Jewish Journal


September 13, 2012

This week in power: Conventions fallout, Germany future, Netanyahu snub, Estonia ad


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

Election update
A recent poll shows that Romney has made "inroads" toward cutting into Obama's lead among Jewish voters. Though Romney still does have a ways to go to win in November. A lot can change between now and then, said Steven Windmueller in The Jewish Week. "We ought not to be surprised to find letters to the newspaper and the presence of campaign ads and endorsements in our mail box, focusing on our vote as Jewish Americans." At the same time, some are calling for the candidates to show exactly what they intend to do over the next four years, if elected. it's hard to make headway.

Are German Jews safe?
"Has being Jewish in Germany become harder and more complicated, if not impossible? Is the Germany of 2012 no longer a country in which Jews can feel at home?" asked German paper Der Spiegel. Some recent events make it seem like Jews aren't welcome there, some say. "Muslims in Germany walk hand in hand with Jews for the right to have their babies circumcised. But will they take to the streets for the right of other Jewish practices, elsewhere?" asked a Hurriyet Daily News editorial. At the same time, some leaers are asking people to calm their fears and to accept that a majority of people have no issue with Jews living among them.

Was Netanyahu rejected?
Reports that Netanyahu requested a meeting with Obama and was promptly turned down sent the blogosphere into a frenzy on Tuesday. But Israeli officials say that the alleged request never took place, according to reports, and that the two world leaders had spoken on the phone. Nevertheless, there was time for commentators to chime in on the perceived problem. "It's all very fluid at the moment. In any event, I suspect that, if Obama wins re-election, this tension between the two men will only increase the chances that he then moves quickly toward what may well be a gettable deal with Iran," said Robert Wright in The Atlantic. Others also worry about Iran. "The Administration's diplomatic rebukes to Israel are also telling Iran that it is that much freer to move ahead with its nuclear plans. If Israel does strike Iran, Mr. Obama's mishandling of our ally will be a major reason," said a Wall Street Journal editorial.

Estonian's controversial ad
An Estonian newspaper apologized this week after it published "a mock ad depicting emaciated prisoners at a Nazi concentration camp," reported the The Times of Israel. The ad was for weight-loss pills and was intended to be funny. "It was published on our jokes page. I think people living in other cultural environments than ours just don't understand it like we do," Sulev Vedler, deputy editor of Eesti Ekspress, said originally. While much of the world is relieved to hear the apology, some wonder whether the editors really fully understood why the ad was so offensive in the first place.

Skinny Jeans under fire
A group of Haredi rabbis' newest decree outlaws the wearing skinny Jeans...for men. The pants are deemed too tight to “uphold the sanctity of the camp,” according to an issued letter. “The clothes of a person are an indication of his character.” Bloggers joked. "This does not bode well for jeggings," said Rikki Novetsky at Jewcy. "You heard it. Can’t do what the gentiles do. If they start wearing hats to be ironically fashionable, you gotta stop wearing hats. If they start wearing underwear, you gotta stop. Everyone knows a good Jew does the opposite of those goyim. I damn you skinny jeans TO HELL," said blogger Hipster Jew.

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