Sheldon Kirshner

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Israel’s Cold Peace With Jordan

Filed in Middle East by on October 28, 2019 0 Comments
Israel’s Cold Peace With Jordan

The 25th anniversary of the historic peace treaty between Israel and Jordan went unnoticed in both countries in a telling admission of their increasingly frosty relations. Implemented on October 26, 1994 in an upbeat ceremony in the Arava desert about a year after Israel and the Palestinians announced the Oslo accord, it was Israel’s second […]

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The Avocado War

Filed in Television by on October 27, 2019 0 Comments
The Avocado War

Call it, if you will, green gold. The cultivation of avocados has become a massive business in the past few decades, particularly in California, Mexico and Chile. But the industry in these countries faces difficult challenges, according to an intriguing Netflix documentary, The Avocado War. The avocado, once dismissed as fatty and unhealthy, is now […]

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Fig Tree

Filed in Film by on October 26, 2019 0 Comments
Fig Tree

It’s 1989 and Ethiopia is being torn apart by a civil war. The country has sunk into the slough of violence and despair and people, particularly Jews, are desperate to leave. Fig Tree, directed by Israeli/Ethiopian filmmaker Aalam-Warqe Davidian, is set during this tumultuous period. Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, Fig […]

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Israel Gripped By Political Paralysis

Filed in Middle East by on October 25, 2019 0 Comments
Israel Gripped By Political Paralysis

Israel is wallowing in a state of political paralysis. For the past six months, in the wake of two inconclusive elections, the country has been adrift, bereft of a stable government. It’s a reflection of the deep divisions in Israeli society. The current situation began when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to form a […]

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Trump Has Undermined U.S. Credibility In The Mideast

Filed in Middle East by on October 24, 2019 0 Comments
Trump Has Undermined U.S. Credibility In The Mideast

Donald Trump hailed it as “an incredible outcome,” alluding to the U.S.-sponsored ceasefire that appears to have ended the fighting between the Turkish army and the Syrian Kurds in a broad swath of northern Syria. Trump’s self-serving analysis of the truce, brokered by U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence in a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip […]

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The Cave

Filed in Film by on October 23, 2019 0 Comments
The Cave

For five years, until 2018, the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad besieged Eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus populated in the main by Syrians opposed to his totalitarian regime. Following the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in 2011, Eastern Ghouta was regularly pummelled by forces loyal to Assad. In the summer of […]

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Israel-China Ties Raise U.S. Concerns

Filed in Middle East by on October 22, 2019 0 Comments
Israel-China Ties Raise U.S. Concerns

Israel’s increasingly close economic ties with China, its third largest trading partner, pose a problem for its chief ally, the United States. The Trump administration, currently locked in a trade war with China, has warned Israel in recent months that its pivotal relationship with the United States could be adversely affected unless it scales back […]

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Pain And Glory

Filed in Film by on October 21, 2019 0 Comments
Pain And Glory

In his semi-autobiographical film, Pain and Glory, the 70-year-old Spanish director Pedro Almodovar conducts a critical examination of himself. In this respect, the title of the movie is appropriate. Salvador (Antonio Bandaras), the aging character who portrays him, has amassed acclaim in his industry, but now he suffers from a rash of debilitating ailments and […]

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American Muslim

Filed in Film by on October 20, 2019 0 Comments
American Muslim

Adam Zucker’s American Muslim leaves a viewer with a nuanced portrait of Muslims in the United States in the age of Donald Trump. It will be screened at New York City’s DOC NYC, the country’s largest documentary film festival, on November 10 and 12. This impassioned and informative movie tells us that Muslims, comprising one percent of […]

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Broken Lives

Filed in Books by on October 18, 2019 0 Comments
Broken Lives

The 20th century brought calamity and renewal to Germany, transforming it from a military aggressor into a pillar of European democracy. Germany suffered territorial losses and hyperinflation following its defeat in World War I. The Weimar Republic was a time of hope, but the Depression paved the way for Adolf Hitler’s racist regime, which persecuted its […]

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