December 28, 2015 |
For Christians across the nation and globe, the Christmas season is about glad tidings of joy and peace. But we must not forget that what accompanied the birth of Jesus - the "reason for the season" - was anything but joyful: King Herod's slaughter of male infants in Bethlehem. Today, 20 centuries later, Christians along with other religious communities in Syria and Iraq, including Yazidis, Shi'a, Turkmen, and Shabak, face a new Middle East tyrant in ISIS. But unlike Herod, whose real aim was to destroy one child among thousands, ISIS's goal is to obliterate the communities themselves.
October 17, 2015 |
The Armenian genocide has been shrouded in silence for a century. Undertaken in 1915 by the Ottoman Empire, the systematic extermination of the predominantly Christian ethnic group led to 1.5 million deaths. While the genocide was depicted by Hollywood as early as 1919 in Ravished Armenia , it has been ignored by filmmakers, with the notable exception of Atom Egoyan's Ararat (2002). It was welcome news when one of Europe's leading cinematic lights, Turkish German director Fatih Akin ( Head On , The Edge of Heaven )
July 31, 2015 |
"THE LOOK of Silence" follows up on the disturbing documentary "The Art of Killing" - the latter Oscar-nominated, but viewed by some as morally queasy. Joshua Oppenheimer's original film invited perpetrators of the mass genocide that occured in 1960s Indonesia to re-enact their crimes in front of the camera. Many did, with disturbing enthusiasm. Detractors said that Oppenheimer had turned a horrifing historic incident into an abstraction and an art project - fair points. In response, Oppenheimer said that by asking the killers to play to the camera instead of pretending it wasn't there, he got them to reveal more than conventional journalistic questioning would have elicited.
July 17, 2015
BLACK PEOPLE using the Confederate battle flag to promote their cause - a smart attention-grabber, or out of bounds? On a large poster outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center from Monday through Wednesday, smack in the face of 3,000 people attending the 106th Annual NAACP Convention, was the rebel flag, the same one recently hauled down by South Carolina. Given what was going on inside, the poster shrieked. The flag was the left panel of two condemning abortion. The right panel depicted a 10-week-old aborted fetus.
June 12, 2015 |
ANYWHERE IN the world where injustice reared its ugly head, it wouldn't have been surprising to find Sheri Rosenberg there, fighting it. Sheri roamed the world lecturing on human-rights law and spoke tirelessly about the evils of genocide and the plight of all victims of intolerance. Much of her motivation stemmed from the fact that her late father, Marcus Rosenberg, survived the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz as a child, and her mother, Ann Pappenheim, escaped Vienna in 1939, a year after the Nazis took over.
April 30, 2014 |
At the front of the Abramson Center for Jewish Life synagogue on Monday, 8-year-old Isabella Chelder learned that Ester Auerbach lost everything when she was about Isabella's age. The Nazis turned Auerbach's community into a ghetto. They took her from her parents, and she never saw them again. About 100 people gathered at the center in North Wales for a ceremony to remember the millions of Jews who were imprisoned or murdered during the Holocaust. "We are all survivors today," Rabbi Josh Zlochower said.
April 19, 2014 |
LOWER MERION Five years ago, Abri Bernstein's mother took her to see a grim documentary called The Devil Came on Horseback, about war, famine, and genocide in a remote land 6,500 miles away, the troubled Darfur region of Sudan. Bernstein was a 13-year-old seventh grader in Harrisburg at the time, but after what she saw, she said, she had to do something. "Being Jewish and having distant relatives who were killed in the Holocaust, it bothered me that genocide was happening," she recalled.
September 6, 2013
THERE ARE a number of legitimate reasons to oppose intervention in Syria. There are many smart people, people whom I respect and with whom I share a philosophical foxhole, who lay out those reasons with eloquence and passion. * Why now? (Why, indeed, when we did nothing in Rwanda and the Sudan?) * Syrian President Bashar Assad is no worse than the Islamic jihadists challenging his authority. (True, even though he has bigger guns.) * It's a civil war. Why should Americans risk our own blood and treasure to save Syrian souls?
July 26, 2013
AS A former Philadelphian, I wanted to respond to Stephanie Farr's excellent "Where's the Fuss?" cover story: As a black male raised in the unforgiving streets of North Philly (22nd and Lehigh), I couldn't agree more. Sadly, Trayvon Martin's death, and the upheaval that followed, culminating with the acquittal of George Zimmerman, will fade in time and we will continue to have the streets of Philly and other areas of the nation littered with bodies of young black (mostly) males. We will continue to have young black (mostly)
August 5, 2012 |
UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly denounced Syria's crackdown on dissent Friday in a symbolic effort meant to push the deadlocked Security Council and the world at large into action on stopping the country's civil war. Before the vote, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reminded the Assembly of the fresh violence in the city of Aleppo and drew comparisons between the failure to act in Syria with the international community's failure...