A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘israel

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • blogTO notes the plans to build a large park under the western Gardiner.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at Pluto.
  • The Dragon’s Tales goes to Syria.
  • Far Outliers reports from a despairing Siberian village.
  • Geocurrents notes that most Moravians live in Tanzania.
  • Joe. My. God. notes Ireland’s marriage laws have gone into effect.
  • Language Log looks at the spread of the shawm, a musical instrument, across Asia.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes David Frum’s proposal to ethnically cleanse Muslims from Europe.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer considers the prospects for a widened French war in Syria, noting that despite the popularity of intervention France cannot do much more.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy is critical of the European Union’s policy requiring the labeling of goods made in the West Bank.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the growth of barriers hindering the departure of Russians and looks at Stalin’s rivalry with Hitler in the Balkans and elsewhere.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • blogTO compares the contours of the Toronto Harbour in 1919 and now, and notes the huge amount of infill.
  • Centauri Dreams notes a three-dimensional study of GJ 1214b.
  • D-Brief describes how the primordial dense atmosphere of Mars was eroded by the solar wind.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes a SETI check of KIC 8462852 gives no results.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on Russia’s Syrian war.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog examines perceptions of racial inequality in the United States.
  • Geocurrents maps the eaters of the sago palm, in Southeast Asia.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the myth of California as a land forever being lost.
  • Marginal Revolution considers the Amazon bookstore.
  • The Planetary Society Blog provides updates on various ESA missions.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes an article on foreign fighters in the Ukrainian war who returned home.
  • Savage Minds shares an article by an anthropologist explaining why he signed onto the Israel boycott.
  • Torontoist and blogTO note John Tory’s request that the TTC consider opening earlier on Sundays.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the perils facing the Russian elite, wonders about the fate of Crimean Tatars, and speculates about the formation of a broad alliance in central and eastern Europe aimed against Russia.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly asks readers how they define their community.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at the Rosetta probe’s unusual comet.
  • Crooked Timber notes the death of Brian Friel.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports that hot Jupiter 51 Pegasi b apparently does not have rings.
  • The Dragon’s Tales suggests the bright spots on Ceres are salt deposits.
  • Language Hat wonders where the sabra accent of Hebrew comes from.
  • Languages of the World suggests grammar is a better guide to language history than words.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the Russian deployment in Syria.
  • The Map Room’s Jonathan Crowe exposes the failings of the Mercator projection.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders if there might be a South Asian free trade zone soon.
  • Out There notes that Earth’s near-twin Venus is important for many reasons, not least as a guide to exoplanets.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at population growth in the North Caucasus and examines xenophobic rhetoric in Russia.

[LINK] “The Dead Sea is dying”

Al Jazeera’s Creede Newton reports on the decline of the Dead Sea, at best slowed down by new proposals.

The Dead Sea, a unique body of water marked by mineral-rich, unusually salty water – nearly 10 times saltier than the world’s oceans – is dying. Its water level is dropping by roughly one metre each year.

“We think that the current situation is an ecological disaster,” said Gidon Bromberg, director of EcoPeace Middle East (EPME), an organisation that brings together Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian environmentalists to protect their shared environmental heritage.

“It’s unacceptable: The unique ecosystem is in severe danger, threatening biodiversity, and you see dramatic sinkholes opening up along the shore,” Bromberg said, referring to the large, unpredictable cavities that have appeared recently. Some are so cavernous that they swallow entire structures.

According to Bromberg, the two main reasons for the dropping water level are mineral extraction by Israeli and Jordanian companies in the artificially shallow southern basin, and the fact that 95 percent of the Jordan River – the Dead Sea’s main source of replenishing water – is being diverted. The river used to provide 1,350 million cubic metres of water each year (mcm), but that flow has dwindled to just 20 mcm.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 28, 2015 at 7:31 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that someone built a lego replica of Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood circa 1887.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the OSIRIS REx asteroid sample return mission’s launch.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports on the HD 219134 planetary system, just nearby.
  • The Dragon’s Tales suggests nuclear fusion is getting measurably closer.
  • Joe. My. God. has more on the man who murdered a teenage girl at Jerusalem’s pride parade.
  • Language Hat notes the attitude of Jabotinsky towards the Hebrew language.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the mid-19th century convergence of anti-Communist and pro-slavery attitudes.
  • Marginal Revolution looks forward to an Uighur restaurant in Virginia.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reflects on wool.
  • Torontoist reviews all of the terrible food available at the Canadian National Exhibition.
  • Towleroad reports testimony about the terrible fates facing gay men under ISIS rule.
  • Why I Love Toronto reports on the blogger’s exciting week.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the accidental release of Russia’s casualty information in the Ukrainian war, with two thousand dead.

[LINK] “Israel releases African refugees without a place to go”

Tomas Monzon’s UPI article describes the astounding cynicism of the Israeli government. I only hope these displaced refugees can make it in Jerusalem.

Israel began releasing African refugees Tuesday from the Holot facility in its Negev desert, but the refugees are now stranded with no place to go .

A Supreme Court ruling ordered that any refugee that has been held at the facility for more than 12 months must be freed, but the interior ministry has prohibited the migrants from entering or working in the cities of Tel Aviv and Eilat. Both of these are hotspots for Africans in Israel, with many Holot detainees hailing from there.

[. . .]

One such refugee named Faisal told Haaretz that he used to live and work in Tel Aviv but since being barred from there, he has been phoning friends and strangers to try to find a place to stay but has been unsuccessful. He has no money and fears being placed back into Holot as the situations becomes messy. Another refugee from Sudan told Haaretz that he would head to Jerusalem despite not having a place to stay there. He also lived in Tel Aviv, where he worked at a hotel and a restaurant.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 26, 2015 at 7:39 pm

[LINK] “Bukhara Jews Thrive in New York but Are Almost Gone in Bukhara”

Tara Isabella Burton of National Geographic describes life for the vanishingly small remnant of Bukharan Jews who remain in their homeland of Uzbekistan. The near-totality of the community has emigrated, to Israel and New York City.

Under the secularist Soviet Union, remembers Abraham Ishakov, cantor at the old town’s synagogue, carrying out the yushvo—mourning rituals central to the faith and culture of Bukharian Jews—was strongly discouraged. When his own father died, “we used to have to sneak into the synagogue and pray in secret.”

Now, caring for the dead in Bukhara is no less challenging an affair, albeit for different reasons. There is almost nobody left to mourn them.

Ishakov points out a plaque from 2000, commemorating the donors who paid for the most recent renovation. “Rafael Davidov. He moved to America. Jacob Rafaelkov. Off to Israel. Hasimov Sharimov. Israel. Isaac Abramov. New York. Soson Priyev. USA.”

Once, Central Asia was home to 45,000 Bukharian Jews: an ethno-religious group—speaking a dialect known as Judeo-Tajik—centered in this city. They worked as merchants and craftsmen, trading along the Silk Road.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, waves of Jews emigrated abroad—mostly to America and Israel—some for economic reasons, some because of fear of persecution, should an Islamist government should come to power in Uzbekistan.

Today, around 100 Jews are left in Bukhara, the community’s heartland. In the New York City borough of Queens, alone, there are about 50,000.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 5, 2015 at 5:25 pm


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