Middle East

Present At The Creation

10/11/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

It is a commonplace notion that historical fictions are not about the period in which they are set but, rather, the period in which they are created. Elie Chouraqui’s new film, “O Jerusalem,” which opens Oct. 17, is a case in point.

Keith Ellison, Gaza and what it means to be "anti-Israel"

I keep getting emails and reading blogs about the infamous “Ellison letter” - the congressional letter to President Obama urging him to press Israel to lift the Gaza blockade (many of the writers put the word “blockade” in quotation marks, as if it bears no connection to reality).

Local Wounds Opened By Mideast Conflict

08/04/2006
Special To The Jewish Week

It can be frustrating or awkward “to see people involved in a peace walk one week and the same people involved in an anti-Israel protest the next week,” said Rabbi Micah Kelber of the Bay Ridge Jewish Center, a small Conservative synagogue in the midst of one of the nation’s largest Arab communities.

Clarke Gets An Earful On Israel

Brooklyn rep backtracks on Gaza
after meetings with Jewish leaders.

02/11/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

After voting with 36 other members of the House in November against a resolution that the Goldstone Report to the UN was unfair to Israel, Brooklyn’s Yvette Clarke reportedly told Jewish leaders in her district that she’d consult with them on Middle East issues in the future.

Rep. Yvette Clarke said letters on Gaza she signed “do not provide a complete, and therefore accurate, picture of the situation.

How Far Can Their Dialogue Go?

11/14/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

For several tense minutes last week, it seemed as if the first “National Summit of Imams and Rabbis” might fail even before it got off the ground.

Both participants and observers waited with bated breath as Sheik Omar Abu-Namous, one of the event’s organizers, called for an Israeli “apology” to the Palestinians, along with some form of compensation for families who lost their land in 1948, the year Israel was established.

What are New Israel Fund critics afraid of?

As the controversy over grantees of the New Israel Fund and their alleged role in supplying information used by the Goldstone Report on the Gaza war rages here and in Israel, I can't help but wonder this: what are the critics so afraid of?

There's an irony here. Unlike its adversaries in the Middle East, Israel actually has a vigorous, outspoken and independent  human rights movement  willing and able to critically examine the actions of its own government. That's a good thing, right?

The ‘Genius’ Of Poetry

10/18/2007
Special To The Jewish Week

Poet, translator and publisher Peter Cole is among this year’s recipients of MacArthur Foundation fellowships, or genius awards, as they are popularly known. The no-strings-attached award, honoring creativity, includes a $500,000 stipend that is paid over five years.

The Persian Queens

03/08/2007
Jewish Week Book Critic

Separated by a thousand years, Queen Esther and Scheherazade were both the second wives of betrayed and humiliated kings. Both were selected by these kings from a harem, after a thousand women came before them. And both women’s lives were hanging by a thread, yet they chose to stand up for themselves and others and save lives.

Rep. Ackerman counsels - gasp - patience on Iran

You don't hear a lot of politicians talking sense about Iran these days. Either they pretend tough talk and unilateral sanctions will do the trick, ignoring history and common sense,  or they are part of the  “don't bother me now” faction.

That's why I liked Rep. Gary Ackerman's statement to the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia this week during a hearing on the political reform movement in Iran.
 

‘Jews And Muslims Are Kissing Cousins’

12/21/2007
Special to The Jewish Week

After three days in the media glare, the so-called "Subway Good Samaritan" retreated to upstate New York in the middle of last week. But the trip with a friend lasted just 24 hours, and when Hassan Askari returned to his life as a Berkeley College accounting student and a deliveryman for two East Village Indian restaurants, a fuller picture began to emerge of a thoughtful 20-year-old Bangladeshi with a multicultural cast to his life and strong views about the common ground he believes exists between Jews and Muslims.

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