Erna’s best-selling, award-winning book, The End of Days: A Story of Tolerance, Tyranny, and the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain, will be re-published in an updated edition by Cormorant Books, Toronto. The new title is: From Tolerance to Tyranny: A Cautionary Tale from Fifteenth-Century Spain
Wednesday October 30, 2013, Confucius Institute Edmonton (CIE)
Local volunteer group Edmonton ALPHA announced today that internationally-recognized Canadian writers, Erna Paris and Joy Kogawa, will address students in several Edmonton senior high schools on November 21 and 22. In addition, the authors will address a symposium, entitled Why History Matters: The Need for Learning about the Past so that We Can Avoid a Catastrophic Future 1:30 Saturday, November 23rd. The Confucius Institute. Free Admission.
Award-winning historian Erna Paris, author of Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History, will talk to students about how unaddressed war crimes continue to impact our lives today, and the need for survivors to seek justice and reconciliation. In her public lecture War Crimes: Why Germany Remembers, Why Japan Forgets, and What Can Be Done, Ms. Paris will speak about the legacy of Imperial Japan’s war of aggression and why this continues to matter in today’s world. [more]
Monday November 4, 2013, Globe and Mail
In 1998, when 120 countries at a United Nations conference in Rome agreed, miraculously, to a treaty that would govern the world’s first permanent international criminal court, few thought the road ahead would be easy.
The United States was opposed, as were other major powers, such as Russia and China, who viewed the future institution as a threat to their sovereignty. Although the U.S. now offers important strategic support and has facilitated ICC interests at the Security Council, it still has not ratified the Rome Statute, meaning that its citizens remain largely immune from potential indictments. This political positioning has damaged the reputation of the court as a purveyor of even-handed justice, through no fault of its own. When George W. Bush and Dick Cheney remain unaccountable for having approved torture at prison sites around the globe, people elsewhere notice. [more]
Thursday September 19, 2013, Ottawa Citizen
Personal privacy: the right not to have our words tracked by the overseers of the digital world we now inhabit. Freedom of expression: the right to communicate our commitments however we choose, provided no harm is done. Remarkably, both these hard-won rights are being jeopardized at the highest levels of government.
The emerging environment of permanent surveillance is currently being led by the United States, but spying on citizenries will soon become a global phenomenon. Enhanced technology will make this possible, creating opportunities governments will not want to forgo. Incessant fearmongering over possible threats to security has already muted public dissent, normalizing intrusions that would recently have been unthinkable. [more]
Wednesday, Aug. 14 2013, Globe and Mail
For over a century, foreigners have flocked to France. The country is geographically diverse, beautiful and blessed with a thriving agricultural sector whose products can reach national markets within hours of harvest. A culture of pleasure prevails, including café society and local consumption of the world’s best wines. Art receives substantial state support and appreciation is inculcated early (kindergarten classes visit the Louvre). Publicly funded services are among the best in the world: day care, hospitals and pensions, to mention just a few. [more]