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May 28th

Editorials

Obama to Sony: Don’t cave. Amen... up to a point

Sony Pictures was hacked, apparently by North Korea for making a stupid comedy, “The Interview,” about an assassination attempt on the leader of North Korea.

Assassinations should not be the subject of comedies. The assassination of a murderous dictator may be justified, but making a comedy out of such a matter is not.

The thing is, in a free society, one is allowed to be stupid. That’s what North Korea does not understand. President Obama hit the nail on the head when he said that Sony made a mistake when it said it would not release the movie. “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States, because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary they don’t like, or news reports,” Obama said. Amen.

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Big Brother is watching the police, who’s next?

Let the message go forth from this time and place, police in America are no longer trusted, and no longer trustworthy. They need to be watched, literally, every moment they are on duty. Big Brother, in the form of tiny but effective cameras, must watch, literally, their every interaction with the public. Item: Charles Kondek, 45, a 17-year veteran of the Tarpon Springs, Florida police department, was shot and killed Dec. 21 by a fugitive trying to evade a warrant. Marco Antonio Parilla, Jr., 23...
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Chanukah is not a ‘minor’ holiday

In the context of the winter season, or of the “December dilemma,” Jews often say that Chanukah is a “minor” holiday. Apparently, the characterization is meant to stand in contrast to the “major” holiday of Christmas. Chanukah marks the triumph of loyal Jews over those who assimilated into ancient Greek culture. What’s minor about that? Chanukah marks the miraculous continuation of the service in the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem — the discovery of one day’s worth of ritua...
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Palestinians forsake negotiations

Jordan, on behalf of the Palestinians, was scheduled to submit a resolution to the UN calling for the complete withdrawal of Israel from the West Bank by 2016. Whether the resolution will pass was, as of press time, uncertain; and,  if it passed, whether the US would veto it, was also uncertain. Our guess is that the US would veto it because it would not achieve Palestinian statehood via negotiations, which the US favors. Rightly so. Unilateral statehood, or statehood via resolution, would mer...
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Talking to ourselves

With Taliban ‘militants’ who shoot children in the head, one by one, there is no common humanity, no common language Just when one thought that the last word on depravity and inhumanity was in, along come Taliban “militants” who kill children, one by one, in a “revenge” attack. Note the logic, if you can call it that: The government of Pakistan fights the Taliban, and in response the Taliban murders children. It’s the same “logic” that has Palestinians murder rabbis in the sy...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

After legal battle, Israel OK’s African-American family as citizens

Gabe Friedman Israel’s Interior Ministry has agreed to recognize a family of African Americans who converted to Judaism as citizens of Israel. ... [Link]

Rapper Ice Cube melts down, beats up rabbi

Gabe Friedman Ice Cube has never had the most cordial relationship with the Jewish community. Beating up a rabbi doesn’t help. ... [Link]

Obama meets with family of slain journalist Steven Sotloff

Gabe Friedman President Obama met with the parents of slain journalist Steven Sotloff several months after they criticized the White House for its handling of their son’s death. ... [Link]

Former NYC council candidate arrested on child porn charges

Marcy Oster Joseph Hayon, who admitted that he viewed and shared the pornographic images of children between ages 2 and 12, ran under the campaign slogan “Our children are our future,” ... [Link]

On basalt boulders, remembering a Golan Heights attack

Julie Wiener More than 63 years after seven Israeli soldiers were killed by a Syrian sniper, sculptors create a memorial for them. ... [Link]

Al Pacino pulls out of play over playwright’s support of Hitler

Marcy Oster Norwegian author Knut Hamsun was a supporter of Nazi Germany in his 70s and 80s and supported the German occupation of Norway during World War II. ... [Link]

Many Holocaust survivors live in poverty and need assistance, confab told

Marcy Oster Representatives of 39 countries participating in the two-day “Living in Dignity” conference called on the international community to provide more assistance to survivors. ... [Link]

As Israeli Rabbinate targets Rabbi Riskin, battle lines take shape

Ben Sales Rabbi Shlomo Riskin believes Israel’s Chief Rabbinate is challenging his job because his decisions on women and conversions question the Rabbinate’s hard lines on Jewish law. ... [Link]

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