A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:
RIP Benzion Netanyahu
Netanyahu, whose son Binyamin is the Prime Minister, died this week at the age of 102. The elder Netanyahu was a statesman in his own right. “As far as he was concerned, this was a nation that had no political understanding, political culture or political leadership. Perhaps, when he overcame his failings, Benjamin Netanyahu could be the statesman that the Jewish people was lacking,” said Ari Shavit in Haaretz. And we can learn a thing or two from him, commented Jeffrey Goldberg at Bloomberg. “Israel’s security depends in part on Benzion Netanyahu- style vigilance and militancy. But it also depends on recognizing that the Jews of today are not the Jews of 1938, and that Jewish history is not preordained to repeat itself forever.”
The latest American Jewish Committee survey has Obama with 61 percent of the Jewish vote and Mitt Romney at just 28 percent. Respondents said overall that they preferred Democrats ahead of Republicans on every issue posed. Jewish Americans have to weigh their religion with their patriotism. “Collaborationists who have put their ideas into practice universally suggest that associating with Christian conservatives has made them more Jewish, not less,” said Michael Medved at Commentary. “In that context, it’s no longer necessary to promote the idea that Jewish Americans must overcome their horror at Christian influence for the sake of Israel’s security. The stronger argument insists that evangelical Christians deserve our friendship and cooperation because they aren’t just good for Israel; they’re good for America.”
“For the French Jewish community, appalled by the murders in the Jewish school in Toulouse, one of the key issues is how willing each candidate is to fight the new anti-Semitism that has developed under the mask of anti-Zionism,” said Richard Prasquier at Haaretz. Socialist candidate Francois Hollande took the first round of the presidential election, an election that will resume May 6. “Some voices in the French Jewish community have suggested that a Jewish voice be heard in the National Front,” reported Maxine Dovere in the Algemeiner. One person quoted said, “my belief is that it’s natural to turn to [Marine] Le Pen when you’re Jewish. She fights crime and Islamism and that means she defends Jews.”
Delmon Young’s rant
Detroit Tigers’ outfielder Delmon Young, in a drunken rant, shouted anti-Semitic slurs outside of his team’s hotel in New York last weekend that earned him a 7-day suspension from the league. “It is a shame that the team that was home to the greatest Jewish hitter of them all and which was routinely attacked because of his faith, should be, at least for now, the home of an anti-Semitic player,” said Jonathan S. Tobin in Commentary. Maybe this angry man can use the time off, said a Yahoo! Network contributor. “He could have time away from the Tigers; occupying that time with constructive behavior would be wise. His incident was a PR nightmare, but it could turn into a story of a man who made a mistake, went beyond the normal realm of apology, and set a new standard for MLB.”
Google faces a lawsuit
Some anti-discrimination organizations are suing Google for distributing “unsolicited and systematic associations between famous people and their Jewishness” through the site’s auto-complete function, according to reports. “Google is vulnerable to this sort of lawsuit. The world ‘esroc’ doesn’t qualify as pornographic, violent, hate speech, or promoting copyright infringement – it simply harms a reputation. Nevertheless, Google had to pay a fine and remove it,” said Josh Wolford at WebProNews. “If you find yourself wondering what exactly the big deal is, it’s kind of a French thing. In a way, the whole thing seems to imply that association with the word ‘jewish’ is somehow negative, but that actually has nothing to do with it,” said Eric Limer at Geekosystem. “The real issue here is that France has laws that explicitly outlaw the compilation of ‘ethnic files’ so whereas it may just be distasteful to compile a list of celebrities by religion in the U.S. or elsewhere, it is illegal in France.”
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