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Middle East

The Oslo Accords 30 Years On

On a sparkling late summer day 30 years ago today, the tremors of a seismic shift in the Middle East were felt as two sworn enemies chose reconciliation, coexistence and peace over hostility, tension and war. On September 13, 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and his arch nemesis, Yasser Arafat, the chairman of the […]

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Middle East

Israel — An Apartheid State?

Is Israel an apartheid state? The question itself arouses deep emotions, acrimonious debate, and implies that Israel has strayed far from its liberal democratic values as the world’s only Jewish state. I’m raising this explosive and divisive issue in light of Tamir Pardo’s recent remarks. The former director of the Mossad, Israel’s external intelligence agency, […]

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Books

Robert Riskin — A Great Hollywood Screenwriter

Some of Hollywood’s best films, notably It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town and You Can’t Take It With You, were written by Robert Riskin, one of its finest screenwriters. During his heyday in the mid-1930s, when he was one of the most high-profile, well-paid scriptwriters, he basked in critical acclaim and enjoyed […]

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Commentary

Germany’s Extreme Right-Wing Party Is Gaining Ground

Ten years after its formation, the extreme right-wing Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) is a force to be reckoned with in the country that produced Nazism, gave rise to Adolf Hitler, and conceived and implemented the Holocaust. Increasingly popular in eastern Germany — where a Soviet-sponsored Marxist state existed for 40 years until 1989 — […]

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Middle East

Mahmoud Abbas’ Distorted Rhetoric

Once again, very much to his own detriment and that of the Palestinians, Mahmoud Abbas is playing into the hands of Israelis who categorically reject a two-state solution. Last month, in a speech that was broadcast on Palestinian television two weeks ago, the president of the Palestinian Authority made two outrageous comments that Germany‚Äôs ambassador […]

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Film

The Extraordinary Journey Of Ruth Gruber

Ruth Gruber was an amazing and accomplished person who blazed new paths at a time when women were expected to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. A photojournalist, author and humanitarian, she is the subject of Bob Richman’s documentary, The Extraordinary Journey Of Ruth Gruber, which will be re-released on VOD and leading digital […]

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Books

Viennese Jews After The Holocaust

In the winter of 1947, Theodor Korner, the socialist mayor of Vienna, went to the city’s central train station to greet 760 Viennese Jews returning from exile abroad. Like tens of thousands of other Jews, they had been driven out after the Anschluss, Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria in 1938. On the eve of World […]

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Film

Berlin Express

Exactly a year after World War II ended with Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender, a major Hollywood studio released Berlin Express, a a fairly competent thriller set in Frankfurt and Berlin. Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, and directed by Jacques Tourneur, it was the first movie filmed on location in postwar Berlin. With only a year […]

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Film

Gender Equality In Israel — A Work In Progress

Women comprise slightly more than 50 percent of Israel’s population, yet they have been woefully underrepresented in the Knesset and in senior civil service positions. Full gender equality is something that women in Israel still aspire to after 75 years of Israeli statehood, according to The Elected, a three-part series that starts on the ChaiFlicks […]

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Middle East

Israel’s Contact With Libya Turns Into A Debacle

A potential breakthrough in Israel’s relations with the Arab world degenerated into a diplomatic fiasco after Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen rashly disclosed he had secretly conferred with his Libyan counterpart, Najila el-Mangoush, in Rome on August 26 in a meeting hosted by the Italian foreign minister. In the wake of his impromptu announcement, which […]