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Reflections of the U.S.-Israel Relationship Heading into the High Holy Days

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One of the many challenges posed by COVID has been the inability to travel, and for me, that meant not going to Israel for 20 months – the longest stretch without visiting in almost 20 years. Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a good part of my summer in Israel, working remotely and spending time with family. As I sit here at a café across the street from the Machane Yehuda “shuk” in Jerusalem, I’m still amazed at the economic and human vibrancy, the flourishing civil society, and the incredible diversity I see all around.

With Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, now just days away, many Jews around the world are preparing for the High Holidays with increased gusto. That is certainly true here in Israel. The period of time leading into the New Year is a time for introspection and reflection. I cannot help but reflect on the challenging past year we’ve all endured and how a strong U.S.-Israel relationship has helped both of our countries to address the serious challenges we face.

We can’t talk about this past year without talking about COVID-19. Israel has had one of the most successful vaccine rollout and distribution campaigns; by May, the vast majority of the country’s nine-million population had already been vaccinated, with over 90 percent of those 50 and older inoculated, and efforts continue to encourage reluctant communities to get vaccinated. And as the Delta variant continues to spread, Israel is taking swift action by offering a COVID booster shot to all vaccinated people. I actually stood in line earlier this week with young and old,........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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