A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:
Irene takes its toll
The storm struck hard last weekend, killing at least 40, causing upwards of $7 billion in damage, and leaving many people along the Eastern seaboard without power. Inside the Jewish community, people were relieved Hurricane Irene wasn’t worse. But not everyone escaped the storm’s wrath - at least two Jewish people were killed in separate incidents in New York. Some Jewish weddings were forced to be postponed, while others went on with it. “A final mazal (and hearty thanks!) to all of you who have power post-Irene’s wicked PMS and are choosing to use it reading this here,” said Carrie Goldberg at Jewcy.
Glenn Beck’s rally fallout
Glenn Beck ruffled some feathers last week with his public rally in Jerusalem. The comment continues: “All entertainment goes in cycles and, for now at least, Beck seems to be in decline,” said Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice. Still, that didn’t stop him from running the event. “Lacking in chutzpah has never really been Beck’s problem—and in his speech on the night of Aug. 24, it certainly showed,” said Michael A. Cohen at Foreign Policy. Yet some walked away impressed with the man’s message. “Beck is rare, because he refuses to bow to the intellectual intimidation and groupthink that plagues the discourse on Israel in Israel itself and throughout the world,” said Caroline B. Glick in The Jerusalem Post. Or maybe this whole thing was just a “distraction” from what’s really going on.
Who should lead the GOP?
It looks like Republican Jews are more and more impressed with Gov. Rick Perry, which could help get him elected next fall. But he may still have to “soften the edges” and figure out how to better pander to these constituents when it comes to the much-debated topic of Israel. It could be Rep. Michele Bachmann who poses the biggest threat, though, as American Jews are confusing her for being Jewish, reported the New York Post. “Doesn’t every American Jew know that -mann names are invariably non-Jewish?” joked The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait. Some believe that this report was overblown, After all, “Jewish donors aren’t fools, and they know the candidate doesn’t share their faith,” said Margaret Hartmann at Jezebel.
A Nevada politician’s gaffe
Congressional candidate Kate Marshall last week sent her staff a memo that contained a list of reasons why it would be “useful” for the Democrat to support Israel, according to reports. Will this hurt her in her special election? She already had a tough road ahead of her, trying for a seat that hasn’t gone Democrat for decades. As far as gaffes go, this is truly bad, said Jadedbypolitics at Unified Patriots. “I know that humans are fallible,” the blogger said, but this is a “purely hateful and disgusting action.” It’s the fact that she needed these notes at all, said Moe Lane at RedState, that’s so bad. “’I’m sorry: the most reasonable interpretation of the situation is that this was to get Kate Marshall herself up to speed. Which is… an incredibly depressing, if at least mildly searing, indictment of the Democratic party leadership’s priorities.”
Israel woos Hollywood
Israel wants more movies shot there, so the country is promising better tax breaks, terror attack insurance, and handouts of up to $400,000 to bring more movie producers to the promised land. “It’s absurd. Movies set in Jerusalem are filmed in Malta, Morocco and Greece,” one Israeli film director was quoted as saying. Tel Aviv and Haifa are also working on similar tactics to get into the multi-million dollar business. But that might not be such a good thing, warned Dovid Efune at The Huffington Post. “Hollywood’s attention span is limited; a film never captures a complete picture, when the lone ranger rides off into the sunset, the happy couple embrace or the enemy is vanquished, and the credits begin to roll, what happens next is rarely explored, the viewers move on.”