Premium Picks: The experts talk politics

The editor's weekly round-up of who's saying what in 'The Jerusalem Post's' Premium Zone.

By DEBORAH DANAN
August 15, 2012 18:25
3 minute read.
Alan Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz 311. (photo credit: (Courtesy of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East)

 
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The Jerusalem Post's Premium Zone is expanding its reach, building on its existing suite of publications - including the Christian Edition and the Jerusalem Report - as well as exclusive commentary and analysis. For subscribers who haven't yet found time to read through the most recent updates and for other readers looking to deepen their JPost experience, this weekly wrap summarizes the editor's top picks from the Premium Zone.

Elections are the order of the day for both Israel and the US, and the Premium Zone’s commentators are taking note. Peter Morici believes that Romney’s Republican rhetoric of free trade, deregulation and lower taxes is not enough to trump US President Barack Obama. According to Alan Dershowitz, the writing’s on the wall for the GOP, and US Jews would fare better by reelecting Obama. This piece followed a back-and-forth between Dershowitz and other Premium Zone writers including myself. His original piece sparked a lot of controversy in the talkback-o-sphere, and I felt compelled to ask Dershowitz about his motives for plugging Obama.

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Meanwhile on the home front, Leslie Susser examines the short-lived merger between Kadima and Likud, postulating that the primary reason that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu allowed Kadima’s entry into the coalition was to avoid early elections. He notes that Kadima’s decline has created a huge vacuum in the political center.

So Israel’s political landscape is changing once more, and two men looking to galvanize that change are Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel, new immigrants who are hoping to gain seats in Habayit Hayehudi. The Jerusalem Post’s chief political correspondent, Gil Hoffman, talks to the young entrepreneurs, who claim that they are ready to fill the political void.

On the other side of the border, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsy, is facing public anger following last week's terror attack in Sinai.

Tawfik Hamid, our political commentator who is also a reformed terrorist, notes that Egyptians are refusing to go along with Morsy’s claim that Israel is to blame. Evelyn Gordon commented that the Messianic era must be at hand if Egyptians are refusing to believe the anti-Israel conspiracy theories. In line with her agenda to see competition and differential pay being introduced to all areas of the public sector, Gordon notes that teachers themselves should be offered higher pay for teaching in distressed neighborhoods, to encourage the best and brightest to tackle the challenges involved. The precedent was set with last year’s collective wage agreement for public-sector doctors, so that now hospitals are able to recruit more doctors than ever before.  

Still on the subject of medicine, Josh Hasten investigates  “the dream doctors,” medical clowns and laugh therapy specialists who have arrived in Israel to attend the first Advanced Medical Clowning International Summer Seminar. Barry Davis interviews another laugh “specialist,” Albert Cohen, Israel’s veteran thespian who is about to star in a forthcoming production of Lost Red Socks.

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Technology and innovation continue to be Israel’s forte, and Adam Gonin doesn't miss a beat as he reports on Izhar Gafni’s invention of the cardboard bicycle. But not all innovations are good, as Harel Feldman notes in his critique of “the cloud,” a method of using the internet to outsource computing-related problems which comes along with potential security breaches.

Until next time, here's a question to ponder: Do you think it's okay to forgo one ideal in favor of another? We'll be examining that issue through the eyes of a dance instructor who recently founded a religious, all-women's dance school. We'll also be looking at what our experts are saying on some of the other hot topics of the moment, including the Iranian nuclear threat and ongoing violence in Syria.

The writer is The Jerusalem Post's Premium Zone editor

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