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The last week of August – everyone is rushing to finalize plans for the start of school, enjoy these last days before “reality” returns.

Summer is ending and a whole new reality is beginning…we got through the summer without a war…here’s hoping we can get into and through next summer without one as well.


There are basic currents that we feel here – usually they are internal. We feel tensions building and worry that a war may be coming; something happens and we watch carefully to see where it will end.

This time, the currents seem to come from abroad and Israel seems remarkably stable. Obama is fighting an all out war to get his Iran deal passed. The more desperate his attempts, the sillier the deal appears.

That the Iranians would be given 24 days’ notice appears ridiculous enough; but ridiculous has crossed into absurdity with the news that some of the inspections, at least, would be conducted by the Iranians.

Though the outcome of the deal will definitely effect Israel, it is an outside force rather than an inside one. As much as we can do to persuade the world that the Iranians are playing them, laughing at them and utterly humiliating the west, the west alone will choose its destiny. Israel will do what is has to do to survive, that is the single greatest truth in the Iran deal. If that makes some in the west nervous…good.

A second “current’ that is sending ripples through Israel is the growing anti-Semitism worldwide. Especially in Europe, but in other places, including the US, as well. Like the Iran deal, we are outsiders and yet we are not. There are few Jews in France who are not worried, wondering and perhaps even planning. The Jews in the United Kingdom are feeling the worry though have yet to internalize the threat.

If the winds of hatred bring these Jews to Israel, we will offer them a home here. Perhaps as we have done in other places, we will have to physically send in planes to bring them.

It’s still August here, still hot. No one is feeling the weather change yet, though we know that is now weeks away instead of months. But each summer melts into autumn, each autumn flows into winter. Wars and tension happen here without warning. We made it through the summer and that is something to celebrate. We’ll concentrate on getting back – back to school, back to work and let the world continue for a while on its own.

The Iran deal will bring what it will; the rise in anti-Semitism will take its course. Somehow here in Israel, the path seems steadier than usual, calmer than usual. Ultimately, as Ben Gurion said long ago, to be a realist in Israel, you must believe in miracles and so we believe, we wait, we live.

At summer’s end…life is good here in Israel, and for those of us blessed to call  this our home, that really is all that matters.




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Paula R. Stern is the co-founder of Retraining4Israel (, a new organization working to help olim make aliyah successful. Paula made aliyah over 30 years ago with her husband and their three children. She lives in Maale Adumim and is often referred to as “A Soldier’s Mother”. She is now a happy wife, mother of five (including two sabras), and grandmother, happily sharing her voice and opinions with others. She is also a senior tech writer and lead training instructor at WritePoint Ltd. ( Please visit her new website: