2019
March
27
Wednesday

When Plaxedes Dilon set off on her 10-mile walk with a heaping sack of clothes and kitchen utensils on her head, the trip seemed to her completely ordinary. Yes, the distance was a little longer and the purpose was different: the sack was full of donations for those affected by Cyclone Idai. But long walks and heavy sacks are a routine part of life for the clothes seller.

To Zimbabwe’s richest man, however, it was an extraordinary feat of kindness. Strive Masiyiwa is offering Ms. Dilon a solar-powered house and $1,000 a month for life. Citing the biblical parable of the widow woman, he said “she gave more than us all.”

In New York, meanwhile, many gave generously to a different cause: one of the city’s young chess champions, who was homeless. After a story appeared in The New York Times about 8-year-old Tanitoluwa Adewumi, $250,000 poured in, as did offers of a free car for his Uber-driving, real-estate agent father, a new health care job for his mother, and admission to three private schools.

The family, who is from Nigeria, is not keeping the money, instead using it to set up a fund for other African immigrants. And it is accepting one of the more modest housing offers, a two bedroom apartment. “Tani” will be staying at his public school too. “This school showed confidence in Tanitoluwa,” his mother said.

Why is Tani’s father not taking a quarter million dollars? “God has already blessed me,” he told the Times. “I want to release my blessing to others.”

Now on to our five stories today. We look at how perceptions around Benjamin Netanyahu are – and aren’t – shifting in Israel, whether scholarships matter much to top college athletes, and innovation for the masses in Maine.

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A deeper look

1. Native justice: How tribal values shape Judge Abby’s court

Justice – the world’s search for it made it one dictionary's word of the year for 2018. Native American tribes are increasingly taking that search down paths both new and traditional, offering a richer portrait of how justice can be found.

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In Northern California, Judge Abby Abinanti is turning back the clock – and reviving Native American community-based justice.

For members of the Yurok tribe, incarceration has largely been replaced by supervised release combined with immersion in Yurok traditions such as dancing and woodcarving. Lawyering up for child custody and family disputes has been replaced by mediation – victims and perpetrators talking with each other – even if it takes years. It’s a judicial path followed by other tribes around the country. Personal responsibility and renewal – two pillars of the once nearly extinct Yurok culture – have replaced a system designed to be adversarial and punitive.

The return of tribal law resembles the growing U.S. restorative justice movement, which emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior and getting all stakeholders involved.

Judge Abinanti says it just resembles the old Yurok values system. “We’re not going to go back 200 years, but we have a values system and we’re going to develop our practices for today from that values system,” she says.

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Native justice: How tribal values shape Judge Abby’s court

The mouth of the Klamath River – the spiritual heart of Yurok country – can be hard to find. 

Surrounded by mountains, cloaked in coastal redwoods, and emptying into the Pacific Ocean, the river is often obscured in fog. Only the salmon and the Roosevelt elk seem to have no trouble finding the Klamath.

Winter is the rainy season, but this morning is different. An early February storm has fought through the salty air and blanketed the famous towering conifers and steep, winding roads with a beautiful but treacherous layer of snow and ice.

Ira Thompson is here for his court date anyway, having made the 30-minute drive south from Crescent City. He grew up here, and when he got in serious trouble for the first time – a third DUI and a possible four months in jail – he knew he needed to come home. His court-appointed lawyer, he says, “wasn’t doing much.” Jail would mean missing Christmas and birthday parties with his two daughters, and probably losing his job. So he reached out to the Yurok Tribal Court. He reached out to Abby Abinanti.

The tribal court is not your average court. Everyone, including Judge Abinanti, sits at eye level. When pushed together, the court tables complete a carving of the Klamath River. 

As Mr. Thompson enters, the air tastes of musky angelica root (burned by a paralegal minutes earlier to cleanse the room of pain, anxiety, and other negative energy).  

Judge Abby, as everyone calls her, is not your average judge. She sits at a table across from Mr. Thompson wearing her typical court attire: gray jeans and a crimson turtleneck. Her obsidian nail polish matches her black cardigan and cowboy boots. A necklace of dentalium shells, as white as her long hair, hangs around her neck.

“How are things going?” she asks him.

“Staying home,” he replies. 

Mr. Thompson is under house arrest and participating in the court’s wellness program, a treatment employing Yurok cultural immersion. That’s the deal the tribal court struck with the county instead of jail time. He’s been home carving earrings out of redwood, making elk horn purses, and selling them. “That sounds good,” she says, bringing the hearing briskly to an end about five minutes after it started. “Just don’t sell them all before I can buy one.”

Personal responsibility and renewal

When Judge Abinanti joined the Yurok Tribal Court in 2007 it operated like a normal state court, albeit on a much smaller scale. When most Yuroks got into trouble with the law they went to local state courts, and they entered a system designed to be adversarial and punitive. Root causes often went ignored and unaddressed, and recidivism inevitably followed.

Judge Abinanti has taken the court in a different direction: one more communal and rehabilitative. It’s a judicial path followed by other tribes around the country. Personal responsibility and renewal – two pillars of the once nearly extinct Yurok culture – now permeate the court’s functions.

Incarceration has largely been replaced by supervised release combined with Yurok traditions such as dancing and wood carving. Lawyering up for family disputes and child custody battles has been replaced by mediation. Almost every case is resolved through mediation – victims and perpetrators talking with each other – even if it takes years. Tribal courts resemble the growing U.S. restorative justice movement, which emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior and getting all stakeholders involved. Judge Abinanti says it just resembles the old Yurok values system.

The Yurok were village people, she likes to say. Living in clusters of redwood cabins along the Klamath River, people in the communities were so interdependent that when villagers did something wrong, they couldn’t just be locked away. They had to face consequences, but also become responsible, productive community members again. That’s tribal justice.

After what she calls “the invasion” by European settlers, the Yurok way of life was lost. By helping revive those values and applying them to modern-day problems – addiction, domestic violence, foster care – the Yurok say she’s not only meting out justice, she’s helping revive the tribe itself. And some U.S. criminal justice reformers are now beginning to explore what lessons can be learned from tribal courts.

“We’re not going to go back 200 years, but we have a values system and we’re going to develop our practices for today from that values system,” Judge Abinanti says. “I think people need to make a decision about what kind of system they want,” she adds. “My preference is community-based justice.... My belief is people thrive in community, and they don’t if they’re not.”

Ann Hermes/Staff
Yurok Tribal Court Associate Judge Bill Bowers (r.) fishes with his son, Will, on California’s Klamath River.

The Klamath River has always been at the center of Yurok life, and the tribe – the largest in California with about 5,000 members – is one of the few that still occupies its ancestral land. Yurok have fished salmon from the river for centuries, and the river mouth, in the shadow of the sacred rock ‘O Re-gos, is where tribes have gathered for ceremonial dances to renew and balance the world. The Yurok reservation is small – it hugs the Klamath, extending 44 miles inland and one mile on each side – and most Yurok live outside it.

Any Yurok tribe member is eligible to have their case heard in the tribal court (except for felony cases, which go to state or federal court). Judge Abinanti has expanded the kinds of cases the tribal court hears, from fishing disputes to family law and drugs, and has formed joint tribal specialty courts in neighboring counties for cases involving Yuroks. As with Mr. Thompson, convicted for DUI, she also negotiates with other judges for alternative sentences for Yuroks convicted in other jurisdictions.

For example, in lieu of a cash fine for a minor violation of a salmon fishing regulation, Judge Abinanti might ask the Yurok violator to donate fish to the next tribal dance.

“What we’ve been trying to do, and what Judge Abby has done such a remarkable job at, is tailor [judicial systems] to the specific tribe,” says Cheryl Fairbanks, the interim director of the Native American Budget and Policy Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a judge on tribal courts of appeal in Oregon and Nevada. 

LISTEN: How a tribal court gave one woman her life back

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‘An Indian can’t be a lawyer’

But to fully understand Judge Abinanti’s approach to justice requires going back to the mid-19th century, when three key developments happened in quick succession. 

In 1848, Mexico ceded the territory of California to the U.S. Nine days earlier gold had been discovered at Sutter’s Mill, northwest of present-day Sacramento. Two years later, the forty-niners gold rush helped California gain the 60,000-person population required for official statehood.

The indigenous population at the time was roughly 150,000, and as colonization began almost simultaneously to official statehood in 1850, U.S. law became one of the most effective weapons used against Native Americans in California.

Among the first laws the state legislature passed was the legalization of the “indenture” of “any Indian.” American Indians were also barred from voting, from giving evidence for or against whites, and from serving on juries. In combination, those laws “amounted to a virtual grant of impunity to those who attacked them,” writes Benjamin Madley, a history professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, in an email.

The state government didn’t just turn a blind eye. Officials, including the first California Supreme Court Justice Serranus Hastings, armed volunteer militia groups; these militia expeditions killed at least 1,340 Native Americans between 1850 and 1861, according to Professor Madley’s research. Tens of thousands, especially children, were forced into slave labor in ranches across the state. 

Massacres, slavery, and disease reduced California’s native population to about 30,000 within 23 years of statehood. Some tribes lost 95 percent of their population. The Yurok Tribe says three-quarters of its population died in this period, and the tribe faded into obscurity.

Fast-forward a century to 1974, when Judge Abinanti was the first Native American woman to pass the California bar. The Yurok weren’t yet a federally recognized tribe, and prejudices die slowly. Bar exam or no, an Indian can’t be a lawyer, one judge flatly told her. By the 1990s, when she was appointed to the state bench – also the first Native woman to hold that position – there were reportedly just six native Yurok speakers left. No one in her family had ever been involved in the legal profession, except her Yurok grandfather, Marion Rube, who was known to have robbed banks in white face powder and once escaped from San Quentin State Prison.

During the course of Judge Abinanti’s career, she’s witnessed the crime rate among white Americans drop. At the same time, the U.S. criminal justice system has disproportionately incarcerated Native Americans, according to a 2009 report by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.  

They are incarcerated at four times the rate of white Americans, a figure that has been increasing in recent years. Native children are 14 times more likely to be held in state foster care. Native women are raped and murdered at three times the rate of other American women. 

Judge Abinanti says that the Yurok history of decimation creates a generational trauma, a mental framework that shapes a cycle of behavior among some tribal members. “Until they get that, they feel sort of caught up in something that they can’t control or stop because they don’t know what it is or where it came from,” she says. “We have to take responsibility for acquiring those habits and we have to deal with it.”

Ann Hermes/Staff
Judge Abinanti, chief judge of the Yurok Tribal Court, plays with Lincoln at his birthday party in the Klamath River Book Nook, which she helped bring to the community in Klamath, California.

‘They never, ever talked about it’

Judge Abinanti is driving south over the winding, snow-dusted roads toward Eureka – near where she grew up – when she brings up how she was never a good student. She would misbehave, get punished, and skip school for months at a time.

Her mother rarely did anything about it, and it wasn’t until the young Abby finished high school that she learned of the dark Yurok history with government-run schools and began to understand her mother’s apparent apathy.

The Sherman Institute was one of three federally funded boarding schools established in California around the turn of the 20th century to assimilate Native children and their families into white society.

But between 1904 and 1955, there were 67 children who died and were buried at the school in Riverside, according to the Los Angeles Times. Judge Abinanti says her mother and aunts may have known some of those children. “They never, ever talked about it,” she adds, “and when I came upon it and heard about it, and asked them about it, they [still] wouldn’t talk about it.”

What happened at those schools shaped how her mother looked at education, she says. “What she could let me do, to protect me, was let me stay home. And you see that all over the place.” 

SOURCE: FBI, U.S. Census
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Jacob Turcotte/Staff

What looks like truancy, to most Americans, some tribal members see as child protection. And Judge Abinanti sees a straight line from Indian assimilation boarding schools 50 years ago to not just truancy, but illiteracy and low graduation rates today; a straight line from children being enslaved and laboring on distant ranches to those same children growing up to be abusive parents; a straight line from surviving a massacre to succumbing to violent behavior or substance abuse.

“It’s one thing to just stop behavior, but I think it helps to stop the behavior if you know why,” she says. “Why did my father or my grandfather or whatever do this? Why did that happen? It makes it a whole different ball game, to me.”

Understanding the “why” helped change the ballgame for Jon Riggs, who has Yurok, Chetco and Cherokee ancestry.

Raised off the reservation in a drug-addicted family, he started drinking and doing drugs at a very young age. He was 18 when he was arrested for the first time.

He got clean six years ago and went back to school, but he still felt a spiritual hole in his life. When last year he came back to the Klamath for the Jump Dance – a dance that’s meant to renew the world – he “was able to connect with something that was much deeper than I had ever done before.” In January, he became a wellness case manager for the tribal court.

Yurok culture “was something that I had to learn, and in a lot of ways it helped heal me,” he says. “I love the idea of us creating here a model that can be taken into any part of society globally.”

Ann Hermes/Staff
The sun sets over Klamath Glen, California, a small town five miles from the mouth of the Klamath River, surrounded by the Yurok Reservation.

Judge Abinanti’s Yurok court isn’t an isolated example. Other judges are seeing tribal-state court cooperation as a better approach to reducing costs, recidivism, and prison populations. Halfway across the country in Washtenaw County in Michigan, Judge Timothy Connors is entering his 29th year on the bench.

With the support of the Michigan Supreme Court, Judge Connors helped establish the Washtenaw County Peacemaking Court in 2013. Based on the conflict resolution traditions of local tribes, the court handles family and civil cases by having everyone involved sit together in a “peace circle” and, essentially, talk things out and try to agree on how to settle the dispute.

Cases range from custody of a child to property disputes, and even if those involved aren’t able to come to a collective agreement, the hope is they leave with a better understanding of the other sides’ perspectives. 

Still, the court has seen concrete success. In its first year, 94 percent of cases resulted in an agreement from the parties, and in 2016 Washtenaw County reduced the number of children in foster care by 35 percent (over a two year period) compared with a 9 percent reduction statewide.

Judge Connors came to peacemaking, he says, “simply by doing my job, seeing things and having time to see the ripple effects of what we’re doing, and inherently starting to ask questions.”

“As I started to learn about this resiliency,” he adds, “of this group of people who, despite everything we have done to them, have survived and carried this other truth through all of that, and are willing to share it, I just thought, ‘Wow, we’ve been missing the boat.’ ”

It should be noted that tribal courts are operating at a much smaller scale than traditional courts. They devote more time to working with people who come before them, but the small number of cases they handle makes that much easier.

Back in California, for example, the Yurok Tribal Court took an average of about 319 cases a year between 2012 and 2017, compared with 12,453 in Del Norte County Superior Court and 25,036 in Humboldt County Superior Court. Whether a higher caseload would affect results is unclear. Critics of restorative justice say it’s naive and lacks effective consequences for wrongdoers. Supporters agree that it only works for certain kinds of crimes, and when victims and perpetrators are sincerely motivated to find a resolution. And not everyone here considers the tribal court a better form of justice. 

Arnold and Kim Joyce, who are non-Yurok, are convinced the court is biased against them. Currently in a years-long dispute with their Yurok son-in-law over visitation with their grandchildren, Mr. Joyce thinks Judge Abinanti should have disqualified herself from the case.

Their son-in-law “can make lies, accusations, anything he wants, and they believe him and we’re nobody because we’re not Yurok,” says Ms. Joyce. “I feel like we’re being discriminated against.”

“I understand why they’re for the Yurok people, but we just want to be part of their lives,” she says referring to the grandchildren. 

Ann Hermes/Staff
Hoppow Norris stands outside his home in Crescent City, California, north of the Yurok Reservation, in February. He’s a member of the Yurok Tribe, and was in tribal court recently to resolve a guardianship case.

‘There’s got to be truth and there’s got to be forgiveness’

Hoppow Norris understands better than most why the Yurok people need this kind of court. He grew up an “Indian outlaw,” raised by Yuroks who practiced Yurok rites in secret when it was illegal to do so.

Standing in the lobby of the Yurok court, Mr. Norris is here with his daughter’s sister to apply to be her temporary guardian. 

His long black ponytail poking through his red hat, and wearing a long dentalium necklace and small wooden spoon earrings he carved himself, Mr. Norris looks completely Yurok. This is a problem for him in other courts.

“I feel like, because of my hair and my skin, I don’t get heard,” he says. Judge Abinanti “is really interested in helping our people,” he adds. “Having a legal system that considers not just the legal part of it but the cultural part of it is really significant for the continuity [of that culture], of keeping something that’s almost dead alive.”

If Lady Justice is blind in the U.S. system, in the Yurok system her eyes are wide open, looking at not just the crime but its personal and historical context, and often responding with compassion. Judge Abinanti says the whole U.S. justice system could benefit from exploring the generational trauma of every individual.

There are descendants of enslaved people, she notes, of Holocaust survivors, and of interned Japanese-Americans. The U.S. could benefit generally, she says, by learning from its various cultures instead of pouring them all into a melting pot. “I think that we have a lot to offer our own citizens, and we have a lot to offer the country as a whole,” she says. 

“If [the justice system is] not working then it’s on the humans to say, ‘This just isn’t working and we’re going to change it.’ ”

Real change can take time. In the early 1970s, Judge Abinanti was in law school when the Yurok tribal dances were revived. It was a time of Native political activism and cultural resurgence. Activists occupied Alcatraz and Wounded Knee, and founded independent, Native universities.

But the dances that have come back – the Flower Dance, the Brush Dance, the White Deerskin Dance – aren’t quite the same. They’ve been reconstructed from the fading memories of elders and oral histories passed down through families and reinterpreted.

Judge Abinanti has only danced once. She doesn’t speak Yurok either, though she’s learning. A seventh-grader is teaching her – or trying to. She’s never been a good student, after all.

But she has always known Yurok values – responsibility and renewal – and those values are the rocks she’s built the tribal court on. And it’s those values that some hope may help mend the broken parts of America’s justice system. 

“I think that as the indigenous people of America we have a lot to offer. We’ve just never had a place at the table,” says Judge Fairbanks in New Mexico.

“There’s got to be truth and there’s got to be forgiveness.... Or we stay attached to that anger and stay attached to that hate,” she admits. “We have had to look really deep within ourselves to do the forgiveness, and I think that will make us stronger as a people.” 

Correction: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of the name Abby Abinanti’s grandfather. It was Rube.

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2. In dash to Israeli election, a scramble for swing voters

To outsiders, it may seem that Israel’s elections turn primarily on security. But Israel’s Mr. Security, Benjamin Netanyahu, may be vulnerable among swing voters worried about opportunity.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a carefully cultivated reputation as Mr. Security, the leader who knows best how to protect Israel in the hostile Middle East environment. It’s a pitch that has played well for Mr. Netanyahu and his Likud party among mostly conservative Sephardic Jewish voters, whose families immigrated to Israel from across the Middle East.

They’ve been mostly a bedrock Likud constituency ever since Menachem Begin, elected Israel’s first Likud prime minister in 1977, embraced them with housing programs for the working class. But amid complaints Mr. Netanyahu hasn’t addressed their socio-economic needs, many in the community are ready to try someone new, making them the swing vote in elections April 9.

Polls show Likud trailing the newly formed and centrist Blue and White alliance, which is led by a former military chief of staff and includes two others. “The government has ignored society. All they’ve done is talk about Iran,’’ says Shimshon Amiel, who owns a fruit stand in Tel Aviv’s Hatikvah market. “How can a young couple get the capital to buy a house? I’m looking to choose a party that will offer something socio-economic.’’

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In dash to Israeli election, a scramble for swing voters

The produce stalls in the Hatikvah open-air market are adorned with pictures of bearded rabbis, soccer jerseys, and occasionally banners for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party.

“Netanyahu: Right. Strong. Successful.”

Located in the hardscrabble working-class neighborhood of south Tel Aviv inhabited largely by Sephardic Jews whose families immigrated from across the Middle East, the Hatikvah market is regarded as an unwavering Likud bastion where party affiliation runs in the blood.

Despite the bribery charges Mr. Netanyahu faces from Israel’s attorney general, many declare there’s no substitute for his leadership. One reason is his carefully cultivated reputation as Mr. Security, the leader who knows best how to protect Israel in the hostile Middle East environment.

It’s a pitch that for many election cycles has played well among mostly conservative Sephardic voters, benefiting both Mr. Netanyahu and Likud.

From behind his fruit stand, however, Shimshon Amiel, 67, insists that he will not be voting for Likud this time around, exposing a vulnerability that Mr. Netanyahu’s rivals are eager to exploit.

“The government has ignored society. All they’ve done is talk about Iran,’’ says Mr. Amiel as he hands over the last of his bananas. “How can a young couple get the capital to buy a house? I’m looking to choose a party that will offer something socio-economic.’’

Mr. Netanyahu, in office for the past 10 years and running for an unprecedented fifth term as prime minister in elections April 9, is facing a potent challenge from a former military chief of staff, Benny Gantz, who heads the centrist Blue and White alliance. In a television poll published Sunday, Blue and White had a 32 to 28 seat advantage over Likud in Israel’s 120-seat Knesset. However, the same poll suggested Mr. Netanyahu could retain power by building a 63-seat coalition with other right-wing and religious parties.

In that scenario, disaffected Likud voters like Mr. Amiel are emerging as the political fulcrum.

Stocking up on generals

Blue and White has been trying hard to woo this constituency of moderate right-wingers. Its top candidates feature two other former army chiefs – one of them a former Likudnik – and a pair of former Netanyahu aides.

The party has crafted a conservative message on peace and security, with pledges to keep Jerusalem united and to retain Israeli army control over the entire West Bank – “the Land of Israel,” as the party refers to it – as part of any agreement with the Palestinians.

At the same time, Blue and White has also tried to focus attention on the prime minister’s corruption scandals. In one of three corruption cases, Israel’s attorney general plans to indict Mr. Netanyahu for allegedly easing regulations on Israel’s telephone monopoly in return for favorable coverage by a news website.

Public opinion analysts believe that Blue and White’s appeal has borne fruit.

“The most important constituency is the soft Likud,’’ said Roni Rimon, a political strategist who worked on Mr. Netanyahu’s 2009 campaign, in an interview with Israel Radio. “This is the constituency that will determine the fate of the campaign. And both parties are speaking to them.”

For decades, Mr. Netanyahu and Likud have relied on this constituency of working-class Sephardic Jews. They resented the elitism of Israel’s European founding political establishment. When Menachem Begin, Israel’s first Likud prime minister, embraced them with programs promoting housing among the working class, the party won a loyal following.

“There’s no substitute for Bibi,’’ says Yakov Shimshi, 50, owner of a Middle Eastern barbecue restaurant, using the prime minister’s nickname.

While acknowledging that Mr. Netanyahu could improve on socio-economic issues, Mr. Shimshi praised him for persuading President Donald Trump to recognize Israeli control of the Golan Heights.

Wooing the ‘soft Likudnik’

But part of the constituency has proven fluid. In previous elections, politicians who have resigned from the Likud have been able to lure supporters to other parties. In 2015, for example, Moshe Kahlon, a former minister, set up an independent center-right party, Kulanu, to appeal to Likudniks who felt left behind economically.

And Orly Levy, daughter of a former Likud working-class political leader, David Levy, is seeking to woo some of the constituency with her own party. Both could tip the balance among the coalitions following the elections.

According to a March 24 survey for Israel Today and the i24 News television channel, 3.4 percent of likely voters said they were vacillating between Likud and Blue and White, and another 2.8 percent were wavering between Kulanu and Blue and White.

“The soft Likudnik is someone that vacillates between Likud and the center, and someone who looks for strong leadership,’’ says Mitchell Barak, an Israeli American public opinion expert. “They want more on the social issues than the Likud has to offer, and they want someone who is going to care about them and represent them.”

At a Blue and White town hall meeting this week in the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon, Doron Avrahami asked former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi if the party had a plan to deal with tens of thousands of African migrants who have settled in south Tel Aviv.

Mr. Ashkenazi, who said Israel must deal “firmly” but “humanely” with the migrants, said Blue and White supports a deal Israel reached in 2018 with the United Nations but never followed through on: absorbing about half of the migrants while sending the other half to third-party Western countries.

Last-minute challenges

Mr. Avrahami, a 40-something sales manager and a self-described right-winger who voted for Netanyahu in the last election, vowed not to repeat that choice this time around.

“Why should I vote for a party that hasn’t done anything?” says Mr. Avrahami, a south Tel Aviv resident who complained that none of the parties had put the migrants issue on the agenda. Asked about the party of former military chiefs, he replies: “I can’t say that a chief of staff is right or left. They served the country.”

In the past week, Netanyahu has been buffeted by news of a possible criminal investigation into a stake he bought in a U.S. steel company in 2007. He reaped a 600 percent return in 2010 when the company was sold to a supplier of a German submarine maker that manufacturers ships for Israel’s navy.

He also had to cut short a visit to the United States after a rocket from the Gaza Strip hit a house north of Tel Aviv, spurring renewed fighting with Hamas that opened him up to attack over his handling of national security.

Amid Hatikvah’s vegetable stalls, Mr. Amiel faults Israel’s government for not taking a harder line against Gaza’s militant Islamic rules. But his main gripe seems to be that the rise in the cost of living and property values had put home ownership out of reach for his children. Maybe Blue and White could do the job, he speculates.

“There’s an audience of center-right people that might be receptive’’ to change, says Jonathan Rynhold, a political science professor at Bar Ilan University. “They may be able to shift the balance within the blocs. Even if we are only talking about a shift of two seats, that can have a huge shift in coalition dynamics.”

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3. The end of the amateur? What’s behind calls to pay NCAA athletes.

College basketball’s “March Madness” is fun, but is it fair? As college sports have become a multibillion-dollar enterprise, there are questions about whether a scholarship is an adequate exchange of value for athletes.

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Most college athletic programs don’t bring in net revenue. And even among the ones that on average do – Division I football and basketball – athletes still aren’t allowed to be paid or to profit from their names, images, or likenesses. These players are largely students of color, and their graduation rates are often below those of their peers. The system “is all predicated on the idea that a college scholarship is priceless,” says Victoria Jackson, sports historian and lecturer of history at Arizona State University. “But [these athletes] are not earning the degrees.”

Without assurances of a college degree or professional career, many critics see student payment as a necessary trade-off. The push for athlete compensation in the league is decades old, but new momentum may be building. A recent federal lawsuit, a bill moving through Congress, and several state initiatives point to the possibility that the National Collegiate Athletic Association might soon see, as Dr. Jackson puts it, “pretty radical change.”

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The end of the amateur? What’s behind calls to pay NCAA athletes.

The Operation Varsity Blues admissions scandal spotlighted the influence of sports in higher education. But athletic revenue likely doesn’t contribute much to that influence, since, save for a handful of schools, college athletic programs don’t actually break even. The ones that on average do – Division I football and basketball – still don’t pay their players or let them earn money from their names, images, or likenesses. Those athletes are largely students of color, and their graduation rates (excluding transfer students) are generally lower. The system “is all predicated on the idea that a college scholarship is priceless,” says Victoria Jackson, sports historian and lecturer of history at Arizona State University in Tempe. “But [these athletes] are not earning the degrees.”

One reason is that athletic scholarships are annually renewable – a structure that looks awfully similar to an employment contract, says Dr. Jackson. On high-stakes football and basketball teams, players who perform poorly risk losing their funding, which makes finishing a degree much harder for most. And for the small proportion of athletes who do go professional, draft eligibility for the NFL and NBA allows them to leave school before graduating. Without assurances of a college degree or professional career, many critics view student payment as a necessary trade-off.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, the body that regulates college sports, has argued that payment would sully its value of “amateurism,” which distinguishes it from professional leagues. But whether or not students receive it, universities are funneling money into athletic programs across the country. In 2017, the highest paid public employee in 39 of 50 states was a college basketball or football coach.

SOURCE: National Collegiate Athletic Association Revenues/Expenses Division I Report 2004-2016; National Collegiate Athletic Association, Demographics Database, 2018; Shaun R. Harper, P.h.D., Black Male Student-Athletes and Racial Inequities in NCAA Division I College Sports, University of Southern California Race and Equity Center, 2018
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Noble Ingram and Karen Norris/Staff

The push to pay players has roots in the 1950s and earlier, but new momentum may be building. A recent federal lawsuit removed caps on athlete compensation and benefits so long as they support educational needs, including textbooks and school supplies. And a bill allowing students to profit from their names, images, and likenesses is moving through Congress. State initiatives with similar aims in Washington and California have begun this year.

Ultimately, the athletes themselves might be the strongest reformers. “All it’s going to take,” says Dr. Jackson, “is one [player] boycott of March Madness or a college football playoff to stimulate pretty radical change.” 

SOURCE: National Collegiate Athletic Association Revenues/Expenses Division I Report 2004-2016; National Collegiate Athletic Association, Demographics Database, 2018; Shaun R. Harper, P.h.D., Black Male Student-Athletes and Racial Inequities in NCAA Division I College Sports, University of Southern California Race and Equity Center, 2018
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Noble Ingram and Karen Norris/Staff
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4. Pride and profit: Mayan weavers fight for intellectual property rights

The question of who owns culture is playing out dramatically in Guatemala. The culture of indigenous peoples is being aggressively promoted even as centuries-old condescension and discrimination continue.

Mark
Morena Perez Joachin /Special to The Christian Science Monitor
Florentina Con Juarez does traditional weaving at the Women’s Association for the Development of Sacatepéquez. The grassroots organization is pushing to have Mayan designs recognized as collective intellectual property.

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Marisol Bucu runs her hands over an embroidered huipil tunic, covered top to bottom in traditional symbols used by Mayan weavers. The flowers on the bottom have three colors, a symbol meaning it’s meant to be worn by a grown woman, she explains – the kind of nuance that is lost on many outsiders.

“Weaving is math, it’s history, it can be like a therapy,” she says. “It makes me feel empowered to have a better understanding of where I come from and to promote my culture.”

Today, Mayan textile designs have become popular, embellishing everything from tourist tchotchkes to haute couture around the world. But here in Guatemala, many weavers have stories of being unfairly compensated for their work, or their communities’ designs. It’s one more way, they way, that indigenous communities are marginalized.

Weavers are pushing for legal reform, though, arguing that intellectual property law should apply to their communities’ traditional patterns. If passed, companies would have to return a percentage of profit to indigenous communities. The proposed law “is not just for economic reasons,” says Angelina Aspuac, a weaver and activist. “It’s about defending our identity, which is weakened every day.”

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Pride and profit: Mayan weavers fight for intellectual property rights

The vibrant, woven huipil Florentina Con Juarez wears while spooling thread this morning took her more than four months to complete. The bright primary colors on her shirt combine to make an intricate piece of woven art, but even here in her Cachiquel Maya community, many don’t know their deeper meaning, the octogenarian says: red for the blood of ancestors, blue for the heavens, and green for life and hope.

“Many go to study and work, so there’s not time to weave,” says Ms. Con Juarez, who started weaving when she was 7.

But there are deeper challenges to preserving this historic art. That includes widespread discrimination against indigenous Guatemalans – particularly women in traditional dress – and their communities, and the exploitation of their ancient crafts. Tourism plays up Maya weaving as a national treasure, but handwoven textile designs are frequently copied and mass produced without remuneration.

It adds up to intellectual property theft, Maya activists say. But a legal initiative proposed and supported by indigenous communities like Ms. Con Jaurez’s aims to change that, by amending Guatemala’s copyright laws to protect collective intellectual property. 

Morena Perez Joachin /Special to The Christian Science Monitor
Angelina Aspuac explains the Mayan cosmic view in relation to the weaving pattern.

The legislation has progressed by fits and starts since 2017, when it was first presented to Congress, but activists say it’s already created new awareness of textile design and creation – and the indigenous communities behind it. More are mobilizing to preserve their craft and history, aiming to protect them from international businesses, or their own communities’ fading knowledge of certain symbols and traditions.

The proposed law “is not just for economic reasons. It’s about defending our identity, which is weakened every day,” says Angelina Aspuac, the former director of the Women’s Association for the Development of Sacatepéquez (AFEDES), who now leads the grassroots organization’s advocacy strategy. 

“Indigenous communities are treated like we’re holding the country back. We have to protect our clothes and history of our textiles, but we also need to improve our treatment by the government,” says Ms. Aspuac. She’s part of the National Movement of Women Weavers, which brought together 30 organizations from 18 different linguistic communities to propose the legal reforms around weaving.

The weavers’ fight is more than a judicial battle, says Juan Castro, a lawyer supporting the legislation. “It’s an act of resistance for the autonomy” of their communities.

Stolen designs

AFEDES is located on a narrow street brimming with cinderblock homes and small shops. The building is covered with a colorful mural of geometric shapes, and a woman’s face emerging from corn husks.

Marisol Bucu, dressed in a Kelly-green huipil with triangles embroidered in warm yellows, pinks, and reds, didn’t grow up weaving – her own mother never learned. When her sister suggested they attend a six-month-long AFEDES weaving workshop together, she jumped at the chance. 

Morena Perez Joachin /Special to The Christian Science Monitor
A weaver displays a traditional huipil tunic in Sacatepéquez, Guatemala. Huipils' colors and symbols are richly layered with meaning.

“I feel a stronger connection with my ancestors,” she says. “Most young people aren’t weaving because they lack the opportunity to learn.” She runs her hands down a huipil covered from top to bottom in symbols whose meaning she only learned last year, in the workshop.

“I always thought these were zeros and ones,” Ms. Bucu says of one section, “but they represent the sun and the moon.” On the bottom, she explains, three-color flower designs indicate the top is meant to be worn by a grown woman. It’s frustrating to see these nuances overlooked by outsiders, she says.

“Weaving is math, it’s history, it can be like a therapy. It makes me feel empowered to have a better understanding of where I come from and to promote my culture.”

Since the twice-weekly workshops first launched in 2005, the number of weavers here has grown from just a handful to 1,500, according to AFEDES. They’re increasingly common across the country, observers say. 

For years, members searched for more affordable thread so they could earn more from their weaving. But in 2014, they realized they needed to concentrate on the bigger picture, Ms. Aspuac says.

Morena Perez Joachin /Special to The Christian Science Monitor
Members of the Women’s Association for the Development of Sacatepéquez, or AFEDES, which runs weaving workshops and advocates for traditional weavers' rights, stand for a portrait in Sacatepéquez, Guatemala.

Many weavers had stories of foreigners commissioning designs or taking photos or videos of their work – but they saw little, if any, of the profits. Government agencies, like the tourism ministry, often feature indigenous women and children weaving or wearing traditional textiles, but invest little back into the communities, Ms. Aspuac says.

In 2011, she recalls, a foreign designer asked a weaver to use some of their traditional patterns, but move their positioning on the shirt and change the color palette slightly. Once the work was complete, the designer told the artist she herself now owned the design, and if the weaver made anything like it again, she would take her to court. 

“The women here didn’t understand what was going on,” Ms. Aspuac says. “No huipil is identical, but they often look similar to each other. You always know what community it comes from. When it leaves our hands and we’re told it’s no longer our history or our art, that’s a problem,” she says.

Risks of legislation

The national weaver’s group presented its proposal to reform current intellectual property laws to legislators in November 2016, and it was accepted for debate in 2017. The initiative aims to recognize that indigenous communities are the intellectual owners of their art, automatically allowing them to benefit from intellectual property law as a collective group. If they’re recognized as the creators of these textile designs, the individuals, companies, or corporations that financially benefit from their work would be required to return a percentage of the profits to the indigenous communities.

The proposal has received support from indigenous lawmakers, though they only represent about 12 percent of legislators. But some question whether trying to adapt modern laws to ancient practices is the most effective approach.

“I’m completely sympathetic with the women behind this initiative,” says Walter Little, an anthropology professor at the State University of New York at Albany, who studies textiles in Guatemala. They have “a long history” of “not being recognized for their cultural contributions in fair ways.”

He notes examples of Maya weavers in neighboring Mexico, where internationally-known designers like Christian Louboutin have been accused of using Maya textiles without fairly compensating local artists.

“On the surface it sounds good: trying to protect cultural heritage as expressed through textiles and a set of designs,” he says. “The problem is that many of these designs have already spread throughout the whole region,” he says. “It gets sticky when you say ‘This is my symbol, or this design is from my town.’ ”

Morena Perez Joachin /Special to The Christian Science Monitor
A woman works on a loom. Fewer young people learn traditional weaving methods today than a few generations ago, Guatemalan weavers say.

Dr. Little fears that looking at textile design through the lens of fashion essentially “freezes it in time as a kind of folk art or folk material and that doesn’t allow it to actually live.”

“I think of [weaving] like a language,” he adds. Among indigenous communities, “it’s more vibrant when everyone is using it, fooling around with it, taking from others, and making new combinations. Vibrancy in language indicates strength, and in textiles it’s the same way.”

‘It’s up to indigenous women’

Even as the proposal drags on, weaving collectives say they feel a sense of hope in the awareness it’s raised. Indigenous Guatemalans make up between 40 and 60 percent of the population, yet suffer widespread discrimination.

Indigenous women like the weavers “are subjected to jokes and racism in the streets,” says Ms. Aspuac. Even in Guatemala’s Congress, colleagues have referred to indigenous legislators as “stupid Indians.” 

Today, six Maya communities have established advisory boards, says Ms. Aspuac, and two more are establishing them. They field requests from the likes of government ministries wanting to publish photos of textiles from their town, or Ph.D. students studying textile design in Guatemala. There are also efforts to document different symbols, and sources for natural dyes. 

Back in AFEDES, a small group of women gathers on the top floor to weave using back-strap looms.

“If we lose our textiles and the history of weaving, it’s another form of losing our language and who we are,” says Maria Corina Puac Con, as she works on a white textile with red, yellow, and green symbols. She’s sent her youngest daughter to one of the workshops here.

Ms. Aspuac echos this sentiment. “The government isn’t doing anything, so it’s up to indigenous women to hold on to our identity,” she says.

“We’re simply asking for a fair relationship, where there’s a conversation and understanding between those who want to sell and benefit from our history and those who are the true owners – the community.”

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5. Self-heating homes of the future, inspired by the past

A home energy experiment in Maine is testing the idea that only the wealthy can afford innovation. One particular advance might prove far more valuable for low-income residents.

Mark

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First conceived of during the 1970s energy crisis, “passive houses,” buildings that rely primarily on sunlight and insulation for controlling indoor temperatures, have long been out of reach for ordinary workers. But a new project in Portland, Maine, aims to change that.

Bayside Anchor, a low-income apartment building near the city’s downtown, boasts 10-inch-thick walls, triple-glazed windows, and a sophisticated ventilation system that keeps the heat in and the cold out during the Pine Tree State’s frigid winters. The result of this careful design: Heat and electricity bills are less than half of what it typically costs to heat a similar building in the city.

For MD Islam, a recycling plant worker who lives at Bayside Anchor with his wife and their two young children, the building represents a significant improvement over his previous apartment, which lacked heat. “Now my family – everybody – is happy. We feel very comfortable,” he says. “Sometimes we turn off the heater because we feel so good.” 

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Self-heating homes of the future, inspired by the past

Rubbing their hands and breathing dragon smoke into the cold air, residents rush inside the bright green building. The temperature outside has barely hit double digits, so the warm lobby inside Bayside Anchor, a low-income apartment building in Portland, is a happy reprieve.

The lobby is also an architectural feat, as Bayside Anchor has no centralized heating system. It is a certified “passive house,” which means the building has airtight insulation and thick windows to keep the interior warm and heating costs low.

This energy-efficient design has been gaining ground in American architecture among wealthy homeowners. But some cities like Portland, Maine, have realized this energy-efficient design for the affordable housing sector – for residents who can really benefit from lower heating costs.

Passive house-certified buildings are slightly more expensive to build upfront, but the heat and electricity bills are less than half of what it typically costs to heat a similar building in Portland.

Passive house design is more than just an architectural novelty, says the team behind Bayside Anchor. It is also a necessary tool for residents or homeowners who care about long-term affordability. As the need for affordable housing grows across the United States, proponents say cities should move beyond building low-income housing as cheaply as possible.

“In the affordable housing sector, this kind of forward thinking is critical,” says Greg Payne, director of the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition and development officer at Avesta Housing, the nonprofit affordable housing provider that manages Bayside Anchor. “We have to promise that [the building] will be affordable for 45 years.”

A home that looks after itself

Before moving to Bayside Anchor two years ago, MD Islam, his wife, and their two young children lived in a home without heat.

“We had to suffer a lot,” says Mr. Islam, who works at a local recycling plant. “Now my family – everybody – is happy. We feel very comfortable.”

A high-tech ventilation system exchanges indoor air with fresh air from outside, all while retaining the temperature of the indoor air. Thick walls (with 10 inches of insulation, in Bayside Anchor’s case) and triple-pane windows keep the building airtight so very little heat escapes. Instead of a central heating system, each apartment has a small electric baseboard heater.

Combine all these elements, and you have windows that feel warm to the touch – even as the outside temperature is in the single digits.

“Sometimes we turn off the heater because we feel so good,” says Mr. Islam.

In addition the building aims to be an “anchor” for the community. The first floor has a colorful common space, as well as a Portland Housing Authority office, a Head Start preschool, and a community policing office. Mr. Islam also raves about the help he receives from the staff at Bayside Anchor, such as Avesta property manager Lucy Cayard.

Ms. Cayard says the passive house design has helped her build a deeper connection with the residents. Since much of the building takes care of itself, the building’s staff can put their time and resources elsewhere.

“We get to focus more on people’s needs and not the building’s needs,” says Ms. Cayard. “When we don’t have to go into their apartment for maintenance, we can spend that time getting to know them.”

The concept of passively heating and cooling a building is probably as old as architecture itself. Writing in the first century B.C., the Roman architect and military engineer Vitruvius observed that buildings in warmer climates tended to have northern exposures, with windows facing away from the sun, while those in cooler climates had southern exposures. Modern passive house techniques trace some of their history to energy-efficiency efforts in the U.S. during the OPEC oil embargo. The principles underlying Bayside Anchor’s design are further based on techniques honed by scientists in Europe in the 1980s and 1990s.

Bayside Anchor became the first multifamily building in Portland to receive a PHIUS+ certification from the Passive House Institute US, a nonprofit that has set passive house building standards in the U.S. for more than a decade.

The building’s 45 apartments – 36 of which target individuals and families making between $19,000 and $54,000 – are desperately needed by locals like Mr. Islam. As the city’s first new affordable housing since the 1970s, Bayside Anchor is partially funded by the city and the state, but the development was jump-started in 2013 after the project won Enterprise and Deutsche Bank’s “Lowering the Cost of Housing Competition,” and a $250,000 investment.

It’s not just Portland experimenting with this design. Philadelphia has long been considered a leader in bringing passive house standards to affordable housing. Village Centre, a 48-unit apartment building north of Portland in Brewer, Maine, is one of the largest passive house buildings in the country, and a building currently under construction in Boston could become the largest passive design office building in the world.

But with a national shortage of 3.7 million affordable rental homes, according to a recent report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, new building approaches need to be explored. For example, says Mr. Payne, almost 600 households are currently on the waitlist for one of Bayside Anchor’s 36 affordable units.

“We are watching it happen all across the country,” says Jesse Thompson, the Portland-based architect behind Bayside Anchor. “What’s different about Maine is that it’s the affordable housing folks who are the most progressive, who are moving the most quickly.”

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The Monitor's View

Saving the merit in March Madness from gambling

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In this year’s NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, the quality of play is as high as ever. But that is not stopping many more sports fans from viewing the matchups as mostly games of chance.

According to NCAA President Mark Emmert, the educational merit from such contests of skill and teamwork is facing a serious challenge from the rapid rise in legal sports gambling by states. With eight states now allowing such betting, experts predict 39 in all will be on board by the end of 2023.

In response, the NCAA has set up a new committee to track the effects of legalized gambling on college sports. For the NCAA chief, the real threat is to the purpose of education. “It’s pretty simple,” Mr. Emmert said. “We have to lead with our values.” Those values, as reflected in polling of Americans, include a belief that people are rewarded for their intelligence and skill.

The solution for the NCAA lies in how well schools of higher education stick to values based on objective merit and on their ability to fend off pressure from those who operate by subjective hunches about luck.

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Saving the merit in March Madness from gambling

In this year’s NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, otherwise known as March Madness, the quality of play on the court is as high as ever. But that is not stopping many more sports fans from viewing the matchups as mostly games of chance.

According to NCAA President Mark Emmert, the educational merit from such contests of skill and teamwork is facing a serious challenge from the rapid rise in legal gambling not only on the games but also on their unpaid amateur athletes.

“Sports wagering is going to have a dramatic impact on everything we do in college sports,” he says. “It’s going to threaten the integrity of college sports in many ways unless we are willing to act boldly and strongly.”

Colleges in the United States are already under suspicion after a recent admissions scandal that revealed some elite schools had disregarded academic merit in student applicants. That concern over institutional integrity, however, is largely an internal problem. College sports faces outside pressure because nearly half of state governments are rushing to legalize sports gambling.

The rush began last May after the Supreme Court ruled the federal government could not ban states from authorizing sports gambling. With eight states now allowing such betting, experts predict 39 in all will be on board by the end of 2023.

Last year, an estimated 1 in 5 adults placed bets totaling an estimated $10 billion during March Madness, most of them illegal. The number of gamblers as well the money waged is now rising as more states not only make such gambling easier and legal but also promote it to boost tax revenues.

In response, the NCAA has set up a new committee to track the effects of legalized gambling on college sports. News media have also taken notice. Both CBS’s “60 Minutes” and Showtime recently documented the potential threat. In many college athletic programs, players are being trained how not to be tempted by a bribe from organized crime to alter the course of a game.

For the NCAA chief, the real threat is to the purpose of education. “It’s pretty simple,” Mr. Emmert said. “We have to lead with our values.”

Those values, as reflected in polling of Americans, include a belief that people are rewarded – and should be – for their intelligence and skill. Notions of “luck,” as philosopher Steven Hales of Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania points out based on new research, may be “no more than a subjective point of view taken on certain events, not a genuine property in the world that we discover.”

In past years during the three weeks of March Madness, the number of callers to the National Problem Gambling Helpline rose an average of 40 percent. Many sports gamblers acknowledge they have a problem. Now the NCAA and its larger educational community is asking for help. The answer lies in how well schools of higher education stick to values based on objective merit and on their ability to fend off pressure from those who operate by subjective hunches about luck.

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A Christian Science Perspective

About this feature

Each weekday, the Monitor includes one clearly labeled religious article offering spiritual insight on contemporary issues, including the news. The publication – in its various forms – is produced for anyone who cares about the progress of the human endeavor around the world and seeks news reported with compassion, intelligence, and an essentially constructive lens. For many, that caring has religious roots. For many, it does not. The Monitor has always embraced both audiences. The Monitor is owned by a church – The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston – whose founder was concerned with both the state of the world and the quality of available news.

Honesty and God’s impartial goodness – what’s the connection?

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In the wake of the recently uncovered college admissions scheme in the United States, today’s contributor explores the value and spiritual power of honesty.

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Honesty and God’s impartial goodness – what’s the connection?

Today's Christian Science Perspective audio edition
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Some promises are only tricks. When the world holds out the promise that, for instance, dishonesty will provide great goodness or benefits, it can be tempting to fall for it. The college admissions scheme that recently came to light, in which parents and coaches at several elite American universities conspired to have students admitted under illicit circumstances, is just one example of this.

But dishonesty is a fraud. It may promise to bring joy, yet all too often it brings only sadness and self-loathing, whether we’re caught or not. When tempted by dishonesty, I’ve found that utterly rejecting the temptation is a good practice! This is a good first step to getting in touch with what truly will benefit us and others, which I’ve seen time and time again is actually a spiritual perspective on things, a better understanding of the nature of God as Love and Truth.

A friend, when applying for a position that seemed like her dream job, was tempted to enhance the education and experience listed on her résumé. But she knew that whether or not she ever worked for this company, she wanted to do everything on a long-term, solid foundation of good ethics. To be dishonest is against our true nature as the children of God, the spiritual expressions of His truth. It’s natural to love to be honest, and all the power of God is behind our expression of this quality.

And this divine power is entirely good; God doesn’t put some of us at a disadvantage. Devoted to helping humanity understand the universal goodness and power of God, whom the Bible calls Love, Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science and instituted the Monitor, looked to Jesus’ example. She saw that in all Jesus did, he was turning mightily to divine Love, palpably aware of the fact that he existed constantly in God’s great and affluent love (see John 15:10).

This affluent love of God remains today (and always) for our great benefit too. In her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mrs. Eddy observes, “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals” (p. 13).

One reason for this is that divine Love is absolutely infinite. An infinite God means infinite goodness for all of us. We don’t need to be deceptive to get it. This goodness is spiritual, and God gifts it to us by expressing it in us constantly. In the Bible, it says that God will “pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).

What is a good way to connect with divine Love’s abundance? One leading way is through honesty. Expressing selfless honesty brings to our thoughts and lives evidence of the truly infinite power of God. It’s not about God rewarding us because we were honest. Rather, letting Truth lead us clarifies our thoughts, enabling us to see that we already are perpetually at one with God’s limitless goodness!

My friend ended up submitting an honest résumé and felt certain this was the right choice regardless of what the outcome was. She ended up with the job, which she continues to enjoy and succeed in.

Anytime is a good time to choose to express honesty. Just as light shines immediately on the face of someone who turns toward the sun, the strength in God-inspired honesty can be felt immediately by anyone who practices it. More than ever, the world needs every bit of this. “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,” says the Bible (Psalms 25:21). So beautifully, each instance of honesty that is humbly and joyfully expressed magnifies God’s truth, which purifies and blesses all.

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Viewfinder

Mapping a notorious past

Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters
Museum staff members walk over a giant illuminated aerial photograph of Berlin, including the marked course of the Berlin Wall and places related to the former East German Ministry for State Security, known as the Stasi, at the exhibition “The Stasi in Berlin” inside the former Hohenschönhausen prison in Berlin March 27. For decades the prison, where thousands of political prisoners were held, didn’t officially exist on any maps. It was closed after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and Germany’s reunification.
( The illustrations in today's Monitor Daily are by Jacob Turcotte. )
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In Our Next Issue

( March 28th, 2019 )

Thank you for joining us today. Please come back tomorrow when columnist Ned Temko looks at what he calls “The Age of Alluringly Simple Solutions” and whether it is here to stay.

Monitor Daily Podcast

March 27, 2019
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