Benjamin Soskis


Judging Aharon

By Benjamin Soskis

Last March, when the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists decided to give its 2007 Pursuit of Justice Award to Aharon Barak, the recently retired chief judge of the Israeli Supreme Court, they chose a surprising colleague to present the honor: Antonin Scalia. The ceremony was held in the august interior of the Supreme Court of the United States, and in his introductory remarks, Scalia, quite comfortable on his home turf, quickly dispensed with one element of incongruity: He was not Jewish, he conceded, merely the most senior justice available. Yet he contended that his Queens upbringing provided him with a sufficient endowment of Yiddishkeit to justify the selection.Read More


The Capitol Gang

By Benjamin Soskis

The recipe for a successful reality television series is relatively straightforward. Take a bunch of young, attractive coeds, cram them into a tight space and stoke their competitive instincts with a common challenge that demands both teamwork and individual distinction. Set up a camera, and voilá: instant drama, or, at least, a reasonable facsimile thereof. By those terms, congressional offices, uniformly cramped and staffed by ambitious 20-somethings, should make a perfect reality-TV setting.Read More


Romancing ‘Failed Sciences’

By Benjamin Soskis

In 1665, among the many residents of England’s plague-ridden cities who fled to the less-contagious countryside were two men of science, one escaping from Cambridge and the other from London. The former, the young Isaac Newton, we know and revere. The latter, the elderly William Lilly, we do not. Some 30 yearsRead More


Falun Gong Suit Divides Capital

By Benjamin Soskis

Last October, while then-Chinese president Jiang Zemin was visiting the United States, he received an unwelcome surprise. Practitioners of the spiritual movement known as Falun Gong, which was outlawed by the Chinese government in 1999, served his security detail with notice of a lawsuit filed against him in a Chicago federal court.TheRead More


Parley Takes a Fresh Look at World’s Oldest ‘Demon’

By Benjamin Soskis

There is often comfort in the familiar, even in a familiar evil. That is why in the analysis of antisemitism, the historical approach, the search for continuities, is often an emotionally and rhetorically conflicted one. Casting one’s eyes back on the past millennia of persecution offers a terrifying vista. But if such a perspective can make oneRead More



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