Tamar Vidon

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Geopolitics

A Century After Balfour, Time For A 'Johnson' Declaration?

After half a century of failed endeavors by the United States to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, maybe it's time to send that geopolitical hot potato back to the British.

It has been 100 years since Britain first declared its support for the establishment of "a national home for the Jewish people." The Nov. 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration was part of a British plan at the time to gain a mandate over Ottoman-controlled Palestine. Then, less than 10% of the territory's population was Jewish; today there is a Jewish majority in Israel and the Palestinians are still seeking a national home of their own.

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food / travel

Open Sesame! Tahini Spreads From Ethiopia To Israel And Beyond

It's a match made in hummus!

TEL AVIV — A sweet, warm smell engulfs visitors the moment they enter the manufacturing hangar in the Al Arz tahini plant. Soft sunlight seeps in through the high windows, lighting millions of sesame seeds carried on conveyor belts in and out of large stainless steel ovens. Suspended above are narrow stainless steel pipes that transport pure raw tahini, and as its vapors fill the air, it all has the look and feel of a futuristic utopia. For a moment the hangar turns into a state-of-the-art spaceship about to take off.

But this isn't utopia. It's Ethiopia — sort of. We're actually in a new industrial zone of the Jezreel Valley region in northern Israel. Joining us, though, is a delegation of 23 sesame growers and exporters from Ethiopia, all members of an exporters association, who came to Israel to study up close the wonders of local tahini and to try to expand their trade.

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Geopolitics

Welcome To The Bedouin Millionaires Club

In southern Israel, a group of well-off Bedouin entrepreneurs is trying to help the community grow economically, reduce discrimination and improve education.

HURA — Crystal and gold chandeliers hang from the high ceiling at the entrance to Yaakub Abu al-Qiyan's home in the Bedouin town of Hura in Israel's southern Negev desert. The furniture in the living room, the curtains and even the teapots are adorned with gold as well.

Abu al-Quiyan was inspired by "a Jordanian palace," but says that most of the furnishings actually came from Egypt. Every step in the staircase is individually lit. There's a pool in the backyard and a Jacuzzi is under construction. From the window is a view of the tin shed that houses the neighbor's family.

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