Tidbits, Good for the Jews edition


* In a rare editorial, Vos is Neias, the superb haredi news site, wonders if all the shtadlanut (interecessionary pleading) on behalf of the now executed murderer, Martin Grossman, was worth it:

Have we not taken the idea of “But is it good for the Jews?” to such an extreme level of absurdity that we apply it to the detriment of society around us? The question is not wrong, but it should be tempered with, “Is it good for the Jews and is it good for society?” If a Jewish young man is dealing drugs — that is bad for society — he should be punished — because what he has done is wrong, immoral and destroys the basic fabric of society around us. Every case is different and every situation should be judged on its own merit, but here we have a case where we seemed to have lost our judgment in what was an appropriate hishtadlus or not.

* The ADL’s Abe Foxman thinks Quentin Tarantino‘s Inglorious Basterds was not only good for the Jews, it should be good for an Oscar.

* The Israel Project and the Geneva Initiative on the same page? TIP has in its existence taken shots for allegedly tilting rightwards from what it has insisted is a down-the-middle-message. It has vehemently rejected such claims, and it does boast an impressive array of board members, Dems and Republicans, liberals and conservatives but …  this week it distributed as "must read" a Commentary mag analysis that maintains that Oslo essentially radicalized the Palestinians and endangered Israel. And in November, TIP founder Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, told a panel I moderated at the Jewish Federations of North America’s GA  that liberals are, basically, naive.

Yet here TIP is — in Ramallah! — making nice with the Geneva Initiative, the body that arose out of the 2003 shadow-government plan that would have the sides retreat to 1967 lines. The message: Resuming peace talks would be good for the Jews and the Palestinians:

The [TIP] delegation, traditionally supportive of Israeli governmental positions and serves as its media arm, raised several issues on the possibilities of resuming negotiations and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within the regional context. Finally, they presented a result of an opinion poll which they recently commissioned in the region on the public position towards peace, where they summed up that the Palestinians are most willing for peace with Israel.

* In Ha’aretz, Bradley Burston thinks the discourse is sinking like the Titanic — I get a mention for maybe being a little too angry (mea culpa) — and that’s not good or the Jews, the Palestinians or peace.

I have a really nice memory of Bradley, when he was at Reuters and I was at AP, circa 1993. We were slugs, then, assigned the unenviable Sunday morning into afternoon shift staffing the parking lot outside the Prime Minister’s Office in the blistering sun, waiting for the Cabinet ministers to come out and start blabbing. I don’t know if he remembers this, but we established during those long hours that the way to figure out if a radio journalist was angling for a TV job was if he gesticulated while filing.

* Carlos Strenger at The Guardian thinks that, if anything, the discourse isn’t loud enough — at least its liberal side. It would be good for the Jews, he suggests, if Israel’s left re-found its voice:

Hence the paradox of Israel’s current state of mind: two-thirds of the electorate consistently supports the two-state solution, but the vote goes ever more to the right. Israelis want the two-state solution, but are deeply afraid of implementing it. As a result they vote for politicians who address their fears rather than for those who offer hope – because they feel there is no hope they can believe in.

* Via Ben Smith at Politico, Steve Rosen, formerly of AIPAC, says in a Foreign Policy post that President Obama is more AIPAC than J Street, and that’s good for the Jews. M.J. Rosenberg at Media Matters partly agrees — and that in itself is news, considering that "hate" is probably the pale way of describing how he and Rosen feel about one another — but doesn’t think it’s good for the Jews, the Palestinians, or anyone.

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