For Jewish comics, Dom Imus is no joke.
In the wake of the shock jock’s unflattering comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team and his shockingly swift departure from the national airwaves has come a national discussion about the propriety of character defamation in the guise of humor, and predictions that an era of increased civility will ensue.
Saul Bellow, the son of Russian Jewish emigres who became the most prominent member of a generation of Jewish-American writers to emerge from World War II, was remembered this week as a literary giant who did not want to be bound by the tag of Jewish writer.
Mr. Bellow, often regarded as a “novelist of ideas” for the big themes he tackled, died Tuesday at home in Brookline, Mass. He was 89.
Henreich Heine, the German-Jewish poet, wrote more than a century ago, ìder vorhang fallt, das stuck ist aus,î the curtain falls, the play is done. Then, in that tragic coda, the ax fell, too. Yet the drama goes on, a few German-Jews puttering around on a stage they refuse to leave, enchanted by that language.ìWir haben viel fur einander gefuhlt,î how deeply we were wrapped in each otherís lives, wrote Heine.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
Here’s an update on an earlier item on the three Americans arrested and detained by Iran and the way the inaccurate story that one of them was a yeshiva student and Jewish Week writer spread across the Internet.
One of the Web sites that spread the story was DEBKAfile.com, which fashions itself a source of in-depth intelligence and security information, with a focus on the Middle East.
In a synagogue library in northern Westchester, a dozen senior citizens sit around a long table discussing current events. In a temple conference room on the Upper West Side, a young family talks about the tensions raised by a child’s serious illness. In the meeting room of a Long Island JCC, a group of recent widows share photographs and memories of their late husbands.
Tuesday, August 11th, 2009
I’m a huge fan of the Internet – in fact, it’s a large part of my job. Obviously, I’m a blogger, and regard blogging as an essential ingredient in the newspaper of tomorrow.
But I’m also alarmed at how easily distortions and mistakes, reported as “news” by bloggers and disseminated to vast, worldwide audiences that uncritically accept their outpourings, become indelible parts of the news background.
I want to share a letter I received from a reader regarding the portrayal of Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria. The writer’s son and family are longtime residents of Itamar, in the Samarian mountains near Nablus.
Sunday, January 25th, 2009
James Besser in Washington
Update: I just read NY Times reporter Ethan Bronner’s interesting take on the different, seemingly irreconcilable narratives of Israelis and Palestinians, and the difficult of using “neutral” language in reporting on the conflict. Definitely worth a read. Get it here.