October 09, 2020

One Year Ago, I Survived The Halle Synagogue Terror Attack. Heres Why I’m Worried About the Left
Last year, I travelled with a group of other young Jews to the city of Halle, Germany, to observe Yom Kippur with the local community.A few hours into the service, a neo-Nazi terrorist armed with guns and explosives tried to slaughter us. All of us inside the synagogue survived, largely through sheer luck, but tragically the killer succeeded in murdering two innocent people nearby. And yet, it’s the left that worries me, and more specifically a set of pernicious tendencies that have crept into our discourse in the past few years. I say this despite (or rather because of) the fact that I am decidedly left-wing myself.Under our very noses, the mainstream left has drifted away from universalist compassion towards a cruel tribalism that we have long associated primarily with the right.This should terrify all of us, and for several reasons.Related... Canadian Armed Forces Trolled The Proud Boys In The Best Way Donald Trump Is Having A Really, Really Bad Month The first and perhaps most obvious cause for alarm is that we are betraying our principles. This is inherently dangerous.Although the left does not pose the kind of imminent violent threat that the far-right does, we are nevertheless moving towards an extremism of thought that historically has often ended in bloodshed.The second and more immediate cause for alarm is that as we become increasingly intolerant of dissent, we also become increasingly intolerable to dissenters. The result? They move toward the right.And finally, with fascism on the rise across the globe, a strong and effective left-wing is our only hope of avoiding catastrophe, and at the moment, we are tragically far from meeting the challenge. If you have read this far and are already forming defensive judgements, I implore you to keep an open mind and read on. Below I will very briefly note some of the most alarming behaviours I see on the left:Condemning the smallest infraction with the same intensity as the most grievous violation. Being insensitive and ignorant in matters of race, gender, and sexuality is undesirable, but is categorically different from hate. When theft receives the same capital punishment as murder, we remove the disincentive for a thief to become a murderer. Ignoring intention. As a Jew, I have experienced innumerable hurtful interactions that we often call “microaggressions”. Except that “aggression” implies intention, and often the malicious intention simply wasn’t there. If someone is being careless about where they walk and as a result they step on my toes, it is fair to be angry at the pain that their carelessness caused me. But to accuse them of deliberate aggression is unfair and will only make them defensive – and rightly so.Related... Black Lives Matter 'Not A Force For Good', Says Sajid Javid Opinion: Labour's Shift To Nationalist Rhetoric Will Only Further Alienate People Of Colour Equating victimhood with righteousness. If we want to redefine racism as necessarily including a power differential, fair enough. But in practice what this often means, is that unacceptable behaviour on the part of an oppressed minority goes uncriticised. As much as I was appalled at the offensive remark that a Jewish acquaintance once made about non-Jews, I was even more horrified that a mutual friend defended them, saying: “It’s okay because she has suffered a lot of oppression.” Beyond the obvious double standard here, I also find this incredibly patronising, as if our suffering leaves us unable to tell right from wrong.Evaluating others based on their identity rather than on the merits of their ideas. How many of us progressives in the last presidential election supported Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, the latter of whom much better represented our progressive values, simply because we didn’t want “another old white guy”? Tragically, head to head polls showed that Bernie would have had much better odds to beat Trump.An indifference to the suffering of people who are designated as privileged. #JewishPrivilege was a despicable Social Media campaign carried out by white supremacists that ignores the oppressions of Jews. But the fundamental logic they used, that any group with perceived privilege deserves contempt, is all too familiar on the left today. If we see compassion and kindness as conditional on oppressed status, then we have already lost the battle of ideas.Not distinguishing between understanding and endorsing. The causes of right-wing extremism are complex and variable, but not necessarily beyond comprehension. Often beneath the hatred lies a legitimate grievance that has gone unaddressed and so is left ripe for exploitation by a cynical demagogue. Not only is it possible for us to understand a hateful person’s point of view without agreeing with it, it is absolutely necessary if we want to have any chance of making change. Categorising others as either with us or against us. This one is particularly personal to me as I recently had a falling out with a friend who determined that because I don’t share their specific approach to social justice, I must be neo-liberal despite my insistence that I am vehemently opposed to neo-liberalism. This friend is not lacking in intelligence, education, or good judgement, but rather, like many of us on the left, has been seduced by a highly reductive world view that demands moral purity.Across the globe, the looming spectre of fascism has come roaring back, and I know first-hand the fatal consequences of such an ideology. But what should truly alarm us all is the left’s failure to effectively push back against this rising tide, and its counterproductive methods to do so. The author, who has asked to remain anonymous, is a Jewish American filmmaker with an academic background in history and politics. Formerly based in London, they have lived in Berlin since 2019. Got a unique opinion on a news story that will help cut through the noise? We want to hear from you. Find out what we’re looking for here and pitch us on ukopinion@huffpost.com.Related... Opinion: Covid Has Reignited The North-South Divide With A Vengeance Opinion: Why A Covid Vaccine Won't Be A Magic Bullet Opinion: Could The Second Wave Spark Riots? We're Entering Very Dangerous Territory Opinion: Boris Johnson Made A Promise To Child Refugees. Now He Must Keep It
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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