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Travel

An Eco Trip to Costa Rica

My younger daughter was due to start a new job and wanted a vacation before getting down to work. I decided to join her, and we agreed on Costa Rica, which turned out to be a wise choice. In less than a week, Lauren and I visited an active volcano, rode a horse to a … Read More

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Middle East

Scranton Sought an “Even-Handed” U.S. Policy

A little more than a month before his inauguration as president of the United States in January 1969, Richard Nixon dispatched William Scranton, the former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, to the Middle East on a fact-finding tour of five Arab nations and Israel. His mandate was to assess the current state of the Arab-Israeli conflict … Read More

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Guest Voices

Turkey is Becoming a Major Power

No one doubts that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister of Turkey since 2003, is a very tough man. He has demonstrated that in recent years, in run-ins with Israel, Syria, the United States, and his own citizens. In that sense, he epitomizes the Turkish character. Historically a warrior people, the Turks are a proud … Read More

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Guest Voices

Uncandle Me

  I lit the candle. I watched. I watched the candle.   I heard it groan, I felt its moan, I saw it flicker, I heard it sigh, I watched it almost die.   I watched my breath sway the flame As it flickered hesitantly, Writhing, Trying to decide if to live or die, Or … Read More

Categories
Arts

The Attack

The Attack is a most unusual movie, unfolding against the backdrop of a Palestinian suicide bombing in Israel and grappling with the complexities of its messy aftermath. Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, and now playing in theatres in Canada and the United States, The Attack is unconventional because  its main protagonists … Read More

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Guest Voices

Before and After

  I  remember a photo of Ima in Sofia. A beauty to behold, Striking a movie star pose.   Her crisp school uniform is long gone. The faded flannel nightgown is worn.   I try to convince, not knowing how to begin. It’s worth getting up, It’s worth getting out of bed, Getting dressed.   … Read More

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Travel

A Bite of the Big Apple

  I wanted to “wake up in that city that doesn’t sleep,” to paraphrase Frank Sinatra in the song New York, New York. The opportunity to do so presented itself in mid-summer, when my wife Etti and I decided to spend several days in New York City. As a couple, we hadn’t been in the … Read More

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Jewish Affairs

Footprints in time

They died in the last little while, leaving a lasting legacy … Robert Fogel, 86, a University of Chicago economist, shared the Nobel Prize in economic science in 1993 for his work in explaining the role of railways and slavery in the development of the American economy. His books on these topics, Railroads and American … Read More

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Middle East

The Apostle of Islamic Radicalism

Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966) was the apostle of modern Islamic fundamentalism, arguably the most influential advocate of jihad in the 20th century. Qutb, an Egyptian and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, influenced followers by virtue of his belief that the greatest threat to Islam originated not from European colonialism or Zionism but from corrupt, venal … Read More

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Jewish Affairs

Hate Rhetoric in the Middle East

The vile rhetoric of antisemitism pervades the Muslim world. Malicious myths and unfounded assumptions about Jews have become all too commonplace. No where else in the world today are Jews so openly maligned and excoriated. Two examples will suffice. On the eve of leaving office, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a brazen admission that … Read More