June 2012
06.22.2012
Stephen Rubin

When world leaders, policy experts, technology wonks and journalists gathered last year for the Israeli President’s Conference, the Arab Spring was in its infant stages and the European economic crisis was on the verge of becoming catastrophic.

China and Russia were flexing their muscles in the face of US hesitations over the Middle East, and Israel was facing an existential threat from the ayatollahs.

Leap forward a year, and Israel finds itself in an even more precarious situation. Think Iran, the Arab Spring and the stagnation of the peace process.
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06.12.2012
Stephen Rubin

Debates have been swirling in the media about undertones of racism in Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film ‘The Dictator’.  Is Baron Cohen mocking Arab and Muslim society or simply addressing the dirty politics that have gone into supporting and then toppling autocratic regimes across the Middle East?

Last night, after months of anticipation and a sickening overdose of YouTube clips and highly publicized, self-adoring interviews featuring Sacha Baron Cohen’s newest alter-ego, General Aladeen of Wadiya, I jumped on the fortunate invitation to see the British comedic idol’s latest film, ‘The Dictator’.  Not only was it a chance for a night of heavy and at times uncomfortable laughter, but also an opportunity to critique Baron Cohen’s performance in a scripted film instead of his typical mockumentary humorist style (i.e Borat and Bruno).
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