The Conspiracy

Bibi’s Independence Day message; Transgendered Jews; Urban Outfitters offends, and more [Required Reading]

Yom Ha’atzmaut Sameach! [JTA]

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu wishes constituents a happy independence day. For those who don’t speak Hebrew, the cat and parrot at the end should make it clear that even for Hebrew speakers, this message is bizarre. Click the embedded link for the English version, as well as an insightful discussion about the different messages Netanyahu chose to share with English and Hebrew speakers.

Urban Insentitive Outfitters [FoxNews]

Urban Outfitters, the popular retail chain that has repeatedly found itself in hot water after marketing apparel deemed offensive to a variety of ethnic groups, was slammed by the ADL this week after offering a shirt with a six pointed blue star on the breast pocket. The ADL claims that the star resembles the “Jude” labels Jews were made to wear during the holocaust.

“The manufacturer of the shirt, which retails for $100, reached out to the ADL with an apology Monday, assuring that the logo consists of “patchwork and geometric patterns” and that it was not a Star of David. The company added that the shirt was part of the spring/summer collection for Wood Wood, but that the design from the breast pocket was ultimately removed from the final product after concerns were raised over its resemblance to the Holocaust imagery.”

A new form of tolerance  [JTA]

At the Max Rayne Bilingual School in Jerusalem, Jewish and Muslim children play and learn side by side. As Yom Ha’atzmaut and Yom Hazikaron – Israeli Independence Day and Memorial Day for Israel’s Fallen Soldiers – approach, students take different sides to the issues raised by these holidays, but don’t let it affect their relationships.

“‘Teaching two languages, nationalities and cultures, together with contradicting historical narratives, requires deep commitment and a sense of mission to meet the challenges,’ says Max Rayne principal Nadia Kinani, an Arab Israeli from Nazareth who now lives in Jerusalem.”

Transgendered, through a Jewish lens [Tablet]

New memoirs by Kate Bornstein and Joy Ladin Kate Bornstein explore what it is like to be transgendered and Jewish, and the ways in which faith can be a source of strength and identity in tumultuous times.

“For Bornstein and Ladin alike, Jewish boundaries around sex and weird gender hang-ups—whether the pressures of passing Jewish manhood between generations, or God’s sexless aphysicality—provide productive language for expressing transgender experience.”

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