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Middle East

Israel Is Refining Its Policy On Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is preparing for a crucial conversation with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C. It will probably take place in August, after the newly-elected president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, assumes office. Late last month, Biden said he hopes to meet Bennett at the White House “very soon.” His press secretary, […]

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Books

Taking The Fight South

When Howard Ball informed his mother he had accepted a position at Mississippi State University, she was aghast. “Her response was very loud and, for her, terse: You are meshugenah!” he writes in Taking the Fight South: Chronicle of a Jew’s Battle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (University of Notre Dame Press). “She truly believed […]

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Middle East

Pollster Detects Major Shift In Palestinian Public Opinion

There has been a “paradigm shift” in Palestinian public opinion since the fourth Gaza border war between Israel and Hamas this past May, says prominent Palestinian pollster and political analyst Khalil Shikaki. Judging by his most recent surveys, Hamas has supplanted the Palestinian Authority as the defender of the Palestinian cause, while Palestinians are now more […]

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Middle East

Netanyahu — An Irresponsible Opposition Leader

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s former prime minister, is proving to be an irresponsible and reckless opposition leader who cares only for his own political interests. On July 6, Netanyahu’s Likud Party and its ultra-Orthodox allies voted against a Knesset motion to renew the citizenship law, which they have consistently supported for the past 17 years. Enacted during […]

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Books

Life Of A Klansman

Edward Ball’s great-great-grandfather, Polycarp Constant Lecorgne, was a racist who sought to restore white dominance in Louisiana during and after Reconstruction in the wake of the U.S. Civil War. A Creole from New Orleans whose ancestors hailed from Brittany in western France, Lecorgne was a “hero” of his times because he fought for “whiteness” in the […]

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Film

The Debt

The Debt, a thriller directed by John Madden, seamlessly blends two interlocking themes: the Holocaust and vengeance, as exacted by Israel’s external intelligence agency, the Mossad. Now available on Netflix, it flits between the mid-1960s and the late 1990s and is set in Israel, East Berlin and Kiev. The plot is familiar, reminiscent of Israel’s […]

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Books

Canada: No Better Home?

David Koffman asks a pointed question in the introductory essay of his book, No Better Home? Jews, Canada, and the Sense of Belonging (University of Toronto Press): “Has there ever been a better home for the Jews than Canada?” As he observes in this volume of perceptive and erudite essays, which grew out of a […]

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Books

Antisemitism And The Russian Revolution

The 1917 Bolshevik revolution in Russia was a moment of emancipation and liberation for oppressed Russian Jews, a deliverance from the injustices of the previous czarist regime. But within months of seizing power, the Bolshevik leadership was faced by the specter of pogroms in the former Pale of Settlement, a region of western Russia where […]

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Middle East

An Unfortunate “Compromise”

The new Israeli government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has flunked its first major test. Just days after alternate prime minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said that the illegal West Bank outpost of Evyatar would be torn down in compliance with a direct and unambiguous army order, the Samaria Regional Council, a pro-settler organization, […]

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Television

The Chef

Canadian aficionados of Israeli television dramas will be pleased to hear that the Toronto Jewish Film Festival is streaming the first nine episodes of the latest one, The Chef, in its North American premiere. It will be available online until July 11. Created and directed by Erez Kavel and Orit Dabush, it is mostly set in […]