Categories
Television

The Queen’s Gambit

I don’t know how to play chess, but I was riveted by Netflix’s new seven-part series, The Queen’s Gambit, a mesmerizing drama revolving around a young American woman who wins acclaim as an international chess champion. Created by Scott Frank and Allan Scott, it held me in thrall from start to finish. Isla Johnston plays […]

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Books

Trump And The Holy Land: 2016-2020

When Donald Trump assumed the American presidency on January 20, 2017, he declared, “I would love to be the one who made peace with Israel and the Palestinians. That would be such a great achievement.” Nearly four years on, with the presidential election less than a week away, Trump has yet to implement his fondly-held […]

Categories
Television

Apaches — A Compelling Spanish TV Series

My wife and I have just finished watching the 12th and final episode of Apaches on Netflix, a crime series that is easily one of finest dramas we’ve seen in a long time. I don’t normally write about such shows, but this one is so good that it deserves public praise. The story line is […]

Categories
Books

A Century Of Jewish Life In Shanghai

During the late 1930s and early 1940s, the Chinese city of Shanghai was home to more Jews than any other metropolis in Asia. Congested, cosmopolitan and utterly exotic, its population exceeded three million, of whom 49,000 were foreigners, including about 20,000 Jews. Shanghai’s Jewish community was extremely diverse, consisting of Middle Eastern, Russian and Central […]

Categories
Film

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat Sequel Falls Short

I missed Sacha Baron Cohen’s first Borat film, so I have no way of comparing it to the sequel, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which was released late last week. Judged on its own merits, the second one is sophomoric. With the exception of a few punchy scenes, I watched it with a straight face, disappointed by […]

Categories
Middle East

Israel Normalizes Its Occupation Of The West Bank

Israel’s damaging and counter-productive settlement expansion program in the West Bank continues apace. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Defence body responsible for authorizing the construction of settlements, the Civil Administration’s High Planning Subcommittee, advanced plans to build 4,948 homes, bringing this year’s total to a record-breaking figure of 12,159. Much of the construction will […]

Categories
Middle East

A Milestone In The Arab-Israeli Conflict

Sudan is on the cusp of normalizing relations with Israel, and this is a significant development, a milestone, in the annals of the bitter Arab-Israeli conflict. According to reports, Sudan — a strategically key nation on the shores of the Red Sea and the largest country in Africa — will formally establish diplomatic ties with […]

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Middle East

The Arab Joint List’s Short-Sighted Policy

The Knesset approved Israel’s normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain by an overwhelming margin of 80 to 13 last week. All the dissenting votes were cast by the Arab Joint List, the third largest political party, though 27 parliamentarians were absent and two MK’s, both from the Arab Joint List, were unable […]

Categories
Jewish Affairs

Jewish Encounters With Aboriginals In Canada

Although there have been a wide range of Jewish-Indigenous encounters in Canada, they have never been at the center of Jewish concerns, according to historian David Koffman. Indeed, aboriginal people have been “written out” of Canadian Jewish history, said Koffman, who holds the J. Richard Schiff Chair for the Study of Canadian Jewry at York […]

Categories
Middle East

Saudi Arabia Resists Normalization With Israel

Much to Israel’s disappointment, Saudi Arabia in the short term is unlikely to follow the lead of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and sign a normalization agreement with Israel. Saudi Arabia — the seat of Islam and the site of some of the holiest shrines in the Muslim world — is sticking to its […]