‘Hybrid’ Actor Crafts ‘Everyman’ Show


Is it possible for an everyman to be a leader? Can an everyman be a woman?

Ameenah Kaplan, who calls herself a “hybrid” — the product of an African American mother who converted to Judaism and a Jewish father — is directing, choreographing and co-producing “Everyman for Himself.” Appearing weekends at the Unknown Theatre in Hollywood, the show is a hybrid itself, in that it blends music, dance, theater and capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian dance form that incorporates self-defense maneuvers. Kaplan also wrote and conceived the production and, indeed, thinks of herself as an everyman.

Shaped by Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man,” Kaplan, 31, grew up in Atlanta, where she was bat mitzvahed and confirmed and where, she says, she would “float into different communities and never really fit into any of them.” As the only non-Christian among blacks, the only black among Jews, she says, “you’d be in a room and nobody sees you.”

Everyman, the title character in her show, played by Michael Gallagher, is both invisible and conspicuously visible. Where the other ensemble players paint their faces and wear togs like members of an African or Indian tribe, Everyman looks like a stiff businessman, donning a tie, starched shirt and long pants.

“Go with the flow,” is one of the adages he reads from a book, yet Everyman never quite fits in. He is singled out by one female character, who engages in a kind of martial arts match with him that is equal parts seduction and boxing.

None of Kaplan’s characters have traditional names; instead, they sport generic titles like Ball Girl, Judge, Bee and Boss. With the beat of African drums playing in the background as the ensemble characters teach Everyman to dance, there is the sense that we are witnessing an ancient ritual among primal beings.

In the production notes, Everyman is billed as a Buster Keaton/Charlie Chaplin “genius/fool”; he appears awkward, a modern man, exposed as if for the first time to the world of conformity that dates back to our days as early Homo sapiens in the Horn of Africa.

“People are essentially primal anyway,” says Kaplan, sitting on a couch in a lounge down the hall from her actors’ rehearsal hall. Wearing a head wrap that conceals her afro, Kaplan says, “We’re all simple and alike at the bottom. My acting training taught us that. Come into the room, get your shoes off and build the actor from the ground up.”

We share more than not, she says, pointing out “the visceral body connections celebrating those things that bring us together — sound, energy, drums, heartbeat, blood flowing.”

Kaplan has the slim, athletic body of a dancer; she has played numerous TV and legitimate theater roles, and sees herself first as an actor. She smiles when asked if she was somewhat conflicted over not playing the lead role herself, but she says that Gallagher embodies Everyman. She also stresses that every actor in the show contributes as much as the others. All of the actors play multiple roles: “The ensemble is the show. There are no supporting roles. No one’s playing crossword puzzles backstage. There are no cigarette breaks.”

One scene flows into the next, each one carrying totemic significance. The smallest prop — whether it’s a book, a jacket, a ball or a handkerchief (a nod perhaps to “Othello”) — becomes a talisman in this primordial landscape, where the characters speak very few words and those they do are often monosyllabic.

Everyman may be more Jesus than Adam. He must choose whether to fight or kill another man. Unlike the others, he is consumed with grief.

“What he’s going through is the human condition,” says Kaplan, whose work ethic really comes through in person. Reluctant to leave her actors for an interview, Kaplan never loses her graciousness and generosity; she has the maturity and seriousness of one who knows that, without her, the play will not proceed. Even during the brief interview, she wants to make sure that the actors are OK. At one point, she tells the stage manager that the actors will need her to be there for the next scene, involving some dance routines that they have not tried before.

As the interview ends, Kaplan, the everyman, springs to her feet with the physicality of Keaton. She will direct her cast without any crossword puzzle or cigarette breaks. She is anything but invisible.

“Everyman for Himself” plays Friday and Saturday nights at Unknown Theater, 1110 Seward St., near Santa Monica Boulevard, through April 29. For tickets and information, call (323) 466-7781.

 

PASSOVER: Don’t Be a Slave to Tradition


When I was growing up, I never had to ask my mother what she would be serving at the seder. It was essentially the same menu every year: dishes like homemade chopped liver, chicken soup with matzah balls, turkey with gravy, mom’s special “Shabbos potatoes” (first boiled then roasted with seasonings) and matzah farfel with mushrooms. All tasty foods, of course, but the predictability was not that exciting, to put it mildly, in deference to my mother, who surely worked hard.

Why is this night the same as every other seder night? I’d ask. “Because that’s what my mother made,” she’d reply.

As she talked about the seders she’d had with her parents and grandparents, her face glowed, as if they were there preparing the seder with her. She even used my grandmother’s cooking methods: She chopped the liver by hand, in a large wooden bowl, using a hockmesser — a sort of cleaver with a rounded blade. She cut up fresh horseradish for maror, instead of using milder romaine lettuce.

Here was my dilemma when I came of age and began making my own seders: Should I maintain tradition even though I didn’t have the same associations with these foods that my mother did? Since Passover celebrates freedom (another traditional name for the holiday is Zman Cheiruteinu, or The Time of Our Freedom), I wanted to express my freedom by making foods of my own choosing, rather than feeling bound by a menu that was “traditional” only due to its roots in Eastern European cuisine.

Over the years I’ve served at some nontraditional dishes at seders, including beanless chili, gazpacho, short ribs and bruschetta served on small pieces of matzah instead of the traditional toast. But my favorite dishes are those that tap back into the deep roots of this holiday. They allow me to create new traditions via foods that took on Passover-related significance.

Another name for the holiday is chag ha’aviv, or the spring holiday. So I focus on foods that are seasonal, whose flavors evoke the freshness of spring. Other dishes aim at connecting with the many ceremonies associated with Passover.

Ceviche is a fish dish of Peruvian origin, now served widely across South America. The fish is marinated in lime or lemon juice, with the citric acid actually cooking the fish without the use of heat. In this version, the two different kinds of fish present a nice mix of color and texture, while the vegetables also add color and flavor. The tangy freshness of this blend awakens the palate, as spring weather does to the body.

While Sephardim have it a bit easier on Passover, Ashkenazim have basically two starches to choose from: potatoes and matzah. Nearly every other starch falls under the category of kitniot, which are literally legumes, but include rice and corn, and are forbidden to Eastern European Jews.

There is, however, another choice that offers variety, along with taste and healthfulness. Quinoa. The grain was never classified as kitniot because it was unknown in Europe at the time the custom was established. It has a vaguely nutty taste, is extremely high in protein and low in carbohydrates. In this recipe, the lemon juice picks up on the ceviche’s citrus, and the dish is prepared almost like tabouli. But the key ingredient is certainly the fresh mint, which adds a perky crispness that clearly recalls spring.

A great centerpiece dish is lamb and Jerusalem artichoke stew. Lamb has particular Passover significance, connecting with the paschal lamb offering both in Egypt, and later in the Temple. And although Jerusalem artichokes are neither from Jerusalem nor artichokes (they are actually sunflower tubers with an artichoke-like flavor), the name still reminds us of our annual seder proclamation to celebrate “Next Year in Jerusalem.” Plus, they are fresh in season during March and April, as are many of the wild mushrooms in this hearty stew.

Of course, there are many other dishes that can tap into the seasonal and customary aspects of Passover. Express your freedom by cooking almost anything you’d typically make for a Sabbath meal, just leaving out certain ingredients!

Two-Fish Ceviche

1 1/4 pound tuna steak
1 1/4 pound firm white fish (tilapia, trout or sea bass work great)
2 medium jalapenos, seeds and membranes removed, diced
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 small red onion, diced
juice of five to 10 limes
lemon juice
1 avocado, sliced

Remove any skin from fish, using a sharp paring knife. Cut tuna into cubes about 1-inch wide. Slice white fish into strips, about 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inches.

In a glass or plastic bowl, mix fish with jalapenos, cilantro and lime. Add juice of limes. If limes did not yield enough juice to cover all fish, add enough lemon juice to cover.

Refrigerate, covered, for 90 minutes to two hours, stirring mixture every 15-20 minutes.

Serve in small bowls or cups. Garnish each with a half-moon of avocado.

Serves eight.

Note: If made earlier in the day, remove most of the juice after two hours (or once all fish has darkened in color) to avoid over-marinating.

Quinoa Pilaf With Fresh Mint

2 cups raw quinoa (available in specialty markets)
4 cups water
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 scallions, diced
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix quinoa and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce flame and simmer covered for 15 minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed.

Remove quinoa to a large bowl and let cool.

Add all other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Serve at room temperature.

Serves eight.

Lamb and Jerusalem Artichoke Stew

2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups dry light red wine (Chianti or Cote-du-Rhone, for example)
2 cups water
1 1/2 pounds Jerusalem artichokes, peeled, larger ones chopped to uniform size with smaller ones (available in specialty markets, sometimes sold as “sunchokes”)
2 pounds mixed wild mushrooms, chopped thick (cremini or shitake, for example)
2 medium yellow onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 carrots, chopped large
2 small turnips, chopped large
2 white or golden potatoes, chopped large
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh thyme
salt
pepper

In a Dutch oven, brown lamb in 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat, approximately five minutes. Add Jerusalem artichokes, wine and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and skim any excess fat from the top of the pot.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add brown mushrooms, stirring, approximately five minutes. Remove to bowl. Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, sweet onions and garlic for about three minutes. Add to mushrooms.

Add carrots, turnips and potatoes to lamb pot. Stir to cover vegetables, and cook for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are softened.

Add mushroom mixture, bay leaves and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook uncovered until liquid reduces by about one-third, then continue covered, 45 minutes to an hour in total.

Remove thyme and bay leaves, and serve on plates.

Serves eight.

Joel Haber (funjoel.blogspot.com) is a freelance writer and screenwriting consultant. He loves to cook because he loves to eat.

The Hebrascope: Signs of the Jewdiac


” width=”1″ height=”7″ alt=””>

Notable Jewish Aquarius:
” alt=””>

” width=”1″ height=”7″ alt=””>

Notable Jewish Pisces:
” alt=””>

” width=”1″ height=”7″ alt=””>

Notable Jewish Aries:
” alt=””>

” width=”1″ height=”7″ alt=””>

Notable Jewish Taurus:
” alt=””>

” width=”1″ height=”7″ alt=””>

Notable Jewish Gemini:
” alt=””>

” width=”1″ height=”7″ alt=””>

Notable Jewish Cancer:
” alt=””>

” width=”1″ height=”7″ alt=””>

Notable Jewish Leo:
” alt=””>

” width=”1″ height=”7″ alt=””>

Notable Jewish Virgo:
” alt=””>

” width=”1″ height=”7″ alt=””>

Notable Jewish Libra:
” alt=””>

” width=”1″ height=”7″ alt=””>

Notable Jewish Scorpio:
” alt=””>

” width=”1″ height=”7″ alt=””>

Notable Jewish Sagittarius:
” alt=””>

” width=”1″ height=”7″ alt=””>

Notable Jewish Capricorn:
” alt=””>

Letters


Katrina Response

Thank you so much for Robin Podolsky’s thoughtful analysis, “Response a Disgrace — Not a Tragedy” (Sept. 9).

Her insightful distinction between the natural disaster of hurricane and flooding, and the “human disaster” — the abandonment of the Gulf Coast’s poor, immigrant, elderly and most particularly people of color — reminds us once again of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s admonition: While we are not all guilty, we are all indeed responsible for the well-being of our neighbors, whether they be friends or strangers. And as Rob Eshman helps us see, we would be far better served if our present government shared that sense of responsibility.

Claire Gorfinkel
Altadena

Armed and President

I applaud the courage of the NRA in its appointment of a Jewish woman as their new president (“She’s Armed and President,” Sept. 2). After serving in the Israel Defense Forces, it became clear to me that the modern State of Israel was essentially founded upon two things: God and guns. It is unlikely that we would be seeing rioting in New Orleans if more weapons were placed in the hands of law-abiding citizens. Let us distinguish between guns in the wrong hands and guns in the right hands.

Rabbi Ari Hier
Armory Volunteer
L.A. County Sheriff’s Department

You will, no doubt, receive much mail about Joshua Runyan and Idan Irvi’s article about Sandra Froman.

She is clearly wrong. I was a rifleman in the 70th Division during World War II and qualified with the M-1, the carbine and the .45-caliber pistol.

Anyone waking up to find an armed intruder in the house is at a disadvantage. The intruder, if armed, is alert and dangerous. The sleeper wakes up groggy.

And to be armed with a revolver? Nonsense. I was on the firing range often enough to see how inept most people are with a handgun.

Froman is offering dangerous advice. The fact that she had been aggressive and ambitious enough to get herself elected as president of the National Rifle Association (NRA) gives her away. Take the time to meet and become acquainted with NRA members and you will not want many of them as friends.

What Froman needs is not a gun, but a good psychiatrist. Or, if she cannot master her fear of intruders (how many are there?) she would be better advised to buy a shotgun.

Paul Gropman
Woodland Hills

Christian Zionists

What James Besser misses in his article is that there are many Christians who support Israel and have serious concerns about Israel’s security, yet who are neither Pat Roberston nor Jerry Falwell (“Links to Christian Zionists Pose Perils,” Sept. 2). Because one questions the wisdom of the disengagement, should not mean that the questioner himself represents an obstacle to peace. A very sizable percentage of the Israeli population itself has been asking the same questions out of pure desire to protect Israel from further attack.

While Christian Zionists may have their own reasons to oppose further unilateral withdrawals, Christian theology varies from group to group and should not be the concern of the Jewish community. Support for the secure future of the State of Israel is our concern. Contrarily, the divestment campaigns of the Presbyterians, Anglicans and Lutherans have been built on latent anti-Semitism and it is simply ludicrous to suggest that they have emerged because some Christian Zionists happen to be anti-abortion and the Jewish community has not condemned their views.

Daryl Temkin
Via e-mail

Inner Sanctum

I enjoyed reading Rob Eshman’s impressions of his recent visit to the Latter-day Saints Temple in Newport Beach (“Inner Sanctum,” Sept. 2).

Contrary to the opinion expressed in a recent letter to this forum, Latter-day Saints most definitely believe in literal, inerrant truth. If we did not, we could not justify listening to modern-day prophets or sending tens of thousands of missionaries throughout the world.

One obvious inerrant truth is that God lives. Other inerrant Latter-day revelations of interest to Jews include the belief that Elijah did return to earth again during Passover (in 1836), that Moses received two revelations on Mt. Sinai (only one of which is contained in the written Torah), that priesthood authority must be received through the laying on of hands (smicha) and that God has honored and will continue to honor the covenant that He made anciently with the House of Israel.

While I have never claimed inerrancy, it is an axiom in my mind that there is no Christian church as doctrinally linked to Judaism as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This would not be so if we believed that divine revelation to prophets is inherently flawed. Many thanks to The Jewish Journal for allowing me to clarify this important principle. Shanah tovah to the local Jewish community from your Latter-day Saints friends.

Mark Paredes
Director
Jewish Relations Committee
Southern California Public Relations Council
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The ‘Other’

Bracha Malkin states with admirable clarity and forthrightness the logic motivating the empathy manifested by many Jews in Israel and America for the Gaza settlers (Letters, Sept. 2). She makes a far more compelling case for commiserating with the settlers than any other I have heard.

At the same time, by bringing to light its underlying psychology, she shows exactly what is wrong with it. Malkin explains that self-love and exclusive concern with one’s own legitimate interests constitute a necessary stage on the road to moral development.

I completely agree. But what in a child is a case of normal development is, in grown people, a case of arrested development. It is heartening that members of the Jewish community can demonstrate concern and respect for their Jewish neighbors, even those with whom they strongly disagree.

Malkin, who happens to be our next door neighbor, exhibited just such respect in her response to David Myers — the author of the original Aug. 26 article and my husband — and I feel the same respect for her.

But if Jews cannot extend beyond concern for their own legitimate collective interests and show respect and concern for others, it is hard to escape the implications of Malkin’s analysis. A history of victimization is no excuse for failing to advance beyond a state of moral childhood. After more than 50 years of statehood, and thousands of years of peoplehood, if not now, when?

Nomi M. Stolzenberg
Los Angeles

 

Letters


The Other

David Myers’ message on the disengagement from Gaza is moving and powerful and wonderfully significant (“Show Gaza Sympathies to the Other,” Aug. 26). It is a call to conscience and a much-need reminder that what lies at the heart of the Jewish ethos is the conviction that the Jewish conscience has no boundaries. The Gaza settlers, the impoverished Israelis, the Arab citizens of Israel, the Palestinians — there must be a compassionate place for all of them on the walls of a Jewish heart.

Rabbi Leonard Beerman
Los Angeles

In his article, David Myers shows his universalism first. He has little sympathy for the settlers who did not take any money. Apparently, they had higher motives in not wanting to leave their homes.

Recently we watched the scenes of evacuees and soldiers. One could not help but be proud of the Israel Defense Forces as they carried out their duty with so much sympathy for the anguish of the settler. Disengagement was a wrenching experience for all of Israel. One needs time to mourn and contemplate its effect on the history of the nation.

Myers does not even allow a mourning period. He immediately chastises us for not showing empathy toward the Palestinians. He neglected to mention that Jews were evicted from all the Arab countries, leaving behind far greater wealth.

You don’t hear about these Jewish refugees. Israel did not keep them in refugee camps for more than 50 years. They were integrated into the society.

We teach children to first love themselves because only then can they love a friend or the “other.” This applies to adults, as well. In the fullness of time, the other will come to understand that the gestures of friendship which Israel has demonstrated over the years deserve to be reciprocated.

Bracha Malkin
Los Angeles

Like a Virgin

In response to Amy Klein’s column, “Like a Virgin” (Aug. 19), I would like to offer a response to the last few lines of the article: “But a 40-year-old virgin? Save it for the movies, because it’s so sad you’d have to laugh.”

While I would agree that it would appear to be atypical or uncommon to have existed on this planet for 40 years (let alone 40 days and 40 nights, as far as many people are concerned) without ever having had sexual relations with another person, I would hardly call it “sad.” Better a 40-year-old virgin (who perhaps is just selective and sensitive enough to want to wait for the right person and have a caring, more meaningful relationship with a true connection) than a 20-something who just wants to “romp around” because he/she “can” or because “everyone else is doing it. I’m sure my nearly 50-year-old male virgin friend would agree.

Name Withheld Upon Request

Claim Won’t Hold

A Nation/World brief in your Aug. 19 issue reported that entertainer Harry Belafonte recently claimed Jews were “high up in the Third Reich” (“Oy, Mr. Tallyman,” Aug. 19). After protests by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, Belafonte backtracked and admitted that “Jews weren’t ‘high up'” in the Hitler regime, but he then claimed: “Jews did have a role, some did, in the demise and brutal treatment of the Jewish people [during the Holocaust].” (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 11, 2005) Your article noted that Belafonte claimed my book, “Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers,” supports his charge.

“Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers” shows that a number of people of partial Jewish ancestry served in the German military, but they did not even consider themselves Jews. Moreover, the vast majority of them were drafted — they were forced to serve Hitler just as other Jews were forced to become slave laborers in Auschwitz and elsewhere. In fact, many of them were later dismissed from the German military and sent to forced labor camps where they themselves were persecuted and some were murdered. Belafonte should take the trouble to read the books he cites, before claiming they support him. My book does not support him.

Bryan Mark Rigg
author of “Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers”

Death by Oprah

I picked up The Jewish Journal, opened the back page and was drawn in by the title of an article by Annie Korzen: “Death by Oprah” (Aug. 19). I read the first paragraph, and became excited at the prospect of reading, finally, an intelligent discourse from an expert who writes about “the ugly stereotypes Jewish men have created about their wives and mothers.”

But it was all downhill after that. Rather than being a spokesperson for Jewish women, Korzen went on to prove these stereotypes by her own words and deeds, descriptions of her own behavior proving the reputed ugliness is all too true. Her piggish eating habits and self-denigrating jokes proved the opposite of what she supposedly set out to do, which is to destroy stereotypes, the reason she was invited on “Oprah.” Her so-called humor served only to further the ugly clichés about Jewish women.

What a pity, taking up two columns of a Jewish newspaper to serve the callous cause of stereotyping Jewish women, who deserve better that that. With friends like Korzen, we Jewish women don’t need enemies.

Carol Pearlman
West Hollywood

Correction

In “Classnotes: Genesis Generation” (Aug. 26), The first name of Jenna Barocas was incorrectly written as Jennifer.

Faith Remains

The Journal’s question, “After Gaza, Can Religious Jews Still Believe in Israel?” is entirely wrong (Cover Story, Aug. 12). In fact, it is quite the opposite. Ultimately, the vast majority of religious Jews will emerge with their faith in Israel intact — even if challenged by Israel’s secular administration and its surreal, morally evil expulsion plan, whereby 10,000 of Israel’s best citizens suffered unimaginable loss and pain.

As for the nonreligious Jews (not the non-observant, many of whom may well be Jews of faith), what will be the degree and quality of their belief in Israel now that we have experienced the expulsion from Gaza?

More than 1,000 proud and hugely productive Gush Katif families, a number of them nonreligious, are today homeless — adrift throughout Israel — due to unfulfilled government promises. Illustrative is the experience of certain expelled secularists who arrived at their promised quarters only to be turned away. The facility owners now lacked confidence in the government’s promise of payment. Once again, these Jews became outcasts.

Belief in God’s word and their spirituality enable the religious to say, “Next year in Jerusalem.” But will the nonreligious outcasts be able to recover belief in Israel? That is a more appropriate question.

Julian M. White
Beverly Hills

Terrorism Won

Notwithstanding the arguments of Hirsh Goodman (“Israel’s Future — Not Terrorism — Won in Gaza,” Aug. 26) on the strategic benefits and objectives for Israel of the Gaza withdrawal, the perception held almost unanimously by Palestinians is that tactics of terror have driven Israel out of Gaza. That is the only lesson that the Palestinians will draw from the Gaza withdrawal, and now they will try to apply it in the rest of Israel, with disastrous results for themselves and for many Israelis.

One might request that Goodman at least not repeat the Arab propaganda claim that Gaza is “the most populated piece of real estate in the world.” Had he devoted even a few minutes to fact-checking, Goodman would have found that, with more than 1.3 million people in 138 square miles, Gaza has a density of 9,971 persons per square mile. That is about 57 percent of the density of Hong Kong (17,377) and less than 15 percent of the density of Manhattan (66,844).

Ralph B. Kostant
Valley Village

Junk Science

Most paleontologists admit that fossils have not proven the validity of classical evolution (“Junk” Science, Aug. 12). Microfossils of bacteria occur immediately after the appearance of water on Earth. Almost 530 million years ago, with no hint in earlier fossils, the Cambrian explosion of life appeared with all the body plans represented in animal phyla extant today, simultaneously, in a single burst in the fossil record. Classes developed within each phyla, but they retained the basic body plan of their particular phylum. Animals make their sudden appearance highly specialized and fully developed, last their time and disappear essentially the same. One of the great mysteries of animal evolution is why no new phyla have appeared since the Cambrian age. These rapid staccato changes cannot be explained by purely random mutations at the molecular genetic level. Microevolution within a species has been well documented but there is no data to support macroevolution. The persistence of theories for a randomly driven evolution of life in the face of the data from molecular biology and the fossil record, both replete with evidence against it, is purely a matter of cognitive dissidence.

Dr. Sabi Israel
West Hills

Gaza Sympathies

David Myers, in his zeal to support our enemies and oppose our own interests, lied (“Show Gaza Sympathies to the Other,” Aug. 26). Houses were demolished in Gaza, Samaria, Judea and Jerusalem not “without reason.” As is well known, they were houses of terrorists, and a Turkish law, kept on the books by the British occupiers and still retained by us in our independence, decrees their razing; or houses threatening innocent civilians passing on the roads. Does the professor think that they were picked at random, destroyed on whim?

He turned truth on its head: In 1948 it was Jews in Muslim countries who were dispossessed and exiled (or hanged, as in Baghdad), not Palestinian Muslims: Some of those fled out of fear of reprisal for attacking Jews, or in obedience to the Arab high command to “clear the battlefield” for genocide of the Jews. Even so, their property was kept in trust for them until a peace settlement.

Nursing their enmity toward us for generations, they should not be “permitted back”. Every trace of their occupation of the land of Israel (as they originally called it) might well be erased. The millions of Arabs living well as Israeli citizens are there by Israeli sufferance, not by any right. They keep the peace. The refugees didn’t and don’t.

Louis Richter
Encino