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Ronen Bergman on the Terms of Israeli Politics

Question: How does an Israeli define right-wing versus left-wing? Ronen Bergman:   I wish I knew.  Basically, it had a very strong distinction and it’s nothing about economics.  It’s only about how you treat the issue of whether to give or not give the occupied territories. 

Can we, as Israelis, guarantee or be sure that if we give back the Golan Heights that were taken from Syria during the war of 1967, will Syria comply with the agreement of sustainable peace with Israel? 

Can we trust the Palestinians if we give them back the territories?  For independent Palestinians state, that they would not launch another war, go on another attack against Israel and also the rest of the territory?

But this is the basic question.  And this was the basic distinction between Right and Left.  Right was voting against giving back territories, the Left said we have to compromise otherwise we are going to face a new war with either Syria or the Palestinians or both of them very sooon. 

Nowadays, things have changed because the most right-wing Prime Minister Israel ever had, Ariel Sharon, gave back the Gaza Strip.  Now, basically, he did it just to divert attention from the police inquiries against him in Israel.  So, he did it for irrelevant reasons, but I would say this, the distinction is very, very narrow, and even Benjamin Netanyahu, now the right-wing leader, offered some compensation, some retreats to the Palestinians when he was the Prime Minister. 

But if I were a Palestinian, I would prefer to have either Barak, the leader of the Labor Party, or Tzipi Livni rather than Nathaniel.  Nathaniel comes on the ticket of being a hawkish, anti-Hamas, anti any withdrawal from the territories to power, and he would be elected, if elected, with the voices of the right-wing supporters.  So, he would be reluctant to give up but they always say that things that you see from the Prime Minister’s office, you don’t see it from anywhere else.  So, he would also have to make much, much more retreats and withdrawals than he declares now.

Recorded: Sep 19, 2008

It is not about economics, says Bergman, it is about the right of return.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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How Hemingway felt about fatherhood

Parenting could be a distraction from what mattered most to him: his writing.

Ernest Hemingway Holding His Son 1927 (Wikimedia Commons)
Culture & Religion

Ernest Hemingway was affectionately called “Papa," but what kind of dad was he?

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The biology of aliens: How much do we know?

Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.

Videos
  • Ask someone what they think aliens look like and you'll probably get a description heavily informed by films and pop culture. The existence of life beyond our planet has yet to be confirmed, but there are clues as to the biology of extraterrestrials in science.
  • "Don't give them claws," says biologist E.O. Wilson. "Claws are for carnivores and you've got to be an omnivore to be an E.T. There just isn't enough energy available in the next trophic level down to maintain big populations and stable populations that can evolve civilization."
  • In this compilation, Wilson, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, and evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos explain why aliens don't look like us and why Hollywood depictions are mostly inaccurate.
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Masturbation boosts your immune system, helping you fight off infection and illness

Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?

Image by Yurchanka Siarhei on Shutterstock
Sex & Relationships
  • Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
  • The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
  • Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
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Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

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