The Hidden Jew as Critic

Jan. 10 2020

 In November, the theater critic John Simon, known for his erudition, prose style, and biting, sometimes cruel, reviews, died at the age of ninety-four. While obituaries noted that he was born in Serbia as Ivan Simmon and came to the U.S. in 1941, Jonathan Leaf reports hearing a very different story about his early life from Simon’s close friend and fellow critic Howard Kissel: that Simon was born to a Jewish father who barely escaped Europe, and that he had a half-brother who remained behind and perished in the Holocaust. Leaf believes this closely guarded secret may shed some light on Simon’s notoriously selective tastes:

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Read more at Tablet

More about: David Mamet, Film, Holocaust, Literary criticism, Theater, Woody Allen

How Israel Can Stand Up to a Belligerent Turkey

Sept. 25 2020

Under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara has become increasingly authoritarian, Islamist, and hostile toward Israel and the West more generally. The Turkish government has also indicated that it aspires to alter its maritime border with Greece, and even its border with Syria. Analyzing these changes, and what they term the country’s “bellicose foreign policy,” Efraim Inbar, Eran Lerman, and Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak examine the implications for Israel, and how the Jewish state might best respond:

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Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Israeli Security, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey, U.S. Foreign policy