Belarus Celebrates the Father of Modern Hebrew

Oct. 13 2014

Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, who arrived in Palestine in 1881 and there almost single-handedly revived Hebrew as a spoken language, was born and spent much of his early life in what is today Belarus. Recently the country commemorated his achievement with a monument and a boisterous public ceremony complete with dancing and musical performances.

I asked Boris Gersten, the chairman of the Union of Belarusian Jewish Public Organizations and Communities, why locals seem to find Ben-Yehuda’s legacy so important. “We don’t get a lot of international interaction,” he said of his country, which is sometimes called Europe’s last dictatorship and is subject to sanctions by the European Union for alleged human-rights abuses by its all-powerful president, Alexander Lukashenko. “So whenever there is some point of interaction with people from abroad, it is interesting, attractive,” he said.

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More about: Belarus, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, Modern Hebrew

Is There a Way Out of Israel’s Political Deadlock?

On Tuesday, leaders of the Jewish state’s largest political parties, Blue and White and Likud, met to negotiate the terms of a coalition agreement—and failed to come to an agreement. If none of the parties in the Knesset succeeds in forming a governing coalition, there will be a third election, with no guarantee that it will be more conclusive than those that preceded it. Identifying six moves by key politicians that have created the deadlock, Shmuel Rosner speculates as to whether they can be circumvented or undone:

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More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Election 2019, Israeli politics