Dan Friedman

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

What’s With All This Antisemitism?

In Politics on May 15, 2016 at 8:14 pm

With rumours of antisemitism rife on English and American campuses. With the Labour Party seemingly suffering a crisis about antisemitism in its members. And with Donald Trump suffering no real qualms about vicious racism from his supporters, I wrote a few timely articles about the matter.

 

— Out of Control on American Campuses? The Jewish Chronicle, Opinion

Sderot: Israel in (Rocking) Microcosm

In Culture, Films, Interviews, Politics on February 20, 2016 at 4:12 pm

Everyone should be able to agree on Sderot. Leftists, rightists, Jews, non-Jews. A small settlement of folks — unwanted by the countries they’d lived in for centuries, and thrown together in an inhospitable land within internationally accepted boundaries by the will of the central government — have combined to make a vibrant community whose musical output has transformed the region’s culture.

The Just Way To Share Water

In Culture, Politics on February 20, 2016 at 4:03 pm

A Hasidic tale illustrates why water scarcity needs ethical thinking, in California and beyond.

I Am Not Charlie — And Neither Are You

In Culture, Politics on February 20, 2016 at 3:59 pm

One week ago when I heard the chilling news from Paris. I knew exactly that I couldn’t know how it felt to be in the shoes of those cartoonists.

(It’s Not Easy) Being Daniel Friedman

In Books, Culture, Films, Politics on February 14, 2014 at 11:08 pm

It’s not easy being me, Daniel Friedman. On top of the cares of delightful family, domestic finance and the Jewish Daily Forward, there’s the existential angst of living in a world of doppelgangers — whole crowds of Daniel Friedmans swarming around me. It’s like living in Charlie Kaufman’s “Being John Malkovich” except instead of everyone looking like me, everyone just has my name.

Occupy Thanksgivukkah

In Culture, history, Politics on December 5, 2013 at 11:35 pm

The santas who sunbathe on Sydney beaches, barbecuing their lunch on December 25th are revelling in the duality of the Christmas holiday. On the one hand it’s a universal holiday, celebrating the birth of the Christian messiah who was born for us all and so it’s perfectly appropriate for Australians (and their tourist visitors) to join in.

Hanukkah, which normally falls within the orbit of Christmas normally adopts the universalist aspects of its bigger, younger brother. Kislev 25 is usually around December 25 and Jews place the emphasis on being a festival of light, of liberation and of presents. But when paired with the more local, national holiday of Thanksgiving, its parochial side comes out. And, rather than being the Jewish Christmas (swap reindeer and trees for candles and latkes) Hanukkah ends up being, though disguised by a plethora of mutually appropriate foods, the anti-Thanksgiving.

We Are All the “Other” Israel

In Culture, Films, Politics, Visual Media on November 26, 2013 at 9:15 am

At some point in the evolution of American national thought Martin Luther King Jr. went from being a political firebrand to being a national icon. You have to be pretty far outside the mainstream in 2013 to object to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Likewise the Other Israel Film Festival started out as a way to cover those aspects of Israel that mainstream media didn’t talk about, mostly the Arab experience. Watching DAM, the Israeli-Palestinian hip hop group, rap in the auditorium of the JCC in Manhattan on November 10, 2007, felt subversive: What would Michael Steinhardt think?

But no longer.

Make the Claims Conference Accountable

In history, Politics on May 18, 2013 at 8:26 pm

As if the convictions in the $57.3 million (£37.6m) fraud case that was wound up in a Manhattan federal court last week were not enough, it was alleged on Tuesday that top officials at the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany were warned about the criminal activity nearly a decade before they called in external investigators.

The Man Who Won the Election Before Anyone Voted

In Comedy, Politics, Television on November 12, 2012 at 11:36 pm

With little more than a hair’s breadth between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, the US election is too close to call. However, whatever the outcome, there is already one certain winner – Jon Stewart.

Going Dutch, Collaboration Style

In Books, Culture, Football (Soccer), history, Politics on October 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Bill Shankly, the legendary soccer coach of the British club Liverpool FC, is often quoted as saying, “Football is not a matter of life and death, it’s more important than that.” The attribution is erroneous, but in the face of the Holocaust, even the playfulness of the sentiment rings hollow. Soccer’s fanatical support and cultural centrality, however, can provide a crucial prism through which to view life and death, war and peace.

Simon Kuper, author of “Soccer Against the Enemy: How the World’s Most Popular Sport Starts and Fuels Revolutions and Keeps Dictators in Power,” is the world expert on the intersection of soccer, culture and politics. His newly rereleased book, “Ajax, the Dutch, the War,” is a revaluation of the Dutch role in the Holocaust, starting with the surprising silence of the country’s biggest soccer club, Ajax, regarding its actions during the Nazi occupation.