David Carr takes fire
It’s not easy being a journalist in Gaza, but New York Times columnist David Carr learned this week that it’s plenty hard pontificating about conflict in the Middle East from Manhattan, too. In a piece this week about the increasing threats facing journalists in war zones, Carr’s leading example was Israel targeting a vehicle carrying Muhammad Abu-Shamalah, who Israel and others say is a Hamas commander. Critics pounced, but Carr stood his ground, insisting the men in question were legitimate working journalists. Plenty of evidence suggests otherwise. One thing is clear, however: One could find far less murky examples of states deliberately targeting journalists.
Stevie Wonder blows off Israel benefit
I just called to say I’m not coming. That’s what Stevie Wonder might have said when, bowing to pressure, he announced that he would not be playing a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces gala in Los Angeles next month. Wonder’s reps said the singer felt his appearance clashed with his role as a U.N. messenger of peace, an honorific he has held since 2009 (and shares with Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, among others). The event will not be entirely bereft of star power. “Seinfeld” alumnus Jason Alexander will emcee and Grammy Award-winning musician David Foster will appear.
Suleiman al-Daya defends the truce
Israel routinely complains that Muslim clerics use their authority to foment violence. But Suleiman al-Daya, a leading Muslim cleric in Gaza, reversed the script this week when he declared that violating the week-old truce between Israel and Hamas is a sin. “Honoring the truce, which was sponsored by our Egyptian brethren, is the duty of each and every one of us,” al-Daya said in a fatwa issued Saturday night. “Violating it shall constitute a sin.” Al-Daya made his comment after a Hamas official said the group would keep stockpiling arms even though it was prohibited by the cease-fire agreement.
Istvan Ujhelyi dons a yellow star
Responding to a call from a far-right parliamentarian to screen Jews for security risks, the deputy speaker of the Hungarian parliament, Istvan Ujhelyi, led colleagues in wearing yellow stars during Tuesday’s plenary as a sign of solidarity. “One of our fellow deputies stepped over a line that I thought until now could not happen in the halls of the Hungarian national assembly,” Ujhelyi said. A leader of the ultranationalist Jobbik party, Marton Gyongyosi, had called for a list of Jews who posed security threats to the state, prompting howls of outrage and comparisons to the Nazis. Ujhelyi said he did not believe he had Jewish roots, but that he would be proud if it were discovered that he did.
Danielle Fishel to return as Topanga
Danielle Fishel, best known for her role as Topanga Lawrence from the much-loved ’90s coming-of-age sitcom “Boy Meets World,” will be reprising her role as one of the most interestingly named characters on television. The new show, “Girl Meets World,” won’t be a mere replica of its predecessor, Fishel wrote on her Tumblr page, but it will follow the offspring of Topanga and Corey (played by Ben Savage), and Fishel promises the new show will continue “the same honest, innocence and intelligence” of the original series.