The Whole Megillah: A Weekly News Roundup
Here’s a look at what else is going on in politics, culture and media.
Who gets to make Nazi comparisons? Billionaire George Soros, while slamming Fox News during an interview, used Holocaust imagery to warn of the dangers of the network. “They succeeded in — in Germany, where the Weimar Republic collapsed and you had a Nazi regime follow it,” Soros said of Fox News’ influence. Fox has been under pressure from the group Jewish Funds for Justice to prohibit Nazi comparisons or Holocaust imagery on air. But the group defended Soros’s comments, contending that his comments were misinterpreted and made a legitimate point. Not everyone saw this distinction. They “would rather play the hypocrite than to take on Soros for the same offense,” argued Jonathan S. Tobin in Commentary Magazine. Let’s just cut out these comparisons altogether, said Glynnis MacNicol at Business Insider. “I think we can safely say that much like none of these other things are like Nazis, neither is Fox News. Nazis are like Nazis.”
Obama’s Israel stand On Friday, the Obama administration vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that denounced Israel’s settlement policy as an “illegal obstacle” to peace in the region, reported Foreign Policy. This is just another example of the “U.S. bowing to Israeli preferences,” said Paul Pillar at National Interest. Hold on, this could be a start to the solution, argued former Rep. Robert Wexler in an editorial on Politico. “Obama should now offer a way forward” focused on both “protecting Israel’s security and Jewish character and recognizing the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for statehood and dignity,” Wexler wrote. But this is really a “lose-lose situation for the Obama administration,” said James Besser in The Jewish Week, because both sides are just posturing right now and neither is too eager to negotiate.
Rahm, Chicago’s first Jewish mayor Former White House chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel was elected Chicago’s first Jewish mayor on Tuesday. JTA had the details about how Emanuel speaks Hebrew and is the son of an Israeli doctor who moved to the United States in the 1950s. “The majority of Chicagoans on Tuesday embraced a Jewish man for mayor without making much of it,” noted a Chicago Sun-Times editorial. Might Emanuel have his sights set on an even higher office? “I think that Rahm, after he gets a few years as mayor under his belt, will try to be ‘America’s mayor,’ much like Giuliani in New York, and then try to achieve his dream of becoming the first Jewish President,” one Chicago blogger predicted.
Iowa, meet Israel Even though he hasn’t officially announced a 2012 presidential run, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is making headlines for a recent trip he made to Israel that, Politico reported, signals his “seriousness about foreign policy and national security and their hawkish approach to terrorism.” Huckabee is just the latest politician to pay a visit to the Holy Land —Mitt Romney and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour have both made trips in recent months. Is Israel “the new Iowa,” as A.B. Stoddard at The Hill called it? Politico’s Jonathan Martin doesn’t think so, pointing out that Huckabee is “making no attempt to monetize his relationships. There are scores of deep-pocketed Republican Jewish Commitee (RJC) donors who would gladly take his call.” So what is really behind Huckabee’s trip? “Perhaps he is the man who can lead America during the forthcoming war of Gog and Magog,” joked Salon’s Alex Pareene.
Are the French “Jewish-curious”? Google’s “Autocomplete,” which suggests what users may be searching for by filling in words, has revealed that many French web surfers are intrigued by questions of whether their politicians are Jewish, reported Agence France-Presse. This “reflects that despite long-standing French cultural norms against open expression of anti-Semitism it may have gone underground,” said Greg Starling at Search Engine Land. But Symi Rom-Ryner at Moment Magazine warned not to jump to any conclusions. “Without detailed study, it is impossible to know why the French conduct the searches that they do or what they are hoping to find … Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.”