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October 4, 2012

This week in power: Presidential debate, Bibi at the UN, Texan prison, Sam Jackson

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

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Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder

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

First presidential debate
Although the first Romney vs. Obama faceoff on Wednesday dealt with domestic policy, the idea of the two men matching wits brought out some strong feelings on a raneg of topics, including their policies towward Israel. "Overall, Israel’s standing in the US today is at an all-time high. Yet, the Democratic Convention spotlighted the emergence of a hostile anti-Israeli component of the party which threatens to undermine the long-standing bi-partisan support of Israel exemplified by the standing ovations Netanyahu received during his May 2011 address to Congress," said Isi Leibler in The Jerusalem Post. And people are coming out in support of Romney. "Pure logic dictates that the proper place for American Jews is the Republican Party that is represented now by the decent man and talented entrepreneur Mitt Romney—the party of citizen’s liberty, growth of national wealth, capitalistic entrepreneurship, mighty military, moral rectitude, and strong defense of Israel," said Alexander Levkovsky in the Canadian Free Press.

Bibi takes the UN...
"When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled out a cartoon drawing of a bomb during his speech to the 67th United Nations General Assembly Debate on Sept. 27, the world laughed. But I didn’t," said Rob Eshman in the Jewish Journal. "What Netanyahu did achieve was to draw world attention to those dangers, and what they represent to U.S. security, as he has done, almost single-handedly, for many years now," added a Jewish Week editorial. And that's worth taking seriously, no doubt. There's more to pay attention to than just a cartoon bomb.

...but turns into a meme
Just as fast as Netanyahu showed up at the UN last week he became the face of a popular meme. "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (or should I say Bib E. Coyote?) had a lot of people worldwide holding their stomachs with laughter as he held his Looney Tune ACME bomb above the UNGA podium," joked Ami Kaufman at 972Mag. "He insulted the intelligence of his audience (not just his audience in the hall, which quite frequently deserves to have its intelligence insulted, but his worldwide audience) and he turned the most serious issue facing the world today into something of a joke. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the impact of the bomb cartoon -- it is true that everyone is talking about it, after all. But not in a good way," said Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic.

Texas prison
A jailed Jewish man in Texas has asked authorities to provide him with kosher meals, according to reports. Max Moussazadeh has been serving 19 years already for murder, and he's said that the prison won't accommodate his special dietary needs. "Wonder if AG Abbott will take up this case of religious persecution? He is, after all, a champion for all those who’s faith has been disenfranchised. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ve suddenly got a hankering for some macaroons," said a Beaumont Enterprise blogger. "If Jewish prison cuisine is designed to kill the criminal as quickly as possible, one wonders how someone in an American jail could claim to have a religious need for kosher food. Can the American taxpayer really be expected — in the name of liberalism and understanding — to be more tolerant of of this so-called religious requirement than the rabbis who codified the laws would have been?" asked Menachem Wecker in the Houston Chronicle.

Jackson lends a voice
Samuel L. Jackson first provided theatrics for a reading of the popular kids' book "Go the F-- to Sleep." Now, he's helping the Jewish Council for Education and Research with "Wake the F-- Up" to rouse Obama supporters to the polls. "It screens like a political ad, but Jackson’s (and ultimately Little Suzie’s) profane interventions just might jolt voters/viewers out of their apathy and their nonplussed malaise – unfortunate results of the political fatigue that the current election cycle has been so adept at producing," said James Braxton Peterson at The Grio. Not everyone is laughing, though: "We don’t need profanity from Samuel L. Jackson to wake up the Jewish community on Jewish issues. Shame," said Ronn Torossian at The Algemeiner.

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