Blogs

The Best Critique of Beinart Yet

The American Jewish Historical Society began its three-day biennial conference today, and if the first salvo is any indication, the event will be a success.

Rocker Devendra Banhart cancels Tel Aviv concert

Yet another musician -- American indie rocker Devendra Banhart -- canceled his Wednesday/Thursday Tel Aviv concerts, joining the barrage of artists still angry about the Flotilla incident.

Your Best Friend's Yahrtzeit

On the rebbe's 16th yahrtzeit, a memory from Chief Rabbi Lau; a story about the rebbe and Viktor Frankl; and considering some of the recent speculation about the rebbe's Parisian days, here's David Bezborodko's memories of the rebbe in Paris.

And a story passed along from the Avner Institute:

BP oil spill: Obama's 'Katrina?'

 For weeks, Republicans have been gleefully predicting that the massive BP oil spill and the uneven response of the federal government would be President Obama's Hurricane Katrina.

Generally, I've scoffed at the claim Obama's response will define his presidency – and that the definition would include the word “incompetence.”

But now I'm not so sure, but not necessarily for the reasons the Republicans say.

Literary Death Match: The Fight Over Henry Roth's Legacy

Henry Roth's posthumous novel, "An American Type," has just been published and, in its wake, a fiesty literary debate has started to brew. The reviews are trickling in (stay tuned for my own, appearing in the upcoming June 18 issue), and perhaps the most devastating comes from Joshua Cohen in Harper's.  Sadly, his essay is not available online, but I got my subscription copy late last week and was riveted by the piece. 

Did The Love Boat Boycott Israel?

The e-mail from one of the many shul-related lists I subscribe to caught my attention with its subject line: "Princess Cruise Line Boycotting Israeli Port."

"Say it aint so," was my reaction. "The Love Boat? Really?"

I Know Why the Love Birds Sings

Every morning it's the same thing.

After the downing of a certain green swill because the woman in the health food store handed me a bottle with the words, "Sweetie, you need to moisturize from the inside out," Mister Trevor Dog and I head over to the park.

And by "hanging at the park," I mean I sit on a bench and read Haaretz in English while Mister Trevor sniffs around, communes with nature and does his thing.

But this is really a story about two ravens.

On Multicultural Day, What's A Nice Jewish-French Canadian-Irish Gal To Wear?

Friday was Multicultural Day, arguably the biggest annual event at my daughter Ellie’s school, and her first grade classroom became a swirl of saris, sombreros, tunics and caftans.

After the children performed African and European dances, and a Cuban song they’d learned, the kids who speak other languages at home demonstrated how to count to 10 in them: that included Spanish, of course, but also Russian, Nepali and about four different languages from the Indian subcontinent.

Coming soon: a new Iran day of reckoning for pro-Israel groups?

Could pro-Israel leaders here face a grim day of reckoning on the issue of Iran's nuclear program?

Last week the UN Security Council passed new sanctions demanded by the Obama administration, which won the support of China and Russia – the biggest obstacles to a new sanctions regime. Congress seems poised to pass tougher U.S. sanctions targeting companies, individuals and states that deal with Iran's nuclear sector, JTA reports.

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