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Jewish Journal

Rob Eshman

  • Lucy Aharish on Benjamin Netanyahu

    1 week ago

    Israeli Arabs make up 20 percent of Israel’s population – greater than either blacks or Latinos do of the American population.

    So, there are very few pundits and politicians – including our own President – who have not offered their opinion on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s...

  • American Jews and the Israeli election

    2 weeks ago

    If there is one lesson American Jews will learn from Israel’s election, it’s this:  they’re not us.

    Israel is not New York. Or LA. Or Chicago or Boston or Miami or Philadelphia. It is a Jewish “community” unlike any in America.

    Israelis went to the polls this Tuesday and...

  • Israel’s Arab Spring

    2 weeks ago

    What made this election different from all other elections? The Arab vote.

    As the polls closed Tuesday on Israel’s national election, one of the most striking stories was how Israeli Arabs broke a pattern of disengagement from the electoral process and voted en masse.

    The...

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  • Jews, Muslims, UCLA

    3 weeks ago

    Two weeks before it was a twinkle in the eye of The New York Times, the story of Rachel Beyda appeared on jewishjournal.com and in the pages of our newspaper. Following a tip from a colleague and a report in the Daily Bruin, our reporter Jared Sichel investigated how a routine...

  • Bibi, you’re no Moses

    March 3, 2015 | 2:30 pm

    So, he spoke.

    And while his rhetoric soared, his ideas sank.

    He gave us a thousand reasons why the deal whose details he may not know is a flawed one. He gave us not a single pragmatic better option.

    Not one.

    And life, they say, is not about what’s ideal. It’s about what’s...

  • How not to bomb Iran

    February 25, 2015 | 3:59 pm

    Oh, to be in Geneva right now, facing the Iranians across a long polished table in a quiet hotel room--  because everywhere else the debates over their nuclear ambitions are raging, and the anxiety, accusations and intrigue are exasperating. Never have so many weighed in on so much...

  • Why Jews must stay in Europe

    February 17, 2015 | 4:08 pm

    If, God forbid, some crazy Muslim were to shoot and kill a security guard outside a synagogue in Sherman Oaks, would you pack up and move to Israel?

    No, of course not. One crazed gunman does not a pogrom make.

    Unless you’re Benjamin Netanyahu.

    That seemed to be the logic...

  • Chaos is my Heaven: Q-and-A with Itai Anghel

    February 12, 2015 | 1:18 pm

    Rob Eshman: What year did you first meet Commander Media, the leader of the female militia you film in your documentary.

    Itai Anglel: 2010.  She was already a commander. So when I saw her now, it was very good, you know. It meant for her, you know, that, “Okay, it’s fine. He can...

  • Itai Anghel: The brave Israeli interviewing ISIS, Kurdish fighters in Syria

    February 12, 2015 | 12:49 pm

    Courage is a quality we value so highly we’re willing to pretend we have it.

    I don’t know whether Brian Williams fits that description, but I do know the unfortunate side effect of Coptergate is that it has cast suspicion on all TV journalists in the infotainment age. Are they...

  • Bibi: Call off the play

    February 4, 2015 | 1:39 pm

    Liberal Democrats are the soft underbelly of American support for Israel, and John Boehner and Benjamin Netanyahu just gave them a swift kick.

    When the Republican speaker of the house went around President Barack Obama to issue an invitation to the prime minister of Israel to...

  • Drones, Jews and morality

    January 28, 2015 | 1:36 pm

    My address to the first interreligious conference on the morality of drone warfare didn’t go over particularly well.

    This happened last Saturday afternoon at Princeton Theological Seminary, where I was among 150 clergy, theologians, academics and peace activists gathered to...

  • Alberto Nisman: The 86th victim of the Buenos Aires bombing

    January 21, 2015 | 2:29 pm

    UPDATED: The murder this week of Alberto Nisman — and now even the Argentine president has acknowledged his death was no suicide — was every bit as shocking and anti-Semitic a crime as the attacks two weeks ago in Paris.

    Nisman was the federal prosecutor appointed by former...

  • Nous Sommes Charlie

    January 15, 2015 | 11:42 am

    In 2008, I had a chance to make a statement in defense of satire, and I passed.

    This was when some Muslim leaders issued a fatwa against Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten for 12 cartoons it published in 2005 depicting the prophet Muhammad. To say many Muslims found those cartoons...

  • Gjusta and injustice in Los Angeles

    January 7, 2015 | 3:31 pm

    To get to the newest, coolest food spot in Venice, you have to drive through the newest, saddest homeless encampment in L.A. 

    Gjusta occupies a former warehouse where Third Avenue ends at Sunset Avenue. As much as this part of Venice, near Rose Avenue, has scaled up to become...

  • Prophets and mensches; Remembering Rabbi Schulweis and Rabbi Beerman

    December 30, 2014 | 10:25 am

    I’ve only fallen in love with two rabbis in my life. One I married. The other was Harold Schulweis. 
     
    He had been ailing for months, so his death Dec. 18 at the age of 89 was not unexpected.
     
    So, too, the passing of Rabbi Leonard Beerman, who died Dec. 24 at 93.  
     
    ...
  • Norman Lear’s bright future

    December 17, 2014 | 12:59 pm

    When I met Norman Lear at his spacious Beverly Hills office for an interview, he immediately told me, “The timing is good.” He didn’t say why — just that it has something to do with what he plans to do next.

    That’s right, next. At 92, an age when most of us would be content to...

  • Howard Stern Gets It So Right on Sony

    December 17, 2014 | 11:45 am

  • How to hack the Sony hackers

    December 16, 2014 | 6:40 pm

    I know what I’m doing on Christmas Day: First Chinese food, then “The Interview.”

    I’ll be eating Chinese food on Christmas because I’m a Jew, and that’s tradition.

    Then I’m going to go to a theater to watch “The Interview” because I’m an American, and that’s patriotism.

    ...
  • Why Jews still back Obama

    December 10, 2014 | 6:46 pm

    This entire week, people kept sending me emails with this screaming subject line: “OBAMA MULLING SANCTIONS ON ISRAEL.VERIFICATION ON GOOGLE.” 

    Neither turned out to be true: Obama is not mulling sanctions, and Google doesn’t verify the fact (or any fact, for that matter). In...

  • Proposed nation-state law crosses American Jewish red lines

    December 4, 2014 | 2:10 pm

    I wish I could draw.

    A few years back, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood before the United Nations General Assembly with a cartoonish drawing of a bomb meant to illustrate Iran’s march toward achieving a nuclear weapon. He pointed to a red line across the top of the...

  • Am I Ikarian?

    December 2, 2014 | 7:38 pm

  • Immigrant nation

    November 22, 2014 | 10:54 pm

    When you emerge from the Berlin subway into the Hermannplatz neighborhood, you enter Turkey.  Food stalls offer fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice, sesame-encrusted simit and flakey boreks oozing sheep’s milk cheeses.  The language spoken on the street, the signs, the music from...

  • Horrorism in the Middle East

    November 19, 2014 | 3:57 pm

    “…there are only wrong choices, and it’s like I’m … I’m finally seeing it now for the first time: Nothing good can happen in this f----d-up world we’ve made for ourselves.”

    — Carrie Mathison, “Homeland,” Season 4, Episode 8, Nov. 16, 2014


     

    You know who agrees with Carrie...

  • Lessons from the Berlin Wall

    November 12, 2014 | 12:57 pm

    Last Saturday night in the posh section of Berlin, I took a hammer and chisel and pounded away at the Berlin Wall.

    I was staying at the Westin Grand Hotel for the festivities marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall. The hotel offers guests the chance to make their...

  • Maher vs. Affleck vs. Harris Round 2

    November 5, 2014 | 1:42 pm

    I have one word for Ben Affleck, Sam Harris and Bill Maher: Rematch.

    The three of them began an argument on Oct. 10 on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” that came to an end when the episode concluded. It needs to continue.

    At issue was whether Islam is, in Maher’s view, a...

  • Foxman one on one: anti-Semitism, BDS and Mel Gibson

    October 29, 2014 | 11:49 am

    Over the past 20 years, I’ve accused Anti-Defamation League (ADL) chief Abraham H. Foxman of being an alarmist, an opportunist, even a hypocrite. 

    I mocked his outspoken campaign against Mel Gibson’s “The Passion,” saying it just helped boost the snuff film’s box office. I...

  • Jews in the Anthropocene Epoch

    October 23, 2014 | 10:44 am

    I was at a screening last week for a new documentary on Zionism. A good-sized crowd of donors, activists and people concerned with Israel’s present and future turned out. There were speeches, the doc, more speeches, a Q-and-A. Then, just as the director thanked everyone for coming,...

  • The fourth Gaza War: 5 predictions

    October 14, 2014 | 11:24 am

    Now that the international donor conference on behalf of Gaza has wrapped up in Cairo, it is time to make predictions about the next Gaza War.

    1. First, let’s try to guess when it will begin. The first Gaza War ran from December 2008 to January 2009, lasting three weeks. The...

  • Building a stable sukkah, building a stable L.A.

    October 8, 2014 | 10:14 am

    Many years ago, my wife and I lived in a ground-floor apartment in the Ocean Park section of Santa Monica, on a hill with a view of the bay.

    When Sukkot came around, my wife naturally expected me to build the hut — the sukkah — in which Jews are commanded to eat, and even...

  • What Roy Choi can teach the Jews

    October 1, 2014 | 11:12 am

    I was sitting in Commissary, Roy Choi’s new restaurant on the pool deck of the Line Hotel in Koreatown, thinking about the secret of Choi’s success. 

    It was my fourth time in the restaurant in the hotel Choi helped resurrect out of the dry bones of an abandoned Radisson.   

    ...
  • The High Holy Days: Something meaningful, or just going through the motions?

    September 23, 2014 | 3:12 pm

    Most of us who go to synagogue for the High Holy Days have no clue what’s going on.

    We don’t speak or read Hebrew well enough to understand the prayers or the Torah portion. We don’t know why we say the prayers in the order we say them. We don’t like the stilted English...

  • David Brooks’ Son Is In the Israeli Army: Does It Matter?

    September 22, 2014 | 12:55 pm

    One of the more interesting nuggets buried in a long, Hebrew-language interview with New York Times columnist David Brooks in the recent Ha'aretz magazine is the revelation, toward the very end, that Brooks's oldest son serves in the Israel Defense Forces.

    "Brook's connection to...

  • Eric “The Actor” Dies at 39, Rest In Peace

    September 21, 2014 | 8:42 pm

  • New rule: Fanatics can’t use Twitter

    September 18, 2014 | 4:29 pm

    Each week, we are forced to bear witness to hideous acts of terrorism committed on a piece of barren sand thousands of miles away, then transmitted to our eyeballs via miracles of modern technology, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, the Internet.

    Evidently, fanatics...

  • Why I hope the Shangri-La Hotel discrimination verdict is overturned

    September 10, 2014 | 3:16 pm

    The Shangri-La charade has to stop.

    Two years ago, a jury found Tehmina Adaya, the owner of the chic Santa Monica Shangri-La hotel to have discriminated against a group of Jews by shutting down a party at the hotel organized by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) and...

  • A High Holiday Restaurant Guide to Koreatown

    September 5, 2014 | 4:41 pm

  • Joan Rivers Talks About Death

    September 4, 2014 | 9:20 am

  • Young Americans and Israel

    September 3, 2014 | 6:15 pm

    The new concern in the American-Jewish community is the number 25. According to a Gallup poll conducted in the midst of the Gaza war, 42 percent of all Americans supported Israel’s action. Among people aged 18 to 29, that number was 25 percent.

    This set off all the usual alarm...

  • 5 Questions for Rabbi Block on the New York Times

    August 29, 2014 | 3:42 pm

    Dear Rabbi Block:

    Today you announced you were cancelling your subscription to the New York Times because of what you call its biased and unfair coverage of Israel during the Gaza War.

    In an op-ed in Tablet, you wrote: “I am a lifelong Democrat, a political liberal, a Reform...

  • What Ramy knew about the fall of Assad and the rise of the Islamic State

    August 27, 2014 | 1:19 pm

    After a few years of the cold shoulder, I finally heard from my Syrian friend, Ramy Mansour, and his message couldn’t have been more clear: “I told you so.”

    Ramy didn’t use exactly those words. But his Facebook message to me, after years of silence, essentially summarized what...

  • Howard Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

    August 25, 2014 | 11:24 am

  • What would Leonard Fein say?

    August 25, 2014 | 10:24 am

    I was hunting around for a writer who could dive into the chaos that is Ferguson, Mo., and emerge with a thoughtful column.

    That’s when I realized how much I miss Leonard Fein.

    I have no doubt that had Fein not died on Aug. 14 at the age of 80, I would have had an email in my...

  • Howard Stern’s Ice Bucket Challenge

    August 20, 2014 | 2:02 pm

  • Why doesn’t the world seem to care when Christians die?

    August 14, 2014 | 2:03 pm

    When Jews are killed, we make sure the world knows. When Palestinians are killed, the Web explodes. So why is it that when Christians are murdered and persecuted en masse, no one seems to care — not even other Christians?

    We see this mystery playing out in Iraq with the hundreds...

  • Koreatown Lunch

    August 9, 2014 | 9:38 am

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