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Exporting Homegrown Culture: Can Israeli Cinema Go Global?

By Daphne Merkin

The first and – but can this be? – last truly memorable Israeli film I saw was “Sallah Shabbati.” That was way back in my impressionable, Zionism-infused youth, somewhere in the middle of the giddy 1960s, when Israel still shimmered before the eyes of Jewish day-school children like a biblical fable come true, an as-yet untarnished land ofRead More


Fight Over Belzec Memorial Turns Dirty

A dispute over a Nazi death camp memorial pitting a New York activist rabbi against the American Jewish Committee and the Israeli and Polish governments is turning personal and, literally, dirty.The rabbi, Avi Weiss, went to the Belzec death camp in Poland last week, spending the wee hours of the morning of July 30 blocking construction of theRead More


Confirmation Debate Morphs Into Bitter Religious Battle

By Ami Eden

Allies of embattled Bush judicial pick William Pryor Jr., whose nomination is being opposed by Democrats over his controversial views on church-state issues, are trying to enlist a leading Orthodox Jewish organization in their fight to paint his foes as anti-Catholic extremists.The Committee for Justice, an advocacy group createdRead More


Rights Activist Named to Top Canada Court

By Sheldon Gordon

MONTREAL — Morris Fish, a 64-year-old judge widely respected for being a “mensch on the bench,” last week became the first Quebec Jew named to the Supreme Court of Canada.He is only the second Jew ever appointed to the high court. The late Bora Laskin, an Ontarian, served as chief justice from 1972 until he retired in 1984.While the JewishRead More


House Takes Aim at Judiciary on Church-State Cases

By Daniel Treiman

In what critics are describing as an unprecedented challenge to judicial power, the House of Representatives last week overwhelmingly approved two legislative amendments aimed at short-circuiting a pair of high-profile court rulings regarding church-state issues.In a 260-161 vote, the House approved an amendment to an appropriations bill July 23Read More


Dems Call Bush Soft on Saudis But Split on His Israel Stance

By Marc Perelman

Seizing on what they see as a rare opportunity to attack President Bush’s foreign policy without appearing unpatriotic, Democrats and liberals are rushing to condemn the White House for its stance on Saudi Arabia — and in some cases, on the Middle East peace process.The attacks are opening up a rift within the liberal camp,Read More


Moscow Targets Another Russian Jewish Oligarch

By S.A. Greene

MOSCOW — It’s becoming a familiar scenario: Kremlin prosecutors go after a prominent Jewish “oligarch,” and Washington reacts with stern warnings that Russia is risking all the progress it has made during the last decade.Just under three years ago, the target was Vladimir Gusinsky, the press baron and founding presidentRead More


Securing a Safe America Requires Accountability for 9/11 Mistakes

By Bob Graham

Last week, the declassified version of the House-Senate joint inquiry’s report into the September 11 terrorist attacks was finally released to the public, seven months after it was completed. The purpose of the report was not to assign blame for the horrific event, but to find out what could have been done to prevent it, or a more tragicRead More


Ancient Tale of Mistaken Identity Sheds Light on Divorce Dilemma

By Ami Eden

Bringing a glossy magazine to synagogue would usually register as a religious faux pas, especially if it’s the flashy food issue of New York magazine and the holiday in question is the gloomy fast day of Tisha B’Av.This year, however, worshippers — and rabbis — would do well to come to services armed with copies of the magazine’s July 28Read More


Survivors Build Community Over Cinnamon Tea

By Jordan Stolper

LETTER FROM LA PAZWhen a hunger strike by government deputies forced the Bolivian president to call an emergency session of Congress in June, a group of men gathered at Eli’s Confiteria in downtown La Paz to assess the situation. When rival Bolivian security forces clashed in the capital earlier this year, leaving some 30 police and militaryRead More





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