Field of Dreams
September 04, 1989
From Beirut to Jerusalem By Thomas L. Friedman (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 525 pp., $22.95) Thomas Friedman’s account of his journey as a reporter from Beirut to Jerusalem is rich in precisely the qualities that made his dispatches from those two capitals so memorable, and so breathtaking. We have to go back to David Halberstam, and perhaps to Homer Bigart, for another American foreign correspondent so unerringly alert to the illuminating detail.
How Buildings Remember
August 28, 1989
“Did you see the gas vans?” Claude Lanzmann asks Mrs. Michelsohn, an old German woman, in his film Shoah. Mrs. Michelsohn lived in Chelmno, 50 yards from the spot where Jews were loaded onto the vans at the Nazi extermination center. “No,” she answers at first, with a look of annoyance. Then her face registers the recognition that Lanzmann and his movie cameras will not be deflected. “Yes,” she acknowledges, she saw the vans, “from the outside. They shuttled back and forth. I never looked inside; I didn’t see the Jews in them.
The Demons of the Jews
November 11, 1985
The rise of Meir Kahane is a boon to Jew haters and Arab haters alike.
July 01, 1985
In this space a few weeks ago I published some words critical of Peter Jennings, the anchorman for ABC's "World News Tonight." My views provoked a good deal of mail in Jennings's defense—but none of it from ordinary TV-watching citizens.
Rookie of the Year
November 05, 1984
Vice Presidential debates are a sideshow, at best, to the main action of a Presidential election, but the pressures on George Bush and Geraldine Ferraro going into their October 11 meeting in Philadelphia nonetheless were enormous. After President Reagan's disastrous debate with Walter Mondale, Bush had to perform more than creditably. It was up to him to defend the Reagan record, undercut the Democratic case, and project some vision of the next four years in a way that Reagan did not.
Stop Financing Terrorism
July 08, 1978
It has begun to occur to our leaders, at last, that the Western nations are helping to finance the international terrorism of which they are the victims. Recent steps by the Carter administration, prodded by Congress, to use America’s economic muscle in the battle against terrorism are long overdue. Several anti-terrorism bills have been introduced in Congress in recent years. One—the Omnibus Anti-Terrorist Act, sponsored by Senator Abraham Ribicoff—has been winding its way through Congress and is likely to become law.
The Revisionist in Power
April 21, 1978
Recently a number of commentators, friendly and otherwise, have been urging American Jews to express their dissatisfaction with the policies of the Begin government. Ideological and political debate flourishes in democratic Israel, so why is the “Jewish establishment” in the United States less vocal, in fact supinely acquiescent? I. F. Stone, though hardly lacking forums for expressing his views, disingenuously mourns the failure of American rabbis to invite him to expound his familiar pro-Arab stance to their congregations.
The New Anti-Semitism
September 18, 1976
In those distant days, when General de Gaulle drank a toast to "the state of Israel, our friend and ally," a right wing antisemitic weekly in Paris, which fiercely upheld the idea of "Algerie Franfaise," published a long article under the title "Is it possible to be a friend of Israel and an anti-Semite at the same time?" The author thought that it was.
UNESCO and Israel
December 14, 1974
Last month as the UN General Assembly was passing resolutions in New York conferring legitimacy on the Palestine Liberation Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris, by excluding Israel from its European regional activities, was anticipating and, as Raymond Aron and Jean-Paul Sartre said in a remarkable joint statement, "justifying in advance Israel's physical annihilation." The Arab-inspired resolutions included terminating UNESCO's small aid to Israeli cultural institutions and asked that UNESCO's director general undertake to supervise educ
Life Among the Refuseniks
August 24, 1974
After eight days without food, the Sinologist Vitaly Rubin had an alert, rapid, feverish way of explaining things. "I am no parasite, what they call. I work at Hebrew University, only I am still in Moscow. I was summoned to KGB to fill out a form: What is your working place? and I answered: Hebrew University." Odd to discuss such matters with men deliberately starving themselves to death. "It is possible to live here," Vitaly Rubin was saying, "but not if you have any dignity. I am specialist in eighth and ninth century China." He was laughing a fierce, feverish little chuckle.