Maccabees, Reform Rabbis and the Quest to Slay the BDS-Monster

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As I blogged about several weeks ago, Sheldon Adelson & Co. have founded a new multi-million dollar effort to slay the BDS-beast that is stalking college campuses. The knights that they set loose will be known as the campus Maccabees. (I also pointed out what a poor choice of names this is.)In this week's Forward Jay Michaelson has a great piece about why this effort will fail. He enumerates four reasons, beginning with the fact that the Adelson project is an effort built on “eth … [Read more...]

Who Is a Jew and Who Is a Rabbi?

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The newly-appointed Israeli Minister of Religious Services, David Azulai, has said something stupid. This puts him well within the tradition of his ultra-Orthodox (Sephardic) Shas Party where saying something stupid is a daily event. This stupid comment was stupid enough to be covered by the New York Times: Speaking to Army Radio, the minister said, "Let's just say there's a problem as soon as a Reform Jew stops following the religion of Israel. I can't allow myself to say that such a person … [Read more...]

The Holy Kabbalist and the Dead Cop

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto. By Yaacov Gross (Own work) [GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Last night the head of the National Fraud Unit of the Israeli Police, Deputy Commissioner Ephraim Bracha, a 55-year-old father of four, shot himself in the head. Bracha was at the center of an investigation involving corrupt Kabbalistic Haredi Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto whom he accused of bribing him back in 2012. You may never have heard of Pinto, but lots of people that you have heard of know exactly who he is. Included among his followers and admirers are many prominent Israeli and American … [Read more...]

Obama Coffee

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President Obama continues to be pretty popular among American Jews. Not so much among Israelis.It seems like every other day someone there is taking potshots at him. On Sunday, the well-known (in Israel anyway) writer, broadcaster and all-around celebrity Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes tweeted this hilariously racist joke:Do you know what Obama Coffee is? Black and weakHAHAHAHAHAHA! That is SO funny. Another terrific demonstration of the vaunted Jewish sense of humor. Who needs … [Read more...]

Bibi, Bougie, Ivette and E-1…What Does It All Mean?

By Davidmosberg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

To everyone’s surprise - and no one’s more than his own - Bibi Netanyahu is leading a razor’s edge coalition of 61 seats despite the fact that the election results should have guaranteed him 67. This is because Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu (“Israel is our home”) party did not participate. It’s all particularly weird when you consider the fact that Lieberman’s party actually merged with Likud for the previous election, taking up spaces on the list that otherwise would have gone to Likudni … [Read more...]

Sheldon Adelson, Maccabee Warrior

The Maccabees...Not The Greatest Role Models

The Adelson-Saban Republicratic (So-Called Mainstream) Jewish Summit Meeting to Eradicate the Menace of BDS Jew-Hatred has concluded. Fifty million dollars was pledged to slaughter the BDS-monster, though they seemed to have no plans or strategies for how to do that. The one thing that we did learn from the big Vegas get-together is that the effort now has a name. The Forward is reporting that it will be called the Campus Maccabees project or effort or some such term.This is a most … [Read more...]

How to Lose Friends and Alienate Allies

By Pete Souza (White House (P032013PS-0320)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

President Obama gave a pretty important interview last week to a major news channel. You probably didn’t hear about it because the interview was with Israel’s Channel 2 News. More on this below. Meanwhile, this week the Treasury Secretary of the United State, an Orthodox Jew named Jack Lew, was booed and jeered and heckled by attendees at the annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York. This happened when he told the audience that the president remains enormously committed to the security of Is … [Read more...]

Easy as ABC: Adelson, Antisemitism, BDS & Campus

By Takver [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A few weeks ago I hosted a forum at my congregation. The topic was whether American Jews can have a civil conversation about Israel given the enormous divide that has developed between left and right. One of the organizations that I tried to recruit into the conversation immediately put forth its red line. Its representatives would not sit on a panel alongside advocates of boycotting, divesting from and sanctioning Israel (aka BDS). Due to a variety of reasons, we held the forum without them. … [Read more...]

Violence at King David’s Tomb

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I wonder if John Hagee's Christians United for Israel know what happened at King David’s tomb on Monday morning? From Haaretz: A violent confrontation broke out Monday morning on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem's Old City when a group of Jews tried to prevent some 100 Greek Orthodox worshipers from praying in the complex housing the tomb of King David. The building is located on Mt. Zion outside the southwest corner of the Ottoman-built wall surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem. It dates back to the 4t … [Read more...]

Being Clueless about Being Jewish in a Polite Society

Twitter Bird by Joao Lima Jr [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Taffy Brodesser-Akner is an entertainment writer who contributes to GQ, The New York Times and, on Jewish issues, to Tablet.com. The latter, by the way, now charges readers to comment. This is either an interesting way to avoid trolls or one really stupid business model.Speaking of stupid, let me get back to Ms. Brodesser-Akner, specifically her recent piece for Tablet, “I Probably Won’t Share This Essay on Twitter:  Some thoughts on being Jewish in contemporary polite society.”Not sharin … [Read more...]


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