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Uri Savir on Israel and Its Neighbors

Uri Savir:

So, Israel is not just a success story because it won wars. It’s a success story because it created transparent institutions, a vibrant democracy, sometimes too vibrant, a modern industry, today a high technological industry which is among the leading in the world, and a modern army that’s part of it, modern agriculture. That, all together, makes Israel a success story against many odds. I don’t agree with Ambassador Bolton that Israel will attack Iran. The Iranian threat of becoming nuclear is not just a problem of Israel, it’s a problem of the whole Western world and the Western world above the ocean. United States and Europe must handle Iran with very rigid sanctions, to isolate it and to discourage it from going nuclear. Under no circumstances should it be seen solely as an Israeli problem. And, for the whole world, the military options would be a last resort. So, the Iranian people deserve better, but only a reform inside of Iran can change the situation and then negotiations may be in [point]. United States’ role is not to prevent Israel from attacking. The United States’ role is to lead a coalition against Iran. To negotiate with Iran is only possible with reformist elements that may come. There are some among women, some among NGOs, some among reformist intellections, but this will take time and will also depend on the outcome of American elections. Participatory peace between Israelis and Palestinians is really to engage as much of the civil society as possible, the doctors working with doctors saving children, be it sports people playing soccer among each other and training young people, be it people who know to grow modern agriculture or irrigate with modern water systems working together, because this region has more oil than it has water, be it women working together as much as the bereaved families, working together and overcoming their pain. It’s really endless, it’s possible and it’s happening. Of course, the heightened security for Israel is a problem, but as long we go on with our normal lives, as long as we develop a good economy, a good society, as long as we are a people of culture, a people of the book, we can overcome it. But our real dream is peace. We need peace for the next generation, and as some of you has been engaged deeply in the peace process, I know that peace is possible, not only with the Palestinians, also with Syria, and also a comprehensive peace. Everybody in this region is tired of war.

In explaining the regional security situation, Uri Savir endorses NGO’s as one of the foundations to building a civil society in Iran.

Remote learning vs. online instruction: How COVID-19 woke America up to the difference

Educators and administrators must build new supports for faculty and student success in a world where the classroom might become virtual in the blink of an eye.

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Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • If you or someone you know is attending school remotely, you are more than likely learning through emergency remote instruction, which is not the same as online learning, write Rich DeMillo and Steve Harmon.
  • Education institutions must properly define and understand the difference between a course that is designed from inception to be taught in an online format and a course that has been rapidly converted to be offered to remote students.
  • In a future involving more online instruction than any of us ever imagined, it will be crucial to meticulously design factors like learner navigation, interactive recordings, feedback loops, exams and office hours in order to maximize learning potential within the virtual environment.
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Has science made religion useless?

Placing science and religion at opposite ends of the belief spectrum is to ignore their unique purposes.

Videos
  • Science and religion (fact versus faith) are often seen as two incongruous groups. When you consider the purpose of each and the questions that they seek to answer, the comparison becomes less black and white.
  • This video features religious scholars, a primatologist, a neuroendocrinologist, a comedian, and other brilliant minds considering, among other things, the evolutionary function that religion serves, the power of symbols, and the human need to learn, explore, and know the world around us so that it becomes a less scary place.
  • "I think most people are actually kind of comfortable with the idea that science is a reliable way to learn about nature, but it's not the whole story and there's a place also for religion, for faith, for theology, for philosophy," says Francis Collins, American geneticist and director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). "But that harmony perspective doesn't get as much attention. Nobody is as interested in harmony as they are in conflict."

Signs of Covid-19 may be hidden in speech signals

Studying voice recordings of infected but asymptomatic people reveals potential indicators of Covid-19.

Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
Coronavirus
It's often easy to tell when colleagues are struggling with a cold — they sound sick.
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Octopus-like creatures inhabit Jupiter’s moon, claims space scientist

A leading British space scientist thinks there is life under the ice sheets of Europa.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute
Surprising Science
  • A British scientist named Professor Monica Grady recently came out in support of extraterrestrial life on Europa.
  • Europa, the sixth largest moon in the solar system, may have favorable conditions for life under its miles of ice.
  • The moon is one of Jupiter's 79.
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Supporting climate science increases skepticism of out-groups

A study finds people are more influenced by what the other party says than their own. What gives?

Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study has found evidence suggesting that conservative climate skepticism is driven by reactions to liberal support for science.
  • This was determined both by comparing polling data to records of cues given by leaders, and through a survey.
  • The findings could lead to new methods of influencing public opinion.
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