‘Spiderman’ granted French citizenship after rescuing child from Paris balcony

Video of the rescue showed 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama climbing up four floors of the apartment building in just seconds to rescue the child, to cheers from onlookers. By the time Parisian emergency services arrived at the building, he had already pulled the child to safety.

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Here’s a story from The New York Times that I thought you’d find interesting. Gazans and Israel could have made peace before. Now, demographic and ecosystem issues add urgency.


By Thomas L. Friedman

Princess Diana once famously observed that there were three people in her marriage, “so it was a bit crowded.” The same is true of Israelis and Palestinians. The third person in their marriage is Mother Nature — and she’ll batter both of them if they do not come to their senses.

Let’s start with Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist organization that rules the Gaza Strip. If there were an anti-Nobel Peace Prize — that is, the Nobel Prize for Cynicism and Reckless Disregard for One’s Own People in Pursuit of a Political Fantasy — it would surely be conferred on Hamas, which just facilitated the tragic and wasted deaths of roughly 60 Gazans by encouraging their march, some with arms, on the Israeli border fence in pursuit of a “return” to their ancestral homes in what is now Israel. [Read more →]

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Today was a sad day. We gathered in Mexico to mourn the passing of my uncle, Tio Muni, my dad’s younger cousin. Along with the rest of my family in Mexico, Tio Muni (who looked like Albert Einstein and is hugging my dad in the picture below) welcomed my dad after the war. My dad was 17 and Muni was 9, yet he loved playing with his cousins as if he too were a little kid, after he was robbed of a childhood because of the Holocaust. I remember Tio Muni would share how my dad would organize games for his cousins, and how it was clear that my dad was having as much fun as they were. It was in Mexico that my dad finally had a “childhood.” My dad would also teach them about classical music as he developed a love for learning and enjoying life, and would give them each a few cents if they could divine the composer of a particular song. Now Tio Muni joins my dad in heaven, and I can only imagine them hugging, singing and whistling a tune together as they divine each other’s choices. Our world has lost two teddy bears. May our heaven rejoice with their souls and sweetness.

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BY DAHLIA SCHEINDLIN

The more Israel’s prime minister escalates tensions, the more his popularity grows.

In 2015, Benjamin Netanyahu was elected to a fourth term as prime minister of Israel. Within months, pundits began speculating when his government would fall. So far, the answer has been never.

Netanyahu has faced trouble, including ministerial resignations and police investigations, since shortly after the 2015 elections. Over the last year, the arguments for his imminent demise gathered steam: In February, police recommended that the attorney general indict him for corruption based on investigations in four different cases. The situation in the Gaza Strip festered; the Temple Mount nearly exploded; and the news warned almost nightly of a war with Hezbollah in Lebanon. There has been no progress on Israeli-Palestinian peace since negotiations collapsed in 2014. And at home, a wave of rage against economic hardship and massive social inequality erupted in 2011, when Netanyahu was prime minister as well, yet there has been no relief for the exorbitant cost of living in the seven years since.

Why then is Bibi more beloved than ever? In 2016, Netanyahu’s Likud party polled at an average of 25.7 seats in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, lower than the 30 seats it won in 2015 but still ahead of all rivals. Each year, the average has crept upward. When the police recommended indicting Netanyahu, his party’s numbers rose. When U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal on May 8, polls gave him the highest numbers in a decade, 35 or 36 seats; one survey was even rumored to predict 42. [Read more →]

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How Israelis See the World

Published under Introspection May 08, 2018

The New York Times
Opinion Page, By Yossi Klein Halevi, senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute

Mr. Halevi is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and the author of “Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor.”

In 2002, when much of the international community was severely criticizing Israel for its tough military response to the wave of Palestinian suicide bombings known as the Second Intifada, the United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, asked with rhetorical exasperation, “Can Israel be right and the whole world wrong?”

Most Israelis would have surely answered: Of course.

After all, only two years earlier, Israel had offered to withdraw from virtually the entire West Bank and Gaza. In return, it received the worst wave of terrorism in its history. That Israeli narrative of why the peace process failed transformed Israel’s politics for a generation, leading to the near-total collapse of the left as a viable political force. Meanwhile, much of the world ignored Israel’s spurned overture and continued to fault the Jewish state for the continuing occupation it had sought to end. [Read more →]

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By Leonard Mlodinow

Ten years ago, when my son Nicolai was 11, his doctor wanted to put him on medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. “It would make him less wild,” I explained to my mother, who was then 85. “It would slow him down a bit.”

My mother grumbled. “Look around you,” she said in Yiddish. “Look how fast the world is changing. He doesn’t need to slow down. You need to speed up.”

It was a surprising recommendation from someone who had never learned to use a microwave. But recent research suggests she had a point: Some people with A.D.H.D. may be naturally suited to our turbocharged world. [Read more →]

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The difference between Intelligence and Wisdom!
I found this worthy reading:

1. Intelligence leads to arguments.
Wisdom leads to settlements.
2. Intelligence is power of will.
Wisdom is power OVER will.
3. Intelligence is heat, it burns.
Wisdom is warmth, it comforts.
4. Intelligence is pursuit of knowledge, it tires the seeker.
Wisdom is pursuit of truth, it inspires the seeker.
5. Intelligence is holding on.
Wisdom is letting go.
6. Intelligence leads you. [Read more →]

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The Jerusalem Post
BY YONAH JEREMY BOB MARCH 27, 2018

Netanyahu did not immediately respond, but a senior member of his governing coalition brushed off the censure. The six former living Mossad chiefs collectively accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of placing his need for power and money above the public interest, thereby placing the country in a critically ill state. Speaking to Yediot Aharonot on Tuesday, the six former spymasters battered Netanyahu for failed leadership and leading to a breakdown in values.

Shabtai Shavit, Mossad chief from 1989 to 1996, said: “I feel really badly about what is happening with the country today. The damage is so deep and so comprehensive. There are no redlines, no taboos and add to that the split within the nation.”

Former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, who headed the spy unit from 2011 to 2016, echoed those sentiments, saying: “The problem is one of values and splits… We need leadership which can guide us through crisis to the right vision. Unfortunately, that is not what there is today.” [Read more →]

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By Fareed Zakaria, Thursday, March 29, 2018

By way of explanation for some of President Trump’s bizarre foreign policy moves, we are often told that he is “unconventional” and that this could well be an asset. It’s certainly true that he doesn’t follow standard operating procedure on almost anything, from getting daily intelligence briefings to staffing the State Department. But his most striking departure from previous presidents has been in his rhetoric. American presidents have tended to weigh their words carefully, believing that they must preserve the credibility of the world’s leading power.

And then there is Trump, for whom words are weightless. During the campaign, he excoriated Saudi Arabia as a country that “want[s] women as slaves and to kill gays,” only to make his first presidential trip abroad to the kingdom and warmly embrace its rulers. He said NATO was obsolete and then affirmed the opposite. China was a currency manipulator that was “raping” the United States, until it wasn’t. [Read more →]

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