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The White Crow

Filed in Film by on May 9, 2019 0 Comments
The White Crow

A “white crow” in Russian is a reference to an unusual person or an outsider. This appellation was certainly applicable to the late Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev. A non-conformist, he was brash and outspoken, straddling the thin line between the permissible and the unacceptable. Although he achieved recognition and fame as one of Russia’s […]

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El Salvador: Image Vs. Reality

Filed in Travel by on May 8, 2019 0 Comments
El Salvador: Image Vs. Reality

Fed up with Toronto’s bitterly cold winter this year, I was more than ready for a warm-weather vacation down south. Nicaragua beckoned, but I passed because it was torn by political instability yet again.  Having already been to Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama, I pivoted toward El Salvador, the smallest, most densely populated and […]

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Marek Edelman … And There Was Love In The Ghetto

Filed in Film by on May 7, 2019 0 Comments
Marek Edelman … And There Was Love In The Ghetto

Marek Edelman was a fighter. He was the last surviving commander of the doomed but courageous Warsaw ghetto uprising in April 1943 and a participant in the 1944 general uprising in Warsaw. Remaining in Poland after the war, he studied medicine and became one of Poland’s leading cardiologists. During the 1980s, when he was a […]

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The Man Who Played With Fire

Filed in Film by on May 7, 2019 0 Comments
The Man Who Played With Fire

Long before the late Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson wrote his acclaimed, posthumous trilogy of novels — The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest and The Girl Who Played With Fire — he was preoccupied by the neo-Nazi scene in Sweden. That right-wing extremists were active in this progressive Nordic […]

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One Step Forward, Another Step Backward

Filed in Commentary by on May 5, 2019 0 Comments
One Step Forward, Another Step Backward

Facebook, the social media leviathan, has taken one step forward but another step backward with its dual decision to evict several extremists from its platform while permitting Holocaust deniers to carry on as usual. Facebook’s schizophrenic position is senseless and maddening. On May 2, in accordance with its policy of banning “dangerous individuals and organizations” […]

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A Fortunate Man

Filed in Film by on May 4, 2019 0 Comments
A Fortunate Man

Billie August’s lush costume drama, A Fortunate Man, speaks to the proverb that pride, one of the seven deadly sins, comes before a fall. The two-and-a-half-hour movie, based on an eight-volume novel by Nobel laureate Henrik Pontoppidan and now available on the Netflix streaming network, is set mainly in late 19th century Denmark and revolves around […]

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The Fourth Reich

Filed in Books by on May 3, 2019 0 Comments
The Fourth Reich

The “Fourth Reich” is an emotive slogan that conjures up diametrically different meanings. Originally a rallying cry for anti-Nazi resistance following the emergence of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, the Fourth Reich was a progressive slogan promising a hopeful post-Nazi future. German Jewish refugees who had fled Germany after Hitler’s accession to power in 1933 were […]

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Islamic State Is Back With A Vengeance

Filed in Middle East by on May 1, 2019 0 Comments
Islamic State Is Back With A Vengeance

Pounded relentlessly by a dizzying array of adversaries in the past few years, Islamic State is nonetheless back with a vengeance. The Easter Sunday suicide attacks in Sri Lanka, which claimed the lives of about 250 locals and foreigners, was the work of a local cell that had pledged allegiance to Islamic State. They were […]

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U.S. Antisemites Increasingly Bold And Assertive

Filed in Jewish Affairs by on April 30, 2019 0 Comments
U.S. Antisemites Increasingly Bold And Assertive

The worms are coming out of the woodwork with ever-increasing frequency. Antisemitism is and has always been a staple of the far-right in the United States, a nation where Jews have found an unprecedented degree of safety and acceptance. But in the past two years, American antisemites have grown increasingly confident, bold and assertive. In […]

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Polish Religious Ritual Should Be Scrapped

Filed in Commentary by on April 29, 2019 0 Comments
Polish Religious Ritual Should Be Scrapped

Some people simply can’t adapt to change. Case in point: Residents of the southeastern Polish town of Pruchnik, which had a prewar Jewish population of about 800, recently staged an antisemitic Easter ritual known as Judgment over Judas, which dates back to the 18th century and was regularly performed throughout Poland until about World War […]

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