Quick Takes: Whither the Democratic Socialists of America?

by Ralph Seliger   BACK IN 1982, I witnessed the merger of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC — usually pronounced “dee-sock”) with the New American Movement to form the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Nearly ten years before, DSOC had split from the Social Democrats USA (SD), itself the main remnant of the old […]

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Lebanese Filmmaker Rises above BDS

by Ralph Seliger Discussed in this essay: The Insult, a drama by filmmaker Ziad Doueiri, 2017, 112 minutes.   AT THE CENTER of The Insult, directed and co-written by Lebanese filmmaker Ziad Doueiri, are the enduring passions and grievances from the civil war that consumed his homeland from 1975 until 1990, killing an estimated 150,000 and […]

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Quick Takes: America is NOT So Great

by Ralph Seliger   IT FRUSTRATES me when politicians, including Democrats, feel obliged to intone how the U.S. is the “greatest country in the world.” The one notable exception on the 2016 campaign trail was Bernie Sanders, who looked toward Western social democracies — explicitly mentioning Denmark but clearly implying most countries in Western and Central […]

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Quick Takes: On Jerusalem, Trump Plays to His Base . . .

WHILE THREATENING PEACE AND UNDERMINING ZIONISM by Ralph Seliger   THE PRESIDENT’S DECISION to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is a typical Trump move, pleasing his strongest supporters while doing nothing concretely positive. He’s winning kudos from Evangelical Christians and hard-right Zionists, including, most importantly, Sheldon Adelson, who backed his presidential campaign to the tune […]

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Quick Takes: Obama’s Wrong Turn on Syria

by Ralph Seliger   HELL ON EARTH: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS, a new documentary by Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested (broadcasted on the National Geographic Channel and available for purchase via YouTube), has reinforced my view that Obama was wrong to suddenly reverse his initial 2013 decision to lead a […]

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Quick Takes: ‘Zionism’ Has Won — Time to Move On

by Ralph Seliger   LIEL LEIBOVITZ, the most frequent contributor to the high-toned online mag Tablet, is very talented as a writer but maddeningly superficial as a thinker. Emotionally seduced by rightwing Zionist arguments, he tends to see things in black and white. In a recent piece, he claims that the left-Zionist Meretz party is […]

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