Jewish Journal

This week in power: Turkey claim, Ethiopia, Braun allegation, Topless shoot

by Danny Groner

August 21, 2013 | 8:14 pm

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

Erdogan again
Turkey's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel this wek of being behind the ouster of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, according to reports. "If the Muslim Brothers and Erdogan were not capable of inflicting so much damage on the region and the rest of the world, we could laugh at these silly theories. As it is the West cannot afford itself that luxury. Erdogan and Morsi’s henchmen have to be stopped," said Michael van der Galien at FrontPage Magazine. Meanwhile, a travel warning has been issued for Jews planning to go to the region.

Ethiopia mission ending
This month marks the end of the Jewish Agency's mission to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel. Tens of thousands have come as part of the program that will end on August 28. “Jews lived in Gondar for 2,500 years, however their longing to return home never weakened,” Chairman Natan Sharansky said at the ceremony. “Today we bring to an end a journey that spans thousands of years — the conclusion of Operation Wings of a Dove." "As with so many aspects of the Ethiopian aliyah saga, the remaining issues are poignant, complex and bitterly disputed," wrote The Jewish Week in an editorial. "But while it is still too early to step back and assess the full impact of this difficult aliyah, with all of its high-profile drama and quiet suffering, it remains a vivid proof of Israel’s ongoing commitment to fulfill the Zionist mission of the ingathering of the exiles, however imperfect it may be."

Coversion controversy
Some Jewish leaders are up in arms over a million-dollar campaign by California businessman Tom Cantor to convert Jews to Christianity. The group's message is that Jews can accept Jesus as the messiah and remain Jewish. Cantor is going after areas that are known to be overpopulated with Jews, in this case suburban Maryland. Cantor was born into a Jewish family and he told the Baltimore Sun, "I am a Jew, I love my people. ... I don't want any of them going to hell" because they have not accepted Christ.

Braun speaks out
Suspended Major League Baseball player Ryan Braun reportedly stated that the man who collected his urine sample, Dino Laurenzi Jr., was a Cubs fan and an anti-Semite. "For Braun to make the allegation without providing any evidence is shameful: On the one hand, arguably slanderous; on the other hand, cheapening of whatever anti-Semitism actually still does exist in baseball, in sports, and in the world," wrote Marc Tracy at Tablet. It's going to be hard to back this claim up, but there should be an investigation, many say. "Overt prejudice is easy to prove; implied prejudice is not," said James E Causey at JSOnline.com.

Polish shoot
Photographer Lukasz Szczygielski apologized for "conducting a photo shoot with a half-naked model at the Jewish cemetery in the southern Polish town of Checiny," reported JTA. "I wanted to draw attention to the neglect of the place. The cemetery is forgotten," he told Gazeta Wyborcza. People from the Jewish community there expressed outrage over how the Jewish cemetery was bring used. The cemetery has been around since the 1600s and around 150 tombstones are located there.

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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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