The Jew News Review – January 22, 2023 – Culture week, President Doofus, and bombshells

Shalom! And wow! So much to cover and so little time!

I am writing the post this week from a Starbucks on 7th Avenue, having spent the better part of the week in the city that never sleeps combining a little business with a lot of fabulous culture. Some of the gang have joined me this weekend to help celebrate Lauren’s birthday by watching Lea Michele hopefully put the fun back in Funny Girl! If Funny Girl is even half as good as the amazing musical &Juliet, or as impactful as Tom Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt and the Tenement Museum, than this trip will have been a cultural feast that any theater foodie would savor. It’s been a fun week, and still more to come!

Uncle Joe, on the other hand, has not had a very fun week. My new nickname for Joe is now President Doofus. I cannot fathom how supposedly intelligent people in his administration could handle something so poorly, and how he could possibly respond to questions about his handling of secret documents by claiming his “garage is locked”. You have to be kidding me. Nice going Doofus. There is no comparison to his mishandling of documents to the Orange Turd’s, who rather than cooperate with officials, obstructed and lied about them. Yet, we still don’t know all the details on how Doofus came to have these documents, why he started looking for them, and other facts. Hopefully there is not more Doofus-ness yet to be revealed, like why they sat on some of this until after the mid-terms?

A few other bombshells fell this week. Let’s start with Israel’s Supreme Court ruling against Interior Minister and Health Minister Aryeh Deri, appointed by Nut-and-yahoo despite Deri’s promise not to ever serve again after being found guilty of several tax law violations. As I write this post, over 100,000 Israelis are marching in protest of the administration, whose autocratic movements include reforming and restructuring the Supreme Court to give it less power over the Knesset and the executive branch. In Israel, since there is no dual legislative branch, no constitution, and only a Parliament with a slim majority to write laws, the only check on the power of that slim majority is the Court. Hence, the battle lines on Court reforms are wide and deep, and this decision, probably the right one, will only fuel both sides of the debate. Let’s hope things don’t get real ugly. The Court’s decision was based on a “reasonableness” clause inherited from England that basically holds officials, as trustees of the general public interest, responsible for being “reasonable” in their appointments. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will likely have to dismiss Deri from his cabinet posts by Sunday morning in order to comply with Wednesday’s High Court of Justice’s ruling against Deri’s return to ministerial office, or be in contempt of court.

Contempt of Humanity is how I would describe the Republican efforts to sabotage the US and World economy in order to make a point. This would be bombshell number 2, and while I think in times of increasing interest rates the debt our nation is carrying is a huge issue and not sustainable, the Russian Roulette exercise the Republicans are putting us through is shameful. Where were these morons when Trump lowered the Corporate tax rates and other supply side stupidity, leading to another $1 trillion increase in the debt! During the orange turd’s presidency, the national debt increased by $7.6 trillion! My guess is that spending by a Democratic led House contributed significantly to that debt, but please, spare us the horrible hypocrisy. So, rather than raising taxes or looking for ways to increase revenue, the Republican plan is to cut entitlement programs that are hugely popular. What a bunch of heartless morons.

I know, I know….stop venting and get to the good stuff. What about news for the Jews you may be asking? When do we get all that “carefully curated” stuff from The Forward, Times of Israel, Kveller, Jewish Boston, and other Jewy journals? Well, your wait is over. Here you go:

  1. Cancel that cancel! In a reversal, Harvard offered a fellowship to a critic of Israel. A media storm had erupted after Kenneth Roth, the former director of Human Rights Watch and a strong critic of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, had an offer for a fellowship at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government withdrawn. Now, Harvard is welcoming Roth and the  official who made the initial decision said he’d made a mistake. “I am sorry that the decision inadvertently cast doubt on the mission of the school,” he said in a statement, “and our commitment to open debate in ways I had not intended.” Read the story ➤
  2. Chicken soup has roots? The National Jewish Book Awards gave its top prize to a book about Black Jewish identity – Michael Twitty’s “Koshersoul,” a memoir and reflection on the foodways of Jews and African Americans, was named Jewish book of the year for 2022 —the first book by a Black American Jew to win the award. (JTA,Twitter)
  3. Meet the inventor of the abortion pill, who was a teenage gunrunner for the French Resistance during World War II and keeps works by Maimonides on his bookshelf. Étienne-Émile Baulieu faced comparisons to, you guessed it, the Holocaust, when he debuted his invention, including the accusation during a TV debate that it would “kill more human beings than Hitler, Mao Zedong and Stalin combined.”“You can’t say it’s like Hitler,” Dr. Baulieu exclaimed. “Don’t say things that would make me laugh if this weren’t a serious debate.” (New York Times)
  4. Antisemitic slogans and a swastika were projected on the sides of multiple Florida buildings over the weekend. The incidents in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach were the latest in a series of like antisemitic stunts that began in October. Authorities said the West Palm Beach incident had ties to an investigation in nearby Boca Raton, and Jacksonville politicians introduced emergency legislation aiming to address the issue. (WPTV,Yahoo,Florida Politics)
  5. Adolfo Kaminsky Dies at 97; His Forgeries Saved Thousands of Jews – His talent for creating realistic documents helped children, their parents and others escape deportation to concentration camps, and in many cases to flee Nazi-occupied territory. When he joined the anti-Nazi resistance at 18, his expertise enabled him to erase Jewish-sounding names like Abraham or Isaac that were officially inscribed on French ID and food ration cards, and substitute them with typically gentile-sounding ones. The forged documents allowed Jewish children, their parents and others to escape deportation to Auschwitz and other concentration camps, and in many cases to flee Nazi-occupied territory for safe havens. Click here for more.
  6. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the Biden administration is no longer prioritizing efforts to enact a new Iran nuclear deal. “The Iranians killed the opportunity to come back to that agreement swiftly many months ago,” Blinken said. (Times of Israel)
  7. The U.S. is sending arms to Ukraine via Israel, which holds a significant cache of American ammunition. Israeli leaders, who have been hesitant to risk damaging relations with Russia, expressed some concerns that the move might endanger their relationship with Moscow. (New York Times

That’s all folks! Hope you are having a great weekend! And hey, remember to be careful out there.

Brad out.

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