Last Saturday, on the Jewish Sabbath, I was attending prayer services at one of the big synagogues in Los Angeles, Beth Jacob Congregation, when something unusual happened that made me think of writing you this letter.
>"People call me a provocateur," filmmaker Todd Solondz said. "I'd say that's fair." Peering out from his oversized thick green glasses, dressed in rose-colored pants, a nubbly gray sweater and yellow sneakers, Solondz looks the part of independent cinema's presiding nerd incendiary.
Concern is growing among circles of Iranian nationals and expatriates that European countries are turning a blind eye to the regime's human rights atrocities in exchange for trade benefits.
Late last year, the U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution criticizing Iran for human rights violations. It cited new restrictions on freedom of expression and the persecution of political and religious dissenters.
As the old song goes: "I love Paris in the springtime. I love Paris in the fall." But for many Jews, Paris, and all of France, is not at the top of their visitor's hit parade, because of the anti-Semitic activities that have plagued that country in recent times.
I have friends and parents of friends with numbers on their arms. The guy who taught me Spanish was a Holocaust survivor. He worked in a concentration camp in France. Yes of course. Atrocities happened. War is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps.