Haifa’s Coexistence is Tested by Politics During Elections

To see the raw energy of Brazil, it’s best to visit it during a World Cup. To understand something about the head-spinning mosaic that is the Israeli society, it’s worth coming here during elections. That’s when the sectarian, religious and socio-economic contradictions play out visibly before your eyes. Haifa, the most diverse of Israel’s cities, is the perfect place to watch the people and parties engaging in a public battle. Coming back to Israel to visit my family and friends after 3 years of absence, I had a chance to watch it all from up close during the run-up to April’s general elections to Knesset.

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The Russian Myth of the Strong Hand

In a recent program on a Russian TV station, high-school teenagers were asked whether they think that a totalitarian regime is good or bad.  Two boys spoke their mind. They said that “it is mostly good, because it brings order and structure into society, and enables progress. If people are not ruled, are not forced to work, nothing gets done”. Subtle nods and facial expressions of the other kids in the class revealed a general support for the view expressed by these two boys. Continue reading “The Russian Myth of the Strong Hand”