Shabbat shalom! Happy Sukkot to all!
Shout out this week to the 12 people on the jury in Connecticut that awarded nearly $1 Billion to the families of the Sandy Hook massacre in the defamation law suit against right-wing conspiracy theorist and sub-human life form, Alex Jones.
And speaking of right-wing conspiracies, in a truly bizarre political trend, Republican politicians and conservative influencers have been claiming, according to the brilliantly stupid Rep. Lauren Boebert, that school districts “are putting litter boxes in schools for people who identify as cats.” At least 20(!!!) conservative candidates and elected officials have claimed that K-12 schools are placing litter boxes on their school grounds to accommodate students who “identify as cats” or “furries”. You really can’t make this shit up. My question is, which bathroom do they get to use?
And while we are on the topic of stupid, a few comments on Kanye “Ye” West and his latest anti-semitic rant. The rapper tweeted that he wanted to go “death con 3 on Jewish people,” yet numerous major outlets called this “purported” antisemitism. Thanks to The Forward for calling out the Lame Stream Media on this story. After criticism began to build, Ye tweeted again: “who you think created cancel culture?” The statement implied that any disapproval of his antisemitism simply proved his point that Jews control culture. This is neither subtle nor shielded antisemitism. The fact that Ye tried to preempt accusations of antisemitism proves that the rapper himself understood the implications of his tweet.
Even so, The Wall Street Journal, in its article about the incident, referred to Ye’s comments as “purported” antisemitism. The New York Times originally said the tweets were “widely criticized as antisemitic” but did not definitively label them as such. The Associated Press said the tweets were “widely deemed antisemitic.” Reuters went with “alleged antisemitic posts,” despite the fact that the posts were still up and visible. Come on Lame Stream Media, you guys can do better than that.
My final “Spectrum of Stupidity” award this week goes to former Rep and now former Democrat, Tulsi Gabbard and Tech Bro billionaire and Putin apologist, Elon Musk. Both of these morons are doing their best to undermine bi-partisan support for our Ukraine policy. Gabbard, who is famous for sucking up to tyrants (she once visited with Assad in Syria) recently announced she was quitting the Democratic party for a host of reasons which included Democrats leading us into a potential nuclear war in Ukraine. And Musk recently claimed, and then denied, that he had a call with Putin in which he discussed a 5 point peace plan, essentially spouting off Putin’s talking points on his demands. Gabbard has been getting Tucker time, and Musk reaches millions of fellow tech bro followers, and the danger here is an undermining of the current bi-partisan Ukraine support, especially with mid-terms coming up soon. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but Musk is not qualified to be running or influencing the country’s foreign policy, and Gabbard has always been a bit on the coo-coo side. I am setting up a “Go Fund Me” page for a rocket ship that will take both of them to the moon on a one way trip.
And now for something not completely different, some news about Jews, compiled by yours truly from a smorgasbord of sources including The Forward, Times of Israel, Kveller, and many others. Enjoy!
- Extremist Israeli politician MK Ben Gvir pulls out gun during Sheikh Jarrah clash – Hot off the Times of Israel press, this right wing nut job was gaining strength in the Knesset, as conservative members of the Likud party lose out to more extreme members of Ben Gvir’s party. Ben Gvir is a dangerous, anti-Arab religious extremist who has softened his rhetoric only recently from espousing “death to the Arabs” to “death to the terrorists”. The story broke today that he brandished a gun during a tour of an East Jerusalem neighborhood amid intense clashes between Jewish Israelis and Palestinians Thursday night, drawing fire from political opponents. Ben Gvir did not use the weapon but called on police to use live fire on Arabs throwing stones, a night after threatening to “mow down” a group of Palestinians as he shouted at them during a visit to the same area. If this nut job continues to gain power and prominence in Israel, you can imagine what Arab-Israeli relations will be like in the years ahead. Fasten your seat belts. For more, click here.
- U.S. Jewish groups face major dilemma as Israeli far right gains in election polls – In 2019, America’s Jewish establishment raised the alarm on Benjamin Netanyahu legitimizing the most extreme forces in Israeli politics. Three years on, with Itamar Ben-Gvir on the verge of power, their silence is deafening. This raises the stakes for American-Jewish leaders when it comes to a full-throated denunciation of Ben-Gvir: Doing so risks being seen as interfering in Israeli politics and an open conflict with Ben-Gvir’s political partner Netanyahu. Fortunately, some of Congress’s biggest Israel hawks have voiced their concerns. Rep. Brad Sherman, a California Democrat and pillar of support for Israel in the House of Representatives, tweeted that he “urges Israeli political leaders from all sides of the political spectrum to ostracize extremists like Itamar Ben-Gvir whose outrageous views run contrary to Israel’s core principles of a democratic and Jewish state. These extremists undermine Israel’s interests and the U.S.-Israel relationship, which I and my colleagues have worked to strengthen.” Amen. For more, click here.
- “Jew Free Zones” at UC Berkeley? Fake news! – Nine student groups at the UC Berkeley School of Law signed a resolution banning pro-Israel speakers from their events. They were falsely described as “Jew-Free Zones,” prompting outrage on social media, including a tweet from the world’s most famous female Jew, Barbra Streisand. The outrage was prompted by a Sept. 28 op-ed by Kenneth Marcus that appeared in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles entitled, “Berkeley Develops Jewish-Free Zones.” No bears and no forest (לא דובים ולא יער) is a Hebrew expression meaning, there’s no there there, other than a missed opportunity to have a real debate about a real issue. For more click here.
- Oy Gevalt! On this day in history (1926): A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” was published. The book, which has inspired myriad TV and film adaptations, remains a favorite of children’s literature — including for readers in Yiddish, who, as Seth Rogovoy wrote in the Forward in 2017, have had their own beloved translation since 2000. In “Vini-der-Pu,” translated by Leonard Wolf, “Pooh became Pu, Eeyore became Iya, and — your favorite and mine — Piglet became Khazerl,” Rogovoy wrote. But best of all was the translation of Pooh’s catchphrase: “‘Oh, bother,’ which verily leaps off the page as ‘Oy, gevalt.’”
- 😠 The Anti-Defamation League condemned Tucker Carlson’s decision to cleanse the interview he conducted with Kanye West of antisemitic remarks.“Tucker giving airtime to Kanye and trying to sanitize, or coach him through his antisemitism, is contemptible, and unfortunately par for the course with Carlson,” the ADL said in a statement. Other news agencies, including the Jew News Review, have condemned Tucker on many occasions, leading Editor of the JNR to conclude, “Someone should just punch Tucker in the face”. (CNN, Forward)
- ⛳ The number of golf courses in Israel is expected to double in the coming years – That’s not too tough when there is currently only one golf course in the whole country! Developers are planning a course in the southern desert resort town of Eilat. The country’s only current 18-hole golf course, in Caesarea, was built in 1961. Maybe one of these days “Tiger” Schwartz will be atop the leaderboard. (Times of Israel)
- Can matzah ball soup get Houston into the World Series? If the Astros make it to the World Series later this month, fans can thank team manager Dusty Baker — along with a fresh baked challah and several quarts of matzah ball soup.Baker stopped by Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen just before Yom Kippur ended to load up on food to help Jewish star Alex Bregman break the fast.“He said he wanted to do something really nice for Alex and he bought a substantial amount of food,” Ziggy Gruber told the JHV. “I thought that was quite noble of him. Bregman, who did play on Yom Kippur, enters the postseason with 23 home runs and 93 runs batted in. The two-time all-star and World Series champion had a bar mitzvah in 2007 at Congregation Albert in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Let’s call it a wrap. And hey, I am currently in quarantine as Sandy deals with Covid, so let’s continue to be careful out there. And if you haven’t done so already, get boosted!