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Richard Z. Chesnoff
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Richard Z. Chesnoff, a prize winning veteran of more than 40 years of global news work, has covered many of the major stories and personalities of our times. A former foreign correspondent for Newsweek and executive editor of Newsweek International, he was senior correspondent of US News & World Report from 1985 to 2003 and has been an op-ed columnist for The NY Daily News since 1994.

Entries by Richard Z. Chesnoff

Gaza and Palestinian Leadership: The More It Changes, the More it Gets Worse

(3) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 4:58 PM

Back in June, 1967, the second day of the Six Day War, I became the first foreign correspondent to enter Gaza City when Israeli troops took that forsaken piece of real estate from Egyptian control. Two news colleagues had been killed when their vehicles hit mines the day before. But...

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By the Rivers of Babylon; What Happened to the Jews of Iraq

(1) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 12:21 AM

A powerful new documentary is being screened this week at the Center for Jewish Heritage on Manhattan's West 16th street: "The Last Jews Of Bagdad; End Of An Exile, Beginning Of A Journey" produced by Carole Basri, an energetic American filmmaker of Iraqi descent, together with Adriana Davis and Bryan...

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Perfumed Petals and Exotic Roots: NY's 17th Sephardic Jewish Film Festival

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 4:49 PM

New Yorkers enjoy a wealth of yearly film fairs. Among my own personal favorites: the Sephardic Jewish Film Festival -- an annual springtime pot pourri of perfumed flowers and pungent herbs that traces the fate of the descendants of the hundreds of thousands of Jews who were cruelly expelled from...

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"We've Got Rhythm"; Max Raabe & The Palast Orchestra Return to America

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 1:12 PM

My very favorite import (next to champagne) is back in the U.S. next week: the super-slick German-born bandleader/ crooner Max Raabe and his dapper Palast Orchester kick off a new American tour with a one night gala at New York's Carnegie Hall on Monday, March 3rd. At center-stage, Raabe &...

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It's Kool to Be Kosher in Poland: the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2013 | 12:19 PM

Poland's parliament recently voted to uphold a controversial ban on ritual Jewish butchering -- an otherwise lucrative international enterprise for the export hungry nation.

That not withstanding, everything else Jewish seems to have become decidedly kosher in the Polish Republic. Seven decades after more than 90 percent of Poland's...

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Sophie Tucker's Alive & Well

(1) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 1:14 PM

She was "The Last of the Red Hot Mammas" and the first to dare sing risque songs about the glories of independent women-hood: "I'm Living Alone and Like It" and "Ain't Women Wonderful."

Sophie in the Twenties


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From Northwestern to Broadway; The Waa-Mu Show at 54 Below

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2013 | 6:42 PM

Back in the late '70s-early '80s it's where you went to be seen playing naughty with the likes of Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli, Calvin Klein and host Steve Rubell.

The extravagantly wild "Studio 54" is long gone. Its gigantic ground floor space has become the soberly enjoyable Roundabout Theatre....

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Melvin & Jean: Revisiting a 40-Year-Old American Hijacking

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2012 | 2:38 PM

Back in the days before pat-em-down security checks and on board air marshals, plane hijacks seemed as frequent as flight delays. One of the more notorious involved a gang of sixties-style radicals who grabbed a 1972 Delta DC-8 flight out of Detroit, demanded and received a $1 million ransom to...

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Operatic Bass Anthony Russell: The New Voice of Yiddish Song

(1) Comments | Posted August 8, 2012 | 6:05 PM

Back in 1949, when I was barely 12-years-old, I heard a 78 rpm recording of the great black American operatic star, Paul Robeson singing "Zog Nisht Kein Mol -- Never Say You've Reached the Final Road" -- the stirring Yiddish hymn of the wartime Jewish partisans.

Even now I remember...

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Barack Needs Bill to Make an Israeli-Palestinian Peace

(163) Comments | Posted June 29, 2011 | 12:20 PM

With the election season nearly in full swing, President Obama's campaign fund-raisers have reason to be nervous. The U.S. economy remains deep in the doldrums and there's growing bipartisan criticism in Congress over Obama's Afghanistan withdrawal plans -- not to mention his costly and confusing undeclared war mess in Libya.

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The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory: Victory Among a Century's Tears

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2011 | 5:10 PM

With the exception of September 11, 2001, no disaster has ever traumatized New York more than the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of March 25, 1911 - 100 years ago this weekend.

It broke out on a balmy afternoon after someone carelessly tossed what was probably a cigarette butt into...

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Sephardic Film Festival: From Spanish Expulsion to Vidal Sassoon

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2011 | 1:50 PM

New York's annual Sephardic Film Festival is always a tasty treat. First and foremost, it provides us with a cinematic kaleidoscope of the destinies of the descendants of those hundreds of thousands of Spanish Jews expelled from Iberia by the 15th century Inquisition. Refusing to be forcibly converted to Catholicism,...

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Inside Muammar's Madhouse: Calling on Colonel Gaddafi

(4) Comments | Posted February 24, 2011 | 10:23 AM

Visiting Muammar Gaddafi's Libya was always like dropping into "Abdul in Wonderland."

Marketplaces were jammed with shops but empty of goods. Enormous signboards bore the illogical slogans of the even more illogical Green Book, the bible of Gaddafi's Jamahiriya - state of the masses.

Walls were plastered with enormous...

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Don't Want to Rain on Your Cairo Parade, But the Army's Still in Charge

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2011 | 11:04 AM

Hello out there, all you people deliriously celebrating the victory of democracy in Cairo's Tahrir Square. Please take some advice from an old Mideast hand: hold your horses (not to mention your camels).

I have not the slightest doubt that it was those 18 days of millions of heroic civilian...

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No Quick Solutions for Egypt

(7) Comments | Posted February 7, 2011 | 4:00 PM

"You Americans always want quick solutions," Hosni Mubarak once told me during an interview in Cairo. "But," he added quickly, "in this part of the world there are no quick solutions; only accommodations."

Mubarak's words ring as true today as they did when Egypt's embattled president uttered them nearly...

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Stealing From the Dying: The Horror of Holocaust Fraud

(25) Comments | Posted November 10, 2010 | 1:01 PM

Talk about horrific scandals!

The Justice Department has just announced that more than $40 million in funds earmarked for aid to needy and aging survivors of the Nazi Holocaust have instead been stolen and fraudulently distributed to thousands of people who were not at all eligible to receive them.

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The Jewish Problem With Obama: Part Five of Five

(4) Comments | Posted October 12, 2010 | 10:36 AM

Part four of a five part series. Part one.

"The majority of today's American Jews don't see themselves as outsiders or victims anymore," says Binyamin Jolkovsky, the publisher and editor of the widely read Internet magazine "That's positive. But that feeling of equality has also...

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The Jewish Problem With Obama: Part Five of Five

(197) Comments | Posted October 11, 2010 | 1:15 PM

(Part five of a five-part series)

"The majority of today's American Jews don't see themselves as outsiders or victims anymore," says Binyamin Jolkovsky, the publisher and editor of the widely read Internet magazine "That's positive. But that feeling of equality has also produced a communal negative. The...

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The Jewish Problem With Obama: Part Four of Five

(17) Comments | Posted October 7, 2010 | 3:52 PM

Part four of a five part series. Part one.

At a certain point, many Jews began to wonder if there was something more behind the Obama administration's confrontational approach toward Israel than a simple difference of policy. As a result, they began to take a second look at...

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The Jewish Problem With Obama: Part Three of Five

(48) Comments | Posted October 6, 2010 | 11:30 AM

Part three of a five part series. Part one.

On March 10th of this year, a relatively low-level official in the Israeli Interior Ministry issued a permit for 1,600 new housing units for Israelis in the Ramat Shlomo section of East Jerusalem. The ill-timed announcement came on the...

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