Friday, November 30, 2018

Politics – November 2018 – Happy Lighted Chanukah

For me, the Brexit is a symptom of the current failures of Europe. The answer is a stronger Europe.
~ Emmanuel Macron

Knowing that there is an exit does not necessarily mean that one knows where the exit is.

Brexit is another example for a man who makes an idiotic mistake and then thousands of people try to fix that which cannot be fixed.
~Raphael Cohen-Almagor

This Blog has benefited from contributions of Greg Tardi, Art Hobson, Lester Grabbe, Dan Meridor, John Lantos, Bill O’Connor and Jacques Cory. Thank you all!

Reflections on Last Newsletter

The Story of Chanukah

Gaza War of Attrition

Dan Meridor on Nationality Law

Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting


The Occupation

Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon

Hull Peace Game

Ehud Barak

‘The SOS in my Halloween decorations’

Edible coffee cup

My Newspaper Article - American-Saudi Relations after the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi, The Diplomatist 

My New Article - “Should the Euthanasia Act in Belgium Include Minors?”, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Vol. 61, No.2 (Spring 2018): 230-248.

New Books - Jacques Cory, The Second Republic of Israel

Gem of the Month – 10cc

Monthly Poems - Man and the Sea

Light Side  


Reflections on Last Newsletter

Gregory Tardi wrote from Ottawa:

                                     Saturday, October 27, 2018

  1. I am a citizen, rather than a political figure or a police officer.  All I can do is express my views and my conscience.  Today, I feel compelled to express myself!
  2. In a Democracy, the guiding political philosophy is justice.
  3. In a forward-looking state, the supreme societal values are solidarity and tolerance.
  4. Individuals' opinions naturally diverge; every person who, and every group that, advocates for justice and expresses solidarity and tolerance deserves attention.
  5. Individuals who, and groups that, advocate hatred should be better informed.
  6. Individuals who, and groups that, practice violence should be prevented by all lawful means possible.
  7. In a just, solidary and tolerant society, there is no need for guns.
  8. In the dissemination of information and ideas, my only tool, indeed my sole weapon, is my pen.  
  9. I urge everyone to engage with justice, solidarity and tolerance; violent speech and violent acts will accomplish nothing.
  10. Today, we are all Jews, just as on September 11, we were all Americans and on the day of Charlie Hebdo, we were all French!

Gregory Tardi, DJur.
Scribo ergo sum!

From Professor Art Hobson, USA:

Hi Rafi - 

It’s good to read that “a new survey has shown a significant rise in support for Conservative and Reform Judaism in Israel.”  The world is beginning to realize that extreme religious views are behind many world problems, especially the problems of the Mideast.  Whether it be extreme Islam, fundamentalist Christianity, or Orthodox Judaism, extreme beliefs accepted primarily on faith rather than on the basis of evidence and reason lead to extreme politics, which in turn lead to chaos and war.  The sooner the world rejects religious fundamentalism, the better.  

Cheers - Art

The Story of Chanukah

I was asked to explain the festivals that we are about to celebrate.

Chanukah is the Jewish Festival of Lights. The word Hanukkah means rededication and celebrates one of the greatest miracles in Jewish history.

It dates back to two centuries before the beginning of Christianity. The Seleucids took Palestine around 200 BCE (Before the Common Era).

The Seleucid Empire was a Hellenistic state ruled by the Seleucid dynasty, which existed from 312 BC to 63 BC. Seleucus I Nicator founded it following the division of the Macedonian Empire vastly expanded by Alexander the Great, king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon.

Antiochus IV came to the Seleucid throne in 175 BCE. Unlike his predecessors, he decided to pollute the Holly Temple and to suppress Judaism (around 168 BCE). At that time, the Temple rather than the Bible was the centre of Jewish life.

A group of courageous Jews called Maccabees rebelled, and after a three-year revolt (168-165 BCE), they had retaken the Temple and recaptured Jerusalem. The Maccabees then wanted independence. Judaea became independent around 140 BCE and was named The Hasmonaean Kingdom after Hashmon, one of the Maccabean ancestors, The Hasmonaean family.

The festival reminds us of the fight for freedom and independence, of courage and redemption. The Maccabees cleaned and repaired the Temple, and then rededicated it to God. They did this by lighting the lamp (Menorah) - which was a symbol of God's presence. Only one small jar of oil was found, enough for one day, but miraculously the lamp stayed alight for eight days.

The Hasmonaean Kingdom lasted about 80 years. It fell as a result of internal rivalries and external pressures. During the 80 years of independence, the Hasmonaean who ruled over Judaea saw the decline of the Seleucid dynasty and the rise of the Roman Empire. The Romans had defeated the Seleucids earlier, and the Roman General Pompey was advancing toward Jerusalem. Two Hasmonaean brothers fought over the Hasmonaean throne. Hyrcanus agreed to step aside for his younger brother Aristobulus. Aristobulus tried to strike a deal with Pompey but the latter was not interested. Aristobulus came to the general's camp, and promised him gold and the surrender of Jerusalem if hostilities were suspended. But Aristobulus’s followers shut the gates of Jerusalem against the Romans.  Pompey decided to detain Aristobulus and sent his captain Gabinius to take Jerusalem. The capture of Jerusalem and of the Temple Mount, which followed, ended the independence of The Hasmonaean Kingdom as well as the reign of Aristobulus in 63 BCE. In the triumph celebrated by Pompey in Rome, the Jewish prince and high priest was compelled to march in front of the chariot of the conqueror.

The Second Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem for nearly 600 years (c. 500 BCE–70 CE). In 66 CE the Jews opened a revolt against Rome. This was not a good idea. The Great Revolt lasted from for six years until 73 CE had disastrous consequences. It brought about the destruction of the Second Temple in the month of Av 70 CE and the total destruction of the upper city of Jerusalem which burned for over a month. Thousands of Jews were killed in the Revolt and thousands more were taken into Roman captivity.

The moral of the story: The keys to independent Jewish existence is unity in secured borders while maintaining good relationships with the great powers of the day.


Lester Grabbe, “Herod the Great: Statesman or Tyrant or ...?”, MESG Lecture, Hull (21 November 2018);

Gaza War of Attrition

Hamas and Israel are locked in what seems to be an unresolvable cycle of violence. This month has been particularly bloody. The two sides do not wish to engage in direct negotiations to lower the level of tension. There are contradictory news about indirect negotiations to which it is hard to believe as the sources are unclear and they are often conflictual. One day, news break about relaxation agreement and the following day Israel, or Hamas, launches an attack. The world policeman, USA, does not wish to get involved. My assumption is that Trump and his team see no need to enter the mud. Israel will call upon the USA if it needs something. The USA rather give Israel a long rope to sort things out with Hamas by violence. The other candidate for mitigating the conflict, the UN, is absent, almost as usual. Most of the other players, including Arab countries, do not care. They have other, more pressing businesses to attend to. Two regional Muslim powers will not bring relaxation. Iran, of course, is pleased to witness escalation, while Turkey is involved in arm-wrestling with Saudi Arabia. This leaves only Egypt that borders with Gaza as the only interested party that tries to bring some calm for partisan self-interest reasons. Egypt does not like to see its border boiling. The Muslim Brotherhood is under tight control. At the same time, both Egypt and the PLO will be happy to see Hamas receiving painful blows.

War of Attrition can last for a long time. But not with an Israeli government that includes Lieberman and Bennett. As pressure is mounting on the government “to do something” to avert the rockets -- life across the Gaza border is extremely difficult, war plans are put on the table. Netanyahu is a risk-averse leader who does not like direct violent confrontations. This is the quality I appreciate most in him. Some of his ministers, however, are not, first and foremost his defence minister Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman pushed for a tough reaction and when Netanyahu resisted, he resigned (November 14, 2018).

Between war on Gaza, and risking his government, Netanyahu chose risking his government.

Still, If Egypt would fail in its attempts to bring calm, another round of violence with Gaza will become pressing, if not inevitable. This would be the fourth round of violence with Gaza (2008-2009, 2012, 2014) and like its predecessors I expect it to bring the parties step backward on the long way to peace and tranquillity. Gaza can expect the next round to be very destructive and bloody. When Israeli leaders will give the order to unleash the IDF might, the Gaza foundations will rock and tumble. Remember Samson?

Frustrating situation. So bloody. So unnecessary. So futile in the short term.

Anyway, expect elections, soon. I do not expect Netanyahu to survive for long despite his best efforts.

Dan Meridor on Nationality Law

When I was in Israel during the summer I met with Dan Meridor. During our meeting, he gave a radio interview on the recent nationality law. Here is the translation:

I live in a place, where there are two-thirds Jews and one-third Arabs, and I like it there very much. It is called Jerusalem. I know people in Haifa, who live with Arabs and Jews and they like it very much. If the United States would pass a law that says that Jews can be prevented from moving into a certain community people will immediately protest. It is terrible, that a nation like Israel, that fought for human rights, and for minority rights while it itself is a minority everywhere in the diaspora for hundreds of years, in all the diasporas, is now discriminating against a minority. Here, where Jews are the majority, it tries to pass such an idiotic and irksome bill. This means “What they said about you is right. The minute you can, you discriminate.”

This is not about security. In this law, they say that I can prevent a Druze army officer from living where I do, because – according to religion and nationality – he is not a member of my religion and nationality. I cannot exclude a haredi [Hebrew: ultra-orthodox Jew], who does not serve in the army, of course; but I can exclude a Druze officer, because he is not a Jew. This is a disgrace. It turns Zionism into what it never was. In truth, this bill – I hope that enough “righteous people” will be found in Sodom or in the Knesset – lehavdil [Hebrew: not to be mentioned in the same breath!], it is not Sodom – to prevent this thing, because the damage it causes – first and foremost to us. (The interview was conducted before the law had passed. RCA).

Who are we? Are we like those who want to prevent us from living in certain places because Jews belong to a distinct nationality or religion? Would we agree that this should be done to Jews anywhere in the world? Unfortunately, the prime minister has turned his strategy into the opposite of Yitzhak Shamir, who was a true ideologue and you all know how much he was. But I remember, in ’88, I was with him when he built a coalition, and he had a chance to build what is called a “right-wing” coalition. He discarded the idea and built a coalition with the Labor party, although there was no doubt, not for you or any of you, my friends, or anyone else, that Yitzhak Shamir would never give a millimeter of land to anyone. But he knew the importance of centralization, of bringing the nation together, uniting the people. So, he decided on a government with Rabin and with Peres, a national unity government, although he could have established what is known as a right-wing government. Bibi has turned this strategy upside down. Whoever talks the most against leftists, traitors and Arabs – wins at the polls. Maybe he will win this way, but this is not the Likud and this is not what Israel is supposed to be.

I am proud that when I was the Likud Minister of Justice, when the historic Likud – which I consider the true one – existed, I passed, together with my colleagues, what is called a constitutional revolution, Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, establishing these basic values of human dignity and human liberty. And we did it as members of the Likud, because we said that this is the Torah [Hebrew: here, doctrine] of the Likud, the Torah of Jabotinsky, of Begin. I quoted Jabotinsky in the Knesset, when we passed the law. This was the Likud of the past. Today, to pass a basic law like this – this is not a game. This is a law, and a basic law. This is the moral and ideological basis of our state. To write discrimination into it, to impose discrimination on someone because he is a Christian or because he is a Muslim – what a disgrace!

The Supreme Court will protect the value of equality that to me is the basis of everything. Equality and liberty, without this there is no democracy. So, they will attack the Supreme Court. “The Supreme Court violates! It does not understand the state and does not understand Zionism!” And they will legislate against the Supreme Court. They have found a scapegoat. They will also inflame the people, instead of educating the public to accept the “other” from a position of Jewish strength, which we have, thank God, to behave toward others properly and justly. So, they will also incite, they will gain a few votes and also revile the Supreme Court. Excellent!

For many years, from Menachem Begin, my teacher and rabbi, and others, through Ben Gurion, through Meir Ya’ari and Haim Shapira, all the parties talked about equality. They did not dare legislate directly against equality. When there was discrimination, here and there, we had to fight against it. I want to tell you that it is a disgrace that in this law – not that this is not the national home of the Jewish people – of course, this is what we are. By the way, even now, it is written in the laws that we passed, “a Jewish and democratic state”. It is already written. But let us say, why not write the expression “equality”? Why not write the simple sentence “People are equal before the law”? They are not prepared to write that. Why? Because, really, there is a name for this, which I will not say out loud, when you say that people are different according to their nationality, religion or race. It is terrible that this comes from Jews!

Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

The combination of the first and second amendments proves, time and again, to be lethal. Last July I mentioned my new article, "Taking North American White Supremacist Groups Seriously: The Scope and the Challenge of Hate Speech on the Internet”, International Journal of Crime, Justice, and Social Democracy, Vol. 7, No. 2 (2018): 38-57.

Words can hurt. Words can wound. Words can lead to destructive action. There is a strong link between hate speech and hate crime.

The paper is available at


Founded as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society in 1881 to assist Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe, HIAS has touched the life of nearly every Jewish family in America and now welcomes all who have fled persecution.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the 1951 Refugee Convention became the basis for U.S. asylum law, giving HIAS the basis for all future work to assist refugees no matter where they were.
  • 1956 - HIAS assisted Jews fleeing the Soviet invasion of Hungary and evacuated the Jewish community of Egypt after their expulsion during the Sinai Campaign.
  • 1960s - HIAS rescued Jews from Algeria and Libya and arranged with Morocco's King Hassan for the evacuation of his country's huge Jewish community.
  • 1968 - HIAS came to the aid of Czechoslovakia's Jews after the suppression of "Prague Spring" and to Poland's Jews after pogroms racked that country.
  • 1975 - Following the fall of Saigon, the State Department requested HIAS’ assistance with the resettlement of Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians. That year, HIAS found new homes for 3,600 in 150 communities in 38 states. 
  • In two modern waves, the Jews of the former Soviet Union have found their way to freedom with the help of HIAS. The first wave peaked in 1979. The second wave, which began in the late '80s, has so far brought more than 140,000 Jews to these shores for reunification with their relatives.
Because we have helped more than 4.5 million people escape persecution, HIAS is uniquely qualified to address the modern refugee situation, which has mushroomed into a global humanitarian crisis.BWe understand better than anyone that hatred, bigotry, and xenophobia must be expressly prohibited in domestic and international law and that the right of persecuted people to seek and enjoy refugee status must be maintained. And because the right to refuge is a universal human right, HIAS is now dedicated to providing welcome, safety, and freedom to refugees of all faiths and ethnicities from all over the world.

I thank John Lantos for the information.

The Occupation

The occupation is a four letter word in Israel. The Israeli prime minister and government have done their best to delegitimize and essentially uproot the issue from public discourse. As a person who have been denouncing the occupation like Old Cato, time and again, since 1985, I am flabbergasted by the lack of interest, lack of compassion, idleness and apathy of the Israelis regarding possibly THE major problem that Israel is facing in the world. The occupation has been one of the major sources for modern antisemitism; yet the Israeli electorate and the governments it elects maintain the occupation.


Haaretz is the only newspaper that dares to call a spade a spade and heads-on is consistently denouncing the occupation for many years. Recently Haaretz reported that PM Netanyahu told Likud supporters that claims against Israel that it occupies the Palestinians are “nonsense”, Prime Minister Netanyahu claimed that other superpowers have occupied people and no one said a word. "Occupation is nonsense. Empires have conquered and replaced entire populations and no one is talking about it," Netanyahu said: "Power is key. Power changes everything in our policy with Arab countries." Netanyahu told his party colleagues that concessions are regarded as a weakness in the Middle East, that don't bring about lasting change. Instead, "aligning [Arab] interests with Israel, based on Israel being a technological superpower must lead the way", he claimed.

So Israel, according to its leader, is a “superpower” and an “empire”, which makes Netanyahu no less than emperor. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I understand that this story was initially reported by Yedioth Ahronoth, a newspaper with a more mixed attitude toward the occupation.

Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon

It is not common for the Washington Post (and most leading newspapers in the world) to discuss the Palestinian refugee problem. President Trump brought up the issue and triggered some interest.

The Washington Post highlighted that for the Palestinians in Lebanon, the situation remains a perpetual limbo. Refugees are legally banned from more than 30 vocations as well as from owning property. Camps have become a magnet for drugs, crime and extremism, with security left to their own committees, rather than the state. Many have risked the perilous sea journey to Europe, joining the wave of Syrians fleeing violence in their war-torn country. Palestinians have also turned to fake and stolen travel documents. And those with the means can book a flight with a transit stop in Spain, allowing them to seek asylum at the airport.

Though some Palestinians have become Lebanese citizens over the years, Lebanese officials vehemently oppose letting them integrate into society at large. The refugees are still widely blamed for Lebanon’s 15-year civil war, which ended nearly three decades ago, and many Lebanese are afraid that the Palestinians could upend the delicate political balance among the country’s religious groups. Ultimately, Lebanese officials say, the only solution is for the refugees to go home.

But the idea of home has faded for some. The tattoo on Jihad al-Qassim’s arm shows a faded outline of Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque, signifying a teenage hope to return to the land his family fled. But now, at age 49, his yearning is to get out and go anywhere. “We are suffocating,” he said.

Source: Loveday Morris and Suzan Haidamous, “Right of return or time to move on?”, Washington Post (November 18, 2018),

Hull Peace Game
I did another peace game in one of my classes. It ended exactly as the former ones did.

My students were able to find compromises on all issues but one: security. On Jerusalem, they agreed to divide it between Israel and Palestine, declaring the Holy Basin as an international area under the administration of Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, USA and Switzerland.

On refugees: Israel would allow 30,000 refugees in a period of 5 years to settle in Israel under humanitarian/family union regulations. The rest of the refugees will be resettled in places of their choice, provided that the hosting country is willing to accept them. Those who choose to stay where they are will be compensated and receive decent housing.

Settlements: Israel will evacuate all settlements except those in the major blocs, where some 80% of the settlers reside. Israel will compensate the Palestinians for the territory that would remain under Israel sovereignty with land in the Jordan Valley and outside the Gaza Strip.

The two delegations also agreed on a host of other less important issues: tourism, education, languages, fishing, water, economic affairs, mutual recognition, media, safe passage. But they could not agree on security. Israel demanded zero tolerance to violence and terror, and monopoly on all weapons in the hands of the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian delegation said that “they will do their best”. This was not enough for the Israelis. One student, member of the Palestinian delegation, was willing to fight Hamas, but he was a one-person minority. The summit ended with a failure.

Ehud Barak

I follow Barak on Twitter and must say that I am disappointed by the level of his tweets. They resemble in style many of the tweets and statements of his arch-rival Netanyahu and those of President Trump.

I believe in constructive criticism. I am not a fan of destructive criticisms. Much of what Barak says is in line with my thoughts and convictions but the manner is toxic and destructive. I believe that whenever someone voices criticism, she must offer an alternative. With Barak we hear time and again why Netanyahu makes mistakes and has to go. Barak offers very little criticisms, as how things should be done differently. As long as he maintains his destructive and negative line, he fails to offer a true alternative to Netanyahu. People would prefer the original than the copy. And when it comes to negative criticisms of opponents, Netanyahu is clearly first among equals.



Until recently, the task of applying what we know about the brain to the bigger question of personal human experience has been avoided by scientists. However the emergence of the new discipline of neuroscience – the scientific study of the nervous system – is helping us to bridge this gap by providing new ways to answer such age-old questions as why does kindness exist, and why is it important? To answer these questions we first need to consider an important property of nerve cells (neurons) in the human brain.

The discovery of mirror neurons, a cluster of neurons in the brain that help connect us emotionally to other people, respond sympathetically towards others and allow us to anticipate others intentions is now believed to be the basis of human empathy. Mirror neurons were first discovered by neuroscientists in the 1990s while recording the activity of neurons in the brain where it was noticed that certain populations of neurons remain silent (observation) and active (imitation) when we watch others perform the same action, hence the name mirror neurons [1,2]. Scientists have extended this finding in the human brain to show that nerve activity in mirror neurons also behaves in the same way when we see another person expressing an emotion, and this nerve activity is not observed in disorders of empathy [3].

Each person is a mirror of their environment which is then in turn mirrored by their own behaviour. This underlies the powerful phenomenon of social contagion – that information, ideas, and behaviors including kindness can spread through networks of people the way that infectious diseases do. For this reason, giving and receiving kindness can have a contagious effect.  Research also shows that optimal learning takes place in an environment that is creative, inclusive, rewarding and bolstered by firm, healthy boundaries, in an environment that is kind.  Even those in deep distress due to imprisonment, addiction, financial worries, and high anxiety also benefit greatly from an environment that is creative, inclusive and boundaried.
What to do when we encounter unkindness? Behaviours including anxiety, anger and rudeness can also spread through networks of people in the same way that infectious diseases do. The antidote to becoming infected with these miserable states is to be aware that every action must be consciously chosen, and not an emotional response. Another tip is to always give the benefit of the doubt when dealing with other human beings. More often than not you will be proven right.

Why is kindness so important? This question can be answered in the context that every single human being is unique because we each poses a uniquely complex brain, so complex that in all of human history no two human brains can be identical. This is because the unique combination of about 100 trillion tiny brain connections (synapses) that grow and change throughout life is an ongoing work in progress from conception to death. In this way we each one of us ‘evolve’ as true individuals as we each make our journey through life. Kindness is the green light to keep going. If you are not open to giving and receiving kindness then you may not be growing. In the same way, humankind will only evolve by making room for each and every individual to express their intellectual and spiritual evolution to the full.  In this way, the evolution of the human race has everything to do with being open to giving and receiving kindness.

  1. Kraskov A, Dancause N, Quallo MM, Shepherd S and Lemon RN. (2009) Corticospinal neurons in macaque ventral premotor cortex with mirror properties: A potential mechanism for action suppression? Neuron 64, 922-930.
  2. Corradini A, Antonietti A. (2013) Mirror neurons and their function in cognitively understood empathy. Consciousness and Cognition. 22, 1152–1161.

‘The SOS in my Halloween decorations’

This story touched my heart. It may touch yours.

Edible coffee cup

Plastic is most useful for many purposes but it is also a major problem for the environment and for our health. Paper cups are better but they fill garbage cans. A company in Bulgaria invented the 'Cupffee'. This is a wafer cup made out of grains that stays solid for up to an hour and does not alter the taste of the drink inside it.

The company is based in Plovdiv, where my mum married a guy to be eligible for a certificate to Palestine. She made Aliya in 1946. Bulgaria is part of my being.

My Newspaper Article - American-Saudi Relations after the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi, The Diplomatist 

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi on 2 October 2018 caught the world media headlines. This partly due to the particular gruesome nature of the murder and partly due to the fact that Khashoggi was a well-known persona who published articles in some of the most distinguished forums in the world, including the Washington Post. Whether the murder will impact world politics or change the nature of relations between countries is too early to say. While I am hesitant to envisage the future, I am quite comfortable reflecting on the past. Here is what we learn from history:

My New Article - “Should the Euthanasia Act in Belgium Include Minors?”, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Vol. 61, No.2 (Spring 2018): 230-248.

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Vol. 61, No.2 (Spring 2018): 230-248.

In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.
  • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Part I, Article 3.1

In 2014, Belgium became the first country in the world to legislate euthanasia for children. The decision evoked questions and criticisms in Belgium and in the world at large: Should children have the right to ask to die? Are children able to make reasoned and independent choices on such an important matter? Does maturity matter? Are children as autonomous as adults? Is it a logical move to grant terminally-ill children who are in intolerable pain this right? What happens if there is a conflict of wishes between the child and parents? It is argued that these questions should be addressed while legislators are fully aware of the relevant medical data regarding child development. Legislators should consider the likely consequences of this legislation. The article weighs arguments for and against euthanasia for children, discussing patient’s autonomy, competence, age and maturity, pressure and abuse, and palliative care. It is suggested that the option of pediatric palliative care should be exhausted before proceeding to euthanasia, and that psychological counselling be made available to both children and guardians. It is further argued that the law should explicate the age of children and that it should insist on consensus between child and parents. Disregarding age makes a simplistic and questionable policy.

Key words: abuse, age, autonomy, Belgium, children, competence, euthanasia, maturity, palliative care or

New Books - Jacques Cory, The Second Republic of Israel

Dr. Jacques Cory's new book "The Second Republic of Israel" (links to the parts in Hebrew, English) maintains that Israel needs a restart with new foundations based on social, economic and governmental justice for all its citizens, as it has reached an impasse after 70 years of existence that cannot be solved with the present flawed democratic system.

The book is written with great love for the state (homeland of the Jews and all its citizens), with a balanced approach and a realistic clear-eyed view. It does not make concessions to the Likud and to the doves, criticizing their hypocrisy in many of their arguments, to the Arab and ultra-Orthodox leaders, who advocate a completely different ethos, to the neoliberals and populists, whose policy is destroying the economic base and social cohesion of the world.

The book covers the most actual and burning issues in Israel and in the world, focusing on issues in political science, economics, fundamentalism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, anti-Semitism and racism, ethos, education, separation of powers, business, values, culture, the integration of Ultra-orthodox and Arabs, sustainability, globalization, and social justice.

The book gives also pragmatic solutions to the crises of capitalism in order to prevent a Doomsday Depression, which Cory forecasted in 2009 to occur towards 2020, and includes also an in-depth research on how to make Israel one of the ten leading countries in quantitative and qualitative prosperity, as Cory has proved for the first time ever that there is a statistically significant correlation between prosperity ​​and ethics in the prosperous countries.

The book includes guest articles and chapters of books by well-known Professors, such as Henri-Claude de Bettignies, Yehuda Kahane, Ran Lachman, by prominent authors as Yoshua Sobol, Mario Diament, Yitzhak Gormezano Goren, by Transparency International, by the authors of the best seller "Israel - An Island of Success" Dr. Adam Reuter & Noga Kainan, by Dr. Einat Wilf, Peet van Biljon, Arieh Avneri, and a correspondence about the book's topics.

The book is written in layers of short and long articles, essays, researches, chapters, satires, letters and guest articles, and the table of contents enables the reader to choose them among the 891 pages of the Hebrew part and the 585 pages of the English part. It is a book of Hope for a better future achievable if almost all the citizens choose like in 1958's France to change the unsustainable course of action taken by the leaders of Israel and many capitalist countries, from left, center and right, and establish a new republic in Israel and a new economic system in the capitalist world, with sound foundations focusing on welfare for the 99% and not for the ruling elites of tycoons and their associates, who take most of the wealth and don't share the burden, in plutocracies which are no more democracies; a hope for prosperity, with liberty, equality and fraternity, finding an optimal balance & the Golden Road for a better life.

I thank Jacques Cory for this information.

Gem of the Month – 10cc

Had lots of fun in 10cc concert which included one of my all-time favourites, “I Am Not in Love”,

Other hitsDreadlock Holiday”, “Donna”, “Silly Love Songs”, “Rubber Bullets”, "Art for Art's Sake", "I'm Mandy Fly Me", "Good Morning Judge" and “The Things We Do for Love”.

Incredible talents who made unforgettable music.

Monthly Poems

Man and the Sea
Free man, you will always cherish the sea! 
The sea is your mirror; you contemplate your soul 
In the infinite unrolling of its billows; 
Your mind is an abyss that is no less bitter.
You like to plunge into the bosom of your image; 
You embrace it with eyes and arms, and your heart 
Is distracted at times from its own clamoring 
By the sound of this plaint, wild and untamable.
Both of you are gloomy and reticent:
Man, no one has sounded the depths of your being;
O Sea, no person knows your most hidden riches,
So zealously do you keep your secrets!
Yet for countless ages you have fought each other
Without pity, without remorse,
So fiercely do you love carnage and death,
O eternal fighters, implacable brothers!

Charles Baudelaire

Light Side

Triangle players rarely get a solo, but when they do...

TOP 10 BEST Got Talent Singers auditions EVER!

Peace and Love. Yours as ever,


My last communications are available on

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