A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:
New Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has a problem on his hands after a “deadly cross-border assault in the Sinai” that resulted in Israeli forces killing eight of the gunmen who tried to breach the border area. For their part, Hamas said that it was intended to disrupt Morsi’s new Islamist government. Mosi acted quickly, firing his intelligence chief on Wednesday and promised to get things back to normal after the attacks that left 16 Egyptian guards dead over the weekend. Will that be enough?
Latest on Iran
“Iran is more than a threat to a piece of geography called Israel. The Islamic Republic of Iran is the greatest threat to Jews to emerge in the past 70 years,” said Colbert King in The Washington Post. And there’s reason to worry, said Michael Young at The National. “The merits of the discussion are imposed by the stark reality that Iran, if it does indeed pursue nuclear weapons, will not be dissuaded from doing so whatever the political and economic pressures, assuming there is no change of regime. Nor will a military attack, Israeli or American, necessarily halt Iran’s nuclear programme, even if it delays it for a time.”
Back from his recent trip to Israel, Romney is stumping for the Jewish vote, an area his staff thinks Obama is weak, according to reports. “Romney needs to chip away at the different voting groups that helped Obama win. Obama needs to hang on to every single one. That’s why a brief detour to Israel makes all the sense in the world,” said Ana Navarro at Politic365. “Perhaps everyone should stop playing coy,” said Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post. “Obama couldn’t go to Israel because he’s wildly unpopular there (at one time, his approval rating was under 10 percent in Israel) and the last thing the U.S.-Israel relationship needed was for there to be protests, booing, etc.” He’ll have to find other ways to win back his Jewish constituents.
Even in the second week of Olympic play, some people are still fuming over Jacques Rogge’s decision not to honor the Munich 11 at this year’s Games. “Shame on you, IOC,” said Ankie Spitzer, widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer, who died in the 1972 attack. “You have forsaken the 11 members of your Olympic family. You discriminate against them only because they are Israelis and Jews.” Erica Morris agreed in her editorial in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “The tragedy happened on Olympic grounds and was a direct assault on the very ideal the games are meant to purport ; that differences can, from time to time, be put aside. For this reason, the Olympic Committee’s voice should have been loudest of all,” she said. But one gymnast rose to the occasion—Ally Raisman. Raisman’s performance to “Hava Nagila” rang true for many Olympic enthusiasts.
Perry Farrell announced this week that the musical festival will take Tel Aviv next year. “When I was (in Tel Aviv) last year, I saw an international music community that knew all about the music that we all listen to, and the artists weren’t traveling there,” Farrell said in a recent video interview. “It was an opportunity for us.” It will happen from August 20-22 in Yarkon Park. Farrell could run into some difficulties in lining up bands, some warn, as musicians have been criticized for their scheduled performances in conflict areas. Others are genuinely excited. “It looks like both this August and next one are going to be hot ones, and we’re not just talking about the weather,” said an Israelity blogger.