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Jewish Journal

This week in power: Syria, Moscow mayor, Egypt, MLK anniversary

by Danny Groner

August 28, 2013 | 11:15 pm

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

Syria escalates
"As the United States prepares for a possible military attack against the Syrian government over its alleged use of chemical weapons, Israeli leaders are making it clear that they have no intention of standing down this time if attacked," reported the Los Angeles Times. Israelis are lining up for gas masks as a result. And if Israel retaliates, it could be devastating, said Nahum Barnea in The New York Times. "In the past, Israel respected the Assad dynasty for its stability and credibility. But events in Syria have made it clear that the man in Damascus is not abiding by the same rules any more. Israel cannot rely on him. But Israel shouldn’t intervene, and it won’t. Nobody expects Israel to, nobody has asked it to, nobody would thank if it did."

Mayor's miscue
Alexei Navalny, a candidate for Mayor of Moscow in the upcoming election, has drown scowls after he stated that he will "make the first toast for the Holocaust" and stated on his blog that "whoever wants to live in Russia has to become Russian – in the full sense of the word." Since the comments came out, he has apologized and has said that he was miquoted. This is just the latest incident in the region that has some local Jews fearful of what's to come.

Egypt status
With the unrest in Egypt, some Jewish citizens are worried, according to reports. "Israel should wish for the Arabs not bloody military coups, but the same pluralist democracy it has built for itself — in which religious fundamentalists are accommodated and appeased, and certainly not oppressed and massacred by tyrants in uniform," wrote Mustafa Akyoi at Al-Monitor. "The Obama administration must realize that the so-called 'Arab Spring' was subverted by the MB, which imposed their intolerant and extremist ideology on Egypt and the rest of the Arab Middle East. The Obama administration’s support for the MB government, because it was 'democratically elected' is a fallacious argument," said Joseph Puder at Frontpage Mag.

Archive opening
The National Archives is putting together an exhibit of Iraqi Jewish artifacts set to open this fall. Afterward, the U.S. will return the Iraqi Jewish archives to Iraq. "What possible justification is there for turning over Jewish documents to bigoted sociopaths like this?" asked Daniel Greenfield at Frontpage Mag. "The Iraqi government does not need Jewish books it cannot read. It does not need to victimize Iraqi Jewish refugees one last time. It refuses to do the honorable thing and return these items back to the Jewish communities they were stolen from, but that does not stop us from doing the right thing. Property stolen from Iraqi Jewish communities should go back to them."

MLK memorialized
Wednesday marked the 50th annversary of the March on Washington, and the anniversary brought out some tributes from within the Jewish community as well. "Today, we await the appearance of a new generation of leaders — black and white, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim — who can resume King’s journey toward justice and lead us all closer to a land and world of promise," wrote Rabbi Abraham Cooper at the Jewish Journal. Others agreed with that sentiment. "We have to remember that true freedom can only ever be fully realized when all around us share the same rights and privileges that we now enjoy. Whether they choose to love or hate us afterwards is their problem, not ours. We have to remain true to the basic values of freedom and equality which are at the root of the Jewish experience," said David Newman at The Jerusalem Post.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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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