Friday, December 02, 2011

Politics – November 2011 Launching Two States for Two Nations campaign

Security and peace for Israel and Palestine: Two states for two nations.

Peace is a precious commodity. Like any other precious commodity it is expensive. Those who wish peace should be willing to pay and sacrifice for it.

~Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

~Martin Luther King

I am launching an international peace campaign, calling for a two-state solution. This, I assume, is going to be a long and tiring campaign. It is the right campaign but it has many challenges. Please help in any way you can to promote the idea and to push it forward. I will be unrelenting and consistent, but I surely am aware of my abilities and limitations. All help in any way you see fit is welcomed and appreciated.

I am happy to deliver lectures, and put forward information, speak to anyone you deem pertinent, send letters, use social networking sites to generate awareness of the pressing need for a two-state solution, provoke debate, and raise understanding.

Reflections on my October Newsletter
Ron Arad
My New Campaign
Also on Twitter
The New King’s Clothes Continues
ASMEA Conference
Tunisia and Libya
Muslim Brotherhood
Change in Israel’s Nuclear Ambiguity Policy
Former State President Moshe Katsav to Jail
Human Rights Watch seeks nominees for Hellman/Hammett grants
UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2012 seeks nominations
Washington DC
US Social Justice
Resources on Israeli Economy
David Grossman - To the End of the Land
My New Article, in Memory of Sarah Cohen
New Books
Visit to Hopkins
Monthly Poem
Uplifting Flight Story
Light Side

Reflections on my October Newsletter

Professor Stuart Cohen, Bar-Ilan University, wrote:

The Shalit prisoner exchange was a rational and sensible recognition of the need to reaffirm society's commitment to the welfare of its soldiers. The injunction to “leave no man behind,” which has been internalized by all Western armies, reinforces the mutual commitment that soldiers and their governments make to one another. The obligation of the state is even more pronounced in Israel’s case, as the IDF is a conscript army, in which far from all draft-age youngsters in fact serve.

The need for governments and commanders to cultivate the confidence of their soldiers is especially pronounced in the case of conscript armies. Primarily, this is because of the nature of the circumstances in which conscripts are drafted into service. They do not enlist of their own volition. They are compelled to do so. Certainly, many conscripts consider that obligation to be a duty and a privilege – as, for instance, did the vast majority of conscripts who fought, on all sides, during World War II. Nevertheless, precisely because they are conscripts, they still possess an intrinsic moral right to demand that their governments display particular consideration for their welfare and for the sensitivities of their families. Traditionally, democracies have appreciated the importance of that circumstance, and in so doing have made measurable contributions to the military effectiveness of their forces.

Had Netanyahu's government not agreed to an exchange for Shalit when the opportunity arose, its decision might certainly have assuaged the feelings of the commentators who spout platitudes about the importance of 'national pride'. But it would also have threatened to undermine the confidence in the IDF of the very youngsters who carry the practical burden of guaranteeing Israel's security and of the families who educate their children to shoulder that burden.

Ron Arad

Ron Arad, who was captured by the Amal Lebanese organization in the first Lebanon war, who never returned home, was very much on my mind when campaigning for the release of Gilad Shalit. Channel 2 “Uvda” broadcast a documentary on the Arad family. This moving film reads, for the first time, sections from Ron’s captivity diary while showing video clips photographed by Tami, his wife, and other members of his family. It took the Arad family some time to realize that its interests are different than the interests of the Israeli decision-makers. The Shalit family learnt the lesson. It worked relentlessly, day and night, mobilizing support and pressure on the government to bring Gilad back home.

Ron Arad

Those of you who understand Hebrew can see the TV broadcast at,790,209,64454,.aspx

My New Campaign

On this blog, which started in 2000, I carried three international campaigns: In 2000 I started the Gaza First campaign. In 2003, Prime Minister Sharon announced his Disengagement from the Gaza Strip. The Gaza First campaign was completed when Israel evacuated Gaza in 2005.

In late 2006 I called for early elections in Israel after I lost trust in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the tragic architect of the Israel-Hezbollah War. This campaign ended in February 2009, when Israel held early elections that terminated the Olmert government.

During the past three years I was engaged in a third campaign which called for a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas that would bring Gilad Shalit back home. That campaign was ended last month when Gilad was united with his loving family, and more than 1000 Palestinians were released from Israeli jails.

I am now launching my fourth campaign which is arguably the most difficult of all but like the former three is much needed. This campaign calls for a two state solution. I believe this is the only true option for both Israel and Palestine. I believe it is a just and necessary solution.

To be clear, I am calling for:
The end of all hostilities between Israel and Palestine;
Zero tolerance to violence and terror;
Ceasing incitement on both sides of the Fence;
Overhauling the Israeli and Palestinian education curricula on all levels: Kindergarten, primary school, and high school on all issues the pertain to the Conflict;
The evacuation of all, or almost all settlements situated in the West Bank (94-97% of territory);
Compensating the Palestinians for the part that would remain in Israel;
The end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank;
The re-routing of the Fence along the Green Line;
Jerusalem – What is Palestinian will come under the territory of the new capital Al Kuds. What is Jewish will remain under Israeli sovereignty;
Haram al-Sharif – Palestine will be granted extraterritorial sovereignty over the site under Waqf administration. Jews will enjoy right of access;
The end of the all-encompassing, unjustified blockade of the Gaza Strip. There is a crucial difference between securing Israel’s borders and assuring that no weapons are smuggled into the Gaza Strip and blockading Gaza tout court. Suffocating Gaza is contradictory to Israeli interests;
The 1948 Palestinian refugees will be able to settle in Palestine. Israel will recognize the Nakba and compensate the 1948 refugees and their children (but not grandchildren) for the suffering inflicted on them. Unification of families should be allowed on a limited quota annual scale;
The establishment of a Palestinian State alongside Israel. Palestine is sovereign to decide its capital, like all other sovereign states.

Only a fair solution for both sides will be successful. A partial solution, or a solution that favours one side over another would leave the other side frustrated and angry. It won’t work.

Israel is the stronger side. It should adopt prudent policy to secure a solution to this protracted and bloody conflict.

The establishment of a Palestinian State is a Palestinian interest. It is also an Israeli interest.

Also on Twitter

The campaign will be launched also on Twitter, at almagor35@ and I will be relentless, more than ever. We all need this campaign to succeed. Nothing short than the long-term survival of Israel is at stake. Please follow me, and please urge others to join. Anyone who brings ten new followers will get five new tweets, absolutely for free! The offer is limited and short in time, so hurry up!! Do it today!

Please urge others to join my Twitter, almagor35@.

Pushing forward a two state demands enormous effort. The challenges are sturdy and obstinate. Only unified effort may change things for the better. I call upon the politicians on this list to raise the issue and press it forward in their respective governments.
I call upon media professionals to push the motion on their agendas. Please write about the issue promote the campaign detail the plan. I am happy to engage in any forum to explain the two state solution.

I call upon fellow academics to discuss the issue engage in debates explain what is at stake. I will be happy to deliver talks and participate in round tables.

I call upon business people to donate to this campaign and provide me with the necessary infrastructure.

I call upon students to engage in debates and discussions in their respective student unions.

I call upon IT specialists to help disseminate the campaign via social networking sites chat rooms websites blogs and other means at their disposal.

I call upon all others to help in any way you see fit.

The New King’s Clothes Continues
UNESCO accepted the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a full member after the US failed to derail the acceptance. Both the USA and Israel argued that this development undercuts peace negotiations and places unnecessary burdens on the way to renewing negotiations. The move is no less than "tantamount to a rejection of the international community's efforts to advance the peace process".

I read this with a sense of bewilderment and disappointment. What the Palestinian do has little to do with the peace process and far more to do with their efforts to establish a Palestinian State. The joint Israeli-American stance is disappointing because I have a growing sense of déjà vu. Not so long ago, the founders of Israel had launched a similar international campaign to establish a Jewish State. They were rightfully successful despite Arab efforts to stifle their efforts. And now history has put the sides in opposite sides and Israel adopts the same wrong attitude that the Arabs adopted during the 1930s and 1940s. Justice is with the Palestinian side.
A Palestinian State is merely a question of time. The earlier that Israel recognises this and moves to help the Palestinians in their efforts, the better.

Why does Israel object to the UNESCO decision? First, why give something for free if this can be part of the negotiation deal? Second, Israel fears the Palestinians will use international organisations to criticise and undermine Israel's standing in the international community. Why does the US take Israel's side? I suspect the US presidential elections have something to do with this.

In a neighbourhood that is likely to grow hostile to Israel, Israel needs to put The Conflict high on its priority list. The status quo is now working against Israel's best interests. I feel like the little boy who saw his king naked in his brand new clothes. Prime Minister Netanyahu: Wake up! Time is running out.

ASMEA Conference

I was invited to the fourth annual conference of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa in Washington DC. On my panel was Professor Mordechai Nisan who challenged my plea for a two-state solution and offered another alternative. As the geography of the West Bank is narrow, only 35 miles in width, and as religion drives the agenda of non-compromise over this small piece of land, and the facts on the grounds, according to Nisan, are unsolvable --  Jerusalem, Temple Mount, refugees and settlements – Nisan proposed to base a solution on the basis of reality, not wishful thinking. The “Oslo paradigm” should be rejected. Instead Nisan offered another “paradigm”: Jordan as Palestine. Two thirds of Jordanians are Palestinians. They are integrated into Jordanian society. Thus we need to call upon Jordan to reform democracy by the redistribution of power and the redefinition of the Hashemite State. I hasten to think that this proposed solution is no less difficult to implement than the two-state solution. Nisan also has to believe in what he says. Somehow, he lacks conviction. In a private conversation, Nisan implicitly said that he spoke of the Jordanian option as a diversion from the real solution as he believes in Greater Israel, and does not wish to evacuate settlements.

I am fully aware that there is no shortage of political plans: Bibi Netanyahu's to fool the world; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s to obliterate Israel; Azmi Bishara's state of all citizens; The settlers' Eretz Yisrael Hashlema; Hamas’s to slowly undermine Israel's existence; Jordan as Palestine. As all of them are not viable, they do not deserve further discussion unless you, my loyal readers, think otherwise and urge me to provide reasoning for my utter dismissal of them.

The Libyan ambassador to the US, Ali Suleiman Aujali, taught us a lesson in diplomatic hypocrisy. He served the Gaddafi regime for many years and is now condemning the previous regime atrocities which he supported, rationalized and defended.

The Kurdish prime minister, Barham Salih, taught us a lesson in diplomatic maneuvering. He avoided most questions addressed to him, including relationships with Turkey and Iran on the one hand, and with Israel on the other. What he did say was that Kurdistan aims to establish confederation with Iraq. In his careful customary fashion, he avoided answering what will be the fate of the Kurds in Turkey and Iran.

Two Syrian academics and activists spoke about the events that are taking place in Syria. The protesters are young peaceful citizens determined to bring down the Assad dictatorial regime. The focus is on internal concerns. Israel is not a topic for discussion. Professor Amr Al-Azm said that the Syrian people are determined to continue the struggle. He acknowledges that Assad is equally determined to stay. That means a long struggle. NATO will not intervene but the protesters might radicalize their actions. There is no shortage of weapons in the streets, and the protesters may choose to use them in the future. Until now they are cautious not to confront Assad's security forces with violence. Assad on his part resorts to calculated violence. Assad does not pound cities with heavy artillery that might result in heavy scores of casualties.

Professor Maria Stephan asserted that the success of the Syrian uprising depends on broadening the scope of the protests, encompassing different groups and engaging the critical pillars of society in the struggle including the business sector. The Syrian economy is under pressure, and business withdrawal from active role in the Syrian market may play a crucial factor in the struggle. She recalled that disunity in Iran was one of the problems that brought about the failure of the 2009-2010 popular protests.

Unfortunately, there is no lack of prejudice and hostility towards Israel. A senior American lecturer of Indian origin told me that the early Zionists ousted Palestinians from their lands during the 19 Century, forced them out by violence. I asked where did he get this information and he indirectly pointed me to Edward Said. A young doctoral student of Georgetown University advised me that there are only 4 Arab MKs in the Israeli parliament. I said that I did not remember the figures, but this sounds very low. Are you sure? He nodded enthusiastically and talked at length about Israel’s discrimination of Arabs, being an apartheid state. I answered that there is most unfortunate and inexcusable discrimination against Arabs, that there is room for improvement, but if he accuses Israel of being an apartheid state, either he does not know Israel or does not understand the essence of apartheid. I also said that I will check how many Arab MKs are presently in the Knesset. I checked. There are 14 MKs. When I told him that, the young student said this is below the Arab percentage in the Israeli population. I hope for him that he conducts his doctoral research somewhat better, and with less prejudice.

I thank ASMEA, Tali Efraty, Jason Harris, Ken Lasson, Nienke Grossman, Mike van Dusen, Marina and Bill Dackman for their kind hospitality.


President Assad continues to massacre his own people and like his former significant others in Egypt and Libya he fails to read the clear warning on the wall and is glued to his chair as there is no tomorrow, as Syria is an island to itself, able to exact any price on the opposition. I hope the international community will prove him wrong a.s.a.p.

This bloodshed needs to stop, now. I call upon the responsible nations to interfere and protect the citizens of Syria. First and foremost, I call upon Turkey to intervene. The present Turkish leadership has shown sensitivity to the plight of Muslim brethren in other parts of the region. As Syria’s neighbor, it now needs to lend a hand to the Syrian people against their brutal dictator.

Tunisia and Libya

Ninety percent of registered voters in Tunisia voted in the October 2011 election, a number unheard of in the Arab world. Tunisia chose Islam in the recent elections. Tunisia’s military played a very important function in protecting polling stations, but did not interfere. According to Marwan Muasher of Carnegie, Ennahda that received about 40 percent of the vote, is a moderate Islamist party that campaigned on a commitment to personal freedom and pluralism. The extent that its activists are able to enshrine these commitments into the constitution that will be written over the next year will go a long way to showing the rest of the Arab world and the international community that political Islam does not necessarily mean a resort to violence, negation of personal rights, or imposition of cultural values on all of society. Muasher thinks it is important to treat political Islam as a legitimate part of the political system that has every right to be included, as long as it does not threaten a commitment to pluralism.

How the results will affect the other Magrab countries  -- Algeria and Morocco – remains to be seen. There is a growing discontent with socialism in Algeria. Libya's new interim leader, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, declared that "Islamic religion is the core of our new government" and promised to revoke Gaddafi’s ban on polygamy. Amazing what is the first order of things in the present Libyan chaos.


The headlines in Israel during the past few weeks were dominated by the news on Iran, and the Israeli possible response to the Iranian nuclear ambitions. First, the headlines prepared for the International Atomic Energy Agency most recent report. It was clear that the report would be critical of Iran, and that the main source behind the headlines was the Israel Prime Minister Office. The report was published and, as expected, is denouncing Iran for pursuing secret activities to develop nuclear devices. Iran, the report said, created computer models of nuclear explosions, continued to enrich uranium five years after the UN Security Council had order it to stop, conducted experiments on nuclear triggers and advanced research on nuclear missiles.

This report should not come as a surprise to thinking people. Why should Iran keep its nuclear plants secret if they are designed strictly for civilian purposes? Why is Iran, one of the largest oil and gas exporters of the world, investing in nuclear reactors? Why did it build the infrastructure to enrich uranium? Why has Iran dispersed its plants in different locations and worked so hard to hide them underground?

The UN Security Council is pushing toward further sanctions on Iran, but these attempts are absolutely futile as both China and Russia object to such sanctions and Iran will be fine as long as these major countries continue to pamper the Iranian economy.

In a recent interview with CNN, Defence Minister Ehud Barak hinted that Israel and the world may reach the limit of their capacity to effectively strike Iran's nuclear facilities within as little as six months. His comments suggest that unless additional international sanctions deter the Iranian nuclear efforts, Israel might opt for a military option while it still can.

Attack on the Iranian nuclear plants will have far-reaching, bloody consequences for the USA, Israel, and Jewish targets in four corners in the world. At the same time, no Israeli prime minister can sleep comfortably knowing that a major country whose leaders are committed to wiping Israel off the map are pursuing the development of nuclear capability. The choice is between two great evils, but the possibility of a nuclear attack on Israel should not be in the cards. If the international community will not mobilize itself to ascertain that Israel’s survival remains intact, then the onus rests squarely with Israeli leaders.

Change in Israel’s Nuclear Ambiguity Policy

For decades, Israel kept an ambiguous nuclear position, declaring that Israel won’t be the one to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East. With powerful friends, Israel was able to stay away from international inspections of its nuclear plants. I think that policy has exhausted itself. I will be surprised if Israel will be able to maintain this policy in years to come. It is difficult to insist that Iran’s plants should be subjected to rigorous inspections, and at the same time exempt itself from a similar scrutiny. Somehow, it does not sound very convincing, or honest.

Muslim Brotherhood

Thomas Friedman was quoted by the Wall Street Journal (November 1, 2011, p. A15) as saying: "I am not in the least bit worried about the Muslim Brotherhoods in Jordan or Egypt hijacking the future... The Muslim Brotherhood would not be a good ruler of Egypt but that point of view also seems to be shared by most Egyptians".

Well, I am very worried. At the time of writing, elections are being held. The conservative estimate of the Brotherhood power in Egypt speaks of 20 percent of the population. The generous estimate is 40 percent. Even with the moderate estimate, 20 percent of 80 million means a lot of people. No sane democratic leader can afford not to be attentive to the wishes and concerns of such segment of the population. Whether or not they will have the most prominent positions in government, the Brotherhood will hold the government by the balls. This is not good news for Israel. I suspect it is not good news for the US either. I am very concerned.

Former State President Moshe Katsav to Jail

On November 10., 2011, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected Katsav’s appeal of his conviction and sentence for rape. The former No. 1 citizen is expected to enter prison on December 7, 2011 to begin a seven-year term. The court’s decision sealed a long and sordid episode that began while Katsav was still president from 2000 to 2007.

Katsav, 65, was convicted in a district court last December of raping an employee — who has been identified only by her first initial, A. — on two occasions while he was minister of tourism in 1998. The court also convicted him of sexually abusing and harassing another woman and of harassing a third while he was head of state.
Katsav has always maintained his innocence, and his defense team insisted that his accuser had lied. He rejected a plea bargain offered to him by the former Legal Advisor to the Government, Menny Mazuz, as he did not wish to admit his guilt. That plea bargain would have spared him a jail sentence.

Katsav resigned from the presidency in disgrace two weeks before his term was to end, amid a public uproar over a deal he had reached with state prosecutors. Under the agreement, the rape charges were to have been dropped in exchange for an admission of guilt to lesser offenses. But during a court hearing in April 2008, Katsav unexpectedly backed out of the plea agreement, saying that he preferred to fight to prove his innocence.

After long deliberations, the three-judge panel found no reason to intervene in the conviction or the sentence passed down by the district court since both were well considered and appropriate. “A deep sadness descends on the State of Israel when it is determined that a person who served as a government minister, a deputy prime minister and president perpetrated acts such as those,” the judges wrote in their ruling. “It is a most difficult spectacle to see a man who was once the country’s symbol of state going to jail.” The court found the complainants credible while Katsav was perceived as a blunt liar and manipulator. He did not express any remorse for his vile deeds; instead, he offended and defamed the complainants.

Human Rights Watch seeks nominees for Hellman/Hammett grants

Human Rights Watch is seeking nominees for its Hellman/Hammett grants, which provide support to dozens of writers and activists who are victims of political persecution and are in financial need.

The identity of winners who fear the grant may open them up to further persecution will be protected, according to Human Rights Watch. In addition to using the award to cover costs such as legal and living costs, grant winners often use the money to draw attention to the lack of free expression and other human rights abuses in their countries. More than 700 writers have received financial aid under the grant in the last 22 years, according to Human Rights Watch.

Nominators should provide biographical information about the writer, the circumstances of political persecution and writing or other samples showcasing the individuals work.

The maximum grant awarded to any given writer or advocate is $10,000 and nominations must be submitted by 10 December 2011. More information on the award and nomination forms can be found here and you may contact hhgrants (@)

UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2012 seeks nominations

Do you know an individual, organisation or institution that is defending press freedom? If so, send in your nomination for the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize 2012 by 15 February 2012.

Named after Guillermo Cano Isaza, a Colombian journalist who was assassinated in 1986 after calling for drug traffickers to be brought to justice, the award especially recognises those who defend press freedom at great personal risk.

The winner will receive US $25,000 at a ceremony on World Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2012.

Washington DC

I was very happy to return to Washington, a city I bonded with since my first visit in 1985, when I came to DC for a summer school at Georgetown. I went to see the new Martin Luther Memorial, made of white stone.

At the back of the statute, on the surrounding black stone, there are some quotes coined by King Jr. I particularly like Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

US Social Justice

In many cities in the US, tents are in the public squares. Unlike the Israeli tents, it does not seem that these people will leave their tents. Possibly, this is the solution for homelessness. Here is a photo from McPherson Square, in the heart of Washington DC.

Resources on Israeli Economy

If you are interested in Israeli economy, you may find the following of value:

Economic Overview of Israel:

Economic Highlights quarterly newsletter and presentation:

Also, you can subscribe the email distribution list here:

David Grossman - To the End of the Land

Grossman is my favourite novelist. I love and appreciate many of his books, especially To the End of the Land. Thus, when the BBC approached me to participate in the program, I was delighted. Grossman is a sensitive and intelligent man, a model figure to follow, a true mensch. You can listen to his talk at

My New Article


               “Fatal Choices and Flawed Decisions at the End-of-Life: Lessons from Israel”, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Vol. 54, No. 4 (Autumn 2011), pp. 578-594.

In Memory of my Mom, Sarah Cohen (1930-2011)

Sarah Cohen


The article opens by presenting a recent disconcerting event that took place at a rehabilitative nursing home in Tel Aviv. Next I will discuss the Dying Patient Law which came into effect in 2005. I will then move on to probe the double effect doctrine as it is relevant to the case at hand, and the role of the medical profession and of the family in making decisions at the end of life. It is argued that patients who express a wish to die should receive a comprehensive care addressing their physical and mental condition before rushing to provide lethal medication. Medicine is a healing profession, a caring profession. I conclude by offering some guidelines to help practitioners address the intricate questions they face when patients ask to die.

Keywords: Israel Dying Patient Law, nursing home, care, communication, palliation, double effect, family, patient’s best interests

New Books

Dale E. Miller, J.S. Mill (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010).

J.S. Mill is one of my favourite philosophers, hence any new book about Mill is always of interest. I am always eager to learn and see if there is anything new I can learn about Mill, whose writings enchanted me for years, and whom I have been teaching for the past 15 years or so.

Dale Miller has done a good job in presenting Mill to interested students. It is quite an accessible book, written clearly and in a lively prose, with the right balance between quoting directly from Mill and providing some analysis. I would prefer more analysis of complex texts, and more integration between Mill’s writings, probing how Mill had developed, and how later writings sometimes come into conflict with his earlier ones, but this book is not for people who are well versed with Mill. Rather it is for those who are making their first steps knowing Mill, the utilitarian philosopher who continues to inspire not only scholars but also jurists, politicians and economists in all four corners of the world.

I intend to utilize the book in my classes.

I thank Polity Press for sending me a copy.

Visit to Hopkins

I was invited to deliver two lectures in Baltimore and saw to myself to visit Johns Hopkins where I spent the 2003-2004 academic year. It was nice to walk the university paths and to recall pleasant memories. Hopkins is a great university and it looks thriving.

Monthly Poem


The earth that made the rose, 
She also is thy mother, and not I. 
The flame wherewith thy maiden spirit glows 
Was lighted at no hearth that I sit by. 
I am as far below as heaven above thee. 
Were I thine angel, more I could not love thee. 

Bid me defend thee! 
Thy danger over-human strength shall lend me, 
A hand of iron and a heart of steel, 
To strike, to wound, to slay, and not to feel. 
But if you chide me, 
I am a weak, defenceless child beside thee. 

Mary Elizabeth Coleridge 

Uplifting Flight Story

We are all subjected to excessive security measures at airports, and we all like it as lice. Yet, most of us do not argue. We follow what is requested of us, and get over it as soon as we can.

My friend, MLT, is a principled man. When he was boarding his last flight, he had a little flight book in his coat pocket, something to entertain him during the flight. The person at the gate asked him what was in his pocket. “A book”, answered MLT. “You cannot keep the book in your pocket. Put it in your bag”. “Why?”, asked MLT. “Because it is not allowed” was the circular non-answer. Other people would give up. Not MLT. As said, he is a principled man who is not willing to succumb to nonsense. “This is violating my rights”, said MLT, the constitutional law scholar. “This has nothing to do with security. I am unwilling”. Rushed consultation. Crisis. “You won’t be allowed to board”, came the threat. “I will call the police”, replied MLT with a threat of his own.

At the end, the air company representatives (Ryanair, if you must know) gave up! MLT was allowed to board with his pocket book in his pocket. In this age of security obsession, this little victory somehow uplifted my spirit; it might uplift yours too.

Light Side

 An exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, "If you were my Husband I'd give you poison".
Churchill: "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

 A Member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the
Gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "on whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."

Peace, Security and love.

Yours as ever,


My last communications are available on
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