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May 2015

New Israeli deputy defense minister called Palestinians ‘animals’

Jewish Home MK Eli Ben Dahan to oversee the authorization of travel and entry permits for Palestinians in West Bank, Gaza

Quick Watch0:57


Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan February 3, 2014. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)


Tamar Pileggi Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

As part of the coalition agreement reached between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Jewish Home party on Thursday, MK Eli Ben Dahan, a rabbi who’s made controversial statements about Palestinians and non-Jews, will serve as Israel’s next deputy defense minister.

Under the new job description, Ben Dahan, who served as the deputy religious affairs minister in the previous government, will also be responsible for the IDF’s Civil Administration running government affairs in the West Bank.

Ben Dahan has made controversial remarks about Palestinians. While discussing the resumption of peace talks in a radio interview in 2013, Ben Dahan said that “To me, they are like animals, they aren’t human.”

“The Palestinians aren’t educated towards peace, nor to they want it,” he said.

The Civil Administration is an IDF unit subordinate to the Defense Ministry responsible for governing West Bank planning, building and infrastructure in Israeli-controlled Area C. In addition, it is responsible for authorizing Palestinian travel and entry permits into Israel from Gaza and the West Bank.

Later that year, while discussing his opposition to Knesset legislation that would offer same-sex parents the same tax breaks as their heterosexual counterparts, Ben Dahan told Maariv that homosexual Jews were superior than gentiles — gay or straight.

“A Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he is a homosexual,” he said.

Ben Dahan said that his opposition to the bill was not based on discrimination, but stemmed from his commitment to uphold the Jewish character of Israel.

“I have to keep the state Jewish. Things that contradict the values, culture or tradition will not receive a stamp of approval,” he said.



This Modern World

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Notable & Quotable: Rebuilding Aleppo

First Bashar al-Assad bombed Aleppo; now he wants to make money rebuilding it.

From “Syrian President Seeks Investors to Rebuild Aleppo’s Bombed-Out Old City” by Laura C. Mallonee on, April 29:

As if the horrors of Syria’s war weren’t already difficult to process, now there’s this: a group of archaeologists and urban planning experts in Germany say that PresidentBashar al-Assad is already seeing dollar signs in the ruins of his country’s cities.

In an article recently published by the German newspaper Die Welt, the group accused Assad of bombing parts of Aleppo not just for military purposes, but also to maximize their lucrative redevelopment potential. The walled Old City has already lost four fifths of its buildings, including the 900-year-old Umayyad Mosque. . . .

Though the war is still raging, the government has already established a Ministry of Reconstruction in Damascus that has allegedly begun selling property. It has also burned land registry offices and deleted title entries, presumably to keep people from reclaiming their houses and businesses after the war ends (more than half of Syria’s citizens have fled the country).

Luckily, they’re not the only copies. Since the 1990s, a group of academics has been working to build up and digitize the Aleppo city archives and land registry offices, which means that a server owned by the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus in Germany also holds the records. . . .

In the wake of its destruction, [some of these experts] fear that Assad, if victorious, will reap the benefits of a rapid, lucrative, and historically and aesthetically indifferent reconstruction process.


Why do people leave their country ?

I heard this to-day from someone who probably never watches the news.
Here is an answer

In her feature documentary Syrian director Liwaa Yazji explores what it means to set off in a war. She meets friends and people previously unknown to her at their homes. Domiciles where they live now or where they yet live. Spaces that turned into a sought-after commodity.

When does one leave? What does one take? What aspects of life irretrievably end with the departure? How long can one sit tight? How do people call their departure? Are they refugees? Do they move? Do they leave? Do they see themselves as displaced people? Do they just move on? What does home mean? Which rights do they lose? From which loss can they protect themselves? What can they control? By means of her collected stories Yazji draws quasi en passant the trace of the endless refugee movements in the region of the last 70 years.

Al Jazeera World – Death of Aleppo

Al Jazeera World follows the everyday lives of Aleppo residents living amid the on-going conflict and destruction.

Syria : Watch it now until to-morrow



This road movie portrays the perilous journey of well-known intellectual Yassin al-Haj Saleh and young photographer Ziad Homsi through Syria, at a time when the country edges towards the brink.
Yassin (53), who spent 16 years in prison for belonging to the Syrian left, goes underground in 2011 to serve Syria’s popular uprising, while Ziad (24) – occasionally fighting with the rebels – takes photographs in his hometown Douma. In this Damascene suburb – where Yassin and his wife Samira Khalil found shelter – the two men meet and become friends.
Together, they embark on an adventurous journey through the desert to al-Haj Saleh’s native town Raqqa in Northeast Syria. Upon their arrival, Raqqa is occupied by the “Islamic State in Iraq and Levant” (ISIS), which also kidnapped two brothers of Yassin.
Consequently, the thinker leaves for Istanbul to pursue his writing for the revolution, hoping for a reunion with his wife Samira who remained in Douma. Ziad – abducted by ISIS on his way back – rejoins Yassin after his release, hoping to return home soon. All hopes are shattered when Samira gets abducted jointly with human rights lawyer Razan Zeitouneh.
And the film ends while Syria tumbles into a yawning abyss.

Self hypnosis

For losing weight


This video will first let the viewer feel like they just had some laughing gas while in trance. Then the video will give the viewer a choice if they want to feel the effects for the next hour or just let them wear off. If you have a request for a future video feel free to share it. Thank you for all the views and subscriptions and have a good day.



Trouble sleeping ?

Deception with Keith Berry


A Millionaire In Finland Gets a $58,000 Ticket For Doing 64 In a 50 MPH Zone

                            finnish flag photo: Finnish flag Finland20flag.gif

Finland doesn’t mess around when it comes to income inequality. Just ask Reima Kuisla, a Finnish businessman with an annual income of $7 million.

He was recently fined 54,024 euros (about $58,000) for traveling a modest, if illegal, 64 miles per hour in a 50 m.p.h. zone. And no, the 54,024 euros did not turn out to be a typo, or a mistake of any kind.Mr. Kuisla is a millionaire, and in Finland the fines for more serious speeding infractions are calculated according to income. The thinking here is that if it stings for the little guy, it should sting for the big guy, too

Traffic fines in Finland, and to a lesser extent, in other Scandinavian countries, are assessed depending on your income, through a complex system accessible by police through a one-minute inquiry to the Finnish tax office:

The fines are calculated based on half an offender’s daily net income, with some consideration for the number of children under his or her roof and a deduction deemed to be enough to cover basic living expenses, currently 255 euros per month.Then, that figure is multiplied by the number of days of income the offender should lose, according to the severity of the offense.

Mr. Kuisla was fined for “eight days.” If he had made only $54,000 per year he would have received about a $370 fiine.

The Nordic countries have long had a strong egalitarian streak, embracing progressive taxation and high levels of social spending. Perhaps less well known is that they also practice progressive punishment, when it comes to certain fines.

As one might expect, Mr. Kuisla did not take the news well, venting on Facebook to a (for the most part) bemused and unreceptive Finnish audience:

The ticket had its desired effect. Mr. Kuisla, 61, took to Facebook last month with 12 furious posts in which he included a picture of his speeding ticket and a picture of what 54,024 euros could buy if it were not going to the state coffers — a new Mercedes. He said he was seriously considering leaving Finland altogether, a position to which he held firm when reached by phone at a bar where he was watching horse races.“The way things are done here makes no sense,” Mr. Kuisla sputtered, saying he would not be giving interviews. Before hanging up, he added: “For what and for whom does this society exist? It is hard to say.”

Actually it’s not that hard to say. Finland boasts one of the most admired and successful educational systems in the world, with no tuition fees, highly educated teachers and professors, and fully subsidized meals for students.  Progressive taxation of the wealthy makes that and many other programs for social good possible:

Finns have one of the world’s most generous systems of state-funded educational, medical and welfare services, from pregnancy to the end of life. They pay nothing for education at any level, including medical school or law school. Their medical care, which contributes to an infant mortality rate that is half of ours and a life expectancy greater than ours, costs relatively little. (Finns devote 7 percent of gross domestic product to health care; we spend 15 percent.) Finnish senior citizens are well cared for. Unemployment benefits are good and last, in one form or another, indefinitely.

This explains why Mr. Kuisla’s highly publicized indignation has largely been met with indifference by the Finnish public. While there is general agreement that the fine in this case might be excessive, there is also acceptance that fines and taxes should continue to be assessed in a progressive manner based on income.  That’s because the system works wonders for the vast majority of the Finnish people. In fact, the general reaction to Mr. Kuisla’s blustering about leaving the country has been to show him quickly to the door:

“This says a lot about the times when the stinkingly rich can’t even take their fines for crimes, but are immediately moving out of the country. Farewell, we won’t miss you,” said one post in The Helsingin Sanomat, a daily newspaper and website.

Of course, one can sympathize with Mr. Kuisla to some degree. He’s hardly the first person to have been caught speeding, rich or poor. The fact is, however, that he should have known better. He was previously hit for an $83,000 fine for doing 76 in a 50 MPH zone.  Courts do take into account mitigating factors and Mr. Kuisla had that fine reduced to about $7000 U.S., since his “income” that year was based on a one-time stock sale.  A ticket issued in 2002 assessed a $103,600 fine against a heavy-footed motorcyclist who blew through Helsinki in too much of a hurry.  That ticket was based on an income of $12 million.Police note that very, very few tickets of this magnitude are issued, although they acknowledge they do not keep track of them.

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