Thursday, December 29, 2016

"Current Events" Discussions

Upcoming Discussion Sessions:

·        9am Monday July 31 at the North Shore Senior Center

·        9:30am Wednesday August 2 at the JCC on Revere Drive

·       7pm Wednesday August 2 at The Lodge

·       10am Thursday August 3 at the Northbrook Library

Note: Irv Dorfman is leading the discussion on July 31.

Trump: “I would have never appointed Sessions had I known he would recuse himself as AG from overseeing the Russia investigation.”  Trump did say he "stands by" his AG. But in recent days he is insulting Sessions, goading him to quit, while constantly tweeting that Sessions is not doing enough to investigate Hillary Clinton. What is going on here?

What is the benefit to our country for the President to continue his attacks on the Democratic candidate he defeated in November?

Where are with Health Care, given that the Republicans did barely approve having the Senate debate?  I Republicans fail to approve a plan, is “single payer” a possible option?

At the Boy Scout convention, many parents--including Trump supporters--found the President's remarks offensive. How important is a President's role of being a good role model to children? Why does Trump do this?

The President's attorneys are looking at ways to discredit or remove the special counsel, and investigating powers of the President to pardon allies, family and himself.  Your thoughts.

How important is the issue of "leaks" vexing the WH? What is motivating those responsible?

Why is “unmasking” an important issue?

What kind of difference has Anthony Scaramucci made as Communications Director? Does this look like a positive reset that may help President Trump?

What is the primary reason why Republicans have been unable--so far--to deliver on their most significant campaign promises?

How is pressure on immigration affecting American businesses?

How do you feel about the Wisconsin company implanting microchips in employees hands as a convenience to open doors, buy snacks, etc., at the wave of a hand. It's optional.

Foxconn, the Taiwanese tech giant best known for assembling Apple iPhones, wants to produce LCD display panels and other gear in the U.S. in partnership with Sharp, which Foxconn owns. Chairman Gou has $10 billion to spend, and if he proceeds he will have as many as 10,000 jobs to fill ... somewhere. Illinois is on his list.  How can we entice him to come here?  What will stop him?

What’s the significance of “money laundering”?  Why should I care about this issue?
How far should college administrators go in “protecting” students from controversy generated by guest speakers?

Who is running our government? Trump is unconventional. He ran—and won—as someone outside Washington, not as a politician. How is a radically different approach benefiting us? Is there evidence he can eventually “make Washington work” as promised? Should Republicans in Washington and GOP governors work around the White House and develop policies that at least attempt to solicit broad support? Who might take the lead in trying this?

On the other hand, should NOT being an ideologue--neither Conservative nor Liberal--help President Trump seek compromise between both Parties on important issues? What significant issues might have enough common ground that both Parties might work together?

What is America receiving in return for us approaching Putin in a more positive way?

South Korea wants to meet with North Korea to talk about facilitating family visits between the two countries.  Will China be OK if both Korea’s start getting “cozy”?

South Korea wants to meet with North Korea to talk about facilitating family visits between the two countries.  Will China be OK if both Korea’s start getting “cozy”?

Trump’s team is free to differ with him on key issues. For example, UN ambassador Nicki Halley often differs with Trump. Is it a plus or a minus that there’s no coordinated direction?

Three Palestinians died in clashes between Israeli police and protesters after men under the age of 50 were banned from entering one of Jerusalem’s holiest sites. Police said the ban was put in place for security reasons after Palestinians were angered by the introduction of metal detectors at the shrine, with some calling for a “day of rage.” The devices were installed after two Israeli policemen were shot dead at the site last week, which is known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount. Your thoughts. 

What is our Mid-East policy? Trump is ending a covert CIA operation to arm and train Syrian rebels fighting against President Bashar al-Assad, something Russia has long desired. Trump and Putin agreed to a limited cease fire in Syria and that Assad will eventually need to go.  President Trump is considering sending 3-5,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

The United States slapped new economic sanctions against Iran on Tuesday over its ballistic missile program and said Tehran’s “malign activities” in the Middle East undercut any “positive contributions” coming from the Iran nuclear accord. The Trump administration said Iran was complying with the nuclear agreement.  Where does this stand?

Is College basically worth the cost for most, especially if a big student loan is necessary? A pew poll shows 58% of Republicans say colleges and universities had a “negative effect on the way things are going in the country.” Only 36% maintained that they’re good for the country. In 2015 the results were reverse—54% positive, 37% negative.  

Volvo says it is going to stop making cars with combustion engines. Your thoughts.

The White House refuses to say whether the President believes Climate Change is real. Many Republican governors support Creationism vs. Evolution.  What is the risk that rejecting traditional scientific beliefs is becoming accepted as the new "norm"?  

What about a Wall that's funded by solar energy? 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Great Ideas: " Zionism & Israeli History"

Upcoming Discussion Sessions:

9:30am Wednesday July 26 at the JCC on Revere Drive

10am Thursday July 27 at the Northbrook Library

Links below allow you to review slides we show and discuss at each session.

Slides for Northbrook Library - Israeli History: Post 1967 

July 27 at the Northbrook Library

Mark will continue to discuss the Yom Kippur War.

Slides for JCC - Israeli History: Zionism through 1967  

Wednesday July 26 at the JCC on Revere Drive - 9:30am

Mark will discuss early Zionist leaders.

Below is a list of books mentioned during our sessions:

· "The Arab-Israeli Wars" by Chaim Herzog
· "Kissinger and the Yom Kippur War" by David Morse
· "The Making of Modern Israel 1948-1967" by Leslie Stein
· "Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict" by Charles D. Smith
· “The Iron Wall: Israel & The Arab World” by Avi Shlaim
· “Transformative Justice: Israeli Identity on Trial” by Leora Bilsky
· "Six Days of War : June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East" by Michael Oren
· “The Secret War Against The Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People” by John Loftus and Mark Aarons
· “A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel” by Allis Radosh and Ronald Rados
· "Truman" by David McCullough
· “Louis D. Brandeis: A Life” by Melvin Urofsky
· “The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership” by Yehuda Avner
· “George C. Marshall” by Forest Pogue (a 4 volume work- the most definitive biography)
· “1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War” by Benny Morris
· “Woodrow Wilson: A Biography” by John Milton Cooper, Jr
· “A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East” by David Fromkin
· "Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews": A History by James Carroll
· “In the Garden of the Beasts” by Erik Larson
· “My Promised Land - The Triumph & Tragedy of Israel” by Ari Shavit
· "A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide" by Samantha Power
· "The Physician" by Noah Gordon
· "Start-up Nation: the Story of Israel's Economic Miracle" by Dan Senor and Saul Singer
· "Eichmann in Jerusalem: a Report on the Banality of Evil" by Hannah Arendt
· "The Eichmann Trial" by Deborah Lipstadt
· "The House on Garibaldi Street" by Isser Harrel
· "Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices" by Mosab Hassan Yousef
· “Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of A Mass Murder” by Bettina Stangneth
· "Jaffa Beach" by Fedora Horowitz
· "Operation Thunderbolt:  Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe Airport, the most Audacious Hostage Rescue in History", by Saul David
· "Abba Eban", A Biography by Asaf Siniver
· "Jerusalem: The Biography" by Simon Sebag Montefiore
· "The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine" by Ben Ehrenreich
· "Jabotinsky" by Hillel Halkin
· "Doomed to Succeed: The U.S. Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama" by Dennis Ross 
· "The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel" by Uri-Bar Joseph
· "FDR and the Jews" by Richard Breitman
· "No Ordinary Time" by Doris Kearns Goodwin
· "Remember the Liberty!:Almost Sunk by Treason on the High Seas" by Phillip F Nelson, Ronald G. Kukal, Ernest A. Gallo

Thursday, March 6, 2014


¨  Please silence your cell phone during our discussion
¨  Respect each person speaking—please refrain from side conversations
¨  If you’re not called upon by name, please tell us your first name 
¨  “Israeli History” meets 2nd, 4th and 5th Thursday of each month
¨  “Current Events” meets 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month
¨  Visit our website for more information about our discussions:
¡   suggested readings for Israeli History 
¡   current Israeli History discussion topic
¡   copies of the Israeli History slides – pdf format 
¡   Current Events topics updated regularly
¡   Other locations and times Ron and Mark lead discussions
¨  Pick up a Handout at the front of the room with our web address

"Current Events" and "Great Ideas" meet at the Northbrook Library

We meet in Pollak Rooms A & B--with a capacity of 90-100 people.  You can bring in covered cups, mugs, etc. with coffee. Food is not allowed. There are vending machines in the lobby area right outside the Pollak Room if you wish to purchase a beverage. The library will not be providing coffee.