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Books

The Seventh Heaven

Ilan Stavans compares his lengthy trip to Latin America a few years ago to an ethnographic expedition undertaken by the fabled folklorist S. Ansky to Eastern Europe in the second decade of the last century.┬áIn his Yiddish-language book, The Enemy At His Pleasure, Ansky offered an acute analysis of Jewish life in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine … Read More

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Middle East

Israel Delays Annexation

Contrary to some expectations, July 1 turned out to be an uneventful day in Israel. It came and went without a much-anticipated announcement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel would unilaterally annex a substantial portion of the West Bank, home to 2.5 million Palestinians and 450,000 Israeli Jews. He had said he would launch … Read More

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Commentary

The Dutch Railway Company’s Reckoning With History

Roger Van Boxtel, the chief executive officer of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), would do well to stop in his tracks and reconsider one of his recent decisions. Last month, NS announced it would donate five million euros ($5.6 million) to four Dutch centers dedicated to combating antisemitism and memorializing the Holocaust, … Read More

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Books

Separate And Unequal

Plessy v. Ferguson, a U.S. Supreme Court verdict of immense magnitude, drew little national attention when it was handed down in 1896, but its effects on race relations in the United States were staggering and long-lasting. The ruling, written by Henry Billings Brown, upheld the Separate Car Act, which Louisiana had enacted in 1890 “to … Read More

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Middle East

A New Reality In Israel-U.S. Relations

There was a time in American politics when Israel could usually count more on Democrats than Republicans for understanding and support. But since the accession of Donald Trump to the presidency, the pendulum has swung the other way. In fact, this is a historic process that has actually unfolded incrementally over the decades. A Democratic … Read More

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Middle East

Normalization And Annexation — A Clash Of Ideas

The United Arab Emirates, a conservative, pro-American Arab state, regards Israel as a potential partner, but its willingness to establish formal diplomatic relations with it is constrained by one overwhelming obstacle, the Arab-Israeli dispute. A federation of seven emirates, including Dubai, the UAE has cozied up to Israel in recent years. Two factors account for … Read More

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Commentary

Labour Party’s New Leader Has Kept His Promise

Keir Starmer, the new leader of Britain’s Labour Party, lived up to a solemn promise and did the right thing by sacking his shadow education secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, on June 25. Starmer, who succeeded the discredited Jeremy Corbyn as party leader in April, pledged to root out antisemitism within its ranks and rebuild trust with … Read More

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Commentary

Statues Of Antisemites Should Be Consigned To Oblivion

I can think of no better a statue to remove from its lofty pedestal than that of Queen Isabella I of Spain. Statues of the monarch, who expelled Jews from Spain in 1492 under the infamous Alhambra Decree, are found in a plethora of countries. Streets have been named after Isabella as well. A thoroughfare … Read More

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Books

The American Alt-Right And The White Ethnostate

The alt-right, a purveyor of an xenophobic and toxic brand of white nationalism, is gaining a foothold in the United States, even as it incurs intense opprobrium in the media. Having emerged during the presidency of Barack Obama, the first African American president, it has attracted still more followers during the era of his successor, … Read More

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Middle East

Annexation — A Disastrous Choice For Israel

As Israel mulls the possibility of unilaterally annexing parts of the West Bank, a process that was short-sightedly sanctioned by President Donald Trump under his misbegotten Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, Israel’s friends in the United States are warning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he should seriously reconsider the matter. A few days ago, three of its … Read More