Director / Editor: Victor Teboul, Ph.D.
Looking inside ourselves and out at the world
Independent and neutral with regard to all political and religious orientations,® aims to promote awareness of the major democratic principles on which tolerance is based.
Point of view
By Bruce Campbell, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

When President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper meet this Thursday, February 19, 2009, the growing economic crisis will be the main point of discussion. And Harper could quickly find himself in a position he doesn’t like to be in: on the defensive. (Full Story)

By Avishai Ehrlich

The present conflagration in Gaza is perniciously criminal because it was foreseen and could have been averted. The most enraging aspect about it is its wanton wastefulness and the cynicism of both leaderships. Had the two sides agreed to negotiate – something they will inevitably have to do in the wake of this slaughter - the conflagration could have been avoided. (Full Story)

By Stephen Scheinberg, contributor
Postville, a quiet town of 1500 in rural Iowa was the scene of an interesting experiment in Jewish-American life. Agriprocessors, the largest of America’s glatt kosher meat packers established their biggest slaughterhouse there. Imagine the black hat managers and shochets (kosher slaughterers) rubbing shoulders with the farmers and small town folks and bringing in immigrant laborers to do the dirtier jobs. It was a new type of inter-cultural experiment in a rather unlikely setting. Indeed it provided the subject matter for Prof. Stephen Bloom’s book: Postville: A Clash of Culture in Heartland America. But this tale of culture clash between Lubavitchers and rural Iowans has been superseded by a far more important conflict. (Full Story)
By Stephen Scheinberg, contributor
Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has joined ranks with Peace Now. In a rather startling interview, for Rosh Hashanah the Jewish New Year, Olmert dared to state what no other Prime Minister has ever said, that a far reaching accord with the Palestinians is an absolute necessity for Israel. (Full Story)
By Stephen Scheinberg, contributor
At the end of September a pipe bomb exploded outside the home of Peace Now activist and leading scholar Prof. Zeev Sternhell. He was, fortunately, only lightly wounded but the bombing has created fears that the radical wing of the settler movement is now moving to try to silence its critics in Israel. (Full Story)
By Stephen Scheinberg, contributor
Israel’s High Court has rightly been hailed as a beacon of justice in the Middle East. However the court and the state have recently been in conflict over two important matters, first the routing of the fence or security barrier and second illegal settlement construction. Israel is now at a turning point and in the balance is whether the law or the movement for a greater Israel carries more weight. (Full Story)
By Stephen Scheinberg, contributor
As a dual citizen of the United States and Canada I must decide how I will vote in two elections. I must admit that Israel is not high on my list of concerns for several reasons. My primary loyalty is as a citizen of the country I am voting in, to choose the best candidates for the general welfare of my two countries. (Full Story)
By Stephen Scheinberg, contributor
B’nai Brith Canada has recently awarded Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper its Presidential Gold Medal for Humanitarianism. This should inspire similarly appropriate awards for our other party leaders. Liberal Stephan Dion might be selected as Mr. Charisma for 2008. Separatist Gilles Duceppe must surely be named the Outstanding Canadian and the NDPs Jack Layton could be the nominee for Introvert of the Year. (Full Story)
By Stephen Scheinberg, contributor
All of us have friends who fill our ears with praise and are uncritical of our every action: they are mere sycophants. And then we have really good friends who are unafraid to criticize us when we are heading off the track, acting against our best long term interests. Thus, those so-called friends of Israel who support the expansion of settlements, maintaining illegal outposts, not negotiating with enemies, and urge alliances with the Christian right are like the “friend” who will “not only let you drive home drunk but offer you their Porsche and a shot of tequila for the road.” (Full Story)
By Ian Irvine, Montreal Economic Institute
The world has enormous capacity to produce food to deal with the current food crisis. But this potential has been held back by agricultural protectionism in developed economies and, more recently, by export restrictions imposed by some less developed countries. Contrary to what is often heard, today's crisis cannot be explained by higher demand for food in emerging countries or by speculation. In addition to natural catastrophes such as the Australian drought that has slightly reduced world production recently, ill-advised government policies are largely to blame. (Full Story)
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