Categories
Books

The War Of Return

Of all of the thorny issues exacerbating Israel’s protracted conflict with the Palestinians, the “right of return” is doubtless the most complex one. It turns on the unwavering demand by Palestinian refugees to go back to their original homes in what was Palestine and what has been Israel since its declaration of statehood in 1948. This […]

Categories
Film

Death Of A Ladies’ Man

The first image in Matthew Bissonnette’s reflective movie, Death of a Ladies’ Man, is a giant-sized mural of the late poet Leonard Cohen on the side of a building in Montreal. This is not a haphazard choice on the part of the director. The spirit of Cohen’s songs, at once melancholy and plaintive, permeates this […]

Categories
Film

Combat Girls

Germany’s neo-Nazi scene is at the center of David Wnendt’s wrenching movie, Combat Girls, which will be digitally screened from March 11-13 by the Goethe Institut in Toronto in conjunction with the Toronto Jewish Film Society and the Neuberger Holocaust Education Center. Wnendt focuses on two young, impressionable women who are inexorably drawn into a […]

Categories
Jewish Affairs

A Jewish Renewal In The Arab World

It was recently announced that Jews in the Persian Gulf have formed the first communal organization, the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities. It will cater to the religious and educational needs of Jews in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, all of which are officially pro-Western and aligned with the […]

Categories
Jewish Affairs

Israel’s Supreme Court Upholds An Important Principle

By an overwhelming margin of eight to one, the Israeli Supreme Court has belatedly but boldly challenged the blatantly unfair monopoly the Orthodox rabbinate has held regarding officially recognized conversions in Israel. On March 1, Chief Justice Esther Hayut ruled that non-Jews who convert to Judaism in Israel through the Reform and Conservative streams of […]

Categories
Television

Pele The King

I used to be a big sports fan, but nowadays I seldom follow sporting events. When I do watch sports on television, I tune in to the track and field program at the summer Olympic Games or to the World Cup, the championship of soccer. So when I read that Netflix was planning to broadcast […]

Categories
Middle East

The Labor Party Is Back On Its Feet, Says Its New Leader

With the March 23 election in Israel looming, Merav Michaeli, the new leader of Israel’s once dominant Labor Party, is working to restore it to its former preeminence. “The Labor Party is back on its feet,” she said during a Zoom lecture on February 25 sponsored by the American Friends for Peace Now. “We’re at […]

Categories
Film

The Renegades

Thousands of starry-eyed young European men joined the Islamic State organization after its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, proclaimed what would be his short-lived caliphate in Syria and Iraq in 2014. They were predominately Muslims, but some were Christian converts to Islam. Two of the recruits, Ferhat Keskin, a German Muslim, and Oliver N, an Austrian […]

Categories
Film

Stray In Istanbul

An unknown number of feral dogs, possibly thousands, wander the streets, alleys, roads and parks of Istanbul, passing the time of day and night, searching for scraps of food, and looking for shelter and companionship. Such strays were once caught and euthanized by the Turkish authorities, but no more. Now they roam freely and multiply, […]

Categories
Film

My Salinger Year

Philippe Falardeau’s empathetic coming-of-age drama, My Salinger Year, which opens on VOD platforms and in selected theatres on March 5, unfolds in mid-1990s New York City as an aspiring writer struggles to find her voice. The central character, Joanna (played by the bright and vivacious Margaret Qualley), is ambitious. She wants to write novels, travel […]