March 22, 2013 |
CAIRO - The battle between censors and filmmakers over "Jews of Egypt" ended this week when authorities granted permission for the documentary to be shown despite fears it may agitate Egypt's anti-Israeli hatred amid months of political unrest and nationwide protests. The film by director Amir Ramses raised a dilemma over security versus artistic freedom at a time when the rise of conservative Islamist voices has sharpened religious and cultural differences. The documentary explores the life of Egypt's Jewish community before the second Arab-Israeli war in 1956.
March 8, 2013 |
Later this month, President Obama will visit Israel, a country intended by an act of international law to be the reconstituted Jewish national home. The visit will be highly charged, but at the same time, many Israelis have low expectations for what could come of it. The president's protracted but unsuccessful attempts to stifle Iran's nuclear weapons program, his insistence on zealously challenging Israel's right to a united Jerusalem and his inability to pressure the Palestinian Authority to fulfill its obligations are among the chief reasons for the lack of excitement in Israel.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2013 |
A federal appeals court revived a lawsuit Tuesday by female prisoners who contend that the California prison system is violating their rights by refusing to hire a full-time Wiccan chaplain. A district court rejected the inmates' suit, but a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the inmates may have a valid claim. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation hires chaplains for five faiths: Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Native American.
January 10, 2013
Re "Holocaust's children," Column One, Jan. 4 Doris Small's story, in which she escaped Nazi Germany before World War II thanks to the rescue mission Kindertransport, is indeed very moving and poignant. But let's not forget that there was an effort by a few Americans to actually try to do the same thing the British government was doing then. It was Eleanor Roosevelt who in 1939 urged her husband to support a bill in Congress to allow 20,000 Jewish children to come to America and be temporarily adopted by American parents for the duration of the hostility.
January 8, 2013 |
Jews worry for a living. Their dark history and, in the case of American Jews, their legitimate concerns about the security of the state of Israel impel them to do so. But sometimes those concerns are overblown and reflect a kind of collective cosmic oy vey that gets in the way of sound and rational judgment. Such is the case in the matter of Chuck Hagel's nomination to be President Obama's next secretary of Defense. Some of the comments attributed to Hagel about lobbies, Israel and the like come from an interview he gave me for my last book about American Middle East policy, particularly his use of the term "Jewish lobby.
January 7, 2013 |
Most postmortems of the 2012 elections have focused on its implications for the future of the Republican Party, the rise of the Latino vote or the continued polarization of the country by party and region. But here's a takeaway you probably haven't encountered: Catholics are coming on strong. This is from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: “Catholics have seen the biggest gains among the 533 members [of Congress] who are scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 3. Catholics picked up seven seats, for a total of 163, raising their share to just over 30%. Protestants and Jews experienced the biggest declines in numerical terms.
December 27, 2012 |
It's not that Christoph Waltz is unwilling to discuss his movies, it's that he's cautious about too rigidly framing them for those who haven't seen them yet. It's of particular concern with material as complex as Quentin Tarantino's new "Django Unchained. " "Everybody has a different reason to see what they see in a movie. Everybody should very much listen to that inner voice when seeing any movie, but this one in specific," says the articulate, thoughtful Austrian actor, an Oscar winner for Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds.
December 15, 2012
Re "Not a club for Christians," Opinion, Dec. 11 I applaud Jonah Goldberg for questioning the GOP's approach to non-Christians and other minorities. It is a positive development that he recognizes the exclusion so many feel from the GOP. But while the GOP may be very strong in proclaiming its Christianity for all to see, it doesn't fare as well in following many of Jesus' teachings, including helping the poor, healing the sick, turning the other cheek and valuing the peacemakers.
December 11, 2012 |
In the scramble to make the GOP more diverse, a lot of people are looking at Asian Americans, whom many believe are a natural constituency for the party. I would love it if Asian Americans converted en masse to the Republican Party, but the challenge for Republicans is harder than many appreciate. President Obama did spectacularly well with Asian Americans, garnering nearly three-quarters of their vote. This runs counter to a lot of conventional wisdom on both the left and the right.
November 26, 2012
Seventy years after Norway helped send hundreds of Jews to Auschwitz, the nation's police have apologized for their role in rounding up and deporting people to Nazi concentration camps. The sober words from the Norwegian national police commissioner mark the first such apology from Norwegian police. After being invaded and occupied by Germany, Norway deported 772 Jews on ships leaving Oslo during the war. Only 32 of the people survived. The vast majority were expelled from Norway on Nov. 26, 1942, when 532 Jewish people were loaded onto the Donau.