The Jew News Review – March 25, 2023 – “March Madness”

Shabbat shalom! And a tip of the Kipah this week to Ilana Dayan, considered to be the “Walter Cronkite of Israeli journalism”, who after 30 years of upholding an objective an unbiased view of events, used her voice of reason and truth to condemn Nut-and-yahoos judicial reforms that are being brute forced into law by his coalition of crazies. Dayan, who emigrated from Argentina to Israel so knows a bit about authoritarian governments, used her platform to make an emotional, but sensible appeal for the citizenry to continue their protests. She delivered her address one day after President Herzog’s compromise proposal was rejected by the Nut-and-yahoos. 

“And now, when there is no compromise in sight, ask yourself only one question: Will there be one thing – one – that the majority will not be able to do to the minority, after this move is completed.

Then imagine yourself in a minority, any minority.

And after you imagine, decide which side of history you want to stand on.

And what will you tell the children of the winter of ’23 one day?”

If you haven’t been following the events in Israel, things are moving fast, and in the wrong direction. Despite hundreds of thousands taking to the streets, international condemnation, opposition from most of the legal and business community and others, the march toward madness and a constitutional crisis continues. The first of the major laws is up for vote this coming week, and more protests are being planned. On top of all this madness, the week in Israel included the following headlines, which symbolize just how scary things are becoming. It reminds me of the old saying that “the inmates are running the asylum.”

  • Knesset repeals the disengagement law from land in Northern Sumeria, land which was evacuated in 2005 in order to accommodate a “land for peace” two state peace plan. The ruling leads to Biden recalling the Israel ambassador for a dressing down.
  • Finance Minister and Coalition Craziest Smotrich makes a speech in front of an Israeli flag claiming Jordan as part of Israel, and states that “there is no such thing as a Palestinian people”. Whoops.
  • Transportation Minister Miri Regev on Wednesday said in a speech that she did not like visiting Dubai and would not be going back to the city in the United Arab Emirates, which has been at the forefront of recent Israeli efforts to normalize ties with Arab nations. Speaking while wearing her diplomatic dunce cap she stated, “I’ve been to Dubai. I won’t be going back. I don’t like the place.”
  • Nut-and-yahoo personally steps in to pull a law passed by his crazies that would target Christian minorities. An article on Sunday by ALL ISRAEL NEWS first broke the story of the dangerous bill in which two ultra-Orthodox members of Knesset – Moshe Gafni and Yaakov Asher – were determined to outlaw anyone from sharing the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah in Israel, and punish violators with prison sentences.

All of these stories happened in the last 3 days! Alarm bells!

“Rally for Freedom” 12th week of protests as Coalition tees up first vote on judicial reform this week. Protesters declare a “week of disruption” ahead of the vote.

As Israel moves closer to it’s 75th anniversary, one has to wonder if the next 75 years will continue to show Israel as a beacon of liberal democracy, or something more resembling the monarchs or theocracies surrounding them. Or something more like the religious democracy emerging in Hungary. But, I continue to have faith in the Israeli people and so I continue to be hopeful that a peaceful compromise will prevail. 

So, what else is going on in the Jewish world you may be asking? What are some other gems of Jewy news from the streams of The Times of Israel, The Forward, Kveller, etc you may be asking? Ask, and ye shall receive:

  1. Defense minister said to warn PM he won’t back overhaul legislation in current form – This just in: During his much-publicized meeting with the prime minister Thursday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned Benjamin Netanyahu that he will not vote in favor of the bill to assert political control over the country’s Judicial Selection Committee if it is brought to a vote next week in its present form, according to a Friday report. This is big, and a first major crack in the crazies coalition. Gallant is a Likud member himself, and his concerns that continuing down the current path will break the military should make every Israeli nervous.
  2. From the “you can’t make this shit up” department: Kanye West says he likes Jews again after watching movie with Jonah Hill.  After a number of increasingly unhinged antisemitic rants last year, Kanye West has declared that he’s alright again with Jews after watching a movie with Jonah Hill. In an Instagram postSaturday, the rapper shared a promotional poster for “21 Jump Street,” a 2012 crime comedy in which the Jewish actor costarred alongside Channing Tatum.“Watching Jonah Hill in 21 Jump street made me like Jewish people again,” Ye wrote. “No one should take anger against one or two individuals and transform that into hatred towards millions of innocent people.”
  3. Despite missed Yom Kippur clue, Jewish studies professor is a three-day ‘Jeopardy!’ champ: Melissa Klapper, author of Jewish Girls Coming of Age in America, 1860-1920, won $59,100 in the shows that aired Monday through Wednesday. She told the Forward’s Adam Kovac that she doesn’t have “good hand-eye coordination” and thus was not first on the buzzer for that Yom Kippur clue. Which was: “Jon Stewart noted that while Lent is 40 days, Jews have this one day of atonement. ‘Even in sin, you’re paying retail.’” Klapper, who once wrote for the Forward, assured Kovac that she knew the right question. “I got so many emails from helpful, kind Jewish studies colleagues, offering to explain Yom Kippur to me,” Klapper said. “It’s all in good fun, but yeah, I got a lot of razzing.” Read the story ➤
  4. You think you have tsuris? 🇮🇱  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing corruption charges in an ongoing trial, vowed in a Thursday night television address to take a more active role in his government’s planned judicial overhaul. This morning, Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara informed Netanyahu that doing so would violate a conflict of interest deal he signed in 2020. (JTATimes of IsraelHaaretz)
  5. Of course they are: White supremacists are driving the jump in antisemitic incidents: The Anti-Defamation League’s annual report, just out this week, documents a dramatic escalation in antisemitic propaganda activity in 2022, bringing it to a level unprecedented in recent decades. Hateful banners, fliers, laser projections of swastikas onto buildings and similar hate-speech activities increased more than assaults, vandalism or any other form of antisemitism the ADL tracks. Read the story ➤
  6. Passover Prep News: A flame throwing Rabbi and price gouging at the car washMany Jews pour boiling water on countertops to clean them for the holiday. Rabbi Mendel Weiss, who leads a Chabad in South Florida, uses a blowtorch. In videos that went viral on TikTok, his process could be mistaken for someone clearing out Nazi bunkers on the beaches of Normandy. Weiss can clear six homes in one night this time of year, and also does big hotels. Asked if he takes any precautions, he said: “Well, I pray a lot.” Read the story ➤In other Passover-prep news, New York’s attorney general warned of potential price gouging at local car washes where Orthodox Jews flock to flee their vehicles of chametz. The consumer alert said some car washes have jacked up rates by as much as 50% and some are billing the higher prices as holiday specials. 
  7. An Exodus Story: How marshmallows became a kosher-for-Passover tradition:The Forward Culture Editor, Mira Fox, did not grow up eating marshmallows on Passover, so she was curious about how it became a thing. Diving into cultural history, she discovered a journey framed by immigration and innovation that, appropriately, involves its own exodus from Egypt. Read the story ➤

That’s all folks! I need to start ridding the house of chametz! And please, remember to be careful out there. And one more thing, enjoy the History of Rock video below. Clever way to use a guitar riff to capture the history of the genre, although I would have gone with “Aquarius: Let the Sun Shine In” by the Fifth Dimension for 1969. After all, according to the astrologists, this week Jupiter is aligned with Mars. 

Brad out. 


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