Friday Five: Brangelina, yes Turkey Can (Bonomo), Sheldon Adelson, Jack Lew, Anastassia Michaeli


Brangelina Goes to Washington

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie decided to swing by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to promote the latter’s directorial debut, "In The Land of Blood and Honey." They specifically went to tour the "From Memory to Action" exhibition on genocide, which focuses in part on the massacre in Srebrenica featured in her movie. In the process, they put some major celebrity muscle into the call to transform Holocaust memory into action against modern-day genocide.

Can Bonomo Sings Turkey

Can Bonomo, a 24-year-old Jewish recording artist from Izmir, Turkey, was selected to represent his country at Eurovision. The fan site EuroVisionary describes the 24-year-old singer/songwriter’s style as "Istanbulian music that works with tunes from Alaturca to international indie style," with the Shins, Wax Poetic, the Kinks, the Libertines and the Beatles as influences. Whoa! Not sure what that produces, but Bonomo, whether he knows it or not, picks up on a lovely Turkish Jewish tradition of mixing musical styles. Sephardic Jewish singers in Ladino were famed among Turks of all persuasions in the 1920s and 1930s, rendering their foreparents’ winsome tales of love lost to jazzy arrangements in Istanbul’s cafes. There’s also a political element to Bonomo’s selection by the state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corp. [[READMORE]] Turkish diplomats love to remind Journalists Who Cover the Middle East that their country always has been a haven for the Jews — and that’s not going to change, however bad things get with Israel.

Sheldon Adelson Bets on Newt

Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is tight with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and now he’s making a major splash in the Republican primary contest, donating $5 million to a SuperPAC supporting the candidacy of Newt Gingrich. Some Republicans and conservatives are livid because the money is being used to paint Mitt Romney as a predatory businessman, but an Adelson source says his boss has no role in how his contribution is being spent.

Jack Lew is the New Chief

Jack Lew is going from being the country’s chief budget cruncher to the White House chief of staff. As if that wasn’t enough pressure, he also could become the main administration address for high-level Jewish concerns. His promotion was praised across the Jewish political and religious spectrum, while also fueling excitement and curiosity about an Orthodox Jew balancing the demands of the job with his Sabbath observance.

Anastassia Michaeli Competes in Water Throwing Event

When Anastassia Michaeli, a Knesset member from Yisrael Beitenu, threw water in the face of Raleb Majadale, an Arab lawmaker from the Labor Party, during a meeting of the Knesset’s Education, Culture and Sports Committee on Monday, it brought an unusual end to an argument over the proposed dismissal of a school principal in the Negev who took his students on a human rights march in Tel Aviv. The action earned her a month’s suspension from the Knesset, a reminder that water throwing isn’t a qualifying event in the Education, Culture and Sports Committee. Watch the video below.  

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