Monday, February 8, 2016

"Great Ideas: Israeli History" on Thursday, February 11 in the Northbrook Library Pollak Room

Here are two links that will allow you to review, download and print the slides we show and discuss at each session:

Israeli History: Zionism through 1967:

Israeli History: Post 1967:

On February 11 we will continue discussing the War of Attrition in 1969 and 1970 and make some comparisons to then and now.

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

Thursday, February 4, 2016

American Politics discussion topics for February 15 at the North Shore Senior Center

Trump and Sanders are not "flash in the pans". The Presidential Race in both Parties now clearly suggests that the electorate is so angry at the status quo in Washington that it is totally rejecting Establishment candidates on both sides.  What happens now?

Is the Republican race now narrowing down to Trump vs. Cruz and the GOP is likely to nominate someone outside the Establishment ranks?  Why is anyone else viable?

Is Bernie's "revolution" strong enough to win the nomination?

In New Hampshire, Hillary even lost the Woman's Vote. Even if she does ultimately win the nomination, is she such a weaked candidate that she can't win the General Election?  

What are the chances that Blumberg--or Biden, etc.--will now step in?

How will “overcome income inequality” vs. “grow economy faster” compete as campaign issues?

Is Cruz eligibility to be President now a bigger issue?  Does the high Court need to look at this? 

Should Hillary release transcripts of her paid speeches?  What are the ramifications? 

Sanders wants to expand Social Security benefits, raise minimum wages, offer free college tuition, change Obamacare to a single payer system, and impose big tax hikes on wealthy.  He says he can achieve major changes by leading a “revolution” of the Middle Class--millions who have been hurt the most and would be helped the most.  How realistic is it that this "angry majority" could move a clearly divided Congress led by Republicans to make expensive social changes like this?

Which potential President might be in the best position to make big changes thru a divided Congress?

Hillary Clinton has fully embraced Obama--including his foreign policy.  Is that a mistake or smart politics? The American Public doesn't give Obama high marks for his foreign policy.

Conflict is escalating in the mid-east.  Iran breaks with Saudi-Arabia.    Ramadi destroyed in its liberation.  What should the US do now? 

A number of Muslim Middle School youth in Glenview have grown up beneath a cloud of suspicion about their faith. Classmates come to school repeating what they've heard at home or on social media that liken all Muslims to murderers. The youths are teased, at best…or bullied at worse. In a poll released by the Pew Research nearly half of Americans said they thought at least some U.S. Muslims are anti-American. Two-thirds of Americans said people, not religious teachings, are to blame when violence is committed in the name of faith. However, when respondents were asked which religion they consider troubling, Islam was the most common answer.  What responsibility do we have regarding this issue?

In a major victory for gun rights advocates, a federal appeals court sided with a broad coalition of gun owners, businesses and organizations that challenged the constitutionality of a Maryland ban on assault weapons and other laws aimed at curbing gun violence. What steps can be taken to affect some kind of increased gun control?

North Korea launched a satellite-carrying rocket, demonstrating potential progress in their mission to develop a reliable intercontinental ballistic missile. What should America do?

Some Republicans have blamed the Flint controversy on too much regulation. Others say it's fair to consider Flint’s water disaster a Republican problem. How much is Flint’s racial make-up part of this problem? Residents are paying $140 a month for water they can't use.  Is this issue outside Politics?

The Syrian refuge crisis has Europe in an uproar, and may destroy the European Union.  How do you see this playing out?  What kind of role is Russia playing here?  How big a problem is lack of any enforcement “overview”, with each country “on their own”?

Trump says he’d bring back water-boarding “and more” as options for interrogating terrorism suspects. U.S. anti-torture laws forbid that. Does the Constitution empower our commander in chief to override limits? Hillary would shield undocumented immigrants from deportation if their children were granted temporary status under a 2012 program. But Justice told Obama that action would exceed his authority. What limits exist on executive power to not enforce laws against groups of people? Voters don’t know Candidates answers to such questions. How important is this issue?

Oregon stand-off militiaman killed in shootout with the FBI: a deadly gunfight, ending with militia's spokesman dead and leader Bundy arrested along with seven others. What created this conflict?

Republicans continue to move against Planned Parenthood...while a grand jury cleared them of misusing fetal tissue and instead indicted two activists on charges of tampering with a governmental record for using fake driver's licenses to gain access to a Planned Parenthood facility in Texas. One faces a misdemeanor related to purchasing human organs. Your thoughts.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Important Information About Our Discussions

"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.


At times, during discussions, participants mention an internet article of interest. This page will list such links. Contact Ron Mantegna if you want to suggest a link appropriate to a specific discussion topic.