Jewish Journal

This week in power: Bulgaria fallout, Jewish vote, Germany circumcision, Mindy Meyer

by Danny Groner

July 26, 2012 | 4:24 am

A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:

Post-blast Bulgaria
“We used to convene without a shred of fear in the Jewish community’s buildings,” said a Bulgarian in the aftermath of an attack on visiting Israelis last week. “I guess we had been unprepared. Things will have to change from now on. We thought something like this could not happen in Bulgaria.” And fears are spreading elsewhere, too, as Olympic officials in London are reportedly raising the terrorism assessment ahead of Friday’s opening ceremonies. Many are worried across the globe. “The aura of terrorism will grow. There will be new martyrs for the jihadist scrapbook. More streets to name in Jenin and Nablus. More posters for the walls of Gaza City and Tehran. Brave resistors. Liberating the land. Fighting the occupation. Striking a blow for Islam. One dead Jew at a time,” said Alex Ryvchin at YNetNews.

Jewish vote update
It’s hard to get a good read on where the Jewish pulse is when it comes to the election. “The polling shows that Jewish voters continue to approve of President Obama’s job performance and policies,” said a Hill report. “I am confident that President Obama shares our values and I shall confidently vote for him in November,” said Edgar Bronfman in an editorial. Yet the President is still campaigning hard to keep that support in place. “But Romney sees an opening in the administration’s failure to broker peace between the Israelis and Palestinians,” said Beth Reinhard at The Atlantic. Some believe it’s anyone’s game to win.

Circumcision flares up
Both Jews and Muslims are reportedly worried about “us vs. them” tensions emerging with secular Germans and religious minorities. This was in the wake of a German court in Cologne that ruled against non-medical circumcision. “It is hard to contest that as a fact – harm it is, wielded by a practitioner skilled in the arts of foreskin removal,” said one report. And bigger issues are at play here, too, said Manfred Gerstenfeld at YNetNews. “The important influx into Germany of Jews during the past decades gives many Germans a feeling that, despite the war past, democracy is functioning. A partial Jewish exodus because of a possible prohibition of circumcision is therefore far more problematic for Germany than for any other European country.”

Summer camp story
An article in The Daily Caller sparked both outrage and ridicule late last week after it exposed the reality of socialism at leftist Jewish summer camps. “I myself am a survivor of a Jewish summer camp, having attended Camp Tel Yehudah (TY) in upstate New York in the early 1980s. After reading the Caller’s chilling account of the red stain that continues to suffuse Camp Kinderland, I was overcome by painful memories of the horrible collectivism that pervaded my own camping experience,” said Jonathan Weiler at The Huffington Post. “Now that I think about it, there was a disproportionate amount of red in the tie-dye. And if the quality of athletics on display was any indication of our physical preparedness to serve our country in the future, then it’s possible we were a budding threat to national security,” added Ilya Gerner at Indecision Forever.

Vote Mindy Meyer?
Meyer hoped to be the first Orthodox Jewish woman to run for office in the New York State Senate, according to reports. She’s just 22, a law student, and taking on Democratic State Sen. Kevin Parker. Her lack of experience is made up for by her values and morals, according to her much-trafficked and scrutinized website. “I can tell you one thing, I have no experience in corruption,” said Meyer. Not everyone is laughing. “In all seriousness, it takes a lot of courage to run for office and I’m not entirely sure Meyer is any less qualified than the rest of the illustrious legislators in Albany based simply on her platform,” said Joe Patrice at Recess Appointment. Still she has her critics: “Meyer’s entire campaign philosophy seems to be based around pop culture,” said Mark Dommu at Heeb. Is that enough to run on?

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Danny Groner is a contributing writer to the Jewish Journal. He has worked in journalism since he was a teenager, starting off as an intern for a local publication. During his...

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