Any Hollywood producer would give his right arm for the stars listed last week in a full-page advertisement in the Los Angeles Times.
Jews have always used humor to get themselves through difficult times.
Don't you get the feeling 2003 will be a Big One?
Every generation believes it is witness to momentous times. That desire accounts for people at the fringes who forecast the imminent end of the world -- then are forced to readjust their predictions when, say, 2000 came and went like lunchtime.
But it also accounts for the rest of us who smirk when reciting the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times," certain that, as opposed to the Chinese guy who came up with the phrase, ours really are interesting times.
You want media bias? I'll give you media bias. Here's one big city newspaper's account of the Israeli incursion into the Jenin refugee camp: "Jenin camp looks like the scene of a crime. Its concrete rubble and tortured metal evokes another horror half a world away in New York, smaller in scale, but every bit as repellent in its particulars."
That's from the London newspaper The Guardian. The Los Angeles Times, in contrast, ran a long, two-page investigation into what happened in Jenin. It reported the evidence of terrorism that led to Israel's decision to go in. It documented the precise and risky manner by which the Israeli army chose to carry out its operation. It recounted the fear of the soldiers and refugees, the killing of innocent Palestinians (that's part of the story) and it investigated the wildly inflated stories of Palestinian propagandists and found them lacking.
On April 1, Los Angeles County children's social worker Jules Weingart sent the Los Angeles Times a letter protesting its predilection for calling Palestinian suicide-bombers "militants." As a courtesy, Weingart attached a list of normative definitions of the terms "militant," "terrorism," "terror" and "extremist."
On April 18, Weingart received a response from Times Readers Representative Jamie Gold. "The word terrorist is not applied to combatants in Israel," Gold informed Weingart on behalf of the newspaper, "because it is considered a politically loaded word."
That this is some perverse form of political correctness, few can doubt. But as Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center has asked repeatedly over the last year, "Political correctness for whom -- suicide-bombers?"
An announcement last week by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) that it will not renew leases for its West San Fernando Valley properties will have an impact on two Jewish institutions: Kadima Hebrew Academy and the Rabbi Max D. Raiskin West Valley Hebrew Academy.
"Is Truth more urgent than Desire?" That's the poignant question posed by the beautiful Blue in the opening of "Sunday's Silence," the newest novel by Gina Nahai. It is a question that Nahai herself makes tantalizingly difficult to answer as she intertwines both Truth and Desire as insidiously as the snakes that are the center of this compelling story.