Israel

The “Guns, Jews and Steel” Edition

We discuss: 1) Israel’s response to the “Great March of Return,” 2) a campaign persuading folks not to swap seats with ultra-Orthodox passengers on flights, and 3) a proposal to erect huge Stars of David across Israel.

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Pride and Prejudice: The State of Israeli Democracy at 70

Ahead of the 70th Independence Day celebrations, Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute, discusses the past accomplishments and future challenges of democracy in Israel.

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Still Leaving Egypt, After All These Years

Does the story of the Exodus we tell on Passover, about how we were oppressed by everyone until we had our own home in the Holy Land, make us better, more empathetic, people or worse, more ethonocentric, people?

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Low Marx

Should private universities be able to compete for the best students and teachers and researchers against the government-funded public universities that have, until now, had a monopoly? The experiment started this week.

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The Curious Case of the Constancy of Bibi Boosters and Believers

Why is it that each new shocking revelation about alleged Prime Ministerial corruption is accompanied by an increase in support for Benjamin Netanyahu? What makes Bibi boosters tick?

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The “Still Leaving Egypt, After All These Years” Edition

We discuss: 1) why each new revelation about Bibi’s alleged corruption is accompanied by an increase in support for him, 2) the accreditation of a private university to grant Ph.D. degrees, and 3) whether the story of Exodus hardens or softens our hearts, now that we are in a strong and secure state.

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Surveilling Belligerents

Israel’s got a machine-learning AI system for identifying lone terrorists before they act. Should this bit of real-scifi-Minority Report-ism make it easier for us to sleep at night, or cause us to toss-and-turn in Orwellian angst?

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The “Who Surveils the Surveillors?” Edition

We discuss 1) Israel’s new AI system for identifying lone terrorists before they act, 2) the work of an activist who’s been sorting through hundreds of hours of rabbi’s lectures and turning over the nasty bits to the press, and 3) the price tag of price tags.

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Judaism: The Theme Park

$400 million to build a theme park in the desert about Judaism, with a ride that log-flumes you through a hectic week and floats you past the serene and bucolic pleasures of Shabbat? Is Israel finally making Judaism fun?

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Show Me a Hero (and I’ll Write You a Tragedy)

Should Israel’s street names be scrubbed on honorific mentions of Ashkenazi founding fathers and mothers who treated Sefaradim/Mizrahim with condescension and worse?

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