Jewish Journal


March 22, 2012

This week in power: France attack, Mittzkrieg, Sandra Fluke, Backstreet Boy


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

France shooting
During a shootout Thursday, French police killed the suspect accused of being the gunman who reportedly filmed his attack of a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, that left three children and a rabbi dead. French Jews are scared that another attack might be on the horizon. “There can be no copycats of Toulouse here in this country. Attacks that specifically target and kill Jewish children are so abhorrent and unthinkable that they paralyze a community’s ability to function and thrive,” said Paul Goldenberg at JTA. It has left Europe and the entire world on high alert that another terrorist may strike elsewhere, said Heather Horn in The Atlantic. And with evidence that the man was Muslim, said Marc Tracy at Tablet, Israel may have to get involved. “I find it extraordinarily distasteful to alter my calculus for the whims of anti-Semitic murderers, but on the other hand, Israel was created in part to deny anti-Semitic murderers, and if the potential for anti-Semitic murder is allowed to factor in favor of a strike, I don’t see why it shouldn’t also be allowed to factor against one.”

Axelrod’s comments
Obama adviser David Axelrod caught flak for his choice of words this week after he called Mitt Romney’s ad campaign in Illinois as “the Mittzkrieg” on Twitter. The comment insinuated a comparison between Romney’s efforts to distance himself from Rick Santorum and the blitzkrieg, a military strategy used by the Nazis during WWII. “It’s just worth pointing out: a) two can play at that game; b) you know who else had a neatly combed moustache and a dangling forelock; and b) with a little trimming and a slight darkening of Axelrod’s care-grayed whiskers, the truth really comes out,” said Tim Cavanaugh at Reason. But not everyone thought it was such a big deal. “Referring to it is not referring to the Holocaust. This is a bit like taking offense to someone mentioning ‘the Desert Fox’—too soon!” joked Slate’s Dave Weigel.

Sandra Fluke’s Jewish boyfriend
Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown grad student who burst onto the political scene earlier this year over the birth control debate, has a Jewish boyfriend. And his ties have some conservatives wondering about whether the whole controversy was set up. “Those who participate in these smears cannot stand anyone from a group that isn’t white, Christian and male asserting him or herself, being successful, or standing up to oppression,” said Sarah Seltzer in The Jewish Daily Forward. “Oh my god! Not only are these rich, socialist, college-lovin’ Jewish Jews rich, socialist and college-lovin’, but they’re actually concerned with helping others? You are so busted, Ms. Fluke! Gotcha!” mused Kalli Joy Gray at Daily Kos.

Seatte cancels event
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict landed in Seattle this week as the city’s commission that represents gays canceled a City Hall visit for a visiting delegation of Israeli gay leaders, according to reports. The delegation is traveling to other West Coast cities this week, but only Seattle cut them out of the agenda. It came amid pressure from protesters who cite Israel’s poor treatment of Palestinians based on its positive record on gay rights, known as “pinkwashing.” “This is absolutely absurd from any perspective. Israel is one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world,” said Ben Shapiro at Breitbart.com. “They deserve as much contempt, opprobrium and rotten fruit as one might toss at those who congratulate themselves for boycotting Jews,” said one blogger. “No word from the religious fundamentalist Sunni radicals at Hamas or Islamic Jihad on whether they appreciated the show of solidarity from Seattle’s gays,” said another.

Backstreet Boy tour
Backstreet Boys singer Howie Dorough is headed to Israel soon and he’s inviting his fans to come along with him. He will perform at the Sea of Galilee, go clubbing with the group, and join them for some tours of famous sites during the 10-day trip. “What could be better than enjoying homemade hummus with Howie?” asked Amber Katz at MTV.com. But it might not be all that it’s cracked up to be, worried one blogger. “The last reason why I’d be hesitant to do this trip is that it seems very Christian-focused and I’m not Christian. I’m afraid I wouldn’t really be able to get nearly as much out of it.”

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