How the Liberals Elected Donald Trump

donald-trumpLike many Americans, I sat last week after voting closed, watching the numbers come in, and witnessing Donald Trump get elected as president. And like many Americans I was left with a very simple question, “How?”

As a Republican and fairly Conservative voter, this question is not a new one for me. When Donald Trump first declared his intentions to enter the political race, I was thrilled. I thought, ‘this is amazing! He’s not going to get anywhere, but it will be entertaining as hell to watch!’ And then he started to win the Republican primaries, and it was no longer entertaining, and I was faced with that simple question – “How?”

I found my answer in a Communication class. We were studying Group Deliberation, and learned a very interesting theory in Social Psychology called Group Polarization. This theory argues that groups tend to adopt more radical positions than those of any individual in the group. In deliberation, this theory comes to play in a mutual polarization; the more one side becomes radical, the more the other side responds with radicalization.

So what does all this have to do with Donald Trump? If you ask me, Trump owes his victory not to the bigots in America, but to Barak Obamas and Bernie Sanders of America.

For the last 8 years, Americans have been subject to a radical left wing, dovish, almost socialist government. From Obamacare to “Leading from Behind” foreign policies, the current administrations have been pulling farther and farther to the left. And the results of such policies? Growing national debt, and the destruction of America’s image as a superpower.

Enter the election race of 2016. The Democrat Party puts forth new candidates, each more radical than the next. From Hillary who promised more liberal economy and even less active foreign policy, too Bernie Sanders whose policies were arguably un-American, so far from the free market ideals our country was built on. The Democrats and liberals of the US continued to radicalize.

And the response on the right? A mutual polarization. The Republicans dismissed moderate and relatable Conservatives like Marco Rubio, and turned to search for the candidate with the most extreme views, to match the alternatives on the left. And that’s where Trump starts to gain support. With his extreme rhetoric, his hawkish or unreasonably capitalist policies, and his fight against the “political correctness” of the left, Trump is the perfect radical option to counter the polarization of Hillary and Sanders.

And that leaves America. A country of radicals, torn apart, with a growing gap where the moderates once lived.


68 (Even More) Reasons for the World to Love Israel

By Batsheva Haber

Another year later and the world STILL doesn’t seem to be too fond of Israel. Leaving me no choice but to point out yet another 68 reasons why they should:

  1. 110904200Everyone likes beaches! Well Israel has 273 KM of beaches! That’s 170 miles, also known as A LOT!
  2. And if you love the beach, Israelis also invented the world’s first jellyfish repellent cream.
  3. Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem, is the first “Smart City”, with WiFi access all over the city.
  4. Last year I said Israel had the 2nd highest number of academic degrees per capita. This year we made it to number one. We also publish the most academic articles per capita!
  5. And our Academics also believe in family values. Just look what this professor did when a baby of one of his students was disturbing class:
  6. If you are in the candy business, we are probably helping you out. Israel is 3rd in the world in sweets consumption. Pretty impressive for a small country.
  7. Don’t worry health nuts of the world, we are also third in vegetable consumption.
  8. And while we are on the topic of health nuts… Tel Aviv is one of the vegan capitals of the world.
  9. Not Vegan? Our Cows are first in the world in Milk production. Truly the “Land of Milk and Honey”.
  10. Speaking of which, when it comes to Honey, you heard production is declining? Well not in Israel.
  11. Talk about equality between the sexes? Israel had a woman prime minister… way back in the 60s!
  12. Are you a dog person? There are nearly 400,000 dog owners in Israel, and some of the best facilities for dogs worldwide.
  13. And guess where the a 25,000 year old dog cemetery was found? Ashkelon, Israel.
  14. ShowImageMore of a cat person? The cat is basically the Israeli squirrel.
  15. Israel was the first country to outlaw underweight models.
  16. Israel was the 8th country to send a Satellite into space. Up to date only 12 countries have done that.
  17. Israel invented proximity sensor technology for your car. Technology that helps avoid accidents and saves lives.
  18. We also save lives using the Pillcam. A tiny, pill sized camera you can swallow.
  19. And by inventing the Hasake lifeboat for lifeguards.
  20. We also invent entertainment technology, like hand gesture controls.
  21. Did you enjoy Superman Vs. Batman? Well Wonder Woman is Israeli.
  22. More of a Marvel fan? Well Black Widow is a big fan of Israel, or at least of SodaStream, the company she is an ambassador for.
  23. Speaking of which, SodaStream, another Israelis invention.
  24. Despite war and terror, Israel has one of the highest life expectancy in the world!
  25. Do you live in Europe and need to make up for something with your girlfriend? Simply send her one of the over 30 million flowers we import to you.
  26. Israel is developing a cure for MS.
  27. We also developed a cure to bad breath.
  28. Our military technology is also geared at saving lives. Most famous is our Iron Dome that protects civilians from rocket attack.
  29. Speaking of our military, the Israeli Defense Force has a special program, “Equal in Uniform” – where people with special needs get to serve.
  30. In fact the IDF tries to include all soldiers, no matter what their needs may be. For example, many commanders are sent to a sign language course so that they can better communicate with their deaf soldiers.
  31. Israel invented the technology used for unmanned flight.
  32. Also, Lady Gaga’s crazy shoes… designed by an Israeli.
  33. The Jaffa Orange.
  34. Sabich – A classic Israeli sandwich.
  35. Sachlav – Not sure what this drink is, but it is a winter classic in Israel.
  36. And although we Israelis love our wines, beers and arak, a recent OECD report found us to be the lowest in binge drinking.
  37. Israelis are beautiful – A Traveler Digest poll put us in the top 10 for both best looking men, and best looking women.
  38. Not just a pretty face, Be’er Sheva has the highest number of chess masters per capita.
  39. Maktesh Ramon – a beautiful and rare natural geological phenomenon.
  40. Do you like using Uber? Israeli technology…
  41. Israel has more than 45,000 registered Non Profit Organizations.
  42. These Non Profits help in various different fields, including education, health, the arts, advocacy, children and youth at risk, legal services, animal rescue, religion, and many, many more.
  43. And that is in addition to the government social welfare we have in Israel.
  44. Idan Reichel and his music project.
  45. If classical music is more your thing, Itzhak Pearlman, the world famous violinist, also Israeli.
  46. Israel fights for equality. A good example of this is the “Tav Chevrati” – a certificate given to restaurants based on the treatment of their workers, and their handicap accessibility.
  47. Colorful hills of Eilat.
    שמורת הרי אילת 2-L
  48. We serve our chocolate milk in a bag. Once you try it the “Shoko b’Sakit” way, there is no going back.
  49. Chocolate balls. An Israeli delicacy… served both by top notch cafes and your 5 year old kindergartener.
  50. You heard we were anti-peace? Tell that to our 3 Nobel Peace Prize winners.
  51. Agam – one of the most famous Israeli artist.
  52. We celebrate not just conventional art, but also have some great graffiti art projects, like the Machaneh Yehuda Market.
  53. P’titim – the “Israeli Couscous”, invented by Israeli’s first prime minister, as a cheap mass produced food, for when food was scarce in Israel.
  54. 144062Sufganiyot – The Israeli doughnut. This is a seasonal food, found all around Israel for Chanukka.
  55. Israel believes in a free market. That is why, every year there is a nation wide Sufganiya competition, where bakeries battle to make the very best doughnut!
  56. Despite difficulties, year after year we rate higher and higher on the happiness index. (I know I used this in the past, but what can I say, we keep getting happier).
  57. This might be due to our great attitude, best described by one of Israel’s top songs of the year: “Ha’chayim Shelanu Tutim”. Literally, “Our Life is Strawberries”. Arguing that we can’t complain, because all in alתl our life is great… it’s “strawberries”.
  58. One of Israeli’s favorite pastimes is “Bira v’Nashira” – evenings where people from all walks of life gather together to drink beer and sing old Israeli songs.
  59. Are you an archaeology fan? Israel is a very historic countries, with archaeological sites everywhere.
  60. Save a Child’s Heart – an Israeli organization that brings children from all over the world to Israel, where they undergo lifesaving heart surgeries.
  61. And we provide that service to anyone who needs it… Even the granddaughter of our enemy, Haniyeh, the head of Hamas.
  62. iStock_chocolate_spreadcChocolate Spread – The Israeli Nutella. Served in all Israeli kindergartens.
  63. Unlike all of Europe, our demographics are growing, not shrinking.
  64. Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, is known in Israel as Batman. He acquired that nickname after personally stopping terrorist attacks in the streets of Jerusalem, performing first aid in the Jerusalem market, and saving Jerusalem drivers stuck in the snow.
  65. We had the hipster beard before it was a thing.
  66. An Israeli invented a paper bike. Made from recycled cardboard. It can withstand rain and wind.
  67. Our Israeli Soldiers love to dance.
  68. Despite being just 68 years young, we have so many accomplishments… World, just wait to see what year 69 brings!

The Emperor’s New(s) Bias

By Batsheva Haber

We have all heard the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes.  A story about a lie told over and over. A tale about what happens when no one has the guts to stand up for the truth. Why? Because someone told them that the “wise” thing to do is to believe the lie. Just a children’s story, right? That doesn’t actually happen in real life, with real intelligent people, does it?

cbs-635x357“3 Palestinians Killed as Daily Violence Grinds on” – This was the title of a CBS article that came out yesterday. The article is about a terrorist attack, where three terrorists tried to stab and shoot as many people as they could. These terrorists killed a 19 year old police officer, and injured a second. What? Is that not what is understood by the title? What can we say, “The emperor’s new clothes are so fine!”

This is not the first time we see such a ridiculous media bias. It’s been a clear motif in the International media throughout this recent wave of Palestinian violence.

times-of-london-headlne“Palestinian Shot Dead” – This time in the Times of London. Headline is pretty clear, doesn’t leave much room for confusion as to what happened. Except, that is, if you actually continue to read the short news item. Because this Palestinian wasn’t spontaneously shot by an IDF soldier, he first shot and injured 3 others. It happens to be that this attack happened right where my younger brother is stationed. I know firsthand from him – soldiers don’t just shoot Palestinians. In fact, even when Palestinians attack my brother and his friends with rocks, they only use rubber bullets to defend themselves. (In case you were wondering, rubber bullets are a lot less effective and do a lot less damage than rocks.) Only in a real case of threat to someone’s life can IDF soldiers open fire. But, “the emperor’s new clothes are so colorful!”

These headlines are nothing new. Even in times of war against an internationally recognized terrorist group, the media doesn’t seem to know how to write headlines.

10552481_10152144730011746_6699288240593663564_n“Israel Resumes Gaza Airstrikes” – CNN from the last Israel-Hamas war in 2014. This colorful title was accompanied by a tasteful picture of a beautiful Gaza sunset, being interrupted by smoke from an Israeli airstrike. We get the picture. Who needs to read the fine print? So what if it mentions that these airstrikes were in response to rockets being fired from Gaza, rockets that ended a ceasefire? Is that really relevant? After all, “the emperor’s new clothes are so sophisticated!”

And here I thought the media was meant to be objective, to bring the facts as they are so that people can come to their own conclusions.

Guess I was wrong. Again and again, the “credible” news sources tell the “intelligent” person what to think. Who cares what the reality is or who really is in the right? After all, this is what the enlightened man is supposed to see when he looks at the conflict, so that is what we shall see. Where is the voice of reason, the small but honest outlook, who will stand up and accuse: “The emperor has no clothes!”