Benedictus (a project cocreated by Iranian director Mahmood Karimi-Hakak, Israeli playwright Lotti Lerner, dramaturge and Theatre Without Borders cofounder Roberta Levitow, designer Daniel Michaelson, and Golden Thread artistic director Torange Yeghiazarian) opens with the secret reunion of two old school friends, one Muslim and one Jewish, both Iranian born, and both former activists in the politically broad-based mass uprising that overthrew Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s CIA-installed dictator, in 1979.
In a conversation with Daniel Levy, David Menashri, and Gary Sick, Kenneth Stein explores Iran as a regional player in Middle East policy; the domestic and foreign policy objectives that the Iranian government has held over the years; and finally, the contemporary issues that pertain to U.S. foreign relations.
Over the past 25 years Gopin has developed relationships across the Middle East; in Syria, specifically, over the past five years. While he traveled as a peacemaker, he would emphasize his role as a professor and only reveal that he was a rabbi when it felt safe. ”Ipkha Mistabra” & the Iranian Question .
For thousands of years, the Jewish people have known strife, hardship, and persecution. For thousands of years, “Jewish diplomacy” has found innovative, creative, and “out-of-box” solutions for untold problems. Currently faced with complexity and challenge, the State of Israel and the Jewish people are once more called upon to demonstrate ingenuity and wisdom.
Dora Levy Mossanen
My grandfather, Habib Levy, was a renowned historian of Iranian Jews; he left me with a legacy of fascinating familial, cultural, and historical events that continue to supply fodder for my stories.
While the plight of the homeless is addressed in a number of traditional Jewish texts (especially within law codes), one is hard pressed to find explicit petitions to God to provide shelter for the homeless in our liturgy.
Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East by Martin Indyk (Simon & Schuster, New York, 512 pages, 2009, $28)
The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power by David Sanger (Harmony Books, 498 pages, 2009, $33.00)
Reviewed by David Twersky
Should the Obama administration engage Iran diplomatically? Are prerequisites required, and if so, what are they? Is the Western preoccupation with equality an unfair imposition on traditional societies, like Iran? What role will Israel play vis-à-vis Iran’s growing nuclear capability?