A sweet and innocent young Italian girl gets married, but the girl’s mother lives downstairs. The girl has never made love to a man before, and on their wedding night, when he takes off his shirt, she goes running downstairs.
“Momma, Momma,” she cries. “I can’t believe it! He has hair all over his chest! What should I do?”
The mother is making spaghetti sauce. She stirs the sauce thoughtfully and says, “Hair on his chest? He’s your husband, it’s your wedding night, go upstairs.”
When the girl gets back upstairs, the man takes off his pants. This sends her running back down to her mother:
“Momma, Momma! He has hair all over his legs! What should I do?”
The mother stirs the sauce thoughtfully and says: “Hair on his legs? He’s your husband, it’s your wedding night, go upstairs.”
The girl goes back upstairs, and the man takes off his shoes and socks. She looks down and sees that half of one of his feet is missing. She goes crying back down the stairs:
“Momma, Momma! He’s got a foot and a half! What should I do?”
The mother hands her daughter the spoon and says:
“A foot and a half? Here, you stir the sauce. I’ll go upstairs.”
In his long hybrid film, Rabin, The Last Day, a compound of documentary and reenactment, Amos Gitai unfurls a rightly unnerving answer to the question Who done it? by welding to it the question What was done?
This is not to say that Gitai—whose film was reviewed for Tablet magazine by J. Hoberman—finds fault with the verdict reached by an Israeli court: The ultranationalist religious zealot Yigal Amir was the assassin. The crime was ideological and the assassin was, and remains, unrepentant. Amir arranged the means and the opportunity because he was on a sacred mission. He believed he had Talmudic sanction to murder Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who in his view had endangered Jews by brokering a deal with the Palestinians and opening the way to a forfeit of what the land-worshipping Israeli right considers God-given Jewish land. On Amir’s reading of the Talmud—a reading embraced by a particular clique of rabbis—the land under Israeli occupation was holy, and to turn it over to the enemy would be a crime against God. Accordingly, to kill the criminal, the “thief” of the Talmudic provision, was holy work.
The murder of Yitzhak Rabin reversed not only the momentum of Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy but the culture of the Israeli nation. The Oslo Accords were far from perfect for the purpose of securing a peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but they did open a door into a livable future in which Jews and Arabs might coexist without endless savagery and murder. What would have followed is unknowable. In The New Yorker, Dexter Filkins recently argued that the door would have opened only a crack.
But it’s safe to assume that Yigal Amir, now 46 years old, has reason to feel pleased with himself—and not only because he has been permitted to marry, and father a child, while in prison. To many, he is a hero. In 2006, 10 years into his life sentence for the murder, an Israeli poll found that one-third of Israelis supported his “future pardoning.” Moreover: “Among respondents defining themselves as right-wing, 54 percent support a pardoning, with 47 percent setting the pardon in 25 years.”
According to a confidential memo, dated January 2016, from the anti-terrorist unit of the French interior ministry, France is already host to 8,250 radical Islamists (a 50% increase in one year).
Some of these Islamists have gone to Syria to join the Islamic State (IS); others have infiltrated all levels of society, starting with the police and the armed forces.
A leaked confidential memo from the Department of Public Security, published by Le Parisien, details 17 cases of police officers radicalized between 2012 and 2015. Particularly noted were the police officers who listen to and broadcast Muslim chants while on patrol.
Some of these police officers have openly refused to protect synagogues or to observe a minute of silence to commemorate the deaths of victims of terrorist attacks.
In addition, the police were alerted to a policewoman who incited terrorism on Facebook, and called her police uniform a “filthy rag of the Republic” while wiping her hands on it. In January 2015, immediately after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Hypercacher kosher supermarket in Vincennes, which had left 17 people dead, she wrote on her Facebook page: “Masked attack led by Zionist cowards… They need to be killed.”
That police officers are armed and have access to police databases only intensifies anxiety.
Superman V Batman? The movie with Israeli actress Gal Gadot as the Amazon Wonder Woman? No! It’s Moses V Pharaoh! The Haggadah with online Amazon as the sole distributor.
Superman was created in 1938 by two Jews, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. To build a super hero they turned to Moses and Israel for inspiration. The secret truth about their creation is how very Jewish it is. Superman as a baby, like baby Moses, was saved from death by being lovingly placed in an ark by his mother and sent off to be found and raised by a foster mother.
American Jews were routinely given a secret Jewish name and an “American” name. Siegel and Shuster gave their hero a secret Jewish name. They knew that many “Jewish” names ended in EL (Micha-el, Isra-el, Ezeki-el, Shmu-el, etc.) so the baby’s real name was Ka-El and his father was Jor-El.
His American name was, of course, Clark Kent. Clark, like the Jews in Siegel and Shuster’s America, was the immigrant survivor of a lost, destroyed civilization. It would not be until ten years later, in 1948, that the incredible would happen. Siegel and Shuster’s “lost, destroyed civilization” would be reborn when the State of Israel would rise again in the ancient land of Israel.
A great deal can be written about the Jewishness of Superman, the first super hero, but to read “the original” you’ve got to read and enjoy the Passover Haggadah. Get yours, while supplies last, at http://www.Store.Drybones.com
During Wednesday’s PMQ session, during which Members of the British Parliament ask the prime minister questions, Conservative MP Nike Freer of the Finchley and Golders Green constituency, asked David Cameron whether or not “on the rise” anti-Semitism should be rooted out in Britain.
Cameron replied: “Anti-Semitism is an absolute cancer on our society. And we should know that when it grows it is the signal of many even worse things happening to ethnic groups and different groups all over our country. There is, sadly, a growth anti-Semitism in our country and we see it in terms of attacks on Jewish people and Jewish students and it absolutely has to be stamped out. We should all, all of us… make sure that happens.”
Cameron, who would go at it with Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn during the session—the Prime Minister joked about a leaked list of “hostiles” within the party, that the party apparently created itself—also called out the Labour Party for its “support for anti-Semitism.”
On the surface, the Gaza Strip looks relatively calm, with few security incidents occurring since the end of the protracted 2014 summer conflict between Hamas and Israel.
Behind the scenes, pressure within the Islamist-run enclave is gradually building again, just as it did prior to the 2014 war.
Gaza’s civilian population is hostage to Hamas’s dramatically failed economic policies, and its insistence on confrontation with Israel, rather than recognition of Israel and investment in Gaza’s economic future.
Ultimately, the civilian-economic pressure cooker in Gaza looks likely to explode, leading Hamas to seek new hostilities with Israel, for which it is preparing in earnest.
Right now, Hamas remains deterred by Israel’s firepower, and is enforcing its part of the truce. Hamas security forces patrol the Strip’s borders to prevent Gazans from rioting, to stop them from trying to escape Gaza into Israel, and to stop ISIS-affiliated radicals who fire rockets at Israel.
The text message says to show up at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel at 11 a.m. on a Monday. But through some combination of traffic and my own chronic lateness, I find myself rushing into the lobby at 12 minutes after, aware that it’s not a good look to be late for work, my first day on a new job.
I’ve been hired by a company called Crowds on Demand. If you need a crowd of people — for nearly any reason — Crowds on Demand can make it happen. Now it has taken me on as one of its crowd members, although the specifics remain a mystery. It’s an odd sensation to be headed into a gig with no idea what task I’m expected to perform. All I know is that I’ll be making 15 bucks an hour.
In the hotel lobby, Adam Swart, the company’s 24-year-old CEO, is greeting a dozen other recruits. Handsome, fit, sporting slacks and a button-down shirt, Adam bears an uncanny resemblance to House Speaker Paul Ryan, though he’s more than 20 years younger. He circles around us with manic energy, as though jacked up on six cups of coffee. While he gently reprimands me for my lateness, I take his tone to mean, You’re off the hook this time, but don’t do it again. He leads us downstairs to a ballroom in the basement and gives us the lowdown.
The Marriott, Adam explains, is hosting a conference for life coaches from around the country. As these folks arrive in the ballroom to register and pick up their badges, lanyards, and gift bags, our job is to treat them like mega-celebrities, to behave like a wild throng of fans desperate for their love. As it turns out, this is one of Crowds on Demand’s most popular services.