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I knew he was acting. But, as the Roma panhandler precariously balanced himself, with one-foot covering two Stolperstein, I handed him four euros, and spoke to him in Hebrew. “Kol hakavod” (‘All of the respect’) I said, as I put the coins in his open, albeit crippled-looking hand. (More…)

DAMASCUS – I have lived in the Syrian capital of Damascus since the beginning of the Syrian conflict. I haven’t left Syria for more than a week, and even then it was only to Beirut and only recently, which means only after seven years of war. (More…)

Congressional Republicans have a Trump problem. Mr. Trump has made himself so toxic, conventional wisdom has it, that the losses normally suffered by the party that holds the White House in an off-year election will be so catastrophic as to rock the foundations of Republican hegemony. (More…)

“The Holocaust is so popular we had to commemorate it twice,” my father quipped, as we attended a Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Day) event in Jerusalem with relatives visiting from the United States. One of them stared at my father with a look of shock and horror. (More…)

Not everyone hates refugees. The prejudice – amongst those who subscribe to it – has been cultivated. Not just by populist political parties and ‘fake news’ disseminated by shadowy forces on Facebook, but mainstream news media, and how it has framed successive waves of mass immigration to Europe since the 1990s. (More…)

BEIRUT – Syrian government forces are allegedly in full control of the last rebel pocket in Eastern Ghouta, the Russian military announced on Thursday, ending a nearly two-month-long campaign that has killed at least 1,600 people and has largely cleared the area in the Damascus suburbs of rebel forces for the first time since 2012. (More…)

Early this morning, US-led forces struck targets in Syria associated with the government’s chemical weapons program. The objective was to degrade its offensive capability in light of the alleged attack carried out by the Syrian Arab Army in Douma last week, in which scores of civilians were killed. The French government claims to have evidence chlorine was used in the assault. (More…)

You can sense them building up, like storm runoff at a dam. It’s possible that the worst won’t happen this time. But one day they will become impossible to contain. The excuses, I mean. Although Donald Trump may wildly overstate his prowess in many areas, there is no doubt that he makes them with the aplomb of a world-class con artist and, more importantly, also makes them stick. (More…)

The current downturn in Russian-Iranian relations has demonstrated the fragility of the relationship that has developed since the revolution and brought a profound mutual distrust into the open. (More…)

We live in the past. It’s hard to escape the conclusion when regression is more fashionable than progress. Wherever we turn, politics is about turning the clock back. Whether it’s gassing civilians, or blaming Jews for Europe’s refugee crisis, we insist on holding up the 19th and 20th centuries as though they are standards for the world we want to live in today. (More…)

For decades, the impoverished residents of southwestern Damascus’ Basateen el-Razi district have lived in poorly built shacks and ramshackle housing facing the upscale Mezzeh district, one of the wealthiest areas of Syria. (More…)

When trying to understand the ways that the Trump Administration careens from crisis to crisis, one is reminded of a comment that Guy Debord makes early in The Society of the Spectacle. “The spectacle cannot be understood as a mere visual excess produced by mass-media technologies. It is a worldview that has actually been materialised, that has become an objective reality.” (More…)