Israeli films opening to portrayals of gay characters [Haaretz]
In recent years, it seems Israeli cinema is offering a more diverse selection of screen portrayals, including gay characters in leading roles. In a new book, “Soldiers, Rebels, and Drifters,” Nir Cohen explores this artistic shift, how it has happened, and what it might mean.
“Guttman, the first Israeli filmmaker to treat the gay subject matter seriously, is one of the two main directors that Cohen’s book discusses, the other being Eytan Fox; indeed, up until a few years ago, pride of place in this realm belonged to these two filmmakers. Like Guttman, Fox dared to place the gay experience at the center of his work, and to rebel against the traditional approach that preferred to ignore the existence of gays in Israeli society or to present them in a stereotypical and warped fashion.”
Chasidic no more [BBC]
In the autobiography, “Unorthodox,” Deborah Feldman shares her experiences as a member of the Satmar sect of Chasidic Judaism, a sect she eventually left following an arranged marriage at the age of 17 and the birth of a child. Feldman opens up with the BBC on her life and the future.
All dead Mormons are now gay [ADMANG]
After a rash of posthumous baptisms of Holocaust victims or their immediate families, it seems someone has decided that theology works both ways. In a stroke of genius (?), it seems anyone can now submit the name of a Mormon (or choose one from a handy-dandy list) to submit for “conversion to homosexuality.” (Somewhere the Religious Right is saying, “I knew they could convert you!”) Also, Holocaust victims aren’t eligible for conversion.
Israeli Reform rabbis petition Obama for release of prisoner [Jerusalem Post]
In a move that has some surprised, the Israeli Council of Progressive Rabbis is preparing a letter to President Obama asking for the release of Jonathan Pollard, Israeli spy. The Jerusalem Post explores the news:
“The Pollard case was once seen as an issue that was primarily promoted by right-wing and Orthodox Jews. But lately Reform rabbis in America and now in Israel have adopted the case as a human rights issue at the top of their agenda.
The Israeli Reform rabbis drafted their letter amid increasing pressure on Obama to commute Pollard’s sentence to the more than 26 years of his life term he has already served. The pressure is expected to intensify ahead of Obama’s meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday in Washington.”