Blogs

A Black-Jewish Hip-Hop Star

Thanks to the Jewish Outreach Institute blog for tipping me off about a Heeb profile of Aubrey “Drake” Graham, an emerging hip-hop star who is black and Jewish.

I know as much about hip-hop (or for that matter, any music produced more recently than, say, 1990) as I do about sports, which is to say virtually nothing. Nonetheless, the 23-year-old former TV star (Canada’s “Degrassi: The Next Generation) sounds like an interesting personality, and his Jewish story is fascinating.

Defending Israel, but maybe not its policies

 In recent days I've read a few eloquent pleas for American Jews to stand up and support Israel in the face of worldwide condemnation; now, the writers argue, is not the time to quibble about policy.

Some of these are written by people I really respect – and I'd respectfully like to take issue with them.

Single Gal Sings the Wedding Blues

Because no one told me, I am telling you: If you are ever invited to an Israeli wedding, don't wear heels!

It's not like I'm a big high heel wearer. In fact, I don't even own that many pairs of shoes and the ones that I do own are all red. But since Israel is the land of casual-wear, when I dusted off some relatively spiffy threads for a work colleague's wedding, I noticed a pair of neglected heels in my closet and thought, Why not?

Abbas, And A Few Good Men

For public consumption, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in Washington this week,  had to share the world's indignation about Israel's naughty behavior on that ship in not letting a band of Turkish brigands throw its soldiers into the sea.

"Unlawful, unacceptable," is how he described the incident. "Our main demand is how to end the blockade on Gaza and I believe the entire world stands with us." Right.

Sandra Bullock & Scarlett Johansson share a kiss, and other Jewish celeb round-ups

 -Sandra Bullock shares a kiss with Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson at the MTV Movie Awards Sunday night -- attempting to recreate the moment that won her "Best Kiss" with Johansson's husband and Bullock's "Proposal" co-star Ryan Reynolds.

Wanted: Jewish Settlers In Alabama

"Settlers" usually gets you thinking of Israel, but The Atlantic has a curious dispatch in its new issue about settlers of another sort.  In Dothan, Alabama, a small Southern town that's seen its Jewish population drastically dwindle over the last 40 years, a wealthy Jewish businessman is now offering $50,000 to any Jewish family that decides to move to the town.  "I tell them there's running water, that we wear shoes, have a Starbucks," the director of the resettlement program tells The Atlantic.  

Gaza blockade angst

If you don't think the tide is turning against Israel's Gaza blockade, you're just not paying attention. There are numerous reports Israel is looking for a way out of what seems like a punitive and arbitrary blockade, but I suspect that won't do much to counteract the intense and mostly negative worldwide scrutiny that followed the botched Gaza flotilla raid and the lame Israeli PR efforts to justify it.

Look Who's In The World - Turks & Kuwaitis On Israel's Side (And They Love Us In Sierra Leone)

Blogs can go either way -- both good. Sometimes we react quickly, perhaps too quickly, to events. But when news is breaking, as was the case with the flotilla, blogs are a way to share information and emotion immediately.

The Stupid Things We Say

I was once discussing a home improvement project with a potential contractor, when a date to start the job came up and I mentioned that it was Martin Luther King Day.

The contractor, who is white, then repeated the name of the holiday in an exasperated voice, and added “What will they think of next?”

In one small utterance, this man had given me a window into his soul, and it wasn’t pretty.

First reactions to UN Iran vote - J Street and AIPAC, plus White House 'Fact Sheet'

As the United Nations Security Council took up a new, tougher Iran sanctions regime, I was wondering: which Jewish group would be the first out of the gate praising its passage?

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