Standing in line in Israel

Let me tell you about the last time I went to the bank in Israel. It took me several weeks to build up the courage to actually go to the bank. But I had to. Everything else failed. Continue reading

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Road bicycle riding around Boston

The following post is not supposed to be a comprehensive compendium of road riding routes around Boston. For a more comprehensive list of bicycle clubs and routes check out the links. This is supposed to be a summary of a few bike routes that I frequent with a few comments about each route.

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Israel has more than one possibility

Israeli interactions with the Arab world are complex. They are much more than the simplified, ‘dumbed down’ version that mass media and local politics (on both sides) often portray. One would like to think that Israel’s leaders have all the information and the tools (knowledge, advisors and intelligence) to make the right decisions in the face of this complexity. However a disturbing article written by Raviv Drucker brought up an age old problem in Israeli decision making. Lack of tolerance, centralist pyramids of power and lack of cognitive agility have cost Israel a terrible price before during the 1973 ‘Yom Kippur’ war. It seems that decisions in Israel are still being made while relying on superficial information and one sided narratives and on very specific conceptions without keeping an open mind to others’ ideas. It also seems like decisions are being made by very few in the name of efficiency and secrecy, while leaving even some cabinet members out of the loop.

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Who won Protective Edge?

The Middle East is riddled with conflict. There is conflict in Iraq (with ISIS and the Kurds), conflict in Syria (with multiple Islamic and secular insurgency groups), recent turmoil in Egypt, terror cells in Yemen and more. Sometimes it seems as though with every conflict that is dialed down, another two escalate. The most recent of these conflicts was ‘Protective Edge’, the latest of the Israeli-Palestinian scrimmages. As can be expected, at the end of 29 days of exchanging blows, both sides claimed victory. But who really won? Can victory be determined in the Middle East or should people be destined to accept intermediate periods of relative calm and status-quo as the only positive outcome of each round of conflict?

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