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April 7, 2011

This week in power: Goldstone, Obama, Facebook, Gadhafi

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/this_week_in_power_goldstone_obama_facebook_gaddafi_20110406/

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

Goldstone’s regret
“We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document,” said Richard Goldstone in a Washington Post op-ed last weekend. But Goldstone fell short of wishing the U.N. to nullify his report entirely. How’d the media react to this news? “A blood libel travels faster and can get even farther, and even a heartfelt mea culpa cannot call it back,” said Jeff Jacoby in The Boston Globe. The good news it that this revelation “restores some measure of moral equilibrium to Israel,” said David N. Myers in the Jewish Journal. And while it’s step in the right direction, “Goldstone’s belated change of heart does not absolve Israel of the need” to “be publicly transparent” and remain honorable in the eyes of the rest of the world, said a Jewish Daily Forward editorial.

Obama begins 2012 campaign - he’ll need the Jewish vote
As Republicans Mitt Romney and John Thune met with the Republican Jewish Coalition, Obama kicked off his re-election campaign on Monday with a video that featured, among others, someone with a mezuzah necklace. “While having little impact in terms of numerical votes, American Jews’ continued monetary support of Obama makes explaining the irrationality of that voting bloc extremely difficult,” said Lauri B. Regan at the American Thinker. Everyone is after the Jewish vote, though. “Israel is a powerful symbol among the white voters the Republicans must bring out to the polls if they want any chance of victory in ‘12,” said Ira Chernus at The Huffington Post. Let’s just keep the discussion civil, said The Jewish Week in an editorial. “Debate about Middle East policy is healthy, but maybe this would be a good year to dial down the rhetoric and to work especially hard to keep U.S. support for Israel from getting sucked into the maws of hyper-partisan political campaigns.”

Facebook sued over Palestinian intifada page
Last week, Facebook wiped the “Third Palestinian Intifada” page from its site because it made direct calls for violence, according to reports. But that didn’t apparently end the saga - Political activist Larry Klayman filed a billion-dollar, class-action lawsuit, claiming that the page put his life - and the lives of other Jews - in danger. Klayman’s made charges like this before, warned Amar Toor at Switched. “Accusing Mark Zuckerberg of profiting from an Intifada is very much within his strike zone.” Get used to these types of suits, said David Zax at Fast Company. This is “a madhouse glimpse into what might be a real future of legal and legislative wrangling.” Some, though, wonder if there’s something there: “Based on my non-professional legal opinion, I’d say the case has merit,” said Mike Pechar at The Jawa Report.

Wasserman Schultz, DNC chair
Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida was appointed the next chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. Among other things, Wasserman Schultz, who is Jewish, gives the president some much-needed lift in the Jewish community thanks to her “strong ties with Jewish groups,” reported The New York Times. The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC)‘s chair and president said in a joint statement that “Few people are better positioned to understand the interests of the American Jewish community-and to continue ensuring that they are reflected in all of the work of the Democratic Party They added: “We wish her a hearty mazel tov on her selection.”

Is Gadhafi Jewish?
Some have wondered if the Libyan leader is secretly Jewish, according to reports. NBC reported last week that “one in five rebels was fighting Gadhafi because he believes the leader is Jewish.” The rumors stem from a belief that Gadhafi’s mother was Jewish. Yeah, but “the same ‘fact’ surfaces from time to time about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” said Roger Kaplan at The American Spectator, and it “is significant only if it is taken seriously.” Don’t believe everything you hear.

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