A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:
Hillary Clinton cropped
Hasidic newspaper Di Tzeitung removed Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason from an iconic photo of the Situation Room, prompting intense outrage that resulted in the paper’s editor apologizing for the editing. “It is disgraceful that they were cut out of this photo,” said Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld at FrumForum. Furthermore, “manipulation” like this, said Brad Hirschfield in The Washington Post, is against White House rules and “suggests some real problems with the paper and it’s readership which presumably supports such manipulation.” And it changes the way we record history, pointed out Rebecca Price at The Huffington Post. We should all “strive to present and teach an accurate depiction of historical moments, despite our personal beliefs.” The New Yorker’s Amy Davidson said it’s time for the paper to get real: “Di Tzeitung is based in Brooklyn. Women are pretty visible there, like it or not.”
Kushner gets his prize
City University of New York trustees on Monday reversed a decision and decided to grant an honorary degree for Tony Kushner. Kushner had previously had the honor taken away after concerns emerged over the playwright’s views on Israel. “It’s hard to argue the episode has been anything other than a public-relations defeat for the right-wing pro-Israel crowd,” said Justin Elliott at Salon. But some say this was the wrong decision. Would we “apply the same procedures to racists, homophobes, misogynists and all other bigots”? asked Isi Leibler in the Jerusalem Post. Let’s hope in the future, said a Jewish Week editorial, that Zionism’s advocates will “shed more light than heat in making their case.” But does Kushner really need another award anyway? joked Vanity Fair’s James Wolcott: “I mean, it’s not as if Tony Kushner has gone un-awarded in his career, a victim of cold neglect. The last thing we should be doing is giving him an opportunity to make another speech.”
Eying the 2012 election
Jewish Republicans are turning a cold shoulder to Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, according to the JTA. The topic of Israel remains a central campaigning issue, and it came up in last week’s first GOP debate. With Newt Gingrich’s entry into campaign waters on Wednesday, some expect the former Hosue Speaker to appeal to Jewish swing voters, reported The Jewish Week. Who will get the Jewish vote this season?
Discussing bin Laden
Religious leaders took to the pulpit last weekend to address their worshipers with peaceful prospects in the wake of bin Laden’s death. Jews around the world voiced these lessons. “The demise of no single man solves the problem of terrorism or of intolerant and radical Islamic fundamentalism,” said Shoshana Bryen at the Jewish Tribune. “In the final analysis, the greatest struggles humanity faces are not among nations, peoples or religions, but between the fanatic and the tolerant, said Rob Eshman in the Jewish Journal. “Those two types cross all borders and religions.” Israel still has enemies of its own to deal with, said Gary Rosenblatt in The Jewish Week, and we have to re-evaluate our approach now. “Dialogue and diplomacy are in order when there is a basis for compromise. But as Hamas has made brutally clear, that is not possible in this case —unless the issue is Israel’s national suicide.”
JDate goes to the movies
The dating site is sponsoring a Jewish Film-of-the-Month Club that will offer a Jewish-themed feature film pick to subscribers. “A shidduch, however, is probably not guaranteed with a Jewish Film of the Month Club subscription,” joked Michael Kaminer at The Jewish Daily Forward. This is “great news” for those who “enjoy the convenience and ease of Netflix but are disappointed by its undefined religious affiliation! said Amos Barshad at New York.