Lancaster – Watching the outcomes of the Israeli elections (photo: Andrey Kupavskii)

### Sweden

I just came back from a trip to Sweden and the U.K. I was invited to Gothenburg to be the opponent for a Ph. D. Candidate Malin Palö Forsström (by now Dr. Malin Palö Forsström), who wrote her excellent Ph. D. thesis under the supervision of Jeff Steif in Chalmers University. We also used the opportunity for a lovely mini-mini-workshop

From Gothenburg I took the train to Stockholm to spend the weekend with Anders Björner and we talked about some old projects regarding algebraic shifting. We had dinner with several colleagues including Svante Linusson who is a candidate for the European parliament!

Stockholm: With Anders and Cristins in the late 80s (left, I think this was also when I was an opponent), Svante Linusson ten days ago (right)

### The United Kingdom

The British Mathematical Colloquium at Lancaster was a lovely 4-day general meeting, an opportunity to meet some old and new friends (and Internet MO friend Yemon Choi in real life), and to learn about various new developments. I am aware of the fact that my list of unfulfilled promises is longer than those of most politicians, but I do hope to come back to some mathematics from this trip to Sweden and to Lancaster.

### Election Day

Last week’s Tuesday was election day in Israel, and as much as I like to participate (and to devote a post to election day here on the blog – in 2009, 2012, and 2015) I had to miss the election, for the first time since 1985. (I still tried to follow the outcomes in real time.)

### The Negev, Israel

And we are now spending a three-day vacation and doing some mild hiking in Mitzpe Ramon, in the Negev, the Israeli desert. The view around here is spectacular. I first fell in love with the sights of the Negev when I spent six months here when I was 19 (in the army). Since then we have been caming here many times over the years, and in 2002 the annual meeting of the Israeli Mathematical Union took place here, in the same hotel.

Ein Ovdat (left). The 2002 Annual meeting of the IMU (right). A large number of Israeli mathematicians come to a substantial fraction of these annual events.

### The stance of the main Israeli parties on quantum computing

One anecdote about the Israeli election is that both major political parties of Israel, the Likud, led by Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu that won 35 seats in the parliament and will probably lead the coalition, and the newly formed “Blue-and-White” party, led by Benny (Benjamin) Gantz that also won 35 seats and will probably lead the opposition, stand behind quantum computing! 🙂

Left – A paragraph from “Blue and White’s” charter with a pledge to quantum computing (I thank Noam Lifshitz for telling me about it). Right – a news item (click for the article) about the quantum computing vision of Netanyahu and the Likud party.

As it turned out the Likud party and Netanyahu were unable to form a coalition and we are expecting a new elections on September.

As it turned out, after the September elections neither Netanyahu nor Gantz were able to form a government. We had a third election on March.