Categories
Film

The Last Vermeer

Dan Friedkin’s The Last Vermeer unfolds in Amsterdam after World War II as liberated Holland comes to terms with the legacy of the brutal five-year German occupation. Based on a true story heightened by astonishing twists and turns, this vivid drama grapples with a maze of interrelated issues ranging from Nazi-looted art to Holland’s conduct under […]

Categories
Books

Bound In The Bond Of Life

Two years have passed since a neo-Nazi thug burst into the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and killed 11 congregants in the deadliest antisemitic attack in American history. Eighty three minutes elapsed from the moment Robert Bowers entered the shul until he was apprehended by the police on that cloudy Saturday morning on October […]

Categories
Middle East

Trump’s Defeat Is Netanyahu’s Loss

U.S. President Donald Trump was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s best friend in Washington, a generous benefactor who bestowed gifts on Israel until the November 3 presidential election. Like the vast majority of Israelis, Netanyahu hoped that Trump, the Republican incumbent, would prevail over Joe Biden, the Democratic challenger. With Biden’s victory, Netanyahu will need […]

Categories
Commentary

Donald Trump’s Chaotic Presidency

The United States was on the cusp of a new era on November 7 after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the contentious U.S. presidential election. Having triumphed in Pennsylvania, his home state, and having increased his lead in Nevada, Arizona and Georgia, Biden and his vice-presidential running mate, Kamala Harris, the first woman […]

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Books

Yiddish Poet/Novelist Chava Rosenfarb Remembered

Chava Rosenfarb was a major twentieth century Yiddish poet and novelist who remains largely unknown outside the tight circle of Yiddish literature. The lot of a Yiddish writer can be difficult, her daughter, Goldie Morgentaler, suggested at a webinar on November 5 sponsored by the University of Toronto’s Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies and the […]

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Books

An Important Footnote In Spanish-Jewish History

La Gloriosa, the liberal revolution that rocked conservative Spain on its heels in 1868, forced Queen Isabella II to leave the country and ushered in an age of religious freedom. During this hopeful period, when only a smattering of Jews lived in Spain, European Jewish notables commended the Spanish authorities for having been open to […]

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Middle East

Yitzhak Rabin’s Assassination Twenty Five Years On

Certain events are ineluctably embedded in one’s mind, even after the passage of time and the dimming of memories. I vividly remember John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the outbreak of the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War, Anwar Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem, the fall of the Berlin wall, Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and the […]

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Commentary

The Corbyn Affair Haunts The Labour Party

Britain’s left-of-center Labour Party continues to be haunted and torn apart by the checkered record of its former leader, Jeremy Corbyn, in confronting the specter of antisemitism within its ranks. Jonathan Ashworth, the party’s current shadow health secretary, was exactly right when he described Corbyn’s handling of it as “a shameful period in our history.” As […]

Categories
Television

Rise Of The Nazis

Germany was a liberal democracy until Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. After his appointment as chancellor in January of 1933, Germany fell into the hands of a murderous fascist clique that persecuted dissidents and Jews, destroyed democratic institutions and invaded neighboring countries. Germany’s descent into dictatorship is explored in Rise of the Nazis, which starts […]

Categories
Commentary

QAnon — The Latest American Conspiracy Theory

During his second and final televised debate with Joe Biden last month, President Donald Trump claimed to be ignorant about QAnon, an unfounded American conspiracy theory that fosters racial and religious prejudice and poses a potential terrorist threat, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “I hate to say that I know nothing about it,” […]