Jerusalem institute – Sustainable Jerusalem http://sustainable-jerusalem.org/ Thu, 29 Sep 2022 17:37:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-12.png Jerusalem institute – Sustainable Jerusalem http://sustainable-jerusalem.org/ 32 32 Turkish elections 2023: what do the polls say? https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/turkish-elections-2023-what-do-the-polls-say/ Wed, 28 Sep 2022 16:54:02 +0000 https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/turkish-elections-2023-what-do-the-polls-say/ Turkey will hold presidential and parliamentary elections in mid-2023 amid a deepening economic crisis, growing anger over millions of refugees unable to return to war-torn Syria and a growing alienation of Turkish youth from the ruling regime. As the election campaign gradually gathers pace, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rivals are flocking in the polls. But […]]]>

Turkey will hold presidential and parliamentary elections in mid-2023 amid a deepening economic crisis, growing anger over millions of refugees unable to return to war-torn Syria and a growing alienation of Turkish youth from the ruling regime.

As the election campaign gradually gathers pace, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rivals are flocking in the polls. But how credible are these polls? What do they say about the broader societal dynamics that could play a role in the elections? What are the main concerns of voters? To answer these questions and more, join us for a panel discussion moderated by Gönül Tol, Director of Turkish Studies at the Middle East Institute.

Speakers

Emre Erdoğan
Professor, Istanbul Bilgi University

Can Selçuki
Co-founder, Istanbul Economy

Osman Sert
Research Director, Panoramatr Turkey

Gönül Tol, moderator
Turkey program director; Principal researcher, IEDM

Detailed Speaker Biographies

Emre Erdoğan
Professor Emre Erdoğan has been teaching social statistics and advanced research methods at Istanbul Bilgi University since 2005. He is the acting head of the Department of International Relations. With a doctorate in political science from Bogaziçi University, he has been a researcher and senior consultant in various projects in academia and civil society. His research focuses on political participation, foreign policy and public opinion, child and youth well-being, and methodology and statistics. He studies young Syrian refugees in Turkey from the perspective of their social, educational and economic integration. He also works extensively on otherness, polarization and populism and publishes regularly on these topics.

Can Selçuki
Can Selçuki holds a master’s degree in economics from Bocconi University. Prior to co-founding Istanbul Economy, a public opinion and big data company, Can was an economist at the World Bank office in Ankara, working with both public and private partners in private sector development. His work at the World Bank focused on regional development, competition and innovation policies. Prior to working at the World Bank, Can worked for three years as an economics researcher at the Brussels think tank Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS). He is the author of several articles and reports on trade competitiveness, regional development and innovation policy in Turkey. Additionally, he frequently comments on Turkey and the region in print and visual media, such as BBC World, FT and Foreign Policy, and writes regularly on Turkish economy and politics in the Turkish and international press.

Osman Sert
Osman Sert is Research Director at Panoramatr Turkey. As a journalist, he has covered the Turkish economy, the Prime Minister’s office and diplomacy, conducting several interviews with world leaders and ministers and periodically traveling to various conflict zones around the world. He was a diplomatic editor at CNN Türk and head of TRT’s Jerusalem bureau. He was a senior adviser to Ahmet Davutoğlu, former Turkish Foreign Minister (2009-2014) and Prime Minister (2014-2016). Sert is a frequent commentator on Al Jazeera, the BBC and other international media. Additionally, he is the editor of perspektif.online, a Turkish website for academics, and a columnist for the daily Karar. He holds a degree from the International Relations Program of the Middle East Technical University.

Gönul Tolmoderator
Gönül Tol is the founding director of the Middle East Institute’s Turkey Program and senior researcher for the Frontier Europe Initiative. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Middle East Studies at George Washington University. After three years of field research in Germany and the Netherlands, she wrote her thesis on the radicalization of the Turkish Islamist movement Milli Gorus in Western Europe. She was previously an adjunct professor in the College of International Security Affairs at the National Defense University. She has lectured on Islamist movements in Western Europe, Turkey, global politics and the Middle East. She has written extensively on Turkey-US relations, Turkish domestic politics, foreign policy, and the Kurdish issue. She is a frequent media commentator.

Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images

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Turkey and Israel: Encounters with Hate :: Gatestone Institute https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/turkey-and-israel-encounters-with-hate-gatestone-institute/ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 08:30:00 +0000 https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/turkey-and-israel-encounters-with-hate-gatestone-institute/ Israel is normalizing diplomatic relations with a country whose undisputed leader for the past two decades once described Zionism as a crime against humanity. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s peace with Israel is not peace. It’s a tactical gesture to flash in Washington: I’m a good boy, give me the F-16s, don’t punish me more… […]]]>
Israel is normalizing diplomatic relations with a country whose undisputed leader for the past two decades once described Zionism as a crime against humanity. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s peace with Israel is not peace. It’s a tactical gesture to flash in Washington: I’m a good boy, give me the F-16s, don’t punish me more… Pictured: the flags of Turkey and Israel wave at the museum of the armored corps in Latrun, Israel, on August 18, 2022. (Photo by Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP via Getty Images)

Blessed are the peacemakers: it sounds so good that Turkey and Israel have decided to become friends again. After a four-year hostile chill in relations that has gradually thawed in recent months, the former allies have agreed restore full diplomatic relations, exchanging ambassadors. Pleasant? Beautiful! Champagne to celebrate peace? Slow down.

It has been more than a decade since Turkey and Israel, once strategic partners, gravely parted ways, with an angry Ankara vowing to isolate Israel internationally. It has also been more than five years since the two countries decided to “give peace a chance” and appointed ambassadors. The emissaries had to pack up and leave after 17 months trying to put things back together.

Israel is normalizing diplomatic relations with a country whose undisputed leader for the past two decades was once describe Zionism as a crime against humanity. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political training was based on a militant extension of anti-Zionism as its raison d’être. Erdoğan is just as anti-Israel today as he was 40, 30, 20 and 10 years ago.

In a 2015 study, the Anti-Defamation League found that 35 million out of an adult population of 49 million Turks, or 71%, held anti-Semitic attitudes, compared to an average of 49% in the Muslim world as a whole. Just 15 months ago, in May 2021, Erdoğan, referring to the Jewish people, said: “It is in their disposition that they are content only to suck blood.” Part of Erdoğan’s rage was also directed to US President Joe Biden. “Today we witnessed Biden endorsing weapons [sales] to Israel. You [Biden] write history with bloody hands. Erdoğan’s remarks came as the Biden administration approved the potential sale of $735 million worth of precision-guided munitions to Israel.

There is too much evidence exposing Erdoğan’s fake peace with the Jewish state. In particular, one incident overshadows all the others. In September 2020, Erdoğan threatens to cut diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after the Gulf state made peace with Israel. Erdoğan accused the UAE of “betraying the Palestinian cause”. That was just plain silly: Turkey has had diplomatic relations with Israel since 1949. Now, with his peace initiative, Erdoğan appears to be even more hypocritical: Is Turkey now “betraying the Palestinian cause” by restoring full diplomatic relations? with Israel?

No, Erdoğan protested by hosting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ankara. Erdogan said that the decision to improve ties with Israel “will in no way diminish our support for the Palestinian cause”. It was a message for many wavelengths.

Towards Jerusalem: I will worry less about Hamas and more about Abbas.

To Hamas: I will deal with you secretly. My ideological love for you is eternal. But our love story must remain secret.

To the Turks: I do not betray the Palestinians. See how I like Abbas? (For Turks, Palestinians are Palestinians, be it Hamas or Abbas.)

Erdoğan’s peace with Israel is not peace. It’s a tactical maneuver to send to Washington: I’m a good boy, give me the F-16s, don’t sanction me because further sanctions could end my reign at the polls next year. Turkey’s official annual inflation rate is 80%, with US dollar trading at 18 Turkish liras, per capita income of $8,000, poverty, high unemployment. Erdoğan’s chances of being re-elected in June 2023 are dwindling every day.

It will be a fragile peace effort between America’s most important ally in the Middle East and an unreliable member of NATO. In his election campaign next year, Erdoğan will once again resort to his pro-Hamas, “champion-of-the-Palestinian-cause” rhetoric to win a few more votes.

Ankara and Jerusalem have not yet announced (as of August 30) who their new ambassadors will be. Whoever they are, they need to keep a bag ready for a quick start.

Burak Bekdil, one of Turkey’s leading journalists, was recently fired from the country’s most famous newspaper after 29 years for writing in Gatestone about what is happening in Turkey. He is a member of the Middle East Forum.

© 2022 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles published here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or its content may be reproduced, copied or modified without the prior written permission of Gatestone Institute.

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Hinds resigns to join the Kennedy Institute https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/hinds-resigns-to-join-the-kennedy-institute/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 13:42:01 +0000 https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/hinds-resigns-to-join-the-kennedy-institute/ Posted: 09/20/2022 09:32:27 Modified: 09/20/2022 09:31:47 The series of lame informal Senate sessions may soon feature a farewell speech from Senator Adam Hinds, who will step down less than three months before the end of his final term to head the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States. United. Senate. Hinds, a Pittsfield Democrat […]]]>

Posted: 09/20/2022 09:32:27

Modified: 09/20/2022 09:31:47

The series of lame informal Senate sessions may soon feature a farewell speech from Senator Adam Hinds, who will step down less than three months before the end of his final term to head the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States. United. Senate.

Hinds, a Pittsfield Democrat and former United Nations negotiator, will begin a new role next week as CEO and executive director of the Boston-based organization that works to promote civil discourse, generate democratic engagement and educate the public about the US Senate.

The three-term senator mounted an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor, which ended when he failed to qualify for the primary ballot at the Democratic nominating convention in June. He was set to leave the Senate in January before the institute announced his hiring on Tuesday. The institute said Hinds plans to resign from the Senate on Sunday, September 25.

Representative Paul Mark de Becket will take on unregistered special education paraprofessional Brendan Phair of Pittsfield on November 8 in the race to succeed Hinds in the reshaped district of Berkshire, Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire. The district covers the Hampshire county towns of Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg and Worthington.

Hinds’ departure will reduce the Senate to 39 members for the final months of the 2021-2022 legislative term, and it will also create a vacancy at the top of the Revenue Committee, with the state government set to return nearly $3 billion to taxpayers and lawmakers preparing to revive a stalled economic development and tax relief bill.

Before being first elected to the Senate’s westernmost district in 2016, Hinds led the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition and Pittsfield Community Connection, and he was an aide to former Congressman John Olver. He spent nearly a decade working for the UN, where he focused on resolving territorial disputes in Baghdad, the march to peace in Jerusalem and the suppression of the chemical weapons program of the United Nations. Syria, according to the institute.

Senate Speaker Karen Spilka named Hinds co-chair of the revenue committee at the start of her second term. In 2019, she tasked him with leading a 21-member task force that would give the state’s tax code “a careful and comprehensive look.” This group held its meetings behind closed doors and never made its findings public, although Senate leaders often cited its work when discussing tax issues in the Legislative Assembly.

Hinds also led the Senate committee charged with examining and addressing structural issues exposed and exacerbated during the pandemic, such as the lack of funding for early learning and child care.

Hinds will become the institute’s first permanent leader since November 2019, succeeding interim executive director Sue Heilman. He said the focus will be on the Senate Project, a series of Oxford-style debates launched in May with the aim of promoting consensus building.

“I am deeply grateful to take on the role of CEO of the Kennedy Institute, especially as we reposition it for a national role tied to policy dialogue at this critical time, including through the Senate draft,” Hinds said. in a statement provided by the organization. “The Institute is also well positioned to expand its award-winning K-12 civics programs to reach young people in all 50 states. For 33 years as a native of Western Massachusetts, I was represented in Washington by Senator Kennedy, and I cannot begin to express what an honor it is to become a steward of his legacy and his commitment to energizing civil discourse and civic engagement for create a better and stronger country for all.

Former U.S. Senatorial Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who served in the Democratic caucus alongside Kennedy and is a member of the institute’s board, praised Hinds for “a unique combination of deep roots in public affairs of Massachusetts and experience in international diplomacy”.

“As the Kennedy Institute moves to a new level of national reach and impact in promoting a renewed search for bipartisan common ground in the Senate and stronger civic engagement among all Americans, the “Adam’s governmental, political and nonprofit experience here and abroad has made him an ideal candidate for CEO,” said Kennedy Institute Board Chairman Bruce Percelay. of the 160 applicants we reviewed, Adam stood out as being exceptionally qualified, connected, and committed to the mission of the Kennedy Institute.”

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US Must Treat Iran Like Russia :: Gatestone Institute https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/us-must-treat-iran-like-russia-gatestone-institute/ Mon, 19 Sep 2022 09:00:00 +0000 https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/us-must-treat-iran-like-russia-gatestone-institute/ One of the most important lessons from the 1930s is that what starts in one place, like Austria or the Sudetenland, can almost be guaranteed not to stay there. In what amounts to a dramatic escalation in Iran’s military activities, Ukrainian forces claim to have shot down an Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone used by the Russian […]]]>
One of the most important lessons from the 1930s is that what starts in one place, like Austria or the Sudetenland, can almost be guaranteed not to stay there. In what amounts to a dramatic escalation in Iran’s military activities, Ukrainian forces claim to have shot down an Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone used by the Russian armed forces. This is the first time that Iranian military equipment has been deployed on European soil. Pictured: The Iranian drone that was shot down near Kupiansk, Ukraine. (Image source: Ukrainian Armed Forces)

Now that even the Biden administration has been forced to admit defeat in its rash attempts to revive the Iran nuclear deal, it is vital that the West does not let its guard down on Iran’s malign activities. worldwide.

Throughout the year-long negotiation process in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which the Biden administration concedes ended in stalemate, Tehran sought to give the impression that it was interested in brokering a deal, while stepping up its aggressive military activities in the Middle East and beyond.

Despite recent claims by European leaders that a new nuclear deal was still possible, Iranian intransigence effectively ended negotiations, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitting that Iran’s latest demands have back” the process.

While the breakdown of the talks represents a major setback for the Biden administration ahead of the upcoming midterm elections, it is nonetheless vital that the United States and its allies face the reality of expanding military operations of Iran in the world.

In what amounts to a significant increase in Iranian activity, Ukrainian forces involved in the highly successful offensive to retake large swaths of territory in northeastern Ukraine say they have beaten down an Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone used by the Russian armed forces in the Kharkiv region.

The first reports that Iran had offered to supply Russia with military-grade drones to support its military efforts in Ukraine emerged in July after Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Tehran, where he met with the Supreme Leader of the country, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. U.S. officials later reported that the first batch of Iranian drones had been delivered by Russian cargo planes.

While Tehran denied the reports, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry released images of what appeared to be parts of a destroyed drone with “Geran-2” written on the side in Russian. The wingtip appeared to match that of a Shahed-136.

This amounts, by all accounts, to a truly considerable escalation of Iran’s military activities: it is the first time that Iranian military equipment has been deployed on European soil.

One of the arguments most frequently advanced by apologists for the Iranian regime is that Iran poses no threat to Europe and that its military activities are limited to pursuing its goals in the Middle East, including its long-term ambition. term to destroy Israel.

The fact that evidence has emerged showing that Iran actively supports Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine makes a mockery of this argument.

If Iran is ready to deploy sophisticated military equipment such as drones on European soil, it is clear that the ayatollahs would not hesitate to fire their long-range ballistic missiles, potentially armed with nuclear weapons, at targets Europeans.

On one level, it’s no surprise that two rogue states like Russia and Iran are looking to increase their military cooperation in their efforts to confront the West. Both regimes suffer the effects of Western sanctions and find themselves isolated on the international scene.

Nonetheless, Iran’s willingness to become directly involved in Europe’s deadliest conflict since the end of World War II represents a significant escalation in the threat Tehran poses to the outside world, a threat that Western powers ignore at their peril.

Moreover, Iran’s growing involvement in the Ukrainian conflict must be seen in the context of recent increased activity in other military spheres.

Despite Iran’s insistence that it wants to negotiate a new nuclear deal that limits its ability to acquire weapons-grade nuclear material, Iranian officials said last month vaunted that they now have the technical capability to produce an atomic bomb.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, speaking to the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York last week, revealed a map showing more than ten facilities that Iran has built in Syria in recent years to produce missiles. medium and long range precision that can be used to target Israel.

This is not the action of a country which, as the Iranians repeatedly insist, is interested in peace, and should serve as a reminder to Western leaders to confront Iranian aggression in the same way. how they confronted Russia over its decision to invade Ukraine.

The support that the United States and its allies have provided to Ukraine has been critical to Kyiv’s success in resisting Russian attempts to occupy its territory.

The West must now provide the same level of support to all these countries – which now includes Ukraine – who find themselves the target of unprovoked acts of aggression by Tehran.

One of the most important lessons from the 1930s is that what starts in one place, like Austria or Sudetescan almost be guaranteed not to stay in this place.

Con Coughlin is the TelegraphDefense and Foreign Affairs Editor and Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

© 2022 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles published here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or its content may be reproduced, copied or modified without the prior written permission of Gatestone Institute.

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Give Iran Nuclear Weapons, Says Quincy Institute’s New Iran Expert https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/give-iran-nuclear-weapons-says-quincy-institutes-new-iran-expert/ Fri, 16 Sep 2022 20:15:34 +0000 https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/give-iran-nuclear-weapons-says-quincy-institutes-new-iran-expert/ national security Roxane Farmanfarmaian Says Tehran Would Not Use Nuclear Weapons Against Israel Quincy Institute Fellow Roxane Farmanfarmaian/YouTube screenshot Adam Kredo • September 16, 2022 4:10 p.m. Iran should be allowed to build a nuclear weapon, according to Roxane Farmanfarmaian, a new recruit at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Farmanfarmaian, a political analyst who […]]]>

Roxane Farmanfarmaian Says Tehran Would Not Use Nuclear Weapons Against Israel

Quincy Institute Fellow Roxane Farmanfarmaian/YouTube screenshot

Adam Kredo • September 16, 2022 4:10 p.m.

Iran should be allowed to build a nuclear weapon, according to Roxane Farmanfarmaian, a new recruit at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

Farmanfarmaian, a political analyst who focuses on Iran, earlier this month became a nonresident member of the isolationist think tank funded by billionaires George Soros and Charles Koch. During a political debate in 2013, Farmanfarmaian argued in favor of Iran building a nuclear bomb, saying the country would never use it to destroy Israel, even though the extremist regime has been threatening to do so ever since. years and sponsors the main jihadist terrorists who wage war against Israel. the Jewish state.

Farmanfarmaian joins a growing list of Quincy Institute scholars who have pushed for increased engagement with Iran and promoted anti-Israel conspiracy theories from their perch at the think tank. This includes Trita Parsi, who previously headed the American Iranian National Council, a group accused of covertly lobbying on behalf of Iran, and Stephane Walt, a longtime Israeli critic who pushed conspiracy theories on the Jewish state. Like many of his Quincy Institute colleagues, Farmanfarmaian downplayed the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran and argued that Israel should learn to live with the threat of an Iranian bomb.

“If Iran were to bomb Israel, it would destroy Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam,” Farmanfarmaian was quoted as saying during the debate, according to a news report published at the time. “It is inconceivable that Iran would bomb Israel because it would isolate it.”

Israeli leaders and a wide range of regional experts disagree with this assertion.

Farmanfarmaian also argued in a 2020 editorial published in the Nation that the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani by then-President Donald Trump was “a colossal strategic error”. Like other Quincy scholars and pro-Iranian analysts, Farmanfarmaian argued that the assassination would trigger a wave of global terror from Iran, a fear that never materialized.

She also described the general, who led Iran’s regional terror operations, as “charismatic and very efficient.”

Soleimani, ‘largely immune to the ambivalence with which many Iranians view the ruthless Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, operated mostly outside the country as a respected head of the IRGC’s foreign wing , the elite Al-Quds force,” she wrote at the time. “Charismatic and highly efficient, he won admiration even among reformists for extending Iran’s reach across the Shiite Crescent, the land bridge connecting Iran to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. “

Farmanfarmaian went on to say Soleimani’s assassination had genuinely upset ordinary Iranians, even though the general was widely seen as the face of Tehran’s massive spending on foreign wars.

“The expressions of grief on the streets of Iran are genuine,” she wrote. “His assassination has brought the people closer to the leadership, despite recent protests, in shared outrage not only at Trump’s actions, but also at the administration’s apparent disregard for Iran’s sovereign rights and its insulting rhetoric demanding that Iran ‘changes its behavior'”.

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Ecomodernism 2022 Live Recording | The Revolutionary Institute https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/ecomodernism-2022-live-recording-the-revolutionary-institute/ Tue, 13 Sep 2022 20:14:00 +0000 https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/ecomodernism-2022-live-recording-the-revolutionary-institute/ Each fall, the Breakthrough Institute invites policymakers, experts, journalists, and more from around the world to join us outside of Washington DC to address a big topic in climate policy and politics. This year, we’ll dig into material abundance, or, more specifically, how innovating, building, and socializing a new abundance agenda for the 21st century […]]]>

Each fall, the Breakthrough Institute invites policymakers, experts, journalists, and more from around the world to join us outside of Washington DC to address a big topic in climate policy and politics.

This year, we’ll dig into material abundance, or, more specifically, how innovating, building, and socializing a new abundance agenda for the 21st century is, in many ways, stifled by the same Administrative state that was designed to reign over the worst excesses of 20th century American infrastructural and economic development. For two days, we will examine how best to understand the origins of this administrative state and discuss a possible new set of rules and institutions to realize a new era of abundance.

We hope you’ll join us for a series of live-streamed panels focused on the “deregulation of abundance” and hopefully its worsening for future generations. To learn more about this year’s theme, click here or check out our lineup below.

Register now >>>

All Abundance

Monday, October 3 (9:50 a.m. – 11:05 a.m. ET)

A decade ago, the so-called “all of the above” approach to energy policy – ​​an approach that encompassed public policies and investments supporting both low-carbon energy and fossil fuels – was the norm. . Renewable energy was much more expensive than it is today, climate change was ranked relatively lower on the priority list of policy makers and, not by chance, the approach worked: the revolution shale gas that started in earnest around 2009 has driven down energy costs, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and driving some of the largest emissions reductions in the world.

Today, with cheaper renewables, amid greater doomsday sentiment around climate risk, and further along the coal-gas bridge, one would think the usefulness of this approach has come to an end. And yet, as the recently advanced Cut Inflation Act and the Biden administration’s rollback on fossil fuel restrictions have revealed, “all of the above” is still the modus operandi in Washington. What should we do with this? Are policymakers savvy, or short-sighted, to sustain investment in oil and gas supply amid soaring inflation and energy prices? Can the “all of the above” approach to energy abundance build support for long-term decarbonization, or does such an approach inevitably kick the box?

With:

  • Arnab DattaSenior Advisor, Employ America
  • Avrind RavikumarAssociate Research Professor, University of Texas, Austin
  • Liza RoseauDirector of Research, Low Carbon Technology Policy, Niskanen Center
  • Matthew YglesiasJournalist, Slow Boring

Yes in my suburb

Monday, October 3 (2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. ET)

The burgeoning urban planning movement has argued forcefully that YIMBY, or “yes in my backyard,” is not just a housing affordability program, but a climate program. Denser, cheaper housing allows more people to occupy less land, use infrastructure and supply chains more efficiently while reducing pollution associated with travel and allowing better access to public transport . At times, the YIMBY movement veers into an active antipathy toward suburbs, suburbs, and personal vehicles. Is this the inevitable balance for pro-housing, pro-transit advocacy? Could it be that some people prefer cars and suburbs even in a future where exclusionary zoning is abolished? And could the YIMBY movement even take root in the suburbs, away from the dense, housing-poor corridors it thrives in today?

With:

  • Jennifer Hernandez, Partner, Holland & Knight; Member of the Board of Directors of the Revolutionary Institute
  • Jenny SchutzSenior Fellow, Brookings Metro
  • Judge GlockSenior Director of Policy and Research, Cicero Institute
  • Demsas of JerusalemEditor, The Atlantic

It’s time to build

Tuesday, October 4 (9:10 a.m. – 10:25 a.m. ET)

As the country’s faltering attempts to build high-speed rail, nuclear power plants, high-voltage transmission lines, and solar and wind farms reveal, the barriers to decarbonization stem less from the availability of low-carbon technologies. carbon than the capacity to locate, authorize and build the necessary infrastructure. High-level proposals to address this problem have come from “supply-side progressivism,” “state-capacity libertarianism,” neoliberalism, and beyond. This panel will present a variety of ideological perspectives on politics and the coalitional imperatives that must be sorted out before such a supply-side agenda can be effectively pursued.

With:

  • Eli DouradoPrincipal Investigator, Center for Growth and Opportunity, Utah State University
  • Marcela MulhollandPolicy Director, Data for Progress
  • Jeremiah JohnsonPolicy Director, The Neoliberal Project
  • Jared DeWeseDeputy Director of Communications, Third Way Energy

Climb the ladder

Tuesday, October 4 (11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. ET)

Despite all the rhetoric about the need for an abundance program in the United States, it is all too easy to forget the relative abundance we already enjoy in rich countries and the absence of anything comparable in low- and middle-income economies. Worse still, the construction of abundant industrial, energy and agricultural infrastructure in poor countries is increasingly stifled by the constraints imposed by trade and development finance policies in the United States and Western Europe. It’s been called “scaling up the ladder,” an apt metaphor to describe limiting investment in fossil fuels, industrial agriculture, hydroelectric and nuclear power, and other technologies taken for granted in the rich world. but largely beyond the reach of the poorest countries. This panel will describe a number of ways these restrictions are hindering development and growth overseas, how authoritarian regimes are taking advantage of the situation, and what a more equitable and abundance-oriented international policy would look like.

With:

  • Robert PaarbergFellow, Sustainability Science, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Shayak SenguptaFellow, Observer Research Foundation America
  • Zainab Usmansenior researcher and director of the Africa program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Amanda GlassmanExecutive Vice President, CEO of CGD Europe and Senior Fellow Center for Global Development
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World Zionist Organization Honors Rob Schwartz and Hidden Light Institute with Zionist Legacy Award https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/world-zionist-organization-honors-rob-schwartz-and-hidden-light-institute-with-zionist-legacy-award/ Thu, 08 Sep 2022 18:13:01 +0000 https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/world-zionist-organization-honors-rob-schwartz-and-hidden-light-institute-with-zionist-legacy-award/ (September 8, 2022, JNS thread) “The Zionist Legacy Award in recognition of the enormous contribution made by the film Upheaval Zionist activity around the world is entrusted to Executive Producer Rob Schwartz and his team at HLI (Hidden Light Institute) with great pride,” said Nerya Meir, Head of the Diaspora Department of the World Zionist […]]]>

“The Zionist Legacy Award in recognition of the enormous contribution made by the film Upheaval Zionist activity around the world is entrusted to Executive Producer Rob Schwartz and his team at HLI (Hidden Light Institute) with great pride,” said Nerya Meir, Head of the Diaspora Department of the World Zionist Organization ( WZO) in Jerusalem.

Meir traveled to Denver from Jerusalem to participate in the community screening of Upheaval in Aish of the Rockies.

Rabbi Yaacov Meyer, Founder and CEO of Aish, added, “We are so proud of Rob as a devotee and member. He has worked so diligently over the past six years.

The Diaspora Department is one of the major departments of the World Zionist Organization. With the goal of strengthening the bond between Jews around the world and Israel and fostering lasting impact, in collaboration with local Jewish communities and organizations, the department creates educational programs and leadership initiatives that promote Zionism and relevance. and the centrality of Israel to Jews around the world.

As part of this vision, the department has partnered with the Hidden Light Institute, led by Mr. Rob Schwartz, to present the film Upheaval, which tells the unique story of Israeli leader Menachem Begin, to Jewish communities around the world. Begin spoke of Jewish pride, fought for Jewish unity, and represented the resilience that exemplifies the State of Israel. All of these core values ​​are movingly and inspiringly highlighted in the Upheaval film. The film, which has screened in hundreds of Jewish communities around the world, not only shines a light on an exceptional and profound Israeli leader and the legacy he left behind, but it also deepens the connection between his many viewers with Israel and its history.

Many have contributed and participated in the creation of this important film, however the visionary and driving force behind it is Mr. Rob Schwartz. This month is the 125th anniversary of the first Zionist Congress, where Hertzl declared, “Im Tirzu, Ein Zo Agadah” (If you want it, it’s not a dream). This is the feature that best symbolizes Mr. Schwartz and his incredible work. Therefore, we have decided to award him the Zionist Legacy Award from the World Zionist Organization. Nerya Meir said: “While there are many films about Israel and its leaders, this is the first film centered on Menachem Begin – one of Israel’s greatest leaders who truly understood the importance of a strong bond between all Jewish people – in Israel and around the world.It is a great tool to promote the values ​​of Zionism and how they can be applied to today’s younger generation.

We are very grateful to have the opportunity to present this award to Rob in person in his hometown of Denver, Colorado at a screening of Upheaval. We see this as an opportunity to build new relationships with the Denver Jewish community.

Meir said, “This will be my first visit to Denver, I hope many more to come, where I look forward to learning more about this vibrant Jewish community and finding opportunities to work together to foster Jewish life and promote the importance of a strong bond. to Israel.

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Seminars | Institute for Tax Studies https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/seminars-institute-for-tax-studies/ Wed, 31 Aug 2022 00:45:34 +0000 https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/seminars-institute-for-tax-studies/ For more information on how to participate, please contact @email. Please contact the organizers below if you wish to present a paper. Seminars of the Center for Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policies (CPP); Organizers: Alison Andrew, Peter Levell and George Stoye. IFS-STICERD seminars on public economics: topics related to public economics; co-organized by CPP at […]]]>

For more information on how to participate, please contact @email.

Please contact the organizers below if you wish to present a paper.

  • Seminars of the Center for Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policies (CPP); Organizers: Alison Andrew, Peter Levell and George Stoye.
  • IFS-STICERD seminars on public economics: topics related to public economics; co-organized by CPP at IFS and STICERD at LSE. Organizer: Kate Smith and Monica Costa Dias
  • Center for Microdata Methods and Practice (cemmap) seminars: topics related to econometrics; Organizer: Daniel William

Seminar program 2022

Unless otherwise specified, these seminars will take place in person at IFS and online. For more information on how to participate, please contact @email.

Wednesday October 26, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS Seminar: Jo Blanden, University of Surrey

Wednesday, November 16, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS STICERD Seminar: Camille Landais, LSE

Wednesday, November 23, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS Seminar: Helen Simpson, University of Bristol

Wednesday, November 30, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS STICERD Seminar: Peter Levell, IFS

Wednesday, December 7, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS Seminar: John Gathergood, University of Nottingham


Past seminars

Friday, February 18, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Online only)

Micro Macro Household Finance Seminar: Mark Aguiar, Princeton

Who are the hand-to-mouth?

Wednesday, February 23, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS Seminar: Max Kellogg, University of Chicago

Household self-insurance and the value of disability insurance in the United States

Monday March 14, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS Seminar: Abhijeet Singh, Stockholm School of Economics

The Impact of Affirmative Action: Evidence from Quotas in Private Schools in India

Wednesday, March 16, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS/STICERD Seminar: Evan Rose, University of Chicago

Systemic discrimination among large US employers

Friday, March 18, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Online only)

Micro Macro Household Finance Seminar: Matthieu Gomez, Colombia

Redistribution of asset prices

Monday, March 21, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS Seminar: Naomi Feldman, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Impact of Opportunity Zones on Business Investment and Economic Activity

Wednesday, March 30, 4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. (Online only)

IFS/STICERD Seminar: Stefanie Stantcheva, Harvard University

Taxation of Wealth and Property in the United States

Monday, April 25, 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. (Online only)

IFS Seminar: Heather Sarsons, University of Chicago

National wage setting

Wednesday, May 4, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS/STICERD Seminar: Petra Persson, Stanford University

Targeting precision medicine: evidence from prenatal screening

Monday, May 9, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS Seminar: Jonathan Colmer, University of Virginia

Air Pollution and Economic Opportunity in the United States

Wednesday, May 18, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS/STICERD Seminar: Aline Bütikofer, Norwegian School of Economics

Loss of pregnancy: stress, investment and subsequent children

Monday, May 23, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS Seminar: Diane Alexander, The Wharton School

Supplier Payments and Innovation Leadership: The Case of the Wearable Artificial Kidney

Wednesday, June 8, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS/STICERD Seminar: Johannes Spinnewyn, LSE

Predicting the risk of long-term unemployment

Monday, June 13, 12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

IFS Seminar: Brenda Samaniego de la Parra, University of California, Santa Cruz

How much is a formal job worth? Evidence from Mexico

Wednesday, June 15, 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

IFS Seminar: Attila Lindner, UCL

Company heterogeneity and the impact of social charges

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Israel-Gaza conflict: a short confrontation with disproportionate implications https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/israel-gaza-conflict-a-short-confrontation-with-disproportionate-implications/ Tue, 30 Aug 2022 17:55:24 +0000 https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/israel-gaza-conflict-a-short-confrontation-with-disproportionate-implications/ Editor’s Note: This was originally published in “Critical neighbors: Egypt, Jordan and the Israeli-Palestinian arenaa collection of analyzes written by members of an Israel Policy Forum working group offering four perspectives – Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian and Egyptian – on recent events in Jerusalem. USIP Ambassador Hesham offers the Egyptian perspective. No one has ever doubted […]]]>

Editor’s Note: This was originally published in “Critical neighbors: Egypt, Jordan and the Israeli-Palestinian arenaa collection of analyzes written by members of an Israel Policy Forum working group offering four perspectives – Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian and Egyptian – on recent events in Jerusalem. USIP Ambassador Hesham offers the Egyptian perspective.

No one has ever doubted the damage the Israeli army can inflict on Gaza, or the occupied territories in general, in a military confrontation. The power gap is one of the largest in the region. This was the case during the wars that took place in 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2021, and during the last military attack which ended on August 7, 2022. The duration of the conflict, the extent of the destruction in Gaza , the regional and international response and other factors varied widely. However, unsurprisingly, as in previous confrontations, each side claims to have, to some extent, been able to achieve its objectives.

Another episode in the relentless cycle of violence

Israel achieved several important goals in these wars and military operations. In the latest attack, he assassinated two key Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leaders and destroyed several of the organization’s military sites. He largely achieved his goal of separating Hamas and the PIJ; separating Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem; and separating Palestinians and Israeli Arabs – three characteristics that contributed to the spread of violence in the previous war in May 2021. This is one of the reasons Israel avoided a protracted war, as it would likely have led to further complications on these fronts. However, despite the ceasefire, Israeli forces intensified the forays in the West Bank, killing four people, including an al-Aqsa Brigades commander, and apprehending many Palestinians, compromising at least one of these objectives.

Israeli reports indicate that the performance of the Iron Dome is improving, but also the capabilities of Palestinian armed groups to launch rockets. The Iron Dome had an 86% intercept rate in 2012, 89% in 2014, 94% in 2021 and 97% during the last operation. However, Israel did not expect these armed groups – which have been besieged in Gaza since 2007 – to launch more 4,369 rockets in 11 days in May 2021, or 1,100 by JIP in less than three days. The range of rockets increased from two to three kilometers in 2001 to 160 kilometers in 2014. As ineffective as these rockets are, they still terrorize Israeli communities and led Israel to close Ben Gurion airport in May 2021 and diverted flights in 2022.

At the same time, the region has witnessed how Iranian aid has advanced Hezbollah’s capabilities to the point where it has achieved a certain level of deterrence vis-à-vis Israel and enabled the Houthis to attack Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with significant consequences. Iran is a strong supporter of the PIJ and its cooperation with Hamas is growing. The siege has not prevented armed groups in Gaza from building up their capacity, and this should continue with Iranian support, despite all sorts of constraints.

Many in the region have speculated that the upcoming Israeli elections played a significant role in recent decisions regarding attacks on Gaza and the West Bank. Prime Minister Yair Lapid, they suggested, felt the need to pitch his credentials to voters who are increasingly leaning to the right because he has no military experience. Defense Minister Benny Gantz was also seen as keen to advance his chances in the election.

On the Palestinian side, Hamas supported the PIJ rhetorically but not militarily. He also helped Egypt negotiate the ceasefire. However, this military confrontation allowed the PIJ to demonstrate its military capability when alone. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that relations will be strained between Hamas and the PIJ, which lost two key leaders and expected Hamas to be more supportive.

Egypt has actively sought to achieve a ceasefire in all the above-mentioned wars and military clashes. This time he was trying to defuse the situation between Israel and the PIJ to prevent the attack and continued his efforts once it started until a ceasefire was achieved, with significant involvement from Qatar. Egypt indicated in the ceasefire agreement that it will endeavor to secure a request from the PIJ that two prisoners held by Israel be released. Defense Minister Gantz indicated that Israel do not release their.

What should we expect in the future?

  1. Hamas will continue to try to maintain calm in Gaza while encouraging escalation in the West Bank.
  2. The PIJ will increase its efforts to ensure that it is independently better prepared if it is again forced to have military confrontations with Israel on its own.
  3. Iran should continue, and probably increase, its support for Palestinian armed groups.
  4. It is hoped that Israel will be very careful not to undermine Egypt’s ability to intervene by showing some flexibility in relation to the two prisoners held by Israel, because it is almost certain that this will not be the last. military confrontation. This ceasefire is quite fragile and already contains the seeds of a return to violence.

Where to go from here?

The Israeli government cannot pretend that it wants to strengthen the Palestinian Authority (PA) while undermining its credibility through daily incursions, assassinations, arrests, house demolitions, land expropriations, settlement expansion and more. The PA may soon be unable to control the security situation in areas under its jurisdiction in the West Bank.

During the last military confrontation, Israel was able to differentiate between Hamas and the PIJ. Israel should be able to explain why this differentiation cannot be applied between the Palestinian Authority and the armed groups in Gaza, as it has been one of the main obstacles to Palestinian reconciliation for a decade. Israel should change Netanyahu’s policy of holding the PA responsible for any attacks, no matter who commits them, once it regains control of Gaza until other groups in the strip are disarmed . The ability of these armed groups to continue to resist one of the strongest armies in the world is their own measure of their success.

Addressing the “residents” of Gaza, Stoned stated that Israel knows how to protect itself from anyone who threatens it, but it also knows how to provide work, livelihood and a dignified life to anyone who wants to live in peace alongside it; that there is another way to live the path of the Abraham Accords and the Negev Summit; and that the choice is theirs – knowing full well that this narrative is a non-starter from the Palestinian perspective with no clear political horizon. What happened confirms again that Israel does not want to accept what it calls “to mow the lawnis not a sustainable policy and that maintaining the status quo is a myth. Reducing conflict, economic peace, improving living conditions and all these slogans will not affect Israel’s security or peace.

There can be no strategy for Gaza without hope of how to meet Palestinian national aspirations. It should be clear to Israel that Palestinian surrender is not an option. The next step for the Palestinians will most certainly be to move towards a struggle for equal rights in a state and not to make further concessions on final status issues.

Israel’s leadership has served its short-term goals at the expense of its stability and long-term interests. Israel must decide whether it wants to end the occupation or continue to be an occupying power, as this will be a determining factor in its future course.

The AP also has its work cut out for it, as it is at an all-time low in popularity. Its performance leaves much to be desired in terms of realizing a vision to realize Palestinian national aspirations, promote good governance and organize elections.

The international community keeps repeating the need to break this cycle of violence at every military confrontation – a noble goal that is paid lip service. In addition to the aforementioned Israeli and Palestinian demands, there is an important role to be played by the region, Egypt and Jordan in particular. Additionally, President Biden said that “there must be a political horizon that the Palestinian people can actually see or at least feel”, and this “We cannot wait for a peace agreement to be reached or for every issue to be resolved to meet the needs of the Palestinian people that exist today.” Europeans also support these points, which are supposed to be the two legs on which progress can be made once there is the political will to do so. Significant progress is needed to increase the risk and price of resorting to military confrontation.

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Hey Covid, I have religion ⋆ Brownstone Institute https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/hey-covid-i-have-religion-%e2%8b%86-brownstone-institute/ Wed, 24 Aug 2022 12:49:14 +0000 https://sustainable-jerusalem.org/hey-covid-i-have-religion-%e2%8b%86-brownstone-institute/ For better or for worse, my brain is wired to doubt. Even when I’m feeling all slimy and spiritual and I think perhaps there’s a prime mover in charge of things, my skeptical synapses rush and spoil the fun, insisting my thoughts are just a gimmick of human biology. But the pandemic – or rather […]]]>

For better or for worse, my brain is wired to doubt. Even when I’m feeling all slimy and spiritual and I think perhaps there’s a prime mover in charge of things, my skeptical synapses rush and spoil the fun, insisting my thoughts are just a gimmick of human biology. But the pandemic – or rather the response to the pandemic – has given me a new appreciation for the religious perspective.

In the first few months, as secular people urged everyone to stay home, protect themselves, wear masks and everything else, religious leaders began to push back against what they saw as attacks on freedom. of worship. It’s not just church closures or bans on choir singing that they have opposed. They shouted against the whole worldview that underlies the rules, a mindset that reduces people to their health and risk.

It is what the British psychiatrist Robert Freudenthal describes as “the medical objectification of the human person” and the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben calls “bare life.”

Haredi Resistance

In October 2020, the media began reporting on the pandemic pushback from New York’s haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jewish community. Community members have argued that Covid restrictions are depriving them of the social functions that define their culture: prayer, study, weddings, funerals, dinners, celebrations. In Covid jargon, super-spreader events. A cupboard bearing the inscription “WE WILL NOT COMPLY” made the rounds on social networks.

For most of my life I have viewed the Haredim as an alien species, despite my mother’s Orthodox roots, but an unexpected empathy has now stirred within me. I understood, with crystal clarity, why lockdowns had no place in their world. Their identity was based on kinship – “I connect, therefore I am” – and the “stay at home” measures left them without bearings, like a compass without a magnetic pole. My own pushback against lockdowns came from a similar place: Under the guise of “caring” and “staying safe,” the strategy betrayed a staggering disregard for the web of connection, culture, and creation that gives meaning to life on earth.

In Jerusalem, meanwhile, the ultra-Orthodox continued to defy covid restrictions in 2021. They’ve attended big weddings, sent their kids to school, and even held big funerals for rabbis who died of Covid-19. One evening, hundreds of haredi protesters set fire to dumpsters and clash with police in Jerusalem.

This behavior has left many Israelis exasperated and angry, but Mendy Moskowits, a member of the Hasidic Belz sect in Jerusalem, argued that mainstream Israelis simply do not understand the Haredi way of life. “We can’t let a generation go bankrupt,” he said. told the Associated Press in Jerusalem. “We always send our boys to school because we have rabbis who say that Torah study saves and protects.”

Oh yes. The next generation. I didn’t want them to go bankrupt either. “Biology flows down,” my mother used to tell me. “It’s normal and natural for parents to sacrifice themselves for their children, not the other way around.” She told the story of a Jewish man who planted a carob tree, which only bears fruit after seventy years. When asked why he was planting a tree that would never be useful to him, the man replied, “Just as my ancestors planted a carob tree for their children, I plant for my sons.

I got the message. Even before having my own children, I felt compelled to put children first. That’s why I balked at a pandemic strategy that put the needs and wants of young people on the back burner. “I cannot think of another event in history where we have offered our youngest members as sacrificial lambs for the potential to protect our elders,” novelist and essayist Ann Bauer (no relation to me) recently told me. “I’m still stunned that we let it happen.” (As an aside, Bauer’s essay on the pride underlying “science”, published by Tablet magazine, is essential reading for any lockdown reviewer.)

protestant protest

As Haredim made noise in their New York and Jerusalem enclaves, a Protestant preacher named Artur Pawlowski was protesting church closures, masks and restrictions in Western Canada. Easter weekend 2021, reports that Pawlowski failed to comply with public health orders brought the police at his church. A few months later, he was arrested and sentenced.

In addition to a $23,000 fine and 18 months probation, the judge who sentenced Pawlowski gave him a script on “expert opinion” to read before discussing Covid with your followers. “Forcing people to say what they don’t mean – and don’t believe – violates every fundamental Charter freedom,” wrote Father Raymond de Souza, an Ontario Catholic priest and university professor. an article for the national post. “That’s what tyrants do.”

As a religious leader, de Souza has a clear interest in the question: Does the state have the right to interfere with freedom of religious expression? And if so, to what extent? His verdict, delivered in another national post article: The Canadian government has crossed the line. Under the guise of containing a pandemic, politicians and their advisers have displayed a “naked urge to expand the reach of the state”.

As Exhibit A, he presented the six-month ban on in-person worship in British Columbia, orchestrated by provincial health officer Bonnie Henry. “His edict allowed people to gather for an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in the basement of the church, but that same number of people could not gather in the much larger church to pray,” he said. he noted. “It was not about regulating meetings, but about banning worship” – a power play disguised as public health.

He back to the theme a few months later, after learning that vaccination would now be mandatory to go to a place of worship in Quebec, a decision he described as “new territory” for the government. Not content with limiting the number and configuration (six feet!) of people attending a service, government officials now decided “who can enter the house of God.”

Churches were supposed to welcome everyone, but Quebec wanted pastors “to become a vaccinated police force, requiring not a public confession of sins, but rather a demonstration of vaccinated virtue.” For de Souza, this represented an “intolerable affront to religious freedom”.

I do not share de Souza’s religious impulses, but religious like him have helped me to understand that some people need religious fellowship. For his herd, there’s nothing “non-essential” about his services: it’s essentially IV therapy. And no one should be denied an infusion.

A fork in the road

Canadian courts have ruled that the Covid restrictions do not violate the country’s guarantee of religious freedom, but Ohio lawmakers sided with de Souza. In June 2022, they adopted a resolution urging the U.S. government to put Canada on a religious freedom watch list, which includes Azerbaijan and Cuba, found guilty of serious violations of religious freedoms.14 (At press time, Canada is not on the list.)

So which one is it? Violation or no violation? Once all parties have spoken, we find ourselves at a familiar fork, with irreconcilable values ​​on both sides. Take the left path if you think we need to protect as many people as possible from a troublesome virus, period. Take the right path if you see people as wounded souls and places of worship as welcoming arms that heal them, even in the face of a pandemic.

Although I don’t have the religion gene, I instinctively vibrate with a worldview that goes beyond the need for protection from a virus. I also understand, more than ever, why believers are sometimes frustrated by skeptics like me. Writer Robertson Davies once said he didn’t understand atheists. I can’t locate the source of the statement (even Google isn’t God, sad to say), but I remember he used the word “numinous”. He said, more or less, that life has a numinous quality that atheists just don’t see.

We normalcy people keep saying the same thing to the ever-restrictive: “Your focus on bare life prevents you from seeing something important in the experience of life – something vast, numinous and vital. Look here. Look over there. Can you see it in the distance? They tell us that there is nothing to see.

I am left with a statement from Luke 12:23: “For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.” OK, this is getting weird: I’m quoting the Bible. But sometimes the shoe just fits.

  • Gabrielle divides her time between writing books, articles and clinical material for healthcare professionals. She has received six national awards for her health journalism. She has written two books – Tokyo, My Everest, co-winner of the Canada-Japan Book Prize, and Waltzing The Tango, finalist of the Edna Staebler Prize for Creative Non-Fiction – and is working on two more.

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