Friday, July 29, 2022

 Politics – July 2022 

Interests almost always prevail when clashed against sentiments and moral considerations. It is called 'pragmatism'.

Politics is not necessarily a moral conduct. Political action does not seek moral excellence. Politics is a means to achieve desired aims and interests and as such it could or it could not be reconciled with morality.

¬Raphael Cohen-Almagor

Israel should do whatever it can to bring home Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed as well as the remains of Hadar Golden and Shaul Aaron. 

Hamas recently released photos of Hisham al-Sayed who appears to be in a bad state. Hamas does not usually release information about hostages. Taking initiative is intended to put Hisham al-Sayed on the agenda. Hamas realised that he has little value to them and they want to get something from Israel for its release. Israel, of course, seems disinterested so as the lower the price. But I do hope negotiations will ensue to bring Hisham al-Sayed home.

It is no less than state duty and, of course, the just and decent thing to do.


Reflections on Last Newsletter

Lord David Trimble Died at the Age 77

President Biden’s Visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia

Peace Research


Elections, Again


Israel-Morocco Relationships

Maccabiah Games Were Opened in Israel

WHO updates its widely-used gender mainstreaming manual

New article: Raphael Cohen-Almagor & Sam Lehman-Wilzig, “Digital Promotion of Suicide: A Platform-Level Ethical Analysis”, Journal of Media Ethics (2022). DOI: 10.1080/23736992.2022.2057994

My Interview to the Woodrow Wilson Center


My Interview to Hummin Group LLC


A pastor who was filmed two years ago praying for another Holocaust was sentenced to 18 years and six months in prison

Did you Know? The 1952 London Lethal Smog

Reducing Unemployment in Turkey

9/11 Museum

Tales from the Land of the Free

Gem of the Month – Istanbul Airport

Gem of the Month – Tel Aviv

Gem of the Month – Mediterranean Sea

Gem of the Month – The Kite Runner

Gem of the Month – Jersey Boys

Gem of the Month – Come from Away

Gem of the Month – New York

Gem of the Month – 4th July Fireworks

Monthly Poems

Novel: Eli Amir, Bicycle Boy (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2019, Hebrew)

Light Side: Language culture

Reflections on Last Newsletter

Prof. Steve Newman wrote from Toronto:

Hi Rafi,

I truly enjoyed the report of your encounter with J from Texas.  Those of us who labor in academia, perhaps especially those of us who are political theorists, take it for granted that most people are rational, if only in a self-interested way, and that many if not all can be reasonable, i.e., willing to acknowledge the other person's point of view.  Rational and reasonable people can hope to arrive at some compromise when their interests or values conflict.  But finding compromise with irrational and unreasonable persons is difficult, to say the least.  It might in fact be impossible.  The question, then, is how to deal with people like J.  He asserts that even persons likely to commit gun violence have an apparently indefeasible right to self-defense entitling them to own a gun.  How do we persuade J that the 2nd Amendment, understood contextually or textually, does not create an absolute right to gun ownership?  How do we convince him that the right of self-defense does not invalidate the sort of reasonable limitations and conditions the state imposes on, say, operation of a motor vehicle?  I suppose if J's irrational and unreasonable point of view was shared by a small minority of persons we wouldn't have to worry much about getting him to see reason.  Sensible laws supported by the majority could be enacted that would better protect us from gun violence.  But it seems the American electorate is becoming more irrational and unreasonable as it becomes more highly polarized.  The problem extends far beyond 2nd Amendment absolutism.  We see it in the millions of Americans taken in by Trump's Big Lie who cannot be dissuaded by the abundant evidence showing it to be a lie.  I worry that democracy itself cannot be sustained if more and more people see things as J does. 

All the best,


Dr Jacques Cory from Haifa kindly shared Links to his Cultural Activities in 2011-2013, including 36 Books, his articles, his website, etc.



Professor Sergio Mariotti wrote from Milano:


I am writing to share a paper titled "A warning from the Russian–Ukrainian war: avoiding a future that rhymes with the past”, recently published in the Journal of Industrial and Business Economics. 

The paper addresses the international imbalances that have led to war and exacerbated other phenomena: a growing global protectionism, the decline in the growth rate of the world economy, the restructuring of global value chains. The paper links these manifestations together in a "comparative historical  framework". The intent is to open a debate on the international policies that can contain these effects and favor future paths that do not follow the inauspicious ones of a not so distant past. 

The article is open access. You can use the link below to download the paper yourself and share it with colleagues

I welcome feedbacks and comments. 



Lord David Trimble Died at the Age 77

The unionist politician David Trimble, Lord Trimble, who was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1998 jointly with the nationalist leader John Hume, embodied the complexity of the violent sectarian world of Northern Ireland.

Getty Images


The Nobel organisation described Trimble, who has died aged 77 following a short illness, as a “seeker of compromise” who had once been known “for his implacable stance towards Catholics” and praised his “political bravery” in working towards the peace agreement that had been signed on Good Friday that year. In the elections under the power-sharing constitution that resulted from it he was made first minister, and served until 2002.

Trimble’s unexpected election in September 1995 as leader of the Ulster Unionist party had come because he attracted hardliners inside the UUP. In July that year, he and Ian Paisley, leader of the even more extreme Democratic Unionist party (DUP), had marched arm in arm along the Catholic Garvaghy Road in Portadown, Armagh, leading an Orange Order parade to Drumcree church. But, the Nobel prize citation records, “a few weeks after taking over as party leader … [Trimble] launched discussions with his political opponents”.

In 2005, Trimble lost his Westminster seat, and in 2006 resigned as party leader and was elevated to the House of Lords. A year later he joined the Conservatives. He said that as an 18-year-old he had assumed he might have a political life as a Conservative but was diverted by the troubles into domestic politics. As a Conservative he felt he would have more influence over Northern Ireland, but he also became involved in wider issues, including the international Friends of Israel Initiative, and served on the 2010 Turkel Commission, set up by the Israeli government, which found the Gaza flotilla blockade by Israel to be legal. 


In 2008, in reviewing Great Hatred, Little Room, the account of the peace process by Jonathan Powell, the prime minister Tony Blair’s chief negotiator in Northern Ireland, Trimble offered a clue to his motivation. He wrote that Powell was “mistaken in his belief that the objective was to build trust, which is over-rated and frequently misplaced. The issue in politics is, rather, can you do business with the other side?”



I hosted Lord Trimble in my research group at Hull, when he delivered the first MESG Annual Lecture on lessons that can be learnt from the Northern Ireland conflict to the Middle East. Lord Trimble delivered an informative and interesting lecture, for which I was very grateful.


27 November 2014, 17:00, Wilberforce LR8 David Trimble

The First MESG Annual Lecture:

Peace Negotiations and Mediation: what lessons can we learn from Northern Ireland?


William David Trimble, Baron TrimblePC (born 15 October 1944), is a British politician who was the First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2002, and the Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from 1995 to 2005. He was also the Member of Parliament for Upper Bann from 1990 to 2005 and Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Upper Bann from 1998 to 2007. In 2006, he was made a life peer in the House of Lords and a year later left the UUP to join the Conservative Party. Lord Trimble was instrumental in the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, and (along with John Hume) won the Nobel Peace Prize that year for his efforts.




Lord David Trimble was instrumental in negotiations which led to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. That year he was also elected the First Minister of Northern Ireland as well as winning the Nobel Peace Prize along with John Hume. In 1990 he was elected MP for Upper Bann, a constituency he served until 2005, and was elected leader of the Ulster Unionist Party in 1995. He was made a life peer in 2006. He left the UUP to join the Conservative Party 2007. In 2010 he served on Israel’s Turkel Commission which concluded that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, and interception of the flotilla, were in accordance with international law. He received a first class honours in Law from Queen’s University of Belfast and qualified as a barrister in 1969.


Lord Trimble gave a talk for UKLFI Charitable Trust in June 2019 on his involvement in the Turkel Commission entitled "Mavi Marmara - Still Making Waves".   A video recording of the talk is available on YouTube here:

President Biden’s Visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia

My notes for a lecture I was asked to deliver at the Wilson Center.

The question was not if there would be a presidential visit to Israel, but when.

Biden is a long-standing friend of Israel who always supported Israel.

Biden understands that he cannot do much about the Israeli-Palestinian peace. 

The time is not ripe.

He can do minor steps: money, economy, reopening the American Consulate in East Jerusalem.

Politics is all about interests.

Put the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in perspective.

Human rights are important. American interests are vitally important.

Convergence of American, Israeli and Saudi interests.

  1. Forming a “moderate alliance”. Gulf states, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, 

Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia

(Turkey navigates between Israel, USA, Gulf states on the one hand, and Iran, Russia, Syria – on the other. Erdogan is discussing everything with every player, protecting Turkish interests).

  1. Defence: United States and Israel soon intend to expand a much-discussed regional air defense alliance to also include naval and cyber-defense.

  1. Counter-terrorism. War in Yemen; Hamas; Lebanon and Hezbollah; other Iranian-sponsored terror; Syria civil war; preventing ISIS from resurging.

  1. Extending the ceasefire in Yemen. 

  2. Counter Iran and its nuclear program. Iran announced that it has begun enriching uranium up to 20 per cent using sophisticated IR-6 centrifuges at its underground Fordo nuclear plant.

  1. Energy: help stabilize oil markets. Saudi increase oil production.

  2. Arms: Bolstering strategic partnerships. PM Lapid spoke with the leaders of Turkey, Jordan and Egypt.

Biden toured a Defense Ministry display of Israel’s multi-tier air defense systems at Ben Gurion Airport.

The display at the airport included the long-range Arrow, medium-range David’s Sling, short-range Iron Dome (the only defence that is purely Israeli), and an in-development high-powered laser interception system dubbed Iron Beam.

The Iron Beam is designed to work in tandem with systems like Iron Dome and shoot down smaller projectiles.

Israel hopes to partner with Washington on the Iron Beam project, including American investment in further development and deployment of the system.

  1. Religion

  2. Trade: shorter supply chains; global trade; 

  3. Counter China. The route to India.

  4. Counter Russia: Ukraine

Specific American interests:

Understanding that lacuna is bound to be filled. Biden said: “I think we have an opportunity to reassert what I think we made a mistake of walking away from—our influence in the Middle East,” ... “I want to make clear that we plan to continue to lead in the region and not create a vacuum that is filled by China or Russia.”

It is better filled by the USA.

Maintaining contacts with Israeli leaders, including Netanyahu.

Standing with American allies: passing the largest support package for Israel in history

— over $4 billion.

Supporting two-state solution. The Jerusalem Declaration “reaffirms his [Biden’s] longstanding and consistent support of a two-state solution and for advancing toward a reality in which Israelis and Palestinians alike can enjoy equal measures of security, freedom and prosperity. The United States stands ready to work with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and regional stakeholders toward that goal.”

Rebuilding ties with the PLO.

$500 million support for Palestinians.

Relaxing tensions with Saudi Arabia.

Biden is also meeting with leaders from Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Iraq while in Saudi Arabia.

Israeli interests

Cannot aggravate relations with Russia.

No appetite to pursue peace with the PLO. Still, Israel is willing to make small steps:

  • Legalise the status of 5,500 undocumented Palestinians and foreigners living in the West Bank and Gaza.

  • Approve six Palestinian housing projects in the West Bank.

  • Increase the number of work permits for Gazans by 1,500 to reach a total of 15,500.

  • Re-open the Salem crossing in the northern West Bank to allow the entry of Israeli-Arabs into the city of Jenin.

  • Delay a meeting to advance 2,000 housing projects for Jewish neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem that was scheduled to take place next Monday.

The Jerusalem Declaration mentions the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in only a single paragraph of the joint declaration, as a commitment to “continuing to discuss the challenges and opportunities in Israeli-Palestinian relations.”

Appetite to enlarge the Abraham Accords to include more Arab countries. The big prize is Saudi Arabia. The Jerusalem Declaration reaffirms the U.S. commitment to expanding and supporting peace among Israel and its moderate Arab neighbors.

Lapid asked Biden to deliver a message to Arab states: “Our hand is outstretched for peace. We are ready to share our technology and experience, ready for our people to meet and learn about one another, ready for our scientists to collaborate and our businesses to cooperate.”

Oppose the opening of American Consulate in East Jerusalem.

Present the need to put a credible military threat against Iran on the table.

President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed the “Jerusalem U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration,” which states that America will “use all elements of its national power” to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The IDF “strives to create a variety of new cooperation opportunities in the air, sea, and land.” The Jerusalem Declaration reiterates the “unshakeable U.S. commitment to Israel’s security, and especially to the maintenance of its qualitative military edge.”


Trust-building steps with Saudi Arabia which include:

  • Saudi Arabian consent to allow Israeli flights over its territory (currently only flights between Tel Aviv and the UAE and Bahrain are allowed).

  • Direct flights for Israeli Arab Muslims to visit on the Haj.

  • Israel to give its consent to the transfer of two uninhabited islands Tiran and Sanafir from Egypt to Saudi Arabia.  The two islands were returned to Egypt in the 1979 peace agreement and any change in their status requires approval (and de facto recognition of Israel). 

The final hurdle was Israeli consenting to the international observers moving to a new location on the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and replacing them with cameras on the island. The US will also continue to ensure freedom of navigation for Israeli ships in the Straits of Tiran. 

Sell weapons:

Israel has offered to provide direct air defence assistance to the UAE and drones and anti-drone systems to Bahrain (the Wall Street Journal).

  • Gantz said Israel has sold more than $3 bn in arms to the Gulf nations. Seven per cent of Israeli military sales went to Abraham Accords countries in 2021, according to the Defence Ministry.

Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid participated virtually from Jerusalem in the first-ever meeting of the “I2U2” group, together with the leaders of India and the United Arab Emirates.

“This unique grouping of countries aims to harness the vibrancy of our societies and entrepreneurial spirit to tackle some of the greatest challenges confronting our world, with a particular focus on joint investments and new initiatives in water, energy, transportation, space, health and food security,” the White House said in a statement.

The Inaugural I2U2 meeting focused on the food security crisis and clean energy, with the leaders discussing innovative ways to ensure longer-term, more diversified food production and food delivery systems that can better manage global food shocks.

To this end, some $2.5 billion in projects were announced, marking “only the first steps in a long-term strategic partnership to promote initiatives and investments that improve the movement of people and goods across hemispheres, and increase sustainability and resilience through collaborative science and technology partnerships,” according to the leaders in their joint statement.

Saudi interests

Renew good relations with the United States.

Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich monarchy is a major strategic partner for the U.S. and the top buyer of U.S.-made arms.

Interested in the American plan to integrate regional air defenses to better protect Saudi Arabia and its neighbors from Iranian missile attacks

Keeping Saudi Arabia safe from “very real threats from Iran and Iran's proxies".

Economic agreements with the USA on a range of issues: technology, energy and health.

Get the two islands. Saudi Arabia hopes to develop tourist attractions there.

Ensure smooth arrival for the haj.

Peace Research

I continue with my research on the peace process between Israel and the PLO. The research is based on in-depth interviews with people who contributed to the peace process. My most recent interviews were with Ehud Barak, Stuart Eisenstat, Ami Ayalon, Jonathan Powell and Marwan Muasher. I continue to gather information and learn with the aim of getting closer to the truth. The research is fascinating and each and every interview contributes another important pieces of information.

In my research, I analyse the peace junctions from Oslo 1993 until today, outlines the keys for successful mediation, facilitation and negotiations, and analyse the options for peace resolution. This is the largest research project that I have ever conducted, with hundreds of pages of primary material.

I am looking for a place to write the book. All suggestions/ideas welcome.

Elections, Again

Netanyahu has a better chance to comprise a coalition. Meanwhile, his trials continue without affecting his chances to become prime ministers. Those who adore him believe that the trials are part of a conspiracy, derived by hatred to the man and his family, without a real substance. The other camp is unable to fathom how and why Likud supporters do not listen to the evidence provided in the court. Reminds of the Trump phenomenon in the USA.

I am worried about my party, Meretz, that continues to suffer from leadership issues and wrong choices of leaders. So sad that the party is unable to find the right people to present its vital and just ideas on a range of issues: ideological, national, political, sociological, cultural, the economy and human rights. I do hope the new leaders will be chosen carefully and will do a better job. Israel needs Meretz in the Knesset. I will continue to help Meretz to the best of my abilities. 


Populism is the quality of appealing to or being aimed at ordinary people, striving to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns are disregarded by established elite groups. Populist leaders can often be distinguished members of the elite themselves, but they promote themselves as people who are anti-establishment, who bring something different to the capital of their country.

Boris Johnson has been a populist leader. A person who has likeable personal attributes, with some charisma, ability to identify populist trends and to ride on them for self-serving purposes. Lots of bells and whistles, with little substance. I, for one, was never taken by his so-called charm and charisma. A leader is judged by his words AND deeds, by the personal example he sets, by responsibility, accountability and vision for the future of his people, not his own future. I was surprised to have conversations with people I appreciate who admired his “magical” capabilities to move things forward. I did not understand what they saw in Johnson that I failed to see.

In 2012, I was impressed by Johnson’s leadership is delivering what I considered to be a very successful Olympic games in London. Johnson was Mayor of London at that time, and he took credit for initiating, and delivering, a master organisation plan that included thousands of volunteers in pink shirts who were the engine behind the Olympics. This was impressive. But Johnson’s ambitions did not stop there. He wanted to be prime minister.

Johnson recognised that many people in Britain still retain the island mentality. Europe is a place to visit, to enjoy a vacation, but it is not part and parcel of their identity. Their identity is British rather than European. Johnson mapped the possibilities and when Cameron fell into the referendum trap, Johnson went in as a Brxit champion. Cameron’s resignation left a lacuna that Johnson hurried to fill with his populist slogans which, like his hair, were full of air, messy, unplanned, unorganised yet attractive, special and carrying his own signature brand. Johnson appealed directly to the mases in a language they understand and became the face of the Conservative Party. The Party was happy to back him as long as he could win elections. But once the appeal was eroded, and then gone, Johnson became a liability. The Conservative Party has a long history of showing its leaders the exit door when they become a liability.

Brexit is a tragic mistake that will agonise and hunt Britan for many years to come. Johnson is the main instigator of this flawed decision. I was utterly flabbergasted and disappointed by Johnson’s callous handling of the COVID crisis, motivated by populist, partisan party interests. Many thousands of people lost their lives unnecessarily as a result of Johnson’s heartless and flippant policies. Watching Johnson’s manoeuvres made me lose any shred of trust that I had for this man. Populism showed me just how dangerous it can be in the hands of irresponsible people.

Populist people grow to believe their own lies. Lies become a way of life. These leaders, I assume, are first amazed by the success of their trickery and then become hostage to trickery to the extent that they believe that they can get away with anything. There is one law for the masses, and another for them. Johnson’s has been irresponsible not only in politics but also in his personal life. And when people realise that his mouth and conduct are different, the charm is no longer enchanting. During COVID 2020-2021, people in Britain were unable to bid farewell to their loved ones due to justified lockdown while, at the same time, Johnson was partying in London. Is this a model to follow? Is this “leadership”?

Johnson left many marks on British politics, economy and society. I believe history will judge him harshly as one of the worse leaders in British history. I hope the Conservative Party will move to a different, more responsible, and less populist direction. The Party has produced great leaders in the past. I hope it can produce such a leader for Britain’s future.

Israel-Morocco Relationships

Israel and Morocco signed their first intellectual-property agreement in what its diplomats are calling a milestone for entrepreneurial cooperation between the two countries. Executive Director of the Israel Patent Office and the director general of the Moroccan Office of Industrial and Commercial Property penned the Israel-Morocco "Memorandum of Understanding on Intellectual Property" on the sidelines during a meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an official agency of the United Nations. Rabat and Jerusalem agreed on building mechanisms for promoting bilateral cooperation in protecting industrial property. Planned initiatives include bolstering knowledge-sharing between intellectual-property protection agencies and helping small- and medium-sized businesses with intellectual-property protection. 

Source: Israel Hayom

Maccabiah Games Were Opened in Israel

10,000 athletes from 80 countries will compete in the 21st “Jewish Olympics”. There will be 42 events all around the country. US President Joe Biden was a special guest at the opening ceremony.

WHO updates its widely-used gender mainstreaming manual


The World Health Organization plans to update its guidance on gender to assert that “sex is not limited to male or female.” The guidelines are being updated from the 2011 version based on “new scientific evidence and conceptual progress” on gender, health and development.

The new guidance will update “key concepts around gender,” as well as expanding on the concept of intersectionality, which examines how “gender power dynamics” interact with other hierarchies of privilege or disadvantage, leading to differing health outcomes among those individuals.

WHO said: Gender analysis identifies, assesses and informs actions to address inequality and inequity. It is used to systematically identify differentials between groups of women and men, whether related to sex or gender, in terms of risk factors, exposures and manifestations of ill-health, severity and frequency of diseases, health seeking behaviours, access to care and experiences in health care settings, as well as outcomes and impact of ill-health. Systematically collecting and analyzing data disaggregated by sex and additional factors such as age, ethnicity, socio-economic status and disability, is critical.

New article: Raphael Cohen-Almagor & Sam Lehman-Wilzig, “Digital Promotion of Suicide: A Platform-Level Ethical Analysis”, Journal of Media Ethics (2022). DOI: 10.1080/23736992.2022.2057994

Thanks to my cooperation with my long-time friend and colleague, Sam Lehman-Wilzig, I was able to publish this timely and important piece. I consider this piece as one of the most important articles I published in recent years.

Its practical proposals may assist in saving hundreds of lives. Please feel free to circulate to interested parties.


This article utilizes Aristotelian and Kantian philosophies to probe the social responsibilities of internet intermediaries that in one way or another assist and promote suicide. Striking a balance between freedom of expression and social responsibility, it is argued that several actors should be involved in restricting or eliminating live-streaming suicide, sites that encourage and facilitate suicide, and insult forums that drive people, especially adolescents, to take their own lives. The remediating actors are: commercial social media/website owners through their moderators; voluntary, non-profit, NGO “public defenders”; internet platform providers; regulatory agencies based on legislative authority, and advertisers. Practical remedies are suggested for each of these actors, noting as well important exceptions and caveats regarding the respective solutions. 

Keywords: suicide, internet, free speech, social responsibility, social media, Aristotle, Kant

Available at

My Interview to the Woodrow Wilson Center


Assessing the regional implications of President Biden’s first Mideast Trip



My Interview to Hummin Group LLC


I received a request from the Hummin Group to host me on their Career Path Mentoring Show. The audience consists of young college students who are seeking career guidance. They explained: “You know how much mentoring for your career field would have meant to you when you were just getting started. Looking at your profile, I believe you can do a lot of good to help these students.

Hummin Group is here to connect you with mentors who are the tallest and fullest vines in the vineyard. We can listen to the best professionals and hum to the tunes of our choice to better achieve success in our lives.”


The interview is now available at



A pastor who was filmed two years ago praying for another Holocaust was sentenced to 18 years and six months in prison


“A historic sentence in the fight against anti-Semitism. It is the largest penalty applied in Brazil for this type of crime, which will help to inhibit this odious practice,” said Ricardo Sidi, legal director at the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, the country’s umbrella Jewish organization, who acted as assistant to the prosecution.

Tupirani da Hora Lores, who heads the Pentecostal Generation Jesus Christ Church in Rio, came under spotlight for inciting his small but fervently radical religious audience.

“Massacre the Jews, God, hit them with your sword, for they have left God, they have left the nations,” da Hora Lores prays in a sermon captured. His congregants are heard repeating his words passionately.

“They contrived, went with prostitutes, and when they were told to repent they said they’d do it but they lied,” the pastor added, possibly in reference to the forced conversions to Christianity during the Spanish Inquisition. “God, what you have done in World War II, you must do again, this is what we ask for in our prayers to you: Justice, justice, justice!”

Last year, federal police raided his church and confiscated literature from it as part of an operation titled “Shalom.”

Judge Valeria Caldi Magalhães said that, “The defendant used his condition as pastor of a religious community” to commit a crime, “which increases the potential to induce followers to act similarly.”

She added: “With regard to social conduct, the records showed that the defendant maintains an ostensible behavior that confronts public institutions.”

Da Hora Lores can appeal the ruling.

“This sentence demonstrates the hardening of justice with cases of hate speech, which has grown exponentially, especially in the face of the Jewish community. The case is very serious and the reprimand received by the defendant is proportional to his dangerousness,” said Andrea Vainer, another member of the Jewish confederation’s legal team.


I thank Prof. Sam Lehman-Wilzig for bringing this to my attention.



Did you Know? The 1952 London Lethal Smog


Great Smog of London, lethal smog that covered the city of London for five days (December 5–9) in 1952, caused by a combination of industrial pollution and high-pressure weather conditions. This combination of smoke and fog brought the city to a near standstill and resulted in thousands of deaths. Its consequences prompted the passing of the Clean Air Act four years later, which marked a turning point in the history of environmentalism.



Reducing Unemployment in Turkey


Arriving at the departure gate. Security. I show the man my passport and boarding card. Thank you.

Three metres later. Security. Please your passport and boarding card. Ok.

Two metres later. Security. Please your passport and boarding card.

Two metres later. Security. Please passport and boarding card AND please open your bags.



9/11 Museum


The museum records the events leading to the largest terror attack on American soil and includes all the artifacts that were found. A sombre place that reminds us how heartless fanaticism might lead to huge devastation. 9/11 had destroyed many families and it continues to negatively affect the lives of thousands of people. Thousands of people suffer physically and mentally from the horrors that they experienced on that tragic day in September 2001. And the world has significantly changed as well as a result. 


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Tales from the Land of the Free


Happy Hour at my work. Some of the companies at the Reagan Building are invited. We are four people standing around a small table, drinking and talking. Two Wilson fellows, and two non-academics. The non-academics asked about our research. The other fellow answers, explaining her research on women in the Arab world. We listen attentively. 

Then they asked me: Do you also do research here?

I: Yes, I do.

Tracy: What is your research:

I: Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Tracy opens her eyes wide, and her mouth, staring at me, speechless.

After thirty second of silence

I: You can close your mouth.

I explained my research, and how it is conducted. Tracy wished me a very sincere “Good Luck” and began a long speech about her only visit to Israel, as a student who joined a delegation to explore the Negev, and each weekend they toured parts of Israel: Holy places in the West Bank, Jerusalem, Masada, Eilat. Encounters with people. Impression of places. The special feelings she experienced visiting, and now recalling, Jerusalem. We agreed that Jerusalem is uniquely unique. 

It was a lovely talk, and evening.


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Photo: Getty images


Gem of the Month – Istanbul Airport

I usually do not like airports. I like the Istanbul airport. It is well organised, with many places to relax and have a bite. Clearly, a lot of money and thinking was invested in constructing this airport.


Gem of the Month – Tel Aviv

Home. Beautiful home. I love the beach and the promenade. One of the most beautiful places in the world.


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I thank Ariel Bendor, Ami Ayalon, Ofer Harel, Aron Mor, Eyal Katvan, Mira and Yizhar Nozick for their kind hospitality.


Gem of the Month – Mediterranean Sea

At last to be able to swim in the sea, something I am unable to do in England. I love the Mediterranean and missed it very much. It was a happy reunion.


Gem of the Month – The Kite Runner

I loved the book. I loved the movie and now I saw it at Gesher Theatre in Jaffa. It is a very modest production, compensated by the Husseini’s plot and wonderful acting that touched the hearts.


Gem of the Month – Jersey Boys

I love the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The plot is interesting. I saw the musical in Toronto and now I saw it at the Kennedy Center in DC.


Gem of the Month – Come from Away

I thoroughly enjoyed this musical in London and now I saw it again in Broadway and loved this production as well. Kindness always touches my heart.



Gem of the Month – New York

The most intense city in the West, with so much to offer. Always buzzing with activity.


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Gem of the Month – 4th July Fireworks

I always loved fireworks and was happy to see the Independence Day fireworks across the Hudson, together with hundreds of thousands of people who arrived hours before the event to keep a spot for the spectacle. 


Gem of the Month – Celebrating Alexandria 273 birthday

On 10 July we joined thousands of Alexandrians who celebrated the city’s 273 birthday with speeches, music, poetry, cupcakes and fireworks. People had a relaxing time, and picnics, in one of the city parks overlooking the Potomac. It was a lovely evening, and I enjoyed more fireworks!

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Monthly Poems

Simultaneously, I have been writing two books of poetry: one in Hebrew; the other in English. The book in Hebrew is titled Old News and now has 60 pages. The book in English is titled Between Love and Death and is now 92 pages long. I wish to publish both books and would very much appreciate pertinent constructive ideas.

Here is my weekly poem.

Will You?

Will you show me how to fly

Exploring beyond imagination and thinking

Will you teach me what I have

In my heart that I had 

No idea about.

Will you listen to what I need to say

Discover with me the essence of colours

The breath of the wind

The reflections of ray of sun

Helping walk with me between raindrops.

Will you take me to distant places

No other explored nor did I

Holding my hand when things

Look gloomy and sad and I was 


Will you take me as I am

No games no hiding no

Petty accounting making me

Your lesser half and there will be no need

Talking to myself.

Raphael Almagor

A person with a long beard

Description automatically generated with medium confidence On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. The infinite sky is motionless overhead and the restless water is boisterous. On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with shouts and dances.

They build their houses with sand, and they play with empty shells. With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep. Children have their play on the seashore of worlds.

They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl-fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. They seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.

The sea surges up with laughter, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach. Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the children, even like a mother while rocking her baby’s cradle. The sea plays with children, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach.

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. Tempest roams in the pathless sky, ships are wrecked in the trackless water, death is abroad and children play. On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children.


Eli Amir, Bicycle Boy (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2019, Hebrew)


Description automatically generated

The book tells the story of Nuri, a young immigrant from Iraq who was sent, with his family, to a small village composed mainly of blind people. Nuri and his family are not blind. Nuri goes to a kibbutz and then called home by his father to assist his family. Then, Nuri is sent by his father to Jerusalem with the aim of establishing himself in the city and bring his family to Jerusalem. The ambitious Nuri slowly and surely is establishing a place for himself as a messenger for the government. At the same time, he forms romantic relationships with a girl his age from Rehavia who is intrigued by the energetic and handsome young man. 

Amir tells the story of immigration, discrimination, exploitation of the Middle Eastern immigration to young Israel during the 1950s. At the same time, this is also a story about family ties, love and hope. It is a beautiful book that is worth reading. Amir captures Israel’s history quite accurately and he does it with skill, beautiful language and captivating descriptions of people and places.


Light Side: Language culture

In England/USA people ask: May I have the key, please?

In Israel, Hebrew: Key.


In English: What is your room no., please?

Hebrew: Room.


English: Can you hold the elevator for me, please?

Hebrew: Elevator


English: May I have the bill please?

Hebrew: Bill.


Hebrew is an economic language indeed. For Israelis, this kind of jargon is natural.


Peace and Good Health to you all


My last communications with all the photos and illustrations are available on Israel: Democracy, Human Rights, Politics and Society,

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