I feared seeing the image of him falling or being shot. I watched a woman run with another child and saw the dread on her face, as I am sure she too anticipated feeling a bullet tear through her, or worse, through the child she struggled to protect, 5/11/2004, 9:25 PM

An Answer to Hitler

Born more than 20 years after the Holocaust, but on a day that still brings back the collective pain of a people on the brink of disaster, my mother calls me her answer to Hitler. The Holocaust happened. Over 6 million Jews were murdered. I am guilty of the same crime as they were ? that of being Jewish. But my very existence, and that of my children, is the best response we can give to Hitler and, 4/19/2004, 6:12 PM

A Parting of the Ways

I voted for a few different parties along the way, but finally settled on joining the Likud. It was the party of Menachem Begin. "If we learn and remember," he promised, "we shall overcome all our enemies." , 4/9/2004, 2:21 AM

Taking the Passive Road

"Virtually all of these reports were written in the passive?. I find it interesting because it appears as though there's a consistent effort to avoid assigning blame.", 2/26/2004, 10:08 PM

Out of the Mouths of the Terrorists

Israel has had a hard time over the years explaining its political position and its need to focus on security. Often we are told to give land, make concessions and then there will be peace. What we have understood for many years, the world still fails to comprehend. The true character of the Palestinian leadership is expressed in its Arabic broadcasts to its people, rather than the polite, peacefu, 2/16/2004, 6:17 PM

Real Mothers Don?t Kill

I too had a three year old and an 18 month old when I left them the first time. To this day, some fifteen years later, I still remember how I felt, how I cried that first day and told my husband that I wasn?t sure I could go to work the next day and leave them again. The thought of being separated from them for a full day was agony for me; yet, Reem went off and voluntarily separated herself from , 1/19/2004, 7:08 PM

Just Because It Didn't Happen

Now, America is on high alert. Each day, different government leaders are cautioning that a terrorist attack could happen at any moment. After several days of endlessly hearing the 24-hour news forecast doom and destruction, Americans are, understandably, bored with it all. And therein lies the danger. Just because something doesn?t explode, that doesn?t mean that there isn?t a force out there att, 12/31/2003, 1:24 AM

Beilin: A Legend in His Own Mind

There?s an envelope that I received in the mail a few weeks ago that I haven?t opened. It uses the colors of my country, blue and white, in a futile attempt to mask the truth behind the ugly words it contains. Printed in Hebrew on the plastic covering of the pamphlet are the words ?Sent to every home in Israel.? , 12/1/2003, 5:22 PM

In Ron?s Mind

If one could survive 17 years in captivity, it would only be possible with the unwavering belief that someone was waiting for him and all he has to do is survive another hour, another day, another week. Israel does not abandon its sons. Ron knows this. Ron believes this. Ron is counting on this. , 11/16/2003, 5:51 PM

Broadcasting Justice

When you are part of this group, you quickly learn who can get you the information you need first, what station has the most up-to-date information, who will tell you first what you need to know. Your Internet browser contains quick links to the major news sites, and you check them often. Your radio buttons are set to the major radio stations and the radio goes on with the air conditioner when you, 10/21/2003, 5:51 PM

Flying Into Hypocrisy

Are we to continue to allow these terrorists to bomb our buses and malls, murder our babies in front of our eyes and do nothing? Apparently so, according to the pilots. After all, if we can?t hunt them down in their own areas, we will be forced to wait until they come to us. Palestinian parents proudly praise their young for the ruthless murder of innocent civilians, yet the pilots would have us p, 10/5/2003, 10:59 AM

On the New Year: Choosing Life

It is hard, after three years, to believe that there will suddenly be an end to this violence, that the day will come soon when we can put our children on buses and not force them to call, when we can leave them at bus stations and not hold our breathes, fearing that we will hear a boom as we drive away., 9/25/2003, 8:05 PM

Are You Stupid?

How many deaths does it take to understand that Hamas is a terrorist organization? What ages must their victims be, what sex, what nationality? If you will not believe the Israelis, Mr. Gourdault-Mondagne, perhaps you would believe the Hamas themselves. , 8/26/2003, 6:17 PM

The Gambler

Get angry, Arik, and stay that way, because finally, finally, maybe we?ve begun to understand that on the train bound for nowhere, you have to know when to walk away, and know when to run. , 8/20/2003, 8:43 PM

The Story of a Shoe

What can you learn from a shoe? As I stood in the Maidanek death camp recently, I tried to understand, tried to envision, tried to learn about a woman who died more than sixty years ago. I know almost nothing about her, other than the fact that she came to Maidanek and probably never left. , 8/11/2003, 6:30 PM

The Israel We Haven?t Lost

I remember the neighbors coming and offering to help, and the first time I met friends that remain close to this day. I remember the exhaustion after weeks of packing and the emotional drain of having finally finished the journey. And I remember my joy over meeting the people of Israel and feeling a part of them, of finally being able to really say ?we Israelis? and ?our army.? , 7/15/2003, 12:00 AM

But Where Does the Road Go?

Years ago, I was driving late an night with my husband and children asleep in the car. Alone with my thoughts and the open road, I marveled at the scenery, the quiet, peaceful road. I drove past quiet homes, Bedouin campsites, small cities, into the desert and beyond. Onwards through the night, until suddenly, I came to a checkpoint. Nothing unusual in Israel, but this one was different. , 6/20/2003, 2:26 AM

Terrorism in Real Time

Another update is posted to the Web. First reports of injuries, unconfirmed. The army is there. Gunshots, flares. Helicopters. Somewhere, someone is typing into a computer, converting it to HTML and posting it on the Web. It takes only minutes; it takes too long. , 5/19/2003, 8:23 PM

Rachel is Crying

There is a pain felt deep in a mother's heart. The anguish only another mother can imagine. It transcends all, even death. It is a bond created and nurtured that never, ever weakens. She's crying for her son yet she is too far to offer comfort. She lies as isolated as he was, but the desecration of his burial place is even worse to her than if they had desecrated her own grave. I can hear Rachel c, 2/28/2003, 11:58 PM