America’s cultural divide runs deep. The far-right’s vote for Donald Trump protested the “elites.” Considerable danger lies in this. We find a prime example in a region of the world usually ignored—sub-Saharan Africa. What are elites? Trump supporters generally consider them to be inhabitants of big cities on either coast and holders of college and…

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What if New York’s Twin Towers had been felled (and the Pentagon attacked and a fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania) on December 25? We would long remember that terrible day. So would celebrating Christmas in America be halted? Recently, American Muslims feared that the festival of Eid al-Adha would fall on September 11. Could Muslims…

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Who among us does not feel special? See himself or herself at the center of the universe? Think that if everyone does what I do, the world will be a better place? The answer: precious few. Which explains why not only individuals but also nations often come to grief. The belief that I or “we”…

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Does anti-Muslim rhetoric relate to anti-Semitism? Yes, according to my friend Claudia Hagadus Long, an attorney and fellow novelist. Claudia has authored a trilogy about colonial Mexico—Josefina’s Sin, The Duel for Consuelo and (late 2016 or 2017) Marcela Unchained. Given her family’s challenging Jewish history, an undercurrent of anti-Semitism runs through all. Now, Muslim bashing…

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Carolyn and I went to New York last week to see Yosi and Hurray for the Riff Raff at Carnegie Hall’s sold-out Zankel Hall. New York is “home.” I grew up in Queens—Rego Park. But going home goes only so far. Time travel constitutes risky business. On Friday, we took the subway to 63rd Drive…

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