The Concert That Revived the Spirit of Soviet Jewry

On July 3, 1956, the celebrated American Jewish tenor Jan Peerce—on a good-will tour of the Soviet Union in the midst of Nikita Khrushchev’s thaw—gave a concert at the Moscow Conservatory, broadcast live on the local radio station. At the suggestion of the Israeli ambassador, Peerce made the last-minute decision to sing a few pieces of Jewish music. James Loeffler describes what ensued:

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Arts & Culture, Hasidism, History & Ideas, Jewish music, Opera, Soviet Jewry

Despite Opposition from the Taliban, Islamic State Is Thriving in Afghanistan

According to Taliban officials, Islamic State’s Afghanistan offshoot (known as the “Khorasan province,” or ISKP) has but a negligible presence. American diplomats, for their part, have claimed that the new jihadist government in Kabul can provide a bulwark against the group, which opposes what it sees as the Taliban’s relative religious moderation. But, Oved Lobel argues, the evidence supports neither interpretation:

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Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: ISIS, Taliban, Terrorism, U.S. Foreign policy