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Jewish Affairs

The Cruellest Conflict

World War II was not just another destructive conflict between warring nations, but a nationalist crusade on the part of  Germany to acquire territory, attain hegemony, disseminate Nazi ideology and murder Jews on a massive industrial scale. When Germany attacked Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, touching  off an international conflagration that dragged on for six … Read More

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Travel

An Eco Trip to Costa Rica

My younger daughter was due to start a new job and wanted a vacation before getting down to work. I decided to join her, and we agreed on Costa Rica, which turned out to be a wise choice. In less than a week, Lauren and I visited an active volcano, rode a horse to a … Read More

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Middle East

Scranton Sought an “Even-Handed” U.S. Policy

A little more than a month before his inauguration as president of the United States in January 1969, Richard Nixon dispatched William Scranton, the former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, to the Middle East on a fact-finding tour of five Arab nations and Israel. His mandate was to assess the current state of the Arab-Israeli conflict … Read More

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Arts

The Attack

The Attack is a most unusual movie, unfolding against the backdrop of a Palestinian suicide bombing in Israel and grappling with the complexities of its messy aftermath. Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, and now playing in theatres in Canada and the United States, The Attack is unconventional because  its main protagonists … Read More

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Travel

A Bite of the Big Apple

  I wanted to “wake up in that city that doesn’t sleep,” to paraphrase Frank Sinatra in the song New York, New York. The opportunity to do so presented itself in mid-summer, when my wife Etti and I decided to spend several days in New York City. As a couple, we hadn’t been in the … Read More

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Jewish Affairs

Footprints in time

They died in the last little while, leaving a lasting legacy … Robert Fogel, 86, a University of Chicago economist, shared the Nobel Prize in economic science in 1993 for his work in explaining the role of railways and slavery in the development of the American economy. His books on these topics, Railroads and American … Read More

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Middle East

The Apostle of Islamic Radicalism

Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966) was the apostle of modern Islamic fundamentalism, arguably the most influential advocate of jihad in the 20th century. Qutb, an Egyptian and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, influenced followers by virtue of his belief that the greatest threat to Islam originated not from European colonialism or Zionism but from corrupt, venal … Read More

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Jewish Affairs

Hate Rhetoric in the Middle East

The vile rhetoric of antisemitism pervades the Muslim world. Malicious myths and unfounded assumptions about Jews have become all too commonplace. No where else in the world today are Jews so openly maligned and excoriated. Two examples will suffice. On the eve of leaving office, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a brazen admission that … Read More

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Jewish Affairs

The Accidental Nazi

Even within the loathsome Nazi hierarchy, Reinhard Tristan Eugen Heydrich (1904-1942) was one of the most appalling figures. Hailed by Adolf Hitler as “one of the best National Socialists,” Heydrich was indeed an iconic villain. As head of the political and criminal police apparatus, as exemplified by the Gestapo and the SS, he was directly … Read More

Categories
Arts

Film Critic Pauline Kael was a Late Bloomer

As the lead movie reviewer of The New Yorker between 1968 and 1991, Pauline Kael was arguably the most influential film critic in the United States. Opinionated, witty, analytical and needling, she believed that film is “the most total and encompassing art form we have,” and that it could feed our imagination in “intimate, immediate, … Read More