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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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Why Single Israel Out?

by Alan Rutkowski   WHY SINGLE ISRAEL OUT? This is a question often posed to those of us, Jews and non-Jews, who oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and advocate for Palestinian rights. After all, Israel is, as they say, the “only democracy in the region.” Of course, calling Israel a democracy glosses over the roughly […]

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Queen Esther’s Tomb in Iran

Archaeologist Ernst Herzfeld was born in Hanover Province, Germany on this date in 1879. He was deeply involved in archaeological excavations in Iran during the early 20th century and helped prompt the creation of the Persian law of antiquities, which protected some of humankind’s most ancient artifacts. Herzfeld also identified a shrine in Hamadan in the Kurdish region of Iran, […]

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An Egalitarian Democracy in Syria?

by Ralph Seliger Discussed in this essay: A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State, by Meredith Tax. Bellevue Literary Press, 2016, 336 pages. EVENTS IN DISTANT LANDS sometimes elicit the hopes, and then disillusionment, of progressive minds — e.g., the Soviet Union at its inception in the early 1920s, the anarchist workers movement in […]

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An American Jew in Kurdistan

Seeing an Israeli Film in Dohuk and Other Experiences ONE OF THE FIRST TRIPS my wife and I took after moving to Kurdistan in the summer of 2013 — five days after getting married — was to the colorful mountain city of Dohuk near the Turkish border, an excursion that coincided with the Dohuk International Film Festival, organized […]

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