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This week in power: Kerry language request and NYPost headline

by Danny Groner

January 8, 2014 | 7:58 pm

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

'Jewish State' possibilities
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged world leaders to talk the Palestinian leadership into recognizing Israel as a Jewish State, according to reports. Kerry is inquiring about the feasibility that they could get that language used in any agreement between the two sides, per Israel's request. "In any event, if negotiations ever reach that far, Palestinians and Israelis can reassure each other with a clause in the final agreement providing that there will be no more claims by one on the other," wrote Bloomberg's editors. "And they can still find a way to separate into two states, the character of which will be defined not in a treaty but by their citizens and their laws."

Others played up the significance of the term. "The very fact that Abbas refuses to agree to this demand proves the point Netanyahu was surely trying to make in issuing it: That Palestinian leaders continue to entertain the fantasy that the Jewish state can be made, somehow, to disappear," said Damon Linker at The Week. Others were less enthusiastic. "The present Israeli government derives its identity in large measure from fear of what it is against, and so it has encouraged injustices like the settlements that it would never tolerate were it a victim of similar treatment," said Winslow Myers at the Huntington News.

A headline too far
People around the world were criticizing The New York Post for a controversial headline titled, "Who didn't want him dead?" about the Brooklyn real estate businessman who was found murdered over alleged debts he owed. "The Post‘s headline about Menachem Stark is outrageous, and I have no doubt that it would have been painful to see if Stark was someone you knew and cared about," wrote Kristin Iverson at Brooklyn Magazine. This is, sadly, par for the course for them. "We understand the tabloid’s attention-grabbing, often coarse style," countered the Jewish Week's editors. "But the headline focuses indignation against the victim rather than against the killers."

It's a matter of your taste, said Brad A. Greenberg at the Jewish Journal: "To be sure, I never read the paper. Its editorial judgment leaves much to be desired. And the treatment of Max Stark's murder is a poignant example. But it's not anti-Semitism. It also isn't likely to be influenced by reader outrage. That's just the Post."

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