A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:
Nakba Day violence
Nakba Day protests left at least 15 demonstrators dead on Sunday, including four who were shot after they breached Syria’s border. President Obama is slotted to address the Mideast conflict later this week, beginning with a highly-anticipated speech on Thursday morning. Obama “should stress that, by killing protesters, Netanyahu’s government is taking Israel farther and farther from the security it needs,” said a Boston Globe editorial. No, the president should make it clear to the Palestnians and everyone else that they need to “stop demonizing others and learn to preserve their own national stories,” said Gil Troy in The Jerusalem Post.Violence and deaths don’t convey that, said Bradley Burston at Haaretz. Let’s look to the future instead of the past, said an editorial in The National. “2011 is not years past - the Arab Spring, the futility of recent negotiations with Israel and, most importantly, renewed resolve among Palestinians offer a chance to break with history.”
Glenn Beck’s Israel rally
Glenn Beck will once again host a rally this summer, but instead of Washington, D.C. this year he has chosen to hold the event in Jerusalem. Hew details are out about the August “Restoring Courage” rally, but many are already excited about it. Beck “has been a singular voice of late in the defense of Israel,” said Pamela Geller at American Thinker. “I am very happy to see someone with a huge voice taking a stand and speaking out for the good and for righteousness.” What makes this event “so important,” said Michael Freund at The Jerusalem Post, is that it “promises to be an expression of faith, a call to defy the prevailing notion that Good and Evil are purely subjective terms.” It has the power to unite. Still, not everyone is as excited. The Atlantic‘s Conor Friedersdorf said that the commentator is in this for himself and his brand, not for the promise of peace. “Beck shouldn’t be followed to Jerusalem. Or anywhere else.”
Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest
“Just weeks ago, Dominique Strauss-Kahn worried aloud that his Jewish identity would be exploited during France’s upcoming presidential campaign,” reported The Jewish Daily Forward. Strauss-Kahn, who was arrested this week in New York on charges of rape, has strong ties to the Jewish community in France. “It is very painful for us,” said the vice president of the Sarcelles Jewish community, as quoted in The Jerusalem Post. “I know him well. I’ve even seen him seduce a woman, but it was always with gentleness.” As for the rest of us, “We feel something when one of us is elevated, or implicated. We can’t help it,” said Rob Eshman in the Jewish Journal. Some had more of a sense of humor about the entire thing. Scott at PowerLine joked, “Dominique Strauss-Kahn—not Jewish. Hey, his name is Dominique.”
Dan Adler’s campaign ad
Dan Adler, an entertainment executive who hired Sean Astin as his campaign manager, ran ads late last week saying “send a Mensch to Congress.” Well, he didn’t quite make it, bringing in just 285 votes, or 0.5 percent, in the primary election. “It might seem gimmicky, but Adler’s operation is pure Hollywood – an industry that flourishes by blending art and smart business,” said Tim Stanley in The Telegraph. Adler even got Charlie Sheen to tweet a last-minute endorsement.
Reform Jews are rich
Of all the major religions, Reform Judaism has the wealthiest members, according to The New York Times. Pew data reveals that 67 percent of Reform Jewish households made more than $75,000 a year. Conservative Jews finished third, behind Hindus. Not enough people were polled to find any real statistics, said Ira Stoll at The Future of Capitalism - “the margin of sampling error for the income questions (which usually get a higher number of non-responses anyway) is probably so high that the distinctions between ‘most affluent,’ ‘second,’ and ‘third’ are statistically meaningless.” What’s interesting, said Jason Diamond at Jewcy, is that “Orthodox Jews are nowhere to be found” on this list. But that, it turns out, is because the sample size was too small.