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Posts Tagged ‘israel

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Bad Astronomy notes that some Ukrainian astronomers have insulted Putin by naming a star after him.
  • blogTO notes on the park front that the bandmembers of Rush will be honoured with a park in their own name in their own neighbourhood, and turns to the discussion about the
  • Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly asks readers if they can describe their job in five words.
  • Joe. My. God. links to a new Australian study suggesting the children of same-sex couples might turn out better than the children of traditional family structures.
  • Language Hat links to an interesting speculation of Victor Mair’s, to the effect that all languages include at least a thousand basic concepts, suggesting this might reflect something about the human mind.
  • Language Log notes garbled language about the greenhouse effect on Earth and Mars.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests that, based on a study, the Chinese language has the lowest percentage of borrowed words of any major language.
  • Personal Reflection’s Jim Belshaw notes, as a white Australian, problems with being involved in the struggles of Aborigines.
  • Savage Minds notes the use of archeology in Israel to justify the displacement of Palestinians.
  • Towleroad examines how a picture of a gay male couple with their newborn child has gone viral.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Will Baude shared the voices of some Americans critical of the Declaration of Independence. (Frederick Douglass’ issues were well-founded.)
  • Window on Eurasia notes the exile of another Crimean Tatar from his Russian-annexed homeland and observes a call for less education in languages other than Russian that might hit worldly Russians as badly as it would ethnic minorities.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Discover‘s Collideascape notes that, even as agricultural land is falling worldwide, the productivity of this land is increasing even more sharply.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper examining the extent to which saline water might make cooler planets better for live, and to another paper suggesting that planetary magnetic fields are so importance for life (and oxygen levels) that brief reversals in the history of Earth have led to mass extinctions.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes a Ukrainian report that the country’s military has captured a Russian tank.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that vehemently anti-gay Minnesota archbishop John Nienstadt is being investigated for allegedly having sexual relationships with men.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that, despite economic collapse, there are some jobs (like low-paying fieldwork) that Portuguese just won’t do.
  • The New APPS Blog’s Gordon Hull notes the gender inequity involved in the recent Hobby Lobby ruling in the United States.
  • pollotenchegg maps the slow decline of Ukraine’s Jewish population in the post-1945 era.
  • Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle writes eloquently about his connections to and love of Lake Erie.
  • Strange Maps’ Frank Jacobs links to a cartographic examination of the time spent by French television news examining different areas of the world.
  • Towleroad notes a faux apology made by the Israeli education minister after attacking gay families.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Jonathan Adler notes the future of contraception coverage under Obamacare.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on fears that Crimean Tatar organizations will soon suffer a Russian crackdown, and suggests that the West should reconsider its policies on Belarus to encourage that country to diversify beyond Russia.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that the Global Village Backpackers building on the northeast corner of King and Spadina is up for sale.
  • Centauri Dreams and the Planetary Society Blog both comment on the almost last-minute search by the Hubble space telescope for Kuiper belt objects to be targets for the New Horizons probe after it passes Pluto.
  • Crooked Timber’s Corey Robin speculates that the alleged boredom of Obama in office might be taken as a marker for imminent revolutionary sentiment.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that the protoplanetary disk of protostar IRAS 16293-2422 is composed of two segments, both rotating in opposite directions.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money approves of Mattherw Yglesias’ argument that some wars, like a proposed intervention in Iraq, are unwinnable.
  • Marginal Revolution has more on the court decision against Argentina for the benefit of its creditors.
  • Registan describes what the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is doing in Pakistan. (Putting down roots.)
  • Savage Minds features a post by a pair of anthropologists advocating that the discipline take part in a boycott of Israel.
  • Torontoist profiles the #parkdalelove Twitter campaign mounted after Mammoliti’s ridiculous statements.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy reports on a lawsuit by a convert to the church that converted him, alleging that because they publicized his conversion from Islam contrary to his request his life was threatened in Syria.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Russia annexed Crimea because it thought alternative separatist movements in Ukraine were budding.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly makes the point that photography can help people understand their world that more thoroughly.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to an analysis of the atmosphere of superhot hot Jupiter WASP 12b.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Greenland’s geography has survived millions of years of ice, and notes reports that Israel apparently spies quite actively on the United States.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog’s Stacy J. Williams looks at the ways in which professional cooking is gendered.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis notes that Thailand’s eastern seaboard is quite rich.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that workers in North Dakota face the highest rate of workplace accidents in their country, a consequence of ill-regulated oil projects.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper taking a look at the abortive industrial revolution of Song China.
  • Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Society Blog observes that the ESA’s Rosetta probe is set to rendezvous with Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko in just a few weeks.
  • Registan notes the preference for early marriages among Uzbeks.
  • Une heure de peine’s Denis Colombi reacts (in French) to the recent death of economist and sociologist Gary Becker.
  • Window on Eurasia wonders if Azerbaijan will face an Islamist political challenge.

[NEWS] Some Friday links

  • Al Jazeera follows the story of the hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians deported from Saudi Arabia and observes that Russia is competing for influence in Central Asia with a rising China.
  • Businessweek suggests that, coffee notwithstanding, McDonald’s still has significant troubles business-wise. As well, the secession of Crimea may undermine Ukraine’s potential for offshore oil, while Israeli migration to Germany–especially Berlin–in search for a better standard of living is a problem for Israelis.
  • CBC notes that Ontario car manufacturers are worried by the new free trade agreement signed by Canada with South Korea, and presents Canadian doctor Danielle Martin’s defense of medicare in front of a questioning American congressional committee.
  • Der Spiegel‘s English edition notes that crystal meth use is taking off in Germany.
  • The Inter Press Service notes the sufferings of African migrants to Europe and observes that a railroad in a poor north Brazilian state has not brought riches to the locals.
  • Wired examines the evolution of extinct aquatic sloths and notes weirdness in the centre of our galaxy that may indicate dark matter is somehow being annihilated there.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • io9 links to a map showing the Milky Way Galaxy’s location in nearer intergalactic space.
  • The Big Picture has pictures from the Sochi Paralympics.
  • blogTO shares an array of pictures from Toronto in the 1980s.
  • D-Brief notes the recent finding that star HR 5171A is one of the largest stars discovered, a massive yellow hypergiant visible to the naked eye despite being twenty thousand light-years away.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes recent studies suggesting that M-class red dwarfs are almost guaranteed to have planets.
  • Eastern Approaches argues that the lawsuits of Serbia and Croatia posed against each other on charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice will do little but cause harm.
  • Far Outliers explores how Australian colonists in the late 19th century feared German ambitions in New Guinea.
  • The Financial Times World blog suggests that, in its mendacity, Russia is behaving in Crimea much as the Soviet Union did in Lithuania in 1990.
  • Geocurrents notes that the Belarusian language seems to be nearing extinction, displaced by Russian in Belarus (and Polish to some extent, too).
  • Joe. My. God. notes the protests of tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews in New York City against mandatory conscription laws in Israel that would see their co-sectarians do service.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that, in pre-Israeli Palestine, local Arabs wanted to be part of a greater Syria.</li?
  • Otto Pohl notes the connections of Crimean Tatars to a wider Turkic world and their fear that a Russian Crimea might see their persecution.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that Venezuela has attacked Panama in retaliation for a vote against it by confiscating the assets of its companies there. In turn, Panama has promised to reveal the banking accounts of Venezuelan officials in Panama.
  • John Scalzi of Whatever is unimpressed with the cultic adoration of Robert Heinlein’s novels by some science fiction fans.

[NEWS] Some Friday links

  • io9 shares wonderful illustrations of Titan’s methane showlines.
  • The Atlantic Cities notes that the coastline of Louisiana is receding so quickly mapmakers are hard-pressed to keep up.
  • BusinessWeek wonders how great cities, like New York City or Rome, reconcile change and tradition.
  • Christianity Today features a Philip Jenkins article noting that the origins and alliances of the Crimean crisis can be traced back at least as far as the Crimean War.
  • Ha’aretz notes that Israelis are moving to Tel Aviv, abandoning peripheral areas (with large Arab population) like Galilee and the Negev.
  • MacLean’s notes that condo construction is set to boom in Toronto.
  • Tablet Magazine notes that Crimea, immediately after the Second World War, was positioned as a potential homeland for Soviet Jews.
  • According to Time, changes in Canadian immigration law may be discouraging rich Chinese immigrants.
  • Universe Today notes that China’s Yutu moon rover can’t properly move its solar panels.

[BRIEF NOTE] On the controversies of intermarriage in Israel and the dim prospects for peace

The Times of Israel is one of many people reporting on the controversy apparently awakened in Israel by the news that Yair Netanyahu, son of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was involved in a relationship with a non-Jewish woman.

Yair Netanyahu is “spitting on the grave of his grandfather and grandmother,” Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi, brother of Sara Netanyahu, said Monday of his nephew’s relationship with a non-Jewish Norwegian woman.

News that the prime minister’s son, who is 23, is dating Sandra Leikanger, 25, was first reported by the Norwegian daily Dagen. The tall, svelte blonde met the younger Netanyahu at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, where the two study.

[. . .]

Earlier on Monday, ultra-Orthodox Shas MK Arye Deri responded to news of the relationship by saying, “If God forbid it’s true, then woe to us, woe to us.”

Deri told the Kol Barama radio station the relationship was no mere personal matter because Netanyahu is a “symbol of the Jewish people.”

“I know friends of mine who invest tens of millions and more, hundreds of millions to fight assimilation in the world,” Deri said.

By contrast, Rabbi Amnon Bazak of the Har Etzion yeshiva defended the prime minister and expressed the hope that should Yair choose to wed his present girlfriend, Leikanger would undergo a conversion to Judaism prior to the nuptials.

[. . .]

The Israeli organization Lehava, which says it aims “to prevent assimilation in the Holy Land,” called on Netanyahu on Sunday “to prevent this relationship.”

“Your grandchildren, as you know, will not be Jewish,” Lehava director Bentzi Gopshtain warned the Israeli premier in a Facebook post.

1. It’s worth noting that Netanyahu’s failure to defend his son’s relationship in public marks him as not a very good father.

2. It’s also worth noting that very many Israelis find this abhorrent. To wit:

Yossi Sarid, a former Israeli education minister and onetime leader of the secular-rights party Meretz, called the younger Netanyahu’s love life a “private matter.” But he said the uproar among the religious was “nonsense.”

“It’s not fair. You can’t expect fairness from those people,” Sarid said. “They don’t like non-Jews. They don’t like non-Orthodox Jews. They are behaving as fanatics everywhere behave.”

3. It’s also worth noting that this has become a problem that has become more acute in recent years, as immigration has introduced people of multiple religious backgrounds, few of which are strictly Jewish enough to suit the ultra-Orthodox, to Israel.

Noah Slepkov, an associate fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute, said the debate reflects changes taking place within Israel.

While intermarriage has long been a “huge deal” in the United States, he said, where roughly half of American Jews marry outside the faith, it has been a nonissue in Israel because Jews and Arabs almost never marry.

But that has begun to change, due to an influx of foreign workers and the trend of Israelis studying and working abroad in an age of globalization. “It’s certainly a trend that’s at the beginning,” he said, but one that nonetheless can make conservative Israelis feel threatened.

He said the criticism of Netanyahu’s son was counterproductive in a country that increasingly finds itself isolated.

4. It’s further worth noting that Israel is the only high-income democratic state I know of that has laws forbidding intermarriage across religious–hence ethnic–boundaries, Greece having abolished its laws giving marriage over entirely to clerics in 1983 and Lebanon not quite counting as a democracy.

5. Imagine, for a moment, if the Norwegian media was in an uproar because the son of the Norwegian prime minister was in an intimate relationship with an Israeli Jewish woman. What would this say about Norway?

6. Here’s a thesis: so long as Israel maintains these laws, it’s going to be incapable of peace. How is it possible to respect someone if you want to use the state to keep them, or anyone like them from joining your family? How, if you exclude people of other backgrounds from your intimate communities on general principle, can you really empathize with them, truly like them as opposed to tolerate them? And how tolerant are you, really, if you don’t intervene as other people force their particular choices on everyone?

7. It won’t necessarily matter that Israel does so, since if anything its neighbours–all countries which also ban intermarriage–are even further down the rabbit hole of state-enforced ethnoreligious purity than Israel is.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 11, 2014 at 3:46 am

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Bruce Sterling at Beyond the Beyond links to an argument claiming that classical standard written English is on the decline because so many more users of English are writing than ever before.
  • Centauri Dreams has more on the migration of our solar system’s planets early in their history. Jupiter’s inward migration may have given Earth oceans; will systems without Jupiters, only Neptunes, have watery rocky worlds like ours?
  • Crooked Timber’s Corey Robin takes one Jewish woman’s narrative about feeling at home in Israel and starts a whole discussion on the Middle East.
  • Far Outliers notes the rapid and thorough assimilation of Basque descendants and Basque cultural elements into the modern Philippines.
  • Geocurrents shares French satirical maps of their own country.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen suggests, after Bryan Caplan, that immigration does not have any effect on the American welfare state.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer shares cites to interesting books on migration.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Marc Rayman describes the Dawn probe’s painstaking deceleration as it moves to its Ceres encounter.
  • The Signal wonders how to enculcate a love for electronic data, in the way that other formats–books, for instance, or LPs–have their own aficionados.
  • Towleroad cites a gay Christian apologist who started a minor controversy by calling GLBT identity a choice.
  • Window on Eurasia shares a Russian writer who argues that there is no impending Cold War over Arctic seafloor with Russia’s neighbours.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell, meanwhile, takes issue with an account of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s errors in the financial crisis that doesn’t take into account the choices of Thatcherites to enable the RBS to go overboard in a financialized economy.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly points writers to evidence that editing can be a harsh and thorough process: a photograph of one of her own drafts.
  • Centauri Dreams notes that a recent study of the distribution of different sorts of asteroids in the asteroid belt suggests that the planets in the early solar system were exceptionally mobile, with Jupiter’s inward migrations perhaps tossing enough icy bodies our way to give Earth oceans.
  • Discover‘s The Crux points out alleged photographic evidence of an alien base on the Moon is no such thing.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to Stephen Hawking’s paper on black holes, which apparently argues they don’t destroy information so much as garble it.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a recent study suggesting that the Alpha Centauri system is quite full of dust.
  • The Financial Times‘ World blog notes that the dustup over Oxfam and Scarlett Johansson’s involvement as spokesperson for an Israeli company making use of West Bank resources highlights Israel’s growing issues.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a recent Washington Post-ABC poll suggesting that Hillary Clinton is far and away the Democratic Party’s favourite for the 2016 presidential election.
  • Dave Brockington of Lawyers, Guns and Money takes issue with Niall Ferguson’s argument that Britain should have stayed out of the First World War.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a recent paper suggesting how Catalonia might progress to independence from Spain, in the context of shared debt.
  • Thought Catalog’s Shawn Binder writes about how homophobia can intrude even within same-sex relationships.
  • Torontoist notes a major billion-dollar development at Spadina and Front that would literally create a new neighbourhood.
  • Towleroad observes that billionaire Cecil Chao has withdrawn the dowry he offered to potential suitors of his lesbian and coupled daughter Gigi, without acknowledging her actual relationship.

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