Stereotypes, Oy [Huffington Post]
Howard Meyer laments the longevity of unflattering Jewish stereotypes, claiming they are representative of the prejudices of a few discontents years ago and have little relevancy in today’s Jewish communities. He cites examples from the Seinfeld episode “The Yada Yada”, above, in which Jerry’s dentist converts to Judaism “for the jokes”, as an example of the outdated stereotypes and how popular culture perpetuates them.
“Many Jews are very open about religion and would be happy to discuss our traditions and values. You can also go to a synagogue or restaurant and see how we roll. The purpose of this warmth and openness is not to convert people. Rather, we believe in accepting others for who they are, while never compromising on our faith. Also, I’m sure that by through conversation you’ll realize that the Jew jokes on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Wedding Crashers and 90210 are not based on reality.”
Palestinian prisoners launch hunger strike [JTA]
Roughly 1200 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails began a hunger strike early Tuesday, commemorating “Prisoners’ day”. Another estimated 2,300 prisoners began striking in solidarity with the Palestinians, returning their meals to the prison guards.
“The mass hunger strike is calling for an end to solitary confinement and isolation; to allow families of prisoners from the Gaza Strip to visit their loved ones; and to allow prisoners to have newspapers, learning materials and specific television channels. It is also protesting administrative detention. A security prisoner in Israel can be held in administrative detention without charges for up to four months; it can be renewed.”
When the Media is Blitzed [Forward]
The press is on trial in the West Bank, the Forward argues. Journalists in the Palestinian territories have been censored, interrogated, and terrorized. However, the P.A. is not the only government in the region putting limits on the freedom of the press; their actions are part of a larger trend that places the lives and livelihoods of journalists in danger.
“Now, to be fair, the censorship of journalists in the occupied territories is not only the fault of P.A. leadership. Israeli policies and practices make the simple work of reporting and writing freely difficult, if not impossible. An Israeli raid on a media center at Al Quds University on April 2 was the second one so far this year. And reports from monitoring groups like Human Rights Watch say that Hamas authorities in Gaza are arresting and even torturing some journalists.”
Adelson shells out the cash [JTA]
Sheldon Adelson (see what I did there?), a prominent Jewish donor to Republican causes, has contributed an additional $5 million to a Super PAC that supports Republican candidates. This comes on the heels of his contributions to Newt Gingrich’s campaign. Adelson is also a major supporter of Birthright Israel.
Mazel Tov! [Tablet]
Associated Press reporters Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan, and Chris Hawley won the Pulitzer Prize yesterday for their coverage of the NYPD’s spying on Muslim communities. Read New Voices’ coverage of the story here, here, and here.