New York

Minority Report

Staff Writer
If the black-Latino coalition forged in last year's mayoral race holds together this year, it could spell trouble for state Sen. Eric Schneiderman. The two-term Democrat is facing former Councilman Guillermo Linares, the first Dominican-American elected to public office here, in September's primary for a district that includes areas of northern Manhattan and the Bronx. With African-American gubernatorial hopeful Carl McCall on the ticket and Latinos running in several local races, minority turnout could bode well for Linares.

Zamir: They’re Playing Our Song

Associate Editor

Like most 60-year-olds, Israel is showing her age and weariness, but like most 60-year-olds there are still some people who remember when she was young, stunning and something to sing about.
Back in the 1950s, in the Massad Hebrew-speaking summer camps in the Pocono Mountains, teenagers got together to sing Israeli music with the same urgency that doo-wop magnetized teens on inner-city street corners.

A Gaza ‘Shoah’ With Tea And Jam

Associate Editor

‘We are doing everything in order to target the terrorists so that the Kassam rockets will stop,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Haaretz.
Oh, that was back in January. Since doing “everything,” several hundred rockets have fallen, bringing death and amputations to the people of Southern Israel.

The Bad And The Beautiful

Associate Editor

In the novel, “The Ugly American,” one character, a Burmese journalist, notes that “A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves... They’re loud and ostentatious. Perhaps they’re frightened and defensive, or maybe they’re not properly trained and make mistakes out of ignorance.”
In recent months, journalists have taken notice of the “ugly Israeli” travelers in Asia.

Pearl’s Father In The Season Of Mourning

Associate Editor

Some say that a day-old newspaper is just good for wrapping fish, but the stories in old newspapers live on for years, if only in someone’s kitchen, even if reporters and readers have long moved on.
A few weeks ago, a small item in northeast Pennsylvania’s Times-Leader noted the passing of an 89-year-old woman whose daughter died “in a well-publicized automobile accident.”
Gwen Kopechne was remembered as “a caring woman who loved talking, drinking coffee and making pancakes for breakfast.”

E-Mails About An Obama Named ‘Sue’

Associate Editor

Perhaps for the first time since the dust storms of the 1930s became a bigger story than “the gathering storm” overseas, the weather is becoming a bigger story than, well, the gathering storm overseas.

The Lost Art Of Davening

Associate Editor

Formal prayer, that musical and lyrical intersection between this world and the other, is as much science as art, as least for the cantor. There are rules, equations, let alone laws, but “most people don’t know how to daven anymore,” says Sherwood Goffin, “or they don’t know how to daven properly.”
That’s true even among the Orthodox, perhaps particularly among the Orthodox, whose synagogues are increasingly disinclined to hire professionally trained cantors — chazanim, or baalei tefillah, “masters of prayer.”

Seeing War Though Palestinian Eyes

Associate Editor

When you learn to see the world through Palestinian eyes, you’ll know that Israel’s Gaza actions were stunningly effective and that “the world” couldn’t care less.

For Obama, The Honeymoon’s Over

Associate Editor

It was a New York wedding like all others, and no other. The veil was about to cover the bride’s face, evoking the time Jacob was snookered, expecting Rachel, getting Leah.

“What do you think?” said one guest to another.
About the bride?
“No, Obama.”

His voice was low, conspiratorial. The joy and sport of last year’s campaign (even heated campaigns can be fun) has given way to cold calculation. The guest, who voted for Barack Obama, now feels like Jacob in the dead of night.

The Chill Is Gone

Associate Editor

What could be older than the Riverdale terrorist plot? It was way back in May that four Islamic men from Newburgh, N.Y., were arrested in the act of planting what they thought were bombs outside two Bronx synagogues. For most of us, the story is in hibernation. The trial is far off. What more is there to write?

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