Jewish Journal


December 6, 2012

This week in power: UN vote, Gay divorce, Campus antisemitism, Promiscuity study


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

Palestine state
The United Nations General Assembly last week voted to make Palestine a "non-member state" of the UN. "How can the world claim to be fighting terrorism when it has just declared that two terrorist regimes should enjoy sovereignty?" asked Morton A. Klein and Daniel Mandel in a Jewish Week editorial. On the other hand, said Williams Saletan at Slate, this is a necessary move. "Here’s how recognition works. You acknowledge the other state. You don’t tell it whether to be Jewish, Muslim, or Zoroastrian. Nor do you whine about Palestinians failing to call you a Jewish state, or failing to ensure that you’re named on every map, while you flagrantly withhold the same courtesy."  Some have questioned whether Israel's PR plan is very wise in general.

Divorce before marriage?
An Israeli court on Tuesday approved the country's first divorce to a gay couple, according to reports. What's complicated about the decision is that Israel doesn't allow for same-sex marriages. The issue comes up regarding those who conducted same sex marriages overseas and since 2006 Israel has honored those couples as legally married. "From my point of view, even if the state appeals and we have to keep going down this road, the verdict shows the beginning of the undermining of the rabbinate," one member of the couple told Haaretz. "I am very happy that we may have made a breakthrough."

Hatred on campus
Over the past week, a menorah at Northeastern University was vandalized and anti-Semitic propaganda was distributed in some Harvard College residences raising fears in Massachusetts and beyond. Northeastern caught the culprits and denied that the campus was heading toward intolerance. “Northeastern’s deep and abiding commitment to diversity in all its forms, including religious diversity, is unwavering,” the university’s president said. “This disturbing incident should be an opportunity to strengthen, rather than weaken, our dedication to this deeply important value.” Some hope that Jews will unite over these two terible incidents. "Anti-Semitism is unfortunately something that rallies Jews together, so one would expect that Jews who don’t have anything to do with Jewish organizations will suddenly come out of the woodworks to stand together," said blogger CollegeRabbi.

Are Jews easy?
A new study titled “Religion and Sexual Behaviors: Understanding the Influence of Islamic Cultures and Religious Affiliation for Explaining Sex Outside of Marriage,” has some people talking about the findings that Jewish people more than Muslims or other groups are more promiscuous. Jews reported not having sex before marriage at lower rates than Muslims, but still beat out Christians on the chastity hierarchy. "eople are confused – they do not understand why religion and society has historically forbidden a fun-filled lifestyle which doesn’t seem to carry any deleterious consequences," said one Muslim blogger.

Advice from Bubala
"Our friends Luis and Jaquaan are back, and this time they’re teaching you how to decorate your Hanukah bush. No, not that kind of bush! (But there are some cute mamacitas this time.)," said a Heeb blogger. The “Bubala Please" video series features two gangsters coming to terms with their Jewishness. Through a variety show. Or something. Not everyone is amused, though. "But the joke’s on us because Jaquann and Luis are merely mirror images of a Jewish community that infuses the celebration of Hanukkah with so much narishkeit, that the holiday, at least in America, has become the opposite of what it was supposed to be, a parody of itself. If Jaquann and Luis are ridiculous, we are doubly so. So go ahead and laugh American Jews. The joke’s on you," said a Jewlicious blogger.

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