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Commentary

The University Of Southern California Fails A Key Test

A university is an incubator of diverse ideas and a bastion of intellectual freedom. It most certainly is not an institution that discourages or downplays the valued give-and-take of lively debate. If this is an acceptable or reasonable definition of a university’s role in modern society, then the University of Southern California in Los Angeles … Read More

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Middle East

Anti-Netanyahu Protests Rock Israel

Politically speaking, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in a much better place a few months ago than he is today. Netanyahu, the leader of the right-wing Likud Party and Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, was riding high after forming a national unity government with his centrist rival, Benny Gantz of the Blue and White Party, and … Read More

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Jewish Affairs

Holocaust Restitution Claims Remain In Limbo

Numerous Jewish-owned properties in central and eastern Europe that were expropriated by the Nazis and Communist governments have yet to be returned to their rightful owners, as a recent U.S. State Department report lamentably confirms. Contrary to the Terezin Declaration, a non-binding document signed by 47 countries in 2009, Holocaust survivors and their heirs are … Read More

Categories
Film

The Burnt Orange Heresy

Duplicity, larcency, arson and homicide are the key ingredients in Giuseppe Capotond’s taut thriller, The Burnt Orange Heresy, which opens in Canadian theatres on August 7. The film, shot on location in Italy, centers around four characters whose lives intersect for better or worse: James Figueras (Claes Bang), a European art critic and author; Berenice … Read More

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Middle East

Iraq’s Invasion of Kuwait Thirty Years On

Thirty years ago yesterday, Iraq invaded Kuwait, sparking an international crisis that culminated with the first Gulf War. On August 2, 1990, 120,000 Iraqi troops, spearheaded by an armored force of hundreds of tanks, thundered into Kuwait in a universally condemned invasion. In one fell stroke, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein gained control of 20 percent of … Read More

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Middle East

Israel And Hezbollah Have A Big Score To Settle

Observers are still scratching their heads over the uncertain outcome of Israel’s latest armed clash with Hezbollah late last month. Israel and Hezbollah have been bitter enemies since the 1980s, having fought a guerrilla war until Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 and a month-long war in 2006. On occasion, they have clashed in … Read More

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Books

Karl Marx: Philosophy And Revolution

Karl Marx was a thinker whose theories about capitalism were  revolutionary. Yet he was not a revolutionary activist. Marx’s Jewish background was common knowledge, but he never referred to it publicly. Yet he wrote “On the Jewish Question,” a controversial essay in which he advocated  equal rights for Jews while defaming Judaism. Shlomo Avineri, a … Read More

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Middle East

U.S. Fights Uphill Battle To Extend Iran Arms Embargo

With a United Nations arms embargo against Iran expiring on October 18, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has let it be known that the United States will “exercise all diplomatic options” to extend it indefinitely. It’s doubtful whether the United States will succeed in depriving Iran of new weapons. Two major powers oppose Washington’s … Read More

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Jewish Affairs

A Seat At The Table

Smoked salmon. Latkes. Corned beef. Dill Pickle. Matzah ball soup. Gefilte fish. Kugel. Tzimmes. Challah bread. Hamantaschen. The wonders and flavors of traditional Jewish food seem infinite. Yivo, the Institute for Jewish Research, would agree with that statement. It’s currently presenting a seven-week online educational course in Ashkenazic cuisine, and, due to the coronavirus pandemic, … Read More

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Books

Irving Berlin: New York Genius

Irving Berlin, the legendary American composer and lyricist, wrote some 1,500 songs, including God Bless America and White Christmas, and two Broadway musical hits, Call Me Madame and Annie Get Your Gun, and was widely considered the greatest songwriter of the 20th century. “Berlin has no place in American music,” his fellow composer, Jerome Kern, wrote … Read More