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Jewish Journal

Rob Eshman

  • Norman Lear’s bright future

    9 hours ago

    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...

  • How to hack the Sony hackers

    1 day ago

    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

    1 week ago

    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...

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  • Proposed nation-state law crosses American Jewish red lines

    2 weeks ago

    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?

    2 weeks ago

  • 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

  • Supporting Palestinians should not mean supporting Hamas

    August 6, 2014 | 2:37 pm

    Last Saturday, our reporter Ryan Torok covered a massive anti-Israel rally in front of the Federal Building in Westwood. The crowd swelled to an estimated 1,500 to 3,000 people, outgrew the plaza, then spontaneously spilled onto the street, shutting down Wilshire Boulevard as it...

  • 10 truths about the Gaza conflict

    July 30, 2014 | 10:43 am

    You’ve read everything, heard everyone, endured every flaming comment on Facebook, bobbed to every talking head on TV and lent an ear to every opinion from Hussein Ibish to Howard Stern. So, what have you learned?

    For me, it boils down to 10 truths:

    1. This is a fight about...

  • Howard Stern on Israel and Gaza

    July 28, 2014 | 4:38 pm

  • Why is this Gaza conflict different? Dead children.

    July 23, 2014 | 3:07 pm

    I was a guest on Warren Olney’s “Which Way, L.A.?” on KCRW-FM this past Monday afternoon when the host stumped me. He was speaking with me about the response of the Los Angeles Jewish community to the Gaza war. 

    “Is the reaction any different than in the last two Gaza...

  • Remembering Casey Kasem

    June 15, 2014 | 11:14 am

  • Why we write

    March 5, 2014 | 10:45 am

    On Monday, I gave a talk to visiting young Israelis on a subject near and dear to my heart: Just what is the Jewish Journal?

    These Israelis were next-generation leaders, here in Los Angeles as part of the KOLOT program, which exposes secular Israelis to Jewish tradition,...

  • Mayim Bialik on Howard Stern

    February 27, 2014 | 4:47 pm

  • The Story Behind Artie Lange’s Breakdown

    February 27, 2014 | 4:27 pm

  • Looking on the bright side of the Israel-Palestinian peace negotiations

    February 26, 2014 | 3:42 pm

    If you think of Israel as a football team and American Jews as its fans, the time has come to buy seats on the 50-yard line, paint your bare chest blue and white, and start screaming for the team.

    Why now?  Because Israel is weeks  away from facing a historic opportunity, and it...

  • Ambassador Samantha Power condemns BDS

    February 25, 2014 | 9:47 am

    The Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement against Israel hurts the chances of a just and lasting peace in the region, Ambassador Samantha Power, the permanent U.S. representative to the United Nations, declared Sunday evening, Feb. 23, at UCLA.

    Delivering the 12th annual...

  • Ari Shavit: The promised man

    February 20, 2014 | 1:41 pm

    If you want to see what prophecy looks like among Jews in the early part of the 21st century, follow Ari Shavit around Los Angeles.

    In Jerusalem, the prophets roam the streets in sack cloths and shaggy hair, screaming passages of Ezekiel at passersby. In L.A., we call those...

  • Jews without Harvard

    February 12, 2014 | 11:39 am

    This is the time of year when the Golden Children of our tribe are being anointed by the nation’s finest colleges and universities. These kids have traveled a long road to glory — GPA, SAT, AP, interviews, essays, common apps.

    For a full year, the only question they’ve heard from...

  • The Dichter Scale

    February 5, 2014 | 1:11 pm

    One way to determine whether Israeli politicians are serious about wanting to become prime minister is to check how many times they’ve visited Los Angeles.

    By that measure, Avi Dichter is very serious.

    For Israelis running for office, Los Angeles is an ATM. You come, you speak,...

  • A Howard Stern Birthday Bash Blog

    January 30, 2014 | 11:15 am

  • Howard Stern’s secret, and ours

    January 28, 2014 | 4:10 pm

    On my way to work every morning I listen to Howard Stern. I’ve been listening for 20 years.

    In the beginning, I didn’t tell anyone. Polite society dismissed Stern as a crude, sexist, racist “shock jock.” Putting “shock jock” before someone’s name is an instant denigration, like...

  • The Kosher Bacon Donut

    January 23, 2014 | 3:16 pm

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