Saturday, October 01, 2022

From Ian:

Palestine: A story of Colonialism through the ages
I shouldn’t have to write this: others, better educated about this than me, people with deeper insight into world history and geopolitics should: historians should document this, journos should flood the internet with articles, politicos of every left or right shade, from the continent and across The Pond should clamour to support this, educators should educate on this.

Yet, here we are: this truth that needs to be said remains, apart from the odd internet article - of which this one has great chances of ending up being too - hidden, sidelined, forgotten and ignored.

Better still: we should not have allowed this atrocity to be committed, this falsehood to spread and take root, this deeply unjust thing to exist. Yet here we are: just do an internet search and you’ll see. The worst is when Israelis support it.

The thing I refer to is, of course, the notion of ‘Palestine’.

‘Palestine’ is, at core, a colonial endeavour, a malign intention of domination, control and dispossession, a false flag operation, a deception, (the oldest) piece of fake news, a grotesque masquerade of peoplehood, a trivial pursuit of individual enrichment, a geopolitical stratagem, a ruse hidden in plain sight, an unambiguous expression of fundamental disregard for humanity and for human rights, a deeply antisemitic thing, a profoundly inhumane thing.

As its apologists like to point out, the name ‘Palestine’ is ancient. Indeed this hateful thing is, probably, if not world’s oldest political machination, certainly its longest.

The name ‘Palestine’ is an English word, based on a Latin one that it turn has its roots in a Greek one. Somewhere in-between it has been adopted in Arabic and a handful of other languages.

Whatever the origin of this word may be, one thing it certainly is not: indigenous to the land it purports to describe. No political entity, local to the land between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea has ever - ever, ever - called itself so. It remains, from time immemorial to present day, an exonym, a name given by Greek, Roman and Arab colonial powers to the lands they conquered; and it is specific to an etic discourse of domination and epistemic violence. In every shape and form, linguistically, ‘Palestine’ is a foreign thing.

As ‘Palestine’ is a neologism to the language of the individuals who supporters say it politically represents - the Arabs - no decent person, organisation or entity can accept its claim of indigeneity. But more: the land purported to be designated by this misnomer has no natural borders but those drawn by colonial powers and are so upheld as to not impinge on their successors, particularly the Kingdom of Jordan.
The new loyalty oath imposed on Jews
On college campuses, in progressive organizing spaces, in some professional contexts, and even among friends, Americans are increasingly being told their Zionism is disqualifying. For many Jews, that means an aspect of their own identity makes them persona non grata in spaces where left-wing views are paramount. For non-Jews, maintaining until-recently mainstream, pro-Israel opinions means risking social stigmatization and professional harm. Although this problem has begun to gain some visibility, it’s time Americans understood the extent of the social pressure to self-censor or else face the mob.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jews keeping their Zionism hush-hush weren’t eager to be interviewed. However, 32 Jewish and non-Jewish students and young alumni, academics, communal and advocacy group figures, governmental leaders, activists, and creatives contributed to this article. Taken together, what follows is a portrait of profound societal changes.

These changes, it must be noted, affect all Jews in these spaces because they are greeted with suspicions and assumptions about their support for Israel that they must either dispel or confirm. And this manifests in various ways.

In 2015, University of California, Los Angeles, student Rachel Beyda was expecting to be confirmed without incident to the student council’s judicial board but was met with a bizarre question from a member of the council: “Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community,” Beyda was asked, “how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?” After a lengthy discussion of Beyda’s Jewish identity, from which Beyda was excluded, her nomination was voted down. (This was only reversed when a faculty adviser to the council stepped in.)

The incidents that make national headlines give the public a rare window into the discrimination regularly wielded in left-of-center institutions. For example, there was an explosive controversy about whether one can be both a feminist and a Zionist, which the Women’s March's then-leader Linda Sarsour answered firmly in the negative. Jewish lesbians were ejected from Chicago’s Dyke March for carrying a Pride flag emblazoned with a Jewish star because some attendees were uncomfortable with the symbol’s association with the Israeli flag. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) was “demonized by extremists as a white supremacist, as a supporter of apartheid, ethnic cleansing, [and] genocide” for condemning Hamas’s terrorism. The Washington, D.C., chapter of the environmental group Sunrise Movement refused “to participate in a voting rights rally” alongside three Jewish groups. An undergraduate at the State University of New York, New Paltz, was expelled from a “sexual assault awareness group” she co-founded over an Instagram post describing Jews as indigenous to Israel. And the list goes on.

Each time a particularly egregious case broke through, though, it quickly faded from the news, as true inclusion was quietly eroded yet again.

Support for Israel, of course, is mainstream among American Jews. In 2019, Gallup found that “95% of [American] Jews have favorable views of Israel,” and in 2021, the Pew Research Center reported that 82% of American Jews consider Israel “‘essential’ or ‘important’” to their Jewish identity, one of the highest markers of commonality among famously fractious co-religionists.

Yet younger Jews are feeling compelled to camouflage that piece of themselves. A 2021 Brandeis Center poll found that “50% of Jewish [college] students hide their Jewish identity and more than half avoid expressing their views on Israel.” A 2022 survey by the American Jewish Committee reported that “28% of American Jewish millennials say that [the] anti-Israel climate on campuses or elsewhere has damaged their relationships with friends” and “23% reported that the anti-Israel climate on campus or elsewhere has forced them to hide their Jewish identity.” These are nontrivial numbers.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: What Western feminists can learn from Iran
Is this it? Could this, finally, be the end of the Islamic Republic of Iran? As huge crowds of women and men surge through the Iranian streets, burning hijabs and calling for “Death to Khamenei!”, is an impossible dream finally about to come true?

The prospects certainly look better than in 2009, when the country’s protestors were primarily middle-class and more narrowly focused on the issue of Ahmadinejad’s election victory, rather than on dismantling the oppressive system in its entirety. Today, men and women, rural and urban, affluent and poor are all marching to bring down the Islamic Republic. Khamenei is also reported to be in very poor health, so the chants might just come true.

Yet senior US officials I have spoken to have cautioned against blind optimism. As they explained, we’ve seen many moments in recent Iranian history where the tide seemed about to turn, only to be disappointed. The same officials also warned that America is trying not to become too involved: the Biden administration isn’t supporting the protestors, but it isn’t explicitly discouraging them, either.

This isn’t an example of craven politics: I also fear that the end of the regime might not herald a brave new world, but rather a bloody mess, where Khamenei’s death is followed by internecine fighting for power between various Iranian factions. Would the overthrow of the regime lead to civil war, a military coup, or liberal democracy? Nobody knows.

None of this is to say that, faced with a possible uprising in Iran, America should avert its gaze. Perhaps more than anything, the wave of protests now sweeping the country is a perfect moment to remind ourselves of the shameful stupidity of US policy in the region in recent years. Take the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal, which gave the regime time and space and money to strengthen its morality police and security infrastructure, as well as extend its regional influence. If no deal had been signed, perhaps the regime’s current crisis would have come sooner.

Nor should we forget the fact that Iran has recently tried to abduct and kill several American citizens on American soil; or that a number of senior US officials believe Iran is to blame for the attempted assassination of Salman Rushdie last month. It’s a national disgrace that America’s politicians saw fit to break bread with the butchers of Tehran in the first place. And still too many think we can politely sit down with them again to re-negotiate the nuclear deal. I wouldn’t blame the brave men and women of Iran if they never forgave us for such short-sighted idiocy.

Still, while the response of the West should be limited to cautious optimism, there is one other conclusion we can draw, no matter what happens: the current protests are a unique, and uniquely inspiring, phenomenon. Nowhere else in the Muslim world — and I mean, literally, nowhere else — would we see what we are seeing right now in Iran: men and women, together, standing up for each other, the men demanding justice for the regime’s murder of a woman who dared to let her hair show. It bears repeating: the men of Iran are standing alongside women as they burn their hijabs.

Former Jewish Agency Head Sharansky Urges Creation of International Tribunal to Try Russian ‘Genocide’ in Ukraine
The former head of the Jewish Agency accused the Russian regime of prosecuting a “genocide” in Ukraine as he urged the creation of an international tribunal to try crimes against humanity committed by Russian forces.

Natan Sharansky — who served at the Agency’s helm from 2009-18 and was one of the leading Jewish “refuseniks” of the Soviet era — made the announcement at an event on Thursday organized by the Ukrainian Embassy in Israel to mark the 81st anniversary of the Babyn Yar massacre of Sept.29-30 1941, when more than 33,000 Jews were executed by Nazi officers at a ravine just outside Kyiv.

Sharansky emphasized that he was confident Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of his southern neighbor would be “defeated.” Nonetheless, it was “very important that there be an international court regarding crimes against humanity by the leadership of Russia,” Sharansky said.

“This is genocide, because they decided which nation should and which should not exist,” Sharansky declared.

Thursday’s meeting, which brought together representatives of the Ukrainian government with Jewish human rights advocates, also heard from the former Canadian Minister of Justice, Irwin Cotler, who now heads the Montreal-based Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights.

“The creation of a special tribunal for Russian crimes against Ukraine is a necessary and urgent step that must be taken to hold the Russian leadership accountable for this aggression in the same way they will be accountable for crimes against humanity and incitement to genocide,” Cotler said. “I hope the international community will start moving in this direction.”
Israel Triathlon Team Denied in Jordan for Asian Cup
Six members of Israel’s triathlon team, including 21-year-old Itamar Lebanon, were supposed to take part in the Asian Cup competition in Jordan this weekend, but they were banned to enter the country.

“It is what it is,” claimed Jordanian authorities, despite the peace agreement between Jerusalem and Amman.

The intervention of Israeli officials, including from the Culture and Sports Ministry, was not enough to get Lebanon into Jordan, who missed a very important competition.

“I and the team members signed up for the competition, but as soon as the list of participants was published, we saw that we were not in,” said the triathlete.

“The argument we were given for not being on the list was simply ‘you are Israelis.’”

“Today, I came alone to Aqaba to register face-to-face and settle this matter, but I was told again that it was not possible because I am Israeli,” he continued.

“I told them that it was obviously against international law and sportsmanship, but I couldn’t manage to change the evil of the decision. It is very important for me to gain points in the race for the Olympics. The way things are going is very disappointing and very sad.”

Jordan explained that “the organizers of the competition feared that they would not be able to ensure the security of the Israelis in the event of an incident.”
Chile accepts Israeli ambassador, ending snub saga
Chilean President Gabriel Boric accepted the credentials of Israeli Ambassador Gil Artzyeli on Friday, two weeks after refusing to see him to protest IDF actions in the West Bank.

“What a pleasant, important and meaningful meeting with His Excellency the President Gabriel Boric and [Foreign Minister] Antonia Urrejola,” Artzyeli tweeted after the meeting.

The President’s Office tweeted a 30-second video of Boric accepting the credentials of various ambassadors and their countries’ flags, including Israel.

Last month, Boric snubbed Artzyeli, who came to the presidential palace in Santiago at the scheduled time. Anonymous sources told the Chilean press that the reason was the killing of 17-year-old Oday Salah, who was involved in violence against Israeli soldiers who were in Kafr Dan to map a house for demolition after two of its residents shot and killed an IDF officer.

The ceremony was soon rescheduled for the end of the month, and Urrejola apologized in person to President Isaac Herzog on the sidelines of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London.

The Chilean Jewish community, however, was concerned because of Boric’s support for boycotting Israel.
Is West Bank terror part of Iran's 'war between wars' against Israel? - opinion
While some of the turmoil is related to clashes between the Palestinians and the Israeli authorities over access to Temple Mount, the role of Iran should not be underestimated. Indeed, in a recent speech, the chief of the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Corps, Maj.-Gen. Hossein Salami, credited the developments in the West Bank to a new strategy of “continuous resistance.”

Salami explained that in the past, “you witnessed conflicts and battles once in a while… every few years, there was a conflict and only in limited places with limited goals.” He noted that this was hardly satisfactory because, between the major operations such as the 2001-2002 suicide bombings and the 2022 Hamas rocket barrage, there were long periods of relative peace that benefited the “Zionist regime.” Changing intermittent to the continuous struggle between battles would undermine any sense of peace and normalcy of the “Zionists.”

That the “Palestinian resistance” was confined to Gaza was another negative in Salami’s view. The new strategy called to transfer struggle to the West Bank. “You hear the names of Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Tulkarm, Sheikh Jarrah… these are the main cities of the West Bank.”

The IRGC chief hinted that there were more ambitious plans afoot to include Green Line Israel in the rolling insurrection intifada. He promised that the Palestinians in the West Bank who could “only throw stones at soldiers “would be soon equipped with rockets: That is, there is no safe margin at any point for the Zionist regime to say that there is an area where the Zionists can take refuge and be safe from the fire of the Palestinians.”

If the rolling and multi-domain violence was the primary tool for undermining the normalcy of the occupation, the regime had some foreign policy benefits in mind. Tehran apparently hopes that the specter of Israeli forces waging operations in the territories of east Jerusalem and collective punishment such as closures and withdrawal of work permits would bring the Palestinian issue to the international agenda.

Even more importantly, the regime believes that daily turmoil transmitted on TV screens and social media would cripple the momentum of the Abraham Accords. The Islamic Republic has railed against the accords as a betrayal of the Palestinian cause with virtually no impact. Tehran was reportedly taken aback by the April 2022 Negev Summit, where Israel hosted the foreign ministers of UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Morocco.
Abbas orders PA security forces to enforce order, avert massive IDF operation
On Thursday evening, Abbas chaired a meeting of the commanders of the PA security forces to discuss the latest developments in the West Bank in light of the ongoing violence, especially in those two cities.

At the meeting, which was attended by PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and PLO Secretary-General Hussein al-Sheikh, Abbas “stressed the need to implement the rule of law and provide security and stability to protect the Palestinian people and their national institutions,” according to the authority’s official news agency Wafa.

The meeting also dealt with the involvement of a number of PA security officers in recent clashes with IDF soldiers, a senior PA official revealed.

“The commanders of the security forces have been instructed to make every effort to stop their men from taking part in armed clashes with the Israeli army,” the official said.

He warned that the PA will not allow “a small group of individuals and armed cells to drag the Palestinian population into a disastrous confrontation with Israel.”

Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip have welcomed the involvement of PA security officers in attacks against the IDF. The officials renewed their call to the PA security forces to join the fight against the Jewish state, urging the authority to end security coordination with the IDF.

On Friday, Abbas also chaired a meeting of the Fatah Central Committee, the highest decision-making body of the ruling faction, and “reiterated the importance of imposing the rule of law on everyone without exception and working hard to provide security and safety for the Palestinians,” Wafa reported.

Tirawi, the former intelligence chief, did not attend the meeting although he is a veteran member of Fatah. Abbas recently dismissed him from his job as head of the Jericho-based Al-Istiqlal University, which functions as a military academy.

The move came after Tirawi reportedly criticized Abbas’s decision to appoint his confidant, Hussein al-Sheikh, to the top job of PLO secretary-general, thus boosting his chances of succeeding the PA president.

Abbas calls for Fatah to regain control
In an implicit criticism of the phenomenon of armed groups, the Fatah leaders emphasized the “significance of combating everything that harms the Palestinian national and social fabric.”

At the end of the meeting, the committee issued a statement in which the Fatah leaders “condemned the dangerous and continued Israeli escalation against the Palestinian people.”

The committee claimed that the IDF counter-terrorism measures were linked to the upcoming elections in Israel. “This is unacceptable and we will not allow it to continue,” the statement cautioned. “The [Israeli] occupation must understand that this aggression, killing and destruction will not bring it security and stability.”

Police say Palestinian killed after trying to hurl firebomb at cops near Jerusalem
A young Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli police in a West Bank town near Jerusalem on Saturday as he allegedly attempted to hurl Molotov cocktails, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.

According to the Palestinian Authority health ministry and media reports, Fayez Damdum, 18, was shot by police in al-Eizariya on the outskirts of East Jerusalem while riding on a motorcycle.

Earlier, in the adjacent town of Abu Dis, Palestinians damaged a section of the West Bank security barrier, according to footage published by Palestinian media outlets.

Police said officers were in the area to respond to a violent riot, which included Palestinians hurling explosive devices, firebombs and stones at forces.

“During the operation, a suspect who tried to throw a Molotov cocktail at our forces was neutralized with gunfire,” a police spokesman said in a statement.

Damdum was treated by Border Police officers at the scene, footage showed, and then taken by the Palestinian Red Crescent to a nearby hospital, where his death was declared.

Iran accused of massacre in South amid wave of protests
Footage showing Iranian security forces massacring protesters using live ammunition in Zehdan, southern Iran during Friday prayers was posted online, showing shows Iranians bleeding and apparently shot.

Other videos purportedly show the aftermath of clashes between locals and members of the local security forces, with protesters allegedly trying to storm a police station and being shot.

Protests in minorities-dominated areas surge in Iran
The recent incident came as protests continue in Iran and the regime appears to be resorting to more force against the protesters. In Sistan Balochistan, Iran fears a larger rebellion among the minority Baloch people. This area borders Afghanistan and Pakistan. There has been an insurgency in this region for many years, including across the border in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, in Ahwaz, the province in Iran’s Southwest which contains a large Arab minority, there were also protests reported on Friday. The overall picture then is one of the growth of the protests in southern Iran. The protests began in the Kurdistan region two weeks ago, but they have spread to Tehran and many other cities. The regime was careful the first week to not carry out massacres.

However, as the protests are now two weeks old the regime is lashing out and has threatened to attack US forces in Iraq after attacking Kurdish opposition groups on September 28 with missiles and drones. Iran has been bombarding these Kurdish groups for a week.

Iran claims to foil "Zionist plan for chaos"
In addition, on Thursday night, Iranian media reported that it had foiled what the regime called a “Zionist” plan for chaos in Iran. The regime also admitted numerous banks and financial institutions had been damaged in the protests.

Brooklyn College schedules bias training on major Jewish holiday
Brooklyn College — which was recently ripped for campus anti-Semitism — scheduled “implicit bias training” for staffers on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year when many of the faithful do not work.

The training is mandated for those who serve on job search committees with one of the four Zoom sessions set for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, the morning of Yom Kippur.

“This biases the process against observant Jews and secular Jews who typically attend services on this one day of the year. Such Jews are afforded only three meeting opportunities, while all others are afforded four,” one Jewish professor said. “That sounds like implicit bias to me. Imagine, if that was done to a group that is viewed as a disadvantaged minority.”

Brooklyn College, which is part of the public City University of New York system, recently got a failing grade from the group StopAntisemitism. The report found that “Students feel the administration turns a blind eye to Jew-hatred” and they “DO NOT feel safe, saying they need to hide their Jewish identity as well as their support for Israel.”

The college disputed the findings.

CUNY was also the subject of a recent complaint filed with the US Department of Education alleging it has become a “pervasively hostile environment for Jewish students.”

The university announced last month that seven of its campuses including Brooklyn College were participating in Hillel International’s Campus Climate Initiative to address anti-Semitism.

A Brooklyn College spokesman said an additional training session was being offered on Monday.

“While classes are not held on Yom Kippur, the college is open on that day. In addition to these dates, staff or faculty can request an individual training session,” said spokesman Richard Pietras. (h/t Rodin New York) labels settlements, Palestinian towns ‘conflict-affected’
Hotel and lodgings reservation company labeled properties in Judea, Samaria and Gaza “conflict-affected,” in a new policy instituted on Friday.

"Please review any travel advisories provided by your government to make an informed decision about your stay in this area, which may be considered conflict-affected," the site reads, when searching for lodgings in the West Bank.

Some 39 other areas around the world are labeled “conflict-affected,” including the Nagorno-Karabakh region, disputed between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and Georgia’s South Ossetia, which Russia occupied in 2008.

Booking planned to add a unique label to hotels and bed and breakfasts in settlements, saying they are on occupied territory, according to the Foreign Ministry.

How have Israeli officials reacted to this label change?
Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Tourism Minister Yoel Razbozov tried to put a positive spin on the development, touting the shift to a unitary label for the whole West Bank as an achievement, and even thanking Booking, though a label still remains.

“Our policy is not to abandon any arena and to make a constant diplomatic effort against anti-Israel false propaganda,” Lapid stated. “We thank Booking for the change of decision. Israel reached an important achievement in its fight against delegitimization.”

Goodwill posts listing for Nazi memorabilia mugs on online shop
Starting at $13.99, you too can be the new owner of three Adolf Hitler mugs, thanks to the Goodwill of Western New York's online store.

A Goodwill online store recently uploaded a listing for a trio of Nazi memorabilia mugs, Vice News reported on Friday.

Two of the mugs featured an image of Hitler himself, along with what also looks to be his signature and his infamous title, "Der Fuhrer." One of the mugs also features the Nazi Eagle, with its incorporated swastika.

The third mug, features various Nazi-era hate symbols including the Odal Rune, the Arrow Cross, the Broken Sun Cross and the Wolfsangel symbol which was used by the Nazis during Hitler's reign and remains in the Anti-Defamation League database as a hate symbol to this day.

The phrase “Meine Ehre heißt Treue,” which translates to, "My honor is called loyalty," was also on the mug. It was the motto of the SS and has since been outlawed by Germany in 1947.

Included in the listing was a free pin emblazoned with the words "Ven you’re German, it’s hard to be humble."

The site posted the listing under the description "3 Vintage Adolf Hitler German Mugs with Pin". The auction to purchase the items started on Friday and was set to end on Tuesday evening.

Moroccan Textbooks Emphasize Jewish History, Report Says
School textbooks in the Kingdom of Morocco promote appreciation of Jews and educate students about their contributions to the country, according to an analysis by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Morocco became in 2020 the first Arab country to include Jewish history in its school curriculum. The decision was announced after the Abraham Accords normalized relations with Israel. The ADL’s review of the new curriculum is the first since Israel and Morocco’s rapprochement opened what many hope is a new era in the Middle East.

“The country’s elementary school textbooks depict Jews as an integral part of Moroccan society whose heritage and societal contributions are national assets,” the ADL said on Thursday. “This poses a contrast to textbooks in other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, where Jews are routinely demonized and positive descriptions of Jews are scarce.”

One example from the curriculum that the ADL cited shared a story titled “Hosted by Sami” about a friendship between three Jewish and Muslim Moroccan youth, Sami, Ibrahim, and Idris. It ends with Sami’s mother serving them “a mouthwatering dish” called Skinha on the Sabbath.

“Before leaving Sami’s house, Idris thanked Sami on our behalf for his hospitality, and Ibrahim invited us to his house the following Friday for another delicious meal from our Moroccan cuisine,” it said.

Others emphasized the Kingdom’s constitutional commitment to anti-discrimination, highlighting its antecedent in the long history of coexistence and cultural exchange between its Christians, Muslims, Jews, and various ethnic groups.

“Moroccan Jews had a strong presence in the countryside and cities,” said a textbook titled “A Thousand Years of Moroccan Jewish History.” “This facilitated their ability to live in peace with their Muslim compatriots, with whom they shared common interests.”

The ADL also pointed to the curriculum’s commentaries on Jewish blacksmiths, farmers, and scientists, and the addition of Holocaust studies to the curriculum.
Israel’s pollution-free Yom Kippur can be a world model
One day a year, the air pollution in the land of Israel drops dramatically.

On most days, Israel suffers from 50 percent higher particulate air pollution than Western European countries. Beyond Jerusalem, a thick layer of smog often hangs over the coastal plain from Ashkelon to Netanya, blemishing the beauty of the land.

In Israel, as in every country, many policies and practices need to be changed and developed to support sustainability in how we produce, use, and relate to energy.

We get a taste of what could be once a year on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, when all inhabitants of the Holy Land are blessed with clean air.

Dr. Jeremy Benstein, a leading Israeli environmentalist and author of The Way into Judaism and the Environment, explains the connection between Yom Kippur and the environment, as quoted in my book Eco Bible: An Ecological Commentary on the Torah.

“Yom Kippur in Israel is, by law, a ‘buy-nothing day.’ By popular choice, it’s also a ‘car-free day.’ The entire urban environment is transformed, and the normally car-choked streets are reclaimed by the people,” Benstein writes.

“This change results in 99 percent less pollution, according to some researchers, less noise, and feelings of expansiveness and community, as Reuters reported. The city becomes a village again. People walk and children ride bikes where cars would ordinarily drive, enjoying one another and their surroundings in ways impossible the rest of the year.”

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