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Gantz Betrays His Supporters

Filed in Middle East by on March 28, 2020 0 Comments
Gantz Betrays His Supporters

Israel’s canny caretaker prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, can thank the coronavirus and a weary, beaten-down opponent for having saved his political skin. Netanyahu’s dominance of Israel politics seemed to have ended in mid-March as Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz moved closer to forming a coalition government. But in a stunning 180 degree reversal on March 26 […]

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The Scholems: Quintessential German Jews

Filed in Books by on March 27, 2020 0 Comments
The Scholems: Quintessential German Jews

The roller coaster process during which Jews in Germany were emancipated in the 19th century, only to be deprived of all their rights during the Nazi era and then murdered in the Holocaust, is the subject of Jay Howard Geller’s superb book, The Scholems: A Story of the German-Jewish Bourgeoise From Emancipation To Destruction, published […]

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A Momentary Truce

Filed in Middle East by on March 25, 2020 0 Comments
A Momentary Truce

The coronavirus is relentlessly sweeping around the world, but in Israel and the Palestinian territories one can discern the sliver of a silver lining amid the gathering dark clouds. Israel’s intractable conflict with the Palestinians, which has caused so much grief and heartache over the decades, is temporarily on hold as both sides pause to […]

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Amazon’s Muddled Policy

Filed in Commentary by on March 23, 2020 0 Comments
Amazon’s Muddled Policy

Amazon, America’s biggest retail book seller, is grappling with a conundrum it seems incapable of resolving once and for all, leaving it open to justifiable criticism. The multi-billion dollar company has complied with requests to remove Nazi, neo-Nazi and antisemitic books from its bookstore, only to reinstate some of them shortly afterward. Amazon’s contradictory policy […]

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Iran’s Annus Horribilis

Filed in Middle East by on March 21, 2020 0 Comments
Iran’s Annus Horribilis

Iran is having a very bad year. Call it Iran’s annus horribilis. Three days into 2020, a U.S. drone strike killed General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Corps and one of the most charismatic and revered figures in the country. Soleimani was in charge of forging alliances with regional countries such as […]

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The Coronavirus And The Ultra-Orthodox Community

Filed in Commentary by on March 19, 2020 0 Comments
The Coronavirus And The Ultra-Orthodox Community

In the face of the life-threatening coronavirus pandemic raging around the world, some ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel chose to defy government directives to remain at home in quarantine so as to stem the spread of the deadly outbreak. This was not only astonishingly selfish, but unacceptably reckless. By their actions they risked exacerbating an unprecedented, […]

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Reflections On A Pandemic

Filed in Commentary by on March 18, 2020 0 Comments
Reflections On A Pandemic

Two natural disasters of unimaginable proportions, the 1918 influenza pandemic and the 14th century Black Death plague, come to mind as I try to come to grips with the enormity of the coronavirus, which has upended all our lives. The current outbreak, having started in China this past December, has mutated and crossed international borders […]

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Germany Places A Party Under Surveillance

Filed in Commentary by on March 17, 2020 0 Comments
Germany Places A Party Under Surveillance

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution, a domestic intelligence agency whose mandate is to safeguard German democracy, recently classified a faction of the right-wing Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) as extremist and placed it under official surveillance. In explaining the rationale for taking this drastic but necessary step, Thomas Haldenwang, the president of that […]

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What Now For The Arab Joint List?

Filed in Middle East by on March 15, 2020 0 Comments
What Now For The Arab Joint List?

The last three general elections in Israel were marred by widespread accusations that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party defamed the Arab community and resorted to inflammatory rhetoric to discredit the Arab Joint List, the third largest party in the 120-seat Knesset. But as Israel copes with the coronavirus crisis, Netanyahu may discover that […]

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Erdogan’s False Comparisons

Filed in Commentary by on March 12, 2020 0 Comments
Erdogan’s False Comparisons

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a bad habit of mouthing off at his adversaries. Lacking even a modicum of self-restraint or tact, much less diplomacy, he tends to unleash a torrent of verbal abuse at his opponents that bears little or no resemblance to the truth. Erdogan’s angry outbursts invariably mangle the historical record […]

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