The Corner


Nines, Etc.

Natan Sharansky in Jerusalem on May 31, 2019 (Jay Nordlinger)

Today on the homepage, I write about Natan Sharansky — né Anatoly Shcharansky — whom I saw in Jerusalem. He is working on a new book, which will probably be titled “Nine, Nine, Nine.” The title refers to nine years in the Gulag, nine years in (Israeli) politics, and nine years at the head of the Jewish Agency.

Let me excerpt from my piece:

You know what my American political mind thinks of, don’t you? You got it: The “9-9-9” plan touted by Herman Cain in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries. … My friend and colleague Kevin D. Williamson wrote against this plan under the memorable title “Nein! Nein! Nein!

Earlier today, Kevin remarked, “Not a juxtaposition I had expected.” Me neither. When I went to the coffee shop that morning, to meet Sharansky, I had no idea that I would think of Herman Cain and his plan. Whatever the worth of the plan, I loved the way he said its name, in those redolent southern tones.

Plus: “If 10 percent is good enough for God, 9 percent is good enough for the government.”

I have done a Q&A with Nasser Weddady, here. He is an American of Mauritanian origin. He grew up all over, thanks to a diplomat dad. As a child, Nasser visited Qaddafi’s tent. And in Syria, he met Hafez Assad.

Nasser has worked for many years as a human-rights activist and strategist. He gets people sprung from prison. Now he has an all too personal case: His very brother, Abderrahmane, is a political prisoner.

One more item — a far cry from persecution: For a review of a concert by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, which played in Carnegie Hall, go here. Some interesting issues arise.

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