When Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister for the second time in March 2009, it was not long after Israel had conducted three weeks of sustained air attacks on the enclave of Gaza. More than 1,100 Palestinians died in that campaign. About a dozen Israelis also perished, four from friendly fire, the rest from rockets coming… Continue reading Netanyahu Soldiers On
The far right thrives on fear. It’s no surprise, then, that it would use the latest pandemic, which has generated widespread panic, to bolster its own agenda. All of the hallmarks of the far right are in play during the current crisis. It has pushed to close borders. It has demonized foreigners and particularly border-crossers.… Continue reading The Politics of the Coronavirus
with Valerio Alfonso Bruno In early 2017, Europe’s far-right parliamentary bloc met in Koblenz, Germany, to plot its political future. The meeting of the bloc’s leaders — which included Marine le Pen from France, Matteo Salvini from Italy and Geert Wilders from the Netherlands — took place shortly after the inauguration of US President Donald… Continue reading Will 2020 Be Another Victory Year for Trump and Brexit?
If Donald Trump goes to church regularly, he’s kept it a pretty good secret. He and his wife have made sure to alert the press on the few times he does attend services, for instance on Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day. Otherwise, the president seems to worship regularly only at the Church of the Hole… Continue reading Ayatollah Trump
It’s a famous story, though perhaps not famous enough. The 1939 voyage of the MS St. Louis, a German ocean liner, was recounted in a 1974 book and a 1976 film (both titled Voyage of the Damned) as well as a 1994 opera. This history is not forgotten. Yet so many unfortunate people around the world are… Continue reading World to Refugees: Go to Hell
Welcome back, Gog and Magog. I can’t say that I’ve missed you. You might remember the Gog and Magog story from 2003, when George W. Bush was making plans to invade Iraq and assembling a “coalition of the willing.” French President Jacques Chirac was quite unwilling, so Bush went to great lengths to break down… Continue reading Oh, Magog!
In the TV show Transparent, the Pfeffermans are an infuriating family. Mort, the patriarch, is transitioning to Maura, and much of the focus of the show is on the transgender experience. But it’s hard to miss that Maura and her three children, not to mention ex-wife Shelly, are narcissists who wreak havoc on anyone who comes… Continue reading Who’s a Bad Jew?
Conservatives used to love to lambaste Barack Obama for traveling abroad and “apologizing” for U.S. conduct. Mitt Romney popularized the argument during one of the presidential debates in 2012. The “apology tour” became an oft-repeated meme among the president’s critics. According to the Heritage Foundation, the former president “apologized for his country to nearly 3 billion people… Continue reading Trump’s Apology Tour
In the 13th century, the Italian town of Lucera was a Muslim island in a sea of Christendom. Here Frederick II, the head of the Holy Roman Empire, established his own shadow cabinet of scholars and advisors from among the Arabs that he invited to live in this walled city near the eastern coast of… Continue reading Life in the Gray Zone
In his new film Taxi, Iranian director Jafar Panahi is having a conversation with his young niece. They’re sitting in the cab Panahi is driving. The Iranian government has banned the director from making films, so he’s ostensibly found an alternative means of making money and of making films. He’s set up a camera on… Continue reading Kumbaya (Not)