A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:
Ahead of Wednesday's Cardozo School of Law's Journal of Conflict Resolution event honoring President Jimmy Carter, some students and alumni at Yeshiva University protested Carter's selection as International Advocate for Peace award, arguing that he wasn't a supporter of Israel's. Not everyone agreed. "It is also worth noting that no president has done as much for Israel as Carter who saved countless Israeli lives by personally negotiating the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty," wrote MJ Rosenberg at Alternet. Still, some felt that the school could have made a better selection. "Yeshiva University is supposed to set the standard. The shuld be the architects of Jewish pride. You want to honor someone at Yeshiva University, how about a real Zionist like John Bolton or Jose Aznar? Or even Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld," wrote Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs.
Sharansky's Kotel plan
Natan Sharansky thinks he has the answer for people upset about the Western Wall plaza's splitting of men and women and enforcement of strict laws for both sides: Make an egalitarian prayer service available. The implementation of non-Orthodox practice would be the first of its kind at the holy site. This goes a long to make it "become a symbol of compromise and coexistence, instead of a source of hostility," said a New Jersey Jewish News editorial. "Wouldn’t that be an appropriate way to mark the 65th anniversary of Israeli independence?" Whether it can turn into a reality is left to be seen, but "Our hope is that leaders in both the diaspora and Israel can hold fast to the notion of One People in finding the path toward equal prayer for all at Judaism’s holiest site," said a Jewish Week editorial.
Yom Hashoah celebrated
The annual day of remembrance of the lives lost generations ago during the Holocaust came on Sunday, and it left some people reflective. "With countries like Lithuania and Latvia, who are among the main culprits in this regard, poised to take over the presidency of the European Union in the coming year, it is high time that Israel minimize the gap between Holocaust rhetoric and practical action on Shoah-related issues, and begin to take the threat of Holocaust distortion seriously," wrote Efraim Zuroff in The Jerusalem Post. Steohen Landman at The People's Voice reminds that people still suffer today, even if it's not at the same level as during WWII: "Life in occupied Palestine includes economic strangulation, poverty, unemployment, collective punishment, loss of fundamental freedoms, targeted assassinations, punitive taxes, stolen land and resources, Gazans suffocating under siege, separation walls, electric fences and border closings, curfews, roadblocks and checkpoints, bulldozed homes and crops, as well as arbitrary arrests, imprisonment, torture, and other ill-treatment."
On Yom Hashoah this year, a group of hackers at Anonymous attacked some Israeli government websites, but officials said the damage caused was minimal. "Anonymous could just as easily have attacked the day before Holocaust Memorial Day or the day after. The insults and the cyberbravado would have been the same. It just would have been a little bit more human," said Michael Peck at Forbes. "No matter how much they deny it, an attack on the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, timed to occur at the same time as the day of remembrance of the Holocaust, is not a pro-Palestinian or even anti-Israel action. It is the action of bona fide anti-Semites," added Gary Willig at Times of Israel.
There was a “considerable escalation in anti-Semitic manifestations, particularly violent acts against Jews,” according to a new report, which showed a 30-percent increase over 2011. The report highlighted the rise of extremist groups in Europe, like the Jobbik in Hungary and Golden Dawn in Greece. “We are reaching out to the leaders in Hungary and the EU and calling for the initiation of hearings in relevant committees, because this situation cannot continue,” said the President of European Jewish Congress.