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Books

An Army Like No Other

To the author Haim Bresheeth-Zabner, the armed forces of Israel stand at the core of Israeli society. The creation of the Israel Defence Forces, or IDF, was the most important priority facing Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, after he declared statehood on May 14, 1948. Since its formation on May 26 of that fateful […]

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Middle East

Deja Vu All Over Again In Gaza

Less than a month has elapsed since Egypt brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, ending their fourth cross-border war in 13 years. But in recent days, fighting has resumed on a far smaller scale, prompting speculation that even a short-term truce may be elusive. With Egyptian mediators having convinced both sides to lay down […]

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Middle East

Benjamin Netanyahu Towered Over Israel

Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu towered over Israeli politics like a colossus, ruling Israel for a total of 15 years and eclipsing the legendary David Ben-Gurion as its longest-serving prime minister. In a career spanning more than three decades, he was also Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, its foreign minister and its finance minister. And though […]

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Middle East

Israel Turns A New Leaf

Israel turned a new leaf on June 13 as Naftali Bennett supplanted Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister. This will be the first government in 12 years not led by Netanyahu, who was Israel’s longest serving prime minister. The Knesset approved the new government by a margin of 60 to 59, with one abstention, thereby ending […]

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Books

Survival On The Margins

Germany’s invasion of western Poland on September 1, 1939 was matched by the Soviet Union’s conquest of ¬†eastern Poland 16 days later, as per their non-aggression pact to partition the country, signed on the eve of World War II. Germany violated the agreement in June 1941, conquering the rest of Poland en route to invading […]

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Commentary

Islamophobia In Canada

Ed Holder, the mayor of London, Ontario, called it a crime “rooted in unspeakable hatred.” He was referring to the deadly hit-and-run incident on June 6 during which a 20-year-old local man intentionally drove his pickup truck into a Pakistani Muslim family out on a stroll. In one fell swoop, three generations of a single […]

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Books

Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel: American Gangster

He was a bootlegger, racketeer, gambler, murderer and casino operator. Active through the 1920s, 1930s and much of the 1940s, Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel was a notorious Jewish gangster. A close associate of the hoodlums Meyer Lansky and Charles (Lucky) Luciano, he was a principal in the Syndicate, an amalgam of Italian, Irish and Jewish mobsters […]

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Middle East

Hysterical Outbursts

With the end of Benjamin Netanyahu’s premiership fast approaching, several of his allies in Israel and abroad have engaged in what Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett has aptly described as “hysterical outbursts.” Aryeh Deri, the leader of the Shas Party, has claimed that the incoming government will endanger Israel. Moshe Gafni, the head of the United […]

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Middle East

Netanyahu Is A Sore Loser

Benjamin Netanyahu is laboring under a grand delusion. Having failed to form yet another right-wing government, he cannot come to grips with the “sacrilegious” notion that a rival, namely Naftali Bennett of the far right-wing Yamina Party, may soon replace him. Netanyahu is so delusional and so self-centred that he cannot imagine Bennett, or anyone […]

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Books

Winston Churchill And The Middle East

As colonial secretary in British Prime Minister David Lloyd George’s government from 1919 to 1922, Winston Churchill exerted considerable influence in moulding the Middle East. He was instrumental in laying the foundations of Iraq and Transjordan, the future Hashemite kingdom of Jordan. And in line with the seminal 1917 Balfour Declaration, he supported the establishment […]