WATCH: Jake Tapper On Trump’s Attack On Ilhan Omar

A critique of a freshman Democratic congresswoman over her ill-considered tweets that began with a Forward editor had made its way to the White House by Tuesday, when President Trump called for the congresswoman’s resignation during a Cabinet meeting.

Trump, who himself has been accused of invoking anti-Semitic tropes at various points over the past three years, appears to have missed the irony of the moment. But Jake Tapper drove it home on Wednesday night, with a skit aired during his CNN program The Lead.

In the segment, Tapper played clip after clip in which Trump employed Jewish stereotypes. Watch it here.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis

This story "Jake Tapper Critiques Trump’s Attack On Ilhan Omar" was written by Josh Nathan-Kazis.


Fringe YouTube Personality Shot By Security Guard After Filming Outside LA Synagogue

A fringe YouTube personality was shot by a Los Angeles synagogue’s security guard after she live-streamed herself standing in front of the gate to the building.

Zhoie Perez, 45, was shot Thursday outside the Etz Jacob Torah Center after filming for several minutes a guard gripping a handgun in reaction to her presence. She was taken to hospital in stable condition and her life was not in danger.

The guard later said that the shot was meant to be a warning.

The incident was posted on YouTube by an account called Furry Potato Live, which has videos of Perez and others confronting police to test their rights. Perez can be heard getting shot in the leg at about 4:05. The guard grips his gun for about three minutes before firing the shots, becoming increasingly anxious about Perez’s presence.

After he fires a shot, Perez can be heard yelling, “Fucker shot me! Fucker shot me in the leg! Fuck!”

The video below may not be appropriate for all viewers.

After being shot, Perez backs off to behind a car as onlookers gather around her and call for medical help. The guard can be heard saying that Perez was attempting to “break inside” the synagogue. Perez later told a local TV station that the shot had only grazed her leg.

Perez refers to herself as a “First Amendment auditor” — someone who tests the limits of their constitutional rights by filming the reactions of law enforcement and security guards at places like post offices and power plants, the Daily Beast reported. She posted the video of her getting shot to the YouTube channel Furry Potato, one of several that are part of a new trend of activists trying to taunt and provoke law enforcement.

The Ohel Chana High School, which is located in the same building as the synagogue, told parents that she was shot after “canvassing” around the property. It was after she “became belligerent,” the school wrote to parents.

“An individual was filming our girls at the school. In the building. The perimeter of the building including all the windows and exits. This caused a great deal of anxiety to both our staff and our students,” Yehudis Farkash, the school’s principal, told reporters. “During the incident we did try to keep the girls calm and the building was placed on lockdown.”

Perez, who was released from the hospital later Thursday, said that she was trying to film the architecture of the synagogue, according to the LA Times.

“I was just filming the exterior of the synagogue here, and getting a lot of like, the architecture, and all that, and the guard came out and just started freaking out, started putting his hand on his gun,” she said.

The guard, identified as Edduin Zelayagrunfeld, 44, was detained by police and later arrested and charged with suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon with a firearm, a local CBS affiliate reported Thursday. Perez has not been charged with a crime.

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @aefeldman

This story "Fringe YouTube Personality Shot By LA Synagogue Guard" was written by Ari Feldman.


What’s Shmuley Boteach Doing At A Middle East Peace Summit In Poland?

Trump administration officials, Israeli leaders, and some Arab and European bureaucrats met this week in Warsaw for a conference on Middle East security. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was there. So was Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and advisor-at-large.

Also in town? Sex-advice author and all-around Jewish political gadfly Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

Boteach’s presence at the conference was first noted in a series of confused tweets by Middle East observers on Thursday. “Shmuley Boteach is inexplicably at the Warsaw summit and taking questions from reporters,” The Economist’s Gregg Carlstrom tweeted. “Why the hell is he at this Summit?” asked freelance Israel/Palestine reporter Mairav Zonszein.

In point of fact, it appears that Boteach was in the environs of the Warsaw Middle East Summit to speak at a panel on the event’s sidelines, alongside Jason Greenblatt, President Trump’s Middle East envoy. Someone live-tweeted the panel on Boteach’s Twitter account as it took place on Thursday evening, Warsaw time.

Boteach has always found his way to the sidelines of high-profile political events. But in popping up in Poland, Boteach is topping off an unusually active few months. Just days ago, he publicly attacked his old friend Senator Cory Booker in the hours after Booker announced his 2020 presidential bid. And days before that, Boteach orchestrated a relatively high-profile press tour of Israel for Roseanne Barr, whose sitcom was cancelled last year after she issued a racist tweet about a former Obama administration official.

A celebrity rabbi for more than two decades, there’s nothing new about Boteach finding the spotlight. But the rabbi has taken a political turn in recent years, running for Congress in 2012 and cultivating a close relationship with Republican donors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, whose foundation gave his charity $4.9 million between 2014 and 2016.

Is this the start of a new chapter for this modern-day Jewish political Zelig? It’s likely Boteach will be the first to tell us.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis

This story "Why’s Shmuley Boteach At A Peace Conference In Poland?" was written by Josh Nathan-Kazis.


Fox News Rejects Ad For Oscar-Nominated Short About American Nazism

Fox News will not air an ad for an Oscar-nominated documentary about American Nazism, the Hollywood Reporter reported.

The 30-second ad, called “It Can Happen Here,” is for “A Night At The Garden,” a documentary short about a 1939 meeting of [the German American Bund, a pro-Nazi organization. That infamous meeting, which gathered 20,000 people in New York’s Madison Square Garden, was a dramatic show of American support for Hitler — and of American anti-Semitism. Banners hung up in the Garden read “Stop Jewish Domination of Christian Americans,” and “Wake Up America. Smash Jewish Communism.” The crowd yelled “Seig Heil!”

Click here to read the New York Times’ account of the rally.

“A Night At The Garden” is pieced together from archival footage of the event, recalls the shocking level of determination and organization achieved by American Nazis and their supporters.

But Fox News rejected the ad for the short, which is meant to warn that Nazism and fascism can happen in American. The ad, which Fox News’ leadership deemed “not appropriate,” was meant to be aired for the Sean Hannity’s show, historically the most-watched cable news broadcast.

“It’s amazing to me that the CEO of Fox News would personally inject herself into a small ad buy just to make sure that Hannity viewers weren’t exposed to this chapter of American history,” said Marshall Curry, the director of the short.

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter @aefeldman

This story "Fox Rejects Oscar-Nominated American Nazism Film Ad" was written by Ari Feldman.


Jewish Father Of Parkland Victim Says He’s A ‘Walking Dead Man’

Andrew Pollack, the Jewish father of one of the 17 people massacred at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last February 14, says he hasn’t smiled since his daughter Meadow was killed.

Pollack has been one of the most vocal of the parents of the shooting victims, arguing that school leaders and elected officials should be held responsible for the tragedy that day.

But in interviews with the L.A. Times and the Palm Beach Post in advance of the anniversary of the shooting, Pollack described in detail the trauma that the past year has held for him and his family.

“I haven’t smiled since my daughter was murdered. I just can’t do it. You can’t enjoy yourself anymore in life,” Pollack told the Palm Beach Post.

Pollack has written a book, filed a lawsuit, and, according to the Post, confronted the campus monitor who was on duty at the high school that day.

“I’m a walking dead man,” he told the L.A. Times. “I feel bad for my wife that she’s even gotta be with me.”

He told the L.A. Times that he would not mark the anniversary of the shooting. “Every day is Feb. 14 to me,” Pollack said.

Pollack has met with President Trump. Unlike other parents of Parkland victims, Pollack is not an advocate for gun control. “I’m like, ‘Why is everyone just focusing on gun control when I know there are multiple failures that happened?’” he told the L.A. Times.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis

This story "Father Of Parkland Victim Hasn’t Smiled In A Year" was written by Josh Nathan-Kazis.

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