A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:
The Israel question
On Saturday night during the latest Republican presidential debate, Gov. Rick Perry proclaimed, “Every country would start at zero” when it comes to foreign policy. And Mitt Romney agreed. But some Israel supporters worried what that meant for the small country. “The question of foreign aid is one that needs and deserves serious discussion, not self-aggrandizing political pandering, but don’t look for any of that in this or any election year,” said Douglas Bloomfield in The Jewish Week. What’s this mean for the campaign? Chemi Shalev at Haaretz was disappointed overall: “The debate on foreign policy was one of the most disjointed and unfocussed of all the debates held so far, interspersed as it was by those surrealistic interludes in which the fringe candidates with the least chances of winning…were more restrained and rational than the recognized leaders of the pack.”
Netanyahu mic fallout
What’s changed since Sarkozy and Obama were caught talking about Netanyahu last week on an open mic? Well, everyone has apparently made up. “It’s true that Netanyahu is an often ornery and disagreeable man—witness the condescending public lecture he gave Obama in the Oval Office earlier this year. But it’s also true that he has on occasion bent to Obama’s will,” said Jeffrey Goldberg at Bloomberg. But Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post wasn’t as forgiving. “It’s time for pro-Israel liberals to be honest: This president’s animus toward the Jewish state is so evident that only a foolish prime minister would trust him with the survival of the Jewish state. And Netanyahu is no fool. Surely Goldberg could concede both these points?”
Bill Nelson’s whodunit
An Islamic activist who has called Israel a “terrorist state” tried to make a $500 donation to Florida Sen. Bill Nelson at an Oct. 22 fundraiser, but it was rejected. Or so they say. There’s no ways to know who is telling the truth, but in a state with such a strong Jewish population, Nelson is treading carefully. “It’s a completely bogus political charge,” said a Nelson spokesman. “Bill Nelson through his entire life has been an unwavering supporter of Israel. This is a xenophobic political smear.” Florida remains an important state for the Democrats to keep happy heading into election season.
sraeli researchers working on a cancer vaccine just started Phase III clinical trials at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem, according to reports. It is being tested against a type of blood cancer known as multiple myeloma. This is just the latest medical advance performed by Israelis, said Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs. “There are a 12 Million Jews in the world, and yet they have received 192 Nobel Prizes. The Muslims number 1.4 Billion ... or 117 times the number of Jews!” Is the next one on its way?
Pros join Israel baseball
Former MLB players Shawn Green, Brad Ausmus, and Gabe Kapler have joined the Israeli team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic which could help the sport grow overseas. “None of the three ruled out playing, but they say they would help in any way they could, which could include managing, coaching, recruiting, and fundraising. Kapler embarked on a managing career in the minors before resuming his playing career. The WBC tournament, which was won by Japan in 2006 and 2009, would allow American players, who are eligible for Israeli citizenship, to play even if they are not actual citizens,” said Les Levine in the Cleveland Jewish News. But there are even better players to be had, like Kevin Youkilis, said a blogger at Yahoo! Sports. “Just because they’re Jewish doesn’t mean they’ll automatically be up for playing on this theoretical WBC team.”