News from Israel

A couple of items that may have got lost among the “bigger” stories from the Middle East, but which I think are worthy of notice. They show, among other things, that Israel is a much more interesting and complicated place than some of its rabid opponents (or rabid supporters, for that matter) make it out to be:

This spring a group of 260 Israeli Arabs and Jews visited the site of the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.

And some Russian Jewish immigrants went to an Arab village in Israel to meet with some of its Russian-speaking residents and look for some common ground between them.

Neither of these events provided any easy, feel-good answers to the problems of living together. But they do indicate that people sometimes are willing to break out of their stereotyped ways of thinking about and behaving toward each other. That’s encouraging.