Jewish Journal

This week in power: Livni, Putin, Soldier pic, Save the date

by Danny Groner

February 21, 2013 | 2:50 am

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

Livni appointment
Tzipi Livni is the first person named by Binyamin Netanyahu as a partner in a new coalition. Livni will be in charge of reviving the peace process with the Palestinians, according to reports. It comes as a surprise to some who believe these two are mismatched -- Netanyahu is much more fierce in his stance on the costs and chances of peace. Livni had retired from politics, and this position could be a good fit for her. "It is a relief to know that Livni will serve as justice minister. In her past stint in this role, during which she had a major feud with then-Supreme Court President Aharon Barak, Livni was sometimes right and sometimes wrong, but she was always a member of the enlightened crowd," said Dan Margalit at Israel Hayom.

Putin stands up
A furor popped up this week after Russian President Vladimir Putin sugested that a vast collection of Jewish books and documents would stay in Moscow's Moscow's new Jewish Museum. Russia's holding onto the Schneerson Collection to Chabad Lubavitch led a court to threaten them with a fine of $50,000 a day until it gives the collection back. Putin believes that the collection is property of the Russian state; he authorized the collection to be moved from the archive of Moscow’s Lenin Library to the new museum. “We might think this over, I’m ready to draft relevant instructions for the government, so that this library could be placed on the center’s premises,” Putin said.

Hungary list
The student council of the University of Budapest reportedly put together a list of students' presumed religion, ethnic background including Jewish origins, and political affiliation. It was composed by the HÖK student council from 2009. Jewish groups have requested that police investigate the case, since the registration of this information is forbidden under Hungarian law. Many Jews in general in the country are increasingly worried about their safety. “I tell my daughter she needs to find a way to leave Hungary and find a more stable place to live. If I am being honest, I cannot tell my children that Hungary will be a good place to live in the coming years. I tell them to prepare to leave at any moment,” a Hungarian documentary filmmaker told the Canadian Jewish News.

A soldier's image
An Israeli soldier was reprimanded this week after he posted a picture on Instagram showing the back of a Palestinian boy’s head in the cross hairs of a sniper rifle. "Yes, this photo should certainly spark outrage but so should the war crimes that precipitated it. In fact, I would argue that anyone surprised by the photo is absolutely clueless about what occupation and dominance over another people means," said blogger Raniak Halek. Others believe this goes beyond one soldier's error in judgment: "What does it mean that the Israeli army recruits a soldier, with a dubious history, who is stupid enough to post images of himself committing more criminal offenses?" asked Ali Abunimah at Electronic Intifada.

Bar Mitzvah celebration
One upcoming Bar Mitzvah boy takes Save the Date videos to the next level with his rap song and tour of "Hotlanta." "All we can say is: With that much effort going into a save-the-date video, this kid had better nail his Torah portion. Still, soon-to-be-a-man Daniel we say to you: Mazal tov, and well done!" said a Heeb blogger. Others were equally impressed. "I think I get this video. Daniel’s parent have a lot of money just kickin’ around, his college fund is already at maximum capacity. Daniel watched Rebecca Black’s videos a hundred times, and he was inspired," said blogger Hipster Jew. "I’m not gonna lie, the video is better than anything I’ve ever produced. His lines are better than anything I’ve written. But did he come up with this on his own?"

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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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