An old Jew tells a joke
An old Jew tells a joke
This one is funny, but even more, it’s kind of reassuring in its way.
An old Jew tells a joke
This one is funny, but even more, it’s kind of reassuring in its way.
It involves tomato sauce
Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from alleged corruption in 2006, has a new job out of his halfway house: Helping out at Tov Pizza, Baltimore’s premier kosher pizzeria! While some insist that Mama Leah Gourmet Kosher Pizza, in nearby Pikesville, Maryland, is superior, Tov has been serving quality kosher pizza in Baltimore proper for more than a quarter of a century (with a brief pause after a fire two years ago).
“We’re all Jews, we’re all on the same team,” says Tov owner Ron Rosenbluth. “I’m more than happy to help a fellow Jew in any way I can.”
Abramoff, who used to own and operate a kosher restaurant in Washington, D.C., is helping out with “all aspects” of Tov’s business, particularly marketing strategies. For starters: He is educating the business as to the principle that there is no such thing as bad P.R.
Abramoff To Work at Tov Pizza [Baltimore Jewish Times]
Many argue soldier should be released in return
Noam Shalit—the father of Gilad, the Israeli soldier captured and held by Hamas for more than four years—is furious that the recent easing of the Gaza blockade was a quid without a quo: The quo being his son.
“Yesterday, in a confident voice and without compromise Netanyahu announced the change in policy on the Gaza siege,” Shalit said. “In other words, he announced, ‘I surrendered to international pressure that was applied to us’ and we are asking where Gilad stands in this equation. We are asking where is Gilad, our son?”
The “pro-Israel, pro-peace” group J Street—last seen calling on legislators not to sign AIPAC-endorsed letters unequivocally backing the blockade—has released a memo arguing much the same thing. “J Street reiterates its call for Shalit’s immediate and unconditional release,” it reads, “and urges Members of Congress to highlight the opportunity—and moral imperative—that the Israeli Government’s wise policy shift in Gaza creates for Shalit’s captors to reciprocate.”
What Syria is up to, and more
Evangelical ex-governor loves the Jews; will they love him back?
A New Yorker writer catches up with Mike Huckabee—the former Arkansas governor; the once and probably future Republican presidential candidate—at the Western Wall, where he and country singer Pat Boone are leading more than 100 Christian evangelicals on what is Huckabee’s 14th trip to Israel. “I think what I should do is convert,” he says. “This covers my bald spot completely.” He continues: “I have a lot of Jewish friends, and they’re kind of, like, ‘You evangelicals love Israel more than we do.’ I’m, like, ‘Do you not get it? If there weren’t a Jewish faith, there wouldn’t be a Christian faith!’”
While most of the article is a look at Huckabee as a ’12 contender and as the apotheosis of an evangelical political movement four decades in the making, it does address the phenomenon of Christian Zionism—the same thing Tablet Magazine Mideast columnist Lee Smith was pointing to when he noted that American evangelicals had proven Israel’s “unshakable ally.” A prime reason for that, of course, is that Jewish control of the Holy Land is a prerequisite for Jesus’s Second Coming … which will incidentally entail the eternal damnation of all non-Christians. Israelis are evangelicals’ useful idiots.
In the meantime, though, much of Huckabee’s rhetoric matches that of some of the Jewish right. “There’s really no such thing as a Palestinian,” The New Yorker has him saying. “That’s been a political tool to try to force land away from Israel.” Whether intentionally or not, Huckabee is setting himself up to benefit from American Jews’ increasing disenchantment with the current administration. “There’s a lot of Jewish money on the right that’s got to go someplace,” says journalist Zev Chafets, who once worked for Likud Prime Minister Menachem Begin, “especially if Obama continues to be perceived as unfriendly to Israel.” (The New Yorker doesn’t note that Chafets has himself profiled Huckabee!)
As always, the tension for many American Jews will be where to place Israel among their political priorities. For the American Likudnik, Huckabee would seem a more favorable choice than Obama. But the former governor is also the guy who refers to “the holocaust of liberalized abortion.” Faced with a Huckabee, what’s an Abe Foxman to do?
Plus Gaza’s isolation lessens, Israel’s grows, and more in the news
• Jerusalem’s city government approved zoning plans for the sure-to-be-controversial destruction of 20 houses in East Jerusalem to clear space for an industrial zone and a tourist center. [NYT]
• Four Hamas-affiliated politicians rejected an Israeli demand that they leave East Jerusalem for the West Bank. [WP]
• The House will likely pass a version of Iran sanctions that is harsher than the White House hopes for. [Politico]
• The response in Gaza to the easing of the blockade can be summed up in two words: “We’ll see.” [NYT]
• Even concert cancellations have contributed to Israel’s current unprecedented feeling of isolation. [WP]
Plus Franco’s complicity, and more
• The acting mayor of Amsterdam—the former mayor, Job Cohen, is currently leading his party in upcoming elections—is considering a plan to dress policemen up as Jews as a way to bait and then arrest perpetrators of anti-Semitic acts. The city apparently already dresses policemen up as old people and gay men for similar purposes. [Dutch News]
• A recently published document shows that in 1941 Spanish dictator Francisco Franco ordered underlings to create a list of 6,000 Spanish and foreign-born Jews to be handed over to the Nazis. I asked the Generalissimo for comment, but he responded with total, complete silence. [Ynet]
• UC-Berkeley will soon be home to a major collection of Jewish art, music, and rare documents. [UC-Berkeley]
• Brazil, which had joined Turkey in opposing Iran sanctions in the U.N. Security Council, says now it is backing away from its more pronounced stance. [Haaretz]
• Tablet Magazine contributing editor Ben Greenman reads in Brooklyn tonight. [Greenlight Bookstore]
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee) won’t be giving Drake a run for his money as the best Jewish hip-hop act anytime soon:
Hasidic real estate maven committed suspicious suicide
Solomon Obstfeld, an ultra-religious Bobover Hasid, jumped to his death at the Jumeirah Essex Hotel on Central Park South a couple weeks ago. Obstfeld’s death was ruled a suicide, though his family claims he had a heart attack (suicide is illegal under Jewish law). It is coming out that Obstfeld had been attempting to sell his Essex House pad for $6.5 million, and that he had entered into a disagreement over the lease to a different Essex House property with Rabbi Yishayahu Yosef Pinto, a kabbalist descended from a venerable Moroccan rabbinic family who has been something of a New York City-based rabbi to the minor stars as well as, maybe, a somewhat sketchy businessman.
Why Pinto? Because I am really mature, here’s why.
Meat-packing owner, 51, was convicted of financial fraud
Not two weeks after being cleared of a slew of child labor charges, Sholom Rubashkin, the ultra-Orthodox owner of the Agriprocessors Glatt kosher meat-packing plant in Postville, Iowa, has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for the 86 federal financial fraud charges of which he was convicted late last year. Prosecutors had requested a 25-year sentence. Rubashkin is 51.
Your latest Emails of Zion
The Emails of Zion is a collection of messages from Jewish parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and others who are eager—often way too eager—to inform their children about issues of pressing concern to the Jewish community. Some of these emails may sound crazy, paranoid, ethnocentric, and/or racist, while others are disturbingly sane.
Forward emails from your elders to firstname.lastname@example.org.
———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 1:36 AM
Subject: Fw: If Israel Goes Down We All Go Down
To: ______, _______
Wouldn’t you and I love to see Jose Maria Aznar as our American President instead of the Marrano Moslem now actively destroying democracy, capitalism and Israel?
How much more destruction do we need before those who voted for Osama finally say “ich hub gemacht a toos” (I made a mistake voting for Obama?)
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
From: One Jerusalem
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 03:57:24 +0000
Subject: If Israel Goes Down We All Go Down
If Israel Goes Down We All Go Down
In a powerful article in today’s Times of London, Jose Maria Aznar, the President of Spain from 1996-2004) provides a rousing and eloquent defense of the State of Israel. Aznar also uses this opportunity to announce the launch of his new organization “Friends of Israel” composed primarily on non-Jewish Europeans and Americans. President Aznar is to be applauded for standing up for Israel, standing up for what is right.
The article is below: (more…)
Apparently a few friends have the loot
New pro-Palestinian stand births new rivalries
Over the weekend, some began to realize that Turkey and its newly prominent international standing, particularly as an assertive regional power, is causing feelings of worry, resentment, and rivalry—and not just in Israel and the United States, where you would expect it.
Seemingly every day since it vocally praised (and tacitly supported) the flotilla, Turkey has been seen to be displacing several Arab states (especially Egypt) and Iran as the prime advocate for Palestinian rights. To take one example: Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad recently endorsed a plan that would see Turkey supervising Gaza crossings as part of a deal that would lift the blockade.
Two authors argue that the Arab countries and Iran have noticed: “You can get a sense of just how attractive Turkey’s leadership is among the Arab masses,” they write, “by reading the flood of recent negative articles about Ankara in the government-owned newspapers of the Arab states.” Last week, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, responded to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s newly vocal anti-Israel rhetoric with his own vociferously anti-Israel speech … which you probably didn’t notice, because everyone is so focused on Turkey right now. (The authors assert that Turkey’s supplanting of Iran could actually redound to America’s benefit. Go figure.) (more…)
The mommyblog deluge, and more
The dread vuvuzela enters the fray
The East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah has long been ground zero for the movement to halt all Israeli building—indeed, all official Israeli presence—in East Jerusalem, and it has become most famous for its Friday protests, in which Palestinians and left-wing Jews join to draw attention to their cause.
And what’s the best way to draw attention to your cause? I think everyone who has been watching World Cup Finals matches over the past two weeks knows that: Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Yes, folks, the Sheikh Jarrah protestors have resorted to vuvuzelas, those annoying horns that have become notorious for dominating (and partially ruining) soccer viewing experiences. I hope they know that they are probably losing as many fans as they are making. (I also hope they know whose pockets they are lining!)
If you would like to keep up-to-date on the vuvuzela’s doings, you can check—what else?—its Twitter feed.
Plus rumor is that Rahm’s out, and more in the news
• Israeli officially established an eased land blockade that should allow many more goods into Gaza. The move received praise from several quarters, including President Obama, who announced a White House meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu on July 6. [NYT]
• U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Israel’s internal probe into the flotilla lacks “international credibility.” [NYT]
• More than a dozen U.S. warships, including an aircraft carrier, and at least one Israeli ship reportedly crossed through Suez toward the Red Sea Saturday, angering many in Egypt. [Haaretz]
• This morning, Iran stopped two U.N. nuclear inspectors from entering the country. [Reuters/NYT]
• Defense Secretary Ehud Barak is in Washington, D.C., for senior-level talks, primarily about Iran. [JPost]
Oh, and it’s the longest day of the year. So enjoy that.