Much has changed in the book business since the Los Angeles Times launched its Festival of Books 17 years ago, but the FOB — as it is fondly known — remains the premier event of the literary calendar for the more than 100,000 readers and writers who never miss it.
“STOP Israel’s deportation of 400 children,” the advertisement in the Saturday, Mar. 5, edition of the Los Angeles Times called out in large type.
If you’ve ever heard me give a speech, you’ve heard me tell this story. It’s a good one, with the added quality of being true.
Neve Gordon, the Ben-Gurion University political science professor whose Aug. 20 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times titled “Boycott Israel” described Israel as an “apartheid state,” has drawn protests and threats of cutting off funding for the school by some U.S. donors.
" . . . Isn't it time that every Jewish child take at least one course in Herzl? If he isn't the modern father of the Jewish People, who is? For without Herzl's many contributions, the Holocaust would have excluded any chance of a Jewish state in Israel . . ."
" . . . In Fairfax High School, I had a brilliant and wise instructor of advanced placement European History who used to say: 'Do not put all your faith in one man. For surely he will disappoint you.' And he also said: '40 million Frenchmen can be wrong' . . ."
First they came for the Outdoor section, and I said nothing. Then they combined and demoted the Opinion and Book Review sections, and I said nothing.
As the Los Angeles Times' editor of the Op-Ed page and Sunday Opinion section, Nicholas Goldberg oversees publication of about four opinion pieces per day and eight to twelve on Sundays. The most volatile topic on those pages by far -- even more than the war in Iraq, the election campaigns or immigration -- is the Middle East and Israel.
Times are changing, and the Times, with circulation and advertising dropping, can no longer afford to be so high and mighty. At long last, the paper is going to juice up its Web site, and community input like your synagogue discussion meeting and your opinions and activities may be a big part of it.
Bill Dalati, a Syrian-born insurance agent, is running for a spot on Anaheim's City Council. His candidacy has come under scrutiny because of his association with a controversial organization with known links to the Hamas terror group and his participation at a virulently anti-Israel rally this past summer.
Shortly before or perhaps just after World War II, actor Kirk Douglas asked Dorothy Buffum Chandler why the Los Angeles Times seemed to pander so wantonly to the anti-Semitism then still rampant among many of the city's more refined elites.
"Why, darling?" cooed the doyenne of the Chandler newspaper dynasty. "We do it because it sells papers."
Rebuilding the Temple? Could the Times be coming around? Then I read the editorial and everything fell into place.