Jacob Bender

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On the afternoon of the 4th day of April

I was on the way home from school when I heard on the radio about the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis. Walking into our family home, I found my father sitting in front of the television, watching news of the assassination, his body already racked by the spreading cancer that would kill him exactly one year later. He was crying. It was the only time I ever saw my father cry.

In Memory of Dr. Anis Al-Qasem

At the age of 95, Dr. Anis Al-Qasem returned to God in Alicante, Spain, surrounded by his wife Amal and their children. The Palestinian community around the world and its political, legal, and social leaders and institutions mourned his death, as did much of the Arab media.

Impeachment NOW!

The real threat to American democracy was on full display yesterday, as it is woven into the very fabric of this nation by the “peculiar institution” of chattel slavery and buttressed and justified by the ideology of white supremacy.

“The Year of the Plagues” by Jacob Bender

One hundred years ago, 680,000 Americans died in the Spanish Flu Pandemic that ravaged the United States, with Philadelphia being the worst hit city in the nation. Among the dead was my grandfather Yitzhak Bendersky, who had emigrated from Russia to America only a few years before in search of a better life for his family and himself.

Director’s Desk: What Now?

“No one can stand up against the authority of truth, and the evil of falsehood is to be fought with enlightening speculation.” ― Ibn Khaldun, “The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History” What better description of the times we live in than these words, penned six centuries ago by Ibn Khaldun, the towering genius of the medieval Arab world, indeed of any age. In the end, Ibn Khaldun is telling us, the tyrant will always fall, and the truth will always prevail.

Long Live RBG!

And so, after holding on for so long, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died. Long live RGB! Conscience of the nation! Mother of gender equality! The Muslim community mourns as well. During this inferno administration, burning with racism and the flames of violence, in case after case Justice Ginsburg defended the civil liberties of American Muslims...

Director’s Desk: In Praise of AOC

If you have not already seen it, we urge all of you to watch the speech by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the House of Representatives, in which she responded to a verbal assault by Rep. Ted Yoho, a Florida Republican. The speech by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, viewed over 4 million times in the past week, was one for the ages, for it was far more than a rebuke to a single sexist politician for uttering a single vulgarity...

Director’s Desk: Many Juneteenths

Every June 19th was a special day for my family. In the first decades of the 20th century, fleeing the anti-Jewish violence in Eastern Europe, my grandparents and parents emigrated to America seeking a new life in a land where “all men are created equal.”