A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:
Romney’s Florida win
Mitt Romney gained a new head of steam with his win in the Florida primary on Tuesday thanks in part to the state’s large Jewish population. But hold up before accepting that as the sole reason, warned Reuters. “If anything, it’s Republican arguments on the U.S. economy - not Israel - that might win more favor with Jewish voters here come the general election in November.” It may not matter in the long run, said Alex Koppelman at The New Yorker, since Jews everywhere tend to vote Democratic in general elections. That doesn’t stop Jews from investing heavily in the elections, though, said Steven F. Windmueller in the Jewish Journal. “How important is Jewish financial support for political campaigns? While it is difficult to quantify the sources of all contributions, there is significant evidence that Jews play a major role in underwriting candidates and supporting both political parties.”
Romney’s pork problem
Romney, it was revealed, voted against a $600,000 package of funds for poor Jewish nursing-home residents to get kosher meals, according to The New York Post. Newt Gingrich seized on it and pointed to Romney’s insensitivity to the Jewish people’s needs. “Mind you, for Gingrich’s last, desperate stand, it seemed a long shot that many Republican voters in Florida would care that in the course of cutting the Medicaid budget (something they of course love), some Jews in Massachusetts had to have kosher meals brought in rather than prepared in their nursing homes,” said Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches. “If anything, this was probably more of an oy gevalt moment for Gingrich, who, after making the claim on the campaign trail, subsequently denied knowing that his campaign dispatched a robocall claiming Romney ‘forced’ Holocaust survivors to “eat non-kosher.” And, “politically it was boneheaded of him to target a population that he dearly needs to woo. Stay tuned as we keep you in the loop with ongoing election year news—including the latest political goofs, gaffs and gambits as they relate to long-term care—in what’s sure to be a rough and tumble election season,” said Patricia Sheehan at Long-Term Living.
Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache of Vienna is under fire for comments he made defending a fancy party being held that was met with some protest. Strache compared the violence to Kristallnacht. “We are the new Jews,” Strache declared to other ball guests. “The fact that the ball had been organized for the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945 was seen as a provocation by many on the left,” the Global Post reported. Officials are urging Stache to apologize for his remarks.
Super Bowl Sunday
Who should you root for on football’s biggest night? This year’s teams have some Jewish ties to them, following in the footsteps of the past. Both teams’ owners give you good reason to cheer them on, too. “On Sunday we will gather with friends and family, serve lots of food, and, in a ritual shared by millions, root for over-achieving underdogs to defeat their historical rival. You know — like every Jewish holiday,” joked Ron Kaplan in the New Jersey Jewish News.
Prime minister show
The granddaughter of the late Yitzhak Rabin is the creator of a new Israeli show called “The Prime Minister’s Children.” ““The most interesting thing about being the daughter or son of a prime minister is the price you pay, willingly. In a normal family, in your teens, your mission is to rebel, but here, at that crucial stage, you defend your father. In politics you are a soldier of a political camp, and above all you are loyal,” Noa Rothman told The New York Times. “But if you expect insights into Rabin’s life, you’d be disappointed,” said The Jewish Week’s Eric Herschthal. “The fictional P.M. the show follows is a right-wing conservative, worried about his own political survival above all.” A far cry from reality.