A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:
South African campaign
An international campaign to free Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails has sparked outrage in South Africa partcularly over the Free Marwan Barghouti efforts. “Barghouti is not a political prisoner but a terrorist guilty of multiple crimes against humanity,” an opposing Jewish organization said. “As a leader of the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades, he was responsible for dozens of terrorist acts over a number of years.” Moreoever, another local group was upset this week after the International Relations Minister urged South African ministers not to visit Israel. Not everyone thinks that's a bad thing. "Life under South African apartheid reflected cruel and unusual punishment. Israel upped the stakes to an unprecedented level," wrote Stephen Lendman at The People's Voice. "It's unrelenting. It's unforgiving. It reflects longstanding ruthlessness writ large. Police states operate that way. Israel is one of the world's worst."
New Haven scrutiny
An address list and labels belonging to the Greater New Haven Jewish Federation "were used in a mailing" by mayoral candidate Toni Harp, according to reports. Tthe nonprofit group does not back candidates, and this usage gave off the impression that it was taking a political position. An investigation is underway to find out how Harp got ahold of the organization's materials and who authorized the endorsement. Harp's campaign manager quickly apologized, stating that the error may have been made by a volunteer. "While Harp has been the apparent frontrunner citywide during the current mayoral campaign, her campaign has visibly lacked support among Jewish voters in Westville, based on ward vote totals, the placement of lawn signs, and general word-of-mouth, along with extensive anecdotal observation," wrote Paul Bass at the New Haven Independent. "Harp, who is African-American and running to become the city’s first female mayor, enjoys broad African-American support, especially among black women." She wound up winning her election on Tuesday.