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Coronavirus Diary

My instinctive anti-social impulses are in full flight during these unsettling days of the coronavirus pandemic. The need to maintain social distancing so as to stay safe and curb the spread of COVID-19 means that I’m obliged to avoid even loved ones. I was never much of a social butterfly, even at the best of … Read More

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The Canadian Jewish News Dies Again

My eldest daughter called with the news around bedtime on April 2. The Canadian Jewish News, the weekly newspaper of record where I worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist from 1974 until 2013, was ceasing all operations with the publication of the April 9 edition. My first reaction was one of surprise and … Read More

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Commentary

Travesty Of Justice In Pakistan

A court in Karachi, Pakistan, has overturned the murder conviction and death sentence of a terrorist and three of his accomplices who kidnapped and murdered the American Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl in January 2002. What a travesty of justice! What a shame! These murderers killed Pearl in cold blood just months after Al Qaeda terrorists … Read More

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Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories Abound

Conspiracy theories, which are always grounded in malicious lies and overblown fantasies, are the bread and butter of antisemites. Usually, their half-baked, slimy suppositions rear their ugly heads during a crisis. Jews were blamed for the Black Death, which decimated one-third of Europe’s population. And in the infamous blood libel canard, Jews were accused of … Read More

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Amazon’s Policy On Nazi Books Needs Revision

Amazon, America’s biggest retail book seller, is grappling with a conundrum it seems incapable of resolving once and for all, leaving it open to justifiable criticism. The multi-billion dollar company has complied with requests to remove Nazi, neo-Nazi and antisemitic books from its bookstore, only to reinstate some of them shortly afterward. Amazon’s contradictory policy … Read More

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Reflections On A Pandemic

Two natural disasters of unimaginable proportions, the 1918 influenza pandemic and the 14th century Black Death plague, come to mind as I try to come to grips with the enormity of the coronavirus, which has upended all our lives. The current outbreak, having started in China this past December, has mutated and crossed international borders … Read More

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A Drastic But Necessary Step By Germany

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution, a domestic intelligence agency whose mandate is to safeguard German democracy, recently classified a faction of the right-wing Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) as extremist and placed it under official surveillance. In explaining the rationale for taking this drastic but necessary step, Thomas Haldenwang, the president of that … Read More

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Erdogan’s False Comparisons

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a bad habit of mouthing off at his adversaries. Lacking even a modicum of self-restraint or tact, much less diplomacy, he tends to unleash a torrent of verbal abuse at his opponents that bears little or no resemblance to the truth. Erdogan’s angry outbursts invariably mangle the historical record … Read More

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Fighting The Deadly Coronavirus

With the coronavirus remorselessly exacting an increasingly terrible toll around the world, Israel has shot to the top of the list of countries dealing with this unprecedented emergency pragmatically and sensibly. The Israeli government was one of the first to call this insidious respiratory illness by its proper name — a “global pandemic.” Since then, … Read More

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Harvey Weinstein: A Serial Sexual Predator

Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney who pressed charges of sexual misconduct against the movie producer Harvey Weinstein, got it exactly right when he described him as “a vicious serial sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault, trick, humiliate and silence his victims.” Vance was equally correct when he said … Read More