Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Politics – June 2018

Peace is a strategy, not tactics.

~Raphael Cohen-Almagor

45 rockets were fired on Israel from Gaza this morning. The Hamas people work upon a different, non-Western logic. Only Allah knows what they think that they can gain from this nonsensical violence. The only thing that violence begets is more violence.

Citizens of Israel who border the Gaza Strip lead a very different life compared to the citizens in Tel Aviv. Between rocket terror and kite terror, normal life is to be desired.

Enjoying sport is normal. Come June, and what a joy for me to write about football, as appropriate for the cucumber season. If you like football, here is something to digest. If you fail to fathom the joy of watching 25 men running with or without a ball, this blog will be a short read.

Reflections on Last Newsletter

Kite Terror

The University of Hull - A ‘University of Sanctuary’

Donald Trunp: The Most Controversial President

My New Article - "Addressing Internet Dangerous Expressions: Deliberative Democracy and CleaNet ©", Journal of Internet Law, Vol. 21, No. 11 (May 2018), pp. 3-15.

UK Important Precedent v Facebook


New Books: Noam Lemelshtrich Latar, Robot Journalism (NJ: World Scientific, 2018)


British Academy Global Professorships 2018

Death of the Fax Machine

English Football

Gem of the Month – World Cup 2018
Monthly Poems
Light Side


Reflections on Last Newsletter

Thanks to all those who appreciate dedicating the Newsletter to Bernard Lewis. Bernard clearly has many who appreciate his scholarship and fewer critique.

Thanks also to bringing to my attention the May Peace Index which shows that many Israelis are genuinely concerned about the future of Israeli democracy as more attempts to curb it are made by some legislatures for who see everything as political and who are determined to promote their own selfish interests even when their conduct is ill-conceived and short-sighted.

The recent Peace Index shows that 46% of Israelis are concerned about the future of Israeli democracy. They think that democracy is in danger. 52% think that Israel should ease the restrictions on the lives of Gazans, e.g., by allowing more products into the Strip and ease restrictions on freedom of movement.

From Esther Gilbert, London:

In 2009, Sir Martin Gilbert was involved in a feature-length documentary on Righteous Diplomats who saved Jews before and during the Second World War, directed by Michael King and produced by Joyce Mandell.  I accompanied Martin and the film crew across Europe as we went to the places where rescues had been effected. While in Germany, we visited the Wannsee Villa about which Rafi has written. Michael King allowed me to put this clip of Martin at Wannsee on our website.  The Rescuers, Heroes of the Holocaust came out in 2014 and is available on DVD.

Dear Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Considering your scholar interest about the Holocaust I invite you to pay a look to my work entitled From the Fall of Constantinople to the Twin Towers Collapse.
Within it you´ll find different political issues and discussions related to the late medieval and modern world history. This is in Spanish.

Best wishes

Eduardo R. Saguier
Museo Roca-CONICET 

Kite Terror

New form of terror: Kite terror. Hamas is flying fire-balls kites over Israeli fields, setting them on fire. By June 4, 2018, 5,000 dunams were destroyed. 

Brig. Gen (ret.) Yoav Galant said: Shooting an 8-year-old who flies kites is stupid and crude. Naftali Bennett disagrees.

The University of Hull - A ‘University of Sanctuary’

The University of Hull will become a ‘University of Sanctuary’ on Friday 22 June 2018 during UK Refugee Week. Deputy Vice Chancellor Glenn Burgess said: “This is an important moment for the University because this status recognises the work we are doing and will continue to do in the future to make higher education more accessible and welcoming to refugees and asylum seekers and to build strong links with local community groups. Both the Vice-Chancellor and I are personally committed to this important cause and have worked with the University Leadership Team to establish three new Sanctuary Scholarships for asylum seekers, to be awarded annually from next academic year. We are also introducing a fee concession for all asylum seekers which will reduce their tuition fees from the international to the home rate”.


Formal announcement of our University of Sanctuary award will be made at an event 22 June as part of our celebration of Refugee Week. Titled ‘Sanctuary in Education’, the event will also include live music, film, short talks by refugees and academics, and a play ‘I am Mehdi Ahmadi’ telling one refugee’s story. 

Donald Trunp: The Most Controversial President

I have been following American politics since the 1980s. I have never seen anything like Mr Trump. Some months ago I adopted “Trump diet” as I believe this guy damages my peace of mind. But sometimes he does things that are so cruel, so vile, that I simply must protest. His recent immigration policy is most disturbing. As a father, as a human being, I must shout: Unacceptable! Reverse!

The American people should go out in big numbers to protest and say: This is not the America we built. This is not who we are. Evil triumphs when decent people are silent.


I hope the courts will put a swift stop to this evil practice and restore some trust in American justice.

I want to share with you an article by Art Caplan. I signed the petition he organized.




by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

The President of the United States, after discussion with key aides in the White House, implemented a policy in June of 2018 allegedly aimed at discouraging illegal border crossings by asylum seekers and others from entering the United States.  Rather than maintaining the previous privileged status for migrant families, he and his aides settled on a strategy for separating children from their families to deter efforts at entering the country illegally.  After a backlash, the President tried to blame Democrats in Congress for breaking up families by insisting that if they would change current immigration law and approve the building of a hugely expensive wall along the border with Mexico, the rendering of families would stop.

The decision to use vulnerable infants and children as weapons in the immigration wars by splitting them from their families and placing them in internment camps represents an utter failure of ethics on the part of Trump and anyone who would carry out such activities.

It is obvious, as many medical and psychological experts and societies pointed out, that taking children away from their parents is traumatic to the degree that it produces measurable mental and physical stress that is inimical for their development. Isolating children in makeshift detention camps in scorching desert heat is cruel, dangerous, and unhealthy.  There is no moral justification for harming children in order to get their parents to behave differently—none.

And harming children is in itself a dire moral evil.  Forget the deterrent impact on immigration and asylum seeking the President sought.  No amount of ‘benefit’ justifies bullying, coercing, and terrifying children.  It is repugnant to use children solely as means to political ends.

Inhumanity ought not be a feature of any civilized society and it is inhumane to isolate and hold children as hostages without access to their families.  There is no one to blame but Trump and his administration.  All of us are complicit if we do not insist that this cruelty cease immediately and that anyone involved in conceiving or administering such a barbaric policy be called to justice.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Ethicists Petition to Keep Families Together

To President Donald J. Trump, Attorney General Jefferson Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen

We, concerned ethicists, bioethicists, physicians, theologians and attorneys, call upon you to immediately cease your policy of separating children from their parents, many of whom are seeking asylum in this country. This policy has the express purpose of using this blatant harm and human rights violation against innocent children as a means of deterring their adult parents from coming to the U.S. Children must not be abused in this way for political purposes. Children should not be put at grave risk as a means to an end. The undersigned believe your policy is utterly unethical, manifestly immoral and will cause irreparable and potentially permanent harm to the most vulnerable among us. It must end immediately.

My New Article - "Addressing Internet Dangerous Expressions: Deliberative Democracy and CleaNet ©", Journal of Internet Law, Vol. 21, No. 11 (May 2018), pp. 3-15.

The article is divided to three parts: (1) underpinning principles; (2) troubling concerns on the Internet: terror, child sex offence and hate speech; and (3) exploration of a new paradigm for the future of the Internet called CleaNet©. CleaNet© will be sensitive to prevailing cultural norms of each and every society and will be clean of content that the society deems to be dangerous and antisocial. Netusers, with the co-operation of ISPs and Web-hosting companies, will together decide which content will be considered illegitimate. That content will be excluded from CleaNet©

The article is available at

UK Important Precedent v Facebook

Mirza Krupalija died in 2016. Six months after his death, his Facebook profile was deleted. Mirza’s partner Azra Sabados was devastated. She said: "It's that feeling, you lose someone you love and you try to hang onto everything, and then something happens and you can't explain that either and nobody knows, none of the friends, none of the family". She appealed to Facebook to restore the page and was told that the company had acted on a request but had declined to reveal to the family who had instructed it.

Ms Sabados said she spent a year talking to Facebook before pursuing legal action. When she failed to convince the stubborn company, she sought justice from the court. And now a UK high court judge ordered Facebook to reveal who told it to delete the profile. Facebook is required to provide the details under what is legally known as a Norwich Pharmacal Order - where Facebook is innocent but may have information about a third party who could be involved in wrongdoing.

The firm will have 21 days to respond.

New Books: Noam Lemelshtrich Latar, Robot Journalism (NJ: World Scientific, 2018)

As far as I know, this is the first book on robot journalism. Noam Lemelshtrich-Latar, the successful dean of the School of Communications at IDC Herzliya, has been working on artificial Intelligence (AI) for many years. In this book, together with some colleagues, he addresses timely questions such as big data, automatic journalism, immersive journalism, artificial Intelligence, sports journalism, data mining, cybernetics and, of course, robot journalism.

The field of artificial Intelligence was founded some 70 years ago and it is still in the process of development. As the science of the human brain progresses, so does this field of studies. The two are interlinked.

Robot journalism refers to automatic conversion of data to narratives and stories. At present, a dozen of world leading companies are active in this progressive filed, aiming to automatically generate stories that match the digital profiles of consumers. The book discusses automatic tagging of media contents, algorithms that create digital profiles of consumers based on their web activity, and the architecture of AI engines that employ machine learning algorithms for content targeting consumers based on their digital profiles.

AI is changing all aspects of communications and journalism as automatic processes are being introduced into all facets of classical journalism: investigation, content production, and distribution. Traditional human roles in these fields are being replaced by automatic processes and robots.

The first section of this book focuses on a discussion of AI, the new emerging field of robot journalism, and the opportunities that AI limitations create for human journalists. The second section offers examples of the new journalism storytelling that empower human journalists using new technologies, new applications, and AI tools. While this book focuses on journalism, the discussion and conclusions are relevant to all content creators, including professionals in the advertising industry, which is a major main source of support for journalism.


I thank Noam Lemelshtrich-Latar for sending me a copy of his book.


British Academy Global Professorships 2018

The British Academy is providing mid-career to senior scholars - active in any discipline within the social sciences and the humanities and based in any country overseas - with the opportunity to work for four years in the UK and make a contribution to UK research and higher education. This new programme is supported under the UK Government’s National Productivity Investment Fund. It aims to demonstrate and further enhance the UK’s commitment to international research partnerships and collaboration as well as strengthen the UK’s research capacity and capability in the humanities and the social sciences.

Up to 10 Global Professorships each year will be offered during the course of the programme (which will run for three years in the first instance). Each award will provide funding for four years to an outstanding international researcher, not currently working in the United Kingdom, to bring their research experience to the UK. The purpose of the Global Professorships is to enable world-class scholars to further their individual research goals while strengthening the UK research base and advancing the research goals and strategies of their UK host universities. Each four-year appointment is intended to be a complete project in itself and is expected to involve a specific research focus, although the British Academy does not have a preferred model for the balance of time to be spent between research and teaching (which may vary over the course of the award and will depend on the UK host institution’s needs).

Eligibility Requirements
Suitable candidates for the Global Professorships include internationally-recognised mid-career to senior researchers active in any field within the social sciences or the humanities who are currently employed outside the UK. The applicant must either be in a permanent (full-time or part-time) position at their home institution overseas or have a fixed-term position for the duration of the Global Professorship. Applicants must be available to take up a long-term secondment or employment at an eligible UK university or research institution.

Value and Duration
Awards are expected to run for four years each. The British Academy will provide up to £250,000 per annum for the first three years, making a total contribution of £750,000 per award. The costs of the fourth year will be expected to be committed in full by the UK host institution. Successful applicants to the 2018 competition will be required to start their awards between 1 December 2018 and 31 May 2019.

Application Process
Applications must be submitted online using the British Academy's Grant Management System, Flexi-Grant®
Application Deadline: Wednesday 12 September 2018 (17.00 UK Time)
UK Host Institution Approval Deadline: Thursday 13 September 2018 (17.00 UK Time)

Contact Details
Please contact or call 020 7969 5220 for further information.

Death of the Fax Machine

My university decided to take out of service all the fax machines. End of an era. Another piece of technology expunged as technology progresses and new forms of technology replace old ones.

Here is an image of this extinct creature that has gone with the wind of technology:


This has been another year with no trophies in the closet. Spurs played well throughout the season but failed when it mattered. It had a good result in Juve in the Champions League abut then lost at Wembley. It was not a rival to Manchester City, a team well above the rest. Spurs was ousted early from the League Cup and then from the FA Cup.

Mauricio Pochotino is the best manager Tottenham has had during the past decade. Poch identified Spurs’ weaknesses and addressed them. He made Spurs from a good top 7 team in the league into a very good top 2 team in the league. Most of the players he bought integrated into the team and fulfilled important roles. Moreover, the quality of football has improved greatly. It was not always a joy to watch Spurs playing. This year, they played beautiful football. Unsurprisingly, most of the games were broadcasted on TV. I trust Spurs has made many new supporters, especially in the young generations. COYS!

I am sorry the Poch was unable to overcome the Toby Alderweireld affair. Toby is a rock. When he plays, Spurs looks much better defensibly. If I was sorry to see Walker go, I will be twice as sorry to see Toby leave. He is the best defender Spurs has had since Gary Mabbutt.

English Football

This is my 11 (well, slightly more…).

Goal Keeper:

David de Gea (Man. Utd. and Spain)
Continues to be the most consistent goalkeeper in the league


Kyle Walker (Man City and England)
I was sad to see him leave Spurs. Walker played a very important part in the machine that Pep comprised at City.

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea and Spain)
Impossible name. Great defender in several positions.


Nicolas Otamendi (Man City and Argentina)

In the absence of Toby Alderweireld, he is the best central defender in this tough league. Virgil van Dijk (The Netherlands) is another contender but he joined Liverpool only in January and in Southampton he was frustrated. I very much wanted him to play for Spurs but Spurs was unwilling to pay £75 million…

Marcos Alonso (Chelsea and Spain)
Continues to be the best left-back in the league. A classic defender

Midfield (pick 4 out of 5):

Sadio Mané (Liverpool and Senegal)
Quick and efficient. Liverpool missed him when he was injured

Mousa Dembele (Spurs and Belgium)
This was his best season for Spurs. When he is at his peak, he makes others look childish. Master of the ball. Tall. Strong. Powerful. Great passing ability. Joy to watch. After deliberation, I preferred him over another Spurs wonderful player, Christian Eriksen (Denmark).

Eden Hazard (Chelsea and Belgium)
A player with rare qualities.

David Silva (Manchester City and Spain)
Always a joy to watch. I continue to wonder how come he never played for Barcelona. He is the perfect replacement for Iniesta.

Kevin de Bruyne (Man. City and Belgium)


Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)

I liked Salah from the first moment I saw him playing for Basel. He did not receive many chances in Chelsea, went to Italy and returned to the Premier League as a more mature and rounded player. More importantly, Jürgen Klopp believes in him. He gave him the keys and said: Show us what you got. And since then Salah shows us, time and again, what a diamond he is. Sharp. Quick. Great instincts. Great striker.
32 goals, 10 assists

Sergio Agüero (Man City and Argentina)

Quick, agile, versatile, mercurial.
21 goals, 6 assists

Harry Kane (Spurs and England)
Spurs pride, “One of our own”. Should improve in setting positions for his team mates.
30 goals, 2 assists

Footballer of the Year

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)

The British like to call him Mo, for some reason… His goal against Spurs is a testimony of his talent. 10 meters. 4 players. Bang.

Quick and dangerous. What a hazard to his opponents.

Gem of the Month – World Cup 2018

When was the last time you say Uruguay playing against Egypt? We need the world cup to see such matches. Celebration of tense, if not always good, football. Every four years, we have this wonderful treat.

For what is worth, here is my prediction: Teams to advance to the next stage will include Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Spain, Uruguay. 


"Fauda" (chaos in Arabic) is an Israeli TV series that provides a window to the work of the Israeli intelligence in the occupied territories. It depicts the daily struggle against terror, and what it takes to keep Israel safe. Fauda tells the story of one elite unit of Mistarvim, a Hebrew word that combines two words: LeIstaer (to charge) and Aravim (Arabs). The Mistarvim are highly trained, speak fluent Arabic, dress like Arabs, talk like Arabs, eat like Arabs, behave as Arabs. They go in and out of the territories, putting their lives in constant danger. Because they are so small, they are extremely vulnerable. They must act swiftly otherwise might face a mob, and each loss is deeply felt. When a member is killed, it is like losing a close family member.

The first series was premiered in 2015 and the second season in 2017. Fauda was bought and distributed by Netflix. It is in Hebrew and Arabic, with English subtitles.

The series focuses on Doron, a senior member of this unnamed undercover Israeli unit. Doron, portrayed by Lior Raz, is brave and sensitive. He leads a very complex life, as can be expected when one is living constantly under the threat of imminent death, and his dangerous activities put his entire family in grave peril. Doron is fighting brutal terrorists who are intent to destroy Israel and will do whatever it takes, including sacrificing their and other people’s lives, to inflict pain on Israel.

The intense series is highly captivating for several reasons. First, the acting is very good, sometimes superb. Second, the plot is believable. Those who wrote the series clearly know something about fighting terror. Third, you get a glimpse into the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Four, because Fauda tries to be realistic, you – the spectator – are kept in constant alert.

I do not normally watch series. They simply take too much time, and I do not wish to commit many of my limited hours. But every rule has an exception. Fauda is the exception.


Monthly Poems

13 June 2015

Why should you be destructive if you can be constructive
Why should you hate if you are capable to love
Why not leaving the honour of your glorification to others
Why bother asking questions if you do not intend to listen
Why diminish when you can enlarge
Why stifle when you can facilitate
Why reject when you can be kind to accept
Why blame when you can praise

Kindness enriches others, and you.

Raphael Almagor


Whate'er we leave to God, God does,
And blesses us;
The work we choose should be our own,
God leaves alone.

If with light head erect I sing,
Though all the Muses lend their force,
From my poor love of anything,
The verse is weak and shallow as its source.

But if with bended neck I grope
Listening behind me for my wit,
With faith superior to hope,
More anxious to keep back than forward it;

Making my soul accomplice there
Unto the flame my heart hath lit,
Then will the verse forever wear--
Time cannot bend the line which God hath writ.

Always the general show of things
Floats in review before my mind,
And such true love and reverence brings,
That sometimes I forget that I am blind.

But now there comes unsought, unseen,
Some clear divine electuary,
And I, who had but sensual been,
Grow sensible, and as God is, am wary.

I hearing get, who had but ears,
And sight, who had but eyes before,
I moments live, who lived but years,
And truth discern, who knew but learning's lore.

I hear beyond the range of sound,
I see beyond the range of sight,
New earths and skies and seas around,
And in my day the sun doth pale his light.

A clear and ancient harmony
Pierces my soul through all its din,
As through its utmost melody--
Farther behind than they, farther within.

More swift its bolt than lightning is,
Its voice than thunder is more loud,
It doth expand my privacies
To all, and leave me single in the crowd.

It speaks with such authority,
With so serene and lofty tone,
That idle Time runs gadding by,
And leaves me with Eternity alone.

Now chiefly is my natal hour,
And only now my prime of life;
Of manhood's strength it is the flower,
'Tis peace's end and war's beginning strife.

It comes in summer's broadest noon,
By a grey wall or some chance place,
Unseasoning Time, insulting June,
And vexing day with its presuming face.

Such fragrance round my couch it makes,
More rich than are Arabian drugs,
That my soul scents its life and wakes
The body up beneath its perfumed rugs.

Such is the Muse, the heavenly maid,
The star that guides our mortal course,
Which shows where life's true kernel's laid,
Its wheat's fine flour, and its undying force.

She with one breath attunes the spheres,
And also my poor human heart,
With one impulse propels the years
Around, and gives my throbbing pulse its start.

I will not doubt for evermore,
Nor falter from a steadfast faith,
For thought the system be turned o'er,
God takes not back the word which once He saith.

I will not doubt the love untold
Which not my worth nor want has bought,
Which wooed me young, and woos me old,
And to this evening hath me brought.

My memory I'll educate
To know the one historic truth,
Remembering to the latest date
The only true and sole immortal youth.

Be but thy inspiration given,
No matter through what danger sought,
I'll fathom hell or climb to heaven,
And yet esteem that cheap which love has bought.

Fame cannot tempt the bard
Who's famous with his God,
Nor laurel him reward
Who has his Maker's nod.

Henry David Thoreau


Light Side


Most Shocking Performance Britain Got Talent 2016,

I wish you a GREAT summer!

Peace and Love. Yours as ever,


My last communications are available on
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