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The wealth tied into the feudalism that drives the middle east dispute may be difficult to imagine for most. On the Shiite side, Ali Khamenei and his brother control in private portfolio about $57 billion. Reuter’s “Assets of the Ayatollah” (easy lookup) tells how that came about. At least two of the Hamas leaders, Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashaal, have developed reputations as billionaires also. Basically, “the terrorists” (the leaders) are not being spoiled: they are living the lifestyles to which they have become accustomed.

Israel’s medical ethic, which stems from the Hippocratic Oath, has been always to leave the politics at the door and attend to the needs of the injured and sick. I think that ability to separate issues and focus on challenges in separate dimensions may be expressive of the modern mind as the medieval appears less able to set abstract and just boundaries.

The feudal mode in thought and governance may also dominate Sunni politics, which is complex. Erdogan, the Turkish leader, has moved into his immense “White Palace” and proven reluctant to destroy ISIS at this time. He appears to prefer beating back Kurdish hopes for independence to stalling the ISIS project. He would (I believe) align with “Putin-Assad-Khamenei” if not for his Sunni identification. Still, overarching Putin, Assad, Khamenei, Erdogan, and some others is the devotion to “political absolutism” or the concentration of “absolute power” in a single leader. As much works against the democratic and humanist distribution of power throughout populations.

Stimulus: Israeli doctors have been treating an Hamas terrorist recently,ย and the poster had asked whether the modern workspace was luxurious enough to spoil him.


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